I’ve given talks to youths before – for two years I gave talks for Singapore GP on Formula 1 to secondary schools, and I’ve also visited schools to give career talks on stepping it out on your own to pursue your passion. Lately, I’ve been giving talks to youths for a more meaningful purpose – to enlighten them about body positivity. This is one of my objectives when I started Rock The Naked Truth (RTNT); to reach out to youths and educate them about the dangers of eating disorders, and how we should take care of our bodies properly.
Last month, I gave two talks to students – one for the Smile Asia’s Asia Student Leadership Conference (ASLC) 2017 and one for Raffles Girl’s School (RGS).
ASLC is organised by the Smile Asia Student National Executive Committee in Singapore, where student leaders from 20 countries converge in Singapore over a weekend to build awareness and learn about core values of commitment, leadership and volunteerism. When students help children in need, they learn first-hand how they can make an impact on the world and help heal humanity.
The theme this year is SMILE: IN PROGRESS, which focuses on how a leader’s journey is a never-ending one, where he or she is always in the pursuit of self-betterment. The theme also acronymises to S.I.P, which ties in with our conference’s key focal point – to emphasise the importance of Sustainability (S), Initiative (I), and Perseverance (P) in the community service activities of the student leaders.
I share about my battle with body image struggles and how we should be learning how to take care of our bodies in the long run (Sustainability). Life is a journey and we only have one body, so we should be treasuring our bodies. Also, it is important to develop good habits so that we can sustain an active and healthy lifestyle. Then, I shared about why I decided to start RTNT (Initiative) and how I hope it will help as many people as possible. Lastly, I shared about my Ironman 70.3 journey and how there’s a lot more to you than you realise, so long as you keep enduring (Perseverance).
The students asked very good questions and they laughed at my jokes! What really touched me though, were the notes that they wrote to me to thank me for the talk. This is the first time I received notes after a talk and they are now proudly pinned to my fridge so I can look at them everyday for inspiration!
This was really interesting. RGS reached out to AWARE for Project aNOrexia, a Year 3 Community Problem Solving team. The purpose of this project is to spread awareness of anorexia and its symptoms to teenagers to prevent them from falling victim to anorexia, as well as to educate them and change the mindset that eating less equates to being healthy. I was given this opportunity and was really grateful that I got to talk to about 50 students from across the four years (Y1-Y4).
I’m also glad that they found the talk useful, in terms of educating them about eating disorders. I shared my personal story and then talked about what anorexia, bulimia and binge eating are. Being peer leaders, I hope they can help to look out for fellow students who may be suffering from EDs.
I am always more than happy to give talks to youths and I really hope I can do more in this area!