MANILA – Iza Calzado seems the perfect fit to host the reality show “The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles,” with the actress experiencing first-hand how it feels to be obese and going through the process of losing all those unwanted pounds.
In an interview on the ANC program “Headstart” on Monday, Calzado opened up about her weight-loss journey, recalling how she was bullied and teased as a child.
“It’s difficult because growing up, you get teased by boys. Girls are a little nicer, but boys can be tough and rough,” she said.
“When I got older pa, you know, the street kids were calling me ‘baboy.’ I had that experience na I wanted to die [because of the embarrassment], na sana kainin na lang ako ng lupa ngayon na. Gusto mo nang umiyak pero siyempre, ayaw mong magpatalo,” she added.
All those name-calling, Calzado said, caused a “pileup of insecurities even if I was a happy or a positive person,” which led to more binge eating.
“You just turn to food. Parang you want to lose weight but then it’s so difficult, so kakain na lang ako. It’s the only thing you know, so you just keep eating,” she said. “I was a junk food girl… everything was processed.”
Starvation diets, pills, surgery
It was during high school when Calzado became more conscious about losing weight, with the actress turning to extreme measures such as starvation diets to remove the excess pounds.
“Mahilig ako sa boys kaya lang type nila ako as a friend. Tuwang-tuwa sila sa akin as a friend. I wanted to win them over pero hindi ako ‘yung nagugustuhan nila. Or kung may nagkagusto, they then back off. So you think either pinagtripan lang or they realized… nabagok ‘yung ulo or something,” she said.
“So I started starving myself. The first part of my journey was really bad. I started from three sandwiches a day to one. Then I started eating… three packs of crackers a day, to two and then to one. There was this time when I was eating one packet of crackers a day and I was just drinking water. Several times, I almost collapsed in school.
“So please, I have to remind everybody to not do this because I had to learn it the hard way, that I was ruining my body in the process. I was 16 at that time… I lost about 80 pounds in a year.”
Realizing that starvation diets are not a good idea, Calzado then turned to other “shortcuts” such as weight loss pills.
“I think I took Ionamine… mga two weeks ‘yun,” she recalled. “Noong college ako, kain na naman ako so I gained 20, 30 pounds. Nag-yoyo ako so I took Bangkok pills and all those things. Desperate measures, ‘di ba?”
Things got worse for her, she said, when she joined show business, citing the pressures usually associated with the industry.
“I tried those fat burners, everything I could get my hands on na shortcut… I would binge, starve, binge, starve just to maintain the weight. I was exercising pero maling-mali pa rin lahat,” she said.
Eventually, Calzado resorted to cosmetic surgery, something that she is not very proud of.
“There was this role I was supposed to do so they said I had to do this and that. So I did cosmetic surgery… Eh parang tumaba pa ako after.
“And then another cosmetic surgery, so parang sabi ko, ‘enough.’ I had lipo in 2006 and then by 2008, chubby na naman ako because I was just drinking, kain nang kain. Parang sabi ko, nakakapagod na ‘to. You know what, I might die,” she said.
When asked why she opened up about undergoing cosmetic surgery, which celebrities usually deny in interviews, Calzado said: “I’m telling you my story, it can’t be incomplete. I have to tell you that I did this, I did that. I made mistakes, I made wrong decisions for myself. I suffered the consequences of that but I had to stand up and keep my head up high.”
Proper diet, exercise
After learning the hard way that there is no shortcut to a fit and healthy body, Calzado then tried doing regular exercises and having a well-balanced diet.
And the rest, she said, is history.
“I met a guy whose family is very into health and fitness also, and they inspired me. I started working out a lot and I got into running and I started choosing healthier alternatives,” she said.
“I’m always active, I try to work out whenever I can. And the food choices are healthier. Once in a while I will cheat, of course,” she added.
So far, Calzado has tried swimming, yoga, crossfit and 360 fitness, among others. The actress-host said she is planning to join an aquathlon soon.
While she has achieved the body she has always dreamed of, Calzado admitted that she still has bouts of insecurity once in a while.
“I still have my insecurities sometimes. You know, I work out so much and I still don’t have the body of Anne Curtis. It’s not fair,” she said in jest.
Meanwhile, Calzado hopes to inspire more people through “The Biggest Loser,” where 14 pairs will embark on a journey to fitness.
The show will premiere tonight after “The Legal Wife” as part of ABS-CBN’s primetime block.