Health & Wellness

The two F’s: Fat and Fitness

LIILY GYAL – The two Fs: Fat and Fitness

Hey, everyone! So I just wanted to share with you guys that I’m getting back on the horse with my fitness routine – and sticking to it! You’re probably reading my status, thinking, “Fat and fitness? They can’t go together!” But you know what, I can do it – just like so many others who have been doing it! Being a former competitive athlete, it was very easy to stay in shape because I didn’t feel like I was working out. I was doing sports that I enjoyed, and they coincidentally kept me fit without thinking twice about it.

So what are my fitness goals?

Right now, I have some very basic goals, but I’m still unsure as to how I plan on measuring them. I’m also trying to come up with a routine that isn’t too harsh on my knees. Overall, this fitness routine is for me to feel healthier, and if I happen to lose some weight along the way, then that’s an added bonus! But, for the most part, I’m looking to gain more muscle and be more toned.

Here are some of my goals:

  • make my thighs stronger to support my knees better so that they don’t hurt as much;
  • not feeling so winded from brisk walking or walking up a flight of stairs;
  • not being so sweaty from very little physical activity;
  • to comfortably fit some of my favorite outfits so I save more money (haha);
  • tone my curves; and
  • to just feel better all around.

How will I achieve my fitness goals?

The activities I’ve chosen are based on my personal preferences and limitations. I also made sure to choose a handful so that I don’t get bored too easily.

  • Brisk walking: I gotta start somewhere. I know I can’t go right back into sprints or else I’d re-injure my knees from being unable to support my current weight.
  • Basketball: I don’t plan on hitting the pavement as hard as I used to, but with just the general movements of jogging back and forth on a court, and constantly waving your arms around is a workout of its own.
  • Tahitian dancing: I kinda wanted to toss this in for fun. There are no classes offered during my free time, so I only plan on getting workout DVDs. This, too, isn’t too hard on the knees.
  • Swimming and water aerobics: Now that I have health insurance with the paper, free water aerobics classes are offered.
  • Stationary bike: Although this is often suggested for my knees, I don’t really like it. It’s boring and it hurts my booty. However, I do plan on using my stationary bike at home when I don’t have time to travel to work out.
  • Weight training: I actually like this and it’ll definitely help me tone my body. I don’t have a machine, but I do have some dumbbells and I can use my own weight as resistance.
  • Better eating habits: This one is particularly hard for me because I’m too busy to meal prep. I do plan on limiting my soda intake and replacing it with more water though. One of the harder things I want to do is limit my white rice intake, which will be a nightmare because I’m Filipino and I grew up on eating rice with everything.
  • Supplementary vitamins: I decided to take Centrum tablets. So far, I actually do feel better, more positive, more alert, and I even sleep better at night.

I wasn’t always this fat

Sports had a huge role in my life for as long as I can remember. I got into basketball at a very early age because of my dad – who was semi-pro in the Philippines. And during the off-seasons, I got into playing volleyball, soccer and tennis. Eventually, I made it as far as playing for the Guam national women’s basketball team.

However, after tearing my right ACL and lateral meniscus when I was 16, and then dislocating and chipping my left kneecap at 19, I made the hardest decision to hang up the towel. I didn’t want to be using a walker by 35, and I didn’t want to keep shelling out money for surgeries and extensive therapy.

Growing up, I was always on the heavier side. At my fittest, I was 198 pounds muscle. But when I stopped playing sports and exercising regularly, my eating habits didn’t change. I was still eating like how I would as an athlete, which led to the slow accumulation of body fat.

Healthy is for everyone

Again, I would just like to reiterate that I’m not doing this to become skinny. I don’t even believe my genetics would allow me to be that. Haha. But what I am doing is to becoming more fit and toned for my size. Being healthy isn’t exclusive to only skinny people, which is what I teach my students.

And now, I’d like to hear from you! Are you on a fitness journey of your own? Let me know in the comment section below and share your progress with me! Do you want to be more healthy, but you don’t know where to begin? That’s absolutely fine! We all gotta start somewhere, but sometimes, that’s the hardest part.

But you know what? You can do it.


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