Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back on my best shape in 30 Days | 1St FitFil Cebu and Why it was a Hit to Cebuanos

Note: For this post, I will do away from giving you insights on cooking/gardening. Total wellness is one of the many reasons why I created this blog, and achieving wellness is 60% diet based on moderation, variety and balance of food intake, and that still boils down to choosing and  or cooking healthy dishes.

My weight in the initial weigh-in was 154 lbs, and my waistline was 36 inches. I was trying to argue about how the nutritionist measured my waist, but the proper way it is done is to wrap around the measuring tape not around your pant’s waist but along your navel. I admit I have this unsightly bulge and this is the reason why I enlisted myself for this camp. The nutritionist computed my body mass index, checked on my lifestyle and suggested what should be my daily calorie intake. I was four pounds overweight based on their assessment and gave me this goal to loose in the camp in one month. On my first day of the camp, I was one of those who hyperventilated and was rescued by ERUF. I can’t imagine myself lying at the center stage of the Terraces attended by some coaches and rescue personnel while the rest was pushing their bodily limits to this new physical activity. That was just Day One. Fast forward on Day 30, I was surprised I lose 7 pounds, regained my stamina back and can wear all those pants I set aside on my closet for many months already. In short, in thirty days, I was back in my best shape. Now I watched what I eat, and my lifestyle has changed for the better.

The FitFilipinos Movement, a brainchild of Coach Jim Saret aimed to make millions of Filipinos fit, slim and healthy kicked off first here in Cebu City last May 15 to June 16, 2012. It ended just a week ago and the Manila Camp is yet to start days from now. This camp is scheduled to go to most of the major cities of this country to push this advocacy and make Pinoys embrace a good lifestyle habit.

The Cebu leg started with more than 200 ambassadors enlisted for the camp. A week after the camp commenced, still more than a hundred wishes to join. And as the camp progresses, you can notice and hear positive responses from the participants. You hear true stories of weight loss that inspires you to take your fitness efforts seriously. And during the final day, the campers are shouting in unison for a repeat camp. So why such clamor? I listed here five reasons why I considered The FitFil movement was a blast and taken Cebuanos like a storm:

1. The best equation for fitness: Nutritional + Physical + Motivational 

I have been to a number of gyms before. Most of the time I worked out alone or sometimes lucky if with a friend. I am good at the start, and praise me if I will stay 2 to 3 months at most. Those gym regulars, who, if not most of the time, show off flexing muscles, always intimidated me. It’s a whole new world in a gym where everyone has its own agenda, and it’s a no-no if you will disturb them. I even experienced lining up and waiting for such equipment to be used. You cannot even get an expert advice on what diet to follow. They would always say buy this and do not eat that, but my inquisitiveness would only tell me not to take the risk. And when running was a craze, I joined the bandwagon. As said, I’m always good at the start. I cannot even sustain myself running or even just jogging alone. The motivation of sweating out was even far from reality when my office schedules began piling up.

FitFil was different. Yes, it is still has the same physical regimen like your regular gym, less the equipment. The difference was the nutritional and motivational aspect of fitness in which any gym could not appropriately offer. On our first session, Nestle Philippines fielded their nutritionists and dieticians to give us expert advice on the diet part of the weight loss program. As experts would say, a diet play 60% in your effort to be fit and healthy, and the rest is physical. How could one miss something so important if one does workout alone in a gym? And since they are experts on nutrition, you tend to believe their advises and end up following the diet plan they tailored just for you. Mind you, they are from Nestle but they never hard sell their products to us, and this is one thing laudable about Nestle’s social responsibility of pushing the wellness to their stakeholders.

One thing unique to the Fitfil Fitness equation is the motivational part, the third most important factor and the one thing always missing in any gym or fitness program that is being offered now. The entire camp is divided into teams according to the degree of your physical ability and activity: beginners, intermediate and advance and it’s your choice where you will categorize yourself. Of course I lined up in the beginner’s group. One fitness coach handles each team. This way, motivation comes in different forms: since you are in team with same physical activity, you tend not to compete unlike when you are a newbie in a gym surrounded by gym regulars. Your team pushes and motivates you to do things you think are undoable.  During the first two sessions I knew my team is going to a different level of motivation as we were already bonded like we knew each other for a long time. And thanks to my coach Raffy Tan, of whom I only knew from Pinoy Biggest Looser Season 1. You will be more than motivated to workout, as he will be sending you text messages daily to remind you of your diet and the workout of the day. And as the days passed by, my week was not complete if I missed just one session. It was no longer the workout, but the fun of engaging to your new set of friends is something to look forward to, a motivation in disguise! I no longer made excuses to stay late in the office and be a corporate slave because of this workout!

Physical, nutrition and motivation are three pillars of FitFil way of wellness program, the best approach and most holistic I can consider.  

2. Fun, Friendship, Family: It’s more fun working out in FitFil 

I lined up in the beginner’s level and knew not even one or two from that team. However, I soon found myself mingling with newfound friends. In every session, each workout designed for us got a little notch higher and harder. You tend to think you can’t do it but with the prodding of your teammates you will be surprised you have done and finished the workout of the day. I can do only ten push-ups when I started the camp, but as the session progresses, your body will be able to do more and more. Workouts became easy and enjoyable because of your new friends. I even consider them now as my fitness family. Even the camp ended, we still see each other regularly and still do the workouts. This is only something unique in FitFil.  

3. Workouts in wide open spaces 
 In a gym, you are forever enclosed on four walls with huge mirrors surrounded by cold mechanical equipment. In FitFil, you tend to get the freshest air and the best sights because each session is done in different open-air locations. We have the Ayala Terraces during weekdays and working out in the scenic open garden is the closest you get to nature. Sometimes we are in Cebu Business Park where green is the only patch you see while jogging which reminded me of my childhood and how we spent our summer time running in the fields playing with other kids. Each session has different locations. And workout program changes along with locations. And that’s not boring and monotonous. You can only spell fun and excitement. 

4.    Back to basic workouts. Less equipment. Less cost 
The best way to workout is always going back to basics: those exercises where you tend to carry only your weight. Push-ups, squats, jumping jacks and jogging are just one of the few and these don’t need any equipment, only you and yourself. You can do a lot of variations from these basics, but mind you these exercises will give you the results you needed. Why use treadmill if you can jog and sprint? Why do benchpress if you can do push ups? Why do weights if you can have therabands to exercise your muscles? This is the more I realized I don’t need the gym. I don’t need equipment either. I’m better off with my yoga mat and theraband. It doesn’t cost me much (I only paid P800 for the 15 sessions or more than just P50.00 per session). It gave me the result I wanted. The trick is only consistency and dedication. 

5.    Credibility. And you got to workout with the celebrities 

If there’s a person or group of persons I heed advises on wellness, its got to be FitFil. I personally followed the transformation of Pinoy Biggest Loser contestants through Coach Jim Saret’s guidance. Their stories, and what you can see right now are enough manifestation of how effective these workout regimen and diet plans are. Coach Jim Saret, the top fitness coach in the country today is the most credible wellness personality I ever known.
Working out with Pinoy Biggest Looser contestants as your coaches is already a bonus. The bond was not just on the workout sessions. You enjoy their company even on social night outs and they will tell you how to survive weekend gimiks and eating out healthy while staying consistent to your fitness plan. They spend personal time with you, and you can get expert’s advice always all the time. And that’s more than a holistic approach.

The FitFil Boot Camp Cebu was personally a hit to me, not to mention my team who is up to now wishing that the mini camp would come soon. I only aimed at loosing that 4 excess pounds but I ended up loosing more, and gaining muscles. I am loving now my stamina and I enjoy running long distances. But the greatest thing happened was the friends I gained along the way whom I know will motivate me even beyond the camp and into my day-to-day life.

I am doing this not for anyone else. FitFil made me realize the importance of loving and caring your self. Being fit and healthy is the best gift I can give myself. Thank you Fitfil for this realization and this great opportunity to start a new and healthy life.

Should there be second version of the camp in the coming days here in Cebu, Cook My Garden will be the first to know. I will keep you posted. Let’s make Philippines a country of healthy Filipinos.


  1. Red! Wow, what an inspring post. Congratulations to you! :)

  2. congrats red!! very inspiring, actually you gave 200% on every workout, and thats why the results was very positive, you are now fitter, faster and STRONGER. Hope to see you sa fun run!! be ready to get challenge again as FIT FIL will storm CEBU again. Coach ALAN

    1. Thanks Coach Lan...see you in one of the runs....excited for the next season of FitFil Cebu!

  3. And here's the video link from digitalfilipino:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...