MUS 2016 winner embraces her athletic build
Last year's MUS winner works hard but also accepts what she cannot change
Already passionate about staying in shape, Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2016 winner Cheryl Chou felt no pressure upping her fitness level during the pageant.
As a teenager, Miss Chou, 21, tried her hand at pilates, touch rugby, and track and field.
She was also physically active before MUS, exercising at least five times a week for an hour to 90 minutes each time.
The 21-year-old enjoys various workouts, including high-intensity interval training, sprints and squat jumps.
Miss Chou, who is 1.7m tall and weighs 56kg, told The New Paper: "Even during the competition, my approach towards fitness stayed pretty much the same. It has been a part of my lifestyle, and it is definitely not just a fad for me."
But as someone with an athletic, broad upper body, she faced difficulties achieving a lean look for MUS.
So, despite her sporty background, competing in the prestigious beauty pageant was no walk in the park for her.
She had to go through more endurance trainings and do more cardio to tone her muscles.
But her efforts paid off - her body fat percentage went down while her muscle mass went up.
The fashion media and industries student at Lasalle College of the Arts said: "My friends noticed the difference as my arms and legs became really toned. I felt happy my physique changed the way I hoped it would."
But there were areas she accepted that were hard to change, such as her broad upper body.
It is the attitude she hopes this year's MUS hopefuls will adopt.
Miss Chou said: "Don't feel pressured. Everyone's body is different, and you cannot go into the competition looking like someone else. Your body belongs to you, and that is what makes it unique."
She has also been a vegetarian since 2015, which complements her healthy lifestyle.
She said: "Though I became a vegetarian because of health benefits, it was also an ethical thing because I am a huge animal lover."
On how palatable a vegetarian diet is, she said: "It is not tough at all. I cook a lot, so I get to experiment and do substitutions for my meals.
"I can even bake vegan chocolate chip cookies and brownies. They taste exactly like the real deal as long as you do it right."
Miss Chou typically has a green smoothie for breakfast, a quinoa salad for lunch and stir-fried vegetables with pasta for dinner.
She said: "Do your research if you plan to forgo meat in your diet.
"It is not as hard as you think, and you will not only be doing good for the lives of animals - it will also benefit your body tremendously."
Be the next Miss Universe Singapore
Register online for Miss Universe Singapore 2017 at www.missuniversesingapore.com.sg by today. The event is organised by The New Paper and Miss Universe Singapore Organisation B.V.
- $10,000 cash, $45,000 worth of prizes and a feature in Her World magazine
- $5,000 cash and more than $20,000 worth of prizes
- $3,000 cash and more than $10,000 worth of prizes
CSR partner: Singapore Turf Club
Official beauty partner: Beaute Hub
Official car: BMW
Official skincare: Skinceuticals
Official skin expert: The Urban Clinic
Venue sponsor: Resorts World Sentosa
Official make-up: Cosmoprof Academy
And thanks to Apgujeong Hair Studio, B-Fit and Orchard Scotts Dental
Official radio station: ONE FM 91.3