Desserts, gym rat friends inspire him to work out

Edmund Ong believes having the right mindset and setting realistic goals are key to getting in shape

Technology professional Edmund Ong is dedicated to his fitness routine, but jokes that his sweet tooth prevents him from building visible abs.
Technology professional Edmund Ong is dedicated to his fitness routine, but jokes that his sweet tooth prevents him from building visible abs.ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

What is your secret to looking fabulous?

I drink a lot of water and work out every day. I live by the motto that I should not let toxicity stunt my personal growth and I thrive on having a handful of good friends. I think the positivity from that contributes to looking fabulous.

Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

Yes - when I graduated from university, moved out of my parents' place and got my first full-time job. It was tough maintaining work-life balance, let alone finding spare time for the gym. I gained so much weight and was very out of shape.

What is your diet like?

On regular days, I go a lot by feel, with choosing less carbohydrates as an option. Otherwise, if I am cutting for a beach holiday, then I will hop on the ketogenic diet train.

What are your indulgences?

Italian and French desserts such as tiramisu and eclairs.

I have such a sweet tooth, I always joke about how I will never get visible abs because I eat too many sweets.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

It really is about having the discipline to follow a routine and constantly planning out your schedule in advance. It is also important to get a job that you love.

  • Bio Box


    AGE: 28

    HEIGHT: 1.76m

    WEIGHT: 76kg

    Apart from hitting the gym regularly and playing tennis, technology professional Edmund Ong plays netball from time to time with his group of friends, which includes men and women.

    In 2018, he was introduced to the sport, which people tend to typecast as an activity for schoolgirls.

    He says: "At first, I was thinking, 'How difficult would a game that simply involves a bit of throwing and catching be?'

    "Little did I know that it requires enormous vigour. You need speed, endurance, agility - not to mention the control and accuracy required to throw the ball at speed."

    While practical concerns such as a busy schedule or poor health can make a workout routine challenging, he believes the biggest barriers are in the mind.

    "Whatever your age or fitness level, set realistic goals and form a habit. When you know your goals are within reach, it is easier to gradually incorporate your fitness routine into your life and commit to it," he says.

What are the three most important things in your life?

My family, friends and watching American reality competition television series Rupaul's Drag Race.

What is your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

I do not have a preference.

What are your must-dos before and after a workout?

I usually hit the gym at 5am. At such an early hour, a must-do before arriving at the gym is to prepare a good playlist to get me pumped.

At that time, it is just me and my Spotify playlists against the world.

When I am done, I usually have a meal. I try to have more protein and a bit of carbohydrates. I love eggs, so I usually have an egg dish with toast.

How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

It is very important to train every day so I can enjoy the desserts I love.

How are you keeping fit, given the coronavirus situation?

It has not affected the way I keep fit. I still go to the gym, play tennis and run outdoors.

Apart from taking extra precautions such as washing my hands with soap more often, I think keeping up my fitness routine is also important to staying healthy.

How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?

It really is the other way around. My friends are gym rats, so I am naturally more inspired to keep to my fitness routine.

What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness?

I would say spending close to $2,000 a month on gym memberships and hiring a personal trainer.

How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

The extent of my collection is a couple of tennis balls, a tennis racket and a foam roller.

Would you go for plastic surgery?

Yes, if I decide one day in the future that I want to look 10 years younger than my actual age.

Do you think you are sexy?

Yes. As Rupaul always says: "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline 'Desserts, gym rat friends inspire him to work out'. Subscribe