By Ria Gamboa
About four years ago, was finally time to lose weight at 7:30 a.m., I was at the gym I decided it working out until my arms and legs gave in. I was, as what other beginners would find themselves, obsessed—especially when the results started showing. The start was a definite slow burn until I got into the groove. I started eating right and even got a personal trainer. The next thing I knew, i was 30 lbs lighter and in the best shape of my life.
But what happened next was something I never expected would happen to me. Despite my smaller waistline and compliments from the people around me, I wanted to lose more weight.
Soon enough, the gym wasn’t cutting it for me. I turned to diet pills and laxative teas, replaced meals with liquids, and, eventually, lost a couple more pounds. I looked great, but I didn’t care if my habits weren’t doing my body any good.
My story is more common than you think. With so-called fitspirations that run the gamut from Victoria’s secret models to Kendall and Kylie Jenner plastered all over social media, it’s no surprise that this gung-ho movement to hit the gym and lose the weight is all the rage. To say that the pressure to attain the kind of thin our favorite celebrities have achieved is intense would be the understatement of the year.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have abs like besties Taylor Swift’s and Karlie Kloss’, but it’s another thing to keep working out merely for vanity’s sake. It’s important to remember that “fit” and “thin” don’t always go together.
“Never look at physique as an indicator of fitness,” shares coach Jim Saret, a professor of sports science at the University of the Philippines and trainer to various Olympic teams. “Being fit means you have strength, endurance, stamina, and flexibility. You should also stop looking at your weight as a gauge of fitness. You could weigh heavy, but if you’re low on body fat then you’re fitter.”
While many of us share the same fitness goals (to shed pounds and to get toned), what many young girls don’t realize is how far their bodies can go or their bodies’ response to training. Some may lose the weight faster, while others may have to work a bit harder. Unlike resigning to the fact that your genetics caused you to be the way you are, knowing and understanding your body’s ideal fitness goals is the key to being in your best shape ever. “In these modern times, being skinny is no longer the standard of being fit. Strong is the new sexy,” says coach Jim.
While I may not be at my lightest today, I've come to realize the value of being stronger versus being skinny. I ’m able to do things I’ve never done before, like climbing mountains and free diving—and I‘ve never felt better.
ARE YOU GYM-OBSESSED?
The telltale signs you are—and why you should step back before it’s too late!'
1. You feel the constant need to work out more.
2. You get agitated when you miss a workout day.
3. Your gauge of happiness is based on a number on the weighing scale.
4. You spend way too much time in the gym, which affects other aspects of your life like friends, family, and career.
5. You train like an athlete, even if you aren’t one, despite your injuries.
THE GENETICS OF SKINNY
Coach Jim Saret fills us with the deets.
How much is too much exercise? "Fitness is a journey, not a destination. Once you’ve hit your ideal or target weight and physique, you just have to maintain it. Everything will depend on your finess goals. Make sure to map out realistic ones, too. Remember, being skinny or losing weight doesn’t necessarily translate to being fit."
Does genetics play a role in fitness? "Yes. Genetically, we’re born with certain body types and sizes. For example, if obesity runs in the family, then there’s a high probability that your body will be predisposed to it as well—especially if you aren’t careful. It’s the same if you come from a family of skinny, small-framed body types. However, genetics can always be affected by the lifestyle choices we make. It can play a part, but we can choose to embrace it or not."
How do you come to terms with your body type? "First, you have to learn to love yourself. Second, accept what you’re gifted with then learn to work around it. If you’re born with big bones then, maybe, you shouldn’t be a Victoria’s Secret model. Maybe, you were designed to be a superstar athlete? The same goes for small-framed girls who want to become athletes. We all have our own unique talents. You just have to find out what’s for you and what isn’t. Learn what you can be good at, and you’ll be surprised how happy you can be."
FITNESS GONE WRONG?
Celebrities who have taken workouts too far"
MADONNA. While she’s as fit as ever, the timeless pop queen is a terrifying sight of skin, veins, and bones when all of makeup comes off.
KIM KARDASHIAN-WEST. Everyone knows this sister loves her curves, but, after her waist training, the effects are so severe, it just seems unhealthy!
CHRISTIAN BALE. While his extreme 63-lb weight loss was for his film The Machinist, crash diets are never good. This shape-shifter lost more weight for another role in The Fighter. Yikes!
NICOLE RICHIE. The reality star-turned-designer may have been overweight before, but her current frame looks so frail. It’s crazy how she looks like she’s bound to keel over any time!
JAKE GYLLENHAAL. This actor admits to becoming addicted to pumping iron and working out despite the injuries and pain.
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Photography Ian Castañares / Styling Rj Roque / Makeup Muriel Vega Perez. / Reynard Bonuzo of Triple Luck Brow And Nail Salon / Models Jerome Tan And Nicole Yu / Shot on location at Anytime Fitness, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City / Special Thanks to Jam Parungo of Anytime Fitness and Ogie Rodriguez