The Struggle Is Real

Being lucky is not enough when it comes to getting what you want. While I know some people attribute their success as 50% luck and 50% work, I believe it’s always 100% work.  I  agree with Louis Pasteur “Chance favors the prepared mind”. While it is easy to focus on our dreams, channel The Secret, pray and call out the universe, it is expected that in order for things to work, you gotta work for it.

I am very traditional when it comes to achieving success. I want it slowly but surely. The idea of achieving my goal rapidly makes me uneasy, doubting it’s sustainability. What I’m trying to say is that most things really take time. For me, it’s the process that makes achieving one’s goal or dream more fulfilling.

One of my ever so constant goals is to have freaking abs. I know it’s superficial but it’s one of those things that’s been on my wish/dream/goal list that I can’t seem to cross off. I guess it’s harder to achieve something that really takes effort and time no?

 I never had any weight issues growing up. The peak of my modelling career, I stand 5’6 with a weight of 110 pounds. I obviously don’t stand out from the rest & I classify myself as an average Filipina. I was pretty much okay with the way I look, save for my lousy posture. My body image and the way I see myself weren’t something I was concerned with. It wasn’t until I was old enough to understand that being thin isn’t good enough especially when you’re always sick. I have asthma, allergic rhinitis and I get colds and flu easily. In short, I look nice physically but I wasn’t healthy at all.  And because I can get away with eating whatever I want without thinking about gaining weight, I resort to snacking on junk food and other processed food everyday.

After having two kids I realized, there’s gotta be more that this. All the struggle trying to go back to my pre-pregnancy body, counting calories and working out just because I want to be thin again. I didn’t push myself because I want to change my lifestyle. I forced myself to do these things because I want my old self (body) back. To be young, thin and be able to eat anything I want without worrying about the effect on me. This was my goal. But after much attempt, I notice all these things I’ve been doing haven’t really done anything to my body. If anything, my allergies got worse and my stress level sky rocketed, so much so that I had skin breakouts and gained over 8 pounds.

 My frequent use of our condominium gym just won’t cut it. I would help myself to a few minutes of slacking off since I had no trainer nor gym buddy to encourage me to continue with my workout. I was so into the idea that eating healthy food once in a while and sweating it out at the gym were enough to call myself a “healthy person”. Obviously, I was totally wrong.

For the longest time, I’ve been trying to be a healthy eater. But it wasn’t until last year that I’ve slowly adjusted my eating habits, which in my opinion really did good for me. A lot of people have noticed I lost weight and some of my snuggly-fit clothes now fit nicely. Then, when I got my Food Intolerance Test results January this year, I painstakingly tried living a healthier lifestyle. I started incorporating more fruits and vegetables, I drank more fresh juices, eliminated the food that I am intolerant to and I started regularly working out.

Aaaah to regularly workout. The idea for me was a struggle itself. How can I incorporate working out when I have so many things going on? Doing chores, running errands, taking care of my kids while managing our small business and doing some side work as a model, topped with blogging pa? Thinking about it already made me exhausted. But then again, if I really want to be fit, I have to start somewhere right? So I searched around my neighborhood for a studio that could help me with my fitness journey. After much consideration, I’ve decided to do Pilates.

Pilates is a fitness system developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. It’s a system of mind-body exercise that can dramatically transform the way the body looks, feels and performs. It builds strength without excess bulk, can create sleek, toned body with slender thighs and flat abdomen and strong core.


 I promised myself that I’ll do it right. That I’ll focus on changing my lifestyle instead of changing my weight or my dress size. This is exactly the reason why I chose Pilates among other fitness workouts out there. I just want to be strong without bulking up. I want to have body awareness, good posture and gracefulness.


The reformer machine that makes every Pilates session challenging and interesting. I gotta say, the first few days of doing Pilates was the worst. My weak, uncoordinated self struggled as I try to manage balancing, engaging my core and just being able to finish an hour of session without experiencing cramps or strained muscles.


 But since I was paying to get tortured, (it did feel like I was being tortured the first few times) I knew I had to suck it up and try my very best each and every time I go to the studio. I think enrolling yourself to a gym or studio is a motivation itself. Knowing I shell out my hard earned money to exercise was a top reason why I come regularly, so I can fully maximize my workout membership.


Back when I was just going-to-the-gym-so-I-can-say-I-workout, I dislike yoga. I was not a fan of it then because every time I did inverted poses such as downward dog, my vertigo attacks. I cannot do tree pose as I would wobble and have a hard time balancing with one foot. I couldn’t last a few seconds on a pose and I didn’t feel any soreness on any muscle, making me give up on this kind of workout. To my knowledge, the only reason that I didn’t feel any soreness was because I wasn’t really engaging my body in order for my muscles to work. Now I’ve been regularly doing flow yoga alternately with Pilates and suspension training.


 The first time I tried Jump-board Pilates, I had toe cramps and I couldn’t bend my legs the next day.

I could say that working out is a walk in the park and that every Instagram workout photo I post shows how fun it is but this would be total bull. Every Pilates, yoga and suspension training class I’ve attended isn’t easy. Each session makes me sweat like a pig, shout at the top of my lungs (in my head that is) and always tease me to give up halfway through.


Still, I keep coming back for more.  Two months into Pilates and I notice my belly shrunk. 🙂 I don’t need to suck my stomach in whenever I wear a fitted dress because every Pilates session, I had to suck it up so I can be better at it.


It’s all in the mind. Every time I feel lazy to workout, I always think about how every session would lead me to become a better version of myself.


I’ve slowly learned to become better at planking, better at pike, better at the poses I once could never do for each and every session I take. This is my motivation.


 It also helps to have great teachers. Here I am with Teacher Paolo who has seen my progress since the day I started at One Life Studio. He is continuously motivating each and everyone who attends his class, pushing us to do better than what we did the last time.


  My competitiveness got the best of me, when I kept on comparing myself with my classmates. There’s this one classmate of mine who can plank better than I can and my egotistic, competitive self just couldn’t accept the fact that someone twice as old as me could do it more than I can. Soon, I realized I shouldn’t be competing with anyone else but myself. So I did it slowly and at my own pace so as not to shock and strain my body. My end goal has shifted from wanting to be back to my pre-preggy weight and having abs, to having good posture, solid core (medyo abs pa din e) and becoming fit.


When I first started Pilates, I couldn’t sit straight without feeling a shooting pain on my lower back.  That’s how bad my posture was. I posted this photo a few weeks ago where you can see an improvement in my posture.


Nike Studio Wrap, ToeSox Grip Gloves and Klean Kanteen.

Another reason I am motivated to workout regularly is because I have these tools to help me out. Every time I have to use my hands to plank or pike, I always end up slipping. So glad I discovered ToeSox Grip Gloves. The half-finger style lets fingers feel and grip surface. The honeycomb pattern provides great grip on any surface- whether I’m on a mat or the reformer machine. The terry thumb pad lets me wipe my perspiration and it has adjustable wrist closure too.  No more sliding and slipping for me!

I admit during the first few times I did Pilates, I didn’t bring any water with me. I figured I don’t really get thirsty easily and it would be useless to bring one when I can buy at the studio. Eventually, I gave in carrying my own bottle because I couldn’t manage the sweltering heat especially when I started sweating intensely. I carry my Ball mason jar with me. It’s uncomfortable to bring a glass bottle, I always fear I might drop it and break it. Then Darcy of Klean Kanteen sent me my very first bottle to try and it was love at first try. Klean Kanteen bottles can keep your drink piping hot for 6 hours and icy cold for at least 24 hours. It’s the perfect bottle in this scorching heat. Ever since I got it, I’ve been carrying it around with me wherever I go. It’s also toxic and flavor-free (rinse it and the flavor and odor are gone). It’s sweat proof so I can put it in my workout bag without the worry of getting my towel, ToeSox or Nike Studio Wrap wet.

Klean Kanteen and ToeSox Gloves are available at Certified Calm in Shangri La Mall and BGC. You can also order online at Thanks again Darcy for sending these, it’s now part of my workout arsenal 🙂


 Wearing chic workout clothes makes working out something to look forward to. Also, being part of a community of a practice place that encourages you to improve at your own pace is another reason why I’m motivated to wake up at 6 in the morning or do the last class at 8 in the evening even if I’m all pooped out.


 I’ve also started doing Suspension Training and I must say I am enjoying it. It’s as challenging as Pilates but still, at the end of each session, I am more aware of my body alignment and my ability to be better than before.


I am 5 months into Pilates, yoga and suspension training and I know I have improved a lot. I couldn’t remember the last time I was sick nor the last time I feel weak. I know I really have a long way to go as I’m still a beginner and I’m just starting, but I am committed in this fitness journey of mine. It’s true that the struggle really is real and the first few tries are the hardest ones. When you feel like you’ve had it with all the sweating, all the muscle pains and all the efforts and time you clock in, working to achieve your body goal, always remember that it’ll get better. Well, technically it won’t because it really doesn’t get easier, you only get better.


If you’re looking into incorporating fitness into your life but really don’t know where to start, you might want to read the post I wrote last year- the reason why I workout plus tips to get your started.

The struggle is real but it’s always manageable.



  1. says

    Great post, Jackie! I’m inspired to renew my Pilates. I used to do Pilates using my Windsor Pilates DVD’s and in Fitness First. I should go back at it or maybe try One Life hehe pagkatapos ng hatid. I’ll check out sched. Plus can’t wait to check out certified calm. I’m always slipping in my yoga classes. thanks, thanks!


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