Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sophie Gollifer

·5-min read
Sophie Gollifer is a radio presenter with Mediacorp Radio.
Sophie Gollifer is a radio presenter with Mediacorp Radio. (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: Sophie Gollifer (@sophiegollifer)

Age: 31

Height: 1.68m

Weight: 57kg

Occupation: radio presenter

Status: attached

Food: I try to eat a wide range of nutrient-dense food and keep it pretty balanced. I believe that allowing yourself to eat anything in moderation helps you to give your body and mind what it needs. If I'm training for something specific, I'll make small alterations to help me meet my goals (e.g. less sugar and processed foods exchanged for high quality carbohydrates If I need energy for a long session).

Exercise: A typical week for me is two to three CrossFit sessions which are a mixture of strength work, skills and high-intensity cardiovascular work, one track session (speed endurance work ranging from 200m to 800m in reps) and one long slow run of between 7km and 10km, mainly for recovery. If I am sore or flat, I will adjust the quantity accordingly. Because a lot of events are cancelled it can be hard to stay motivated so listening to my body and training accordingly is what I do. If I'm feeling good I will work harder in my sessions.

Sophie does up to three sessions of CrossFit every week.
Sophie does up to three sessions of CrossFit every week. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Q: You grew up competing in a lot of sports.

A: Yes! I loved sports growing up and competed in athletics and cross country at a national junior level. I also represented Singapore in contact rugby and earned my first cap for the country at 18.

I still enter the occasional running race and I retired from playing contact rugby in my mid-20s and played a lot of touch rugby instead. In recent months I got into CrossFit. I love the learning process even though it can be humbling and hard to be patient when you take up a new sport later in life. But I encourage it because there's always something new to learn.

Why did you retire from contact rugby?

I was working and had both my kids, so I didn't want to risk a nasty injury. You really have to put your body on the line and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to commit to that. As for CrossFit and running I am still open to competing. Competition is good because it gives us something to work towards.

Being in front of the camera for work, is there any pressure on you to look a certain way or be of a certain size?

There are always expectations to look a certain way in society. Slimmer, fairer, younger, but I have learnt to strive to be the best version of myself and when you are comfortable with that, it shines through in your work and everything you do. It's easy to compare yourself to others and get wrapped up in unrealistic standards of beauty, especially if you are on social media. At the end of the day, we can only look like ourselves. And in the media industry, I believe that to be a strength.

Sophie took part in contact rugby at national level, and also competed in running at national junior level.
Sophie took part in contact rugby at national level, and also competed in running at national junior level. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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

I was a late bloomer as a teen and a boy made fun of me by calling me flat-chested. At the time it hurt and I found myself comparing my appearance to my peers. Looking back, I want to give my younger self a big hug. I am lucky to have really supportive parents who always encouraged me to be confident in myself and not listen to others opinions. This can be easier said than done, but I aspire to instil this in my daughters too.

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?

I feel like as women, a lot of us go through periods in our lives where we feel less than beautiful. It can come down to too much comparison, not accepting our quirks or even, that time of the month making us feel out of whack. This is something that has been an ongoing struggle for me but I will say after I had children and entered my 30s, I have learned to let go of a lot of that.

Did you ever struggle with your body?

When I was 16 and quit training full-time for athletics, I went through an identity crisis. I didn't know who I was without my sport and that scared me so much. I thought that because I wasn't training I didn't need to eat and my weight dipped down to high 40kgs. Looking back, I was trying to deal with the stress of being at a crossroads in life.

Luckily my mother was very observant and picked up on it. With a little bit of time and learning that there was more to life and me than my sport, I soon found my balance again and found new passions.

Sophie believes that motherhood has made her better appreciate her body.
Sophie believes that motherhood has made her better appreciate her body. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Did motherhood change your views towards your body?

It definitely made me appreciate my body. It isn't just something that has to look nice for others; it is an incredible vessel that carried my kids, birthed them, fed them and carried me through so much. It made me have a newfound respect and love for my body.

Are you satisfied with your body now?

The human body fascinates me. I think it's amazing it has the ability to change, expand and be sculpted according to its needs. I try to look at it in a different way than I used to and cut my body a little slack on some days. And celebrate it on the other days!

Have you ever received any comments about your body?

Not anything that bothers me. It used to annoy me when I was younger and other women would say it was athletic or straight up and down but that wouldn't upset me at all today.

If you could change anything about yourself, would you?


Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sophie Gollifer.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Sophie Gollifer. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
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