wellness by Alyssa Castillo

Get Well: MYX VJ Alex Diaz

ABS-CBN actor, MYX VJ, and host Alex Diaz talks about investing in a healthy lifestyle, his dream of being a triathlete, and Intermittent Fasting.

So, tell us about yourself.
My name’s Alex Diaz, I’m an actor, previously a singer (kind of), and a host who speaks mostly to the millennial generation. I’ve also dabbled in theater and indie films.

Give us a walkthrough of your daily activities.
My day begins at 6am with me reaching for coffee in the morning. After, I go do circuit training, jog, or I’ll go to Ride Revolution. And then I’ll head to my rehearsals: Tuesdays and Thursdays are gymnastics for four hours; and then Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, I take ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop classes. I also dabble in musical theater and attend voice lessons. I get home at 10pm, go to sleep, and then do the same thing the next day.

How often do you work out in a week?
I always make sure to work out at least four times a week. It varies –last week I did seven times a week because of theater. There was six hours of dance and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays it becomes ten hours. On Saturdays, I do at least an hour of cardio. When I’m not rehearsing, I squeeze in two Ride Revolution classes in a day. I also make sure to do three to four hours of cardio four times a week.

What workouts do you do? Are there more that you want to try out?
I love Ride Revolution – it’s my number one. Your thighs have your biggest muscle group, so to engage and to strengthen that is also strengthening your whole body and your whole system. For the other workouts, I really look into exercises that are challenging enough to excite me. I started crafting my own circuit training instead of getting a trainer because I realized after a while that you can really train yourself. But anyway, I also want to accomplish a triathlon. Besides these, I also golf. I want to learn how to play Tennis and also get back to playing football.alexHas fitness always been a part of your lifestyle?
No, I was never really into it. Back then, I’d half-ass it by drinking a lot and partying with my friends. But just last December 2016, I saw shirtless pictures of me in La Union. That day, I told myself, “This has got to stop. You can’t continue your life doing things half-assed. You’ve got to invest and put your time into being healthy and fit.” And so, I stopped drinking and smoking and began working out seriously. My last progress picture was taken last March, just a month ago, and I really saw the difference.

Beyond its physical benefits, how does working out affect you?
In Ride Revolution, there’s a part called The Introspective and it’s when the instructor gives you advice. It’s amazing that you can work out and you also get therapy in the middle wherein you take and carry a piece of advice with you for the rest of the day. After exerting your effort and getting exhausted, you hear that and it sticks with you. It sets the mood. Aside from the shallow reason of looking good, I also love that working out puts you in a great mental state and it allows you to be more focused, driven, and positive. It’s easier to stay away from negativity when you’re coming from a good place.

What are your current fitness goals?
In six months, I want to go on a triathlon, regularly teach in Ride Revolution, and be good enough to play in a golf tournament. Also, I would like to get six-pack abs.

Do you prefer to work out solo or with a group?
I’ve never been good at team sports because I get pressured when people rely on me. I love working out by myself because you don’t have to wait for people or take turns. I prefer doing my own thing, but I do see the benefits of working out with a group because you motivate each other.IMG_7762-1Who inspires you to work out? Do you have any fitspirations?
My Ride Revolution instructors, Lexi Gancayco and Ida Paras. They’re both insanely fit and intense in class, and they push me. But, also, my dad inspires me because I want him to see the benefits of being fit. He had heart surgery that’s related to his health issues and that’s why I want to inspire the fitness in my family. Everyone’s sort of halfway there and I want all of us to reach the top of our health condition and our physical prime so that we can take this over the years as well.

Are you strict about what you eat?
No, not at all. I love chocolate. I’m the biggest chocolate lover in the world. There’s a shelf in my fridge dedicated just to me and my chocolates. At night, at 10pm, I’ll sneak a chocolate bar before I go to bed. But I’ve tried a strict, calorie-counted, high-protein, low-carb diet. It’s definitely not enough calories for me. I think twice by avoiding junk food and instead lean on green, organic, and fresh foods. For rice, it has to be brown. I restrict myself from processed, MSG-filled foods as well.

I’ve also begun Intermittent Fasting, for 15-16 hours between 7pm-10am, and then I’ll eat whatever I want (in moderation) between 10am-7pm. To energize my body, I really try to consume good things as well. I do this because I’ve read that your body–at the time you’re not eating–regenerates itself on a molecular level. Your body is training itself to break down food more effectively when you fast. I’ve noticed, when the “hangry spell” is gone, that my focus and my mental state are at their peak and I have more energy.

What’s the most important lesson or advice you’ve ever learned or received about health and diet?
Invest in yourself because in the long run, it makes a difference. People always complain that healthy food and going to the gym are expensive, but if you think about it and look in the mirror, you realize it’s worth it. You take a deep breath and realize you can do that without being winded. It’s priceless to be able to go to bed at night and not feel like there’s something wrong with your body.

Finally, what’s your perfect cheat meal?
I haven’t thought about that, actually. When I cheat, I just open the fridge and pick out the unhealthiest thing. But after eating right for so long, sodium-loaded junk just doesn’t appeal to my taste buds anymore. Although, I would break my fast for Din Tai Fung and Ramen Nagi.

Produced by Alyssa Castillo
Photography by Ralph Mendoza
Sittings by Sam Potenciano

Processed with VSCO with a9 preset
Alyssa Castillo
Alyssa Castillo is a freelance writer and is concurrently Rogue Media's Editorial Assistant for The NBHD. She reads for fun, writes for a living, and wastes too much time entertaining the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Find her on Instagram as @lysscstll.
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