Cardio, an unsolicited Friend indeed

I believe I’ve said it in one of my preceding blogs that I wasn’t really a big fan of cardio workouts but as ironic as it may sound, I’ve been doing it for more than a year now – a year and two months to be exact.

No, it’s neither that my facts don’t hold up at all nor am I messing with anyone’s head here. Think about it, “Whoever said that you cannot talk yourself into doing some things that you really don’t wanna do?” There is such a thing we call “doing what we NEED to do”.

You and I know very well that most often than not we get to do something that we really don’t want but we do it anyway at the end of the day. Why? Because basically in the face of all our objections, we also know that we need to DO it for a greater cause.

My aversion towards cardio is, well, the entire grueling act – you get your heart pounding like nuts (should at least get to monitor and keep yours in an average rate, just saying for your own good), an uncomfortably dry mouth, foreboding shin pain (which extremely becomes the case in the next morning), exaggerating downpour of sweat, catching up with your own far-flung breath, enduring battle of the mind and body, and the physical exhaustion itself.

Logically some may say, “Who in the right mind would want to go through such torment?” A masochist, some humorists might say. However, for someone like me who had that same judgment a few years ago, I started to think otherwise; I knew I NEEDED to reconsider.

Having to deal with more than the average body weight that a regular 10-year-old kid ought to have, I can say that I had a pretty tough time dealing with a lot of things during my late childhood. As far as I can remember, I was in Elementary when I started to notice my bizarre bodily metamorphosis. From what used to be a lean light-skinned toddler with lustrous uncurled hair, I suddenly became the opposite of what I was come Grade 4. I neither had nothing against dark complexion (black is as beautiful as any other colorgrew up with the fact that one of my sister has a complexion which is a few tones darker than mine and she’s a charmer) nor curly hair (plan to have mine digi-permed this Christmas, yey!); my problem was the extra weight which was really becoming a drag – physically and emotionally.

If I would recall it, my weight played around 110 to 130 lbs and became at my heaviest in Grade 5. I had to wear big shirts and men’s shorts while my hair was cut short and kinky like a man’s. I would frequently receive unsolicited remarks from relatives and friends saying, “Anong nangyari sa’yo? Ang cute cute mo nung maliit ka pa!” I may have been laughing with them all the while but not quite on the inside. I remember eating to suppress the sadness inside me. It had me to love cooking and invent odd recipes which I’m sure my parents can attest to. Not a smart diversion but it kept me sane – and then again stouter.

(Left) me in Grade 5 and (right) me today

I had to admit, it wasn’t all the sudden domination of my mother’s genes (bikolana blood, she has a dark complexion and remarkably coiled hair in nature) that caused the transformation; I believed it also had something to do with my lifestyle.

Before I stepped into high school I managed to cut off more than the excess weight that I had through “workout/household chores” way (same time I discovered the wonders of girdle which serves me well up to date) and an extremely strict diet which had me skinny to the bones. My diet was so extreme that at one point I had my Pops extremely attesting to what I was having for lunch – a small piece of loaf bread while they were having their adequate meal on the table. At that point I felt as if I wasn’t being supported by my family with the desperation that I had in losing weight. Then it took me some time to realize that they were just being mindful about my well-being. I also had to learn it the hard way that I once got sick to my stomach and had to eat normally again.

Learning through real experiences can really come in handy sometimes. Sometimes out of being stubborn, you tend to get yourself hurt first and then you know it’s bad for you and that’s when you never go back. Kind of like life teaches you that you get what you don’t want because you need it and eventually there would always be a way out – once you learn to “love what you don’t want because you need it”.

From high school all throughout college, I wasn’t overweight anymore but still had that chubby features which had me still pounding myself on insecurities. Then at 22 I got pregnant where I gained that dreadful extra pounds again. I didn’t have the chance to keep any pictures (any that I know of for that matter) because, yes, I was too embarrassed. There, I said it. Again, I do not have anything against any pregnant women’s features. It was more about my fear of having to go through my weight issues again.

After giving birth to my Bori, I think I was roughly around 140 lbs. Although my fondness of parenthood became a diversion from postpartum depression and my own insecurities, I knew I had to do something about my physical health. I felt more strain in my back than I’ve ever had before (calcium/posture issues), shortness of breath, bloated feeling, frequent embarrassing moments of tripping over my own weak foot and falling bottom first (in public) and felt as if I was suffering from a severe case of gout or was it just because I was way too heavy for my height (am 5”2’ and won’t be getting any taller, I presume). Even though my husband has been more than great in making me feel as if I was the most beautiful woman in the world in spite of actually feeling like I was the total opposite, the fact that a jealous wife that I am didn’t help. It was downright depressing if I didn’t know more than to humor myself.

I had to do something about it. I realized I knew better from my past experiences and have learned a lot from mistakes. “I got this beautiful kid now whom I am having troubles catching up with,” I thought to myself, and I wanted to be the best mom that I could be. Knowing better, I realized that to be the best mom that I can be I should make my health a priority – so I can always be there for Bori.

Then came August of 2012… I knew little about extreme workouts and feared “going” to the gym. I had a lot of insecurities and apprehensions but I thought, heck, I was ready to do anything for the sake of my family and my own well-being.

At first sight, I thought the treadmill was rather cool and appealing, after which that I had to experience it that I thought otherwise. Two minutes in and I was already panting. 10-minutes after I was extremely woozy upon stopping and felt as if I was gonna throw up. I then knew at the moment that cardio wasn’t gonna be friendly all throughout my workout ventures. I hated it. Months after working out, I was already torn between giving up and giving it a few more go. Then, I had a couple of trainers who believed in me and introduced me to charted routines (whereas weightlifting and crunches became few of my favorite). However, it was always the cardio that dreaded me, after which became more intense during a new trainer’s term who happened to be a high school classmate of mine. Since we’re already acquaintances, him being pushy in making me do extreme cardio really did help. I was introduced to outdoor cardio which really did a lot of motivation. It was a plus when I started to make more than a few good friends in the gym – people who shared the same motivation that I had. Even so, I knew I was doing the whole thing for a greater cause.


(left) me a year after giving birth to Bori / (right) me today

Today, I can now do most workout routines on my own. I always feel as if a day wasn’t enough without any sweat-causing routine. Sometimes, even if my mind thinks I don’t feel like doing it, my body says otherwise, so in such case I just do before I think – which immediately ends the mind and body argument and afterwards I knew I made the right decision. In favor of my health, my trip-over days were long gone, there’s not a sign of gout on either side of my feet, deep-breathing felt so much better, I have learned not to deprive myself of food and enjoy through moderation and right food choices, plus I noticed that my skin got lighter again like when I was a toddler and even brighter-looking after every workouts. But more than ever, I lost the extra weight from which I suffered from years ago (from more than 140 lbs down to 120 lbs; again, FYI, I have a big-bone structure which makes a lot of difference to my actual physical appearance). I became a better mom and wife (that even my husband now works out and is in good health and better shape, I might say) than I was before and an even better person with a sound mind and body.

Eventually, cardio, which my heart literally loathed before became my unsolicited friend today.

Life has thought me well in the past years – that it’s EITHER you do what you want first and not get what you want OR do what you don’t want then get what you need and eventually get what you want – surprisingly. In which case, either you dread Cardio or love it it’s still going to be good for you either ways as long as you do it.

You just got to have the right reasons and set enough motivation in the long run to keep you doing the things that you NEED to do to get what you WANT and where you WANT TO BE.

bonzai sign

3 thoughts on “Cardio, an unsolicited Friend indeed

  1. I wish I have your discipline. I need to take care of my body more, especially now that Francine is growing so fast. Hindi biro ang basta magbuhat ng ganun kabigat na bata! 😀 And I think I need more calcium too.

      • I wish that is indeed the case! Used to have that kind of metabolism, not so anymore. I think it had something to do with the level of activity, since I was pretty active then. Like, badminton everyday? And now, sedentary lifestyle much. 😛

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