New You Achievement Awards 2015

Here’s a post that can hopefully inspire us after feasting last night. I know, I know this is very timely and that we should all enjoy the holidays and indulge, but hear me out first and read on. You might find it the right time to actually be inspired and sign up to a gym club membership – Fitness First, of course – come January!

I’ve been part of the Fitness First family, August of this year. My first day at Fitness First was one of the most exciting yet challenging days I’ve had. It was then when I felt I can do anything if I set my mind into it.

So four months into working out regularly at Fitness First and people have seen how stronger I’ve become. I get messages every time I post my workout videos on my Instagram and people say they’re inspired to workout as well. It’s nice to know that people get motivated with what I post, I, in return also get motivated by others.

And some of the people that has inspired me to work my butt off the gym and be better than I was the last time are the finalists of Fitness First NYAA 2015.

Fitness First annually holds the New You Achievement Awards or NYAA. This much-anticiapted event is a celebration of the members’ outstanding achievements throughout the year.

I attended the finals night held at Chaos in City of Dreams last month to witness the announcement of the winners.



Now on its 7th year, the awards recognize significant fitness milestones that are classified into six categories.

Health category acknowledges members who were able to improve their well-being and used training to help overcome an illness or injury.

Strength category is for finalists who have successfully achieved their goals of building muscle mass.

Shape category is for those who achieved their gold of weight reduction.

Sports category is for members who found a passion for a sport of trained for a specific sporting event.

Open category was added for members who achieved their transformation without necessarily undergoing regular training with a personal trainer.

Staff category recognises employees who have used their employment at Fitness First to improve their health and fitness.



Mr. Mark Ellis, Country Manager of Fitness First Philippines welcomed everyone at the finals night of NYAA 2015.

After gruelling eliminations, 6 finalists rose above the rest. Though all the stories are remarkable, these 6 were the most compelling in terms of depth and social impact of their achievement.


The 18 finalists of the 6 categories. Each category has three finalists from which a final winner is chosen.


Health category winner, Prince Chong

At 260 lbs, Prince was diagnosed with severe obesity and gout due to high levels of uric acid 2 years ago. Training with Fitness First for close to 2 years, he is now 160 lbs and no longer has gout. Prince has become more confident, sociable, and much happier.



Shape category winner, Gretchen Sarsaba

Gretchen used to have very low self-esteem because of her being overweight. It didn’t help that her mom is very gorgeous and fit, always being compared to her. When she graduated from college, nobody wanter to hire her because of her physical appearance. In 2014, she finally decided to make a change for the better.

She now goes to the gym 7 days a week, and trains with her personal instructor for 3 times. Now, 60 lbs lighter, and 100% more confident, Gretchen admits that taking a set day is a lot more taxing than working out. In fact, working out is not working anymore, and her next step is to be a group instructor at Fitness First.


Sport category winner, Demo Valmores

Demo has been training for 2 years now. His journey started with a broken heart, which, as he said, is the same case for every surfer. He went on a sabbatical leave to go to La Union and try to find himself again. When he started surfing, he didn’t have the stamina for this physically demanding sport. He soon realized that he needed to gain strength and improve his balance. Demo’s personal trainer customised sessions for him and now he is an award-winning surfer.


Strength category winner, Erwin Temporal

Erwin’s story of strength goes beyond muscles. Before joining Fitness First, he was a long-haired estrogen-using cross-dresser who had high cholesterol and sugar levels and was diagnosed to be clinically depressed.He had a mishap in the salon one day which caused him to lose his hair and from then he decided to change his persona. He started committing to be fit and worked out regularly at the club. From 110 lbs, he’s nows t 142, and from 22% body fat, he’s now 16%.


Open category winner, Manu Reyes

Manu’s is a story of second chances. By profession, he is a pastor and health trainer who used prohibited substances to enhances his appearance. This year is a year of enlightenment as he decided to clean up his act and train without the air of substances. It was a long and arduous journey to self discipline that naturally paid off.


Staff category winner, Bondi Santi

Bondi has been employed at Fitness First Metro East for 4 years. Being overweight runs in the family, with everyone either obese or overweight. It was a real struggle to go against his natural predisposition. He believes that lifestyle habits are the only thing hereditary and became committed to a total lifestyle change. He also encouraged the rest of his family members to take a step towards a fitter and healthier life.



Demo Valmores, this year’s Fitness First New You Achievement Award Overall Winner together with his trainer, Earl Navarro.

According to Eric Seeger, National Fitness Manager of Fitness First Philippines, they chose Demo because he was able to amok a real difference in his personal life as well as his ability to inspire others to do the same. His exceptional achievement is testament to the fact that anyone can change and achieve their personal goals with the right attitude and behaviour.


Manu Reyes, Bondi Santi, Gretchen Sarsaba, Demo Valmores, Erwin Temporal and Prince Chong.

Congratulations guys! Grabe all of you have truly inspired a lot of Fitness First members and I’m sure you’ve also inspired others to start their fitness journey. Truly, it takes a lot of discipline, determination and hard work but you’ve proven that it certainly can be done.


With fellow Fitness First members, Sheree Bautista and Jaymie Pizarro. It makes being inspired more fun with you both! All our “oohs, ahhssss” and talk about working out and bets made the finals night more memorable!

I hope we can all workout together, soon!

I know it’s the day after Christmas and I myself still am indulging over sweets and whatever food is offered to me. Heehee. But because working out has become part of my lifestyle now more than ever, I find myself longing for a workout even if it’s the holidays! So off to the gym I go! I am really determined to get that abs! Stat! Hihihi. Happy holidays pa din everyone! 😉


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