for Budget-Conscious
Brides and Beauties

It’s Easter time, so I guess it’s the perfect time to announce my latest series here in this blog. I informally call it the “Resurrect Your Alindog” project. But as stated in the title above, we formally and more completely call it the “Bilbil Busters for Budget-Conscious Brides and Beauties”

Board exam tips are for all types of board exam takers. This time, I am focusing on women who need to shed some excess pounds.

Years ago, I made some sets of blog posts for special topics, foremost of which is the board exam tips. (I tried making a series on love stories but it got hard to maintain because of internal pressure and information overload. I plan to continue that series sometime soon, I promise. )

In keeping with the spirit of providing really useful and helpful lifestyle content, I am making a new blog post series on health and weight loss for women.

In particular, I am writing this for the ultra-busy women who cannot see themselves going to the gym all the time. I especially wrote this for soon-to-be BRIDES who need to fit in their wedding gown without shelling out too much to do so. Wedding planning can be batshit crazy on some days and it can get really expensive, so practicality in other matters is a must.

Like the board exam tips, it’s based on my actual experience. The only gym equipment I have used so far is the elliptical trainer and the exercise bike. I will give options on what worked for me and give some alternatives in case you do not have the equipment that I used. As much as possible, I would refrain from dictating workouts because everyone has different body types and considerations.

During college, I was all of 95 pounds and I ate 3 cups of rice every meal without gaining weight. I ate SIX RICE MEALS per day. I felt invincible. Feeling ko it will last forever. At the time, I never thought I’d be writing a blog post series on weight loss 10 years down the line. But here I am now, writing about what worked for me.

Women like me are inclined to collect more calories since metabolism slows with age annually. Experts call it calorie creep phenomenon.

The maximum effects of my weight gain were in the years 2012 to 2013. I looked absolutely horrendous, figure-wise. Reality started slapping me in the face in 2012. In my case, the calories crept to my belly in a major way!

Here is proof, taken on my birthday last September 2013, around 7 months ago:

Helen in September 2013

Helen in September 2013

My waistline was around 32 or 33 inches, I think. I was NOT pregnant, by the way. I was just eating at a buffet for my birthday at the time. And I haven’t even started eating yet when they took this picture!

Grabe diba.

You can see the BIG problem there. It actually came to the point where the MRT guards and Trinoma guards give me priority in the queue for PREGNANT people. In fact, even my neighbors ASSUMED that there was a bun in the oven already. Parang gusto ko na lang magtago, sobrang laki talaga ng tinaba ko. šŸ™

It’s quite offensive when people told me how fat I am. I have heard this sooooo many times!

It’s actually rude when you don’t see people for a long time and then they exclaim how big you became. It’s as if I do not have a mirror at home to make me painfully aware of my current predicament. Just so they know, I have a mirror, and I avoided it for many months. (T_T)

But we cannot expect everyone to be well-mannered, kind or considerate when it comes to our flaws. Sobrang harsh ng mga tao sa mga matataba or tumatabang babae.

In a way, it was my fault too because I let myself go like that for almost 3 years. The sad fact is that there are actually people who are happy that I became like a hippopotamus last year. Some people totally gossiped about my weight gain.

I know that my partner loves me no matter what shape I am in. I poked fun at myself too when people joke about it. But I think secretly, he also missed my slimmer days in 2011.

Even if I did not admit it openly last year, it really affected me. The more stressed I got about my weight gain, the more I resorted to STRESS EATING to comfort myself. It’s this sick cycle which also made me more physically sick and got me to countless hospital trips. It was a downward spiral. I thought I was hopeless, that I was not going to snap out of it.

Narrating everything in one blow is getting ahead of myself.

So let me just give a sneak peek of what happened after…

These photos were taken just last Maundy Thursday after my exercise routine.

Right now, I am nowhere near Marian Rivera’s 19 inches of waistline. But diminishing my waist from 33 inches to the 25.5 or 26 inches that it is now (without paying 50k for a Cohen diet or shelling out 55k for a lifetime gym membership) on a very shoestring budget is definitely an achievement.

I am posting these to ENCOURAGE anyone who thinks that shrinking 7 inches off their waistline is impossible. And that does not necessarily involve signing up for expensive things or buying expensive gear.

I am zooming it in so that you will see the work currently in progress:

Camera-Ready at Any Angle

Camera-Ready at Any Angle


Waistline: 26 inches (from 33 inches, 7 months ago)

There. I do not even have a sports bra brand to endorse to you while I show you all these. My outfit was just Php 100 from nearby tiangge booths in Ortigas. I was just wearing my pambahay.

Some people have lines in their abs and are often doing outdoor sports activities. It’s not the perfect waistline but it’s definitely better than my old waistline.

The focus of this series is not on how good you look with your workout clothes. Other websites will be more than happy to provide that kind of information for you. Like my board exam tips, it goes to the essentials that worked for me based on my experience in creating my own weight loss regimen. And in sharing these things, I hope that other people can benefit from my discoveries.

Disclaimer: I am no fitness expert and this blog series is not for elite people or celebrities who have their posse of fitness experts at their beck and call. If you have a nutritionist, that’s really awesome and you should continue your regimen. If you are enrolled in a gym, that’s great! You will have all the assistance you need and you should make the most of it. If you are wearing top-notch sports wear and attending great sports events, I am happy for you and you should continue that! šŸ™‚ I am not sure what profit fitness buffs will have from this blog but it might provide some interesting insights for the open-minded.

This series I am making is more geared towards simple people who just want to get fit or improve their waistline without spending too much money.

It’s really for average people like me who need to lose a few inches here and there. This is for girls who ride buses or the MRT on their way to work. This is for working women who do not have the time or additional income to burn hours in the gym. This is for busy ladies who want to be fit, not necessarily sexy by Hollywood standards. This is for the bride who is running the risk of becoming bridezilla with all the wedding preparation stress and needs to pamper herself without paper bills flying out of her wallet. It’s for the fitness-hungry females who have been overtaxed, underpaid, and heavily stressed by life’s demands.

So if you think that this is your brand of becoming fit for 2014 and beyond, I invite you to this online series that I will be making in the coming days. šŸ™‚

And like me, I hope you have a lot of fun as you try to make lifestyle changes and rediscover your fabulous physique without drilling a hole in your pocket:

Bilbil Busters for Budget-Conscious Brides and Beauties FTW!

Bilbil Busters for Budget-Conscious Brides and Beauties FTW!


Isa itong patunay na hindi mo kailangang magpaka-burgis sa mga bagay-bagay para maging bodylicious. šŸ™‚Ā 

In my next post for this series, I will discuss about your single biggest fitness responsibility and why it matters so much in your efforts to lose weight. šŸ™‚Ā  <3 <3 <3



1.) Start with the right mindset! >>Ā Freedom in Fitness
2.) Get to know your brand of fitness >> Ā The Fitness-Owning Advantage
3.) Don’t forget to balance your fitness regimen with fairly distributed CHEAT DAYS and calorie estimations. >> Chillaxing Cheat Days and Calorie Counts
4.) Make fitness a part of your daily activities by incorporating it into your regular grind. >>Ā Hulk Band Helena
.) Share your fitness, win a friend! >> Fitness Friendships



42 thoughts on “Bilbil-Busters
for Budget-Conscious
Brides and Beauties

  1. Great job! I would love to know your secret and you are right by saying that we need not spend an arm and a leg to lose weight. A lifestyle change is also essential and the determination to do it. Keep us posted with your journey to a healthier you!

    1. Hi Ida! Thank you so much, yep I’ve been posting actively on this series for the last 2 weeks. I really hope that it helps to share the things I learned… And yep, I did a lifestyle change to make most of these things come about…

  2. Wow! That was great. I think your tips will not only apply for women but for men too. Just like me, one of my problems is how to cut off those BILBILS. I do sit-ups daily but the bilbil is still there.

    1. Hi Dad Allan! I find sit-ups really difficult so I do some alternatives to it. I usually do my ab work standing up. šŸ™‚ I hope that it works for me. Although I heard that the Youtube channel Passion for Profession is especially effective for males…. šŸ™‚

  3. I love this series! I can relate because I had started my own “Resurrect the Alindog” (hahaha) program but fell off the wagon when summer started. Oh no! This post just serves as a reminder for me. And yes, I agree that working out doesn’t need to be expensive! I worked out at home, while my son slept, and wearing pambahay clothes!

    PS: Kidding aside, you look great even before you lost weight!

    1. Hi Maan! Anyare sa project? sayang iresurrect mo yung resurrect your alindog program mo. <3 Thank you for thinking na I look great even before this program started. Okay naman sana ako kaso nung nagstart na akong makakuha ng privilege sa MRT at malls na hindi pinapapila sa normal lane at nilalagay na ako sa pregnant lane... napag-isip isip ko na kelangan ko na talagang baguhin yung katawan ko ng konti para mukha naman akong dalaga ulit sa remaining days of singlehood ko. šŸ™‚ Ayan hindi na ako napagkakamalang buntis. Binabalanse ko na lang para hindi naman ako mukhang humpak. hahahahahahahaha. I hope na when I change my state to married mode, I can balance the time too like you are doing with your project...

  4. I need this! I have been doing zumba and standing abs workouts at least once a week. There are just days I do not want to be bothered with sweat. LOL. I hope I get inspiration from you. I never adjusted my diet. I do not see the changes yet but I have received comments that I lost weight but when I checked the scale, nothing happened. The waistline did not shrink, too. I think they are just teasing me.

    1. Hi Kat! I think the muscle is building on your end. Sometimes you don’t lose pounds per se but your muscles start taking shape when you start working out. Sumesexy pero wala halos epekto sa weighing scale. Regarding the motivation to continue, I have a fitness buddy and I go on fitness dates with her. I engage my friends to join me para mas fun, bonding na rin. I bring my mat and my hula hoop. If you need an extra boost and the area is friendly, we can do that together ahahahaha. It’s really super fun. I tried zumba on youtube and Zumba with Tal (I wrote about her before) live at UP CSWCD. Grabe kaya yun, you need a liter of water on your side high impact kasi siya tapos masaya pa. I also love standing ab workouts more than the traditional sit-ups… šŸ™‚ Tuloy mo lang yan girl sobrang magbubunga yan later for your health and for your general well-being…

    1. hahahahaha thank you so much Ditas. šŸ™‚ Out of necessity na rin for good health kaya ako napilitan magbawas ng timbang. They say higher risk for heart attack, diabetes and other conditions ang malalaking bewang. I decided na paliitin siya para healthy kasi magpapamilya na at naisip ko na whatever unhealthy eating habits I had in the past had to stop when I start being responsible for another life. Naging maganda yung results, awa ng Diyos. At may maisusulat ako ulit. Ganadong ganado rin akong idetalye yung mga ginawa ko para naman may iba akong matulungan. Kasi ang laking tulong talaga sa akin nung mga nadiscover ko.

      1. Wow, Nicely. I would say that you are trying your best to reach your goals for the no rice poicly and being able to do it. It can be hard to break off a habit. The No Coke Campaign of Brown Pinay is admirable. It is hard not to drink soda.

  5. Oh, wow! What an inspiration. May pag-asa pa pala ako! Haha! I also feel really frustrated and lately I have been bugging my hubby and keep telling him how fat I look like now. Huhu. Before we got married, I was like around 88-90 lbs and no bilbil, many kept telling me I was payatot. But now, three years later and with a toddler, naku, I have no idea na how to stop my bilbil from getting fatter and fatter. I wanted to exercise but I don’t know how to start. I’m a SAHM, no helper, so I do all chores at home, pero despite that, lumalaki pa rin ako. Waaah! I am so gonna follow your series. Thanks so much for sharing! Btw, you look really, really fab, sis! Ang galing mo! šŸ™‚

    1. Grabe yung 88 pounds Van! Pinakapayat ko na yata ang 95 pounds nung college… I have been hearing some scary weight gain stories from my family after childbirth. Actually I am starting to prepare myself na nga rin for that. I think though ang priority talaga is to have good nutrition. Function over form, yung form madali na pag hindi ka na nagkakasakit or tama na yung pagkain mo… May naresearch akong parang incremental calorie increase for pregnant wives. Baka subukan ko next year kung mabibiyayaan kami ng maaga ng anak… Tapos ishshare ko rin dito sa blog ko. For the meantime, yung medyo spartan at tight budget approach ko siguro muna ang ilalagay ko rito. Gagana pa rin naman siguro yun general principles naman kasi yung iba about fitness and nutrition…

    1. hahahaha Hi Jhari! Totoo naman talaga girl, ang daming nagsulputan na ang mamahal e. Yung iba kung anu ano pa inaalok pero wala namang talab. Tingin ko hiyangan din kasi yung mga ganitong klase ng endeavors, pero may mga general principles na gagana kahit maglabas ka ng pera o hindi. šŸ™‚

  6. Oh this is what Daddy A is telling me pala. I want to lose all my bilbils too. Actually, I am started to be frustrated na e. I’m not that slim before but I have less bilbils naman but when I got pregnant and gave birth ayan na ang problem ko not just with just the bilbils but also sa weight loss. I’ll be following this series sis and hopefully maging okay din sa akin šŸ™‚

    1. Hi Mommy Maye, I’ve been detailing some techniques on my first few posts. I think I saw a lot of results after 6 months na. Matagal malaki yung tummy ko, butete talaga ang peg. Hindi siya nangyari agad. Mahirap, actually yung exercise component ng fitness strategy ko ay sinimulan ko mga February na talaga. Nagstart ako magbawas sa unhealthy carbohydrates around November to December naman. Parang ang dami kasing nag-aalok ng mahal na regimen at gym, naisip ko lang na may mga nakita akong alternatives para sa mga nagtitipid. I am happy na this might help. I will continue to post. I have written four so far (index of articles at the bottom of this premier post for reference).

  7. Oh my! I can seriously relate with being asked about being pregnant! I’ve always been thin, but my belly stands out, if you know what I mean.

    Yes, I agree that you don’t need to spend a lot to lose weight and be fit.

    1. Ugh grabe diba hahahaha. I endured that for months before I started doing something to improve my physique. I am inherently an apple body type so it’s really extra difficult to trim the midsection. If anything though, we apple types often have nice legs. šŸ˜‰ My recent experience showed that it’s actually possible to trim the waist a bit and balance the top-heavy appearance. šŸ™‚ Without passing out or crash dieting, that is…

    1. Hi Redamethyst!!! Thanks haha. I never thought I’d lose all the inches but I did. I did some strategies fit for my lifestyle. I hope that my future posts in this topic will help you as well. šŸ™‚

    1. Hi Marie! Wow thanks, I would be delighted to share everything. I’ve done four posts so far and I hope to do more in the coming days…

  8. I better start reading … and applying your tips! I just started with four exercise sessions, then I leave for three weeks! It seems an impossibility to lose weight… so I better concentrate on reading your posts!

    1. Hi Pinay! Oh I hope it helps!!! Someone told me that it’s okay to do short exercise for as long as you do them everyday. It’s better to do that than have two or one intense session weekly. Mas consistent daw ang results at long-term… I followed that advice and it really works for me. You can start small like 5 minutes per day only then increase it when it becomes a habit…

  9. They say there are those people who even eat a lot never gain so much weight and those who’s the exact of the one mentioned above. Glad I am the former. šŸ™‚ Though I always make sure to exercise even if it’s just little walk, little run or little aero.

    1. Hi Theresa, I know! It’s really challenging to work on slower metabolism. Good to know you are still staying fit despite your inherent advantage. šŸ™‚

    1. maraming salamat Melgie! šŸ™‚ Yung “hardcore” na efforts ko, nangyari siya in 10 weeks. Pero I factored in yung super slow progress ko in my efforts to diet, umabot siya ng 7 months sa bilang ko…

  10. wow! you are an inspiration! great job! i will start my diet again. hehehe i lost track on my weight during the holidays. i dont want to go back to my eating habits again. thanks for sharing this post! if you can do it, i can do it, right? hehe =) keep inspiring šŸ™‚

    1. Hi Aby thanks! oo go go go… I think starting with eating habits is really a good way to sustain a healthier lifestyle. I tried to work my way around food for the longest time but I ended up working on it anyway when exercise could not quite cut the shortcuts I was making for adapting a healthy type of lifestyle.

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