Life is 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 men and women in Singapore who lead healthy and active lifestyles. Do you have someone to recommend? blow on or !
Surname: Philip Nardozza ()
Height: 1.86 m
Weight: 98 kilograms
Profession: electrical engineer
Meal: Lately I’ve been eating mainly vegetarian, but more for ethical reasons and not too strict. I’m just trying to cut down on my meat consumption as much as possible, but when I go out or eat out with friends, I don’t mind eating meat either. Otherwise, I try to eat healthy as standard, ie I cook myself with fresh, healthy and wholesome ingredients and keep it as colorful as possible on my plate.
Each meal usually comes with some veggies and fruit, and I try to eat unprocessed carbs. But I’m not really strict here either, and if there’s an event or meeting coming up, I eat burgers and pizza in addition to alcoholic drinks. I mean, I’m German, so beer is in my blood.
Exercise: In a week, I go to the gym 4-5 times, ride my bike 1-2 times, take a yoga class, and occasionally 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 playing football and tennis as a kid. As a teenager I played inline and ice hockey. I started exercising when I was 16 years old until now.
I did mixed martial arts for five years and am still very passionate about CrossFit, which I’ve been doing for about seven years. I started road cycling during the pandemic and still ride at least once a week. And if there is still time, I do running and yoga.
I have quite an active lifestyle. Aside from my own regime, I like to do something active when I meet up with my friends. For example, when I ride my bike, I meet up with my friends to chat or I meet up with friends to exercise 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 that I mean psychological and physical, which are usually connected anyway. Another goal is that I want to be able to “use” my body no matter what 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 always had other goals along the way. For example, when I started going to the gym, I looked up to Arnold Schwarzenegger and company because I wanted to be like them. Or at CrossFit, Rich Froning was my idol, or smaller accomplishments like certain weights I wanted to lift…
You firmly believe that the mind is very important and you love to push the mind further.
I think the spirit is the most powerful and important thing in each of us. You can do anything, but if your mind isn’t right, you’ll give up. Everyone is aware that to run as fast as Usain Bolt you have to train, but you also have to train your mind or it will stagnate or weaken.
So I did a 100km rowing challenge (on an indoor rowing machine set up outside) and it sounds like a physical challenge (it is) but it’s actually more of a mental challenge. It means going out and rowing consistently for eight hours, despite the fact that your mind and your body (body follows mind) are telling you a hundred times to stop, but you still keep going until it’s done.
And you can use your strong spirit for anything else in your life, even if it is accomplished through a physical challenge.
I really look back on some of the other challenges I’ve taken on with joy and a smile on my face. I’ve cycled around the whole of Singapore twice in a row (about 250km in 7.5 hours), ran a half marathon with a weight vest, and did 10 push-ups on every bench we passed (there was a total of 197 benches, so I’ve I totally underestimated it ) and a 13km farmers walk with two 32kg (total 64kg) kettlebells with my friend.
Have you experienced something that made you insecure?
What really sparked my fitness journey was breaking up with my first love. I was 19 and I was heartbroken. I guess I needed some distraction and had to take my frustration out somewhere. So I really went all out 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 the least confident?
When I look back from when I was a kid to my teens, I was always not really confident and very shy. I don’t know exactly why, to be honest, but I’ve always been a bit chubby and it probably didn’t really help. I just loved food too much and back then I just couldn’t control myself and didn’t really care about what I was eating. I started drinking a lot when I was a teenager and it didn’t really help.
I realized that I didn’t feel safe with my body. But the better I got in shape, the more confident I became. It’s been a long road though, you can’t change your childhood memories just like that.
Are you happy with your body now?
Of course there is always something to work on and improve on, but overall I’m actually very satisfied. Why? I think because I’m just comfortable in my body and we should be grateful for what we have more often and not focus on things we don’t really have! And also knowing where I started and that it is my very own creation over years and years of hard work.
Have you ever received comments about your body?
Haha yes! All sorts of admiration and compliments for my body like “You have a great physique”, “Your biceps are massive”, “Greek God”, “I would kill for these traps”, “Arnold Schwarzenegger”, “You look like a fitness trainer” and many more.
Most people actually think of me as a fitness trainer and are quite surprised that fitness is just my hobby.
If you could change something about yourself, would you?
No, I wouldn’t. I’m actually quite happy with who I am. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect and everything in my life has gone perfectly. But I am who I am because of the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met and the travels I’ve had – otherwise I wouldn’t be me and what is and who even defines perfect?