Choosing Progress

Mabuhay! It has been two months of remote training and I am happy to say that I have lost around 4kgs since my initial sign up (*crossing my fingers for Thursday’s weigh in since Marikit has been rejecting her meals leaving me to eat them*). No longer in the obese range and now “only” overweight. Slowly but surely as the now-two-year-old still isn’t showing any signs of weaning.

I think this deserves a mirror selfie. So, anneyong to you all!

In sporty leggings most days!

More than the kgs lost, I have been feeling stronger and more energetic since being more intentional with working out and being more mindful with my portions and food intake. I can now lift our water jug off the floor and into our dispenser stand! And exercising is no longer a chore. It really is true what they say – if you find a form of exercise that works for you (running, walking, jumping, lifting, cycling), it can really be fun and addicting! For me, it’s strength training coupled with some Low Intensity Training (LIT). These work for me because I don’t need too much sports equipment to be able to work out, I can do them at home while supervising the little one who can have her screen time, and I can do them rain or shine (a big plus since last month it kept on raining nonstop!).

Hello biceps! 😂

I’m very happy with how things are going so far. The truth is, I will probably gain all the weight back once we go for a second baby. But I hope to start off from a healthier pre-pregnancy weight (although my pregnancy with Marikit was actually very easy). I’m almost back to my pre-Marikit weight and I hope to be back to my pre-Marriage weight by 2022.

My 2015 self says hi as a fitspiration though I know my body will never become the same as it was before (hello, CS cut).

Beach body?

Lessons learned from this fitness journey so far:

1. If you find that pocket of time when you can be active, take advantage of it. For me it’s some time after breakfast, before the hustle starts. Thank God for flexible work hours! And for a now cooperative, only-a-little-bit-less-clingy toddler!

2. Portioning is actually not that complicated. In the metro, I relied on our food provider to count my calories for me. Here, we don’t have calorie-counted meals but my coaches re-taught me how to portion my meals using the size of my hand. I’m very lazy at counting calories and at weighing food so the eyeball method works for me.

3. As mentioned, when you find an activity that works for you, working out changes from being a chore and becomes a craving instead. I honestly can’t wait till my next workout and I look forward when the sets change as well.

4. Choose progress no matter how slow or fast. I have friends on fitness journeys who have been quickly losing weight and I applaud them! I’m on a slower route but I’m fine with that, especially considering my milk supply. Other friends are still starting out or needing a greater push so I am also here cheering them on. What matters is that we choose progress and that we choose to live healthier lifestyles.

My husband keeps joking that I am now a fitness guru. I laugh because I am far from it. But if I can inspire you to live more healthily, then I would be very happy.

So, here’s to good health for everyone!

Marikit joining my progress shots! 😂

Still Eating for Two

Hello – I am Mari Anjeli, 23 months postpartum and still eating for two. “Facebook Memories” is a traitor because all my thin pictures keep popping up. Right now, I can’t do anything much about it except eat more healthily and put in a little more exercise. I’ve shed kgs before. But since Marikit and I are still breastfeeding, I have to be more careful when it comes to my postpartum weight loss journey.

I was very big during my pregnancy. Marikit was quite small when she came out (I think we would have been able to push for a normal delivery – but that’s another story). I think 90% of what I ate as a pregnant woman still went to me and only a little bit went to my still petite baby. Yes, our little girl has a small frame (I’m pretty sure she got it from her dad). But she’s very healthy, gets sick only rarely, so her weight shouldn’t be much of a concern for us.

Me and my big belly.
Us and our teeny baby. 😅

My weight, however, has been my perpetual postpartum concern. Whenever Adrian asks me on how I’m doing, I usually reply, “I’m frustrated with how big I still am.” I tell him how the people I’m following on Instagram are already back to their pre-pregnancy weight and he says, “Mommy, artista naman kasi sila. Trabaho nila yun.” Good point, Daddy. Still, I can’t help but feel a bit down sometimes whenever I look in the mirror.

Almost 6 months postpartum.

In all fairness to myself, I did lose 5kgs at the start of 2020, allowing me to fit into some of my old dress pants. But that was also the time that Marikit’s weight plateaued – the mom guilt in me wonders if my weight loss had anything to do with it. The little one is now gaining steadily again, as did I (*laughs and cringes*). She gets her nutrition primarily from solid food, she drinks her water, and takes one bottle of chocolate milk when she feels like it. But, since her liquid is still primarily her momma’s milk, her momma has to make a lot of it. And breastfeeding makes this momma hungry. Very hungry. Yet, even if I weren’t that hungry, there are still leftovers to eat when she picks at her food. So there goes my weight loss goals.

But I had recently signed up for a remote training program that encourages me to be more disciplined with exercising and lets me be more mindful of my eating. After an initial assessment, I was given work out sets personalized for my lifestyle and body type. The program offered nutrition advice, too! So far I have lost some Benguet-quarantine weight. More than that, I also feel stronger and happier after each exercise session.

Stronger and happier!

I do feel that this works for me, so far, and something I can sustain in the long run. And I have to remind myself over and over to be kind to myself and my body because it housed a human being and still continues to nurture one. It is beautiful no matter what form but I do press on for a healthier one.

With that, wish me luck with this fitness journey! Still eating for two but making sure it’s all healthy and that I am exercising too. 🏋🏻‍♀️💙


Gift of Lessons: Three Lessons Learned

Three lessons for 2013. Wow. How hard is it to list down three lessons that you learn in a year?

Pretty hard, it seems.

It’s been quite an eventful year and three lessons might not be enough to sum up what I learned from each event. But here goes something — (because I really don’t want to say here goes “nothing”):

Lesson 1: It is important to learn to take care of ourselves holistically. By the first quarter of the year, I made a shocking discovery — my BMI showed that I was overweight, my fat to muscle ratio was very unhealthy, my visceral fat was ugh, and my body age was higher than I expected (my body was apparently forty-plus years old). That was not good. I had to do something about it if I wanted to live a long, healthy life (hey, I have dreams and a future to look forward to). I started exercising. I started eating well. Now, if my March 13, 2013 entry is accurate, it means I have lost a total of 10 kg as of today. Yey!

Lesson 2: Long Distance Relationships are not for the fainthearted. I believe I am blessed to have been able to see my SO three times in person this year, considering that I am in Malaysia and he is back home in the Philippines. But it’s not a walk in the park, you know? You have to be creative, you have to be understanding, you have to have a deep level of trust and commitment, you have to learn how to communicate well — and Skype and the Internet are at times a both a curse and a blessing. If you’re getting into this kind of relationship, be warned that it’s sweet but, realistically speaking, at times hard and bitter. Much like tiramisu. But hey. Anything worth having, anything worth keeping is worth waiting for and worth fighting for.

Lesson 3: It takes time and patience to get a book out. Yes I am still working on my project. I had underestimated the rewriting process. And the proofreading process, too. So… Hang in there, hang in there. We’ll get there soon enough. In the meantime, there are a lot more projects brewing up in my percolator. Maygash. I really have to set aside time to really focus and do these things. Well, 2014 is starting to look exciting!

So how about you guys? What did you learn this 2013?


Cheers from a healthier, happier me. ;)
Oh, that’s a healthier, happier me. ;)

Holistic Living

When I was in college, someone told me that man is made up of three core parts: the body, the soul, and the spirit. We have our physical flesh, we have our mind and our emotions, and we have that life inside of us designed for a deep, intimate connection with God.

Back then, I took that teaching to heart because of the spirit part — we live our lives with God-shaped holes inside of us because that innermost part was snuffed out ever since the fall. Only when we say “yes” to Him do we get to have the fullness of life back; only when we say “yes” do we get to have our spirits restored.

I love that teaching. I’ve found it to be true in my life and have seen it to be true in the lives of other people as well. Yet these days, I am also learning something new. The spirit is of utmost importance — yet the body and soul are both important, too.

For so long, I’ve been focusing all my energy on my spirit. In the process I’ve stopped taking care of my flesh. I’ve stopped taking care of my emotions, too, at an overwhelming number of times. But I believe we are holistic beings. We should take care of what God calls His temple. And we should not neglect our minds and our hearts as well.

I’ve been going to the gym and I’ve been trying to eat healthier these days. I want to make this a lifestyle and not just a one-time thing. How can I serve my God fully if I won’t be able to live that long because of a deteriorating body?

And how can I serve God if I can’t really do it joyfully? Thankfully, my soul’s much better these days (yihee). And it’s not just because I’m in love or anything. Truth be told, I’ve had battles with bouts of depression last year, but through the months that passed, I learned to do things that made me happy (like writing, for example). You’ll find me smiling more these days. Laughing more, too.

Something’s lacking in my spirit again, though. I need a fresh encounter. Like Misty Edwards sang in one of her songs, “Yesterday’s depth is feeling really shallow, I’ve got to go deeper, deeper, deeper still.” And in all honesty, I just need to get away from all the busyness of the world and spend time to acquaint myself with the lines of His face again.

I’m going to do that. I need to do that.

So there you go. Let’s go for holistic living folks. We only get to live this life once. Let’s make it count.

See me oh-so-happy because I’m going to live oh-so-holistically? Yey!