Holiday Greetings from The UST Daughter Diaries!

My last Angel of Christmas is none other than my soul sister & best friend, ATE! <3 She’s always so busy with school as a Pre-Med student and with weekday classes until night time, but because of the clamor for her to guest blog, I was able to blackmail cajole her sweetly into finding time to write me a Health & Fitness post for the new year.

If her story isn’t one of inspiration & hope for a healthier lifestyle (I think she really meant to write it for ME!), then I don’t know what is.

I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did! <3

A Healthier New You for the New Year!

Although I don’t get to reply often (nakakatamad mag log in hehe), I always appreciate reading comments about how determined and disciplined my mom’s readers say I am. I am truly flattered by all the praises, words of encouragement, love, and support you all have given not just to my mom but to the rest of the Goppets as well.

I know it can probably get annoying to read about how “ate abstained from this and that..” especially to my dear bubby, so thank you mom from the bottom of my heart for supporting me on my diet! <3

But for you to understand why and how I got this way, I need to tell you about my journey to a healthier lifestyle. So here’s the back story..

As a kid, I was always on the bigger side. I was the girl that was placed in the back of every school photo, I was the one at the very end of every line during assembly, I was the biggest size in every adult clothing store. I felt so awkward being next to all my stick thin classmates.

At my first school. I was always the fat kid.

In grade school, the era of rampant bullying, I was assigned a seat next to the “crush ng bayan.” A few days later, word got around that he liked someone from our class. Every girl wanted a chance to be near him so it was only normal for all of us to hope she would be that lucky girl. I distinctly remember one girl telling me “Don’t get your hopes up. He’ll never like you. You’re too fat.” Man did that sting.

A few years later, I moved to a different school. During Linggo ng Wika that year, all classes were asked to present plays. In our class, I was assigned the role of a pig that couldn’t jump because she was too heavy. I was so ashamed to come out on stage.

At my new school where I thought I was free from bullying.

I was the biggest size in every adult clothing store.

In high school, our play was El Fili. Due to the lack of guys in our class, some girls had to play male roles. I was one of them. There was a part wherein I had to die and be carried out. I overheard one guy saying “I have to carry THAT?! -insert curse here-” Needless to say, I cried in a cubicle that day.


That summer, the summer before college, I vowed to work my ass off till I had none. I deprived myself of food and did a whole lot of cardio workouts. I lost 30 pounds in 3 months.

I took up Mixed Martial Arts the summer after high school in the hopes that I could lose weight before going to college.


When school started, I thought I had lost enough. I thought I had moved past all the teasing and name calling. Well, I was wrong. One day, during what my English prof called “KSP” or knowledge sharing power, a blockmate shared that in the older times people had a different notion of beauty. She said that the plumper you were, the more beautiful you were perceived to be. Then out of nowhere my seatmate called me out in front of everyone. That caused me to crash diet.

In college. Confident that I had lost enough. Apparently I was wrong.

But no matter how much effort I put into it, my weight would not go down anymore. I plateaud. My classmates would often pinch the back of my arms, telling me how soft they were. That’s when I realized I was doing it all wrong. I lost weight but a huge percent of my body composition was still fat. I had no muscle. It wasn’t the scale that I needed to check but the mirror. Now, I don’t keep track of every pound because muscle weighs more that fat. Instead, I focus on the definition and cuts of certain body parts.

So, that was the beginning of the very beautiful friendship I have with the gym. I did resistance and weight training aside from cardio. Slowly, my body took on a better form. I even did Bikram yoga for a bit to enhance my flexibility, burn fats in hard to reach areas, and improve my posture.

As for the gym, this is my routine:

– 10-15 minute warm up (intervals of running 2 minutes, sprinting 60 seconds)

– squats (20 reps with 20 lbs., 3 sets)

– kangaroo jumps (1 min, 3 sets)

– lunges with arm raises (5 lbs per arm, 15 reps, 3 sets)

– spiderman -think planking with sideways leg raises- (20 reps each side, 3 sets)

– mountain climbers (1 min, 3 sets)

– various arm and leg workouts (weights vary from 2 to 15  lbs.)

– abs, abs, abs! (anything but crunches, those NEVER get you anywhere)

– stretching

– cardio (20-60 minutes, depending on how tired I am or how much homework I have to do lol)

I took going to the gym as bonding moments with my siblings. It’s good to have a gym buddy to keep you motivated.

For the cardio, I usually take a class like body combat. If I’m too tired, I’ll just run on the treadmill again. On days that I don’t have much time (mahirap ang buhay science lol), I take a definitions class.

It may sound overwhelming, and at times it is, but whenever I think of skipping that last plank, or skipping cardio altogether, I remind myself of the pain I went through and use that as my source of strength.

For my diet, it’s not really a diet. It’s more of a lifestyle change. I no longer eat white carbs. Since I absolutely can’t live without carbs (figuratively and literally -forgive the science joke), I stick to brown rice and wheat bread. I also include lots of lean meat in my meals. I stay away from everything fried as well as fats. When I’m hungry, I make sure not to look at all the junk food mom has stocked in the room (#laglagan), and I snack on either an apple, grapes, a banana, or nonfat strawberry yogurt. I make baon lunch everyday that consists of one cup brown rice, one cup either steamed unsalted broccoli or asparagus, and one cup low fat spicy century tuna, steamed shrimp, or smoked salmon. I always have a skyflakes fit pack in my bag to munch on in case I get hungry in between classes too.

I’ve learned not to deprive myself because that would just lead to binge eating. If there’s something too good to resist on the table I’ll take a bite of it so I don’t have to keep thinking and imagining how good it would taste.

Lastly, instead of concluding with some emo quote or motivational mantra, I’d like to end on a lighter note. Here are a few of my favorite things to eat that prove healthy food doesn’t have to taste terrible.

1. BREAKFAST – One cup Nestle Fitnesse cereal or Greek Honey Bunches of Oats with almond coconut milk

2. LUNCH (always prepared by my mommy) – whole wheat tortilla wrap, turkey breast, A LOT of romaine lettuce, and a laughing cow non fat cheese slice

3. SNACK – Walter’s sugar-free wheat bread, Peanut Butter Co.dark chocolate dreams, and banana slices

4. DINNER – Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breast, grapes, and homemade cilantro-lime-EVOO dressing

So yes. You CAN do it. Not to be fit & fab but so you can be healthier AND fab! And since the new year is just around the corner, what better motivation than starting the new year right to a healthier new you!

Happy Holidays!

The new, healthier me.

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