Fighting the battle of the baby bulge

At Shangri-La Health Club, trainer Jun likes to concentrate on working on core and balance for women clients, because you need both to look good sauntering in stilettos

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If you are like most women, you will know that shedding the baby weight is the toughest part of having a baby. Every time I see the pants that still don’t fit, I remember eating cinnamon rolls and scones during my pregnancy and think, “Was it worth it?” Yes it was. But alas, the cinnamon rolls have left their mark in the form of just… rolls.

Thankfully, there are ways to get your body back even while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding women know that after feeding or pumping, one feels very hungry. I first started with replacing my snack with healthy ones. My favorite has been vegetable sticks served with babaghanoush (P400) or hummus (P350) from  Ziazan MidEast Mezze by Natasha Aslanian (tel. 0947-7347014).

They also have pita bread available in case you want something more filling. The best thing about Ziazan is that they deliver, so you have no excuse to go out and buy a fatty dip.

If you don’t have time to prepare and are looking to control your caloric intake, try NUIU Life Cuisine (0917-5283283, 8463438, 5531888). I ordered from them to jumpstart my weight loss when I was feeling up to it right after having my daughter. They were very accommodating and conducted an interview over the phone to assess how many calories I needed to meet my needs—very different from other diet delivery services I tried getting in touch with, who never followed through with sending me sample menus.

SHANGRI-LA Health Club

I have bugged them many times to tweak my diet, as I had special needs, and so far they haven’t stopped taking my calls yet! Their food has gotten even better, and quite filling. I remember asking them if they had made a mistake with the calorie count of my order.

I also recently tried out Health Club at Makati Shangri-La. Not too many people are aware that local residents can be members at Health Club. I am usually allergic to gyms and gym culture, where there are two or three gym rats who hang out by the water cooler and talk protein shakes, do a couple of bench presses, and talk some more.

Not overly chatty

You won’t find those at the Shangri-La gym; locals come purely to work out and the rest are hotel guests. Trainers are not overly chatty as they are used to the transient nature of the guests.

The biggest draw for me are the trainers of Shangri-La Health Club. Jun, one of the most senior trainers, was in charge of whipping me into shape. He told me that with women clients, he likes to concentrate on working the core and balance because you need both to look good sauntering in stilettos.

The first day of my workout with him consisted of good old-fashioned exercises: leg lifts, planks, crunches—lots of them. And just when I thought it was over, I had to do them all over again. I stared at the clock wondering if it was possible that only 20 minutes had really gone by. I have been trying out different new workouts as of late and none challenged my body as much as Jun did.

Perhaps the best thing I liked about Jun is that he did not make small talk as I huffed and puffed, save for asking gently if I’d like some water. All the hard work paid off when Jun rewards you with a knot-removing massage after he stretches you. I almost fell asleep on the gym floor, exhausted but happy.

Membership at the Shangri-La Health Club also includes the use of their wet floor located in the men’s and women’s changing rooms. Initially I expected a small sauna and maybe a Jacuzzi, but found a sprawling area. Unlike other hotel health clubs, Shangri-La’s Health Club membership entitles you to use the hotel’s fabulous pool. Membership can be customized according to when you will come to the gym, with peak or off-peak rates, and they also have packages for the use of the whole family.

Membership also allows access to the hotel’s tennis courts, easily among the nicest courts in the city. If you are like me and like to hit the gym for the sole purpose of busting fat, then Makati Shangri-La Health Club is for you.

Makati Shangri-La Health Club can be reached at 8138888.

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