Before you knew her as the multi-hyphenate she is today – fitness entrepreneur, host, television presenter, and wife of Henry Golding – Liv Lo Golding was a fashion model.
For 10 years of her life, she jetted in and out of Asia’s fashion capitols, and appeared in magazine editorials, commercials and runway shows. However, the Italian-Taiwanese beauty realised early on that there was more to life than obsessing over whether she could fit into the next brand’s sample-sized clothing.
Interestingly, it was the fashion world and her previous jet-setting life that planted the first seed of environmentalism in Liv. “Having traipsed around Asia’s biggest cities my whole life, I found that people – myself included – were getting out of touch with themselves and each other,” says the 34-year-old yoga enthusiast.
“I realised that this was a symptom, a sickness that resulted in us being disconnected as humans and it was very unhealthy. So I thought about what we shared that kept us alive – and it’s the natural world. We literally can’t survive as a human race if we didn’t have nature, which provides us with clean air to breathe, water to drink and food grown from earth’s soil.”
That realisation had far-reaching impact for Liv whose post-modelling founded her own fitness program, FitSphere, to allow her to get back to nature and herself. FitSphere combines light weights with yoga for a quick workout that builds strong, lean bodies. It also pays specific attention to breath work, which Liv says gives her life.
“As a Gemini air sign and as a teacher that instructs students on how to breathe in yoga, fresh air is something I love. I founded FitSphere to teach students the fundamentals of using the breath to empower themselves and connect with their bodies. It is vital to remember that we are natural beings, and breathing is unconscious and automatic, so if we don’t pay attention to it, we separate ourselves from our environment, thereby doing ourselves harm,” explains Liv.
“Personally, I am always taken aback when I notice people smoking on the beach or littering in forests – as humans, we need to be more aware of our impact on nature. By teaching people to become more self-aware, they can then become more conscious of their actions, and only good can come from awareness.”
As humans, we need to be more aware of our impact on nature. We literally can’t survive as a human race if we didn’t have nature.
The certified yoga instructor walks the talk when it comes to standing up for the environment. In 2019, she was appointed as National Geographic’s #PlanetorPlastic Travel Ambassador. In the role, Liv leads the charge against plastic pollution, which she says she was prompted to do after watching Before The Flood, a movie about climate change starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic
“Did you know that plastic not just surrounds us, but is in our food and we are consuming it on a day to day basis? When I heard this, I was terrified; it’s a horror story I can’t forget because plastic is everywhere,” Liv laments.
“Seeing plastics washed up on the beach, bits lying in the sand and grass, animals eating it, and then us humans eating them is not acceptable. Plastic has only been around for [about] 100 years, and there are many health implications tied to them that we do not yet understand. I raised a plastic ban petition on Earth Day in 2018, which has since received 78,000 signatures are counting. It’s heartening to see I’m not alone in this fight.”
The FitSphere founder is especially against single-use plastics that she believes contribute to most of the pollution in our world today. Whenever she can, she brings her own utensils to dine out, relies on her trusty refillable water bottle for hydration in between workouts, and has also made her business go green.
I love Earth Day because it’s a day we can all celebrate what we have in common – the wonderful world we live in!
“It’s mind-boggling to think that a product intended to be used once can last beyond our lifetimes,” she says. “That why when I created Spheres for use during my workouts, I wanted to use sustainable natural rubber, iron and sand. When you order a pair of Spheres, there is no plastic packaging and we use the original factory packaging to avoid waste. If I can do it, everyone can.”
Be The Change
Acknowledging that adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is a tough fight, Liv reminds others who want to put the planet first to stand their ground.
“We all have an innate responsibility to care for our natural world because it gives us everything. It is the source of life. That’s why I love Earth Day, which falls on April 22, because it’s a day we can celebrate what we have in common – the wonderful world we live in!” says Liv.
Citing her love for travel, Liv explains it was her desire to see the world that woke her up to how the Earth has suffered at the hands of humankind. “I make it a point to visit at least one new country a year,” she says.
Speaking up for what I believe in creates an eco-system where I can live, work, and be part of the change.
“Witnessing the different ways that people live and hearing real stories of how their lives are impacted by the environment, I am not able to ignore, or adopt an ‘out if sight, out of mind’ mentality when it comes sustainability.
“Sustainability is the ability to exist, and I couldn’t exist in a world that ignores and abuses our planet’s ability to maintain itself. The greatest effect one has is in the work place, so for someone [like me] in the media, I can have the greatest impact there. Speaking up for what I believe in creates an eco-system where I can live, work, and be part of the change.”
For those who are already doing their part to ensure the preservation of our planet for future generations, Liv offers you her heartfelt gratitude: “Thank you for thinking of the world that we live in and for being compassionate about the environment”.
And for climate deniers? “Everyone is an activist through their actions; why not try to make a choice for the future of the planet instead?”
Photos: Joel Low, assisted by Alfie Pan
Art Direction: Ivy Choong
Styling: Martin Wong
Hair: Ash Loi/Sonder Salon, using Revlon Professional
Makeup: Dollei Seah/Makeup Entourage, using Lancôme
Location: Espa at Resorts World Sentosa