Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sharon Choo

·5-min read
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Sharon Choo works as a lecturer.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week Sharon Choo works as a lecturer. (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: Sharon Choo (@iamschoo)

Age: 36

Height: 1.61m

Weight: 47kg

Occupation: Lecturer

Status: Married

Food: I currently do not follow a fixed eating regime or diet plan. I try to eat healthily on most days of the week, but I have a weakness for desserts and sweet drinks. My diet can be quite extreme – I love my greens I also enjoy having sugary drinks and desserts.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sharon Choo (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sharon Choo (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

When you were younger, were you active in sports?

As a young individual, I was very athletic. I was on the school netball team and often participated in the track and field events. I have amassed a good number of medals from track and cross-country events during my secondary school, formative years.

What did you get into as you got older?

In my twenties, I got very immersed in growing myself as a creative and slowed down on my physical activities. As I became very influenced and obsessed with by fashion models and the "ideal skinny body type", I stopped working out as much and only playing occasional tennis.

Then how did you get into running?

I started running longer distances in 2017. I was invited to join a charity running group (The High Panters) founded by my former colleague, Eugene Lim, and have not looked back. I enjoy running with communities and strongly believe in supporting and empowering fellow runners.

You've gone on to become pretty active in the running scene, in the role of a key leader in several running clubs.

Yes! Running has helped me formed stronger bonds, precious friendships and communities with like-minded runners. I love running with friends, catching up with them over long, scenic runs by Marina Bay. It is my antidote, a way to decompress after a hard day at work on a weekday.

Sharon feels that has helped her formed stronger bonds, precious friendships and communities with like-minded runners.
Sharon feels that has helped her formed stronger bonds, precious friendships and communities with like-minded runners. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

In 2019, I started running with Adidas Runners Singapore, with the same motto of building healthy communities through running.

In 2022, I formed a running collective (What's For Breakfast) together with a group of running buddies. We have been training together, supporting each other and sharing training hacks, hydration must-have, running gear essentials etc.

What are your fitness goals now?

I am currently about to embark on a brand new 12-week running programme with Stryd. (Stryd is a smart wearable device that clips onto your shoe, and communicates with your running watch to optimally pace you, helping you run the right intensity by alerting you to slow down or speed up in real time).

I am going to attempt to break my 10km personal best time, to run under 50 minutes. This year, I also started reformer Pilates to help build strength, flexibility and stability. I hope to dedicate more time to practise, strengthen my core muscles and improve on my balance, to complement and enhance my running.

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

The relationship between the surge in both disordered eating and the high consumption of social media is real. Advertising encourages women to look a certain, unrealistic way. When I was younger, due to societal pressure to remain slim, I used to have a very unhealthy diet and used to go on extreme diets to maintain my "ideal weight".

In my mid-twenties, when I was in fashion school, I was heavily influenced by the typical model physique and had a warped perception on the ideal body type. I would consume only three small pieces of bite-sized bread to sustain throughout the day. I was at my slimmest, weighing less than 40kg. It was during that period I had this mindset that if I could control my food intake, I could control everything else.

Sharon is aiming to break break 10km personal best time, and run under 50 minutes. (
Sharon is aiming to break break 10km personal best time, and run under 50 minutes. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

As I matured through the years, I have come to this realisation that a healthy body is a beautiful body. I have learnt to come to terms with myself and my body physique. Although I still struggle with body image, I have learnt how to take better control of my nutrition and diet, and have improved on my eating habits, selecting nutritious food to help body function and recover from my workouts.

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?

There was a period of time is my twenties when I found it very hard to control my weight despite unhealthy dieting. I started working out a lot and tried a diet pill (very high caffeine level) that was said to help boost energy and aid weight loss by boosting the metabolic rate.

After taking the diet pill for a week, I fell extremely ill for more than a week, due to the high caffeine levels my body could not adjust to. This was a wake-up call for me, to take better care of my body as I come to the realisation that I only have one body and it's mine to own.

Do you still struggle with your body now?

Till today, I still struggle with my body and weight. I have an unhealthy obsession with my weight and weigh myself everyday (I have been doing this for the past 10 years). But over the years, I am learning to accept my weight and natural body build.

Are you satisfied with your body now though?

I am proud to say, I am content with my current body. Although my body has changed over the years (I have put on some weight) and I have a healthier relationship with my body now. I have learnt to accept my body and prioritise my growth, recovery and nutrients instead of being too concerned about my weight gain. My current motto is: A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sharon Choo.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sharon Choo. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)