Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Eng Ying Tian

Cheryl Tay
·5-min read
Eng Ying Tian is a running enthusiast who takes part in local and international marathons.
Eng Ying Tian is a running enthusiast who takes part in local and international marathons. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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: Eng Ying Tian (@eyeletskirt)

Age: 34

Height: 1.63m

Weight: 53kg

Occupation: Assistant Manager

Status: Married with one son

Diet: I don't follow any diet as I love food. Bubble tea is my No. 1 weakness, but I try to limit myself to two cups per week. Breakfast usually consists of bread and coffee to keep me awake especially for work days! Lunch will be noodles or rice. I skip dinner sometimes as I don't get hungry after a snack before evening. For social or family dinners I will just go with the flow.

Training: I do my best to work out a minimum of three times a week now, especially when there are no marathon races happening! I used to work out five to six times when I was childless, but now my schedule does not permit that.

On weekdays, I do two short runs either before work or after work when my son is asleep. A longer run is done on weekend to maintain my stamina. I also go to the gym for strength training and yoga classes.

Ying Tian did not enjoy running when she was young, but has since fallen in love with the sport.
Ying Tian did not enjoy running when she was young, but has since fallen in love with the sport. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Q: Did you like running when you were younger?

A: I was from netball in my junior college days and training consisted of frequent runs to train our stamina. I was never a fan of running, especially the 2.4km run for the NAPFA test, but it's important to be fit in order to get to the court. That was the last time I ran before I picked up running years later in my adult years.

How did you get into running?

I never ran once I left school, until a friend invited me to join Shape Run 2009 for their value-for-money goodie bag. I fell in love with it and never looked back. I did my first 10km without training and was hooked to the adrenaline rush thereafter. That race was my turning point in life.

What does running mean to you?

It's more than a hobby; it's my life.

Ying Tian would have gone for the Nagoya Marathon and Berlin Marathon, had they not been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ying Tian would have gone for the Nagoya Marathon and Berlin Marathon, had they not been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What is your most memorable running experience?

Too many to name! But it probably will be my overseas races, especially those that I went on my own. My last overseas run-cation was the Chicago Marathon 2020, where I was lucky to get a slot via balloting. It was my first time flying for over 20 hours (there and back) by myself to chase my World Marathon Major dreams. I got a personal best after 12 weeks of training.

There were so many things holding me back then, like my young son, but I'm glad I did it before COVID-19 hit. The atmosphere is everything and every race has a learning story.

What races were you supposed to take part in 2020?

I was supposed to run both Nagoya Marathon and Berlin Marathon but they got postponed. I ended up doing both virtual races in Singapore. I hope I get to clock both of them after COVID-19 is over. I can't wait to experience the atmosphere.

How significant has running been in your life?

Running is like my oxygen and food; I can't do without it! It has helped me get through heartbreaks, down moments and come up with new ideas at work. I love how it allows me to relax, unwind and truly be myself. My friends say I get grumpy if I don't get my running "drug".

Ying Tian continues to run actively even after giving birth to her son.
Ying Tian continues to run actively even after giving birth to her son. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?

I'm generally a positive person who is rarely bothered by how my body looks, as I've always believed being strong and fit is more important than the numbers on the machine.

However during my pregnant days, I was concerned about not losing the weight gained. After giving birth, my hips are much bigger and my tummy was not as flat before. That affected my confidence and I opted for clothes that flatter my mum body more. However seeing my child growing well and being able to nurse him for 2.5 years, I've no regrets.

Are you satisfied with your body now?

It's always a work in progress everyday to become more toned and stronger. I'm proud of my body and legs for being able to finish every workout, cross every finish line and be fit enough to take better care of my loved ones.

Have you ever received any comments about your body?

I'm lucky to have a positive inner circle and a husband who tells me it's perfect (though I know its not).

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Eng Ying Tian (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Eng Ying Tian (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)