Squat Circuit Challenge: Defeat!

It’s depressing when you failed to complete a task. It’s even more depressing when it’s a challenge you declared to the whole world that you would do. Such is the case with the Squat Circuit Challenge I dared to do. Barely a week passed and I already missed two challenge days since yesterday. Granted, I was busy. But busy was not supposed to be an excuse when I dared to do this. So I’m doing it again and starting over, beginning today.

Day 1: Do Over Update

I just finished with the 6 reps of each exercise today. No hurting thighs, no stressed joints. Just a new found determination to not fail again. But believe me, it gradually became difficult with just the past few days. I’ve been doing it before sleeping but by then, I was already too tired with the day’s happenings, making it difficult to bring myself to do the challenge. So I will try harder and will do this first thing every morning.

Lesson learned! Day 1, take 2, done! On to tackle tomorrow!

Wish me luck (again)! 🙂

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Have you ever failed a challenge? What did you do to pick yourself up again? I’d like to know 🙂

Get in Shape: How to Stay Motivated (Part 2)

If you think exercising is hard, try maintaining an exercise routine! The first 2 weeks can go by very smoothly. You’re high with endorphin and feel that no one can stand in your way to a sexy body. Then come the 3rd and 4th week, you find yourself losing interest and getting bored with your routine. How do you stay motivated?

This is part 2 of Shape’s 10 Tricks to Stay Motivated to Hit the Gym. As mentioned in part 1, I’m adding my take on to the tricks in Shape’s article. I found them applicable beyond just “hitting the gym” and so I’d like to share my opinion and personal experience on the subject. Here’s the 2nd half:

6. Get a Little Competitive

True, competition can drive you into completing an extra set or rep. Seeing the person beside you bust her booty during a Zumba routine can also hype you into giving your all. But if you’re not a gym goer, have no workout buddy, or mostly just workout alone, then here’s my tip for you to get competitive without being with your competition. Find an office mate who’s also hoping to lose weight and challenge her. Dare her and say that you’ll be able to lose XX weight before she can. You can even have a bet to up the stakes. Bonus points if you can challenge your frienemy [friend+enemy]. Anything to awaken your competitive spirit.

7. Get Help from a Pro


If you don’t have the money and don’t want to invest (like me), make sure you spend time learning and mastering the form of every exercise you’re planning to do before actually doing them. This is so you can prevent any injuries from happening and be able to maximize the full potential of a particular exercise.


For the gym, it might be safer to use machines instead of free weights as the former guides and controls your form.

For those who go to classes, you’re already paying for the classes. You don’t need to have one-on-one sessions with the yogi, Zumba instructor, or dance teacher. If they don’t correct your posture during the session, you can always politely ask them after the session if how you’re doing it was correct. Mind the points they give you and remember the feeling of the correct posture so the next time you encounter the same routine, you will know.

Plus, and this happened to me, asking the teacher tells them you’re paying attention and willing to learn. They will remember you next time you attend their class and will pay more attention to you and your form. That beat’s an expensive one-on-one session!

8. Read Fitness Magazines

Fitness books
I have lots! But remember, understand the articles. These are meant to educate and are not only for leisurely reading. If it helps, place markers on the routines you like and incorporate some of it into your daily routine to spice things up.

For myself, I look for additional stretches for my cool down routine as I find the ones I’d currently following a bit lacking. Sometimes, I incorporate those I learned from practicing yoga. Knowing different versions of the pose or exercise gives you variation and allows you to know which ones you are more comfortable doing.

Before, when I was still going to the gym, I bought a strength training book (it’s the purple one in the picture above) and focused on the ones with machine guides. Reading up on the book really helped because by the time I got to the gym, I was more confident in using the machines. By then, I also knew what to ask the trainers there. This saves you and the trainers a lot of time trying to understand each other.

9. Follow your Routine

This is related to Trick No. 3keeping it real. If you followed that trick (more like “tip”), chances are, you’ll be able to follow your routine. No questions asked, no complaints, no excuses.

Like the article said, “small, achievable, and realistic goals”. This time, for your routine, keep it simple. There’s no need to have a long routine. 20- to 30- minute routines are feasible (warm-ups and cool downs not included).

Start with basic and easy to remember routines (you can customize your exercises) and work your way up from there. I’m already in my 2nd week of my 30 by 30 Challenge and I’ve changed one exercise since the 1st week and replaced it with 3 exercises. The 3 exercises were mostly for warm-up and cool down and focused on the legs. I found that I needed stretches more to avoid my muscles cramping up.

10. Remember this

Essentially, what I think this last trick means is for you to stay quiet about it. Let your own physical transformation speak for you (so to speak).

Stop talking, start doing.”

With my personality, I’d always want to share want I’m doing with everybody else. It’s an experience worth sharing and a knowledge worth spreading. Plus, announcing it gives me added push and deters me from going back on my word, albeit one-sided.

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Do you have your own tips or tricks to live by? Let me know what you think!

Get in Shape: How to Stay Motivated (Part 1)

So you decided to get in shape. Your mind goes wild with planning your workout schedule, picking out your routines, choosing what type of workout you want, be it aerobic fitness or strength training, etc. You made your choices and implemented your plan. For 2 weeks you were able to commit to your schedule but come the 3rd and 4th week, you started missing your classes, skipped a few repetitions, and found yourself losing interest. How do you stay motivated?

I’ll be grabbing something from Shape as my basis: 10 Tricks to Get Motivated to Hit the Gym. I’m a Shape subscriber and so I usually receive articles from them and this article got me reading. Though going to the gym may be its purpose, I believe it can be applied generally in order to motivate yourself to workout or at least propel yourself off the couch.

Here’s my take on the tricks and how I see myself applying it:

1. Bring a Buddy


This trick is not exclusive to gym goers. If you’re like me who attends yoga, Zumba, and dance classes, this advice also works. Of course, choosing a buddy should be carefully considered. You’d want an “enabler” rather than a buddy who discourages you from exercising.

If all your friends are couch potatoes (most of mine are), try chatting up the people who’re already in the classes you go to. The regular goers are your best bet because they will most likely encourage you to return and attend regularly. Plus, you see for yourself how regularly working out positively affects their aura, so to speak. Just don’t do this after, not during, yoga classes though, especially during headstands.

BONUS TIP: Try bidding your new found buddy a “see you tomorrow” at the end of every session instead of just a good bye. This will compel you to make good with this indirect promise and you are also encouraging the other to stay motivated.

2. Consider the Aftermath

elle woods endorphins

Need I say more? Not only will you be a happier person, exercise prevents you from murdering people! Plus, you just need to picture yourself several sizes smaller and finally fitting in to your skinny jeans, and that’s all it takes to propel yourself off the couch.

If this doesn’t work, scare yourself into thinking that if you don’t get up to subtract the pounds, soon you’ll be as big as the world is round… or something to that effect. Please excuse my attempt to make the statement rhyme.

3. Keep it Real


True. I have tried setting up many goals but sadly, it didn’t work. The few that worked though, did not last.

I add “concrete” to “small, achievable, and realistic goals” as stated by Shape. Setting up abstract or broad goals such as “I will lose 30 pounds by the time a reach 30”. Like debating points of an idea, this statement is just a major point that requires supporting statements. Statements such as “I will exercise at least 3o minutes every day”, “I will lessen my carb intake by eating a half cup of brown rice instead one 1 cup”, “I will not eat after 8pm”, “I will eat small meals every 4 hours”, etc. are needed to make your major goal concrete.

BONUS TIP: List down possible support statements to your major goal and mark the ones most doable for you. You only need to meet three of these to be on your way to changing your lifestyle. My lifestyle hasn’t changed yet. I’m only a few weeks past my “Day 1” but I haven’t missed a single concrete goal, yet.

4. Find a Reason

wedding workout

My best friend’s wedding (classic movie!) is this coming June. She’s fit but doesn’t regularly workout. However, since she got engaged, she did nothing but jog/run everyday to fit in to that wedding dress. You’d think she had her wedding dress made 5 sizes smaller, hence her crazy determination, but that’s beside the point. My point is, that’s one reason to get motivated. It’s no wonder this is the example Shape gave in the article.

As for me, my reason is this blog. You will find that this blog includes fitness as one of its topics. Mostly, my posts will lean towards yoga, pole, and dance/Zumba. Of course sharing these things will motivate me to become fit and lose excess weight. You can see that in this post.

One the one hand, publicizing my promise to be fit motivates, if not compels, me to workout. On the other, the things I do in order to keep that promise provide me with content for my blog. Selfish? I call it killing two birds with one stone!

5. Create a Killer Playlist

Not only does music pump you up, it sets your rhythm. If you’re a runner, jogger, or walker (like me), you can create a playlist to control speed or steps-per-minute. You can begin and end your playlist with a slow beat for your warm-up and cool down, then place several fast beat song in between for your actual workout. Imagine, for a 30 minute run, you only need 6-8 songs!

If you have unlimited data, Spotify will really help create that playlist for you. You can also subscribe to a one month premium and have the playlist downloaded so you can use it offline and not worry about your data connection.

BONUS TIP: To amp up your jog/run/walk, you can combine songs with varying beats per minute for that HIIT effect. If you can splice music together, you can have a more personalized workout mix! I suggest creating at least 3 playlists to keep your workouts fresh.

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Click here for the Part 2.

Facing Facts & Figures: A Promise to Be Fit


For the longest time, I believed this to be true. But a few years and several pounds heavier later, I should realize that there is something wrong with this picture. It’s the part where “believing” is not translated into doing. Believe me when I say I’ve watched and download/bought a lot of fitness and workout videos but they only end up on the shelf gathering dust or in my hard drive waiting to be searched again. I’ve watched these videos countless times but that’s just it–I only ended up watching them, thinking and “believing” I can do them and knowing that getting fit doesn’t “happen overnight”. Do you see where I’m getting at?

At 5’4″, my ideal weight should be 130 pounds or ranging between 116lbs to 145lbs. Needless to say, I’m already a few pounds beyond that range and a weight of 145 pounds even if it’s within the ideal weight range is unflattering. It’s a blessing that even weight gaining can plateau but who would ever want to gain weight beyond the ideal? I sure do not want to go beyond the weight that I am now (please don’t ask, I’m still in denial). Even as I calculated my BMI, it’s not a surprise that I am already overweight. Even without these calculations, my body’s already screaming that I am.

Just do

So let’s stop at just believing and focus on doing. I know what I want: to become fit and rid myself of that pesky 30 pounds. If you would recall, one of the names I entertained for this blog was 30 by 30. Though the name didn’t push through, the challenge for myself continues. Therefore, let this post be my promise to return to being fit and healthy.

Beginning today, I will rid myself of 30 pounds and be at my ideal weight by the time I reach my 30 and keep it that way. This is going to be difficult, I know. Just typing it down now, I feel myself having doubts. Still, as the saying goes,

Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.”

So I will persevere and take this one pound at a time. As a promise to myself, I will document my progress at least every other week, if not weekly.

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Are you raring to or just started changing your lifestyle to lose weight and get fit? Tell me, what started you on this journey? What are your goals if you care to be specific?