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Sel Guevara Is All About Body Positivity

'I’m here to give balls to people who aren’t that strong'
by Khatrina Bonagua | Apr 30, 2018
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Believe it or not, sportscaster and fitness coach Thistle “Sel” Guevara has been a victim of body shaming.

And she remembers all the bashing like it just happened yesterday—whether she was skinny, a little flabby, or now that she’s super fit, people around Sel have always had something to say.

“I've had my struggles. People wouldn't hesitate to tell to my face that I looked gross,” she shared in an interview with

But instead of being disheartened by the negative comments and recent issues (her picture with Franco Mabanta was used for the latter’s viral fat-shaming post) that have haunted her, Sel chooses to stay motivated to be the best version of herself.

“I’d rather stay in my own little world to motivate,” she said in a statement.

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Upon meeting Sel for the first time, we knew right away that she wasn't just “body goals”—a title we gave her in this month’s issue of FHM Philippines. We’re proud to say that she's also equipped with a personality that inspires.  

“I’m here to give balls to people who aren’t that strong,” she explains.

That's our girl. 


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Photo by Kevin Cayuca

What was your motivation for getting fit and healthy?

There was a point in my life when I started to feel weak, which led to me getting sick almost all the time. I developed bad habits, unhealthy vices that made me inefficient and moody, then I got sick then my health was at risk. Eventually, I finally had enough. After a warning from my doctor that I had to get stronger after my pneumonia, and finding out that I was pre-diabetic, that was the start of my journey. I mean I was a student athlete back then, but when I got sick that's when I took things more seriously. I was concerned about getting stronger first, before I actually cared about how my physique looked like.

Have you always been body positive or have you had your struggles?

I've had my struggles. For sure. When I was skinny, people got too concerned that I looked fragile. Some people told me straight to my face that I looked unattractive and weak. When I gained weight from frequent summer trips to the US back in high school, people teased me that I looked like a Care Bear, that I looked like an old man with a butete, that my tummy was asking for too much attention that it overpowered my "non-existent" boobs at the time. Also a couple of years back when I was getting into fitness, I got muscular and I was "muscle" shamed. People at work came up to me and said I should stop working out because I was already looking too hideous, or that I looked terrible on TV—from coaches to the basketball players, the guys would say "Sel this is too much." People wouldn't hesitate to tell me to my face that I looked "gross," whether I was underweight, overweight, or muscular.

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What’s changed for you since you’ve become more body positive?

I really don't give a fuck about what anyone says about my workout routines, diet, and how my body looks. I only listen to experts in the fields of sports and fitness. Now, I give zero fucks about people's comments. I'm fit, strong, I feel happy and efficient and that's all that matters.

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Photo by Kevin Cayuca

Why do you think we should all become body positive?

If we don't feel positive about our bodies, we won't be in touch with our strengths, and that's very essential in one's transformation—working with your strengths. If you don't acknowledge that you have something good to start with, then you can't make your journey happen. Also, body positivity encourages you to continue working on yourself because good results can get addictive.

Any tips for those struggling with their body image and low self-esteem?

Know your strengths and own it. Whether it's physical or emotional strength, find out what it is—that's your best tool. Use it to your advantage. When you start your journey, don't compare your progress to others, what's important is you just always compete with your old self. Keep on going at it and be more conscious of the rewards you get for living a healthy lifestyle—it's more than just physical appearance.

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If there was one thing you could express to all the people currently being body shamed, what would you say?

You have a choice. Either you succumb to the negativity and be paralyzed, or use it as your fuel. If you are constantly working on yourself, the body shaming you experience now will only be short lived. Honestly, I just really shut down all body shamers, do my thing, and let the results speak for themselves. Let my body, strength and work ethic do the talking.

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Photo by Kevin Cayuca

When you’re dealing with thoughts that aren’t body positive, what do you do?

I just think that I always have tomorrow to work on my weaknesses. I'll never be perfect, but what's important is I am always improving, I feel good about this lifestyle, and that's enough reason to keep going at it. If the negative thoughts are coming from someone else, I tell myself that at least I'm active and eating healthy. I bounce the question back to them: "Are you actually doing anything to make yourself better?"

What is one change you’ve made in your life that has greatly helped you on your journey to body positivity and being fit?

To take good care of myself...every damn day. 

Photography Kevin Cayuca of Edge Of Light Styling Kristing Toribio Makeup Brian Ponce Hairstyling Daisy Villar

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