I’ve never lived an active lifestyle. Truth be told, my idea of relaxation is to watch NetFlix at home, have coffee with a friend or read a book. I’m really a lazy girl at heart. My main exercise in life is walking.

In the past, I’ve tried different workouts. I’ve done yoga and have for a time, even successfully turned that into a Saturday morning habit. I’ve tried the gym. In my early 20’s it was one of the first major purchases I’ve made using my credit card. Boy did I waste my money! After two maybe three visit tops – of me just doing 30 minutes or less of treadmill – I was done. Never went back even as I kept on paying the membership fee. I’ve tried jogging with friends. And I’ve tried a cycling class. Nothing really stuck. Usually, after a week or two, maybe a month or two at the most, I’m back to my sedentary lifestyle. I was also easily swayed to skip workouts when I get an invite from a friend to go to the mall or do something else other than workout! So you can say when it comes to fitness, I’m a newbie.

Recently I decided to enroll in a gym again! I think now that I’m in my 30s, it’s just about time I maintain a fitness regimen to prevent myself from packing on the pounds (because I have! My arms are a telling sign of just how much weight I’ve gained these past couple of years)! So far I’ve been going to the gym and working out regularly – like 4-5 days in a week for a couple of months now. That’s a real milestone for me! I’ve never been able to maintain a fitness regimen for long.

And that’s what’s been keeping me busy these past couple of weeks. Anyway, these are just some of my learnings from this new lifestyle I’m trying to embrace.

1. Motivation is very important. What finally got me to commit to changing my sedentary lifestyle to a more active one? I really want to lose weight.

I was so payat 3 years ago when I decided to try eating healthy. But then I got super stressed and turned to food for comfort. Also I’ve gone out a lot the past year or so – like every night out which meant dining out too – and before I knew it, I’ve become fat. Yes, I’ve said it. I’ve become a fatty. Harsh but true. I’ve seen it on my photos because I’ve been enjoying taking #OOTDs and posting it on Instagram. The hugeness of my arms have become glaring! Also, the weighing scale told me so.

But also, I generally want to be healthy – not just fit. I want to avoid coming down with serious diseases especially considering both my parents had the big C. Dad died because of it. And while I know there are many factors that can contribute to why someone could catch this disease and other serious diseases, I do not want my sedentary lifestyle to be a reason.

And okay, I have a crush at the gym so that’s another motivation right there. Ha! Ha! 

2. A workout buddy helps me a lot. With a friend equally – if not more motivated than I am – to lose weight, I’m pushed to go to the gym more. Not gonna lie, there are those days I find myself thinking of skipping workout especially when I see signs of rain. I don’t know about you guys but rain always make me think of just chilling in a coffee shop, watching people pass by, reading a book or chatting with a friend. And on days when I’m super stressed at work, I get the feeling of just wanting to sit at home, holed up in my room for a night of NetFlix and chill.

And also working out with a buddy makes going to the gym more fun. I automatically have someone to talk to! And someone I can have a conversation about plans on how to lose weight. We have each other’s backs!

Meet my workout buddy, Ryan. This is us in our post workout with “sexy” pawis selfie 

3. The right gym essentials are important. For me the gym essentials I was missing were a water bottle,a gym bag and shoes. I always thought a water bottle is a water bottle! When I was starting out at the gym, I brought with me a purple tin can type of water bottle.

This was a giveaway from one of our work events

I’ve been using this because it had a pretty color and I didn’t want to buy a new one just for the gym! I stopped bringing this because Ryan pointed out that this was actually more for hot drinks like coffee. It’s an insulated water bottle that’ll keep hot drinks well… hot. So I bought a new water bottle which I picked out because again it was cute (it was colored green, my favorite) and because I was in a hurry. Unfortunately once, in my haste to get out of the gym, the water bottle filled with water fell down my locker and broke. Turns out hard plastics shouldn’t be used as water bottles for the gym.

Ryan finally took me shopping for a proper sports water bottle. This is still cute and not expensive but also just right for the gym.

And as for my gym bag, I finally had enough of squeezing my gym outfit and work stuff into one backpack that’s given me a whole lot of shoulder pain because it was so heavy. So I bought this – it’s big and spacious also not expensive!

4. I can still be fashionable and pretty even while working out. I’ve never really bothered with how I look when I worked out before. Drab clothes? Check! Just any old rubber shoes? Check! Make up free? Check!

But those fashion and lifestyle magazines have a point. Working out when you’re looking fashionably pretty also makes me like going to the gym even more.

These rubber shoes from Nike are cute and perfect for the gym! 

Mirror selfie with my gym clothes including my new fitness buddy, Moto 360 Sports

As for make up, I just apply a pretty lippie shade (my friends and I call them my Simon shades because that’s the name of my crush and I wear them so I’ll look pretty padin when he sees me even when I’m all sweaty ha!ha!) and brow makeup because kilay is life! I’ve seen some women who work out with a full on makeup which I don’t think is healthy for the skin since exercise means you’ll sweat. With makeup on your face, how can one’s pores breathe?

5. A healthy diet goes hand in hand with working out. Back in 2014, I was able to eat healthy and light meals and I lost weight. But I didn’t couple that with a fitness plan. This time, I’m doing both! I’m still a work in progress truth be told. I still give in to sugary drinks. I still get tempted to eat fast food especially when at the mall with friends and I still at times give in to the temptation.

But keeping a food diary is helping me realize the stuff I put in my body coupled with a good workout, well I’m on a journey to really overhaul my lifestyle!

My road to a fitter and healthier me has just begun. I’ve still got a long road ahead of me with many more days of hustling out at the gym and becoming more conscious with what I eat, when I eat, how I feel on that particular day and who I eat with. But I’m determined more than ever to really turn this into a lifestyle.