#ruthiliciousfitnessjourney || The Beginning of the Journey

I am hoping that maybe by now you already know that I am a sucker for anything fitness and everything healthy. Well, for the most part.

You probably also know that it didn't happen overnight. That there was resistance along the way. That there were lots of obstacles and negativity that I can't even keep up with. And that there were times I almost gave up and quit because I felt defeated. Sounds normal, right?

And that being a victim of bullying (which happened in my own country - the Philippines) due to my weight and skin color got me thinking... "Should I accept it or should I do something about it?" And that way of thinking I believe resonates with most of us, especially women regardless of color, size, and shape.

And so one day I woke up tired for no reason. I am talking about physical exhaustion like I have no energy to do anything. The funny thing was I didn't really do anything. I was just sitting all day in front of the computer blogging and/or Facebooking and eating mindlessly. Then it dawned on me that it must probably it. I wasn't doing anything active and eating unhealthy food.

So I made the decision to change my lifestyle, not because of bullying (well part of it) or the popular trend in social media but because of huge health issues.

Heart disease runs in the family. Both my parents passed away from heart disease and so with my grandparents from both sides. If that is not a flat-out-reason to change my lifestyle... I don't know what is?

So I talked to myself which I do a lot of times and Me, Myself, and I decided that we need a plan. We need to do something about my predominantly coach-bound ass and impulse-eating-carbs-loading-sweet-toothing appetite. And we, that is Me and Myself made a pact that... we are going to change everything for the better. And so we did.

It all began with  The Biggest Loser Weekend Challenge which I started in 2010 in this blog which no one even joined me to tackle the challenge so I was the sole winner and the loser at the same time. It probably lasted not even an entire year because I gave up when I saw that the data on the scale hasn't changed despite all the walking and running and watching what I ate.

Yes, I gave up.

Big time!

30 pounds heavy - definitely the Biggest Losser Challenge Weekend fail.

La Union 2012. Chubby but happy.

Amorgos, Greece 2019. Healthy and lean (kinda).

Then this so-called HASHTAG-RUTHILICIOUS-FITNESS-JOURNEY or simply written as #ruthiliciousfitnessjourney was born probably a couple of years after I joined Instagram in 2014. Obviously, it is a made-up word preceded by the pound sign and was conceived to be my personal harbinger to hold me accountable for my choices, and for whatever reason the hashtags are for in IG.

Yes, after giving myself another pep talk about the importance of health and seeing all those social media influencers making a difference in people's lives, I jumped back in and joined the wagon again.

I started working out again but this time, with intention. I found Cassey Ho of Blogilates, a fun Pilates workout on YouTube and I enjoyed her bubbly charm. She is fun to work out with.

#ruthiliciousfitnessjourney came mid part of the actual journey I took. I just came up with it to document my progress and to write about it to share with the world thinking that I can make a difference and be an inspiration to others who are in the same boat. Or just simply make myself accountable.

Yeah, right?

I am a Golden Girl. I assumed everybody knows that by now because I blog about it too. If you missed it, here is the link.

Anyway, my fitness journey started before I turned 50.

Before I turned 50, I did a few crazy things to mark that milestone, like started running races (who does that? probably not a lot)

Crossed TD B2B 10k in 2016 out of my Running Bucket List.

And I kept running after I turned 50. I ran the Beach to Beacon 2016 and crossed it out in my bucket list. Well, it is the only thing on my running bucket list, honestly. LOL

Why? Here is why...

It was the race that I tried to get in 3 years in a row and failed 3 years in a row too. And I cried each time. When I finally got in, I cried again. It felt like I won a lottery. Just signing in to the race was a race in itself. And it felt like I crossed the finished line just by getting in too.

I ran the whole race only stopping to take 1 selfie and crossed the finish line alive even without any training.

Also in the same year, I got a tattoo (yes, I did) for no reason. I just felt I need one before I turn 50 so I got one.

Yes, I got a white ink tattoo.

It was painful and I was traumatized. I don't know if I want another one. But I do need it to be redone because the drawing looks like just a faint scar.

Then I started practicing a lot of yoga at home through YouTube.

I realized then that home practice is more comfortable and convenient for me than going to the studio. I consistently practice yoga at home after work and it helped me a lot in my personal journey.

Yoga practice helps me with my flexibility and strength.

I use some yoga asanas to calm down, relax, and de-stress.

Having my own yoga space helps me to be consistent with my practice. Since it's the first thing I see when I open my bedroom door, I don't have any excuse not to practice.

And because of my fitness journey, I also started making healthy choices so it's inevitable that I lost a lot of weight.
At 4 feet 10 inches tall, this is my weight goal.

With regard to my healthy choices, eating healthy food is key. I read somewhere that to achieve your weight goal, it should start in the kitchen.

I'm not gonna lie, I was once a Yoyo Dieter. I tried everything and anything I can find on the internet, magazines, books to lose excess fat and flab. But it wasn't until I turned to Ketogenic Diet that the scale started going down. And the movement was phenomenal.

I lost 30 lbs. in 4 months!

My favorite snack.

My homemade Lunchable.

I started meal prepping and mindfully doing my grocery shopping. I started eating rainbows. Taking vitamin supplements. Drinking a liter of tea a day and a litter of water all day. Oh boy, I also have to use the bathroom all day.

I went to Greece for a Yoga Retreat.

The Light the Spark Within that organized the Ancient Awakening Yoga Retreat in Amorgos, Greece was the highlight of my personal transformation. It was during this retreat that I gained the clarity and manifestations that I never thought I needed to feel whole again and free myself of all the limitations that I unknowingly imposed on myself.

It was during this retreat that I realized that the spark within me was dimmed due to many negative thoughts I have. And I never thought I have a bright life ahead of me.

Sunset in Amorgos Island is magical.

Solo touring the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

Practicing yoga at the rooftop of Aegialis Hotel and Spa with the blue Aegean Sea in the backdrop.

At the Hozoviotissa Monastery in Amorgos, Greece during our excursion of the island.

It was there that I discovered that I need to accept myself with all the flaws to be able to live the life that is meant to be.

To be able to walk the path that is meant for me.

And to shine the light that is within me.

Then, I won a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course at the Yoga Goddess Academy which I planned to only gain knowledge on how to practice yoga safely and knowledgeably. Apparently, I am destined to be a Yoga Teacher.

Though I was a reluctant Yoga Teacher, there is no excuse for me not to take the course seriously. It was too good to take for granted. Crystal Gray, my teacher and the founder of the Yoga Goddess Academy and author of the new bestselling book on Amazon, Goddesses Fart Too is a great motivator and a phenomenal teacher.

Teaching my first cousin Yoga for relaxation during my short summer vacation in Victoria, BC in Canada.
One of the 4 series of 1 hour Yoga Classes that I taught my colleagues
as a curriculum requirement for the 200 HR Yoga Teacher Training Course at the Yoga Goddess Academy.

Now I am a Certified Yoga Teacher.

I am now certified to teach yoga with confidence and courage. Though I am still pinching myself every now and then to check if I wasn't dreaming.

Everything happened so fast and for a reason.

In a span of 5 years, my life changed drastically and magnificently. My transformation and the change in my life's path has led me to amazing places and surprises. And I gained a lot of life experiences that I was able to use in many life situations.

I am so grateful that I did accept my inner being and trust my intuition in every decision I am making now.

And all of these are documented in my Instagram account to remind myself of my journey.

Then people started noticing which didn't really surprise me.

Change is inevitable and necessary.

The journey was long and tedious.

But I didn't give up and I accepted it.

And I never looked back.

I have a grateful heart!
I embrace my flaws!
I am beautiful!
And so it is!