Kuya Kim, as he is fondly called is a fitness buff, a mainstay in marathon events and a staunch advocate of healthy living. In fact, his lifestyle is so inspiring that he was tapped to be the face of Robinsons Supermarket’s I Love Wellness campaign.
After surviving a stroke three years ago, many admired him for bouncing back and getting into shape so quickly. Thus, people were shocked when news spread that he was confined once again for another illness.
“My neurologist told me I had Guillain-Barré (GBS) syndrome,” he said.
“GBS is a very rare nerve disorder which affects the peripheral nervous system. Only 1 out of 100,000 has it.”
“At first there was a denial stage. I was like ‘no way I’m having this,’” Atienza admitted.
But he also added that it was his quiet moments of reflection and support from his friends and family all played a role in his recovery. He shared, “That’s the good thing that came out of this whole thing. I did not only come out physically healthy but also spiritually healthy.”
Meanwhile, his doctors attributed his swift recovery to his body’s strength and endurance, something he’s consciously worked hard on over the years with rigorous fitness regimen, an active lifestyle and smart food choices.
In just a month, Atienza was back to running and biking. He even ran his first 15-km marathon for the benefit of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
As a precaution, though, Atienza is heeding the advice of his doctors to take it slow.
Training is now less intense with both running and biking done in aerobic pace. He supplements his fitness regimen with healthy foods such as organic eggs, brown rice, fresh vegetables and muesli, which are all available at his favorite store, Robinsons Supermarket, located just a few blocks away from his house.
The supermarket offers a wide array of products and fresh produce to choose from, making them accessible to more people wishing to eat healthier. “The reason why I got back to what I’m doing is because I’m fit,” he said.
But more than anything, Atienza believes that God allowed him to experience this health challenge because He loves him. “I survived both stroke and now Guillain-Barre syndrome and I realized that health and wellness should be holistic; it should be physical and spiritual health—both of which I have completely gained back,” he concluded.