“You alone are responsible for your health”
“Carve out time to get healthy. You need to decide to get healthy and maintain your health”
“Eye health advocate, avid traveller, foodie, skilled angler”
Urban Health: What is your philosophy on health?
Woon Pak Seong: You alone are responsible for your health. You must truly want to be healthy to want to do something about it. There is no quick fix to becoming healthy and it is a lifelong journey. As an optometrist, I have found that the eyes are greatly affected by bad health.
UH: Do you have a particular interest or hobby?
WPS: I love travelling, watching movies, eating and fishing! I love trying different cuisines from the countries that I visit. Travelling with my wife is a lot of fun and we’ve been to many countries and plan to go on more trips!
UH: What do you usually choose to do during your free time?
WPS: I like to spend my free time on one of my hobbies such as fishing or watching movies. Sometimes I like doing absolutely nothing! Once a year, my wife and I take a four-day, three-night trip to places like Fraser’s Hill or Melaka.
UH: When you travel, what are the steps you take to ensure that your health is not disregarded?
WPS: There are two types of travelling that I do. One is like I said before, the ‘do nothing trips’, and other trips involve walking or cyclibg. I think walking and cycling trips are healthier but we still need to take a lot of precautions. Drinking lots of water, eating for taste and not quantity, avoiding carbohydrates and carbonated drinks and consuming foods with less or low sugar is what I generally do. Additionally, we’ll take effervescent vitamin C whenever we go travelling just to protect ourselves from becoming ill or catching any ‘flu bugs’. If we’re going anywhere sunny, sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses are a must as these protect our eyes and skin against the harmful effects of UV rays.
UH: Do you have a favourite health remedy and if you do, what is it?
WPS: I don’t really have a specific health remedy but I do believe that in staying healthy, overall. I’ve lost 15 kilograms over the last two years and it definitely helped with my health. Getting enough sleep is also a huge help with health.
UH: What is your advice to our readers when it comes to juggling your health and career?
WPS: You are your own responsibility. Carve out time to get healthy. You need to decide to get healthy and maintain your health. It also helps to find someone to hold you accountable so you won’t give up on improving your health, easily. Exercising two hours a day, twice a week isn’t too much to ask for but find out what you’re comfortable with and stick to it.
UH: What do you usually do during ‘family time’?
WPS: I spend time with my wife. This ranges from going on trips to lazing around as long as we’re together, enjoying each other’s company. We don’t have any kids of our own but we do have a nephew who we dote on.
UH: What is your advice for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy, happy family?
WPS: Decide, as a family that, you want to lead a healthy life. My wife cooks healthy food and we both enjoy the food she cooks but mental and spiritual health is also important. At the end of the day, we clear any ‘backlog’ of any ill feelings we might have and forgive each other so we can start each day anew. Spending quality time with your other half is important and it helps if both of you are on the same page, spiritually.
UH: Can you tell us a little bit about your daily routine?
WPS: I go to the gym from 7.30 to 9.30 am and work with a personal trainer. I’ll work from 10.30am to 9pm but have lunch from 12-1pm and dinner from 6-7pm. My bedtime is around 10 or 11pm. Sundays are my rest day. I go to church, enjoy family time and just relax.
UH: What is your personal motto in life and why did you choose this motto?
WPS: Live for the day! Don’t live in the past nor the future. Mistakes have been made but we should move on. We should plan for the future but sometimes, we plan so far ahead that we forget to enjoy the present. My wife survived breast and ovarian cancer and I chose to see things positively because she is still here with me and thus, I cherish her all the more.
UH: Where is your favourite travel destination?
WPS: Japan simply because it’s clean and public transport is great and safe!
UH: You mention liking movies so what are your favourites?
WPS: I’m a huge fan of Star Wars! I also enjoyed Dead Poets Society and have seen it several times.
UH: What is your tried and tested remedy for stress?
WPS: Prayer makes a world of difference. Meditation and hanging out with family and friends are great ways to de-stress as well. Serving the poor really makes us appreciate what we have and it puts life into perspective.
UH: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
WPS: I hope to be healthy. I’d also like to be part way through my travel ‘bucket list’ like going on a bus trip around the United States and visiting South America. I’m also currently looking to inspire the youth in my church. So in ten years, hopefully, I’ll be watching them grow and become successful.
UH: Who do you admire and try to emulate?
WPS: My mum because she’s just amazing! She always looks for opportunities to help people. When she strikes up conversations with strangers, she has no ulterior motives. Recently, she joined the Perak Palliative Care Society and chats with the patients, no strings attached.
3 things you didn’t know about Woon Pak Seong
- Loves Star Wars and bought scores of figurines while in Japan.
- Samples local ice cream no matter where he travels and in any kind of weather.
- Buys 20 pairs of the same socks in the same colour for the sake of convenience.