FLY PROJECT: On Consistency & Game Plan

Swan Dive on the Ladder Barren
Swan Dive on the Ladder Barren with my trainer, Kevin of Vivian Zapanta Pilates Studio (Salcedo).

On my 9th week (On my third pilates class), my trainer and I had a thorough chat about goals and timelines. We agreed to set clear intentions on why we’re doing what we’re doing. Again, Pilates is a mind and body movement; it goes beyond just lengthening and stretching, it also practices so much mind work and alignments.

While he was guiding me through my practice, he told me to keep in-mind this famous Pilates wisdom: “Wherever your eyes go, your head will follow. Wherever your head goes, your heart will follow

I’d have to be honest though, I cringed a little but as I wake up everyday, having it listed on my phone to notify me in the morning to remind me of the wisdom, it’s slowly bringing so much weight and meaning – not just in terms of the mindful movement workout but also in general life decisions.

The game plan was ruled out. In a nutshell, I’d have to be diligent to my commitment. I promised to attend to my pilates sessions at least 3x a week for 90 days and we’ll focus on core and posture correction including progressive flexibility. As much as we wanted to tackle weight loss, we wanted to base the progress more on my body’s adaptability towards movement (and the inches). In my head, I was already imagining myself doing more headstands with much grace, handstands with so much strength and get to do splits again. Until then, maybe, Pilates would be the key towards working on my dream to happen. I do still want to take up Yoga certification in India. A girl can dream, right?

After Kevin and I had that chat while he was rolling some pilates balls on my back (the best part of each

Eye on the Prize. Let's work on Progress.
Eye on the Prize. Let’s work on Progress.

session, PROMISE!) he had me go through posture analysis and karada scan to check on my body composition.

To check on progress and for me to keep an eye on the prize; we agreed to have the posture analysis after 30 sessions and have the composition check every month. Let’s talk about pressure! I’m excited and nervous all at the same time.

Being someone who hates knowing what the numbers say, I fearfully faced the reality. There’s so much work to do.

If you haven’t heard it yet, One shouldn’t depend on movement alone. Pay attention to nutrition. Remember: Change happens in the kitchen. The equation states: 80% Nutrition, 20% Movement.

My week 10 turned out this way:

  • Monday: Pilates (Focused on the back and upper body)
    Tuesday:  Cassey Ho’s 1000 abs challenge
    Wednesday: Pilates (focused on lower body and sides)
    Thursday: Rest Day
    Friday: Pilates (focused on legs)
    Saturday: Tara Stiles Build Strength Evenly Yoga
    Sunday: Rest day but took a Corridor walk tour (lots of walking!)

Also, I just wanted to share my very first controlled headstand. Let’s turn the world upside down. So Stoked!

FLY Project: Monsoon is in!

It’s going to take awhile for me to get back to the distance I’m aiming and training for knowing my body is still adjusting and re-adjusting but with determination and persuasion, everything or anything is doable!

The summer finally gave it’s final push, our tropical country has welcomed the monsoon season.

On my 7th week, I worked on running intervals. I’ve progressed from jogging an entire 3km. Started to follow the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run running method again and perhaps, going to push for another Marathon next year.  It’s been 5 years since The Bull Runner Marathon and my first international race in Singapore.  Within the weeks of logging in mileage, I have improved, cutting 8 minutes of my time from the first day, 35 minutes down to 27 minutes for a 3km and 35minutes for a 5km (3km jog, and 2:1 towards the last stretch). Hopefully, in time, I’ll be able to achieve 3km in 18minutes (my then PR) and 25minutes for a 5km.

Towards the start of my 8th week. Life as it happens was quite challenging but  thankfully, I was still able run 3kms with a 1.5km walk, 4kms run and lifted some weights, a 1000m catch-up freestyle paddles and a half-day Bodyblast Pilates program at Vivian Zapanta’s Studio in Salcedo Makati for some core work.

Just like in any program towards progression, one had to keep on challenging himself or herself in order to move forward and achieve goals.  This is where the new challenge hops in. I have signed up for V2Fix Challenge, arranged by Vivian Zapanta in collaboration with V Kitchen. It’s time to add body weights and pay attention to nutrition.

I’ll let you know how it goes with the program. Wish me luck!

Subic-style fitness weekends in Manila


         Subic Fitness Festival is on the road to one of the country’s top destinations for sports featuring free fitness weekends happening in Manila all throughout September and October.

         Options Studio, located at the 15th floor, Tower 2 of the RCBC Plaza, Ayala Makati, will host an evening of signature workouts this Friday, September 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Coach Kenn Colubio will provide an intelligent and disciplined approach to fitness – Pilates!  Learn how to relieve stress and back pain; improve muscular balance and strength; prevent injury from bad posture or achieve a tighter waistline with better abs with Reform Pilates™ and Suspend Pilates™.

These innovative forms have been scientifically proven to increase flexibility and improve circulation throughout the body, making them suitable for athletes looking to enhance their performance, or fitness novices seeking alternative exercise routines.

The Saturday session will build bodies and buddies with fitness from the ground up as The Philippine Kettlebell Club will feature optimum core strength exercises and techniques.

On September 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., experience a well-balanced and energetic training session at the USPC Sports Performance Center located at 6B Felipe Pike Street, Bagong Ilog, Pasig City.  Individuals and groups are all invited to try out kettlebell, the SubicFitFest way.

Table Tennis experts will showcase Spins and Burns, on Sunday, September 15, at the PSC Rizal Stadium, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Headed by the legendary Ting Ledesma, Table Tennis Association of the Philippines serves the pack with a three-hour, sweat paddling work-out guaranteed to channel force with grace and precision.  A mind-muscle-eye coordination session with the country’s foremost advocates of the sport, this event will involve lots of swinging pings and smacking pongs to give participants a sample of the SubicFitFest experience.

 Organized by F&F Events International and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Subic Fitness Festival is set for November 15, 16, and 17, 2013, at Subic Free Port Zone – Harbor Point, Camayan Beach and Ocean Adventure. It is a gathering of 24 fitness disciplines in a grand event that offers to every Juan, Maria, Nene and Boyet, a holistic approach to fitness for a healthy and active lifestyle.

For more information about the free fitness weekends, contact Ramon Domiquil at 0915-9425926, or check out SubicFitFest on Facebook.

Introduction to Pilates: Core Reform

You may have heard this before: Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes but no plans. 

I have exactly a month to challenge myself to getting a better core, a deadline I’m pushing myself before I gracefully age another year. I can’t believe how the universe actually works but I do feel grateful on the blessings which I have been bestowed; I really do think that I finally know what I wanted to become and that’s to be my own success story but one can never be successful without the help of those people surrounding you.

Tonight, I got hit straight to my core. Literally and Figuratively.

Core Reform Day 1 at Options Studio with my Fitness Core Trainer, Love.
Core Reform Day 1 at Options Studio with my Fitness Core Trainer, Love.

From doing my own set of training running, practicing yoga at least 7 minutes a day at home and mixing it up with few minutes of boxing at FTX Fitness Exchange Gym in-between work schedules, I grasped the opportunity to become Options Studio’s mini-project: Here’s to hoping I get to celebrate my birthday with a tighter and trimmed core, lesser fat percentage and better posture.

Here is my introduction to the Core Reform Report.

Just like every student, I answered the assessment form wherein Options Studio’s instructor would scan through and discuss with you prior to starting out your class. My trainer, a young and beautiful 25-year-old Mother of a 1 year old son is truly inspirational; you wouldn’t even think she just gave birth a few months ago. She had her c-section to prove (Sorry, I just really had to share that, Love!)

The warm up wasn’t the typical treadmill, walk-in-place or jumping jacks but rather, you’ll be working with a 1kg weighted ball reaching the front, move through your sides and touching the ground to a slow motioned burpee like routine. It was unusual, I had a load of fun.

Love, my instructor (what a lovely name, right?) taught me the difference between the breathing done in Pilates versus Yoga. She explained, however the breath is a foundation of both disciplines; in Pilates, the inhale and exhale patterns, and use the breath to initiate and support movement are as much important.

Lateral breathing, or the contraction of the abs as she described it.

In lateral breathing we breathe deeply, all the way down the spine and into the pelvic bowl, but emphasize expanding the breath into the back and sides of the ribcage.

When the abs are pulled in properly, they protect the spine and act like a supportive corset for the whole trunk. Knowing how to breathe well while keeping the abs contracted gives us extra support throughout an exercise. As you practice lateral breathing, you will find that you are able to perform Pilates exercises with greater ease. It helps make the scoop of abs easier and enhances the sense of lengthening the spine with the breath.  — Wikipedia.

Assisting my hips and movement.
Assisting my hips and movement.

 As she walked me through each movement, she kept on reiterating on imagining I was wearing a corset all the time. What I love about Pilates is its therapeutic and rehabilitating factor. The Principles of Pilates makes you mindfully be aware and attentive to every move that you do.

Amongst all those activities I have tried, Pilates is very much concerned with alignment and functional, efficient movement.

I told Love on how concerned I am with my core and also problem in squaring my hips as well as over-protruding posture due to too much backbends and weak core when I gained tons of weight a couple of years back.

Love was very attentive and knew how to take good care of her client. She was with me all throughout and I was left shaking yet felt I was growing an inch long in every posture I was asked to do.

The props definitely are entertaining.  I had so much fun, I barely felt the hour we spent together.


We had tons of movement close to planks, activated the core while working on the upper body and lower body with an exercise band, played with a tiny weighted medicine ball and had a number of sliding movement on plank to pikes.

I felt like I was at a playground with too much toys to play with.

The routines are done on the reformer to promote length, strength, flexibility, and balance. There were numerous pushing or pulling the carriage, or holding the carriage steady during an exercise as it is pulled on by the springs; as well as pulses.

The Goal: Better core, awesome inversions. HAHAHA!

Gee, I’ve never had this much fun in quite such a long time!


I’ve committed at least 3x a week and they’ll even remind you not to forget your appointment.  Perfect. Care to join me?

Options Studio – Makati 
15th floor of the RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave. Makati.


Reasons & Powerhouse

A couple of weeks ago I focused on engaging my Powerhouse (Abdomen), coined by those who practice Pilates. Today, I had tons of house chores and having only 4 hours of sleep I wasn’t able to hit the gym but rather I managed to do a set of the exercise I did during my LOWER BODY SORE (Sept 22) post.

Alongside, I’m very much motivated and determined to lose inches not only for my clothes to fit right but also I’ve got to glam myself for upcoming special occasions. Here comes a hosting gig on friday, my cousin’s

Family Reunions, Oh No!
Family Reunions, Oh No!

Pre-Nuptial Shoot 2 weeks from now, Holloween, a debut plus my Mom’s birthday this November (Family reunions are always giving me high criticisms) then here comes Christmas then the Wedding on February which I have vowed I’ll look elegantly vivacious on that gown when I speak in front of the crowd.

Running and the gym visit shall have its time tomorrow, I’m back gulping on protein fruit shakes after work out and having my favorite Australian Oats in the morning.   I’m dearly praying I’ll be able to wear my favorite jeans before the year ends, get to have my core stronger for more surfing power and generated enough money for me to enroll back to Bikram Yoga, Capoeira and/or Swimming.