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: Tymosiewicz Victoria Rebeca (@viictoriarebeca)
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Food: Breakfast is the same every day – my omelette (ham with low fat cheese) plus bread with kaya spread. I LOVE bread. Not forgetting my Kopi C Kosong. Sometimes I’ll have Ya Kun as a treat.
On weekdays I’ll have my favourite salad shop from Amoy Hawker Centre for lunch and dinner. I have a sweet tooth so yoghurt and the occasional muffin is my go-to. Usually it’s lettuce with pumpkin, egg, tempeh, onions and tuna plus chicken for protein.
During the weekend, it depends if I hang out with friends or family but usually I’ll go for the meat and vegetables since that’s what I enjoy best. I track my food as it keeps me accountable and in control.
Exercise: Depending on how my body recovers, I usually train five times a week in the gym and do active recovery like clocking steps on my rest days.
Q: When you were younger, were you active in any types of sports?
A: When I was young, I enjoyed soccer and basketball but I stopped being active in my teenage years. I was just lazy haha!
What did you get into as you got older?
I started going to the gym for strength training. I tried CrossFit for a year and did some Strongman training for a while. Now I’m just doing bodybuilding as I enjoy it best.
How did you get into bodybuilding?
I started going to the gym when I was in a very dark place in my life in 2018. I had a friend teaching me initially and I was watching YouTube videos too. It definitely flipped the switch for me over time and I just didn’t stop ever since.
Personally, I felt like it played the biggest role in my recovery from depression. When I broke down, I would hit the gym the next hour and zone out for that hour by focusing on training, and that made me feel better.
Do you intend to compete in bodybuilding?
That’s a tough question! I am undecided on whether I’ll compete one day. I have had amenorrhea for a few years, so my focus is to get my women’s health back on track first.
My current fitness goal is to get my upper body stronger and continue progressing on my legs training.
Why did you decide to become a trainer?
I realised I had a passion for what I was doing at the gym, so I started with freelance personal training at condos and running group classes at F45. It feels very rewarding when you can make a difference to someone’s day and life — just by getting them active or stronger.
The best thing is knowing that they look forward to that one hour of their day and people show up not just at 6pm but some even at 6am. I then transitioned into personal training full time as I preferred that customisation and progress working with an individual one on one. This allows me to work closely with a client to cater to their goals and lifestyles.
Have you experienced any incidents that made you feel insecure about yourself?
Before I started working in the fitness industry, I went for a modelling audition and was told that I shouldn’t be training weights at the gym but running instead, because ladies should look petite. I just continued going to the gym and used this rejection as a way to push myself.
Unfortunately it affected me for a while and I went on to do intermittent fasting and only ate boiled chicken with broccoli plus fruits, which was detrimental for my body.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
It was when the pandemic restrictions were lifted and we could get back to work, to the gym and out to dine. I didn’t feel comfortable in my usual clothing. I decided to go on a new routine at the gym and slowly worked my way back to feeling good again.
I believe social media plays a part too as there are a lot of options and false promotions on body image online so I’d skip those and focus more on content that advocated self-care and love.
Did you ever struggle with your body?
It was probably during the Circuit Breaker. Not being able to go to the gym and having to stay home most of the time, the big change in routine was terrible. It was a very weird point of time as I wasn’t able to work as well.
There was a few occasions where I binged on food when I didn’t feel good. Working out at home with limited equipment got boring after a while too.
Are you content with your body now?
Yes I have to say that I’ve come a long way. So much change mentally and physically. It’s not just about going to the gym and eating well to reach a certain goal, but the way we speak to ourselves too.
Being kind, patient and loving to yourself plays a very big part overall. It goes beyond the physical look. It’s important to look back and see all the changes you’ve made over the years.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Yes, mixed comments. Compliments are lovely and appreciated! Unfortunately there were times when the remarks weren’t nice, such as me being too muscular or ‘big’ for a lady which used to affect me.
But I’ve reached the point where I ignore these remarks as I respect my body for all the hard work I’ve put in. What matters most is the way I view myself. I don’t need to please others or allow negativity into my space.
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
Now that I have learned how to nourish my body with food, movement, rest and relaxation instead of starving them of what they need to thrive, I would probably go back to tell my younger self that I didn’t have to do intermittent fasting and eat boiled broccoli with chicken breast for my meals.
But end of the day, I just see this as part of my learning journey.
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