Grow with Ro

I hit writer’s block.

It’s been exactly two months since I’ve since last posted.

Since then, I’ve focused on activities that have helped me further my personal development. To name a few:

1. Learning Korean

I started learning about 4 months ago and haven’t stopped since. I consume a lot of Korean content and listen to a lot of Korean music, so I figured why not?

2. Mindset Mentor Podcast

Ever since I’ve started listening to this podcast, it has made me dig deeper into myself. In my 20s specifically, a lot of time was spent “cruising” through life, and the podcast, in a way, has stopped me in my tracks. There are so many gems that I’ve listened to so far, and feel I found it at the right time as I approach my 30s.

3. Introduction to vegetarian/vegan food

I’ve had a vegan food subscription box for the last few months and it has definitely broadened my horizons with food. With being lactose intolerant and having acid reflux episodes from time to time, it definitely provides another alternative to meat. I’m not fully vegetarian or vegan in any way currently, but it has helped in adding more vegetables to my meals.

4. Meditation

I have tried meditation before, but have never stuck with it long term. It forces me to just sit in silence and be more intentional with my actions.

5. Running

Running provides me a time to be by myself and not be disturbed.

6. Singing Lessons

I’ve never been comfortable with my singing voice. With the exception of two performances I did in college (which were not solo), singing in public terrifies me, BUT feel that taking these lessons will DEFINITELY take me out of my comfort zone and eventually see where that takes me.


My Significant Other: My Relationship with Food

Photo by Naim Benjelloun on

I haven’t been providing my body the care and fuel it deserves. If there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, fried food is not the way to go. I have a tendency to crave “crunchy” food. Texture definitely plays a factor into what I eat. But, MAN my body just doesn’t fare well with it anymore. Constipation, just isn’t it. Sorry for the TMI.

Growing up Filipino, there’s A LOT of fried food on the table. When it came to family gatherings, it wasn’t a thing to have a vegetarian based dish on the table. It was something my cousins and I used to joke about. It actually wasn’t until I was much older that one “green” dish finally made it to the table.

For a long time, it did affect my relationship with food. The Filipino culture as a whole revolves around food. 10 people attending a party? Feed for 40, not even an exaggeration.

Attending a Filipino party for the first time? The first thing that’s said is: “GO EAT!” once you walk in the door.

The irony is that you’ll be full, yet still receive comments about weight gain all in the same instance. You just can’t seem to win. But as I’ve grown older, you just have to pick and choose your battles.

To be aware of your relationship food is one thing. To be endangering your health is another.

I couldn’t tell you how many members of my family have/had the following health issues: high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, heart bypass surgery, high cholesterol, and the list goes on…

I’d like to cut that cycle. I really don’t want history to repeat itself.

I don’t expect bad eating habits to go away overnight, but hope that providing my body the necessary fuel will lead me to live a longer life without any serious health issues coming up.


My Weight Loss Journey

Although me gaining weight has pretty much stabilized, that wasn’t always the case. I never really had any weight issues, up until I went off to college.

When I entered college, I remember hearing about the so-called “Freshman 15” and to be honest, I ignored it. I had the mindset of, “Oh that’ll never happen to me.” I was coming from the perspective of being active as a high school tennis player. But little did I know, the “Freshman 15” would catch up to me later that school year.

As a freshman, I didn’t know how to cook. Back then, my groceries were literally all frozen microwaveable food. It was convenient. But man, my body paid the price.

My health during my freshman year was probably the worst it had ever been. I was sick for a month or two, I got bronchitis, my lymph nodes were swollen, and I was on antibiotics. My body was going through some sort of a shock from such a drastic lifestyle change. Sleep deprivation, drinking, partying, nightly kick-its, all taking a complete bad toll on my body.

And then this was the start of the comments…

“Are you gaining weight?”

“Malusog ka.” (You’re round)

It’s one thing to have the negative comments in English, but once they are said in Tagalog (Filipino) there’s an added heaviness to the comment that makes it hit much harder. 

Instead of facing the issue back then… I ran away from it as far I could. 

I was in denial for a really long time.

I remember when I would return home to visit my parents and we’d run errands at stores, I would purposefully hide if I saw someone I knew. I didn’t want to get the comment, “Oh, you look different.

I remember whenever I took photos, I never looked at them after the fact, because I didn’t want to see myself. 

I would go to family gatherings and the discussion would turn to, did I look better when I was skinny or did I look better with my face filled out?

This continued for 4 years.

Fast forward to my college graduation, a highlight of my life. All the hard work and stress had finally been worth it and I could finally mark “college grad” off my list. 

A friend of mine on Facebook tagged me in a picture that one of the professional photographers took at my graduation and it literally hit me.

I couldn’t even recognize myself and it was heartbreaking.

Here I am… on what was supposed to be such a happy moment in my life, but also getting an ultimate reality check. I’ve let myself go big time.

From then on, I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve started workouts, counted calories, but didn’t pull through. I was doing all those things to prove a point to those who made the negative comments. In retrospect, I did it all for the wrong reasons.

But currently, I am concentrated on the long run. I am doing this journey for myself, and myself only. 

I eat meatless once a week and have been focusing on cardio to get into the routine of working out consistently. It is all about doing activities that I enjoy. Right now, my current fitness obsession is “Hip Hop Fit” which is a dance fitness based workout with 80s/90s/00s music as the background. On days that I don’t feel like dancing, I’ve brought back jump roping. Once I’ve incorporated the cardio permanently into my routine, the next will be weight training. Until then, the goal is to keep on going and figure out what is the best for my body.


The Ups and Downs of my Weight Loss Journey

“You can’t fail, if you don’t stop.”

I was watching a weight loss video the other day and this quote resonated to me for some reason.

When it comes to weight loss, I’ve definitely failed in the past and it was all due to stopping. I stopped Insanity. I stopped T25. I stopped being attentive to what I ate. 

Yes, it can be discouraging if you’re not seeing results right away as you’d like, but that reflects the amount of effort going in. A short term fix will not yield a long term result. You have to be in it for the long run. Also, digging deep into what are your vices and issues will help what can be improved. You aren’t doing yourself a favor if you’re not 100% honest with yourself. Have a sweet tooth? Love salty snacks? They’re all starting points on your weight loss journey. The journey will have its highs and lows or unexpected detours, but just as long you keep on going, that’s all that matters.


The Unimportant Number on the Scale

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If there’s one thing that I’ve learned recently, it is to not let a number fully define your progress on your health journey.

I can admit in the last 2 weeks, there were instances where I personally put more pressure on that number. I would check my weight a couple days in a row and see no significant change.

The interesting part of my health journey is if I take into consideration the heaviest weight I’ve been at, I’m down actually 17 lbs, yet I was SO concentrated on this number that didn’t change.

To me it’s a reminder to take a look at the bigger picture and reflect on where you’ve come from. There will be days that are better than others, but with that being said don’t forget to celebrate the smaller achievements as well. For example today, I put on a pair of “skinny” jeans that I haven’t worn in awhile and to my surprise they were looser than before. All that matters is that you’re taking the steps forward, whether it is one or five or you end up running up the staircase, it’s progress.


The Importance of Health

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Since I was in college, I have struggled with my weight gain. It was in college that I put on the most weight.

I ran away from it. I remembered taking pictures and not wanting to look at them after, since I was so self conscious on what I looked like.

I have attempted to lose weight, whether it was starting Insanity, using MyFitnessPal, started running, etc. I would have a lot of momentum in the beginning, but couldn’t keep it consistent. All the times I’ve tried, it was all on my own. I didn’t seek help from someone.

Now… I’ve hit that point, where I feel that isn’t cutting it.


I have realized, I can’t do this alone. 

I’ve been running out of breath more often, my joints have been in pain, and overall I’ve been more anxious.

I’m 27 years old. I feel know I can be better than where I’m at now.

It’s not going to be an easy journey, but I’m sick of feeling what I am feeling now.