Some activities become a lot more fun and exciting when done with a partner, and working out is a fine example. Not only does it make a nice bonding moment—it also motivates us to work harder for our fitness goals. That’s exactly what film director-producer Gino Santos and indoor cycling instructor EG Bautista, for their health and well-being, enjoy doing as frequent as every week.
The fitness duo opens up to ABS-CBN Lifestyle about how they their physical insecurities growing up. “I was very skinny and lanky,” says Gino—who directed Filipino film favorites Ex with Benefits (2015) and Sin Island (2018). EG reveals, “I was known back in grade school as a really chubby kid. It definitely was not one of the things I was confident about.”
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Instead of letting their figures stay stunted, they eventually became serious about squeezing exercise into their days to live a healthier life. For Gino, while he says he still has a long way to go with regards to achieving his desired physique, he’s already content with how much every gym session boosts not just his strength but also his confidence. “After I sweat or come from an extreme workout, I just have this glow and I’m ready to take on the day,” he shares, saying the same goes for EG who later became an instructor at Ride Revolution. The latter later declares, “Today, I teach anywhere from five to 10 classes per week. It has become increasingly challenging but fulfilling at the same time. I have never felt healthier than at any other point in time." He adds with a laugh, "Gino tries his best to ride once a week—my class only!"
When it comes to body positivity, the two look up to their coaches and instructors at the cycling studio. “They remind me that at the end of the day, it’s not about how you look but how you conduct your classes and how you are able to connect with your riders,” EG says, with Gino adding “They all have different body types and they all have their own journeys. They promote strength and being the best version of yourself.”
One thing they realized in their road to fitness is the importance of focusing on one’s progress. “Instead of nitpicking what’s wrong with other people, especially yourself, focus on the good,” stresses EG. “The fact that you’re healthy, the fact that you got up this morning—focus on that.”
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After all, the beauty standards portrayed on social media that can put social pressure on people aren’t real, says Gino. “There are a lot of beautiful bodies and people online, but because of filters and Photoshop, most probably 70% of it are edited.” EG agrees these are misleading and at most times, intimidating. “It’s either you’re fit or not. If you aren’t, it’s as if you aren’t supposed to post anything that shows your body. Social media has become a platform for unrealistic ideals, and it could become something very stressful especially for the young.” He adds, “If it has become toxic and has become a source of negativity, disconnect.”
Gino suggests keeping that in mind when struggling with self-love and body image. “When you see models or actors in a magazine or on TV, always remember they are usually manipulated with effects. In person, they all have blemishes and flaws, they all have their bad days, they’re human—just like you,” he concludes. Don’t do it for the ‘gram, he adds, “Post a photo of yourself not because of the likes. Post it because you enjoy the moment and you enjoy your life.”
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Photographs taken from instagram.com/ginomsantos and instagram.com/eggbautista