I was late in church today and wasn’t able to catch up with the rest of my family until the end of the mass. When I did, they were all smiles, with my mom exclaiming, “You look sexy today!”

Sexy? No, I wasn’t. I just looked–and felt–better. It’s both surprising and amazing how much a little makeup and dressing up can make you feel more confident, more beautiful, and sometimes a much better person than you are when you wake up. This is the exact thought that ran in my head.

I am not sexy. I am overweight, though I’m working at it right now. I may be about five years ago when I would starve myself and exercise for hours. But then, before, I felt more miserable.

I remember when I was in high school, I used to drop by SM Cebu and weigh myself in that large stainless steel scale outside National Bookstore. Each weigh cost 5 pesos, and surely I spent a lot. Yet I didn’t mind. I was happy every time it told me I was underweight. Yes, it made me feel so relieved to be far below that what’s good for me, what’s ideal for my age and height.

Worse, even when I was already so underweight, some would still call me “chubby” and at times in-your-face “fat.” It always bothered and frustrated me. I didn’t want to be chubby, let alone fat. I didn’t even want to be sexy. All I wanted was to be thin, and the process of getting into that point filled my life with a lot of insecurities. That emotional pain I carried through for more than 10 years of my life, and it’s only in the last 3 years that I slowly learned to let go of it.

I am not saying I feel good being like this. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be avoiding rice and watching what I eat. I am not comfortable with my weight, but I’m also past the need to look what others want me to look. I’m past the pressure, I’m past the insecurities. I am at a point when I am learning to love myself more, and that fuels me to take care of myself a lot better.

21-Day Challenge: Past Two Days

It turned out it wasn’t easy for me either. My vertigo came back for the past two days–stronger. Though it didn’t last for more than an hour, when I felt my entire environment spinning, I couldn’t do anything at all. I could not even walk! I had no other option but to take something sweet, eat some crackers, drink lots of water, or close my eyes, hoping after a short rest, I’ll be back on my feet again. It’s making me feel terrible. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t happen today because we’ll be going out.

On the upside, I’ve been receiving a lot of positive responses from friends, and some of them have been kind enough to drop by. They’ve also been very generous in giving their own diet tips. Can’t wait to try out quinoa and more salads next week.

In the meantime, here’s something I did on day 2:

21-day challenge day 2

It’s a very simple stuffed omelet with tuna, tomatoes, onions, and a dash of oregano. The cucumber was divine, by the way, maybe because it’s ideal for the summer.

21-Day Challenge: First Day

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is Bernard ate our simple salad (made up of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, and oranges). I think he loved the olive oil-lemon dressing I had made. It’s a huge accomplishment for him because he doesn’t eat anything that is called or resembles a vegetable (or even fruit).

The bad news is we weren’t able to let go of the rice. I couldn’t think straight. He ended up cheating by eating loaves of bread. Rather than feel extremely bad, we had to give in.

BUT we learned our lesson: right now, we couldn’t live without eating any forms of carb or grain. We just have to get it from somewhere else. I have completely forgotten about protein as well, which also helps curb hunger.

Tomorrow is second day, and we intend to do better.

Our 21-Day Challenge

Bernard and I can’t wait for April. We’ve been working really hard these past few months, and we definitely think we deserve a cool one-week break in what we call the Great Mindanao Adventure.

But we also think it would be MUCH cooler if we are better versions of ourselves then. So today we officially kick off our 21-day Challenge.

Why 21? They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Whether it becomes one for us, we don’t really care about that for now.  What’s more important is we get to honor our commitment.

What will happen in the next 21 days? Well, there will be a lot of dieting and exercising. We’ve gained a lot of weight over the past few years, and we’ve come to a point we need a change STAT. Bernard is already feeling a lot of pain on his legs. I just wanted to buy new clothes again. We’re not getting younger either. Now is definitely the time to do it.

In our home you won’t see white rice but oats, whole wheat bread, and whole grains. There will be no more soda as well. We’ll go back to juicing and introduce steaming and eating raw into our lives. There will be less meat for him and less chicken for me. Every day for 15 minutes, we’ll keep ourselves moving and cardio up. Perhaps he’ll go back to P90x and I might join him. But my mind is set on brisk walking in the afternoons, when the weather’s not unbearably hot.

We’ll learn to love ourselves more, so we’ll have a lot to give too to others, to each other.

I’ll try my best to post every day within the next 21 days just to let you know how we’re doing and to remind us we’ve got something to fulfill. You’re also free to join us.

Wish us luck.



Bernard would often tell me we will be together for more than 50 years (yes, he quantified it, because I don’t believe in forever). But that remains such an elusive promise if I don’t adopt something healthier stat.

That’s why I’m eternally grateful to be introduced to a much healthier option of iced tea. It’s called Allmytea.


Allmytea isn’t a new entrant in the market. In fact, it’s been around for around a decade, a real product of labor of love of a small family in Manila. The special concoction is made up of brewed tea, squeezes of orange and calamansi, a hint of vanilla, and a dash of sugar. Thanks to the government, though, by 2005, they’re able to acquire a plant and mass-produce it so the drink can be enjoyed outside the confines of their small canteen.

Right now, it’s here in Cebu, brought by Senpur Trading, a very new company managed by Stacy. She had spent 8 years as hotelier before she decided to pursue what could be her real vocation.

The relationship between Allmytea and Stacy, though, was fate. As a young mom who wanted nothing but the best for her son, the iced tea just suited her present needs.

What Makes It So Natural?

Let me tell you something about Bernard first: he’s one of the pickiest eaters and drinkers I have ever know. He’s always been the “Coke, burger, and lots of coffee” type of guy; and I think I probably have to bleed before I can let him take a sip of tea. So I wasn’t really surprised when he immediately commented how the tea in Allymytea came out a bit strong. In fact, I was so ready for him to tell me he doesn’t want any of it at home anymore. Yet he drank the first half, let me take a small portion of it, and took the rest. Yup, he never left anything for me or the next day.

Yes, Allmytea has a stronger hint of tea than other iced teas out there, but it only means one thing: it’s the real deal. The black tea, which has been sourced out from Sri Lanka, is really brewed. The strong taste, however, is mellowed by the addition of the sweetest calamansi from Mindoro and just enough sugar to please the palate.

The naturalness of every bottle also makes its shelf life short: it’s good for only 4 months.

Right now, Allymytea is being sold in restaurants and cafes such as Japengo, Popeye’s Grill, and Café de France. Stacy and her team are also bringing the drink to schools as a way of promoting healthier food for kids. Groceries may be at the back of their minds, but considering the limited shelf life, such option takes more serious consideration.

As for me, I’m just happy. Stacy was brilliant enough to take me throughout the meticulous, hygienic process of creating Allymytea. So I know it’s completely safe and healthy. Most of all, I can share my love for tea with Bernard easily.

For those who are interested to know more about Allymytea, you can contact:

Stacy Rubie Senor Purugganan
General Manager
Senpur Trading
Langtad, Naga, Cebu 6037
Telefax: +63 (032) 236-5379
Mobile: +63 916 464 7560