From the diaries of a hapless fitness queen


orosaLike many women, fitness and I seem to have a frustratingly longstanding on and off relationship. My son teases me endlessly that fitness is a commitment—a commitment I should really own up to.

Why is it that for many women, weight loss is the one subject we never tire of harping about—an often elusive and impossible life goal we continually dream of? It’s because our sense of happiness and well-being are tied in with our self-image. Hence, how we look and feel about our physiques inadvertently shape our self-perceptions.

Desperately trying to lose unwanted pounds, especially after childbirth, has led me try out all kinds of workout routines over the years—from yoga, to brisk walking, to jogging. At one time, my sister Nina and I tried out yoga at a friend’s home. As we stretched and held poses for what seemed like eternal seconds, we could feel our sweat pouring off our brows. But as soon as we were told to lie down on our mats and do deep breathing exercises, I could hear Nina snoring away in deep sleep, and I couldn’t help but giggle on my own mat. After that, we never tried yoga again together.

On Sunday mornings, watching runners looking utterly trim and tanned, I thought that running might be a good idea too. But as I soon learned that most get up running at 3 a.m., I had second thoughts right away. Then there’s a friend who at 45 started Cross Fit, one of the toughest workouts ever invented, with alternate intensive strength training and powerlifting.

But knowing my limits, running and CrossFit might really not be the best choices for a non-athlete like me. And so, going on a diet programs seems like the next logical alternative.

Living with a family who simply loves to eat, dieting can be a real feat for me. An aunt teased me recently that I really should just give up the idea of going on a diet at home, stating plainly that with so much food in the house, how can anyone even resist. But with Christmas feasts coming soon, I honestly dread those extra calories and impending flabs and have resolved to stick to a plan at least.

In the last year, I can count acquaintances and friends who have all shed a few stones and can now strut in new outfits to show off dress sizes that have gone down from 14 to 6 because of diet programs. It isn’t unusual to sit across a friend at a restaurant unpacking her own lunchbox or drinking a smoothie as she’s either on Cohen or Juju. Although these diet regimens will burn a hole in your pockets a bit, my friends do say, every cent was worth it and that I should give it a try.

Then again, there’s the other popular weight loss choice—liposuction. Beauty without effort? If it weren’t for the fear of going under the knife and being put to sleep with an anesthetic, I would have probably done this procedure ages ago.

But as we all know better and as research consistently points out, there is no better way to lose weight and to keep fit unless one sticks to a healthy eating plan and follow a moderate exercise regimen reli-giously. Costly diets and liposuction aside, I may just have to stick with a fitness routine I enjoy the most.

And luckily, I might have just found it in dance! Having started the year off with Zumba, I’ve been sweating it out over cha-cha, machanga and hip-hop dance steps at our village clubhouse weekly. From my first Zumba class, I was hooked and to my surprise, my enthusiasm for it hasn’t waned as yet.

It certainly takes hard work and commitment to keep fit and healthy. And whether you dance, run, lift, or go on diets, it really is an individual preference. But for this hapless fitness queen, workouts as a happy dancing queen may just be the answer to my on and off affair with fitness.


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