Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Kimberley Kiew

·5-min read
Kimberley Kiew is a freelance actor and yoga teacher.
Kimberley Kiew is a freelance actor and yoga teacher. (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: Kimberley Kiew (@kimberleykiew

Age: 27 

Height: 1.60m 

Weight: 50kg 

Occupation: Freelance actor and yoga teacher 

Status: Attached

Food: I don't have a diet that I follow - I love acai and ice cream and all things sweet, but I also cannot live without my veggies. I wouldn't say that I always eat a balanced meal but I try to as much as possible. But I don't count calories or beat myself up about the occasional sweet treat!

Exercise: Like my diet, I don't follow a particular fitness routine. However, I try to balance strength training, cardio/HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and mobility/flexibility work. I believe that too much of one thing is not the best and so while my main practice is yoga, I also ensure I work on full body strength (Muay Thai or conditioning my upper body as I work towards my handstands) and I also do my HIIT routines with my students even while teaching.

For her workout routine, Kimberley tries to balance strength training, cardio/HIIT and mobility/flexibility work.
For her workout routine, Kimberley tries to balance strength training, cardio/HIIT and mobility/flexibility work. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Q: What’s your sporting background like? 

A: My parents used to take me out swimming every weekend as a family activity. I also have two older siblings who brought me out cycling and rollerblading. It was a fun childhood! I was also part of the volleyball team in primary and secondary school.

As I got older, I started to pick up Muay Thai and yoga. While yoga is the main activity I engage in most of the time now, I still try to go back to Muay Thai every once in a while!

How did you get into yoga? 

I got into yoga on and off when I was working full-time. It was a time in my life where I wanted to do something alone, and during my first yoga class, even though I was sweating buckets and felt like my thighs were on fire, I thoroughly enjoyed being alone and focusing on myself.

However, my practice was initially one that focused on the physical aspect of yoga. While that is not bad, I found myself working towards "perfection" but as I continued practising, I learnt to let go of the constant chase of perfection in my practice and in life. I started to enjoy being alone with my own thoughts and feelings. All of that made me, me.

Kimberley began to really enjoy yoga after she learnt to let go of
Kimberley began to really enjoy yoga after she learnt to let go of "perfecting" her yoga. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What made you start teaching yoga? 

I’ve always wanted to take my yoga teacher certification but I must admit, I had a whole lot of excuses really because I was scared of the level of commitment required. During COVID-19 circuit breaker period in 2020, there were no other excuses left for me to use and so I finally signed up. I haven't regretted it one bit.

What I love most about teaching is that I get to meet so many people whom I am happy to be able to call friends and the best part is when a student achieves their personal goal - whether it's a pose, a mental block or some sort of spiritual enlightenment. To be able to share and celebrate their journey with them is amazing!

As an actor, do you face any pressure to look a certain way or be of a certain size? 

Yes definitely! All the time. Some of it comes from my own insecurity of course – I mean you look at the people on TV and you see their height, their bone structure, how skinny they are and you can't help but to think: I won't ever look like that. On set, you're surrounded by people who are beautiful in every way and sometimes, it feels almost impossible being in the industry.

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?  

Having spent a lot of my childhood outdoors, I had tanned skin. My friends teased me endlessly and called me names that in hindsight were quite racist. Up to today, I remember what they called me and how hurt I was.

Kimberley has learnt to love the imperfections of her body
Kimberley has learnt to love the imperfections of her body. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

As I grew up and I started dating, I remember an ex casually saying to me "How can I date someone whose thighs are bigger than my arms?" It was rude, mean and absolutely ridiculous – I'm obviously not with him anymore. However, during that time, I found myself going on more diets, went to the gym almost everyday and was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.

Are you satisfied with your body now? 

I love my body now and not because it's "perfect". I have learnt that this is my body, flaws and everything. There is no point chasing after perfection and end up comparing yourself to society's standards. We can't control what people think of you but you are in full control of how you think of yourself and that's a powerful thing.

Have you ever received any comments about your body? 

Being in the fitness and entertainment industry, there will always be comments about my body - whether good or bad. I try to never let any type of comment affect me.

If you could change anything about yourself, would you? 

There will always be something I would want to change but I'm happy the way I am right now. :)

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Kimberley Kiew (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Kimberley Kiew (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
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