Fitness Challenge: Why I choose to be fit, not SKINNY

My Story

5’1, 110 lbs. In high school, I was known as the athlete or “the jock”. I was on all varsity teams – basketball, track and field – you name it. Back then, I was exercising early at 6:30 AM as a point-guard – basketball player every Monday and was in my school’s sports special program, which basically means I trained 3 hours, 3 times a week during regular course hours.

Although it took me some time to realize it, I was not a regular high school student. I did not have the same social life as my peers. All my friends were athletes, like myself, training to hopefully make it big in college and get a scholarship. We had (and still do!) have one of the best female basketball programs in the country (Canada). Some of my friends even made it on the olympic team and played abroad.

I realized that I was special because not everyone had to juggle being an athlete, A-student and part-time worker. Being an athlete meant that you constantly trained, were admired and cheered on by other students throughout high school. It meant early and after school practices, games on week-days and weekends. It meant not really seeing your family, except before bed time. Although I did play in my freshman year of college (played inter-city), I wanted to move forward in my life. I had other dreams. Not that I didn’t enjoy being an athlete, I just wanted to experience other things in life. At 17 years old, I did not think I was growing as a person. I wanted to meet other people. I enjoyed being fit. At that time, I never really craved McDonald’s or fast food. I didn’t have the time. I probably ate a hamburger once a year. It was a fun time in my life. I do not have any regrets. I met great and talented people. Now I wish I was still that fit girl 😉

After graduating high school (8 years ago), I had the opportunity to travel to Europe with my older sister for 2 months. My uncle was working for the Philippine foreign affairs department, so we were able to stay with him. I think that was one of the focal points in my life. My time traveling abroad changed me. I discovered new cultures and saw the world differently. I also started to become closer to my older sister.

Trying to be fit is different than being “Skinny”

One of the things I love being married to a sailor is that the fact that he encourages me to stay fit and healthy. We work out together at a local fitness center and we even have a small gym in our apartment. He shows me different exercises that I should do. Although he is pretty hardcore on weight lifting, I try to stay within my limits. I don’t want to hurt myself. 🙂

Being fit is different than being skinny. I like to think of fitness as being toned and healthy.

How do you measure fitness?

1. Weight – Based on gender, height and body frame. For example, my doctor considers that I have a medium-size frame for a female of 5’1 inches.

5’1″ 101 to 109 106 to 118 114 to 130

Then, I like to look at what the CDC says about what is considered to be healthy – average weight versus under-or-overweight.

According to the CDC, I am average.

2. Measure your body fat. For a quick estimate of this key factor, wrap a cloth measuring tape around your naked waist just above your belly button. If your weight is fairly normal but the number you see above your navel is 35 inches or more (40+ inches for men), you may have NWO.

  • If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
  • If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal or Healthy Weight range.
  • If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range.
  • If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
Calculate your BMI here 

3. Get a blood test. Ask your doctor to order a thorough blood analysis at your next physical. 
4. Target belly fat.

5. Keep tracking fat. Just as you hop on the scale to keep tabs on your weight, do the same with your body fat. Have it measured periodically at your doctor’s office or health club. I’ve always thought that self-awareness is the best thing to maintain or loose weight.

Being “skinny” or “thin” is such a subjective term. People often associate such adjectives to models on the runway.

As a teen, I thought I was pretty fit, within my healthy weight range, for age and height.

As a adult in my mid-20s, i’m a bit more self-conscious with myself and always check my weight. Tip: Best time of the day to check your weight is early in the morning before you eat breakfast.

So far, i’ve been workout at least 3 times a week, with 30 minute cardio and 30 minutes strength training

Cardio: treadmill, outdoor running, elliptical, biking, stair master.

Strength training: SQUATS SQUATS SQUATS, planks, push ups, tricep and bicep exercises, lunges, etc.

Some of these exercises do not even require equipment. They can be done at the comfort of your home.

I will keep some updates on this blog, NOT TO BRAG!, but to motivate myself and see the progress of my journey to stay fit and healthy.



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