CURVES: Circuit Workout for Women, by Women


So finally today, I was able to check out CURVES in Serendra and boy was I pleasantly surprised! When Reebok teammate Kassy Pajarillo first told me about Curves, I thought it was an interesting workout and the timing really could not have been more impeccable because I am already at that stage where the usual workout routine no longer holds any form of appeal to me. Thanks to INSANITY, my body has gotten so used to high-impact, high-intensity circuit training type of workout that pain and maximum heart rate have now become my benchmark for a good workout. No pain, no gain.

And I also happen to have such short attention span (I suppose I need to have myself checked one of these days as I seriously suspect I may have ADHD. No, really.) that I cannot stay committed to just one type of workout. And especially not for long stretches of time. I need intense movements. I need variations. I need constant and fast transitions. And if possible, I want to cry and scream bloody murder at the end of each workout; swear never to do it again, only to do another round of it the day after…and the day after that…and so goes the cycle of pain. And why would I mind the pain, really, when it gave me this as a result?

This kind of 'INSANITY' comes highly recommended. Believe you me.

Now as much as I enjoy annihilating my own body within the four corners of my tiny home doing Insanity, I still am a social creature who sometimes wishes I have workout bodies. But since the usual gym setting no longer appeals to me and I have somehow gotten quite tired of  being scrutinized like a fly under a microscope maybe because my workout outfit tend to look a bit risque on me sometimes, I have decided to look for an alternative. I must because I will die – seriously die – if I don’t get to workout at least five times a week, and that already includes running of course.

Vicky and Kassy lead the pack of fit and active modern-day multitasking women professionals (yes, best in caption award!)

Enter CURVES. The minute I saw the purple logo and the purple and pink-themed interior, I fell in love. The place itself gives you that warm fuzzy feeling but there is nothing in there that will put you to sleep! Curves’ General Manager Ms. Fe Abrihan was there last night and Joi, the amiable marketing assistant, took me around the center for a quick tour and it was all I needed to write my name down as a member. This is exactly what I was looking for – a circuit training fitness program that will look after the unique needs of my body (a woman’s body, generally, is unique and beautiful) and tone it in a way that I will look neither emaciated or too macho for a girl.

Being interviewed by Annie regarding my fitness & medical history

Ann took my fitness and medical history along with my measurements and I found out that ohmydotingdaddy, I still have 5lbs in excess of my target weight! Although she said that my weight may be such (in the neighborhood of 100lbs) because of the muscles that have already been formed due to my intense workout and so we decided to just focus on my ‘problem’ areas – arms and thighs. Although my arms and thighs are so much better now than when I was lugging around more fat, I still see some jiggle when I run, for example. The sagging and jiggle have to go.

Getting my body fat measured.

Now looking at my fitness goals and objectives, Curves is just perfect because it works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. If you ask me, I’m already happy with this but no, Curves also has these benefits to offer women —  weight loss, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting.

But don’t just take my word for it. Why don’t you come and drop by one of these days and find out what Curves can do for your body?

Get the curves you want at CURVES!

Oh and by the way, Zumba® Fitness classes have recently been added to Curves® Circuit in Bonifacio Global City – much to the delight of women, young and old alike. During the 30-minute class, participants work out on each Curves strength machine for one minute, alternating upper, lower and core muscles. After one minute, the music cues the participant to change stations on the circuit, and she moves to an area between machines to do Zumba® moves, which tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Licensed Zumba® instructors from the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN), Via Bonoan and Rowena Jose, teach simple, modified Zumba® moves from the center of the circuit.

Kassy tries Zumba with Ms. Via

In Which I Cry A Little…and Smile More…


… Because I won’t make it home in time for the REEBOK ZigTech Run after all. It’s happening this coming Sunday and I will only be back sometime next week. Dejected is what I am but all (hope) is not lost as I still have several races lined up – at least two of them fall into the long distance category. I can imagine my REEBOK teammates not feeling so good about this piece of news, especially since we were supposed to have another team photo shoot at BGC tonight.  And so on Sunday, I will be at the race but only in spirit. I am pretty confident the Team is going to do extremely well. I can’t wait to see the photos!

In related news, Bruno was ubiquitous at V-Malaysia and if I may say so, quite a number of people were smitten by him. If he weren’t mine, I would have been so jealous of the attention he was getting! Seriously, I just love how Reebok sexifies me!

Running around is FUN because of Reebok!

Now I'm a BELIEVER!

Working Girl.

… This time in sheer delight because for the first time in my life, I actually bought a point-and-shoot digital camera which I have aptly christened LUMI the Lumix. Yes, I am creative like that. Lumi comes in Rose Pink and is fully HD video-capable and you wanna know the best part? *cover your ears, Lumi!* She’s so cheap you won’t believe how much I got her for! I have already taken some photos with her but I have yet to transfer them to my laptop. Andy and Claire also picked up the same brand and model and they both swear by the amazing photo quality. Uhrrrrm, truth is, they were the ones who planned on buying a camera. Envy got the better of me, ergo… So anyway, this morning, while I was doing my Insanity workout, I happened to look out of my hotel room window – which gave me the best view of the pool. And there, at 8 in the morning, were six guys with some of the nicest abs I have ever seen, clocking-in some swim time – perhaps, as part of their workout. I was so tempted to take Lumi out for some paparazzi mission but I was petrified they’d catch me sneaking some shots by the window. The photos I would have taken were not for my viewing purpose, but for Noel’s. Because, you know, these days, I only have eyes for the boyfriend. Ahem. And well, he did commit to embrace cardio the way I have. After all, we gotta look fierce on beaches we have yet to explore together.

And why shouldn’t I have eyes for him alone, really, when he’s all sweet and adorable like this?

'Nighttime' by Noel Abelardo.

'Touch' by Noel Abelardo.

'Exhausted' by Noel Abelardo.

BREAKING NEWS:

Kassy Pajarillo and Vicky Ras have just been named local ambassadors of Curves® . Curves works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. Curves also works to help women lose weight, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting. Founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to millions of women globally, many of whom are in the gym for the first time.

Recently, Zumba® Fitness classes have been added to Curves® Circuit in Bonifacio Global City – much to the delight of women, young and old alike. During the 30-minute class, participants work out on each Curves strength machine for one minute, alternating upper, lower and core muscles. After one minute, the music cues the participant to change stations on the circuit, and she moves to an area between machines to do Zumba® moves, which tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Licensed Zumba® instructors from the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN), Dina Grieve and Rowena Jose, teach simple, modified Zumba® moves from the center of the circuit.

In just a few days, Kas and I will have a photoshoot for Curves with the great Jar Consengco of Campfire Media. Now that is something to look forward to after 17 days of toiling away in sunshiny Kuala Lumpur!

But wait, where are my Zumba shoes?!? *hint, hint*

 

On SOLACE and Noel Abelardo


Remember THIS PROJECT by my dear friend Noel Abelardo who is now steadily making waves in lifestyle photography? The two-weekend open photo shoot turned out to be a major success, so much so that he is now hard-at-work conceptualizing the next one.  SOLACE was in fact a benefit project for our friend Abie who’s currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Thank God for HIS provision, Abie is getting stronger each day and seems to be well on her way to recovery.

Now I have been a fan of Noel’s photography since Day One. Way back when he used to just tote around a digital camera and would make me bend over backwards and crawl like a lizard doing weird poses with my cheeks, arms, and stomach sooo fat like that. I used to be 115lbs with a 27-inch waistline. But that was a thing of a past long forgotten. Thanks to Shaun T and his incessant urging of me to dig deeper! I dug so deep I developed cuts I never knew I had —  in just 60 days! If you want a copy of the video, dial 1-800-VICKYSOHOT. Thank you very much and yes, I know.

After 4 days of 'Sobriety' (Read: Defaulting from Insanity)

I keep digressing, sorry! So going back to Noel. I really can’t help but get awed by his photos – be it of a personality, a rock, raindrops, a puddle, or even something as  inconsequential as a caterpillar. Inconsequential only in the sense that we sometimes don’t pay attention to these things – caught up as we often are with temptations that abound in the urban jungle. We all know how important caterpillars and leaves are in keeping the balance of nature. I honestly don’t know what I’m driving at here and I am now just as confused as you are.  Fried much, my brain.

So again, Noel. He’s also one of the many reasons why my life has somewhat of a ‘charmed’ feel to it. He’s been a dear friend to me all these years. And just like my darling boyfriend Chris, he has seen me in various states of monstrosity – shuttling between irrationality and tormenting recklessness – but stays with me nonetheless, believing that underneath the she-devil that I am capable of becoming (sometimes) is a woman who is just as capable of great love and forgiveness. Okay, maybe ‘forgiveness’ is pushing the envelope a bit too far. I am not quite there yet. Call me again in the next few months, I may have an answer for you.  hahaha.

Here are some of our photos over the years. Yes. Those. Are. Definitely. Bat wings. Masquerading. As. (My). Arms.

Malaysia in 2008.

Uhrrrrm, that's iced tea. Honest.

Sometime in 2008.

And now, for the second highlight of this post. The SOLACE photos. What did I tell you? I have improved significantly since the ugly duckling days and to give credit where credit is due, thank you buddyboy.

Solace Outtakes: Noel and Vicky

Vicky and Abie's angel, Bianca

And now, the real SOLACE photos by Noel Abelardo…

Naked and in bloom.

Vicky for Solace.

Thank you Noel for these photos! (I want them framed ha!)

Race Event: REEBOK ZigTech Run on June 5 & Zambales Fun Run on June12


It seems I am not going to be left out in the cold when Team Reebok goes to Zambales for the 400th municipality anniversary fun run after all.  Just learned from Kassy that it has been postponed to June 12 and I would already be back in Manila by then and that could only mean one thing, tadaaaaah, one more race for me before the Nuvali 50k Trail Challenge on the 18th! June is going to be absolutely insane for me on the road race front and I can only hope I would still be standing by the time July comes and I celebrate my 32nd  birthday. Oh my. When did I get so old?!?

Go vertical with Team Reebok!

Now tell me Loves,  are you all pumped-up and ready to rock n’ roll at the Reebok Zig Tech Run on the 5th of June? Registration ends on May 31 so you better make your way to the Reebok store nearest you – or you can also visit Royal Sporting House in Ali Mall and Robinson’s Place Ermita, as well as, The Shoe Shop in Rockwell and Alabang Town Center. The ZigTech Run is a combination of road and vertical races, so if you are on the lookout for something different but equally challenging, this is the run for you! Choose from 5k, 10, and 15k and make sure you are in fabulous condition for the race. Remember to eat healthy and on time, hydrate as much as your body requires, and if you’re planning to get yourself a new pair of running shoes, may I suggest a pair of ZigTech?

INSANITY with Bruno

On a somewhat related note, just to prove to you that I wasn’t just running my mouth like I’m known to do sometimes, haha, when I said I will try to keep my Insanity workout right on track despite the crazy-ass schedule we have here, I did Insanity on the double this morning. Although it’s supposed to be my off day, based on my Insanity workout calendar, I decided to forgo rest knowing that beginning tomorrow, we will be clocking in a minimum of 15 hours each day until the event officially ends on the 1st of June.

So, how about we form that TeamBeachBody club now?

Now if only there’s an official Team Beach Body club in the Philippines, Abby and I would most certainly file our membership application in a blink of an eye and make Shaun T. extremely proud! I mean, why wouldn’t he?

***

In less than 6 hours, Fernando ‘the greatest love of my life’ Alonso (of course, Chris is my one true love so there’s really no conflict there. I swear, I cleared it with him. hahaha) will be slugging it out with the Red Bull and MacLaren drivers – who claimed P1 to P3 in yesterday’s qualifying race. The Spanish Grand Prix is home race for Alonso being a (hot) Spaniard himself and I’m confident he will finish the race somewhere in the top three. Vettel’s winning streak has got to end at one point, right? I think maybe this is it. So Fernando My Love, go forth and bring that GP trophy home to Momma. Yes, Me, not that woman Racquel. *ROTFL*

Where in the world is Vicky?


In Kuala Lumpur –  for a like a hundredth time in six years – that is! Next week, our company will be hosting some 8,000 convention participants for five days and it’s going to be incredible. If our being constantly on-the-go, working long hours even on weekends, etc are any indication of how huge this thing is going to be, then yeah – it is supersized.

I took the 7:50am MH flight yesterday and having only slept less than two hours the night before – as usual I only did my packing that night – and got right down to working soon as I dumped my luggage (23kgs coming here and I realized I left 2 pairs of dominatrix-heeled shoes!) at the hotel, yesterday went by like haze. I was literally a walking zombie, who, apparently, still got a lot of things done,  judging by the check marks I have placed next to the items listed down in yesterday’s to-do list. Ako na ang super efficient na trabahador!

I skipped Insanity yesterday because there was no time and my energy level was hovering somewhere at the base of Mt. Taal. I couldn’t even hold a pen long enough to write on a paper with it, let alone lace up Bruno and do a Shaun T.

Team Reebok to see action in Zambales!

So it seems I am going to miss another great run this coming weekend. When Reebok teammate Kassy told me about the Zambales Fun Run, I was sooo jealous and a wee bit dejected that I won’t be running with Team Reebok. But here’s the great trade-off: On that same day, I will be face-to-face with 2010 CNN Hero finalist Narayanan Krishnan – who will be receiving an award from our company for his great work with Akshaya Foundation. Besides that, Kassy thought of an assignment for me while I’m happily toiling away here. In order to show the world that Reebok is truly the brand for an ultra hip and active lifestyle, I will be snapping photos of Bruno as he takes on miles of walking, running around, including going up and down the stairs of Stadium Putra for five full days – plus an extra day at the Exhibit Area.

Speaking of REEBOK, have you signed up for the ZigTech Run on 5 June? I am going to be so disappointed with you, Loves, if I don’t catch a whiff of your scent at the race. You see, I am fairly easy to please. Just show up at the race with my name tattooed on your chest (preferably muscular with soft hairs covering it – all the better to tickle my cheek silly when I lay my face there) with little red hearts around it and I will carry five of your babies in my womb – one after the other.  Seriously, SIGN UP NOW before I guillotine choke you. Have you seen my powerful arms and shoulders?! Oh the many hurtful things I can do with it, I tell you.

Going back to my KL sojourn and how Reebok just fits into everything oh-so-perfectly — I brought some of my Reebok apparel – running shorts, cap, socks, and my play-dry top – to remind me every single day that I am not allowed to bail out on health and fitness, even when extremely busy. And that’s exactly what I did today. Having taken a break from Insanity yesterday because I was bone-tired from the flight and work, I did double Insanity just before I went to the office around 3pm – Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs + Cardio Recovery. Totally, completely, wildly INSANE!

Reebok-ing even while traveling. The shoes are from Shoebox. Love 'em too!

So on some days, during the event, I will be spotted wearing Bruno and toting around my Reebok gym bag. Subtle enough for you? Seriously, I am a great believer of the brand and more importantly, the products. How can I not be when I have been improving consistently in my running and workout regimen since I got initiated into the Zig technology?

Keep tuned-in to this channel for pseudo live reporting from KL.

Oh wait. Today’s the 21st, right? Aren’t you just glad the world did not end like the doom-sayers claim it would? Teehee. So Babe, we are still going to have those gorgeous fraternal twins after all. We just gotta figure out how to get it right the first time. ROTFLSHMTH.

Oh, oh, oh wait one more second. I have another blogging raket I am so excited to do! Life just keeps getting sweeter I don’t know what I have done for God to have blessed me so generously these past months. I am in awe every single day.

Aaaand that’s a wrap, Loves!

Because I’m Fit and Flexible Like That


These days, I am — wait, am I allowed to be crass and wee bit disgusting here? *lip biting* — shitting bricks and boulders, figuratively that is, because of work deadlines and our upcoming MAJOR MAJOR event in Malaysia, 15 days from now to be exact. Though we have everything pretty much under control (do we, really? *big grin*), it’s still somewhat stressful dealing with little irritants that crop up at the last minute. But hey, we’re one tough cookie and it’ll take a lot more than the small things to get us completely off-track. Yes naman.

Oh so, anyway, given the crazy-ass work schedule that we keep these days (and I don’t see the trend easing up a bit until after June, maybe) I have become more obsessed with getting fit. Almost to the point of running myself down to the ground. I officially wrapped-up INSANITY last Friday buuuuut instead of taking a week off to recover from the madness, I sprinted my way to a podium finish at the Fuego Sunset Run the day after (Saturday last week) and immediately embarked on INSANITY Round 2 just this Monday – posting incredible results in my Fit Test!

Insanity Round 1, Day 58

                                        Round 1         Round 2

Date                               5-Mar               9-May

Move                            Fit Test 1          Fit Test 1

Switch Kicks              70                      136

Power Jacks              25                      60

Power Knees             80                      95

Power Jumps            10                      60

Globe Jumps                9                      13

Suicide Jumps          10                     20

Push-Up Jacks          15                     40

Low Plank Oblique  30                    74

To say that I am mighty pleased with the results of my workout is putting it mildly. I AM STOKED!  But now, I’m starting to get bored again so the offer to take basic diving lessons could not have come at a better time. Yes, my sweethearts, I AM GOING DIVING!  Never mind that I don’t know how to swim. Which, by the way, is giving me the chills but I’m sure I will be just fine. The diving instructor is there, as well as, a handful of other students. And if something does happen – knock on wood! – I’m sure one of them would jump right in and save me. Right? Please say yes. YES!

So, diving it is.

But, running is still my thing and thanks to Reebok and its all-out support to the Team, I am kept right on track with the sport. I have been logging PRs and even managed to snag a podium finish here and there and these little achievements admittedly do incredible things to my health and general well-being.

Here are two photos taken by Estan Cabigas at the Fuego Sunset Run. I just look totally legit as a runner, don’t I?

I Run, therefore, I'm A Runner. Teehee.

Reaching high but keeping feet planted firmly on the ground.

Yes, I run on swimsuit too.

Run like the wind...

Now that's a HAPPY RUN!

But this one takes the cake out of any other happy runs. Ang saya lang, oh!

The Young(ish) and the Restless


THIS JUST IN. Grab a copy of Men’s Health Philippines May Issue with one of the country’s most sought-after leading men, Coco Martin, on the cover and turn to page 96 for some hard truths in modern-day relationships. Read and let me know what you think.

***

Osama Bin Laden is dead. The long-time leader of the Al Qaeda and arguably the most feared face of terror was reportedly killed in a targeted operation somewhere in Pakistan. It took over a decade of countless search and destroy operations, not to mention, inumerable deaths and collateral damage until finally… peace. Or, at least, some semblance of it.

***

UFC 129. I woke up late and almost didn’t make it in time for the co-main event which would have been a pity because Aldo and Hominick gave what GSP and Shields failed to deliver – excitement! On my way to the viewing party, my friend told me that Randy Couture took quite a beating from Lyoto Machida. Not that I’m surprised, really, because The Nature is already quite old – at least by UFC standards. It would have been a bigger upset if The Dragon were the one who got the pounding instead. But Hominick, man, you gotta give it to the guy. He took all the punches and leg kicks that Aldo kept throwing his way and when he got that elbow on the forehead that resulted to this huge bump (Joe Rogan said ‘it looks as though there’s another head growing in there!’) – I thought the guy was finished! But he simply refused to buckle and even managed to give Aldo his share of ground and pound beating just before the final round ended. If I were his very pregnant wife and I happened to be watching that fight, I can’t be faulted for going into labor right where I’m sitting! The main event, however, was as boring as most of GSP’s fights of late. I was quite certain this time around, with Shields as his opponent, he would actually end the fight via stoppage or submission – but none came. Instead, it went all the way to the judges decision – AGAIN – and a very close one at that. Though he left the octagon the same way he entered it – as the champ – I, for one, do not think it was such a great victory.

***

Formula One. Now as most of you who have been keeping tabs of my blog (especially my old blog here) would know, I am and always have been an Alonso fan. More like an obsessed fan, really. So much so that when I was in Shanghai on the same weekend that the F1 Chinese Grand Prix was held there, I kept praying I’d catch a glimpse of the Spaniard – no matter how improbable the chances of it happening were. Oh but anyway, all’s not entirely lost as I did, in fact, catch a glimpse of him – rather, of his Ferrari – at the F1 Malaysian Grand prix last month. Much love to F1 Marussia-Virgin racing team, I was lucky to have been given a grandstand pass on race day along with other colleagues from work. It was, if I’m not mistaken, the third time that I watched the F1 race in Sepang.

Here with Chris, who's forever a 'V' fan. *wink wink*

Insanity with Shaun T. Boo-hoo. Today is my final week of Insanity and I only have the greatest raves about the wonders it has done for my body and my overall physicality. That I have grown stronger, more agile, and flexible are some of the benefits that cannot be emphasized more. When I got started with it 55 days ago, I didn’t think I was going to last. Let alone complete the 60-day program without cheating. But I survived and not only that, and this is where I really ought to give credit to my uncompromising take on fitness commitment, because even during those times that I’m traveling abroad for work and/or vacation, I would never leave the hotel without doing Insanity first. Although I may have defaulted one or two times because I was too ill to even get out of bed, I made sure to compensate for it by doing double Insanity the soonest I’m better. I used to take photos of my daily workout, you know, to keep track of the progress I’m making, but got so sick of looking at the same face and body (who would’ve thought, right?!) so after a while, I stopped. But this morning, it being my 56th day of Insanity, I dared to take a photo again and see how much of an improvement has happened – if any. At the risk of sounding too self-absorbed which I really am anyway, I think I’ve achieved most of the fitness results I had set my sights on at the beginning of the program. I still have 3 more days of Insanity and one more fit test to do before I take a week of rest and recovery and then it’s back to going all-out INSANE again!

Day 20.

Day 56.

SOLACE. So last Saturday, the first of the two-part Solace Open Photoshoot series was successfully launched with my dear friend Noel Abelardo behind the lens. It was a very successful project with the actual turnout exceeding the target. I arrived late – coming from the nearby hospital where my sister was confined for the weekend due to a rare heart disease – therefore missing the greater part of the camera action, but mighty glad still to see Abie and her beautiful daughter Bianca at the set. The guys who did my hair and make-up thought it would be exceedingly cool to make me look Beyonce-ish but Noel said it was more J-Loish, but I don’t really mind all the ish-es because these days, I’m in such a gloriously happy-ish state – thanks in large part to Victory and my renewed faith.

THOR, Corned Beef Sinigang at Sentro, Chewy Junior. DELICIOUS, all of them. That’s all I have to say about these three.