Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Lim Kai Yu

Be inspired by the success stories of fitness influencers, celebrities, models and trainers in Singapore

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Lim Kai Yu is an indoor cycling and reformer Pilates instructor.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Lim Kai Yu is an indoor cycling and reformer Pilates instructor. (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: Lim Kai Yu (@callmekaibtw)

Age: 30

Height: 1.62m

Weight: 64kg

Occupation: Learning specialist at MoneyHero Group, indoor cycling instructor at Absolute Cycle, reformer Pilates instructor at Absolute Pilates

Status: Attached

Food: Typically, I aim to consume 128 grams of protein daily to support muscle building and maintenance. I'm not overly strict about the sources of my protein intake, but I do follow a general guideline to prioritise non-processed foods whenever possible. Occasionally, when I'm in need of a snack, I may pick up a Betagro chicken breast or some Nutrisoy soya milk from 7-11.

Exercise: On average, I teach a 45-minute spin two to four times a week, which I count as my cardio work. On my own, I practise calisthenics two to three times with PushPullGive's group classes and attend reformer Pilates class at Absolute You once or twice to work on mobility and strength building.

Kai Yu got into calisthenics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kai Yu got into calisthenics during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Q: You're into calisthenics now. What got you started and what do you like about it?

A: COVID-19 got me started. During the pandemic, PushPullGive was one of the gyms that offered outdoor group classes and I was eager to stay active and try something new. Since then, it has been a committed relationship.

The moment I realised it was something I wanted to incorporate into my daily routine was when I felt both humbled and empowered by pure bodyweight movements. They were quite challenging for me and required a lot of body awareness to perform efficiently and safely. I love how it continues to challenge me and it's a long-term journey where I can observe how my body changes in the way it moves and feels.

How did you become an instructor for spinning and Pilates?

The inspiration came from the feeling of vitality and authenticity I experienced during spin classes. This made me want to create and provide the same experience for others. Similarly, I enjoy the benefits of Pilates personally and I've always enjoyed teaching and helping others on their fitness journey.

So I thought why not? Since the studio I work at offers both spin and Pilates, I decided to venture into teaching Pilates after teaching spin for almost three years. My goal as an instructor is to be part of a community that enhances people's movement experiences.

When you were younger, did you experience any incidents that made you feel insecure about yourself?

I've never really had any issue with my body until kids in primary school started making fun of my darker-than-usual skin tone and bigger build, which over the years I have learned to accept, appreciate and embrace.

Kai Yu enjoys teaching and helping others on their fitness journey.
Kai Yu enjoys teaching and helping others on their fitness journey. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

When I was in a headspace where I felt I needed to change myself because of the voices of others, I tried different ways to do that and eventually learned the hard way that there's probably another way to love myself that makes me feel more empowered and sustainable too. I believe it's always a journey to exploration, getting to know yourself over and over again too.

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?

As an instructor, specifically in spin, I've had moments where I didn't feel as cool as the other instructors who played music I considered cool, like EDM. I, on the other hand, loved pop songs, which I didn't think were cool enough. I experimented with different music genres and reached a point where I realised that playing music I genuinely enjoyed was a key aspect of being my authentic self while leading a class.

The next step was to be open to experiencing different genres that I might also like but have not discovered yet. I began slowly integrating them into my playlist and embracing my unique style of conducting a class. Ultimately, it's all about staying curious.

Did you ever struggle with your body?

Definitely. When I was consuming social media content that portrayed the "ideal" body or weight during my teens until my mid-20s, I found myself wanting to change my body to fit that mould in order to feel good about myself.

However, as I got to know my body better through exploring different workouts and diets, I learned what works for me and what doesn't. This was the game-changer that allowed me to accept and embrace my body as it is. Everyone is different and we all have unique needs.

Kai Yu learnt how to manage her body better through exploring different workouts and diets.
Kai Yu learnt how to manage her body better through exploring different workouts and diets. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Are you satisfied with your body now?

It's a big yes for me. Getting to know my body over the years and continually learning about it has allowed me to understand that the body is always changing and that I need to provide it with what it requires to stay healthy. I love having this relationship with my body.

Do you get any comments about your body?

I often hear comments like: "Wah, your back is really wide”, "Omg, your palms are so rough with callouses”, "How come you don't have abs?", "Did spin make your legs bigger?"

I'm at a stage where I love my body, so when people pass these comments, I just playfully respond with, "Thank you for noticing the hard work!"

If you could change anything about yourself, would you?

I want to say yes but at the same time, no because I'm always growing, changing and evolving. I owe it to myself to experience different versions of myself in this journey of life.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Lim Kai Yu.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Lim Kai Yu. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)