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Finding yourself through fitness |

Health And Family

Finding yourself through fitness

WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit - The Philippine Star
Finding yourself through fitness
Angelica Romano, Dominic Jimenez, Gina Cools and Gian Ruiz

We’re nearly one month through a new year and it’s getting increasingly difficult to make good on those resolutions. Year 2019 kicked off with sky-high enthusiasm, but with the wear and tear of each day, reality hits and it’s tempting to slip back into old habits.

This time is crucial as it’s the make or break for lasting change. According to US News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. To beat the statistic and reap the benefits of a fit and healthy life, we turned to four of our fitspirations, regular folks like you and I, who kept their resolution to fitness year after year.

If you’re currently lacking motivation, read on as some of the inspiring finalists of Bodycon 4.0, the search for the next fitness ambassadors, share their motivations to work out and stay on track. 

Dominic Jimenez is a father who has been a lifelong fitness and sports enthusiast. He played different types of sports like soccer, basketball, rugby and boxing wherein he joined amateur competitions.

What brings him to the gym nowadays is a completely different motivator. More than his love for sport, Dominic is driven to the gym by the love for his daughter.

“I enrolled in the gym to be active. As I age, I don’t want to be weak. I want to be there for my daughter. She is my motivation,” he shares. 

“I didn’t have a goal. I just wanted to have an active lifestyle. For two years, I would just do basic lifting and attend group exercise classes. One day, I was in a drug store to buy something and I noticed that most of the people there were buying maintenance meds that cost P10,000 to P15,000 per month. That hit me big time. I don’t want to be like them. That’s where it all started,” he adds.

Fitness doesn’t just affect one person. It ripples out, touching the lives of everyone around you.

As parents, the immediate benefactors for being fit are our children. As a mother, I find that becoming healthy and strong for my kids is one of the greatest motivators to working out and eating healthy.

Gina Cools, a loving full-time mom to two boys, can attest to this. She was always slim and active. She was constantly outdoors — swimming, mountaineering and playing futsal through college.

“When I got married and had kids, that’s when my body changed. I just let it go. My weight increased from 49 kilos to 75 kilos. It’s crazy. When I saw myself in the mirror looking so big, I wasn’t happy and I felt disappointed in myself,” she shares. 

“I got into fitness because I just wanted to go back to my old self, or maybe reinvent myself to become a fit and healthy mama for my boys,” she shares. “Fitness had such an amazing impact on me. I have more energy when I take care of my boys. I’m stronger, I can even lift both of them.”

“I feel good about myself — inside and out. It’s like fitness is the missing puzzle of my daily routine. What I am now — mentally, physically and emotionally — I owe it all to fitness,” she adds. 

Apart from external motivators, there are also many strong internal motivators to getting fit. For beauty guru and makeup artist Gian Ruiz, fitness gave him the confidence to stand proud and succeed.

“I was a very slim person back then in my early working 20s, only weighing about 120 lbs. I wasn’t very confident about my size during those years, especially in photos. That led me to go to the gym,” Gian recallas. 

“Being in the beauty business for over a decade now, I learned that being present and relevant for your brand as a product manager and trainer is so important. You also need to exude confidence with your sales force. Being fit helped me achieve that. It was easier to express myself when I started feeling comfortable about my body.”

“A lot of us in corporate ‘lose ourselves’ in the process of our day-to-day work, and I felt that I needed to send that message that you can love yourself more by being fit. That’s the very least you can do to your body,” Gian says.

For Angelica Romano, fitness helped her achieve her dreams. Fitness has enriched her life in every aspect and given her a newfound purpose to reach people’s lives.

“Discovering my calling in life has truly been difficult for me. As a kid, I would dream of either becoming a successful lawyer, a musician, an astronaut, an Olympic athlete or interestingly a beauty queen. I’ve always believed libre ang mangarap,” Angelica shares.

“I may not have reached those dreams but my journey in achieving them makes me realize what my calling in life truly is,” she shares. “I may not be an Olympic athlete, but I still set an example to others by being a fitness advocate, carrying with me the discipline, dedication and commitment, which I find the most beautiful in them.”
“Failures and frustrations did not stop me, instead, they led me to a path that is more beautiful and more meaningful. Just keep going,” she says.
The stories of Dominic, Gina, Gian and Angelica have their own highs and lows, conflicts and plot twist, but they never quit. They only win or they learn. That is what is truly inspiring.

Now, it’s your turn.

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