Hi, my name is Ja (short for Jaliza). I was a typical girl growing up in the Philippines. I was part of a dance club in elementary and a volleyball varsity player in high school. I also joined volleyball leagues in our subdivision during summer vacation. I can say I was quite athletic in my younger days. Even though I would never have considered myself thin, I was never fat either. Even during college (pre med), I was able to maintain an average size.

It was not until my senior year in Med school that the school uniform I had been wearing were starting to feel a little tighter. Then, when I graduated in 2009 and migrated to the United States with my husband, I started binging and eating like him (~ like a man!). I got busy studying for my US Medical Boards and never made time to exercise. No matter what amount of free time I had, it never crossed my mind to exercise. I was just not really into it. Reality began to set in when I found myself deleting pictures of myself because I didn’t like the way I look. I noticed that I’m getting fat… really fast! My posture was bad and I looked horrible in my clothes. I eventually forced myself to look at the scale and I was not happy with what I saw – – – 😦

Although it would say normal for my BMI at my height, it still didn’t feel right. I felt heavy, weak, sad and unhealthy. I blamed the buffet restaurants and the American huge servings. I got worried of gaining more weight. I knew right then that I had to make a change. I started right away by slowly cutting portions of my food. I learned that it’s better to waste a little food (or save it for tomorrow) than to overload. From there, I began to run a little bit each night.   My supportive husband & I started signing up for 5k runs. I’m very proud to say that we survived our first half marathon last May 2012. I discovered my passion for running and hoping for more races for us in the future.

first ever 5k


first ever half









I had originally set my goal to lose 10 lbs. I just picked a number that seemed pretty reasonable for me. I am happy to announce I reached my goal and celebrated by shopping for a whole new wardrobe!  I am happy with the way I look and feel right now. I feel light and healthy. I still stick with the same healthy habits I developed while trying to lose weight except now I am doing it to stay healthy as we are planning to get pregnant with our first baby next this year! =)) I’m doing this now to prepare my body for pregnancy and motherhood. I believe that taking care of myself will make me a better mom and wife to my family.

I also just want to share this one thing I realized after living in Ohio. Midwest offers so many things that I enjoy. For one, the seasons. I get to do different outdoor sports each season. I got to do things for the first time, like trail biking and snowboarding. My Midwest migration made me appreciate nature & outdoor activities. This gave me more reason to stay active & take advantage of all Ohio – and the Midwest – has to offer: the beautiful trails with flowing rivers along side and parks with beautiful sceneries. There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now than exploring nature and getting dirty while taking photos along the way. I’m a city girl turned nature lover!






I know there are so many people out there like me who just lost touch on how to live an active lifestyle. I am not an expert  in any way, but I want to share how I manage to keep a healthy lifestyle without  depriving myself. I still enjoy food & love to eat but balance is the key.

About me2

Thank you so much for reading my blog and giving me a reason to love life, run happy, stay active and continue living healthy!

P.S. Special thanks to my awesome friend, Joy @joybrewed, for inspiring me to start a blog myself.

25 thoughts on “ABOUT ME

  1. Pingback: Liebster Blog Award! Yay! | Athlete Within Ja

  2. Pingback: Why I Love Running | Athlete Within Ja

  3. High Heels & Running Shoes

    Hi! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I just read your story and found it inspiring! I spent some time in Ohio a few years ago and loved it. You are so right about the many options it offers! I have come back home to Costa Rica, we have great outdoor activities but I miss winters! Hope to continue reading about your running adventures here!

    1. jaml905 Post author

      Wow, you’re from Costa Rica. Glad to meet you here in WordPress. Love the Header of your blog. Says High heels and running shoes. Then I got interested after reading your recent post. 🙂 Thanks also for dropping by! 🙂 I agree, Midwest has so much things to offer. There’s really no reason to go out, be active and enjoy outdoor activities. Thanks for your thoughts! Looking forward too for your adventures. Happy Running! 🙂

  4. agirltravels

    Loving your blog and your story! I Love running and it definitely helps me get in and stay in shape, along with yoga, but the past 6 months I’ve been so busy between work, travel, etc that working out has been on the back burner. I’m ready to get back into a routine and super excited for my first half marathon in February. Thanks for stopping by and following my blog 🙂

    1. jaml905 Post author

      Wow! Good luck on your first half marathon! You’ll get hooked ones you start it, I tell yah! 🙂 Once you see results there’s no turning back! 🙂
      Goodluck with your training. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Liebster Blog Award! Yay! | Athlete in Me

  6. Pingback: Why I Love Running | Athlete in Me

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