Movers and Shapers: Marie Ng

Shape (Malaysia) - - Contents - By SOPHIA IVY JO

Co-founder of KOA Fit­ness, Marie Ng, 29, was a chubby teenager. She dis­liked that, but the chance to turn that around came when she went to study in Aus­tralia at 16. “Sports were a big part of the cur­ricu­lum in Aus­tralia. I signed up for the net­ball and swim teams, and that’s where I learnt about mak­ing fit­ness as part of my daily rou­tine,” says Marie. She woke up at 6.30am to swim and went for net­ball train­ing in the evening. Since then, Marie had learned so much about fit­ness and nu­tri­tion. “My time in Aus­tralia was very ed­u­ca­tional, and it sparked my in­ter­est in fit­ness and nu­tri­tion,” she adds. What is your men­tal game? “Never com­pare your­self to oth­ers. You’re in this com­pe­ti­tion with your­self, aim­ing to be bet­ter than yes­ter­day.”

Your must-have work­out gear? “My Chuck Tay­lors and Lily­bod leg­gings – they keep ev­ery­thing tucked in place!”

Makeup or no-makeup when work­ing out? “I should say no. Most of the time I go barefaced (perks of work­ing out in an all women’s gym) but if I’m hav­ing a ‘bad-face’ day, I’ll go for some­thing gen­tle on my skin like a min­eral con­cealer and face primer.” Your best con­fi­dence trick? “A high bun, sexy red lips and a gor­geous pair of stilet­tos.”

Any diet that you are cur­rently into? “Fad di­ets are un­sus­tain­able and can be ex­tremely costly. Mar­ket­ing gim­micks such as “fat-free” or “zero-calo­rie” goods are ut­ter non­sense. I be­lieve in mak­ing bet­ter choices such as sub­sti­tut­ing that fried chicken for grilled, or hav­ing brown rice in­stead of the white rice in nasile­mak. A few small changes go a long way. Start with un­der­stand­ing food la­bels.”

Your favourite su­per­food? “Avo­ca­dos! They are su­per de­li­cious, and rich in healthy fats. It is one of the most nutri­ent-dense foods, high in fi­bre and it tops the chart among all fruits for fo­late, potas­sium, Vi­ta­min E and mag­ne­sium.”

What’s your ex­er­cise rou­tine like? “I love a mix­ture of weight and cir­cuit train­ing. I usu­ally do weight-train­ing three times a week and in­cor­po­rate two car­dio days a week. I like to keep my car­dio short and painful, like HIIT cir­cuits or TABATA train­ing.”

Your fit­ness mantra? “Stop wor­ry­ing about the num­bers, and fo­cus on how you feel.”

Your big­gest fit­ness idol? “I ad­mire Dana Linn Bai­ley. Yes, her achieve­ments speak for it­self, but it’s her take on life that I re­spect the most. She is strong and con­fi­dent re­gard­less of the crit­i­cism she’s re­ceived about be­ing ‘too mus­cu­lar’ or ‘mas­cu­line look­ing’. I had the op­por­tu­nity to meet her, and she is the most down-to-earth, gen­uine soul and role model I’ve met.”

What does body con­fi­dence mean to you? “Not ev­ery woman is made to be size zero. Learn to be com­fort­able in your own skin. Look bet­ter for your­self, not for oth­ers.”

I love my shape be­cause....“I have a long way to go but I am the best ver­sion of my­self by far!”

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