27 November, Chaos, City of Dreams Manila - Fitness First presents the power of fitness! Now on it's 7th year - New You Achievement Awards (NYAA) is a celebration of the members' outstanding achievements for the whole year. Real-life success stories are an eye-opener. Though I always believe that fitness should be about being healthy and strong and weight loss can be our motivation to tell ourselves that we can do it too!
What a night of positivity and great wisdom - more so when I saw that before-and-after photos! Truly inspiring!
The awards recognize significant fitness milestones classified into (6) categories - Health acknowledges members who were able to improve their well-being and used several trainings to help overcome an illness or injury. Strength category goes for finalists who have successfully achieved their goal of building muscle mass while Shape are for members who achieved fitness goals of weight reduction. The Sports category are for those who were trained for a specific sporting event which they are passionate about. This 2015, an Open category was added dedicated to members who became successful / good transformation without a regular training and personal trainer then the Staff category recognizes Fitness First employees who have used their job to improve their health and well-being.
GET INSPIRED by these finalists as they were the most compelling in terms of depth and social impact of their achievements -
Health Category - Prince Chong
At 260 lbs, Prince was diagnosed with severe obesity and gout due to high levels of uric acid 2 years ago. Training with Fitness First for about 2 years, he is now at 160 lbs and no longer has gout. Now, Prince is more confident, sociable and much happier!
Strength Category - Erwin Temporal
Erwin's story of strength goes beyond muscles. Prior to joining Fitness First, he was a long-haired estrogen-using cross-dresser who had high cholesterol and sugar levels then diagnosed to be clinically depressed. He had a mishap in the salon one day which caused him to lose his hair and decided to change his persona. Started committing to be fit and worked out regularly at the club. From 110 lbs, he's now 142, and from 22% body fat, now 16%.
Sport Category - Demo Valmores
Demo now training for 2 years. His journey started with a broken heart which he said is the same case for every surfer. Went on a sabbatical leave for La Union. When he started surfing, he didn't have the stamina for his physically demanding sport. Soon realized that he needed to gain strength and improve his balance. He had customized sessions and now an award-winning surfer.
^ Congratulations Demo (4th from the right)
Awarded Overall Winner for this year's Fitness First NYAA
Body Combat and Body Pump classes were thrown into the mix together with weight lifting routines to work on his core!
"We chose Demo because he was able to make a real difference in his personal life as well as his ability to inspire others to do the same. His exceptional achievement is testament to the fact that anyone can change and achieve their personal goals with the right attitude and behavior. It takes a lof of discipline, determination and hard work but it certainly can be done. We've seen it countless times over the years and will definitely continue to see more." said Eric Seegers, National Fitness Manager of Fitness First Philippines.
Shape Category - Gretchen Sarsaba
She used to have very low self-esteem because of her weight. After College, nobody wanted to hire her because of her physical appearance. In 2014, she finally decided to make a change. Now goes to the gym 7 days a week and trains with her personal instructor for 3 times. Now, 60 lbs lighter and 100% more confident.
Open Category - Manu Reyes
Manu's is a story of second chances. By profession, he is a pastor and health trainer who used prohibited substances to enhance his appearance. This year, he decided to clean up his act and train without the aid of substances. It was an arduous journey to self discipline that naturally paid off.
Staff Category - Biondi Santi
Biondi has been with Fitness First Metro East for 4years now. Being overweight runs in the family, with everyone either obese or overweight. He struggled to go against his natural predisposition. He have encouraged the rest of his family members to take a step towards fitter and healthier life.
Amazing and beautiful stories! In the end, one emerges to become the overall winner.
Congratulations Fitness First! Please continue to make people beautiful, confident, healthy and inspired. More power and stay strong!