Jacelyn Tay says her hardships, like autoimmune disease, bankruptcy and divorce, are frankly 'no big deal'

PHOTO: Instagram/jacelyn_tay

The unpredictability of life may be a source of frustration to many, but for Jacelyn Tay who has been through hardship after hardship, she has learned to embrace the unforeseeable future and take things as they come. 

Speaking to CNA Luxury, the 45-year-old said: "After all I've been through, I realised that sometimes you just can't plan everything in life."

Yes, the former actress has definitely dealt with unexpected adversities in her life, from dealing with an autoimmune disease to bankruptcy and a divorce. However, she takes them in her stride. 

"Different people struggle with different things in life. Frankly speaking, these hardships that I faced are no big deal. There are many people who have overcome bigger things than I have," she explained in the interview with the online publication. 

Jacelyn was thrust into the spotlight after her victory in Mediacorp's talent-scouting competition Star Search in 1995, and was a full-time artiste until she left in 2006. 

When she was 24 and still an actress, she suffered from fainting spells and would black out a few times a day. She was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, an autoimmune disease. She recalled that Mediacorp wanted to nurture her at the time and send her to China to become one of the network's biggest stars. 

"This completely disrupted the plan," she said to CNA Luxury.

After she was diagnosed, she spent her time reading nutrition books and trying different types of diets. She cut out processed foods from her diet and only ate whole foods. Soon, her fainting spells lessened.

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Then when she was 25, Jacelyn declared bankruptcy after owing $300,000 to a stockbroking company. She was discharged from bankruptcy four years later in 2004. 

In 2018, Jacelyn divorced her husband of eight years. The two have a son, nine-year-old Zavier.

As a result of her autoimmune disease and her recovery from it, she started Body Inc in 2006 with a mission to help others who face health struggles, and is happily running the company to this day as a health coach.

"If I never dealt with a million dollars worth of shares at 24, I wouldn't have had the guts to start a business at 30. If I didn't get married, I wouldn't have had a beautiful son. How can I say all these were bad decisions?" she said to the publication.

"Whether you call it a good or bad decision, there's always something good that comes out of it. Something beautiful, something to learn from. And that becomes a part of me, an experience I can share with people." 

annatan@asiaone.com