At 53, this mom of college-age triplets is #goals | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

At 53, this mom of college-age triplets is #goals
She has been doing Pilates since 2017.
At 53, this mom of college-age triplets is #goals
She has been doing Pilates since 2017

I have to admit, as one of the countless women coming in and out of her clinic on the third floor of the Makati Medical Center, it’s hard not to think of Dr. Mae Syki-Young as #goals.

The mother to college-age triplets has managed to keep fit, lithe and healthy all these years—not that it’s easy.

“Brace yourself. It’s not easy. But it’s worth it,” said the bubbly OB-GYN when asked for tips on getting healthier. “Looking good is just a bonus. The healthy benefits of exercise is very important. You only have one body and one life to live.”

Having been practicing her profession for more than 23 years, Dr. Syki-Young considers it “not only a great duty but also an incredible privilege” to “care for and support women in nurturing both their physical and mental health.”

“Being entrusted with guiding them on their journey of bringing new life into the world is an honor beyond words,” she added.

Three loves

But being always on call means her schedule is quite unpredictable. At any moment, she could suddenly leave for a delivery or an emergency procedure. Still, she tries to balance her three loves every day: her family, her profession and her workout.

For the 53-year-old—turning 54 in less than two months—“movement is essential.”

“I have always wanted to be fit, always wanted to treat my body right,” she said. Unfortunately, going to medical school, residency training, building a medical practice and then raising a family kept her busy during most of her thirties and forties.While pregnant with her triplets, she ballooned to more than 200 lbs. But through eating healthy, she was able to slowly lose most of the weight.

“It took me a long time to try and get used to a diet that works for me. I generally eat around 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day. It used to be only 600-800 calories when I was not yet into weight training.”

She added, “Since I’m petite, I can’t afford to eat a lot. She eats mostly vegetables, protein and very low carbs while also avoiding fats. “Hydration is essential, too, so I drink 10-12 glasses of water daily plus sugar-free Gatorade when I spin.”

Junk food for her is a no-no, saying that eating ice cream or cake has become rare.

When traveling or during holidays, Dr. Syki-Young said she might try new food or eat more than usual, but she doesn’t really consider those cheat days since she has already gotten used to her normal diet. She would also offset her excesses the next day.

However, she knows that eating right isn’t enough.

At 53, this mom of college-agetriplets is #goals
Dr. Syki-Young spends as much time as possible with her husband and teenage triplets, even with their busy schedules. Now, they are all also into fitness

Whole-body workout

On the cusp of her 47th year, she started getting private Pilates sessions. Eventually, she added spinning or indoor cycling and, recently, weight training. She also has her resistance band in the car and sometimes even does dumbbells during heavy traffic. She revealed that she even has weights around her ankles under her scrub suit.

“What I love about Pilates is it’s a whole-body workout and there are many variations you can do. You will feel improvement with every session that you do. It encompasses stretching, spine decompression and core activation, thereby reducing pain, increasing flexibility, improving balance and stability.” Dr. Syki-Young said she tries to do her one-on-one session with her Pilates instructor three to five times a week in any of four studios: Options, Sentro, Disciplined and Fit to Live.

She said that her 45-minute intense workout with spinning at Perigon, which she does five to seven times a week, is her favorite cardio exercise. “It can be quite intimidating for the first few rides. But once you get the hang of it, you will be hooked. The classes are fun and the music will make you enjoy the class even more.”

The pandemic was a nightmare for Dr. Syki-Young because she suddenly had to halt all her workouts. When the lockdown continued beyond the initial period, she thought of going back to spinning and Pilates, but she just couldn’t seem to do so.“It was a struggle for me and I was not enjoying it,” she said, explaining that it wasn’t giving her the same happiness as when she did them in the studio. Because she barely worked out for the next two years, she lost all the muscle mass and gained 20 lbs due to eating and being sedentary.

Around March 2022, she started working out regularly again.

Last year, in June, she started weight training at the Quezon City Sports Club. “Initially, I did it twice a week then I gradually increased to four to six times a week. Weight training is important especially for older women. Without muscle strength, we are more prone to accidents.”

At 53, this mom of college-agetriplets is #goals
Spinning is Dr. Mae Syki-Young’s favorite cardio workout. —CON- TRIBUTED PHOTOS

Healthy choices

Her fitness journey doesn’t end there. Earlier last month, she went hiking for the first time. She never thought she would enjoy it so much, but her two-hour hike at Mt. Gulugud Baboy in Mabini, Batangas, made her realize all the more that it’s really good to explore and try new adventures.

Also, she proudly announced that she was able to finally do a full pull-up, which was the goal she had been slowly training for. Soon, she will also be training for a CrossFit competition. “I want to challenge myself, to see how far I can go and what I can achieve.”

For Dr. Syki-Young, the most important fitness essential is the prior mindset. “Why are you doing this? What’s your goal? Let this guide you in your fitness journey.”

Aside from that, she recommends wearing comfortable workout clothes and using proper gear.

She credits her mom for being one of her biggest influences when it comes to fitness. “She has been very active since I was young. Seeing her working out in spite of having 10 children, plus running a business, is very inspiring.”

She also said she owes it to God and to herself to be healthy. “I was given a chance to live and it’s on me how I want to live it. For me, it’s to live my life as healthy as possible so I can enjoy everyday living. If I’m not healthy and happy, I can’t be my 100 percent.

“Of course, my family is also one of the biggest factors. I want to be able to be fit enough for them as much as possible. So now all of us are into fitness.” INQ

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