Back in 2012, I wrote about my fitness journey. I wrote about how my sister Connie, a professional fitness trainer, encouraged and inspired me to start working out regularly. Although I have always been active, I never really considered going to the gym and working out until my doctor told me that I had to. No, I wasn’t overweight and I did not get sick. But I was close to the borderline in cholesterol levels. After Dr. J (tito Jun Villaraza) told me I had to do a lifestyle change, I vowed to myself that I would do everything I can to live fit and healthy. The journey has not been easy, but I always manage to bounce back every time I went to the wrong path.
My fitness journey actually started after my mom died in 2006. I was depressed for several months. I did not want to admit it at that time, but I know I was. Whatever I wanted to feel, I told myself I felt it. Whatever I imagined I had, I told myself I had it. Week after week, I complained about feeling this and that and developing this and that symptom. My husband, Wabin, learned to live with it.
When my sister came for a visit one time, I decided to join her special classes in one of the gyms near the Divisoria area. The workout did me a lot of good. That was when I started contemplating about going to the gym. But then, Wabin and I were busy managing our Internet cafe, so I had no extra time (or so I thought).
In 2008, I finally decided to start working out at home. My sister gave me a copy of a workout video she did with Anne Curtis and Luis Manzano (Bump and Burn). I started doing the workout every morning, from Monday to Friday. I continued this routine even when I started working in a BPO company. I started doing yoga shortly after that, after it was recommended by my doctor. I simply followed the instructional videos of Yoga Zone.
In 2011, I discovered Tony Horton’s P90x through my sister. I also started doing Zumba exercises. By 2012, I was working out every day. My usual routine was: first 15 minutes – jogging/running, 30 mins of Zumba, 45 mins of yoga. From time-to-time, I inserted a 15-minute TRX routine. My cool down was always yoga.
I complemented my regular workouts with a healthier diet. No, I did not completely take out meat from my diet, I just minimized my intake of pork and beef dishes. I stopped eating lechon in January 2012 and although I had to eat some in one of the events I attended last year, I have totally lost my craving for lechon. For two years (more or less), I did not eat fried food, just baked and grilled dishes. There was a time I did not eat rice in the evening, but my doctor told me that I needed to because I was hyperactive. I eat rice at dinner, but I am always careful with the portion.
The turning point in my fitness journey was 2013, when I discovered that I had slight scoliosis. Slight, yes, but I still had to go through therapy because it was really painful. I bombarded myself with yoga after I finished the 14-session therapy, and it worked!
The years 2011 to 2013 were the best years for me in terms of reaching my fitness goals. This is what I want to bring back this year. I won’t be able to do everything as is because of my busy schedule, but I will do my best to workout as regularly as I can. I have also started going back to P90x and have begun injecting some dumbbell and Kettlebell routines in my workout. I have also gone back to the gym (shout out to Fit Republic!).
Last year was a banner year for me. I closed some doors but welcomed new ones that opened a lot of opportunities for me. I went back to online writing full-time. I spent more time working on my blogs and eventually joined CDO Bloggers. I also became a part of CdeO.ph. Blogging allowed me to travel to Dapitan, Davao, and Cebu. I met a lot of wonderful people on those trips. My world became bigger and better.
I also had more time to work on my advocacies – The Vagina Monologues, Lima: HIV Monologues, and the staging of my mom’s Palanca-winning play Reyna Elena. I felt like I was on top of the world.
However, since I got extra busy, I wasn’t able to workout as regularly as I wanted to. During the first few months of 2016, I was at the gym several times a week. By the 3rd quarter of the year, my workouts became infrequent, even at home. And I started to eat whatever I wanted. I felt myself change. I got heavier and lazier. I was still doing multiple tasks, but my energy went down significantly. I became a different me.
Towards the end of December, I pledged to myself that I would start 2017 right. I would go back to the gym and to working out regularly. I promised to work my way towards my ideal 106-107 lbs weight. I went down to 97 lbs back in 2012, but I was told by another of my doctors to bring my weight up to 100 lbs. So, I did. But right now, I am way past my ideal weight. I feel different and often, I am disappointed at how I allowed myself to slip. But I completely understand that it’s part of the challenge. So, this year, I will do my best to get back on track. It won’t be easy, but I will not give up.
(P.S. If you see my Facebook and Instagram accounts filled with gym/workout photos and selfies, forgive me. I just want to document my journey. The photos also serve as inspiration and encouragement for me.)
A lot of people have asked me why I workout when I’m not overweight. My answer is always the same: because I love myself. Believing that exercising or working out is only for the weight-challenged is a common misconception. Everyone needs to workout. EVERYONE.
Even if you’re only 97 lbs, you still need to workout. Even if you’re strong and healthy, you still need to workout.
If you love yourself and you love your life, you will stop lazing around and start moving. If you want a better life, and if you want to feel good and happy all the time, get up from the couch and turn off the TV set! You don’t need to go to the gym to start your own workout routine. You can exercise at home! That’s how I started, remember? It won’t be easy at first, but you’ll get used to it later on.
And before you know it, you will not only look better, you will also feel better. You’ll be happier and healthier. So, would you like to join me in my fitness journey? Working out becomes more fun if you do it with a friend!
Let’s go! Let’s do this!