TBR Clean & Mean Routine for 2014: Get Fit and Lose Weight (Part 1)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

I woke up on the first day of 2014 and, guess what, I was unafraid of the numbers on the weighing scale! Yeees!

You may be thinking: “What’s the big deal?”

First thing’s first, remove that scowl off your face. Di na uso ang Scrooge. Start the year with a smile.

Secondly, it’s a big deal for me because, for the first time in my adult life, I didn’t stress over my weight during the Holidays. Truth is, I usually gain 3 to 5 pounds during the Holidays and I spend the first quarter of each year working out to death to melt the fat off my jelly thighs.

But, this time, I was pretty confident that my weight was stable not just through Christmas but all throughout the entire 2013! What did I do differently? I finally made peace with food.

I would say 3 things helped me to maintain my weight and change my eating habits:


All my life I would go on periodic diets in futile attempts to drop a few pounds. I tried the Cabbage Soup diet, Skyflakes and Skim Milk for dinner diet, Nothing after 6pm diet, fasting on bread and water (like a true Catholic school girl LOL), and even diet pills. I would cancel out entire food groups—no carbs, no meat, no dessert—for weeks. I even tried Cheat Day Sundays last 2012, which only taught me to deprive myself all week and binge on weekends so much so that I’d wake up with a migraine on Mondays.  I lived many many years in fear of food thinking it was my biggest enemy. Worse, I would lose weight then gain it back…or even more.

In 2013, I didn’t diet AT ALL. But, before you think I could eat everything I wanted, it was more of just adopting a healthy lifestyle so that I didn’t feel like I was dieting.  I ate healthy food most of the time, but I allowed myself to eat junk—Cheetos, soda, brownies—once in a while and in moderation. (Hey, life is short and I believe we all should live it fully!)  By never feeling deprived, I realized that I rarely even craved for junk and, on the rare occasion that I did, I wouldn’t even devour the entire pack like I used to.

REMEMBER: It’s not about what you eat sometimes, but it’s about what you eat most of the time.


I had a paradigm shift with food. I stopped thinking about what I shouldn’t eat. I changed my focus on all the good, nutritious, delicious food that I could nourish my body with and those that could help fuel my running and triathlon. This is called “crowding out.” By filling myself with nutritious, wholesome food, I didn’t have much space for the junk.

REMEMBER: Food is fuel.


I worked out 6 days a week with Monday as my only rest day. I would run 2-3 times a week, swim twice a week, bike twice a week. Earlier in the year, I would also do Bikram Yoga. After Ironman Cebu 70.3, I enjoyed my workouts immensely as I focused more on fitness rather than a particular race.

Working out isn’t about dropping pounds anymore (unless I overate the night before LOL). It has become a regular activity that is as routine as brushing my teeth and showering.

If you’re too busy to commit to 5x a week, then 3x will do.  Just make sure they are efficient workouts so as not to waste your precious time away from work or family.  Workouts should also be fun.

REMEMBER: Don’t think about it. Just do it.

So, in case you woke up this morning fearful of the numbers on that scale or fitting into your favorite jeans, don’t stress. You are not alone! That’s exactly why I shared my learnings above for you.  Just like you, I’m still a work in progress.  I also have a lot of healthy resolutions and goals for the New Year.  I’m also taking up a course on Holistic Nutrition and Wellness and I try to practice everything I learn to nourish my own body and mind.  I would say what I learned was one of the key factors that helped me adopt a healthier lifestyle…and also the fact that I’m aging haha.

In my next post, I’ll be launching my TBR Clean & Mean Routine for 2014.  It’s a plan I initially made on my own for myself.  But, I realized I could share it with all of you and invite you to join me on this.

It’s a very simple plan on how to live a healthier, happier life without over complicating matters.  (I hate diet plans that have you making baon fruits while everyone is eating normal restaurant fare or those that have you counting calories before you dig into dessert.)  I’ll be sharing with you weekly tips on how to eat well and live well and you have to agree to work on the tip for the entire week.  I’m hoping by the end of the entire program, you would have at least kept one of those tips and practiced it as a habit.  This is a plan that can get you to lose weight and get fit in a simple way without taking too much time or causing inconvenience with the rest of your life.

Are you game?  Watch out for it!

7 New Year’s Resolutions Runners Should NOT Make

Tuesday, 3 January 2012  |  Bullish Insights

As the New Year rolls in, you probably have a long list of resolutions you’ve committed to when it comes to your most beloved sport.  I’m personally not big on resolutions, but on setting goals to achieve (What? My last public post on my New Year’s goals was way back in 2009?!).  But, I do know many of you runners have it all jotted down already.

Here are 7 New Year’s resolutions that I hope you DON’T have on your list. If you do, use your Body Glide or Hammer Gel to erase it from the list.  (Okay, not too sure if that’ll work, but you can try!)

(1) “I will join every race every weekend.” This will leave you A) bankrupt, B) injured, or C) both. Choose your races wisely.  If your argument to letter A is that you have more than enough money at the bank to finance your weekly races, then plan the races that you’ll run at an easy pace and those that you’ll race, then call me so you can treat me for breakfast after those races.

(2) “I will lose 10 lbs in 1 month because of running.”  It’s not impossible.  In fact, running will easily burn off that extra weight for you and then some.  But, as you very well know, losing weight too fast isn’t too good for your body.  Worse, if you’re competitive like uhm some people here, then it will seriously affect your performance.  Lose weight gradually and the proper way.

(3) “I’ll run a marathon this year just like my officemate.”  Who is your officemate anyway?  And what does he or she have to do with what should be one of the highlights of your entire running career?  Never ever set your running goals based on someone else’s.  Listen to your own body.  Set your own dreams.  There is no pressure to outwit, outdo or outrun another.  Last I checked, you’re not a contestant on Survivor.

(4) “I’ll beat that B#@Tch!”  Now, now, no need for cussing on this blog or on the road.  They say golf is a gentleman’s sport.  Can’t we try to make running for well-mannered and polite runners too?  Treat each runner, road organizer, blogger, volunteer, marshall, etc with respect and kindness.  I can’t understand how some people learn self-discipline and life values through running only to treat fellow runners like crap.  As for beating that other runner in a race, go ahead and do it, but shake her hand after the race. (No, don’t put super glue on your palm!)

(5) “I will run every single day.”  This is a common runners’ mistake.  Running daily may work for some, but it is not recommended for everyone.  It can cause injury especially for beginners.  It can also lead to dry hair, regular tardiness at work, and increased spending for detergent to wash your running apparel.  Allow your body to recover in between runs.  Vary the intensity of your workouts for optimal training.  If you want to train daily, then consider cross training.

(6) “I will stick to my training program come hell or high water.”  Seriously?  If high water comes in the form of Sendong, I would highly recommend you run for your life (no pun intended). Sometime during your training, life will get in the way (ex. you’ll get sick, your child gets sick, your husband gets sick, or you get sick of your husband…kidding!) so you must be flexible enough to adjust your program.  Don’t fret about it.  You’ll finish that half marathon, you’ll still have a chance of hitting your goal despite minor setbacks.

(7) “I will focus on running this year.”  Focus is good; it’s great!  And running can definitely color and enhance your life.  That’s what it did (and still does) for me.  But please have more to life than just running. Know your priorities.  Leave some space for other activities, events, interests, and more importantly, people.  Nourish your mind and soul with other non-running elements.  There’s nothing worse than sitting down with a runner who can’t talk about anything else but the next race, his fastest time, or the best running shoe on the market.  By loving running without letting it rule your life, you open yourself up to so many possibilities this 2012 and, yes, that still includes breaking your PR in that 21k!

Happy New Year, runners!

2010 Goals

Thursday, 31 December 2009  |  Bullish Insights

“Consider goals as launching pads to something far greater.”
– Cyndi Laurin

I began last year’s post with the quote above. And, this is how I intend to start 2010 and the rest of my running years thereafter as well. Forget resolutions; work towards a specific, attainable goal instead. Here are my 2010 goals for running:

  • To run a 4:30 marathon (4:15 would be an awesome bonus!)
  • To run a sub-2 hour half marathon
  • To run beyond 42k
  • To run any one of my dream marathons this year: Tokyo, New York, Paris, Chicago, Big Sur, or San Francisco. Another goal would be to figure out how I’ll get there!
  • To lose the 4 lbs. I gained two Christmases ago…gulp.
  • To listen to my body even when my mind says “Go, go, go!”
  • To remain consistent with 2x a week strength training (I don’t think I’ll ever learn to love the gym)
  • To eat less Cheetos Jalapenos (Lord, please help me on this one!)
  • To eat more fruits (I heart kiwis!) and more veggies
  • To drink less coffee and more tea (Starbucks’ non-fat Chai tea latte is my current addiction)
  • To drink more water
  • To blog more often
  • To visit my favorite running blogs regularly and to discover new ones!
  • To reply to all your emails/ comments (So sorry for not answering sometimes. This work-at-home mommy is always running all over the place–literally and figuratively!)
  • To launch my dream project, one that will finally allow me to use running to create some kind of positive change
  • Last but not the least, here’s a repeat goal from 2009, to continue to love running as I do now and as I’ve done since the day I started in 2006.  Some people have a love-hate relationship with running, but mine is all love. I only hope that running will love me back just the same by allowing me to run longer and faster for the rest of 2010.

Have a great 2010 to all of you!