Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Glenn Yong: 'Mistakes I made yesterday will lead to a tomorrow version of me that is better and wiser'

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Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Glenn Yong is a popular artiste/singer.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Glenn Yong is a popular artiste/singer. (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: Glenn Yong (@glennyqh)

Age: 27

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 65kg

Occupation: Artiste

Status: Single

Food: As my schedule is often very hectic, I eat two big meals a day (usually with more protein) and grab smaller bites throughout the day.

Exercise: I work out every day, usually in the morning before I start work. I will start off with 60 push-ups and 60 sit-ups, then I’ll go for a run for about 15 minutes. After that I will do HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for 30 to 45 minutes and sometimes I’ll lift weights too.

Q: When you were younger, were you active in sports?

A: Yes, I used to play a lot of basketball since secondary school days. During recess time, my friends and I would gather as a group and play together.

Glenn usually works out in the morning, before the start of his hectic work schedule.
Glenn usually works out in the morning, before the start of his hectic work schedule. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

How did your fitness regime evolve as you got older?

Before I went for national service, I played a lot of basketball and soccer. When I went into army, that’s when I started going to the gym. However, nowadays I mainly focus on cardio exercises at home to keep in shape and shred the fat.

What keeps you hustling?

I’m focused on working towards my dream, and as a boss, my priority is ensuring that I can provide for my team.

How do you balance everything (as an actor, singer and business owner on top of your personal life)?

Honestly, it's pretty tough, so you gotta give and take. I guess sometimes, this means less time with my Playstation 5, so I have more time for my workouts.

I'm an actor and singer, so I have to go for filming, I have to go for rehearsals, and also for music, I have to go to recording studios. My day-to-day is pretty packed. I try my best to balance and manage my priorities, to stay aligned with my goals. I see exercise as a way to keep my body and my mind healthy, because when I work out, I feel good. I choose to work out in the morning before the madness starts because that’s the only time I have for myself. After that, I feel like I've done something productive before I start the day and my mind is fresh.

Even when I’m traveling, I will make sure I exercise every morning before my work schedule starts.

Your life changed drastically in the last few years as your career took off.

Honestly, I did not expect myself to have such a drastic change but I’m very thankful for all the opportunities that I have gained. That’s when I realised true happiness is in the simple things, because sometimes having too much on your plate can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress.

Being in the entertainment industry, do you face any pressure to look a certain way or be of a certain shape?

Definitely. Especially as an actor, I am often on screen, thus I need to make sure that I portray my character in the best condition that I can be. Sometimes I struggle with my body and my weight, because in acting, different roles require different body types.

Or when I'm doing fashion, a lot of times the sample sizes for the clothing are pretty tight. So if your weight increases just a little bit, you can actually feel it when you try on the clothes. This is why I need to stay disciplined with my workout routine and be mindful with my diet.

As an artiste, Glenn has to deal with challenges on three fronts - physical, emotional and mental.
As an artiste, Glenn has to deal with challenges on three fronts - physical, emotional and mental. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What are some of the challenges you face?

Physically, emotionally, mentally – all three are really, really challenging. Physically, I have to make sure I stay in shape because I constantly have shoots and event appearances. Emotionally and mentally, there's a lot of prep work involved, as well as having to manage my expectations well to avoid getting disheartened or disappointed. I take things with a pinch of salt and not let them stick. Maintaining this balance requires a significant effort; otherwise, it's easy to feel depressed and unhappy.

There are also times where I have to deliver even though I’m not feeling well that day. You have to be there, you have to deliver. Even if my mood is not really happy, I still need to be there and show up for everyone.

These are the challenges I face, especially being a public figure. Thus, it is really important to make sure I take care of myself so that I can do my job and take care of the people around me.

How do you deal with negativity?

By counting my blessings instead and having a more positive outlook in life.

How do you take care of your mental health?

How I maintain my mental health in the midst of all these crazy schedules is that I really do enjoy my job. Being able to look the part for my role in movies, or pulling off looks for my fashion shoots, these give me a lot of satisfaction and I guess it compensates for the stress I feel when I have to go on a diet or exercising on days I don’t feel like exercising.

Also, no matter how tough it gets, I remind myself of my "why". I love performing on stage. I love talking to my fans. I love interacting with people when I'm at events. These things allow me to understand people more and see that life is beyond just myself. There are so many wonderful people out there that I get to meet and learn from. When I’m performing or talking to fans, they really give me a lot, a lot of energy. I feed off their energy and that's how I sustain myself and keep going. I want to continue doing this for as long as I can.

What were your dreams when you were younger?

Since young, I’ve dreamt of being an activist, so I’m really glad that I get to advocate for youth and cancer in my activism now. Dreams of becoming an actor, doing movies and appearing on TV, performing at the national stadium as a singer... I’m really thankful I realised my dreams and got to do all of that. What’s next, would be making sure I live a happy and balanced life because I see life as a marathon and not a sprint.

Glenn feels that as he gets older, he is better able to accept his flaws.
Glenn feels that as he gets older, he is better able to accept his flaws. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Do you have days where you feel like you lack motivation?

Yes definitely, many times in fact. When that happens, you just got to stay focused and do even if you don’t feel like doing. Surprisingly, after you’ve taken that step, your body automatically follows through and you still get things done.

Do you have any insecurities about yourself right now?

I think everyone will have some form of insecurity about themselves. For me, I used to have a lot of insecurities, but as I grew older, I started to accept these flaws because the mistakes I made yesterday will lead to a tomorrow version of me that is better and wiser.

I think last year, I did feel a little insecure. I got my breakthrough two years ago, so I was still trying to find a balance between the original Glenn Yong – the one that likes to chill and read books and watch anime, versus the one that has to turn up for events and appearances, where I need to look my best even though I don’t feel my best.

But nowadays, I'm just trying to be myself. I don't mind showing to my fans and my audience the times I don’t feel at my best because that's who I am. Human beings aren’t perfect, right? I just want to be real, so I just accept myself with all the flaws and imperfections. What also helps is knowing that these weaknesses don’t devalue me or change who I am. At the same time, I would work on improving them and get better if it’s something within my control.

Another thing I struggled with was speaking Mandarin. I only started speaking it in the later part of my life, so sometimes when I film in movies or variety shows where I’m speaking to people who are really good in Mandarin, I tend to get a little insecure because my vocabulary is not as strong. I’ve since learnt to communicate confidently and over time I naturally picked up the language and made progress.

At which point of your life did you feel the least confident about yourself?

Probably during my polytechnic days, because I was really lost and didn’t have much friends during those three years. I would say, what helped was putting myself in the right environment where I felt appreciated and my strengths could shine.

Any advice?

The advice I would love to give to everyone is to love yourself and love your life. Always look on the bright side of things that's in your life because we're never gonna be perfect, there's never gonna be a perfect situation. Just focus on the good things and the good people in your life.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Glenn Yong (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Glenn Yong (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)