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SHEDDING UNWANT- ed pounds after giving birth at 40 is not easy, says actress Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo. But with discipline, it is possible. And you don?t just have to do it for vanity, but for your health.

?I have lost weight but I am not exactly back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I still have problem areas, but I am glad I managed to keep my weight down.?

Zulueta gave birth last June to Ayisha Madlen, second child with husband, businessman Anton Lagdameo. While she?s happy to have a daughter to be playmate to 4-year-old son Jacobo, she was bothered with health issues.

?I was overweight at 165 after my pregnancy. On top of that, I had hypertension and gestational diabetes. I was also on medication that contained steroids, which helped my fertility. And what do steroids do? They make you fat.?

According to Dr. Sarah Jane Manto-Galido of Medicard Philippines, gestational diabetes is a temporary condition in which non-diabetic women develop high blood-glucose levels during pregnancy.

?Although this only affects three to 10 percent of all pregnancies, this poses an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child. In most cases, it can be treated with diet and exercise, and goes away after the baby is born; but it may require antidiabetic drugs like insulin,? Galido says.

In Zulueta?s case, she had to be injected with insulin thrice a day to keep her high blood-sugar level in check.

?Even if I want to start on a strict diet plan right after giving birth, it?s not yet possible because I am breast-feeding. I delivered my baby via C-section so I couldn?t do regular physical activities for the following three months,? she says.

Success story

A month after giving birth, she started having lymphatic-drainage treatments to ease out water retention in her body as part of her slimming program, but the gestational diabetes got in the way.

?The first two months were the hardest. The sugar in my body attracts water, which also attracts fat, so I got water retention. If I do the treatment today, I?d lose some water weight but I?d gain it again after 24 hours. It was like my body was betraying me,? she says. ?I initially lost 5 lbs, but then I plateaued. It was very frustrating. My metabolism was so slow and I wasn?t even eating much!?

When her body finally cooperated, Zulueta focused on having a sensible diet and went back to her adult ballet classes.

?I am not much into running, yoga or weightlifting. Adult ballet suits me best because I love dancing. It?s light, fun and enjoyable.?

She also started on an effective weight-loss routine with Marie France slimming center to complement her fitness routine.

?After I got [the gestational diabetes] fixed, I lost weight more quickly. I underwent regular treatments from Marie France that were convenient for me since it targets stubborn areas that cannot be easily addressed with just diet and exercise. And I?m 40, so it will take a while.?

TriPollar Tummy worked on firming up her mommy paunch. It is a combination of tri- and bi-polar radio frequency technologies that take care of flabby, wrinkly, post-pregnancy belly.

She also had Ultrashape that melts fat and VelaContour that reduces cellulite in hip, thigh and leg area, while SlenderArm TriPollar worked wonders in trimming and firming up her arms.

All Marie France procedures are noninvasive, free of injection and surgery (call 894BODY (2639) in Manila; 032-2337639 in Cebu; and 045-9612981 in Pampanga). You may drop by any branch for a free consultation and medical assessment.


Zulueta looked confident in flowy floral overalls at a recent interview at Marie France Makati. Standing 5?7? tall, she now weighs 145 lbs?20 lbs and 30 total inches less within three months of hard work.

Giant billboards along main highways earlier showed her pregnant and saying ?I?ll get my figure back again. Watch me!? She did exactly that, but Zulueta stresses it?s not as easy as enrolling into a program and showing up. She had health conditions to address and restrictions to go along with it. Marie France helped her gain back wellness.

Zulueta will be working in a film to be produced by host and talent manager Boy Abunda. She will also be busy campaigning for her husband who will run as a representative for Davao del Norte.

She makes sure that even if she is into keeping herself fit, she has enough time for her kids, watching Jacobo play soccer, and spending quality time with the family.

And the wellness advice she?d give her daughter when she grows up: ?It?s good to preserve one?s youth and beauty, but not to the point that you?ll get surgeries and injections to keep it.?