"I don't know, I think everyone has this opinion that once you do get fit and healthy, that you always stay that way. And I understand that because they see where you're at currently, not where you've come from," says Liv Lo between sips of coffee. She pauses and proceeds to lick milk froth from her lips before continuing, "And so, I would definitely say, no, I haven't always been this fit. I have my personal goals and the things that I am always working towards. I'm still a work in progress".
And such is the paradox of the high profiled individual harbouring delusions of non-grandeur — making her so incredibly human, and instantly likeable. One can't help but fall in love with Lo.
We know her as the breathtakingly-beautiful biracial TV host-turned-fitness and lifestyle guru with 163,000 (read: and counting) followers on Instagram. Lo is seen mostly by her loyal fan base — comprising of Hollywood glitterati, the veritable Who's Who of the sartorial set and people with a keen interest for fitness — on her Instagram Stories and workout videos. And to a lucky bewildered few, they catch glimpses of her pushing her electric scooter along Singapore's busiest shopping stretch — on her way home from a workout; always happy to pose for a selfie. "Oh, it's great! I take my electric scooter everywhere! It's my favourite mode of transportation," exclaims Lo. What did we say about falling in love with her again?
Today, she sits pretty in periwinkle and slouches elegantly in the hair and make up chair, and gets ready to put on her modelling hat for E! Asia. Her hazel eyes boast so much clarity — it's hard to not to get lost in the reflection of halogen bulbs that punctuate the oversized mirror in front of her. Even without make up, her skin has an otherworldly radiance to it, and glows from within. Wait, is this what being fit does to one's skin? We really must start exercising.
"I workout three to four times a week. I balance my workouts with weights, yoga, cardio and spinning. I like to mix it up. And that's what FitSphere is all about as well, it's a combination of yoga and fitness — I call it Fit-Yoga!" explains Lo, who created her own signature brand of fitness program for busy women, as her short, but lustrous, hair gets brushed to submission by the hairstylist.
She takes another swig of her coffee and continues after a light misting of hairspray, "It's all about ten minute episodes of what you can easily do and achieve in the morning. It's flexible and not at all rigid. So there's no excuse! And I really want people to actually learn from my videos. It's not just about following it blindly. Once you've watched it and have that knowledge of what you can actually achieve, I want you to not have to turn it [the video] on and you can do it on your own, by heart."
And just as Lo poured herself into a sweeping floor-length Dior dress, an audible collective gasp could be heard. There's no denying that the girl looks great in designer togs.
Lo is a total vision — striking pose after pose like the consummate model that she is. And with her gamine crop, the Taiwanese-Italian entrepreneur looked every inch like an elegant modern day Audrey Hepburn at an Avedon shoot that has come to life.
So it comes as a total surprise for us to hear Lo wax lyrical about food; revealing that her love for good food is just as great as her fondness for fitness; as the interview progresses.
"Oh, I am a total foodie. I literally look forward to waking up in the morning just so I can eat. That's my favourite thing to do!" she exclaims, smiling, with a devilish glint in her eyes. "My guilty pleasures are wine, cheese and maybe some caviar and some champagne." How very Crazy Rich Asian of her. "And you throw in some French fries with that. Hahaha!" Suddenly she's human again. "I recently went to Belgium, purely for the fries. Haha!" Never mind, we spoke too soon. But only Lo can humanise champagne and caviar, while being dressed in the finest couture from Avenue Montaigne. It doesn't take long for anyone to realise that her authenticity is what makes her so appealing.
And the girl sure can eat. During lunch — between mouthfuls of flavourful tom yum seafood soup — Lo says, "We all have indulgences and we should be okay with that. Because if you don't, you'll end up hiding in the cupboard and eating the whole bag and then feel horrible about yourself." We think it's crisps. She looks like a model that actually allows herself to experience the savoury wonders of crisps. "You need to acknowledge that want. And let's say, if you really want some, then have some. When you are present and in the right state of mind, it won't be just your impulse taking over. It'll be a much different experience." And just the sight of her talking so fanatically (read: passionately) about food is just so reassuring on a Wednesday afternoon.
After that brief gastronomical digression, Lo goes back to talking about living healthier, "Everyone's different. What could be very healthy to me, could be very different to another person. It's totally personal. I'm a big advocate for getting in touch with yourself. Break down what your lifestyle is, and set little realistic goals that you can actually achieve. I don't believe in pushing fad diets; I don't believe in pushing a regiment."
She pauses and smiles, as the roar of an approaching fighter jet overhead interrupts her, before continuing, "Another tip would be not to workout to become tired, sore or end up in physical pain. Once your body associates a good feeling with that particular activity, you'll keep going back to it, and you'll keep wanting to do more. But if you feel horrible at the end of the day, who wants to do that? It just doesn't make any sense. It should be something that is enjoyable. You do what you can. Start small. Start with a walk. Start somewhere. Just start."
And just like that, Lo has managed to provide us with the correct footing to embark the year with purpose and greater self-awareness.
2019, may have just begun, and her husband may just well be American GQ's Man of the Year, but here at E! Asia, Liv Lo will always be our Woman of the Year, after year.
Photographer: Vanessa Caitlin
Stylist: Debby Kwong
Makeup artist and manicurist: Audrey Wee
Hairstylist: Hongling using Hanz De Fuko
Photography assistant: Andy Leow
Director: Chris Leow
Videography: Paul Christian