Cheryl Tay first established herself in the male-dominated world of cars and motorsports as one of the few female motoring journalists in Singapore.
She has since expanded into the realm of sports and fitness, another passion she holds close to her heart, with plans to compete in upcoming Ironman 70.3 triathlons.
As a speaker and certified fitness trainer, Cheryl has also worked with international brands and government agencies, with the occasional talk at schools and other public events too.
After suffering from body image issues for a decade, Cheryl opened up about her challenges and started body image movement Rock The Naked Truth to inspire others to find confidence in their bodies through fitness, as well as encourage them to take care of their bodies well.
What activities did you take part in while studying in NTU. What was the most fulfilling part?
During my time in NTU, I played badminton for the Inter-Hall Games, I was part of the Entrepreneurship Club and I was on the organising committee for the Vertical Marathon for one year.
I also took part in one of the university pageants and I had a column on motoring in one of the school papers.
I think the most fulfilling part of NTU was getting to participate in different kinds of activities and meeting people from various background and interests.
It’s all within one campus – if you want culture or art, sports and fitness, or others, there’s always something available for you to join.
What is your greatest takeaway from your educational years?
I think the greatest takeaway was about achieving a balance, that it’s not always about studies.
I was always involved in activities – in secondary school I played badminton for the school, in JC I was on the cross-country team.
I learnt that life is not just about studying and mugging and academic grades, but it’s also about learning how to prep for life after school!
What are your hobbies?
I think my hobby is just fitness. I love to work out and I feel weird if I don’t exercise!
What is one quote you live by?
One breath at a time, this too shall pass.
Tell us more about the inspiration behind Rock The Naked Truth.
I suffered from eating disorders for over 10 years and I was feeling very insecure about how I looked.
The desire to be skinny was very strong, because I thought that being thin would make me more popular/liked.
It was a point where I really hated my body so much, to the extent of self-harm.
Thankfully I walked out of the shadows a few years ago and I found the courage to open up and share my struggles.
It was then, that I got inspired to start Rock The Naked Truth, a body image movement to encourage people to believe in themselves and see how much more to them there actually is.
Where do you see yourself five to ten years down the road?
Still running Rock The Naked Truth and bringing it to greater heights!
What other plans can we expect from you?
I always have so many things I want to do, but right now it will be focused on Rock The Naked Truth, my running club ROCKrunners, my triathlon club ROCKtri and also my Ironman triathlons competitive pursuits.
What is one thing you will tell your past self and your future self?
To my past self – I would have told her that superficial and material things don’t last, but a kind heart and a brave soul will.
To my future self – Your mind is the limit, so keep believing in yourself and go on to fulfil the craziest of your dreams!
What is one advice you have for young undergraduates who are still looking for their meaning, purpose and calling in life?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot, go on and bravely achieve your goals!
And if you feel like you don’t have a purpose in life, don’t fret; it will come to you naturally.
Just find something you love to do and take it from there!