Meet Audrey Soraya Rodriguez Rincon, a beautiful mother of two with more than 20 years of experience in the healthy lifestyle world. This health coach is new to Jakarta but feels the warm welcome exuded by the people in the city.
Hi, Audrey! Where are you from?
I’m used to the humidity and heat, even the occasional gloom like right now.
When did you move to Jakarta? What was the reason for the move?
My husband and I moved to Jakarta about eight months ago from Mexico. He was transferred here with his company and I followed along. Before that, I’ve lived most of my life in Colombia, then briefly in Bolivia. This is the first time I’ve been this far away from Colombia.
I’m from Colombia, but for the last five years I’ve been conducting my business in Mexico. Indonesia and Colombia are both lined up in a similar region in regards to the equator, soDo you have kids? Did they move with you to Jakarta?
I have two children; Isabella is 19 and starting college in Mexico, Sebastian is 26 and is starting to work after having finished college in Colombia.
What were you doing in Mexico?
I own a consultancy program, sort of like a clinic, for health, fitness and clean eating lifestyle all integrated into one well-being centre. I like to keep myself busy with developing the program but sadly I had to close it down because of my move. I really miss it. Now, I’m looking for opportunities to do something similar in Jakarta. I also have experience in being a TV presenter, model, actress, dancer and I studied cosmetology and nutrition, so I’m not opposed if someone were to approach me to do a health program on TV. The holistic approach to well-being is my passion and I want to share my knowledge with people because when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good you look good.
Tell me a little bit more of the program you mentioned, what was it called?
The clinic was called Figura Wellness Spa. It provided everything health-related, from skin treatment, body treatments and fitness, weight-loss training and healthy cooking. My philosophy builds around the notion that fitness, aesthetics and food are all connected, that’s why I wanted to provide services in a comprehensive way through the programs at the clinic. Along with my staff, I do the cooking demonstrations, the cosmetology treatments and managing the place. I’m a certified fitness instructor as well – for TRX, Pilates, Spinning, personal training, etc. – so I teach the classes as well.
You were quite the busy lady! So, what do you prefer to be known as; an entrepreneur, model, fitness instructor or actress?
All of the above!
Who were your clients?
More women than men, but the business runs on a mouth-to-mouth method; word would travel fast and that’s how I got customers. I charge them depending on the amount of work I need to do with them.
You were also a TV presenter. Do you see yourself entering the TV business in Indonesia? How do you feel about Indonesian shows?
Yes, I would love to do something with Indonesian TV, perhaps even combining it with my fitness background, since the whole healthy lifestyle trend is very in-demand in Jakarta now. I don’t watch novelas in Indonesia, I mostly tune in to Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
Has Jakarta been nice to you?
People here are filled with kindness, really. When I walk around, people always smile and say hello to me. Sometimes they are shy, but overall people are so nice here. I like it. I also love Bali and dream of going to Jogjakarta, Lombok and Flores. When I arrive in a new country, I try to see and appreciate the culture.
How do you keep busy in Jakarta?
I have a YouTube channel where I record workout videos and healthy cooking demonstrations. I used to have a team to help me with the cameras but now I set up the tripod, record and upload it myself. Sometimes I also get invited to teach Rumba class at a gym in Jakarta.
Fitness goes along with a good diet, do you have a particular one to recommend? What should Indonesians eat less of and what’s your favourite Indonesian food?
I have a problem with the word ‘diet’, it gives an impression of boringness and blandness; it really depends on how you prepare the food and portion control. A lot of Indonesians eat five dishes between 3 people, that’s way too much. The genetics of people in Indonesia can probably support this kind of eating – Indonesians are naturally small in stature. But looking at the life expectancy of just around 60 years old nationwide, maybe we need to change the way we eat; many people eat too many fried and floury food.
I love to cook nasi goreng and spaghetti with my own recipe. I prefer organic produce and put more vegetables in my cooking. To my surprise (and delight) I can find everything I need for my cooking in Jakarta; from wheat flour to almond and soy milk.
Are you getting accustomed to speaking Indonesian now?
The first week I was here, it was a bit terrible, I didn’t speak a word of Indonesian. I’m now taking lessons and picking it up quite quickly. But this experience has taught me to be more prepared; my husband could be transferred to another country in the future, I need to be more aggressive in learning a new language before I get to a new country.
What’s one distinctive thing about Jakarta that you’ve found in your eight months here?
I can’t drive here, I miss driving my truck. Traffic is impossible. Other than the lanes being on the other side, it requires a different driving mentality. There are also no sidewalks, so I can’t walk freely. I think the traffic condition is pretty gila here.
What’s your fitness regime like? Is Jakarta a fit city in your opinion?
I work out at the gym in my apartment. I always workout in the morning and my regime is different every day. Normally, I work weights and a little upper body workout, the next day I would do 20 minutes of running followed by Thera-band exercises, then the next day just Pilates or the Insanity workout. I always try to do something different every day, never repetitive, that’s the secret. Sometimes an hour of treadmill is way too boring. I prefer a more functional and efficient exercise with respect to many muscles. I rarely use machines, I like using the weight of my body. I see many people in Jakarta running now, which is good, but I haven’t participated in any marathons.
Everything’s online now. Do you have plans on expanding your Youtube channel?
Yes, and I want to make it more interactive; if someone has viewed my workout video, I want them to be able to contact me so I can make an exercise or diet plan for that specific individual. I also need more views and likes, maybe if people know more of me, then the view counts will go up. I promise to upload more videos soon.
If I may say so, you do not look on par with your age. What’s your secret to staying young?
The secret is simple; healthy food, be happy, more sex and exercise. The most important thing is eating the right food and exercise, then comes the night creams and the likes.