Fit, fierce, & 40

Today, I’m celebrating my 40th birthday. My mom told me not to post this photo, but I insisted because I wanted to remind myself that with God’s grace, support of my family and friends, and constant criticisms, He granted my wish to reach my ideal weight before I reach the age of 40.

Why did I choose that photo? Because I’m 40! Who cares?! Besides, during my younger years, I wasn’t able to wear one so I’m taking this opportunity to wear one.

My journey to fitness has not been an easy one. My family and friends are witnesses to my endless struggles, trials and errors, failures, and heartaches. I tried various types of diets and exercises to the point that I entered the military to subject myself to a very rigorous training just to lose weight. But when I was discharged from the academy in 2002, my weight only ballooned and became worst because I ate like I was still in the military with one to zero hours of exercise.

I tried running twice or thrice a week with no progress. I tried fad diets as well to no avail.

But more than two years ago, I tried prayer and fasting for very personal reasons, and that started everything for me. I lost about 10 lbs immediately. I noticed though that with diet alone without exercise, I would always feel so sluggish and weak. So I slowly incorporated running and high-intensity interval training to tone my muscles. From 191 lbs, I am now down to 145 lbs. Thank God!

I am still a work in progress. There are times I still succumb to temptations and my cravings, but what I realized now is that I’m more motivated and consistent in my workouts and diets. I post pictures not to flaunt myself, but to motivate people who are struggling like me before and even now, and to remind myself to be happy, be content, to keep on going, and that this is not a one-time feat.

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Apart from my weight loss success, I’m thankful to God for giving me the strength, motivation, and inspiration. Thank you, Lord for this life, for my health, my family, my friends, my job, and for all the opportunities, blessings, favors, good health, and all the answered prayers.

I may not have everything I want for now, but I won’t stop dreaming, wishing, and praying – for the love of my life, a family of my own, and kids. For now, I will be grateful for what I have – my parents, my sisters and brother-in-law, my pamangkins, my loyal friends, for my job, for my health, and the opportunity to serve the Lord and our community in ways I know how. I know the best is yet to come. He will make all things beautiful in His time.

For now, my birthday wish is that He heals this world from this pandemic and make this a better place again, that He give us strength, stamina, and the grace and favor to endure this life’s challenges, that He heals our hearts, forgives us our sins, that He will guide our leaders, healthcare workers, front liners, and that He’ll protect us and our loved ones.

I know NOTHING is impossible with God. This too shall pass. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  Prior to that, she's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

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