Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Tiffany Puspita

·6-min read
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Tiffany Puspita (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Tiffany Puspita is a hospital clinical pharmacist. (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: Tiffany Valencia Puspita (@tiffpuspita)

Age: 34

Height: 1.64m

Weight: 56kg

Occupation: Hospital clinical pharmacist

Status: Single

Food: I eat anything! l do intermittent fasting sometimes when I need to lose weight.

Exercise: Road cycling two weekday mornings and every weekend, Zumba, Bounce, spinning, squats and planks at home.

Q: You played badminton competitively for school.

A: Badminton has always been the national sport of Indonesia. Ever since I was a child growing up in Indonesia, I loved to watch badminton at the Olympic Games and was inspired by the athletes. So I took up badminton in primary school, then played competitively for my secondary school in Singapore. 

I also played badminton three to four times a week during my university years in Manchester and took part in the Indonesian National Day games held in Birmingham yearly.

Tiffany picked up road cycling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tiffany picked up road cycling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

You are into road cycling these days.

As I got older I explored more sports and fitness activities like yoga, running, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, tennis, Zumba (my favourite as I like dancing salsa) and finally I found road cycling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

I started cycling around May last year during the circuit breaker period, as the gyms were closed and I couldn’t go to my regular classes. At the beginning, I just cycled along the park connectors on a rented AnyWheel or SGBike and getting to Marina Bay Sands from my house was already an achievement.

One day I tried cycling on the open road with a group of friends on my rental bike. It was scary at first, but as I cycled more often, I got more confident and finally purchased my own road bike. Then I started doing round-the-island (120 to 160km) cycling almost every month to improve my stamina. Over time, I can see my improvements in speed and endurance and this motivated me to cycle more.

I love cycling because it gives me a sense of freedom and I love the feeling of the breeze when I spin fast. Cycling can take me to anywhere I want and is the best way to explore the city’s hidden gems. It is also a way to socialise with friends and I have made a lot of new ones on the road. Besides, long distance and tempo cycling helps to keep me in shape.

In your job as a hospital pharmacist, how have you been coping?

The pandemic certainly has made my job more challenging, yet more fulfilling. I realised that in times like this, healthcare workers play a crucial role and we have to keep ourselves mentally and physically strong so we can focus on looking after the patients. 

I have always worked closely with the infectious disease team even before the pandemic, and I look after HIV patients both in the inpatient and outpatient setting. My role now also involves ordering and monitoring the COVID-19 drugs stock and make sure patients get the treatment promptly.

Since Dorscon Orange started last year, we constantly have changes in the hospital workflows and protocols which we have to strictly adhere to. For example, we now have to wear N95 masks in the wards and full PPE when we are seeing high risk or COVID positive cases. We also have to routinely undergo COVID-19 swabs several times a week.

With her job becoming more challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiffany has to keep herself physically and mentally strong to look after the patients.
With her job becoming more challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiffany has to keep herself physically and mentally strong to look after the patients. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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

I experienced teasing and mocking back in my hometown about my weight when I was in primary school because I was on the chubbier side. I was also put into the TAF (Trim and Fit) club when I came to Singapore. 

I overcame this when I started to be more active in badminton. Sports helped me get in shape and most importantly, helped me gain back my self-confidence.

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?

I felt least confident three years ago when I had some issues with my skin. I had rosacea, an inflammatory condition which causes facial redness and flushing. My skin became very sensitive and had a couple of bad flares. I couldn’t do much outdoor activities as the heat and sunlight worsened it. This affected me emotionally and lowered my self-confidence because I felt conscious that my skin is not normal and my activities were limited.

Last year during the circuit breaker, my skin somehow got better and slowly recovered. I am not sure what helped, but I noticed the improvement when I started eating healthier and becoming more active with road cycling and working out. Which is why I have been encouraging my friends to lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle – exercise regularly but ensure plenty of rest and hydration, apply moisturiser and sunblock generously even while indoors, and to manage stress by practising self-care and mindfulness.

I also grew to realise that we should not let our flaws define our self-worth or affect our self-confidence. Beauty is beyond skin deep and it is how we value ourselves that defines us.

Did you ever struggle with your body?

Since I started becoming active by playing badminton when I was younger, I’ve become more self-aware. When I find myself slipping into an unhealthy routine, I consciously push myself to get back on track. I try my best to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but I also allow myself the occasional “cheat day”. 

Tiffany's confidence suffered when she had a skin issue three years ago.
Tiffany's confidence suffered when she had a skin issue three years ago. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

It’s all about balance. We all deserve a slice of chocolate cake sometimes – maybe a reward for hard work or surviving a stressful day. But I make it a point to burn it off by working out or cycling the next day.

Are you satisfied with your body now?

Yes, absolutely. I am thankful that my body has the strength and energy to enable me to work, and at the same time, do all the activities that I enjoy and bring me to all the amazing places that I want to explore.

We’ve only got one body, so love it and be kind to yourself. Everyone’s genetic makeup is different, so we should not compare ourselves with others. As long as we have tried our best to keep improving ourselves physically and mentally and aim to be a better person each day, that’s all that matters really.

Have you received any comments about your body?

People say that I look fitter and more toned now than before, but I think what’s important is how I feel about myself. I feel stronger and more energetic, and this motivates me to continue keeping fit and striving to be the best version of myself.

If you could change anything about yourself, would you?

No, I’m already happy with myself and I am grateful for what I have. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, so just embrace the diversities and be proud of who we are. Our imperfections are what make us unique and show just how special we are.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Tiffany Puspita. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Tiffany Puspita. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
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