An athlete's life isn't easy, especially when you have expectations to live up to.
Such is the case for 2016 Summer Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.
With three years to go until the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan in 2020, the Pinay Olympic hero has already begun her weightlifting training as early as January this year.
There are three “phases” for her training: transition, preparation, and competition.
While the competition phase is easily the hardest among the three, Hidilyn confesses to having personal struggles with her transition phase.
Upon resuming training, Hidilyn returned to her meticulous high-protein diet plan that she admits to be quite hard to adhere to.
“Tumataas na yung body weight ko,” she told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during an exclusive interview at the launch of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s newest food selections for Spiral.
“Kailangan na pigilan sarili ko sa pagkain.”
A high-protein diet is a good meal plan to build muscle, and it is mostly made up of meat, fish, and eggs.
But Hidilyn revealed that it doesn’t always punch in a flavorful meal.
Given the technicalities of her sport, a weightlifter must maintain a standard weight since they will be lifting twice their body weight.
For the Zamboanga-based athlete, she has to keep her weight between 53 to 58 kilograms.
THE SACRIFICES. When PEP asked what Hidilyn found to be the hardest part of her training, she didn’t skip a beat.
“Sa pagkain, give up ng sweets,” she confessed.
She has always loved sweets.
In fact, one of the first things she did after winning her silver medal was rewarding herself with a bowl of ice cream.
“Before Olympics, sobra yung sakripisyo sa pagkain yung ginawa ko.
“Magtatago na lang ako sa kuwarto para mapigilan ko sarili hindi kumain,” she said.
This had been a daunting task for her, especially since Hidilyn believes that food is more than just scrumptious meals to devour.
She elaborated, "Kasi para sa ’kin, sa pagkain, dun tayo nagba-bond, e.
“Bonding with friends, with family.
“Parang feeling ko, kapag hindi ako kakain kasama sila, parang sayang."
But Hidilyn knew that staying disciplined and focused on the training is the best way to keep herself on track for the gold.
“Kailangan talaga healthy lifestyle.
“Kailangan talaga sakripisyo,” she proudly declares.
GAME FACE ON. Even though the Tokyo Olympics is still a distant reality, Hidilyn has already primed herself to be fully committed to her preparations.
“Hindi naman kasi puwede na three years pa 'yan, four years pa 'yan, saka na ako magte-training.
“Kahit sabihin malayo pa 'yan, kailangan pa rin prepared ako.”
What keeps her motivated to go for the gold?
“Mga prayers ng mga tao, yung mga support nila.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga ako.
“Every time kasi po na parang ayoko na, sasabihin nila, ‘Kaya mo ‘yan, ang dami naming nagdadasal para sa ’yo.’
“Grateful ako sa kanila,” she beams.