Bearwin Meily: The real biggest loser
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Comedian-magician Bearwin Meily is perhaps the happiest loser in the world and he has a good reason to feel like a winner.

Yes, he lost 44 pounds in less than a year — from 199 lbs. to 155 — without resorting to anything drastic or invasive (such as liposuction or bariatric surgery, the procedure to which Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is thankful for his present “katawang pang-romansa”).

So how did Bearwin do it?

“By running,” he said.

To demonstrate, Bearwin (who counts actor Emil Sandoval and director Mark Meily among his four half-brothers; their father used to be a pelotari) guested on Showbiz Central a few weeks ago and for two hours, he ran nonstop on a treadmill without as much as catching his breath.

“My weight peaked at 199 lbs.,” said Bearwin (who recently signed up as one of Annabelle Rama’s four new talents, along with Jay Manalo, James Blanco and Karel Marquez). “At that time, I felt so heavy. I was worried that anytime I would suffer a heart attack.”

At 5’7”, his ideal weight should be at least 155 which is how “light” Bearwin is now. He’s turning 34 on April 4 (Aries), married with a five-year-old child. He started in the business more than 10 years ago on the ABS-CBN sitcom Palibhasa Lalake. Every now and then, he moonlights as a magician. But he lost weight not by magic but by hard work.

Did he consult a doctor before he started running?

“No. I just realized that I better do something before something bad happened to me.”

How did he get all that excess poundage in the first place?

“From overeating. You see, I came from a poor family and we hardly ate three square meals a day. When I joined showbiz and started making money, I tried to catch up by eating and eating, parang bumabawi ako, and that’s how I gained weight. Showbiz is fattening.” (Laughs)

When did he start losing weight?

“In November 2008. First thing I did was quit smoking; I’d been a smoker for 11 years. Then, little by little, I cut down on my food intake and put more fruits and vegetables in my diet.”

Didn’t he experience withdrawal symptoms after he quit smoking?

“Thank God, none. I did it drastically. That’s when I started exercising. I consulted a doctor only when I felt that I was okay already. I was given a clean bill of health. My blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol level is normal and my blood sugar is normal.”

Why didn’t he undergo cosmetic surgery? He could have lost weight faster (daw!) that way.

 “I couldn’t afford it. But let me clarify something — it’s not mere running that I do. It’s running long distances. I started running around the subdivision in Cainta, Rizal, where I live. But now, sa Antipolo na ako tumatakbo.”

What kind of diet does he follow?

“I eat anything. I have a full diet. I take as many as four heavy meals a day. But I avoid food na ma-cholesterol. I monitor what I eat. If I eat pork today, no more na tomorrow.”

Didn’t he feel overworked the first time he ran?

“There’s an oval in our village, mga 400 meters ‘yon, at hindi ko maikot ‘yon. I began combining brisk walking with mild running for one month. Gradually, I developed stamina. Now, I can run around the oval for as long as I want na hindi ako humihingal. Before long, I joined races — 10K races, marathons, 21K, 42.2-kilometer run, etc.

How many hours does he run?

“Actually, I measure it not by time but by the distance. You can say, “One hour,” pero patigil-tigil naman ‘yon. I run by the distance and then I time it. Before running, I don’t eat anything but I drink lots of water. After running, I drink a tall glass-ful of blended (five) bananas, strawberries and apples with low-fat milk.”

Aside from running, does he dabble in sport?

“I play badminton and basketball, sometimes golf. And I swim.”

Which is harder, losing weight or maintaining (his present) weight?

“I just run regularly a minimum of 15 kilometers every day. But I don’t run if I lack sleep, kapag puyat ako sa taping (for Bubble Gang, among other shows). The best time to run is early morning. I wake up at 4 o’clock and start running at 4:30. I try to get as much as six hours of sleep every night.”

How does he cope with stress?

“Prayer. Hindi naman ako banal pero madasalin ako, eh. Nakaka-relax ang prayer. At saka, very positive ang attitude ko, that’s why I always shout ‘Yahoo!’ I was the one who popularized it, di ba?”

Doesn’t running adversely affect his sex life?

“Not at all. In fact, mas okey. When I was heavy, madali akong hingalin. Now, I’m more sexually energetic. Mas maganda ang performance ko. Ask my wife.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphilstar@yahoo.com)

ANNABELLE RAMA BEARWIN BEARWIN MEILY BUT I RUNNING WEIGHT WHEN I
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