First Time Parents: What to Know Before Giving Birth Workshop (Giveaway)

Are you pregnant? It’s amazing that nowadays, pregnant couples really look for workshops and lectures where they can learn more about being pregnant and what to expect before, during and after pregnancy.

Manila Workshops, Medela Moms, Inc. and Stemcord will be having the first workshop for 2014 under the First Time Parents Series on January 25, 2014. This workshop series aims to help first time parents or even the “experienced-yet-need-refreshers” parents to help them to go through topics on pre-birth, delivery and new born care and toddler care. The workshop on January 25, 2014 will be WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GIVING BIRTH.

It will be a half day workshop from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM that will discuss these topics:

What to Expect During your OB check-ups and visits
Pain Management
Pregnancy Nutrition
Cord Blood Banking

First Time Parents What to Expect Before Giving Birth

Other sponsors will be Kooky Loopy, Cycles, St. Patrick and Mommy Treats. Some of these brands will be giving away surprises for the attendees!

The learning Fee is at Php 1000 per couple. You can pay via BPI, UnionBank or Paypal. FREE Learning Circle Cards will also be given to the paying participants. The Manila Workshops Learning Circle Card entitles one to 10% discount to all workshops for 2014.

Great news! Mommy Ginger will be giving away free seats to 5 couples! All you have to do is do the steps in Rafflecopter 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run from today until the 22nd of January! Hurry and sign up!

For those who want to attend, here is the form:

My Gift to the Philippines

I stopped for a while and thought about it. What can I give the Philippines? I haven’t really thought about the answer to this question, but Globe, with its new campaign called Project Wonderful 2014 (#GLOBEProjectWonderful2014), challenged me. It seemed like one of those trick questions with a simple answer. I grin at the thought that my husband would probably say ‘I AM my own gift to the Philippines.’ Yes, he would say that. My husband is very funny and charming.

But as for me, it took days before I could actually come up with this post. It’s day 15 to be exact. I started looking through my life list, but everything seemed to be a good gift. I needed something great, and something that would have tangible results. As you can see, corporate training has really rubbed off on me. Everything needs to be measurable. But I really wanted for this ‘gift’ (whatever it was) to be something others will see and share so that it will have a multiplier effect.

After days of thinking, I realized that I was doing everything that was inline with our family mission (yes, we do have a family mission):

Be a family that will spread knowledge through various media to help people grow and achieve their goals in life.

I know, who has a family mission, in this day and age, right? But yes, we do. Ej and I came up with this mission back in 2010. It was in our minds that if ever we do have kids in the future, all of the things that we do in our lives has to help us achieve this mission. So with this, my gift to the Philippines is knowledge and the jumpstart to become entrepreneurs.

We don’t claim to know everything there is to know about living or about starting a business, but we thought that we could be mediators or connectors. In the past 4 years of my life (or probably even longer than that since I never really intentionally had any mission prior to 2010), most of the things that I have been doing was with the end goal of helping others learn or helping get news across.

Blogging. We have been blogging for 6 years now and our blogs, Manila Reviews, Manila Fitness, and Mommy Ginger have been avenues for us to share the great things about the Philippines. It has been an avenue where we promote good health, and it has been an avenue where I share knowledge and experiences about parenting and being a work-at-home-mom and a mompreneur. To some, blogging may be just some form of media, but for us, its a tool for us where we can share our knowledge and even other people’s experiences; thus, we get to help others achieve their goals in life. I’m grateful that, nowadays, I can blog even out of the comfort of my home using my mobile phone and my trusty Globe connection.

Family finances Jan 11

Workshops. We have been conducting workshops since 2012. It all started when I was still employed with a bank in the metropolis. I was a product manager, and although the job helped me pay my bills and the people were great, I was looking for fulfillment. I wanted to do so much more for the community — for the Philippines and eventually, for the world. I thought about creating workshops where experts in their fields can impart their knowledge to others and the end goal was to see these attendees achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. The tagline for my brand, Manila Workshops, is ‘Turning your entrepreneurial dreams into reality!‘. I love doing this because every time I get to hold and arrange a workshops, I get to see the happy faces of the attendees after. Also, I see their confidence in achieving more for themselves.

I believe that for a more stable economy, new businesses are important. These businesses provide employment for those who don’t have jobs. A lot of people (name it — new graduates, moms like me, dads, retirees, etc.) want to open their own businesses but don’t know where to start. This is where we come in.

In 2012, I got to hold 6 workshops. In 2013, I got to create 33 workshops. This 2014, I have 58 workshops in the pipeline and that number is significant because it means that we will be helping more people reach their dreams this 2014 (Full disclosure though that not all are directly related to opening a business. We also have parenting workshops).

Creating workshops entail time, effort and resources. I would very much want to conduct a free workshop every month about mompreneurship/entrepreneurship for our countrymen. I know that there are people who really want to go into business and I’d love to help them. This is my dream and wish for 2014. If Globe can help me achieve this, I will be so glad.

How about you? What is your wish/gift for the Philippines? Do comment below and get a chance to win an iPad Mini 2 if my entry gets chosen as the winning entry. I hope that you can share this article and please don’t forget to use #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014.

Smile and achieve your dreams this 2014!

Hot Hubby or a Sexy Wife

I’m sipping my green tea over ice at Starbucks. I ordered it because I felt that green tea is healthier than ordering iced chocolate. I have not researched it yet and I need to look for clinical studies to back it up. On another note, do you know that Starbucks serves veggie sticks and oatmeal already? I am elated. Finally, other healthy choices that I could order.

These past few weeks have made me more conscious and deliberate about making healthy choices. And it’s not about eating well only. For example, every time, I would go to a meeting, I would open my Endomondo app to see how many calories I would burn if I walked instead of took a cab (i would pick the former since I set a goal of burning more calories this January).

All of these things I do because I want to become healthier (and being sexy follows… It’s a side effect). My husband started his journey earlier. He started with making right choices and taking The Right Approach to fitness. The right approach is a regimen that we follow. I urged him to take it since I was worried about his health.

We, wives/mothers and girlfriends, are (I believe) the best friends, motivators, counselors, muses nurses and even personal trainors of our men. It’s a big role that we play, and definitely a role that we play with love and respect. We know that the men in our lives make us whole. As Tom Cruise would say, ‘you complete me’; we know that they complete us. We love them for being great providers. We love them for just being there as a shoulder to cry on when we feel the world is against us. We love them for just being who they areand for constantly being patient with all of our mood swings.

I don’t know about you but this were all the reasons that I needed to take on my role as an adviser to tell him to take his health seriously. I am no nagger (you can ask my hubby). When it came to his health though and asking him to lose weight, I was a little bit more annoying. Yes, i admit, this topic came up more than a dozen of times and it wasn’t because i wanted a hot hubby (although, I admit, that would make our lives MORE interesting *winks*), but it was more for his health.

He was constantly having migraines. He would have them almost everyday since a bad attack would last two days. He would vomit a lot. He would stay in bed the whole day and the worst part is if he had it on weekends, when he was supposed to spend it with Zeeka, our daughter. I became worried. I didn’t want it to be other than migraine so just to be sure, I urged him to get an MRI. Thank God, the results were normal and it was just migraine.

That was he time I asked him to take care of his health and go on a no starvation and ‘eat more to lose more’ diet. We took his initial stats and it showed that he had a viceral fat percentage of 12%. Viceral fat, for those who don’t know, is the fat surrounding the organs. It’s hard to lose that kind of fat (compared to subcutaneous fat, which is he fat near the skin). The normal viceral fat % is 5% and below.

After undergoing the regimen for one month, we were happy that his migraines were less frequent (close to gone) and his viceral fat was down to 10%. He also lost 12 pounds and his stats indicated that he gained muscle % and loss body fat %.

This is how my hot hubby looks now:
20140112-130255.jpg

20140112-124914.jpgI know I am not one who’s fond of before and after pictures, but I am just so proud of my husband. This photo is not photoshop-ed as you all know i’m a photoshop dummy. These pictures are as raw as they could get with my hubby wearing the same shirt.

My hubby is as stubborn as hell and it would most likely that stars would fall than me convince him to diet and exercise, so I was shocked that he agreed to undergo this program. I guess he also realized that health is the most important gift that he could give his family. I am proud of his achievement and excited for my results. I started with the program last week and i have 3 more weeks to go.

Are you and your husband/boyfriend ready to yake this fitness challenge with us? Do you care enough about each other’s well-being and are you ready to make 2014 you fitest year ever? Let’s chat over coffee or juice so that we can share this regimen with you! Pm me on Facebook, email me at ginger(at)mommyginger.com or leave a comment below and let’s meet!

All of us can be a hot hubby or a sexy wife to our spouses! Let all achieve a healthy 2014!

A Woman’s Struggle

I remember that the first time that I was introduced to the world of health and fitness was back in the 6th grade. I was a chubby 12 year old kid. I wasn’t obese, but I was overweight. I was always a big girl. I found my nursery class picture and I was the tallest and fattest kid in our class (I practically covered two people behind me in the picture). I remember showing this picture to my husband, and upon seeing it, he said with a laugh, ‘kinain mo ba classmates mo?‘ (Did you eat your classmates?). I laughed back.

I could laugh about it now, but what people don’t know about me is that there was a time when I was really obsessed with how I looked and how much I weighed.

That time, I knew that I was going to graduate the year after and I wanted to look my best during graduation. I started dieting. When I started, I was around 135 pounds at 5 feet 4 inches tall. My mom went with me to see a nutritionist, Tita Sunny Rose (I still remember her name). She gave me a meal plan that I should follow and our helper would prepare meals according to the plan. My mom kept a huge thick Mead notebook for me and she would write down everything that I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and even snacks. I also went with my aunt to a place called Joanne Drew (I don’t know if it’s spelled correctly). It was a slimming salon in Greenhills, which was popular during the ’90s. I was twelve years old, but I was already undergoing body treatments (like the ones that you see in the ads of slimming salons nowadays).

The treatments and the diet worked. Before graduating, I was down to 103 pounds. But then, Joanne Drew closed after a year, so I had to enrol with Slimmer’s World to help me maintain my weight. I was one of the first customers of the newly opened Slimmer’s World Megamall. I was 14 years old that time. My younger sister, who was 11, also enrolled with me. We were one of the few ‘kids’ in the gym.

Ginger at 103 pounds

Ginger at 103 pounds

Me and my friends - Grade 7

Me and my friends – Grade 7

But my age didn’t stop me from taking the gym seriously. I was really into it and I really wanted to be thin and fit. I went to the gym every day after classes, and I would stay there the entire day during the weekends. During summer break, I would go to the gym at 7:30 am and would leave Megamall at 10 pm. The gym was like a day care for me and my sister. I would bring a big gym bag, almost as big as me, and it would contain 10 shirts, 4 sports bras, 4 cycling shorts, etc. I attended all the aerobics classes (a hit that time) and would run on the treadmill in between. I have no idea how I got to do that!

Aerobics Marathon... won 1st for the Female Advanced Category

Aerobics Marathon… won 1st for the Female Advanced Category

Me with my mom and my friend, Mich, from the gym. I was 16 that time.

Me with my mom and my friend, Mich, from the gym. I was 16 that time.

When I was 15, I discovered Aerobics marathons, and I joined every single one of them. I became good at it and I enjoyed competing very much. I was reaping awards and was even featured in magazines. But that wasn’t all of it. When I was alone, I was unhappy. I felt so unaccomplished and ugly. I thought I looked fat (even if I was thin and lean already). I think I really had issues with how I viewed myself. I was fit at 112 pounds and as I recall, my body fat was super low. My BMI was just right, but I hated myself for gaining weight. In my mind, it was always, ‘I should be back to being 103 pounds’ or ‘I’m so fat and ugly’. I would always wear ‘manang’ clothes as how my friends would put it and I always wore a jacket, because I felt my arms were huge.

I took diet pills that contained Ephedrine (which is now banned). I took diuretics (pills that would help you pee) so that I could lose water weight. I lost, but then after eating, I’d gain weight again. I’d weigh myself every morning and evening, which I know is something that shouldn’t be done (because it was probably just water weight that I lost or gained or maybe even the muscle mass that I gained with all of the ‘gyming’ I’ve been doing). I would starve myself, too. I would skip eating or if I ate, I would kill myself by doing a lot of cardio workouts or I would take laxatives.

I don’t think that I was anorexic, because I still ate, but I was probably a bulimic. I didn’t throw up but I took laxatives and diuretics — a lot of those (I read that bulimics are those that binge on food and try to expel it after by vomiting or by any other means). I started with one pill a day until I felt that it wasn’t working anymore, so I would add dosage. I got to the point when I would take one whole pad of diuretics and laxatives.

Then came the day when upon waking up, I couldn’t stand and I couldn’t talk (literally). I slurred when I tried to talk. I was rushed to the hospital and what they found out was that my potassium in the body was really low. I had sodium-potassium imbalance in my body, which caused me this inability to move my limbs and to talk. I hated the feeling. It was like being strapped to your bed, but without strings. I was aware of what was going on around me, but I could not react to any of it.

Me with friends and my sister. I was around 19 years old :)

Me with friends and my sister. I was around 19 years old 🙂

After three days, luckily, I was up and about again. I think I was around 17 that time. As if that episode did not matter, I continued to being how I was prior to the incident. The incident didn’t really make me change my thoughts and how I perceived my body to be. I worked out again and competed. Even with a fit body, I thought I was fat and I wanted to lose more. I entered college and my routine did not change. At 19, I was competing in running marathons and I usually placed 5th in the 10K category. My best time was 40 mins and 47 secs. My friends would tease me. They would say that if I was on break from the gym, I would go to school and not the other way around. Most of my life was really spent inside the gym.

My friend Sharon and I. I was at a high of 150 pounds.

My friend Sharon and I. I was at a high of 150 pounds.

To be honest with you, my weight was really a big deal for me. I think the only time I realized that gaining weight isn’t a big deal was when I reached mid-20’s, when I had a lot of things at work going on and I couldn’t work out as often. Lucky for me that it wasn’t (I think) too late for me to let go of all these inhibitions and my really low self-esteem. I gained weight during that time, even hitting a high (excluding my pregnancy weight) of 150 pounds at 5 feet 4 inches. I think it was because I was always out partying with friends and drinking alcohol. Alcohol was really the culprit!

This was me when I met my hubby. I was on my way down to 140 lbs and plateaued there :)

This was me when I met my hubby. I was on my way down to 140 lbs and plateaued there 🙂

When I met and started dating my husband in 2007, I let go of drinking. I think he made me happy (aww), so I had no urge to drink anymore. I started to get fit again, but I wasn’t going back to the psycho fitness regimen I had before. I lost weight and stayed at 140 pounds for the longest time. I lost weight before our wedding and dropped to 128 pounds. That was the lowest weight that I have achieved since the time I started working. For the longest time, I felt comfortable with this weight. I no longer feel like I was obese. I felt good about myself even if I know that I’m a bit on the heavy side. I liked how I felt about myself. I guess that was my time to recuperate and to enjoy living.
During that time, I felt loved no matter how I looked. I accomplished a lot of things, not because I was thin and sexy, but because of ‘me’ and all of my strengths and capabilities. I hardly stepped inside gyms and only went to yoga classes, where I felt relaxed and more grounded. I developed confidence. I found myself.

Every time I would try to start writing this article before, I found it hard to finish writing about this struggle of mine, because it’s really not a good story to tell. For 2014 though, since my mission is to be a health advocate, I thought that it might be good to tell this story, so that teenage girls or other women (or even men) who are or about to be in the exact situation as I was before get to realize that they need not go through the same kind of struggle.

You are beautiful (or handsome). You are loved, just the way you are. Never think otherwise. If you look in the mirror, you will see that you are made by God to be in his image and likeness. Yes, there is no harm in trying to be healthier, but know your limits. Don’t go overboard. Do it the right way.

I am now on a quest to become healthy this 2014. Yes, weight is one of the metrics, but it is just one of the things that I will monitor. Together with this, I will monitor my muscle mass, body fat, visceral fat, bmi, body age and resting metabolic rate, so that I will truly know how my body is doing. If you want to know your metrics, too, email me so that we can meet up, we can measure and we can talk and share fitness goals.

I sincerely hope that this reaches those who are struggling to find what is beautiful in them. Here’s hoping that everyone ends their obsessions and struggles this 2014. Have a healthier year, everyone!

The WAHM Life and the WAHM Time

I am panting! I have done so many things today and yet why do I still have tons to do. I practically have more than half of a bond paper with all of my to do’s still uncrossed. I actually wanted to skip posting in my blog today, but since I have made a resolution to achieve all of my goals, I did not want to skip posting this article. In my action plans list, I have blogging at least twice a week as an entry.

I sometimes forget to do that so pictures and ideas pile up as files in my phone and laptop, but I don’t get to update any of my blogs. Why am I so busy? I think I’m even busier now that I’m not employed. When you meet my friends, they will say that it’s typical for me to be ‘always busy’, but I shun whatever they say since I think i’m not that busy. But today, alas! I myself am convinced that I am a ROBOT!

I have three planners all with list of things that I need to do. For those of you wondering, yes, I have three. One for my blogs, the other for my schedule and the other for my household checklist of to do’s. Aside from that, I have a desk calendar (as if three planners were not enough to remind me of where I should be or what to do at a particular moment) that tells me of all of my appointments. Also, to add to all of these things, I have my Google calendar reminding me through my phone and my email.

As work-at-home-moms and mompreneurs, people think that we handle our own time so we’re not that busy. I agree in the handling our own time part, but as for us not being busy, try juggling between breastfeeding a baby, to getting to a meeting on time, to blogging regularly, to handling inquiries in the website you own, to shipping orders, to inventory checking, to going to the bank, to running to the grocery, to giving the pay to the maids, to worrying about that aircon that needs to be cleaned, to worrying about the baby’s next doctor’s appointment, etc. I practically breeze through lunch and taking a shower. Sometimes, I don’t even want to get up just to go to the toilet.

But working at home made me closer to my baby and that was really the plan. I love being around her. When I need a break, all I do is go to the other room and play with her. I get to hear her say ‘bo’ (ball) or ‘bird’ (bi) or ‘mama’ often. I get to hug her every time she nurses and that’s at least 6 times a day.

My life isn’t perfect. There are times when I am so stressed because I feel like I don’t get things done, but the thought or being with my family and the thought that all of these things I am doing is for them, I am happy and contented. Although, at times, I know that I would need some tips on how to handle things more efficiently. I know that you would want some tips, too. The beauty of being in a community of women (WAHMderful Life sisterhood) who are almost in the exact situation as you are in is that you get to share best practices and tips with each other.

So for the start of the year, we’d like to invite you to the WAHMderful Year Starter Workshop 2014, where you will get so many useful tips on how to start your year right as a WAHM. We get so many inquiries on time management, so for this run, most of the day will be set aside for managing your time.

WAHMderful Workshops YEAR STARTER

This workshop is brought to you by Manila Workshops, the WAHMderful Life Sisterhood and Insular Life! Thank you Insular Life for being our sponsor.

You have until Friday to avail of the Early bird rate, but even if you don’t the regular rate is really worth it.

The speakers for this WAHM workshop will be Martine De Luna and Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag. Sign up now and I really hope to see you in this workshop!