Idea Crib’s Well-thy Pinoy Profiles is a blog series that features healthy and happy Pinoys. The ultimate aim of the series is to inspire more individuals to take care of themselves by taking care of their health and their bodies.
Well-thy Pinoy Profiles: Get to Know Nica Hechanova – de Erquiaga
Occupation Yoga Teacher
Hobbies Watching movies and tv series; Collecting children’s books
When did you decide to live healthy?
What sparked your fitness journey? Was it because of a weight loss concern? If yes, what was your beginning weight and/or measurements and what is your current weight and/or measurement now?
As a kid, I was always active and into sports. I didn’t worry about my weight since I was very thin and had fast metabolism. When I got to college, my diet didn’t change and because I wasn’t as active as I was before, I started to gain weight and felt more sluggish. I started exercising again (through boxing and circuit training) but I didn’t get to my desired weight or fitness level. I was probably 10-15 pounds heavier back then compared to the present. It was only when I started playing Ultimate Frisbee that I began to shed the weight. Later on, yoga toned and defined my muscles more.
How do you stay healthy?
If your fitness journey was sparked by a weight loss concern, how long did it take for your weight loss transformation? What physical activities did you do then? What is your favorite fitness activity now?
Playing competitive Ultimate Frisbee and the twice to thrice weekly training helped me trim down a lot. It wasn’t a drastic loss of weight; in fact, it was quite gradual since I didn’t make such a big leap in my diet except for avoiding fast food. When I started a regular and consistent yoga practice, my body started to feel a lot leaner and my diet and food choices also started to change. I am still consistently practicing yoga and am currently trying out wall climbing.
How has your eating habits changed?
What are some of your diet staples? What are your favorite indulgences/ cheat meal treats?
I’ve started making healthier choices when it comes to what I eat during the day. My meat intake has decreased a lot and I can only eat beef and pork in smaller portions. I avoid oily or deep-fried food (but still enjoy my french fries) and have cut down on sugary sweet cakes and pastries. I make it a point to take at least one green smoothie during the week and increase my intake of raw vegetables and fruits. Salads are a staple. I enjoy eating so I don’t follow a very strict diet and I indulge every now and then. I try to make sure that the food I’m eating is not only healthy but also makes me happy!
“I try to make sure that the food I’m eating is not only healthy but also makes me happy!” – @nicahech Click To Tweet
Why do you keep healthy?
What do you do now to maintain your health and fitness level? What keeps you going? Who or what is your inspiration?
I believe that being healthy means taking care of your overall well-being. Yoga keeps me healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. I get the physical workout I need from a strong vinyasa yoga practice but I also have learned through the years to customize my practice to what my body and mind needs and can take a more gentle approach if I need that. It’s not always easy to be consistent but yoga helps me stay on track for the most part. One thing I battle with is making sure I get enough rest during the week.
In your opinion, what’s the one thing people can do to kick-start their journey to wellness?
What piece of advice can you give someone who wants to be healthy but is unsure of how to begin?
To kickstart the journey to wellness, I would advice to cut down on fast food and sugar! Start a green smoothie habit to up the intake of greens and vegetables.
I love that Nica said that one should try to eat healthy food that makes you happy. Eating healthy food is a habit that can only be sustained if it also pleases your palate. You have to find a way to make healthy flavorful, or else you’re not gonna be able to sustain the habit of eating healthy. Who wants to spend the rest of their life eating tasteless food, right? 🙂 Thanks for this interview, Nica! What can you say about Nica’s journey to fitness and wellness? Who else can I feature in this series? I’d love to hear your comments below.
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Photo from Nica Hechanova – de Erquiaga.
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