Restauranteur, MISSBISH co-founder and certified yoga teacher Lindsay Jang was already fighting fit, but couldn’t find a fitness regime that excited her anymore—that is, until she met personal trainer Jen MacKay. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Jen’s fitness interests are diverse, from studying Sports Science at HKU, to representing the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby team to competing as a Bikini Fitness finalist in international competitions. One year after they began working out together, Jen and Lindsay chat about fitness inspirations and the importance of keeping things fresh.
Jen: It’s our one-year training anniversary! Time flies. We met very briefly at a MISSBISH pop-up event. You said you were looking for a personal trainer and I told you to come in for a trial session. What made you decide to come and try training with me?
Lindsay: I was so bored and uninspired with workouts in Hong Kong that I had basically given up on trying to find something great. When you walked in and I saw your body, I was struck by motivational lightening—it was meant to be.
Jen: Not only are you a successful entrepreneur, but you’re also very well known for being a fitness guru. How did your journey into the world of health & fitness start?
Lindsay: I used to snowboard religiously, it was my whole life for a long time. I found yoga because I need to stretch after riding. When I moved to New York, I couldn’t bring my snowboard life with me, but yoga travels well. New York in the early 2000s was bursting at the seams with amazing teachers and studios, I fell in love with the practice and never looked back. The daily practice of yoga gave me the discipline to do something every day, so now I apply that to whatever workout I do.
Jen: What were your wellness goals going into personal training sessions?
Lindsay: I’m not a goal setter. When I met you, I just wanted to be inspired by someone and you did that instantly. I love that you listen to what I want, you’re flexible with my energy level, and you always bring new workouts to the table. I’m never bored with you and that’s the absolute key to keeping me focused and attentive.
Jen: I have many clients who are working professionals, and you are easily the most consistent and reliable client of mine. You come three to five times a week and you’re always on time: it’s clear that the gym is a priority. Why is working out so important to you, and how do you balance fitness, work and being a mum of two?
Lindsay: I feel my best when I’m fit, mind, body, and soul. If I’m sad, it makes me feel better; if I’m happy, it makes me happier—I never regret exercising. I’m an extremely organised person, and I consider my health a priority, so making time for sweat is the same as making time for a meeting. I’m a better mom when I’m happy and I want my kids to see that being healthy is normal, achievable, and part of a daily routine.
Jen: Being in the restaurant industry, there must be a lot of wining and dining that goes on. How do you ensure that you still maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Lindsay: It is hard. I am a Libra, so I am balanced and harmonious by nature—you’ll find me out late at night, drink in hand, and then up at 7am on a call or clearing my inbox (I’m compulsive about replying on time and having a zero inbox). I take an insane amount of vitamins and supplements, I make sure my glucose levels are right and my hormones are balanced so my body works efficiently and in my favour.
Jen: How, if at all, has your nutrition changed on your personal training plan?
Lindsay: I have tried all the trend diets: low-to-no carb, intermittent fasting, no meat, etc., I believe they all failed me because of the mental anxiety that accompanies anything restrictive. In the last few years, the years I’ve felt my best, I just eat whole food, limit the junk, and eat at normal hours.
Jen: One thing I love about being your personal trainer is that you’re always bringing along your visiting friends to train with you: I get to meet a whole range of diverse and awesome individuals and share my passion for fitness with them. Do they ask to come train with you or do you drag them in against their will?
Lindsay: I think people use me as a reference or guide for things, so when they ask me about fitness, I generally just invite them. That’s what I love about exercising: you can do it anywhere in the world, it builds community and everyone feels great at the end.