Sunday, October 21, 2012

2012: The year I got the "FIT - Complete not Compete" mindset. Thank you FITFIL and Coach Jim Saret!

Being a long time player in the ICT sector, most folks remember me as a "chubby" girl. My battle with weight loss always had me at the losing end of the game.

Shot taken April 2012
4-weeks challenge
Last summer (April 2012), I met Coach Jim Saret for the Immuvit MetaFit Challenge. It was a campaign I got tapped along with others blogger friends to try out his famous 4-minute workout daily for 4 weeks. The idea behind the program is to overcome the somatopause phase (middle age bulge). Get our bodies' metabolism "activated" and build stamina.

The program made me face my "patella femoral syndrome" injury as I need to shape-up to loosen the body weight my knees carry. Tried gyms who have its own physical therapist but was not happy with it.

Also got a lot of television interview exposure this year and can't help but noticed my face (sagging skin) as pointed out by concerned friends.

(discussion on techie-romance)

They say it takes 3 weeks to kick-in a habit. By the 3rd week of the challenge, I was already anxious and wanting to do more with my workouts. I began investing in fitness related items like medicine ball and theraband.

The challenge helped me lose around 10 pounds. This was also the time I signed up for the FITFIL Fitness Boot Camp in BGC.

FITFIL - Became one shirt size smaller

The biggest challenge when doing the 1 month FITFIL program was losing weight.

I found myself becoming one shirt size smaller - but not losing weight. In fact I also gained as I was not really able to work on my eating habits.

But one thing certain was - I became stronger and competitive. The 5 week program had two requirements for graduation. The first one was to do a 5K run on the end of 4th week. The second one was to complete a 500-workout on the last day. I recall ending our first week with the 100 workout. Then this increased to another 100 every week thereon.

I was able to accomplish both challenges and had my first 5k run last July 22. Joined a trail run also last August 26 where I did my 2nd 5k run.

Shot taken - October 3, 2012
FIT mindset - "complete rather than compete"

When FITFIL finished, like many, I panicked on what will I do afterwards. Got into dragonboat paddling, running, and swimming with completion goals to pursue my path to fitness.

The "complete rather than compete" mindset became my mantra in whatever sport I got into. For swimming, I want to build my ability to swim 1.9 km in open sea this year.

For running, I will participate, starting this November 2012, in at least 2 races of the following categories: 5k, 10k, 16k, 21k, and 42k.

Once done, I will get into biking.

For dragonboat paddling, my objective is to complete a race being in full-sync and speed with my boat mates.

The above after-FITFIL activities allowed me to shape up further. If not for FITFIL, I don't think I would even have the drive to get things done, with discipline, and prioritization.

Compared to the video interview above, taken last February 2012, I can say that my most recent one (October 3, 2012) already reflects a lot of changes as a result of the lifestyle changes made.

Becoming part of the FITFIL Movement
The FITFIL Movement of Coach Jim Saret aspires to have 1 million FIT Filipinos. It is a very powerful idea backed by a program advocacy of training people and trainers too (soon). Those who have benefited from it are doing the word-of-mouth marketing for the said program - encouraging others to join.

As a digital marketer, this kind of response made me re-think on how I approach projects. It made me believe, more than ever, that all campaigns should lead to the creation of a community where people can continue to interact and share their journeys.

Get the FITFIL Mania in you!
Am very glad that FITFIL will have a 3rd run before the year ends at SM Mall of Asia. Look forward joining it and reconnect with my BGC classmates (and meet new ones too).

From personal experience, getting into FITFIL helps shake-off the sedentary lifestyle that a growing number of us have. Gives you time to take a step back and let go of emotions hounding you during workout sessions. The open-air environment makes you blend with everything that surrounds you and be proud of the fitness choice made.

Personally, working out under the rain are just some of the unforgettable moments I had and very proud of it.

It can help your body become healthier and give your mind or heart the break it needs from anything toxic (which are usually self-inflicted).

Hope to see you at FITFIL Fitness Boot Camp at SM Mall of Asia this November 13 to December 15, 2012!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Swimming, losing 11 pounds, and 2 concerns with La Mesa EcoPark

With fellow Triton paddler - Bench Grande.
After finishing my FITFIL program last July, I got worried on what activity shall I get into next in order not to lose the physical momentum gained in that 5 week program. Dragonboat paddling (thanks to Nick Fontanilla) caught my interest and joined the Triton Dragonboat Racing Team.

The group is very dynamic and competitive. What I also like about it is the discipline expected from each team member that also compels you to focus during practice - giving all you got.

Also got the chance to experience my first Cobra Dragonboat Regatta last September.

I realized though that to become an effective paddler, one must have a lot of endurance. Otherwise, one can become a liability in the team and may result to not winning the race at the time it is needed the most.

MILO-APEX Running Clinic
Last September, I joined the MILO-APEX Running Clinic and signed up in the 10k group.

MILO-APEX Running Clinic strengthening sessions
We have 3 sessions in a week. The first two is more focused on improving strength while the Saturday sessions are intended for long distance run.

I have not been that diligent in attending the past 2 weeks though and hope to get back on track this week.

Will also need to make time to join the long distance runs on Saturday or replace it with actual runs.

Swimming lessons at La Mesa EcoPark

With Coach Paul.
I first visited La Mesa EcoPark thinking it would be the venue of Immuvit Trail Run Challenge. It wasn't. But fortunately, I end up discovering their swimming pool area and inquired if there's anyone who can also teach how to swim. That's where I met my current swimming coach, Paul.

Target swimming goal at 8000 meters
On my 7th session last week, finally got some confidence as I was able to swim (breast stroke) 500 meters in a 2 hour session. For my last 3 remaining sessions, I hope to achieve reaching 1500 meters in one session and increase that as I learn other techniques in my 11th to 40th session. My end goal for the 40th session is to be able to swim 8000 meters continuously and be able to do an open sea swim before the year ends.

Got the 8000 meters goal swim when I saw this open sea race and hope to be able to join one like this next year.

Improve overall goals
The strength gains I got in swimming got me motivated further in calibrating my goals to the point that I want to do the following from this post onwards:

1. Join runs alternating 5k, 10k, and 21k. I decided to do the 10k and 21k this year especially if my strength in swimming continuously improves.

2. Get a triathlon bike before the year ends. Sign-up with a triathlon trainer who can do bike refitting and train me on how to bike right. I guess when you reach a specific age, you can't just mess around with this kind of stuff.

3. Improve my dragonboat paddling strength and performance. My hectic sched and late sleeping hours the past two weeks made me missed the practice sessions but hope to get back on track this coming week onwards.

Improving endurance = weight loss
When I hardly lose weight up to the end of August since I started the MetaFit challenge last April (although I became one clothing size smaller), my goals became more endurance based and completing milestones. But this morning, I weigh in at a clinic and realized that I was able to finally break a weight plateau. Losing a total of 11 pounds since April maybe too small for some but I guess that is still better with the strength gained in the process.

2 concerns with La Mesa EcoPark

I really consider discovering the La Mesa EcoPark as a heaven sent. But as I frequent the place, one can't help but spot the problems there too. This includes:

1. FEVHAI vehicle security donation fee.
Before you can get inside La Mesa EcoPark, you will often pass the FEVHAI subdivision gate where the security guards will ask for 20 pesos. If you don't wait or ask, more often than not, they won't give you a ticket that says FEVHAI security donation.

But the problem there is that P20 is not stated in that ticket at all. Then you pay the La Mesa EcoPark entrance at P40 for Quezon City residents or P50 for non-QC residents. If you swim, there is another P80. I have no issue on the La Mesa EcoPark rates.

But I have an issue on the FEVHAI security donation which is equivalent to 50% of the La Mesa EcoPark entrance rates. I can't help but ask, doesn't La Mesa EcoPark have a right of way? FEVHAI does not issue any official receipt as well.

2. Smoking inside La Mesa EcoPark
I think it defeats the purpose of having an ecopark if you will allow visitors to smoke while they are inside. Worst, I saw smokers not disposing their cigarette butts properly and just throwing it anywhere in the park.

I hope they improve soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Imelda Marcos and Claudio Bravo: an art love affair

When I visited Ateneo Art Gallery in 2009 for the Double Exposure: Beyond Frame exhibit, photos of Imelda Romualdez Marcos immediately caught my attention. I appreciate how game she was in taking part in that photo shoot depicting how many women in the country, especially those in the political class, were trying to gain such level of prominence and influence like her. How her love for the arts, I assume, influenced a lot of her decisions and choices. I guess it also hid a lot of the loneliness and imperfections in her life.

In the 60s, one artist that caught Imelda's attention was Claudio Bravo and invited him in 1965 to the Philippines to do portraits for the First Couple. That became a reality when Eugenio Lopez Sr. and Pacita Lopez celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 1968. Royalties from Spain and Bulgaria arrived where Claudio was part of the entourage.

Painting by Claudio Bravo
Imelda Romualdez Marcos
Graphite, charcoal and conte crayon on paper
When I saw Claudio's portrait art work of Imelda Marcos, I was awed on how beautiful it was done. You can also see this art work until October 20 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila where the exhibit "Claudio Bravo: Sojourn in Manila" is ongoing.

That dress where a see-true like part of it was being blown by the wind - how it was captured - while the background landscape still being shown.

When I visit art galleries, I have learned early on that an artist has a message it wishes to convey through the image. How Claudio honored Imelda, even if the work was assuming to be commissioned, gave me a glimpse on a special side of Imelda Marcos that I hope to know more someday.

Claudio stayed in the Philippines from January to June 1968 to do painting commissions for prominent families in the country. He fell in the love with the country for its people and culture reminded him so much of Chile, his hometown. He was able to carry out more than 30 commissions during his stay in the country.

After Manila, Claudio made a successful exhibit in New York and got international fame. He moved to Morocco in 1972 and lived there for the next 25 years. Afterwards, he returned to his hometown in Chile until he passed away last June 4, 2011.

Claudio Bravo art works are currently on display at Metropolitan Museum of Manila until October 20, 2012. According to exhibit curator Tats Manahan, it is in the Philippines where Claudio started experimenting with color that elevated his hyperrealist style of work.

Maybe, when the politics between Marcos and Aquino is over, curated work featuring the former First Lady will be done without political bias - but an appreciation of this woman who is still, in my opinion, unmatched for her love of the arts as expressed in our various cultural sites in the country. Also, because of Imelda, Claudio stayed in the Philippines - where our culture and people - became part of this artist journey in exploring color in his hyperrealist art work.