Now fit and fabulous, S'pore mum of 8-year-old used to be 'plump'

SINGAPORE - Ms Ming Elizabeth Rodrigues did not just get into shape when she began working out at the gym - she also found love.

Now 46, the senior editor with a publishing house decided to hire a personal trainer in 2000 after hitting a plateau in her fitness regimen.

Four years later, she married her trainer, gym owner and fitness instructor Irving Henson, 38, who runs fitness facility The Pit in Tras Street. The couple, both Singaporeans, have an eight-year-old son.

"It was not like there were fireworks," Ms Rodrigues jokes. "We got along, shared the same values and there was just chemistry."

Ms Rodrigues used to run and swim regularly in her 20s, but realised her metabolic rate had slowed down when she hit her 30s.

"I didn't have much definition and I was plump," she recalls. "But once I started strength conditioning, I became a lot leaner and stronger."

At 1.53m and weighing 44kg, she says she now feels good knowing that she is fitter and stronger than she was in her 20s. This is what motivates her to work out three times a week at her husband's gym.

It is harder for her now to keep the weight off and maintain her figure, she concedes. "But a combination of strength and weight training, and challenging the body with different exercises, keeps your metabolic rate going at a good pace."

She adds: "It's not so much about the weight you lift. Staying healthy is my goal, especially now that we have a son. I have to keep up with him."

Her weight used to hover around 46kg, but she has managed to trim it down to 44kg with lean muscle mass. The difference in weight may not be significant, but as muscle weighs more than fat, the change is noticeable on her small frame. "I'm not tall, so whatever weight I lose is obvious," she says.

Her colleagues and friends have also noticed the change in her body over the years.

"You can see a big difference when you look at older pictures of me," she says.

Wear and tear on her knees over the years means she has had to cut down on running, but she still gets her cardio fix at the gym by doing strength training and metabolic conditioning.

Her workout includes intense circuit training that involves doing a variety of exercises in short bursts, such as burpees and wall balls, where one squats and throws a weighted ball up to hit the wall.

These days, her husband works with her when her regular trainer is unavailable.

And while one might think she is under pressure to keep fit because she is married to a trainer, Ms Rodrigues begs to differ. "I do it for myself, not because I want to look good for my husband. The wife shouldn't be an extension of the husband, right?"


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