Life goes beyond the numbers on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspiring Singaporean men and women leading healthy and active lifestyles. Do you have someone to recommend? Hit on Where !
Last name: Philip Nardozza ()
Lester: 98 kilograms
Occupation: Electrical Engineer
Food: I recently started a mostly vegetarian diet, but more for ethical reasons and also not too strict. I just try to keep my meat intake as low as possible, but if I go out or eat with friends, I don’t mind eating meat either. Other than that, I try to be healthy by default, which means I cook myself with fresh, wholesome, wholesome ingredients and keep them as colorful as possible on my plate.
Each meal usually comes with vegetables and fruits and I try to eat unprocessed carbs. But here too, I’m not really strict and, if an event or a meet-up comes up, I’m also ready to eat burgers and pizzas as well as alcoholic drinks. I mean I’m German, so beer is in my blood.
Exercise: In a week, I hit the gym four to five times, ride my bike once or twice, do yoga, and sporadically do other things like running and hiking.
Q: How was your fitness journey?
A: I have always been very active in sports and fitness. I started with football and tennis when I was a child. Then, as a teenager, I played rollerblading and ice hockey. I started training when I was 16 until now.
I practiced mixed martial arts for five years and I’m still passionate about CrossFit, which I’ve been doing for about seven years. During the pandemic, I started road biking and still do it at least once a week. And if there’s time left, I do running and yoga.
I have a fairly active lifestyle. Apart from my own diet, I like to do something active when I meet my friends. For example, when I ride my bike, I meet my friends to chat or I meet friends to train together so I can have both – socialize and be active.
What are your fitness goals?
In general, I would say that I just want to feel good. And by saying that, I mean mentally and physically, which are usually connected anyway. Another goal is to be able to “use” my body, whatever I want to do. So if I want to climb a mountain, I just climb a mountain. If I need to lift my washing machine, I just lift my washing machine. I think you understand what I mean!
Of course, I have always had other goals throughout my career. For example, when I started going to the gym, I watched Arnold Schwarzenegger and the others, because I wanted to be like them. Or when I was doing CrossFit, Rich Froning was my idol or small accomplishments like certain weights I wanted to be able to lift…
You believe very strongly that the mind is very important and you like to keep pushing the mind.
I think the mind is the most powerful and important thing in all of us. You can do anything but if your mind is not good you will give up. Everyone is aware that you have to train to run as fast as Usain Bolt, but you also have to train your mind otherwise it will stagnate or weaken.
So I did a 100km rowing challenge (on an indoor rower placed outside) and it looks like a physical challenge (it is too) but it’s actually more of a challenge mental. It means going out and rowing for eight hours, even though your mind and body (body follows mind) tell you to stop a hundred times, but you keep going until it’s done.
And you can use your strong mind for anything else in your life, even if you achieve it through a physical challenge.
Some of the other challenges I gave myself, I really look back with joy and a smile on my face. I cycled around Singapore twice (about 250km in 7.5 hours), ran a half marathon with a weighted vest, and did 10 push-ups at every bench we passed (there was a total of 197 benches so I totally underestimated it) and a 13km peasant walk with two 32kg kettlebells (64kg total) with my friend.
Did you experience something that made you feel uncomfortable?
In fact, what really sparked my fitness journey was a breakup with my first big love. I was 19 and heartbroken. I guess I needed some distraction and had to put my frustration somewhere. So I really gave it my all at the gym and thought, “I’m really going to show her what she’s missing.” And the rest is history.
When did you feel least sure of yourself?
When I think back to when I was a kid to when I was a teenager, I was still not really confident and very shy. I don’t know exactly why to be honest, but I had always been a little chubby and that probably didn’t really help. I loved food too much and at the time I just couldn’t control myself and didn’t really care what I ate. When I was a teenager I started going out drinking a lot of alcohol and it didn’t really help.
I could tell that I didn’t feel safe with my body. But the fitter I was, the more confident I was. It’s been a long journey though, you can’t change your childhood memories just like that.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
Of course, there’s always something you can work on and you could improve on, but overall I’m actually quite satisfied. Why? I guess because I just feel good about my body and we should be more often thankful for what we have and not focus on things we don’t have! And also knowing where I started and it’s my own creation over years and years of hard work.
Have you ever received comments about your body?
Haha yes ! All kinds of admiration and compliments for my body like “you have a great physique”, “your biceps are huge”, “Greek god”, “I would kill for these traps”, “Arnold Schwarzenegger”, “you look like a physical trainer”, and many more.
Most people think I’m a fitness trainer and are quite surprised that fitness is just my hobby.
If you could change one thing about yourself, would you?
No I will not. In fact, I’m pretty happy with who I am. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that I think I’m perfect and everything has gone perfectly in my life. But I am who I am because of the experiences I’ve had, because of the people I’ve met, and because of the journeys I’ve had – otherwise it wouldn’t be me and what defines perfection anyway?
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