article_ylyw-july-11.jpgA son wasn't the only thing Ginger gained at the end of her first pregnancy in 1998; she also put on 60 lbs. Though she was able to shed some of the baby weight, but she added another 50 lbs. in 2001. She quit smoking to set a good example for her kids, but quitting made her turn to food, packing another 30 lbs. to the attorney’s frame. "Whenever my friends wanted to take pictures, I volunteered to take the picture, so I wouldn’t have to be in it."

She avoided reunions because she didn't want her friends to see her. "I felt terrible when old friends who knew me as thin or sexy would gape at me when I saw them in the mall and said, 'Ikaw ba 'yan?' I would laugh, cover a portion of my cheeks with my hands, and ask them if they recognize me with smaller cheeks." Not only did she have problems with people, but clothes and accessories as well. "I couldn't cross my legs because my thighs were too big. I couldn't wear high heels because I was too heavy. It hurt to walk."

In January 2010, she started the year with a weight-loss regimen to please her daughter. "She wanted me to lose weight para daw maganda at sexy mommy niya because I always go up the stage because she's an honor student," she says. "I wanted to show my daughter, and everyone else for that matter, that if you put your mind to it, you can do it. I felt that I owed it to myself to lose weight."

Ginger worked out for an hour and a half at the gym five times a week. She varied her sweat sessions with the exercise bike, elliptical machine, treadmill, and Zumba or belly dancing class. In October 2010, Ginger enlisted the help of a trainer, Joi Turreda, because her weight loss was starting to plateau. "My body was already accustomed to my exercise routine," she says. Her trainer integrated the following exercises for her: yoga, TRX (portable training device for the entire body), cardiovascular exercises, and circuit and weight training.

"If I couldn't make it to the gym for my workout, I walked around the village at night," she shares. She made it a point to take at least 12,000 steps a day. "Health sites recommended that you take 10,000 steps a day to lose weight so I did 12,000 to 15,000 on top of my circuit training to lose weight faster." She even lessened her rice from 2 cups to 1 cup daily. On weekdays, Ginger ate whatever she liked but in moderation. "Friday to Sunday are my cheat days."

The hard work paid off. Ginger has more pleasant encounters with her friends. "The people who met me when I was fat no longer recognized me so I had to re-introduce myself." Even shopping wasn't a dilemma anymore. "I look and feel younger and am finally able to buy and wear the clothes and accessories I want. In fact, I fit into my daughter's uniform, which I wore last Halloween," she says. "I feel more confident."


1. Give yourself motivation. Buy expensive clothes so you'll be afraid to gain weight. Invest in a gym membership. You've got to pay for it to motivate yourself to go there and get your money’s worth.

2. Never starve yourself. Eat small frequent meals. Bring your own food. I always have camote in my bag.

3. Don't overdo the rewards. Just because you lost 2 lbs. doesn’t mean you can celebrate by eating a lot.

(First published as "I look and feel younger" in the "Slim-Down Strategies" section of Women's Health Philippines' July 2011 issue. Adapted for use in Female Network.)

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