I’ve been doing this fitness thing for 5 years! From heavy lifting to endurance running, I’ve enjoyed the broad spectrum that moving about has to offer. Here’s a look back through my fitness journey and how my outlook on physical activities have changed through the years.
After graduating early 2013, I didn’t do any physical activity whatsoever. I was done with school and my only source of physical activity: the Babble Band. So while searching for a job, I was basically like the average Filipino person: sitting or lying down the whole day, eating the usual fatty food and watching TV. I also developed a fondness for Oreos, consuming slugs of them daily.
I grew large and I didn’t see anything wrong with it back then. I enjoyed the lazy life! Even after I found my first job, which was a mere 2 kilometers away from my house, I was still a lazy slow-moving sloth. Didn’t matter then because the life was convenient.
2014: Quest for the abs
It was sometime in 2014 when my co-worker invited me to go to the gym beside our office. Me, with lots of free time and nothing better to do, agreed. Remember, I was chubby from eating Oreos every-goddamn-day. Lunch time at the office was sisig and mirienda was Spanish bread and crinkles.
After some months at the gym, I decided to change my diet regime. I’ve been on-off working out since high school, but now that it has become an after-work-routine, I might as well take it seriously. Reading a lot of articles online and hanging around r/fitness, I learned lots of new information and began to make small changes.
One of the most significant changes I did was to make my diet semi-strict. No counting calories for me yet, but I made sure that every day I was on a deficit. The diet got me lean enough and from there, I started adding more and more protein to my diet.
My lunch consisted of eggs and chicken breast with salsa or some other sauce. During my workout days, I loaded on protein powder right after. Speaking of protein powder, if you want to try out supplementing yourself, check out this guide that review.com prepared on the topic. They researched leading protein powders and consulted experts on the field. It’s very educational and I learned a lot from the article.
I’ve already said before, the main reason I got into working out was to get abs. And eventually, I started seeing results.
2015: Welcome, cardio!
I’ve been gaining some good definition until I started my first fun run in 2015. And then, running slowly took over my life. Road races were addictive and the post-run euphoria was something I couldn’t find in the confines of the gym.
Slowly, run sessions took over my gym schedule and my lifts transitioned from progression to maintenance. It’s not a bad thing, as I was enjoying every run. I still got to maintain some aesthetics and strength, but running made me always hungry and my diet took a hit as I became more lenient in the food I inhaled.
2016: The mountains are calling
2016 was a continuation of my 2015 running journey, with the slight change of terrain. Since I was already into hiking, I decided to start trailrunning and here, I found my home. The trailrunning community welcomed me with open arms and I fell in love with the people and the environment.
Gym started to take the back seat as I trained for longer and longer distances on the trails. On the weekends I would go on hikes or races. It was truly a year spent with nature and the outdoors. Every now and then I would still find the time to hit the gym, but with my change of workplace and free time, running was the more convenient choice.
2017: The hundred and the return to the gym
The goal was to finish a hundred-kilometer race. Putting all my time to hiking and running for the first quarter of the year, I was able to build enough endurance to finish KOTM’s Four Lakes 100. After that, I immediately enrolled into the Anytime Fitness near my new office. I got burned out by all the running and I’ve also lost a lot of definition aesthetically. And I dearly missed the heavy weights.
For the rest of the year, it was back to re-building my strength base while also finding time to join some long distance runs every now and then. It’s not easy, but with running and working out both an addiction, I have to make do with what I can.
2018: Still finding the balance
And that leads us to the now.
I am still continuing to work out in the gym and getting some runs now and then. I admit, I’m not as lean as before. I’m not as fast as I was before. My deadlift and bench press numbers have gone down, though my squat is still improving for some reason. But I am happy with where I am.
After some contemplation, I have decided to let go of all the goals that are stressing me out and just enjoy the journey. Taking into account what I can do and what I have, I realized some of my goals weren’t properly rooted with my own values. Some goals I set because others were also doing it. Some goals were there just because they’re there. And goals that don’t resonate with your values won’t be goals that you’ll really strive for.
What I have learned personally through the years is that I found joy in the constant movement.
It doesn’t matter what race it was, or how much I lifted. After the deed, the most important thing to me was being able to do it. I have accepted the fact that I’m not one to have grand goals, but to find pleasure in the grind. I still have some dream races to run, and I still have the goal of constant improvement to chase after, but there’s no need to stress on the minute details and a set time limit.
This second half of 2018, Khat and I will be pursuing a good finish at the Milo Marathon. It’s back to road runs, with races already lined up all the way to the end of July. I’m slowly increasing my runs while easing off the leg workouts. My diet isn’t as strict as before, but with summer done, maybe I can have some more bowls of ramen this rainy season.
What’s next after the Milo season? Who knows, maybe I’ll be a regular at Climb Central. I enjoyed the last time I did wall-climbing. Could it be the new high I’ll be feeding off? Whatever it is, the important thing is to keep moving and trying new things. There is so much more to life than facing the computer all day!
To me, life is movement. The goal isn’t nearly as important as the process, so excuse me while I move along. :)
Some constants in my life that have also contributed to some fitness are:
- biking to work. This is a big help in maintaining a daily caloric deficit. Plus, it beats traffic and gets me to the office sooner! Wet-wipes and cologne is a must have as well. Not very effective during rainy season though.
- Whey protein. Sometimes, I replace my meals with a protein shake. I’ve also tried fasted workouts and sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I recommend the Wheyl brand of protein. They have excellent customer service and provide quality protein at good prices.
- understanding that oftentimes, we are just bored and not really hungry. Our bodies are good at portioning out calories. There’s no need to eat a lot when we’re just at the office.
- ultimately, just wanting it badly. I want to stay fit and get fitter. Fitness lets me enjoy life more. Being passionate about fitness has done wonders to a lot of aspects in my life. It’s easy to give up and return to the convenient life, but how bad do you really want it?