What an Inspiration!

Posting this to inspire us ladies who need a little motivation.

Okey, take a good look at the lady in the picture and try to guess her age.

She’s no pinay but the fine lady in the picture recently made it into the Guinness Book of Record as the “World’s Oldest Female Body Builder.”

Her name is Ernestine Sheperd.
So, how old do you think she is?
40? 50?

My guess is as good as yours.. and we are ALL wrong.

Try Seventy Seven… yes you read it right.. 77!

Surprised? To know more about her, check out her article and video here and be totally inspired!

Her message is clear and inspirational: “being out of shape” as we age is something we can now contest. She is indeed a role model not just for senior women, but for everyone else who have read or heard about her story.

Need motivation?

Think of how a lady of 77,  Ernestine Shepherd , and how her dedication and commitment can make a difference in one’s life.

Thank you Ernestine, for showing us that these things are possible!

Now That the Holidays are OVER: Damage Control

It has been a few weeks since we have taken down our Christmas decors. 
Christmas carols are not playing on the radio and the last of the fireworks of Chinese New Year is no more.

I was hoping that since the tell-tale signs of the Holidays are now all gone, the remnants of the holiday bingeing, the proof of all these festivities would all be gone too. But sadly, unlike the Christmas decors, lights and Christmas carols, with FAT , that is not the case.  It is common fact that taking control of your weight can be hard during the holidays due to series of food-related celebrations during all those reunions and get together parties.  So how can you undo the damage done by a holiday meal so that it doesn’t have such a negative impact on your body weight?
I will be sharing with you how to go about with controlling whatever damage was done during the happiest season of the year.

1. Assessment : What is your number?

First of all, ask yourself: “How much weight did I gain during the past three months?”
Excessive eating and drinking might be the name of the game during the holidays and without you noticing it, the pounds have added up. A great wake up call would be to know that number and use that to motivate you into planning that GREAT COMEBACK!

2. ACT : Just Do It! 

The next thing that you can do to practice damage control is to get into the gym and do a weight lifting session the next day.  The common practice is to gravitate towards cardio training after a high calorie meal, but this isn’t really the most ideal way to go.  Weight lifting is what will use up excess carbohydrates in your system far better than cardio training, so will help to remove the excess calories that you consumed.
Also, weight training will help to elevate your metabolic rate for the hours after the session is completed, therefore will continue to help remove any excess fat that you may have burned off. Think of it as a way to scare off the bad spirits for the New Year.

3. Minimize Carbs Intake For a Week

Third, also make sure that you cut back on your carb intake around a week.   Protein consumption is one thing that YOU CANNOT REDUCE. This is definitely important as this is one of the building blocks to to maintain your lean body mass.

Fat can be reduced slightly, but sudden reduction would make you feel hungry all the time. 
Fat is a nutrient that will help provide some hunger control while reducing your calories, making reduced calorie intake much easier.  Just consider good fat sources like Omega 3 and Flaxseed Oil.

5. Never Ever Starve Yourself!

Finally, the last quick tip to help you recover from the holiday indulgence is to make sure that you aren’t starving yourself.  If you all of a sudden drop your calorie intake way down and keep it there, this would signal the body to start using up muscle mass as a fuel source which would waste all the hard work of the past training sessions that you have had. 
As always, a gradual approach is the best way to go. 
Bring your calorie intake much lower for two to three days and then adopt a more moderate calorie intake after that.

If you follow these quick tips, then you should have no problem reducing the damaging effects that the holiday indulgence that you had.

Related posts:

All About FAT 
Women and Weightlifting 

SECRETS REVEALED: The Right Way to Losing Weight, Fast – Part 1

Have you ever wondered why some people just don’t appear to gain weight despite what seems to be their eating habit and you’d blame it all on their fast metabolism?

During our teens, we vaguely remember that we can get away with eating 2 – 3 cups of rice without ballooning into a puffed up version of ourselves. Big slices of cake with ice cream and soda on the side would not be that much of a problem because we have youth on our side.

As we mature, we notice that it does not work that way anymore. We have to be more careful with our choices lest it sabotages our health — making it more like poison, than nutrition.

With this, I am listing down some notes that I had on tips on how to lose weight fast — I know you all want to look gorgeous for your upcoming Christmas Party Celebration, so read on!

1) Reduce sugar intake.
Eating lots of sweets wreaks havoc on the body and keeps us craving more, creating a vicious cycle.  If you want those love handles out of your life, you have to decrease your intake of simple carbohydrates such as sugars and high fructose corn syrup (additives from food we eat).
Note that the amount of sugars in the food we eat and drinks are giving us problems of the sort that alcoholics have with the liver.

It’s easy to get hooked on sugars because let’s face it, sugars are every where. Make sure that you cut down on your sugar intake as these are just toxins to your body (well, according to Obesity expert Robert Lustig at least )


2) Eliminate processed foods
POISON! (from the net)

When you are trying to burn off body fat, I recommend that you stay away from all processed foods. This includes all sugars, flours, pastries, and sweets. These foods will set you back and you should avoid them at all costs. These products are void of any nutritional value and will only serve to steer you off track, thus providing you with calories that you don’t need.

If you give yourself a little time, you will develop a real preference for foods as close to their natural living state as possible.
You will definitely see a difference immediately after you cut out all processed foods.
3) Do away with salt.
The body needs sodium but we usually tend to take too much of it which would cost a whole host of problems.Salt also makes you bloated because of water retention. This can result in a puffy appearance with a certain amount of water weight gain. So stay away from salt and experiment with herbs and spices as condiments.

4) Avoid all saturated/trans fats
No secret here.
Cut down on the amount of margarine and saturated oils you ingest.

5) Eat less calories, better yet, choose your calories!
In order to lose that extra pouch around your waist, you need to create a caloric deficit, meaning, you need to eat less than what you are eating now in order to start losing weight. Caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight.
A 500 calorie deficit per day for a week will total to 3,500 calories or what consist of 1 pound.
Think about if for a minute, if you think you’re overweight and you’ve been consuming a surplus of food on your day to day intake, it means you’ve created a calorie surplus.
In doing so, your body is storing calories in the way of fat, and you wonder why you have those love handles around your waist?
Know that if you start to eat more, your body will start to store more calories and you’ll get fatter. 
Now, think about it in reverse. 
In order to lose weight, you need to eat less than what your body uses thus creating a calorie deficit.
Once in a calorie deficit, your body will begin to use it’s fat stores as energy sources. This in turn, will burn the fat off of your body. 
Choose your calories wisely! (image from the net)
What we want to do is burn the fat off the body and keep or retain as much muscle as possible. This is why we need to exercise. We cannot create the caloric deficit from just cutting calories from the food we eat – the other half could come from food while the remaining, from exercise.
It would also be ideal to retain as much muscle mass as possible and this means resistance training and weight lifting to build muscle.

6) Focus on complex carbohydrates
What needs to be central in your diet is complex carbohydrates.
These includes all fibrous carbohydrates such as green leafy vegetables and starchy carbs such as camote and brown rice. 
The best way to do it is to substitute your simple carbs such as sugars and fructose for complex carbs. This will then be your energy base. 
Complex carbs (starchy carbs) are converted into glucose, which is primarily used to restore muscle glycogen (Muscle fuel), which is depleted during exercise.
Complex carbs are fully loaded with vitamins and minerals and is a best source source of fibre. Fibre slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, enabling their glucose to enter the system in a leisurely way without releasing a huge amount of insulin into your system. 
That’s how these foods provide us with a steady supply of energy.
The point is to replace your consumption of simple carbs with complex carbs at every meal.
Now, read and digest all the points in this article as I prepare for  :

Pregnancy and Exercise

Have you heard of the news on the woman who gave birth after running a marathon?
Yes my sisters, she finished the whole 42 kilometer stretch and still managed to eat dinner with her husband before she felt the actual signs of giving birth.
When I heard about this, I was amazed!

Taking a trip down memory lane, I remember continuing my running even up until the second trimester at 7 months. I could still bike around our subdivision back then until I get to be 6 months, but after that, the balance is kinda off so I opted to wait till I gave birth — but actually doing it until 9 months.. I was surprised that the doctor actually allowed her – well, maybe she is that fit to go through 42 kilometers of running, both physically and mentally. KUDOS to her.

taken from the net

It occurred to me that there are many women out there has this idea that one should be extra careful when pregnant but unless the doctor says that you are at risk (threatened miscarriage, low lying-placenta, previous medical conditions), pregnancy is a phase that one goes through in life that one has to prepare of. Pregnancy is not an excuse to stop being active (unless your doctor requires you have bedrest, then you have to follow doctor’s advise).

Come to think of it, it is common knowledge that exercise promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance. If one continues a routine while pregnant, it can help you carry the weight you gain during pregnancy, prepares the you for the physical stress of labor, and make it easier to get back into shape after the baby is born.

I am a mother of four lovely girls and I know that being active during one’s pregnancy can also reduce the physical discomforts of backache, swelling, and fatigue thus improving your mood and self-image and make you feel “sexy” despite the bulge!

As per the Pregnancy Exercise Guide:

taken from the net

“According to a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, healthy, well-conditioned women who exercised before pregnancy may continue to do so throughout pregnancy without compromising their baby’s health or development. Researchers from the University of Oslo, Norway, studied 42 pregnant women who exercised six times per week at either a high or medium intensity. When the researchers compared the women’s length of labor, maternal weight gain, and the baby’s birth weight, they found no differences between the two groups of exercisers”

Just remember to let your doctor know you plan to continue your workout routine.

However, this is the time for you to listen to your body and stop exercising if you feel if you’ve done too much. Because you’ll have less oxygen available for aerobic exercise, you should generally stick to 60 per cent of your maximum heart rate while pregnant. A good rule of thumb is to slow down if you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation while exercising.

Congratulations to all “Moms-to-be”!

“Making the decision to have a child-it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
–Elizabeth Stone

All About FAT

When I was younger, I thought that there was a correlation between fat we eat and the unwanted fats that sprout out in our bodies. Eventually, I found out that it was all about energy balance: a classic case of calories in vs calories out.

What is body fat?
Fat is a form of body tissue composed of cells which primarily store fatty acids and compounds.
These cells are embedded in a matrix of connective tissue.

Remember girls, FAT cannot become muscle, and muscle cannot become fat. They are two entirely different types of tissues.

Fat builds up in your body depending upon whether you are a man or woman. Men tend to carry fat around the abdomen, chest and behind, while us women are more prone to fat in their hips, breasts and waist as well as the behind.

Fat has many purposes: insulation, cushioning, and estrogen production. Contrary to what you might think, your body does not have fat because it’s trying to ruin your life. Rather, your body has fat because it’s trying to keep you alive as long as possible. Because of its composition, fat is an excellent and energy-efficient fuel source.

In general, we have a certain number of fat cells which remain more or less constant throughout our adult lives. Fat cells are like little balloons that can be inflated or deflated. When fat is “lost”, the little balloons just deflate, but they’re still there

Do you have any idea how actual fat looks like?

If I place one pound of muscle on a scale and one pound of fat on a scale, they will both weigh one pound. The difference is in total volume.
One pound of muscle may appear to be the size of baseball; one pound of fat will be three times the size and look like a squiggly bowl of Jell-O.

As you can see, muscle is a denser tissue and thus takes up less room than an equal weight of fat. Having more muscle means you have a more desirable body composition, or fat-to-muscle ratio.
That’s why it’s possible to lose inches but show no changes in scale weight – You may still weigh the same, but your body will look different: smaller, tigher and sexier.
That my friend, is the beauty of exercise.
However, there is no such thing as spot reduction.
Performing abdominal crunches will not help you lose fat in and around just your stomach. Fat from all over the body will be used to fuel your exercise.
Moreover, the way fat is shed is different from person to person. It tends to go from the most recent place it appeared. If your tummy started gaining first – this will be the very last place for the fat to disappear from. First in, Last out.

Weight loss does not equal body fat loss, and vice versa. If being leaner is our goal, we must focus on body fat loss, not on numeric weight. Body fat is generally measured and expressed as a percentage.

So, if we have a 200 lb. person with 20% body fat, then we know that 40 lbs. of that person is body fat, and the rest is the good stuff: bones, organs, and most importantly muscle. The non-fat-stuff is commonly called lean body mass, or LBM. Our aforementioned person thus has 160 lbs. of LBM.
Ideally body fat should have no more positive or negative associations than other indicators of health and fitness.
It is irrefutable that higher levels of body fat are clearly correlated with health problems.
Excess body weight can put mechanical stress on tissues, and is directly responsible for some medical conditions. But body fat in and of itself does not necessarily cause all the health problems; rather, poor nutrition and lifestyle habits, and lack of adequate exercise are also major culprits.
You are not a prisoner of your body fat. Fat has no inherent value other than what we attach to it. Understand it as something which is important to have in the right quantities.
You have power over body fat and it’s up to you to control it, monitor it and conquer it and work towards good health – for as we all know, health is indeed the best wealth we can have.

Women and Weightlifting

Why lift?
I ask you, why not..

It has been said that Filipinas are known to be shy, submissive and soft-spoken.
Not that I’m speaking in behalf of my sisses in our country, but, sad to say, that is the stereotype.
Well, a typical view for women is the so called “damsel-in-distress” who is always in a look out for her knight in shining armor to whisk her away from her misery.

This may also be the reason why most of us are afraid, or rather, hesitant to go to the gym and pick up those dumbbells, barbells and what-have-yous.

For most of us, most of the machines look like some scary contraption that might eat us alive.. my sisters, hear me out — don’t you know that those machines and iron that look frightingly intimidating to you is actually The Holy Grail of Fitness?

Since I started my quest for fitness way back 2000, I have tried lots of things.
I started road running, dieting and various gadgets in home TV shopping that promised quick fix for a few minutes of your time.

I searched and searched until I finally got it.

That is why I decided to start this blog for those Filipinas and non-Filipinas alike who is in their own quest for a smaller waistline, lesser tummy fat, and stronger physique.

I wish for you to accompany me in this journey, share your thoughts and ask questions – for us to shed light to all those myths in Women and Weightlifting.

I believe that it’s about time to get rid of the damsel in distress mentality and work our way to independence.
Join me in my quest as I share with you in my posts what worked for me.

Why lift? Because it works.

Here’s hoping that it would work for you too.