I have been dubbed as the chubby girl my whole life. “It’s in our genes.”, I always say whenever people tell me that I am fat. I try to be physically active but my mother always makes sure that I eat the right amount — sometimes, more than enough — of food. “Pinabayaan sa kusina”, they say. Additionally, junk food is always there to the rescue.
As far as I can remember, during my grade school years, I would stay at the back of the line because I was too big (and used to be too tall) to be at the front. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel that I was bullied. However, I used to feel that I am the bully of my own self. I deprived myself from hanging out with the cool kids because of my weight. Scared to be called as the fat girl, I have decided to choose the right people who are ready to accept me as I am.
I have been training and running on and off since my college days, then eventually stopped when I graduated. I tried going back to it but didn’t feel so right. It’s hard to force yourself into doing something but your heart is not willing to cooperate, and the result is you will end more more depressed than ever.
Last January, I got depressed because of my weight gain. I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself, “You need to work hard. Not tomorrow, not the next day, not on Monday. NOW!” I couldn’t fit in to my clothes anymore, and I felt the tightness on my face and thighs. I needed to lose weight not to be sexy, but to be fit and healthy.
That’s the time I gave running a second chance. I have never stopped since.
My first official run was Nat Geo Run 2016, and I did the 10km distance. I trained for two whole months, all by myself. There were times that my fiance would join me, but I really preferred — and still prefer — to train by myself. I finished the 10km in 1 hour and 19 minutes. I thought to myself that it’s relatively a good time for a first-timer.
Mid-April, my friend and I joined the Ayala Triads running group. We train every Tuesday at Ayala Triangle Gardens. The members of Triads are very supportive and encouraging. Some of them are considered as elite runners, or in the running community, they are called “mamaw”, but not once that they let me feel that I am out of place nor left behind; I will be forever grateful to them.
I have joined series of fun runs here and there, but most of the time, I really prefer running alone, or with a very small group.
My fiance, PJ, and I also did run together last June, days after he proposed to me.
Last July, I did my very first half marathon. Ahhh, the glorious feeling after crossing the finish line was so priceless! I would really do it over and over again!
Aside from running, I also do yoga as cross-training. I have been doing it since late 2013, and it has been a huge part of my life since. It’s the perfect cross-training to running as yoga allows our muscles to stretch, and our body and mind to be calm. Contrary to popular belief, yoga isn’t boring. It’s the most fun type of workout that I have tried. Though the price for every session is quite steep, I am sure that it’s going to be worth it. I am just lucky that I get some free passes to some top yoga studios in the metro.
When I don’t practice in a studio, I try to do it at home.
Aside from working out, I also cut down my food intake. I replaced my breakfast with oats, milk and cereals. I stopped craving for unhealthy snacks no matter how stressful and emotional I was. I also stopped drinking soft drinks, and increased my water intake, instead. I never deprived myself from eating whatever I want, but it had to be in moderation. And please, I really value my cheat day! I think all of us need a day off and just eat everything we want, right? 😉
Of course there will always be bad days, insecurities and frustrations that came –and will still come– along my way. It’s not always fun and smiles. There are times that I feel like quitting and just give up. Whenever I weigh myself on a scale, the number on the scale doesn’t change. It’s still the same, but most of my clothes are becoming loose already. I even switched size from medium to small. That’s the time that I started to ditch the scale because I came to my sense that numbers do not define how hard I work out and sweat. Numbers are well, just numbers. It doesn’t even define my whole being.
There are also times that I just feel like staying in the whole day. I sometimes miss my weekend long runs intentionally. But it doesn’t make me a bad or a weak person. We all need a break, a recovery.
This coming February 2017, I will be running a full marathon for The Bull Runner. Last August, I got an email saying that I got in — I am one of the 800 selected people to participate in The Bull Runner Dream Marathon 2017 that will be held in Nuvali. In running community, especially when it’s a big race, 800 is a small number for a full marathon category. People might say, “Why is it even a big deal? It’s just a marathon, you’re just running. You will be paying to run and get tired eventually.” Believe me, that’s how my mindset used to be, but now, I understand why runners, especially those aspiring marathoners, get so emotional with things like this. If you really want something so bad, you have to work hard for it and claim that you will get it. AND YOU WILL!
Training for a marathon is not supposed to be taken lightly. I have been slacking off, and I’m guilty for that, but I won’t let it win over my dream to be a marathoner. I will aspire to be a better runner, and of course, a better person.
I am already at a point in my life that I stop giving a damn to what others people say about me and my physical appearance. As what I have said, what others would say don’t and won’t ever define me as a person. I remember there was one time that one of my cousins told me that I am too fat to be wearing a swimsuit on the beach. I was hurt but I didn’t let it overpower me. I don’t need that negativity in my life; I am too happy to care.
Below are just some Before & After Photos of myself. I know that there are a lot to improve but I am taking it slowly, but very surely. I am trusting the process.
To everyone who aspire to be fit and healthy, here are some tips I can give you:
- Start now!
- Never stop exploring. People have different types of body. Try every workout possible and I hope that you will find your true passion. For me, it’s running and yoga.
- Do not let people dictate and define you. You don’t need negative vibes around you.
- Find a community that can help you achieve your fitness goals. I am thankful that I have my Ayala Triads family and Adidas Fit Squad to support and cheer me on.
- Never deprive yourself from eating what you want BUT IN MODERATION.
- Don’t do it for someone else. Do it for yourself.
- Your only competition is yourself. Never ever compare your fitness journey to others.
- Start slow and eventually, you will see good results.
- Take rest/recovery days with utmost importance. You and your body need it.
- Lastly, DITCH THE WEIGHING SCALE. DO IT!
Changes don’t happen over night. You won’t suddenly gain muscle and firm up. You wont instantly lose weight. A six-pack won’t appear in just one set of ab crunches or a minute of full plank. You know why? Because this is a process and a lifestyle change. Never stop hustlin’!