Last week, we joined seven beautiful ladies in celebrating their new shape of sexy after completing the FREEGO 7 Ways to Sexy Fitness Challenge. Over a period of 40 days, participants Abelle Orbeta, Ana Lim, Cheryl Jensen, Ayee Alberto, Jom Garcia, Kat Millan, and Rocky Chua gamely underwent a lifestyle change involving healthy eating and rigorous exercise. Each of them had their own reasons for taking on this challenge, and they all emerged with fitter bodies, a more wholesome diet, and increased self-esteem.
Although majority of the work came from the contestants themselves, they didn’t do it all on their own. FREEGO enlisted Coach John Aquino of House of Pain to oversee the women’s exercise regimens and Erwan Heussaff of The Fat Kid Inside to advise them about their diets.
We sat down with Erwan and asked him what he believes makes a modern Filipina sexy. His answer? Confidence. Read on for a few highlights from our interview with him.
For Erwan, it seems, confidence stems from having a fit body, a healthy diet, and a sound mind. “A lot of people say this is cheesy, and they think sexy is [all about] physical attributes, but I think it really does boil down to [confidence],” Erwan said. “Because, yeah, you can have a great butt, but what is that great butt gonna do for you? It’s gonna get you confidence. The better your body becomes, the more sound your mind is, the healthier you eat, the more you work out. What does that do? It just makes your confidence level keep going higher and higher.”
But the foodie and blogger also shared that sometimes there can be a disconnect between the confidence you feel and the confidence you inspire in others. “I’ve been big, and when I was big, I was extremely confident. And the only reason I was confident is ‘cause I was putting on a show. ‘Cause I wanted to show people that even if I’m big, I can persevere. I remember eating a huge piece of humble pie when I applied for a job where they needed someone that could speak languages, that could be good with people, that could be very eloquent. I applied for the job speaking five languages, being extremely eloquent, having good business pedigree, and I didn’t get any of the jobs I was applying for. The reason being, when I had them on the phone, they were so excited… [Then] I showed up to the interview, got rejected from the job. Because I looked lazy, because I looked unkept, because I was bigger. Whatever [your] physical attributes, if changes happen, it makes your mind more sound. And it just makes you believe in yourself more without having to act anything out.“
Erwan also shared that confidence has the power to inspire. At the end of the FREEGO fitness challenge, the seven successful participants took pride in sharing what they had learned with their friends. “I’m constantly in contact with them through our text group,” he said. “I love that they’re now acting as coaches for their friends. I have a saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and it’s so true… If four of your friends have no idea what’s happening in current affairs and news, then you probably have no idea what’s happening in current affairs and news. So if five of your friends are really healthy, then most probably, you’re very healthy, ‘cause you have common interests, you hang out, you talk about the same things.
“In their own circles of influences, they’re now becoming the key person to talk to when it comes to fitness, food, and nutrition. And I love that they’re taking on that role, because they can be like, ‘Yeah, you know I lost double digits in 40 days,’ which is a huge accomplishment. These girls dropped double-digit percents of body fat, which is incredible. Absolutely incredible. They know it, and they see it. I can tell they’re more comfortable in their skin. And I think the most important is none of them wanna cheat. They’re like, ‘Okay, great. Forty days. Thanks, Erwan. Thanks, Freego. Screw off, we don’t need you anymore. We’re gonna do this our whole life.’ For me, that’s just—check, I did what I was here to do.”