fitness through amanda bisk's fresh body fit mind

Well, this wasn't expected at all.

Oh wow, we're in December? As in we're actually finishing the year? Isn't it crazy? One day the world stopped and it has learned to adapt, little by little.

One day I was nearly overweight with back pain and then I've learned to exercise, and decided to do it every day since. And what a miracle that is.

If you've read my previous posts, you'll know I just started exercising in March this year. And now, 9 months in, I've learned so much about it and how much it affects both my body and mind.

Of course when I tell you about exercise, it's not as enticing as telling you how good the cake was we had this Christmas. In fact, it will not entice you at all. You'll probably be me, before the pandemic, when I'll simply roll my eyes as far as they could go, shrug, and ask you where you got the sushi bake or ube cheese pandesal on your Instagram.

So, I'm going to start with the results.


Guys, I have muscles!!! Yaaay! 😆 I've actually built them while I didn't know I was building them. Arm, back, core, glute, leg—you name it. And it builds up slowly over time. It's not noticeable at photos but I can actually feel mine changed, and maybe after some time, I'll see it on the mirror too.

Steady weight

When I've lost 10 kilos, I've decided to stop at 50 kilos last July/August. Reducing it to 5 more kilos will result in being underweight for a 5'2" height and I don't want that. If I gain more muscles, I'd understand the weight gain.

Leaner shape

I'm obviously new to exercising so I didn't expect that you could look leaner without losing weight. When I look at my photos from August to December, I don't see much difference at first, but when I try on clothes—none of the things I wear fit me nicely anymore. I had to buy a pair of shorts and pants and even underwear just so I would look okay. My old shirts fall off my shoulders, my old shorts now require belts. Even the activewear I bought as a reward in June needed a size update.

Less painful periods

Over the months, observing my cycle and its symptoms have been very important to me. I'm on the watch if my period is late or early, how heavy or light it is, and whether or not I feel the cramps, lower back pain, or needing the warm pad or not. Simply put, I don't want to disrupt my cycle for the sake of completing an exercise challenge. I rest when I get the PMS or even the period fatigue or when I really can't. I make it a priority to balance over the physical gains. After all, what's inside matters more than what's outside, right?

Thankfully, the observing, balancing, and trying to push myself to move have made my period pains manageable over time. If they were at 8/10 before, they're now at 2/10. But, periods depend, so I'm still observing, balancing, and trying appropriate exercises.

The Mindset

Surprisingly, I got questions regarding this.

"How do you stick to the routine?"
"How come you don't feel like skipping the exercise for the day cos it's sweater weather?"
"How do you overcome the idea that you're about to exercise AGAIN?"

I actually don't know how to answer this specifically, but I really think it has to do something with fun, at least for me. I really like the idea that I don't know exactly what I'm doing or what it will result into, surprising me with noticeable results after a while. I think what's fun for me is the challenge and that I get to complete month-long ones like projects. I think I like the sense of finishing or accomplishment, even though exercising has no real timeframe. It's not something you finish, it's a lifestyle.

I forgot who I heard this from, but there's this idea that your mind is lazy—in a sense that it settles to do things repeatedly (thus a routine). So if you set your mind on one idea, and then started acting on it everyday, eventually you'll reach the point where your mind gets lazy and just settles in doing what you set it to do repeatedly.

Before we get to the monthly challenges, here are my constants:

  • I eat between 8AM-4PM, no special meals and yes, I eat rice (please don't make me quit).
  • I still use just a yoga mat and no other equipment.
  • Amanda Bisk's Fresh Body, Fit Mind app. I haven't tried other apps or coaches, but I love Amanda! Her form is perfect, and what I really like about her is that she tells you very specifically what it should feel like when you're doing a form or pose. She may not be present and correcting your form right then and there, but you'll know if you're doing it right when she tells you that your this should feel like this, and that you shouldn't feel it in this.


The Challenge: 4 week Awesome Abs

It mixes 4x cardio, 2x YogaSculpt, and 1 rest day a week. I think the program is great for toning, so if you're like me in September with a body just starting to tone, the abs will surely not be awesome as expected. 😆 So, don't blame the program, it just wasn't the time. Also I think, with my body, it's the last one to appear. My belly has always been cute and never flat, so I think it will come off last.

What it produced in me though is that it increased my endurance and flexibility in both in doing the cardio and YogaSculpt. I also really liked the 4 rest days in the month, that I actually allocated for my period days.


The Challenge: 4 week YogaSculpt

I love Amanda's YogaSculpt. I first had the chance to try it in the All Out August challenge. It's. Amazing. It's a bit slow, low-impact, but oh my gosh—the sweat. I really felt like I worked out after a session.

So I was excited about this challenge. But.

This. One. Is. A. Killer. Of the 5, month-long challenges, this is the one that left me sore—so sore—that I felt like my muscles need more time to recover. The funny thing about this is that in a week, it has only 4x of YogaSculpt—1 whole body, then the rest are broken down into specific parts like arms and back, core, and legs. In a week, it's 2x classes, 1x rest, then 2x classes again, then 2x rest. But I really didn't feel the rest days that much (50/50 joke and true haha). I think of the challenges I've tried, this is the one I was thinking of quitting. BUT! I didn't!!!

But I swear, the results after are amazing. I think this one fast-tracked my toning. Besides that, since it uses yoga movements, my flexibility and balance improved a lot too.


The Challenge: 10 Day Yoga

Since October's was a killer, I felt the need to calm down a bit (and actually feel those rest days 😆) and do the 10 Day Yoga program. This is the month when I decided I'd try mixing workouts by myself, so I did others in the app in between.

The program though is designed to be done for 10 days in a row to jumpstart your yoga experience. It was fun! Especially when I got to try the headstand. So much to learn and practice!


The Challenge: 25 Day Countdown to Christmas

And the last one! I was low-key dreading this coming from a sort of "rest month" in November and experiencing the All Out August challenge. It turns out though that the one in August is more tiring than this, but that may be because I've built up some endurance from that month.

This month's involves pilates which Amanda was recently qualified to teach. It's designed to increase intensity as the weeks go by and sure enough, with the mix of intense cardio and YogaSculpt by 2nd and 3rd weeks, I was cursing at my screen (sorry Amanda!). I've noticed that her monthly challenges (she has 4 a year in February, May, August, and December) always are a balance of exercises for the whole body and focused parts, doing cardio, yoga, YogaSculpt, and challenge HIIT's. It's a truly great way to prepare for the holidays (feasts)!

What's next?

I'll have more fun for sure! Commit to a challenge yoga pose, try a different trainer or app, a sport maybe. I just realized saying yes to a 15 minute exercise back in March opened so many possibilities!


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