Day 89: Fitness on a Budget


I have always been a morning person. It is not a problem for me to wake up early and get things cracking. My favorite way to fight drowsiness is working out. I focus on my abs and thighs, then move on to cardio. It never ceases to bring in results and it keeps sleepiness at bay.

There are days when I do get lazy and I fight that with walking workout videos and barre routines. They are focused on target areas and while they are low impact, they also work effectively. I do not want to enroll in a gym because I want to keep fit my way and of course, my routine depends on what I feel like doing for the day. When I settle down, I might have to enroll in a fitness center. For now, I am enjoying my workouts, be it a couple of hours dancing Zumba in our local park or burning calories while glued to YouTube.

I do not think that there is an ideal way to keep fit. I am living on a tight budget so I keep fitness affordable by going to our nearby park. A workout there costs Php20-50. Meanwhile, it is free to workout at home while following a YouTube video. The important factor is consistency, which is priceless. Discipline is developed through diligence and hard work. There is simply no gym membership that could buy that.

Day 55: My Work Journey


My name is Sam. I have worked in an Australian BPO for five years as a Senior Risk Officer and Sales Support Officer. I have also handled PR and newsletter publication. Wearing different hats was challenging, but it has thickened my skin and sparked the idea that I could be more than just a typical BPO worker. When my employer underwent a change in management which was not pro-people, I resigned and gave myself a break.

BPO's are notorious for not providing adequate leave credits to their employees. I only had ten leave credits a year. Ten. My lunch and washroom breaks were also strictly regulated by our online system, so I was not able to do much during my employment. Resigning felt like freedom, and I was determined to never work for a BPO again.

Job hunting proved to be challenging. I was receiving calls from mostly BPO's because I was in demand for that industry. I must admit that I was tempted to accept some invitations. In fact, I even went to some interviews, but I did not like what I experienced because I was given a lot of uncertain terms like "shifting", "rotation", "bond", and "contractual". I did not care if the company seemed well-known or multinational. I was determined to brave uncharted territory, reject BPO's and contractual positions, and wait it out. While doing so, I worked out everyday, which was not easy because I have hypothyroidism. I regained my energy which was lost in the daily grind of handling other people's complaints and arrears. I read voraciously and ate healthfully. In time, I found employment in my alma mater.

Working in my university as a Program Officer is not easy, as I have major adjustments to make. I am an independent worker, as I have handled a senior role for half a decade. Working within a small department is not always easy because their work ethic is different. After two months of working there, I have somehow adapted. Since my job comes with significant free time and internet access, I have decided to improve my circumstances by immersing myself in knowledge. I have enrolled in online courses to improve my writing. After finishing two classes, I was able to put up this blog on my own. I met friends in the interwebs with similar interests, and I was able to see the status quo as a journey and not the end. I am enjoying it so much that I have enrolled in a purposeful branding e-course which is going to run until September 2017. I am turning thirty-one in August, so this is the best gift I could give to myself. I am learning so much and I know that my skills in project management, risk management, branding, and writing can help my community.

I am also passionate about social entrepreneurship and supporting local and handmade. When I am not writing on my blog, I eat out with A, practice creative journaling, and workout. I am also living a healthy life as hypothyroidism is already a constant variable. 

I hope that I will also hear your stories soon. Let us support each other! 

Day 54: Rising Above Failure

I have a passion for rising from failure. This has stemmed from my exposure to risk management, which was quite early in my life as my father worked in the industry all my life. I think it is beautiful that major corporations and institutions value failure and document them to calculate future probabilities. On a personal level, I believe that taking risks is crucial for growth. Whether it is our skin, our immune system, and our major organs, we all have cellular foundations that work hard to facilitate growth in all aspects to achieve optimal health. When it comes to our lives, growth only happens when we get rejected, when we fail, and when we experience pain. Failure is important because they can teach us to see what went wrong as stepping stones to achieve success in the next attempt. 

Zero turnout. Immeasurable personal growth.  

Zero turnout. Immeasurable personal growth.  

Recently, I have seen this at work. We hosted an event wherein nobody showed up. It was a rainy night and in Manila, and we all know that this means insane traffic, a surge in ride sharing prices, and close to impossible public transport options. I was initially hurt, because I hustled to get this approved, organized, and marketed. But after eating the catered dinner and receiving a hug from A, I realized that I did not do anything wrong. It was simply a series of uncontrollable circumstances which led to zero turnout. 

I have learned that often times, we blame ourselves for things which are not even our fault. We should focus more on what we really did wrong instead and reflect on how we can improve in the future. In this day and age where social media is prevalent, it is easier to gain support and resources online to better ourselves. In fact, I am currently taking a Purporse-Driven Branding Workshop online with Arriane Serafico to develop the way I carry myself both on the interwebs and in real life. I think it is important to be coherent with our personal branding in order to realize our full potential and grow as effective individuals. It is important to channel the lessons we have gained from failure to propel ourselves forward. 

Indeed, it is essential to rewind before we can move forward. What failures have inspired you to be who you are today? Use the lessons you have gained to inspire you to grow and realize your full potential. It is never too late to be your best YOU. 

Day 37: Just Get Up and Work


There are just days when I would rather hit the snooze button in the morning. I was tempted to do so earlier, but I immediately countered it by reciting the Prayer of Jabez:

New Living Translation
... "Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!" 

I got up, worked out with my YouTube exercise videos, and took a quick shower. I got dressed, drove to my parking space, and took the train to the office. I am transitioning to dieting on my own (I am no longer enlisting the help of my diet delivery service), so cafeteria breakfast consisted of half a cup of rice and a fried egg. I also had a 120z Americano. It was filling, and it is proof that it is possible to eat healthful meals without resorting to expensive diet plans. Of course, I have had three years of experience with my diet provider, so I already got used to the proper servings and I am already educated on portion control. I am keen on continuing my diet as it is one of the important factors to minimize the health risks of my hypothyroidism.

I have been dreading this day due to some recent events. However, I also pushed myself to work and put my game face on. I prayed the rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and I felt that I am not alone. There is no use to feel discouraged then. 

I will live through today!

Day 33: The Beginning, Part Two


Today marks the end of my second round of my 15 Days of Writing True Class. It is a beginning more than an ending, because my first one ushered in a daily writing habit which led to attending the Writing Room e-course and embarking on my own #The100DayProject. Today is also my thirty-third day into this journey. I am thankful that I never run out of topics to write about. Life has many experiences to delight, surprise, and move me. Even a recent traumatic event has led me to count my blessings and realize that yes, there are still plenty of reasons to say thank you for each new day.

I will soon be ending my three-year relationship with my diet delivery service. My workplace does not allow deliveries of food subscriptions without knowing when to expect them. The recent growth of the diet company has led to erratic delivery times, so I cannot have them delivered to my office. If I continue having them delivered at home, it will cause me to be late for my shift. It was a painful decision, but being with them has trained me to count my calories, practice proper portion control for my body's needs, and eat healthful options to address my unique nutritional needs. Having hypothyroidism AND keeping trim is difficult, but it IS doable. Embarking on this new chapter may seem shallow to most people, but for me, feeding myself without the aid of my diet service is a form of freedom. Of course, responsibility comes along with this, so I have to continue controlling my portions and choosing my food with care.

I am excited to commence writing without a writing class for the first time in over a month. I will learn to use my voice to highlight the good and keep it real in my online island. So instead of marking this last day of #15DaysOfWritingTrue as an end, I am considering this as a beginning. 

I cannot wait to write on the ordinary, the special, and the true!

Day 30: Soul Sam

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

The past few days have been challenging. I have encountered incidents which shook me to the core. I lost my trust in the people around me, and it seems that I am being harassed by an unknown entity. I have already reported these incidents and I have faith that authorities will handle this accordingly. Meanwhile, I am healing and moving on. I have decided this morning that I do not need to dwell on the feeling of distrust. Rather, I should focus on what I must be thankful for.

I woke up early this morning and did my ab and cardio routine. I had a hearty breakfast and a medium Americano from my go-to convenience store. I am wearing my five year old Doc Martens which cushion my feet and keep them warm and toasty in the rainy weather. Most of all, I have a family to go home to, a boyfriend who drives me home when visibility is low due to the rain, and a best friend who will drop everything to spend a few hours to comfort me. 

My best friend works in Quezon City but he managed to treat me to pancakes and coffee during my lunch break in Ortigas. I appreciate his effort and concern, as he knew I was going through a difficult time. My boyfriend had a family reunion at Pampanga, but he waited for me at Quezon City to have ramen with me and drive me home. These simple gestures mean heaps to me. It has been said that the only resource that we cannot reclaim is time, so I am grateful that my closest people look after me. I am also looking forward to moving on from these recent issues and carrying on with work. 

I have reasons to be thankful and happy amidst troubles and the rainy season. I will always have something to write about and experiences to share. People may try to take my trust away, but they can never conquer my spirit. All I have to do is breathe. 

DAY 6: Commuting Is Tough

This morning, I had to cross EDSA via three footbridges to reach the P2P bus station. The MRT was not working to its full capacity and the commuter buses were all crowded. Grab and Uber were cancelling my trips because my office is not the most accessible building there is. Hence, my decision to take the P2P was already the most viable option.  

The queue to the P2P was longer than usual.  

The queue to the P2P was longer than usual.  

By the time I reached Megamall, I only had fifteen minutes to spare. My office was several blocks away, so I did not think twice anymore. I ran

I ran like my job depended on it (it was, as my employer puts a premium on punctuality). I ran without considering my disheveled appearance. I ran because time is more valuable than my comfort zone. I ran because I was escaping from mediocrity.  

I reached my workplace five minutes before the commencement of my shift. I walked to the chapel. It was time to give thanks.  

Day 4: Homestretch

I woke up at 6:10am today. That's already ten minutes too late for my aerodance workout. I initially felt bad because I needed that workout after a tiring week at work. I then did what always brings me back into perspective. I prayed. I thanked God that today is Saturday and that I have another day on earth. I thanked Him for the privilege of waking up and going through the motions of daylight and nighttime. I thanked Him for just letting me be.

I stood up from my bed and changed into workout clothes and shoes. 

I turned on my iPad and went on YouTube. I worked out.  

And I actually enjoyed it. 

Never mind if I did not wake up early for my group class. What matters most is that I got up and showed up to my workout for one. And I feel fulfilled as it is.