FINANCIAL FITNESS: Seven Nuggets of Wisdom

It was 2005 when I had the realization that I should take charge of my finances.
I was already working for quite some time, but didn’t have any savings.

A friend of mine shared his favorite book, “The Richest Man in Babylon” and at the same time, my brother was trying to influence me into taking a look into my financial status.

Since then, I was able to get a grip on things, slowly paying off my personal credit card debts and invested in some Retail Treasury Bonds (RTB), Time Deposits (TD) and the some Blue Chips in the Stock Market.

Back then, I was challenged as a single mom, trying to get back on track.
Years after the realization, I was able to make the change and had my own share of learnings along the way. These are things one would read in books, but for sure, these had helped me out a lot.

Sharing the Seven Nuggets of Wisdom that had helped me out during those times.

1. It’s all in the mind. 

Wealth is a mind game.

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Unless your parents are already millionaires and tycoons, almost everyone starts from scratch, zero, nada.  A more specific case is that if one is deeply in debt, relying on credit cards to live and funds coming in is not enough, having allocation for savings is the least of your priorities.
If you could relate to this scenario, don’t despair ~ I was in that exact situation 10 years ago.
Know that, as long as you have working income, you can convert that into passive income, IF YOU DECIDE. Be with positive, like-minded individuals. Develop a goal, device a plan and track your progress. What the mind can conceive, it can definitely achieve.

2. Develop the habit of saving. 

 Give yourself  10% no matter how small or big. It’s the habit, not the cost.

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 Be it Php 100 a month, Php 1,000 or even Php 10,000, it doesn’t really matter as long as you start on in. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.

3. Learn to find beauty in simplicity.
Simplify your life. Turn of the television, do picnics with the kids, run in the park and have mini picnics. Your kids will thank you more for it. Time spent with family is what makes childhood memories more special and memorable.
Do bike commutes,get on you bike and reduce your carbon footprint. Enjoy every moment of movement and the zen feeling of just breezing through traffic with just you and your bike.

4. Manage your wealth. 
Being stewards of wealth, we are gauged by how we manage what we have.
If we know how to manage the small stuff, we can then be trusted with the bigger stuff.

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Know how to minimize your extra expenses and determine the thin line between wants and needs. If you must, buy more assets that liabilities. Being a good money manager is the sure fire way to financial freedom

5. Make your money grow. 
It is not how much you earn but what you do with the money coming in.
Learn about your options with different investment vehicles: business, stocks, real estate, time deposits, etc. Expand your knowledge base and take calculated risks.

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Be open to opportunities for your money to grow – broaden your network and meet new people.
Who knows, your next business deal would probably come from that person you met in the gym!

6. Know there is joy in giving.
You might not feel that there is anything to give, but, looking at nugget #1, If you keep on telling yourself you have nothing, then your physical reality would prove your right.
As stewards, it is our duty also to share what we have.

Let us all learn from the majestic tress. They give that they may live.
When you prune a branch or pick a fruit, nature makes sure that it grows back after a time. The law of nature shows that the more you give, the more you grow.

7. Have fun in our way to financial freedom.

These simple things surprisingly makes a big difference to help you reach your financial fitness goals. Try it out and share what your nuggets of wisdom are!

How to Make the Most Use of Your Planner (Three Simple Ways to Productivity)

I love fitness.
I also love writing, reading and yes, collecting planners. 
Some might say, in this digital world, writing in paper is near extinction – I say, it’s a lost art that is a gold mine once discovered.

In my case, having these notebooks and binders give me this compelling need to use them  for whatever function they may bring, then again, we all know that it is not possible.

Take your pick

I eventually came to terms with the thought that these are just tools for me to do what needs to be done, while enjoying what I love doing — which is writing, and providing a venue for creativity. As tools, we  need to know what works and what does not.

Everyone wants to be productive. 
There is a sense of accomplishment when one ticks off a “To Do List” or when things happen as planned. With this thought in mind, a question popped up :   What do we “plan” for? What goes in our “planners” or notebooks?

In this post, I am sharing three things that I have realized would help in “planning” your day.

First of all, know your non-negotiables.

What is it that you love doing? 

If I say that I LOVE FITNESS, then, I should make sure that it is scheduled in my day, if not, it’s just lip service and I would not be “walking the talk”.
Choose your Top 3 things that needs to be done for the day and make sure that what you incorporate what you love doing in your MUST DO list — until it becomes a routine.

30 minutes of various exercises a day makes a big difference!

Second. Know your role.

What are the various roles you play in life? 

For me, I am a mom for four lovely teeners, a wife of a very supportive husband, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a believer of God. 
With this in mind, I would make sure that I do my commitments on each role and balance my activities based on the outputs required of me for those roles.

Third. Know your goals.

What do you want to get accomplished in the big picture? How do you want your 2016 to be? What do you want to do, what do you want to have? 

Make sure that everyday, you are working towards that goal. 
Another way to solidify your goals is by creating a vision board which will be discussed in detail in my next few posts. It is always good to have visual reminders of how you want your life to be, and what best way to make that happen than to always be reminded of it with a page dedicated as a portable vision board in your planner.

Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebounded). Have a short term (1 year), medium term (3 year) and long term goal (5 year) and ensure that what you are working on is supporting the goals you have set for yourself. 


With these points, I can then start my planning at any point in time.
I just need a small quiet spot, some coffee and my planner.

Coffee and some planning, a sure fire way to start a great day no matter where you are

Happy planning!

15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Fitness – Part 2

As promised, here are the remaining items on the list..

     6.    Magazines
Reading fitness magazines and looking at possible workout moves motivate me. 
Yes I am aware that most are perfected by photoshop and some are probably genetic freaks, but being a visual person, fitness models and their workouts motivate me to work harder. 
Fitness mags for PinayFitness geeks.

Besides, cut outs are a good addition to one’s Vision Board (hmm.. might do an article on that one time)

     7.    Blogs
I know that reading blogs inspire me. This is the same reason why I decided to bring back the habit of writing in my blog. It gives me accountability to my readers and who knows, I might be inspiring other people with my PinayFitness Journey too.
Until I have figured out the “subscribe” button, please feel free to visit my blog anytime. lol.

     8.    Success Stories
If a fitness website has success stories, for sure I will go back and read inspirational stories. Showing the ups and downs they go through is such a learning experience.

     9.    Instagram
Those catchy memes in Instagram really helps me in getting back on track. I usually download them and make them my wallpaper or share in the PinayFitness Facebook Page.

     10.  Forums and Facebook Groups
Talking about one’s fitness concerns and sharing ideas in a group full of like minded people would definitely help your fitness goals. Check in daily. 
Interact and post : PinayFitness Facebook Page

Post and interact. It really helps. Be part of the PinayFitness Facebook Group and share your thoughts on fitness too!

     11. Rewards
If you exercise for a few days, give yourself a reward! Progressed to a week? Add another reward. Do it often during the start of you “Balik Alindog” Program.
Stickers and pretty stuffs are my rewards. How about you?

In my case, my “rewards” are stickers. I am a member of a planner community & it gives me pleasure to put stickers in my monthly planner, knowing that I got it done. Weird, but that’s how I roll.

     12. Stress Reliever
Work. Home stuff. Life in general. Yup. All stress producer. Exercise = stress relief.
I also use exercise to regenerate and refresh myself as a form of rest.

13. An exercise log / graph
Writing it down makes a whole world of difference. Monitoring your progress in you planner, writing what you ate, how many glasses of water you took in (hydration is very important!), you body weight and tape measurement – then graph it at the end of the week for four weeks. You’d be pleasantly surprised once the month ends.
Graphing my one month progress was a great motivation for me!

14.  An exercise class

Golds’ Gym Bootcamp, Cardio Martial Arts, Yoga. These are my favourite combination. I have fun working out with my kiddos, laughing at each others moves during the class, and eventually putting in that workout for the day. Invite your friends to join you for a class and for sure, you’ll be motivated to go there and workout.

     15. A day at the beach or a Class Reunion.
Yep. You know how that feels.
Last December trip. Good thing I was beach ready!

So how about you? How do you motivate yourself?

15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Fitness – Part 1


 a ten letter word that is so hard to keep up. If this specific word has a gender, it probably is a lady that is super high maintenance.
We all can relate to writing resolutions at the start of the year and planing to work out – actively tackling it on the next few days, only to stop after a week or so, then trash it all and go back to the same old rut. It is the second month of the New Year, so how are we with our goals and plans?
But, how does a regular pinay with lots of things in her plate, find motivation to exercise when you feel that just thinking about it makes you tired already? I ask myself this million peso question every now and then, and I know that I’m not the only one.
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Yes I have days when I struggle with putting in a workout in my schedule. I know that I should start making it a habit until it is part of my PinayFitness Routine, but the “M” word  is needed until the habit sticks and that, is where the challenge begins.
Recently however, I felt so happy because after lots of failed tries,  I was able to actually work on my goal – I was able to find motivation that was needed to make the habit stick. 
In this post, I am sharing what I did differently and what had helped get back on track.
The happiest loss of all. Loss of excess body fat.

Feel free to see if you can make some of these ideas “your own” so you can start working on your fitness goals..

     1.    Your before picture.
The past months have been really telling that I haven’t been exercising. The picture below shows how, from a fit 2014 me, I was transformed to a fatter version of myself.
My kids usually comment on how I gained weight and had been teasing me a lot about it  and that motivated me to do something before it goes awry – making it hard for me to get back.
     2.    Me Time.
Capturing the moment. My youngest kiddo and her “me-time” on the treadmill.
I enjoy spending time alone a lot. A time to think about things in my own personal quiet time. As a mom, a sister, a daughter and a wife, we usually take time taking care of others  but we don’t make time to take care of ourselves. Prioritize your “me time”, don’t miss your own workout appointment, so that you can give more to others.
     3.    How you feel after a workout
I know the feeling of dread before working out. “Oh no, do I need to work out again?” We sometimes hear ourselves complain. All possible excuses comes to mind once you decide to workout.  Interestingly however, during a workout, the adrenalin and endorphins kick in, that after a workout, it beats having an espresso shot!
Post Cardio Martial Arts Endorphin high with my daughters
and  Miss Universe / Philippines’ trainer John Cuay.
Store that feeling in your memory bank. Put that in your “happy place” and know that how you would feel afterwards would be a great motivator for your fitness goals. Tell yourself “You know you’re gonna have a blast and feel great after this workout  [INSERT NAME HERE], so let’s do it!
     4.    Having fun
Find a workout that’s fun for you. 
I love biking. I love the feel of air in my face (provided that I’m not navigating C5’s  and EDSA’s pollution filled road), I love pedalling through the streets of the metro and racing jeepneys and cars (in my mind hahaha). I love it so much that time just flies – 30 mins to an hour is over without me noticing it. 
Make it FUN.
Find an exercise that’s spells F-U-N for you. If it isn’t, look for one. It might be running, or having an outdoor adventure, as long as you’re moving, it’s all good. I also love lifting weights (no, it does not make you bulk up like She Hulk), so I spend some time lifting in the gym too.
Yes, this is FUN for me.. You have to figure out what’s FUN for you!
5.    How you’re going to look.
I have teens that love clothes shopping. 
Often times, we’d dress up and check out stuffs in the mall and they’d comment if it looks good or, if fat and flabs showImagine how consistent workout would let you buying the nice clothes that fits – Imagine how a fitter slimmer you can motivate. 
Imagine and let that visualization drive you. 
This was a recent photo after resolving to do something about it.
If 2015 was a not so physically good year, I will do my best to make 2016 better.


Once the changes start taking effect and unknowingly, someone notices it, it feels good and it makes you want to work out more.

Motivation 101

There are days when you feel like you just want to do anything.. at. all.
During those times, motivational quotes really help out a lot.

Sharing with you quotes that I love reading.

*  70% of ALL PEOPLE who start a FITNESS PLAN QUIT.

* Go do something that makes you SWEAT.


* I train because I want to defeat the me who couldn’t do it yesterday so I can be better today.

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.* Your body can do ANYTHING…. you just have to convince your MIND.

* A workout is a personal triumph over laziness & procastination.

* When you’re struggling, REMEMBER THE OUTFITS YOU WILL WEAR.


* BEAST is someone who gets up even if they can’t.

* This is not what Barbie looks like.     This is not what Fashion Models look like.
   This is what FIT looks like.  This is what being HEALTH looks like.    This is sexy.

* When in doubt, WORKOUT!

How about you? What are your favorite motivational quotes?

Why NOT Being Successful IS Selfish

Hello readers!

It’s been more a year of not updating my site as I’ve been busy with various events and fitness activities offline. Going through various phases, it’s interesting how one still gravitates to one’s passion as working on one’s passion is a surefire way of finding success.

SUCCESS. A concept that most people want to achieve in their lives — It’s interesting how I’ve been reading articles about how you need to be selfish in order to be successful and every time I finish reading, it always makes me wonder if that’s the only way to do things. “To be successful, you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve” — Apologies to His Airness MJ but those words saddens me a lot.

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Imagine the surprise I had when I heard Ray Higdon say (paraphrasing it a bit)  “Most people think success is selfish — but the thing is, it’s selfish NOT to have Success”.


And he went on further saying…

 ” You have a powerful story within you and if you don’t succeed, you’re just going to keep that story inside you, without sharing it to other people, and you’ll never inspire a soul — THAT is selfish. There’s a music inside you that needs to be heard.. that needs to be played – don’t die with the music inside you… For you not to have success is extremely selfish – you NEED to have success so that you can make an impact in this planet, so that when you come to the end of your days, you can say that you made a difference — that you make an impact in this planet and you made a difference in people’s lives. Touching people’s lives can only come from you performing from a higher level — and that is required to make a contribution in this planet.”

Those words, though simple, haunted me and made me want to share it with you guys.
Those words made me want to write again.
Those words activated something deep inside of me that despite being rusty with my writing, I decide to push through and share my thoughts.
So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think being successful Is selfish or not? 🙂

Reward Yourself

So you’re slowly inching in towards your goals.. Then what?
Oh yeah, the reward  – It’s important to reward yourself for your accomplishments during your fitness journey.
Reward yourself for the behavioral changes as well as physical.

After all the key to maintain  the habit  depends on the lifestyle changes you’ve made along the way.

Your rewards need to be non-food rewards.
The purpose of rewarding yourself is to strengthen your resolve to have that fitness lifestyle and maintain it.
Rewarding yourself increases your awareness of all that you have accomplished.

These are some of the list that I happen to stumble upon in my readings:

1. Begin a “Success Savings” Put PHP 100 (or any amount  you think is doable) in it for every week you’ve achieved your goal.  Put  PHP10 or PHP50 in it for every pound you’ve lost .
You decide the amount of money you’ll give for the desired action. Such as for sticking to your  plan. Not pigging out when you were depressed. For each pound lost. For each day or week you stick to your meal plan.

2. Buy or make a special piece of jewelry – be it a bracelet, necklace, earrings or rings. Every time you wear it, you’ll be reminded of your successes.

3. Begin a collection – be it stamps, mugs, dolls, action figures, memorabilia etc. Each time you achieve a goal, allow yourself to buy another item for your collection.

4. Get a massage. It’s relaxing and will reenergize you from the inside out. A little pampering can go a long way.

5. Get your hair done, either a dye, cut or do. Try something daring. Have fun and experiment with your new look. Get a makeover with a professional. And when you’re all made up you may as well get a glamour shot. When you look good on the outside – you feel good on the inside.

6. Enjoy the outdoors and buy yourself a bike if you don’t have one yet. If your wan’t to indulge in the “kikay” you, get yourself your favorite designer bag!

7. Pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure. Try a sparkling new color.

8. Have a night out at the movies with a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Skip the popcorn.

9. Enjoy a leisurely morning at the park. Breathe and take in the fresh air. Spend time with your kids, watch them play.. Get in tune with the simpler things in life.

10.  Buy yourself a new outfit to show off your new body.

11. Redecorate a room in your house. Let your creativity flow. Let the room capture the real you. Don’t be afraid to go a little wild.

12. Do something daring … Something you’ve always wanted to try. Go cliff diving, bungee jumping, hang-gliding, parachuting, white river rafting etc. get a new tattoo (or piercing). Something that’s uniquely you.

13. Buy a new book and schedule uninterrupted time to read it.

14. Give to you favorite charity. It always feels rewarding to share what we have.

15. Fun in the Sun. Plan a trip to Boracay, Coron or Bohol and show off what you have worked for upon achievement of your goals!

These are just some ideas to help you spark you imagination — I’m sure you could come up with hundreds of ways you can reward yourself.

After-all you know yourself best.

Your weightloss journey is your personal experience.

It’s about you, every challenge you have overcome and every little goal that you have achieved.