Monthly Archives: August 2012

Commitment to Health Series 1.1

I can feel all the good energy in the world today! That is why I am sharing the very first post for the “Commitment to Health Series” a weekly interview from people who decided to journey into a healthier lifestyle and live up to it.

First on my list is *one kick ass, empowered gal who, since last year, has been one of my major influences in working on my own healthier-lifestyle journey. Here is her story!

purple bliss: Please introduce yourself.

Sanika: Lots of people call me Ems, though to some I’m known as Sanika, a sort of “yoga” nickname.

purple bliss: What was your starting weight and your current weight?

Sanika: I peaked at 180 lbs for 5’. Right now I’m at 125 lbs, though my all-time low was 120lbs.

Miss Emillene Jean Torres

purple bliss: What moment sparked or inspired you to work on your journey to a healthier lifestyle?

Sanika: My boyfriend and I went to La Mesa Ecopark for a picnic…the photos of me made me realize that I was horridly fat and I even looked like a mom with, like, 12 kids!

purple bliss: What methods are you using to achieve your goal?

Sanika: I did it old-school: diet (a short stint with vegetarianism for around six months) and workout (3-4 hours a day, cardio + weights, 6-7 days a week)

I have also increased the amount of protein I eat. I will start cutting out any form of starch by September or October. The ultimate goal is 18% body fat. In terms of strength, my goal is to be able to squat and deadlift double or triple my body weight. Right now my one RM (rep max) for deadlifts is 150lbs and my squat is 60lbs front squat, 170lbs back squat. Bench press right now is 60lbs too. I can do 80lbs for cleans and 60lbs for clean and press. My goal is to do equivalent to my body weight for cleans and body weight + 20% for clean and press.

purple bliss: How long did it take you to achieve your weight goal?

*Sanika: My goal weight is 115 so I’m not really there yet…but I’ve been at this for around 28 months. My goal right now is not really to lose weight but lose fat and increase strength. Even if my weight has not changed, I have dropped 2 dress sizes and fit into size 2 jeans since I’ve gotten serious with weight training.

purple bliss: What are your favorite exercises or physical activities?

*Sanika: I loooooove yoga. I go to the gym ideally six times a week and do heavy weights, HIIT, body pump, body attack and plyometrics.

I finished my first 16km run, September of last year and did my first half marathon (21km) within 2 hours and 40 minutes (I think) at the Adidas King of the Road a month after.

I was very much into running last year but it has become such an expensive hobby. This year I’m more into weight training, I get more results by doing serious weights.

Sanika loooooves yoga!
“Salutation Seal – Anjali Mudra, Padmasana – Lotus Pose”

purple bliss: Please describe your healthy eating plan.

Sanika: “The Dibdiban Plan” (which for me is intense) has no refined carbs and very little sweets. Vegetables, fish and lean meat. Brown rice. No calorie drinks. Nothing fried as much as possible. Fresh vegetable snacks with dip. Strictly at 1200 calories every day. The Maintenance Plan is eat pretty much anything, but in moderation and continue working out the same number of hours every day. If I eat something overindulgent (like, say ice cream) I do an extra hour on the treadmill or on the road. I don’t really follow diets that say “eat a lot during breakfast” or “skip dinner” because working out at the gym and going to the office really makes that hard. What I do believe in is calorie counting, and I stick to 1500 calories every day, 2000 calories tops.

purple bliss: Do you avoid certain foods? What are they?

*Sanika: If I’m in “the dibdiban plan”, anything that you KNOW is bad for your diet – fried, fatty, too-sweet, heavy, and carbs. If I’m not, I only avoid food I’m medically allergic to.

purple bliss: What are the best three tips on weight loss that have helped you in this journey?

Sanika: Tip #1: It takes time.

Tip #2: Liposuction money is better spent on a real vacation, so get your ass to the gym and workout instead.

Tip #3: It’s all about getting used to – the dieting becomes easier after a few days, just endure. The workout becomes less painful, just endure.

Bonus Tip: Everyone looks good in a bikini.

Her bonus tip + this pic says it all!
Whit Whew!

purple bliss: What obstacles have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Sanika: Laziness. Work Schedules. But as they say, “time is made” so if I HAVE to skip a gym day, I make it a point to make up for it the next day.

purple bliss: How has your self-image changed since you changed into a healthier lifestyle?

Sanika: I feel less insecure and I feel like I can do anything at work, school and at home. I lost my abandonment issues, because, excuse my French, “Fuck guys who can’t take me, I can find someone else” because I know I look better now. I care less what people think because kaya ba nila ginawa ko? It’s really an achievement that’s worth bragging about and feeling confident with your body extends to ALL aspects of your life. If you can control yourself, everything else follows.

And as a close, Sanika shares,

“So far, I have to say that losing weight is up to you. Results don’t lie and you can only expect results that are equivalent to the effort you put in. If you miss too many workout days, if you cheat too often, that’s your fault. THERE IS REALLY NO VALID EXCUSE. Well, maybe except your own death. But whatever reason it is that kept you from working out, that’s your choice and that’s a delay in your progress. I have learned in all this that it’s really depending on how bad you want it.” ###

*Answers are not verbatim

*This is an updated repost from the author’s other fitness blog

*Photos are owned by the Interviewee

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Thanks a mill to Ate Ems (as I call her)! She was super kind to answer my questions and I am really grateful to have gained vital information from her practices that has motivated me to keep working for my goal as well.

That’s also why I’m giving her the Certified Purple Bliss love badge! A special award given only to awesome people who are certified advocates of positive change. Congratulations!

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Purple Bliss says:  What part of the interview caught your attention? Got more questions for Sanika? Share it in the comments section.



Do you have a go-to place when you need a spot to chill after a chaotic day at work, or a study area with free Wi-fi at the mall, or maybe that nice place to spend long conversations catching up with high school friends, if not a cozy spot to cuddle with your sweetheart while waiting for the movie’s last full show, or simply a quiet corner outside of your home that you can go to when you have some things to think over by yourself?

I do.

If it goes the same with you then congratulations we both have a reason to reminisce and be grateful for all the moments we’ve spent in this special place.

This is a love letter to one of those special locations that have a heart tag on my map.

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Dearest Coffee Bean,

It’s a cold Sunday morning; your windows are still covered with haze from last night’s rainfall. The  quaint music is playing across the room while I,  for the first time in a long time, muster the courage to pick up a pen and paper and write a love letter for one special love of my life, You.

Our love affair started a year ago when you caught my eye with your lovely shades of purple and red. I was never fond of coffee or tea shops but my first sip of your hot African sunrise tea latte changed all that. You got me entranced with your beauty. And oh how calming is your scent of vanilla; that sweet subtle smell I long for every time you’re around. It never fails to bring my mood up.

It was you who shared my early job-hunting blues. It was you who provided shelter for my time-pressured-meet-the-deadline moments during the hype of my writing gigs. It was you who saved me from loneliness in bus rides and mall walks and it was you who accompanied me all throughout my depressive fits and even my “angry me” episodes.  You were my hangover fix after my first crazy morning drinking session. And even now, in the very moment of this letter’s writing, when all I want to do is simply kill time, you are here, to be my sanctuary.

Thank you for the tropical passion tea latte and straight-from-the-oven blueberry muffins. Thank you for being here, “since 1963” and for the many years to come.


the purple bliss

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THE PURPLE BLISS says: For the ❤ of Coffee Bean! Is Coffee Bean a sanctuary to you too? What’s your favorite CBTL (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) drink and pastry?

If not, what Coffee or Tea shop or any other location is your go-to place? What makes it special? Tell me about it in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you. =)