Thursday, May 26, 2011

WLB4: "Challenge is My Middle Name"

Hello, my name is Mo and I am addicted to EXERCISE. Hiiiiiiii Mo! Right?!

I am NOT your typical fat girl. I pride myself in knowing that even though I weigh more than I did when I played Varsity Badminton in high school (yes it's a sport, and yes I know I am Asian, LOL), I am definitely healthier than I was before. So healthy that I can leg press 500 lbs. and do long endurance running. Long endurance running is a 5K or more. 5K = 3.1 miles, 10K = 6.2 miles, 1/2 marathon = 13.1 miles, full marathon = 26.2 miles.


What else do you do Mo?

I LOVE Zumba dance classes. Wait. I just love to dance period. I also like alternative forms of cardio such as outdoor cardio boot camps. Please refer to the May 2009 post below for more insight:

Operation Boot Camp: Originally Written in May 2009

I have always HATED traditional forms of gym cardio. From the stair climber to the treadmill or the rowing machine to the elliptical--it's been bad blood between me and the machines. Although I strive to accomplish at least one hour 5 times a week of traditional cardio, what really gets my blood pumped and calories burned is alternative forms of cardio. I am a gym member at both 24 Hour Fitness and Gold's Gym (maybe one day I will explain as to why this is).

At 24 Hour Fitness I like to take Zumba dance classes or Turbo Kick Boxing Classes. One of the other classes I take that is usually over looked is Aqua Moves. I know...usually the first reaction is: "What the old people class?" or "Water class for expectant mothers? WHY? Are you expecting?" My response: "UGH. NO FILIPINO FAMILY! 1) I am not pregnant, I am just fat. 2) The water cardio is better for my poor knees." My family's response: "Oh thank God, for a second there we thought we were going to have a heart attack because you were preggers. Thank god you are just fat!" (*Note: Soon I will devote a series of blog entries strictly on what it was like growing up a fat Filipino-American girl. I am sure it will help you understand my deep struggle and challenges to my commitment to health. Mind you not every Filipino family is mean. My family, not all of them, were just "highly critical.")

Lately I have been participating in an outdoor morning cardio boot camp called OPERATION BOOT CAMP. We meet Monday through Friday at Hellyer Park in San Jose. We have boot camp from 6:00-7:00am, however we meet at 5:45am so my trainer Ronny and his boot camp staff can review/edit/comment on our food and exercise logs. It's been really helpful to participate in boot camp because there is a sense of support and commeraderie in a group setting, especially when it comes to exercise.

My favorite boot camp memory:
I accpmplished an activity called "THE PYRAMID." The Pyramid consisted of 110 reps each of squats, push-ups, sit-ups, dips, leg-raisers, etc. with running in between. I remember I was so hot in my sweats that when I took off my hoodie hot steam was escaping from my body. UGH. It was totally intense like the circus.

I think the best part about boot camp other than the professional guidance from staff and support from other participants is the fact that we always meet no matter what RAIN or SHINE. Some days I am super stoked to meet while other days I wished I slept in. Totally FML status.

A couple of times each month we have free community days or "bring a friend" days at boot camp. If you live in the San Jose area and are interested in participating feel free to contact me or contact my trainer Ronny for more information.

Now it is time for me to head off into my MBA Statistics course until 10pm tonight in Marin. Which will be followed with a 1 1/2 hour drive back home to South San Jose where I shall sleep until I wake up at 5:30am for OPERATION BOOT CAMP. Ah the joys of working full-time, going to graduate school, and living at home. I am certainly "living the dream."

For information about gym training with Ronny Varghese:

For information about Operation Boot Camp:

OBC Family at the 5K/10K Race Until The End of Summer

OBC Obstacle Course Map: Yes We DID This at 6AM OUTDOORS

Karen and I dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2 at the 5K Warrior Dash (mud obstacle course race)


Challenge. I love that word.

I like to challenge my body to the brink of failure. However, how you MUST be wondering why I am still fat. It's ok, I wonder myself. If I was only 40 lbs. lighter my average running time would IMPROVE like crazy! Right now I run 6 miles at 1 hour 15 minutes. Why running? Well, back in 2009 my personal trainer and I took a break and I started Operation Boot Camp (OBC) instead. However, it really shook me up that I let myself go even in the brink of family turmoil. So the moment we broke up, was the moment I 1) bought a pair of RUNNING shoes 2) signed up for my first 5K. That was the beginning of my addiction. TSFR = TRUE STORY FOR REALS. Don't worry it's a MO-ism (my catch phrases)--you'll catch on.

Nike Women's 1/1 Marathon in October 2010: Yes TIFFANY & CO. NECKLACE was the MEDAL!

Morgan Hill 1/2 Marathon in November 2010: Yes, I am a FAT marathoner. Actually I was probably 260-ish lbs. when I did this race. Haha, NOT anymore!

How am I challenging myself this month?
Two ways:
1. Running 84 miles in April (20-ish miles a week, 2.7 miles a day)

I decided to NOT do OBC for the months of March and April, because I commute to graduate school multiple days a week. I used to wake up early and go to a 6AM cardio boot camp, run after camp, go to work, then go to graduate school 2 hours away for a 3 hour class, then drive 2 hours home, then do homework, then sleep for about 5 hours (if I am lucky) then do it ALL OVER AGAIN. Not to mention my lovely Filipino family and ACTIVE social life. Yeah. I am graduating on May 13, 2011 with my Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degree. I think sleep is better for me. So for March I was on my own, still running but also hired a personal trainer: my friend Jill Romo (former OBC instructor and true friend). It's been nice to have the support of my OBC family (we still do long runs together), my work family, my Filipino family, and Jill. Wins all around. I realized that I can lose this weight, but I NEED TO REALLY WANT IT. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT MAUREEN?! THAT BAD EH? THEN DO IT!

The reason why I shared my running saga is this: ANYBODY CAN BE A RUNNER. ANYBODY. I started running at 280 lbs. Did you know the heaviest person to complete a marathon was 275 lbs.? When I did the Los Angeles Marathon in March 2010 I was probably 260 lbs. Yeah, that's a lot of weight and pressure on the knees! I am a tortoise when running, but I have definitely built up my endurance over the years and can now go for miles for hours on end. YOU CAN TOO. You just need to start somewhere (preferably with a friend and/or guidance from a trainer/doctor--SAFETY FIRST!).


Always dedicated to health,
FFF Diva Mo

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