Shaun Tupaz, aka Big Tasty, may have a huge personality, but his lean profile is anything but. Shaun, 34, who produces and presents on One FM 91.3’s ‘The Big Show’ on weekday mornings and has his own podcast, slimmed down significantly through his personal weightloss journey – and now even counts being a spin instructor and personal trainer among his many hats.
Financially, Shaun is also aiming for lofty heights, looking to save enough for the place he’ll qualify to buy when he turns 35, including covering the costs of renovation and furnishing.
Beyond that, he’s striving to ultimately be financially independent, with enough leftover cash to be able to bless those around him and carry out his charity work.
Planner Bee partnered with the multi-hyphenate to see if he could walk his talk, and stay within a budget of S$100 for meals over three days.
“Lazy person” guide to keeping trim
As a self-professed “lazy person”, Shaun generally chooses food options that are convenient. Given this, he found that trying to cook his own meals was a great help in his weight loss process and as he worked towards his “best shape ever”.
Ask the funnyman about his diet plan, and he’ll say he eats when he’s hungry, though as he quipped, “which is actually not very good because I feel hungry all the time.” In general though, he limits his meals to two a day, and these are usually determined by his schedule, especially the timing of the last class he teaches for the day.
Though Shaun doesn’t follow a particular diet, certain guidelines inform what he eats. For example, he stays aware of the rough amount of protein his body needs, and avoids sugar, salt, fat, preservatives and preserved foods as much as possible. His attempts to eat clean are complemented by his regular workouts. As a spin instructor, he naturally does lots of cardio on the bike. He also goes on long walks while wearing a weighted vest, which doubles up as his meditation time.
A one-time bubble tea lover, he now rarely drinks it because drinking it almost every day previously led to him “look[ing] like a bubble”.
Nonetheless, he does grant himself some leeway to enjoy himself now and then. His overall guiding principle? “I try to make good choices.”
Holding fast through financial anchors
Just like how Shaun prefers an “intuitive” approach to his diet, he found that how he handled his finances had to be similarly intuitive. Not a particularly organised person, he realised that a structured budget didn’t work for him, due to a busy schedule with lots of meet-ups.
What he focuses on to stay on-track with spending, are “concrete anchors” that set the rough direction for his financial habits. These anchors include how much he’s saving and spending, and the duration of time over which he can spend a certain amount. He also doesn’t have credit cards, to ensure he only spends what he has.
Watch the video below to see how he utilised these guideposts in making use of the budget, and whether he was successful in making the S$100 work for his on-the-go lifestyle. (He also shares the one food he just can’t resist, to the point that he’s even gotten a tattoo of it!)
Building good habits for holistic health
Shaun’s strategy for taking on the challenge was to view it as an opportunity to work on himself. He took it in his stride as part of his journey of building good habits.
In particular, thinking ahead helped him work towards his aims.
As he observed, “Planning and a little forward thinking goes a long way for things like food and fitness especially.”
Shaun’s view of life is that it’s complex and multi-faceted, so living well is not just about tackling physical fitness, but being holistic in looking at mental and emotional health too. It’s critical to get your habits right and practise them daily so you can assume control of your life.
“And if you are in control of your life, pretty much you can do anything you want to do,” he said.
True enough, working on himself has enabled him to live with gusto and a “never say never” attitude.
His advice for all-round health: “Invest in yourself, love yourself and be brutally honest with yourself.”
This challenge was part of Planner Bee’s #SgFitnessPros series, where we challenge savvy fitness pros to eat better and spend better. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more of such videos!
You can also check out our Money Journals series, to catch a glimpse of how everyday Singaporeans and Malaysians are earning, spending and investing.