The Quest for the Gwyneth-at-40 Body

The Quest for the Gwyneth-at-40 Body

Pre-2015, I could have been a poster girl for the unhealthy lifestyle. Little sleep, no exercise, and most alarming of all, a regular diet of rich and fatty food. I love pork fat and rice and probably consumed more than the average human being!

It was a long time coming, but by the start of 2015, I finally made an earnest promise to make some positive changes. Getting sick numerous times the prior year just did it for me.

The goal? To be as fit, lean, and toned as the 40-year old version of Gwyneth Paltrow. I know half of the world’s female population hate her but she just looks so damn good!

gwyneth
Source: People Magazine. The glorious and glowing 40-something Gwyneth

So I set to incorporate Bikram Yoga in my weekly routine. It was the perfect solution. I worked long hours in the congested Makati CBD, so I was extremely lucky that they had a studio right next to my building. They had 8pm classes, which suited me as well, because it meant I didn’t need to rush to get to class. I could comfortably finish my work for the day and shift to yoga mode with no stress at all.

Source: Bikram Yoga Manila FB page. The hot room could make it very challenging for newbies to do the poses. It’s not unusual to feel faint.
Source: Bikram Yoga Manila FB page. Thursday and Friday are zumba nights at the Bikram Yoga Makati studio
Source: Bikram Yoga Manila FB page. Thursday and Friday are zumba nights at the Bikram Yoga Makati studio

You would think that the intense Bikram Yoga sessions would make me achieve my desired results in a few days. I mean, all that sweat! But no, not for my 37-year-old body. To avoid feeling discouraged, I made the decision not to keep on checking my weight and just be grateful that I survived each class. I actually felt myself getting stronger after each visit to the studio! My mindset going in slowly changed from dread of heat-induced fainting spells to determination to do better than my last. It took longer than I expected, but on my 6th month, I started to see some physical changes.

But it still wasn’t happily-ever-Bikram Yoga-after from that time on though. I had another crisis to hurdle. Somehow, the heat, sweat-soaked towels, and all that sweat in general triggered a lot of break-outs on my face and neck area. I’ve been used to break-outs all my life but at 37 I just wasn’t taking it anymore! Who gets break-outs at this age?!?

So 2105 turned out to be the year I not only got serious with getting fit, but serious with skin care as well. After online research, I settled with visiting the Aivee Clinic for its good reputation and proximity to my home. It didn’t hurt that the clinic is such a pleasure to visit – with its cool neutral colors, French-inspired interiors, soothing music, and lovely refreshments. The combination of facials, skin creams, and low dosage of isotretinoin delivered its promise of keeping my break-outs at bay. My skin is far from perfect now, but I can go to yoga without worrying about causing skin damage.

The impressive front desk at the Aivee Clinic SM Mega Fashion Hall
The impressive front desk at the Aivee Clinic SM Mega Fashion Hall
Tasteful French-inspired decor at the Aivee Clinic's waiting area
Tasteful French-inspired decor at the Aivee Clinic’s waiting area
Reminds me to hydrate all the time
Reminds me to hydrate all the time

And so continues my quest for the Gwyneth-at-40 body (and skin!). It’s been an interesting and satisfying experience so far. Apart from the post-it on my computer screen reminding me to get my butt off the chair, it’s been the encouragement of yoga teachers, the inspiration I get from my toned and gorgeous classmates, and the great comments I get from the people around me (even my barista!) that urges me to keep doing what I’m doing. There’s no stopping me now.

The Bikram Yoga Manila studio is located at the 15/F 88 Corporate Center, Sedeno cor Valero Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City

The Aivee Clinic is located at the 5th Level Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City

Namaste to all!

4 months into Bikram yoga...practising my standing bow
4 months into Bikram yoga…practising my standing bow
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