Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more. Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook.
Name: Danil Palma (@whathebronte)
Occupation: Content creator, fitness trainer
Diet: I believe in healthy habits and sustainability when it comes to dieting. I choose healthier options (lots of greens and protein-packed stuff) but also allow myself to enjoy (in moderation) when I'm having meals with family and friends.
Training: I like to do my training in the morning and do a combination of strength training in the gym and cardio on the spin bike 3 to 4 times a week and yoga for mobility at least once a week.
Q: You hated to sweat when you were a kid. When did that change?
A: Yeah, I was a chubby kid and did not enjoy sports at all! I always found an excuse to skip PE lessons and hated to sweat. It was only when I was in polytechnic that my friend pushed me to join his dragonboating team and I got introduced to the gym. Since then, I've enjoyed all kinds of fitness activities – from the thrill of sprinting, calmness of yoga and to the flow of being on the bike.
When was your turning point and fitness became a bigger part of your life?
I had really poor eating habits as a kid. Prior to doing sports and fitness, I tried to lose weight by going on crash diets and became underweight. I couldn't concentrate in class and that affected my grades badly. The lethargy was so bad that I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my arm and that was a real wake up call that this was not the way to do it.
Do you work out for your body or your body is a result of your workouts?
I used to solely work out for my body, but my focus now as an instructor is athletic fitness – the body is a nice bonus.
As part of your work as a content creator, you do some modeling. Is there any pressure in maintaining your physique or looking a certain way?
While the rest of my peers were going for piano lessons as a kid, my mom sent me to hosting and modeling classes (I was a real show horse haha). There is a certain pressure for sure but I don't let that get to me too much and I see fitness and grooming as self-care habits rather than something "I have to do".
How did the opportunity to become a fitness trainer come about?
It's something I've always wanted to do but never had the time due to a crazy work and travel schedule. Then 2020 came and I felt really aimless at one point. Besides being a huge reset, last year also gave an opportunity to explore this passion. So I took this time to become a better athlete and to be able share this with others at R10T.
Was there ever a time where you felt the least confident about yourself?
I remember when I was still a chubby kid, someone told me I was "too fat" to chase after a crush that I had. I was so adamant to prove him wrong and that was when I went on a crash diet (the only way I knew how at that time). Obviously, it wasn't a great idea but it was an important step towards educating myself towards better eating and fitness habits.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
I have gone on both ends of the spectrum from being really fat to being really skinny and have dealt with body image issues for a large part of my life. As someone that struggled with this a lot, I know that it's not as simple to just accept it and love myself yada yada. I remind myself that I can work towards a better version of yourself while celebrating the progress that I've made. It's about progress, not perfection.
Do you often get comments about your body?
Hang on, let me open my DMs.