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: Joanne Boulat (@joanne.boulat)
Occupation: personal trainer, senior instructor at Barry's, instructor at Motosumo
Diet: I don't restrict myself from any type of foods. However, I aim to eat a colourful diet to ensure I am getting a wide variety of foods and nutrients.
Training: Two strength (weights) sessions, classes at Barry's and I teach six spin classes per week.
Q: Has fitness always been a big part of your life?
A: I have always surrounded myself with fitness in one way or another. Growing up I loved athletics (sprinting) and through high school and university I played social netball. As I got older, I started to love cycling. Twice I went on The Great Victorian Bike Ride, which is a nine-day bike ride around parts of Victoria, Australia.
Then 2015 was when I had the turning point for me into fitness. I fell in love with powerlifting and became obsessed with picking up the heaviest weights possible and learning everything I could about lifting weights. This love for powerlifting was also what made me decide to do my personal training certification. It was important for me to do this certification in person, and not online, as I learn the best that way, and I could only do it part time after work.
When did fitness become a profession for you?
I used to work 40+ hours in a corporate job back in Australia, whilst also teaching women’s strength classes before work and conducting personal training for clients after work.
I was SO much happier in the few hours that I was doing the strength classes or personal training, that I knew I needed to transition to fitness full time. When I moved countries with my husband and came to Singapore, I used that as the perfect opportunity to dive in full time.
What do you like about being a fitness trainer?
I get to help people discover strength that they never knew they have. I regularly have clients ask me (before they lift a weight), "How much does that weigh?" and when they find out, their eyes grow wide and they say "I'm not going to be able to lift that!", yet moments later they have lifted it with ease. I see them getting more confident week after week and I love that I am able to help play a part in that.
What is it more fulfilling to have a career as a fitness trainer than being in the corporate world?
I was a project manager in the technology and finance industries previously. I was in this role for many years but just never quite fell in love with it. I only loved the people side of the role.
When I am coaching fitness classes or doing personal training, however, I see moments every single day where people are trying to better themselves. It's inspiring, motivating and why I will choose fitness as a career any day of the week.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
High school was a time my body went through a lot of changes (as it does for all teenagers) and I faced insecurities with caring too much about what people thought and wanting to fit in. As I got older, the less I cared about what other people thought, which strangely enough gives me more confidence.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
My body enables me to move and to work my dream job. I am absolutely satisfied with my body and grateful for everything it does for me.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Yes! Sometimes nice, sometimes not so nice. I encourage you to stop and pause before you put down someone’s looks, and see if you can compliment them instead with a feature you love about them!
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
I would choose hair that doesn't go frizzy in the Singapore humidity.