Happy to be a ‘fitspiration’

By Maridol Rañoa-Bismark Aiko-Melendez-4.jpgAiko Melendez with Dr. Claudine Roura of Contours Advanced Face and Body Sculpting Institute

MANILA, Philippines - When other women her age hide their figures in dark colors and loose clothes, Aiko Melendez, 41, wears a neon pink bikini and posts it on Instagram. Mixed reactions about her bold move are natural.

Some liked what they saw. Others subjected the actress to body shaming.

But this doesn’t faze Aiko — not when that bikini photo of hers trended many times over and got 2,000 comments, mostly positive.

Aiko’s son Andre, 19, was unconvinced at first. He wondered aloud why his mom had to flaunt her bikini bod.

Her answer was direct to the point.

“Nothing. I just want to check on myself. I want to get feedback.”

Andre read the comments and liked what he read. He finally told her that she really looks good, now that she lost a lot of weight.

Aiko was in seventh heaven.

“Kinilig ako (I felt excited).”

After all, that sexy bod didn’t happen overnight. Aiko worked out, started dancing regularly and drastically cut down on rice. There was even a time when she limited her rice intake to only once a week.

Since she worked hard to look good, Aiko maintains the discipline that gave her the to-die-for figure she has today. In fact, she wants to shed more pounds to keep up with the demands of her high-profile job.

“I want to lose 20 pounds more because TV makes you look 10 pounds heavier.”

Weight loss isn’t enough for her. She wants a sculpted body to make her feel and look a lot better. This will emphasize those curves and shape of Aiko’s swimmer arms as well.

So she researched to get the right person for the job. Her search ended in Dr. Claudine Roura, medical director of Contours Advanced Face and Body Sculpting Institute.

Aiko Melendez

Aiko felt bad that the flesh around her arms still sagged despite hours of carrying weights in the gym. Dr. Roura solved the problem via vaser lipo. Today, Aiko can wear off-shoulder clothes with confidence.

Women — and men — like the new Aiko. And she feels so inspired, she vows never to stop working out to maintain her fit body.

Aiko laughs as she recalls getting invites from men who ask her how much she’ll charge to be their work-out buddy. She won’t accept the invitations, of course, but Aiko is happy that she now has a new role — that of “fitspiration.”

“I want to tell people that it’s never too late to lose weight. Someday, if I have time, I can even write a book about how I did it,” she says.

Does being proud of her hard-earned curves mean she’ll agree to flaunt it on the cover of men’s magazines?

The usually self-assured Aiko is nervous.

“Now I’m sweating,” she admits. “No sexy poses on men’s magazines. I struck a deal with my son and daughter (Marthena, 10).”

But she’s not closing her doors, adding that she’ll cross the bridge when she gets there. For now, the answer is no, thank you.

Meantime, let’s see what Aiko will post next in this season of beaches, sand, surf and Bora bodies.

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