Begin Again

Since reaching my “ideal body” for our wedding last 2013, I went downhill from there. There were plenty of reasons I could think of now. I already looked good, so I stopped eating right. We were paying a huge rent for our condo, I didn’t have budget for monthly gym dues. I wanted our first year together as husband and wife to be lovely and memorable, so I cooked and cooked a lot, most of the dishes not exactly healthful ones.

Those excuses snow-balled into more excuses that, back then, seemed valid reasons to me. I was having a hard time finishing my thesis for graduate school (I needed food to chew to think). After leaving the network, I was finding my place under a competitive freelancing industry.

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Good Vibe(s) at the Vibe Studio’s combat session


So 2014 turned to 2015, then 2016 and now, 2017 — I’m back to my biggest when I was working in Solar. I’m back to where I started, overweight, unconfident, the bearer of fat jokes.

But something happened late last year. My mom, a writer and book editor, had always lived a sedentary lifestyle. She was mostly at her desk, Monday to Friday. She had the luxury of riding elevators and a driver who took her to work and back home. Suddenly, her body turned weak. Osteoporosis and extreme arthritis, the doctor said. Lack of calcium and bones that are not strong, he added. My mom’s weak body spiralled into depression. She wouldn’t eat. She lost her appetite for most food that made her happy before. She stopped going to the office, where she held a consultant position.

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Late night jogging around Makati. Squeezed in time during video editing sessions

My mom texted me one random day and begged me to start living a healthier lifestyle. Please, she said, while you still can, while you’re still young.

My mom is getting better day by day, thank God. But what she said struck a chord in me. Suddenly, it’s no longer about attaining a nice body, fitting in a wedding gown, or making people admire me, or looking good in Facebook photos. I wanted to resume my fitness journey because I wanted to have a better chance of living a quality life, even in old age. This is for my mom, my husband, my family and myself.

I started to exercise this January, but lost my way after a stomach flu in February. I just resumed the journey this March (2nd week). I hope I don’t lose my way again.

The truth is, I enjoy the workouts better now (better than last 2013, the wedding project). I might not be losing weight yet, but I feel the difference. I’m getting stronger. I have a better mood. I no longer sulk and scowl. Stress doesn’t faze me anymore. And gone are the mornings where I have terrible headaches. I am loving it!

With this active lifestyle, I just need to refrain from eating bad, junk, unhealthful food, lessen sugar and don’t forget to relax and breathe. Stress really causes weight gain, that was 2 years of my life. I need to conquer stress too!  I hope to make this a life-long lifestyle. I know I can, I’ve already began.


A piece we own. It’s a wooden art from HappyCruelTree




Week of Nov. 28 to Dec. 2

Day 1. Monday. Contender Boxing.

I don’t have my own photos, so I just lifted these from the net. I survived less than an hour of boxing.I don’t know if it’s the heat (no aircon) or if I am weak, but I felt woozy halfway through the session. Still, I broke  a sweat and that’s what matters.

Day 2. Thursday. PlanaFORMA Makati.

Was supposed to catch the Plana-CORE workout, but I was fifteeen minutes late.So I took the 12 nn Zumba instead. I had Zumba before (Vibe, Fitness First). Was hesitant to take the class (even if it was free) ’cause  I hardly sweat when I do Zumba. My metabolism is slow, so I don’t sweat easily. So I always thought Zumba wasn’t effective. But gosh was I wrong! The instructor Gino was so energetic,witty and funny and the dance moves were big, fast and tiring. Really had  a good experienceplanaforma

I still have Day 3, which would probably be a light jog tomorrow after my ocular

Ta-ta! for now,

On to a fitter lifestyle

Last week I wasn’t able to achieve the 3x minimum exercise. I am so disappointed with myself. I let myself be overwhelmed with work obligations again 😦

After my boxing session Tues last week, I did a cardio workout in our elliptical trainer (in my mom’s house) to prepare myself for the McDo Stripes Run.

I registered for the 3K, while Sam registered for the 5K.

mcdo stripes run.jpg

Sam woke me up as early as 2:30 am! And the calltime for 3k was 5 am. Ang aga! We arrived at BGC at 4 am and we slept for an hour in the car.

It was a rainy Saturday, and chilly. I wanted to run wearing my jacket. Despite the rain, the place was packed. When it was my turn to run, I was excited. I ran almost the rest of the way and I was surprised that my body could handle it. I wouldn’t normally be able to last long. However, I just did a light run as I didn’t want to slip.

I didn’t eat well this weekend. Nagpizza kami and we watched a movie with my sister, Ela, and my pamangkins Andrea and Alfie. But babawi ako this week

Today, I am planning to do boxing and to eat right again.

Eating right

My problem is that when I’m bored, I eat.

When I’m stressed, I eat.

I don’t know how and why I developed this habit.

But there’s only way to beat it: just start eating right.

Another problem I have is that I am not fond of salads (I like cooked veggies though.)  It’s complicated.

I like wraps though. 🙂

So today, for lunch, I had an “Ay Caramba” wrap from Juju Eats. It’s like nachos or tacos in a whole wheat wrap. It’s both yummy and filling!

I also took home 3 beverages, 2 cold-pressed juice and 1 coffee latte. 15175342_10211157634407186_526144636_nI am starting to experience small miracles with my new lifestyle (naks!). Yesterday, I woke up early for an ocular for a project. We went to Pampanga and besides the grueling heat, it turns out the company had three plants in faraway locations, 2 hours away from each other (with one going as far as Bataan). I went home at 10:30 after a long ride and traffic from Quezon City to Mandaluyong. I’d usually be cranky and have a head ache by the middle of this kind of trip, but I wasn’t. The client even complained of having information overload, but my mind was as clear as day.

I am 100% sure it’s because I’ve been drinking healthy juice and exercising. Hooray for my new lifestyle and having more energy for work!



The Chubby Bride is back!

How long has it been? Since I last set my goals, laid my experiences on paper (in this case, a screen, and actually worked my butt off?

I really reached my goals last 2013 during our wedding. It was almost a year of sweat, tears and self-control and my hard work paid off. But since then, since, what happened?!! I just let go.

And now, three years later, I am as big as I was in 2012. Ugh! Looking back, I just lost my groove. I gave up exercise (mahal! nakakatamad!), ate what I wanted (I was slim anyway, what’s one more rice), and avoided peering at a weighing scale. Why? Why did I do that?

No use wallowing now. The best way to approach this is to start again. But how? I’ve been yoyo-ing the past years? So I decided to give this blog a try again. 🙂 Let’s see, shall we?

Two days ago, I attended a cousin’s wedding and I felt so uncomfortable in my dress. I hid my body during the wedding pictorial. That was my wake-up call. I needed to do something, to commit once and for all.

My initial solution:

  1. Have a fitness weekend with my husband- every weekend, my husband and I will do a fun fitness activity. It has to be new every weekend 🙂
  2. Do boxing and ____ (am thinking of  a workout I won’t be bored with) at least thrice a week
  3. No carbs during late afternoon and dinner; only low- calorie protein and fruit / veggie cold -pressed juice.
  4. Lessen sweets (chocolates, cakes, etc) by 70 percent
  5. No more junkfood

Initial Goal: Lose 10 lbs. by Jan. 15, 2017 (I know, I know, Christmas time is not a good time to try to lose weight; but I’ve done this twice in my life now. Christmas is perfect since I lose appetite when I see so much food!)

Current weight: I need to confess my real weight and face the truth: I am 150 lbs.

I started this weekend.

For Fitness Weekend

Nov. 20: workout at Trampoline Park for 1 hour (can lose as much as 1000 calories)

For my 3x a week workout:

Day 1/Nov. 21/Monday: Boxing at Contender Boxing, Countryside

I can do deeeez!!!!

This is for me. I keep reminding myself that. To feel good and comfortable in my skin. To have more energy, be healthy  while my body  can still handle it, and to live longer.

This is for you, self. 🙂


Dark Room: a short story for Mang CV


(dedicated to Mang CV)

“Hi, are you waiting for the Film 100 class?” The voice was unmistakably coming from a girl—a bit husky, syrupy– but because the sun was bright behind the tall girl sporting a backpack, the one who was spoken to squinted and merely managed to squeak a soft “yeah” to the silhouette.

The girl who was sitting down looked timid, but Ms. Silhouette plopped herself beside her on the plastic bench and put down her backpack.

“It’s 1:00, right? 1:00- 4:00, it says right here in the registrar form,” the tall, quite muscular girl with a tan face, said. Her name is Tiffany and she is what she looks: her khaki shorts, white cotton top, a black and green Nike Air shoes and a huge Mountaineering backpack all say go-getter. Tiffany was early for the class and she could have spent more time hanging out with her org mates in UP Mountaineers. But this was her first elective in Film at the College of Mass Communication and, being an outdoorsy girl with big, spindly hands, she needed help to pass this class. Ms. Timid, she presumed, was a Film major, and a likely candidate. Besides, Tifanny was friendly, and, being an upperclassman, she has shed her timid phase and believed her charm and easygoing manner can win even the most introverted personalities.

“You’re a Film Major right,” Tiffany asked. The girl’s fashion sense screamed Film major: an all black get-up, boots, and a Pentax camera flung around her neck.

“Yes, I’m a freshman.”

“I’m Tiffany, an Art Studies major, third year. You are?”

“Tess, my name’s Tess.”

An awkward silence hung in the space between the two girls. Both glanced at the dark, closed Film department, the staff and professors presumably having their lunch. The photography class that day will be held in the film lab, which was located down the hallway near the department.

Tess, a transferee from Miriam decided she will make an effort this time to make friends. If not friends, well, maybe, a classmate or two she can be friendly to. So she sucked in air and opened her mouth in an effort to be friendly to her confident seatmate.

“Actually, I’m new here. I transferred from Miriam and this is my first major class.”

“That’s great! And I heard Photography’s such a fun class. It’s the digital age, but there’s something romantic about taking photos and developing them the old way.”

Tess almost said something about how she’s been using a film camera since high school, but of course never had experience developing the photos manually herself. But she stopped. If she told this piece of information, then Tiffany would expect great photos from her and Tess wasn’t sure if she was any good.
Thankfully, Tiffany talked again.

“Of course, I can’t help but feel nervous too, as much as I’m excited. I may look tough, but I’m a pussy when it comes to ghosts.”

“There’s a ghost in the dark room?” Tess finally looked Tiffany directly in the eye.

“Oh, you haven’t heard of it? Everyone knows about it, even students in other colleges.” Tiffany fished out a tumbler from her backpack and drank water before she proceeded.

“Well I hope this won’t discourage you from taking the course. This is, after all, just a tall story.”

“Oh, I’m not really scared of ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts actually. But the idea of them is interesting. I idolize a lot of horror movie directors.”

“Well, the story goes that this girl named Shiela was a freshie Film major. Like you. She meets a ghost in the dark room and they become friends. But something goes horribly wrong in the film lab that she got confined in a hospital. Traumatized, she couldn’t speak for days. And she eventually left school.”

“What happened to Shiela?”

“Oh wait I should’ve started with the back story first, sorry. Okay, so even before Shiela took the class, the dark room has always had its ghost named Mark.”

“Mark? That’s quite a generic, harmless sounding name for a ghost right?”

“Right. But that’s his real name. Mark was a film major too, although this was decades ago, in the 1980s. Back when FIlm was just a new course.”

Tess nodded, signaling for Tiffany to go on.

“Legend has it that Mark was a promising student. While other students took photos of a mantataho, a beggar, a sampaguita girl — you know, poverty socially-oriented journalism tack, Mark took artistic ones. A shadow on a seat facing a window, which you would mistake for the ceiling. A moth stuck in a doorway. A tear on an old woman’s face you’d think was a mirror at first glance. He’s damn good. Mark was so hard-working and into Photography, that he’d even book the dark room outside of class. Some days, Mang CV, he’s the technician, would leave Mark the key to lock up. He was that obsessed!”

“Mang CV, he still works here?”

“Oh yes, we will meet him later. He owns the first half of the class: a tour of the film lab and a short orientation. Then we meet Professor Amoranto. Anyway, where was I? Ahh, Mark and his staying up late to develop photos. So Mang CV lends Mark his spare key and the next morning, Mang CV goes to work and discovers the film lab open. Mark didn’t lock up. You want to know what the most chilling part is?”

“Mark killed himself.”

“When Mang CV opened the door, the lab was wet. The lab has three partitions, see. The first partition is where the sinks, the black boxes and where photos are hung to dry. Beside it is a stock room—where Mang CV keeps the mop, broom, old stocks, but which students can also use to roll the film in the can, in case all the blackboxes are being used. The last room, where a dark curtain hung, is the real dark room where photos are developed.”

“You mean it was flooded?”

“No, but it was wet with chemicals and water and stuff. The stock room was open and that’s where Mang CV discovers the body.”

“Mark’s body?”

“Yes. His dead body. But what’s really really puzzling is that there are no signs it was a suicide. He didn’t slash his wrist, or hang himself. His wet body was just splayed on the floor and he was lifeless.”

“So what was the reason for his death?”

“Heart attack. He died of heart attack.”

“But he must have been 17 or 18 years old like me. That’s too young to have a heart condition.”

“Beats me.”

“But what did his parents say, maybe he did have a heart condition and maybe he was carrying a huge container of chemicals, slipped and died.”

“Whatever, it still doesn’t change the fact that he died inside the dark room. After that, students were freaking out, girls especially. They say that while they’re rolling the film into the spiral metal thingie, cold clammy hands would touch their legs. Mark was quite the naughty ghost. But, other than that, he was harmless. They say Mang CV would often talk to Mark as he’s cleaning up, imploring him not to give him the spooks. Mang CV prayed and prayed that Mark will finally go to where the light is. Maybe he almost did, but then Shiela took photography class.”

“Don’t tell me, Mark fell in love with her?”

“Oh no dear, this is not a love story. This is a pure scream-inducing horror story. And this is where things get scarier. I mean, the Mark ghost story was just a story, a legend that gets talked about in sleepovers for fun. I would never have believed it if not for Shiela. That’s how I know it’s true or a has semblance of truth.”

“You know Shiela personally?”

“No, She studied here 6 years ago and I was only in high school then. But some of my org mates in UPM who are over-staying know her personally. Said it really did happen. Shiela went—“ Tifanny circled her finger on the right side of her head—“cuckoo.”

Tiffany lowered her voice, as two students passed them to go the restroom.

“Shiela’s class was finally going to develop their first roll of film. The blackboxes were full. Five students were having a hard time rolling their film reels and others more were lined up. Students have always avoided the stock room, because that room’s the one haunted. But Shiela—she’s from Masbate and according to my orgmates, she’s very brave, the headstrong type—went inside the stock room anyway. Alone.”

“And cold clammy hands touched her legs,” Tess tried to finish for Tiffany,

“No, on the contrary, Mark helped her. It’s very difficult to roll the film especially if it’s your first time. Shiela thought he was her classmate who happened to be inside the room when she stepped in. Mark striked a friendly conversation and even rolled her film for her.”

“So Shiela didn’t know about the ghost story?”

“Well, they say she did, but that moment, she forgot all about it and assumed the guy inside was a classmate, probably an upperclassman she rarely saw in lectures.”

“So besides developing photos, she developed a friendship with the dark room ghost? Interesting,” Tess said.

“In Film 100, each class holds an exhibit and a photo contest by the end of the semester. Shiela won the top prize. Apparently, Mark helped him. All this time, in the stock room, Mark held private lessons with Shiela. He shared his tricks with her.”

“How sweet of him,” Tess remarked.

“Oh, but let me tell you something he did that wasn’t sweet.”


“Wait, before I get into that, I’ll tell you what happened to Shiela and how Mang CV saved her.”

“Hmm…and the story thickens.”

“Shiela booked the lab for her personal project. Just like Mark. Shiela was alone. Mang CV goes back to check up on her, only to slip on the wet floor, and there, in the stock room, Shiela was on her fours, her fingers clawing on the floor as something behind, something strong and evil was pulling her into the room and shutting the door. Shiela was trying to hold on to the floor, but Mark pulled her further until her face and hands were the only thing standing in the door’s way. Mang CV takes action just in time and he grabs Shiela’s hand, and pushes her away from the door. Until Mark let go and the door to stock room banged shut.”

“Wow, that is quite a story. So Mark was probably lonely and wanted Shiela for a companion.”

“Oh, no, no, no, Tess. I told you, this is a top-grade horror story, like Insidious or Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Seriously, this can be a Yam Laranas Based from a True story feature film.”

“Not Shake Rattle and Roll?” Tiffany and Tess suddenly burst into laughter, as some of their classmates arrived and sat down on the plastic benches. The light in the Film department was turned on. It was almost time for class.

“Story has it that Shiela made a test print for her new batch of photos. And when she dipped the photo paper in the chemical, the image that emerged slowly was a black formless cloud with eyes, nose and lips and behind it was Mark’s image, mouth open, as if he was saying something. You see, Mark was warning her, protecting her from this evil sinister creature in the dark who wanted to take her like he took Mark.”

The college secretary Ate Forts opened the glass door and the students started coming in.

For the first time, since Tiffany started telling her the ghost story, Tess felt chills down her spine. But she wanted to know what happened to Shiela.

“After that, did Shiela recover? That must have been traumatic.”

“Yes, she did, but she went away. Studied abroad. But she has never used a camera again. And, some say, she’s scared of having her photo taken.”

“Poor girl,” Tess exclaimed. She really pitied Shiela. She was, after all, a promising photographer. And to let go of your dreams, just like that. Tess wished she didn’t give up.

“Tiffany, what was inside the stock room?”

“No one knows for sure. Probably an evil spirit or demon.”

“Is it still there?”

“After the incident, the College had a priest bless the place. But eventually they closed up the stock room. There’s no door there anymore.”

“And there hasn’t been—evil things happening since?”

Mang CV opens the glass door and calls them.

“Hi, are you part of Film 100? The tour’s about to start,” Mang CV says with a smile.

Tiffany and Tess stood up and walked toward the department.

Tiffany answered Tess, “No, there hasn’t been any bad incident. Lucky for us no? But still, you can’t help but be a bit scared. It is, after all, a dark room.”

“That’s true,” Tess answered.

Inside the laboratory, Mang CV was showing them the black boxes. He held a film can and a used film roll. He advised them to practice spooling film around the spiral during their spare time.

“Naku, it’s very hard. Most students end up scratching the film. If the sprockets are not in place properly, the images get blotched up and your whole roll will be gone. So practice makes perfect, as they say, okay?”

One student raises his hand.

“I’m clumsy. Can I ask a friend to spool it for me?”

Mang CV moves closer to the thin guy wearing thick glasses.

“Oh yes, that’s allowed here. But be careful, be sure that a real classmate, a real living person.”

“Sorry? I don’t—,“ the confused guy asked. But Mang CV was already discussing the chemicals.

Some students claim they hear fingernails scratching inside the walls of the locked up, now doorless stock room. One student even claimed she heard a film camera clicking.

But whatever lurks inside the room is just biding its time, waiting for another talented, interesting soul to make it thirsty again. After all, the creature has its ways with water and water – is one of the things needed to form the photos. Now, if only, it could find a better place in one of the trays, where it can drown a soul into the four corners of a picture.

Diet Diva Week 1

This blog is ALIVE! Yep, I’ve been on hiatus for a long time now. What I have been up to? Savoring married bliss, loving our new independent life, buying furniture and household stuff our budget can allow (most times, beyond our budget). Adjustment period: almost none. It was as if everything just went smoothly and I, as a new wife, just found the pieces falling into place…

In fact, the adjustment was so laid back, it was just easy to go back to my old ways, and that is, eating again and forgetting exercising, not to mention blogging.

So here I am again, blogging in my Chubby Bride blog to restart my journey to weight loss. And since I am a bride no more, I’ll churn in some wife stories and misadventures every now and then.

Today I start a brand new diet: calorie counted meals from Diet Diva. Wish me luck! (and lots of self- control)