Ria Atayde puts herself first so she can present her best version to the world. Read an excerpt below about her brand of self-love.
Ria Atayde has come a long way. She’s changed from being a people pleaser who used to worry about what people would say or think about her, to someone who makes a conscious choice to put herself first. “I am in a way healthier position now than where I was years ago,” she says during her Zoom interview with MEGA. “I love myself and I am surrounded by people who constantly remind me that I am worthy of love and attention.”
Like any normal person, she used to be insecure about superficial things like weight and looks. Being in the showbiz industry didn’t make it easier for her because people generally expect celebrities to be perfect, which usually means being “stick thin and looking a certain way.” She realized that it was “hard to find a balance between wanting to promote self-love and struggling with the concept of beauty in this industry.”
Ria Atayde, a Communication Arts graduate (she went to De La Salle University and before that, St. Pedro Poveda College), sees herself as being open, accepting, and adaptable. “I’m able to adjust to people in whatever situation—the elderly, people younger than me, kids,” Ria reveals. This versatility is refreshing, and it’s nicely balanced by her attention to structure. Ria shares that she can be a bit on the obsessive compulsive (“OC”) side and admits to prefer having a plan, in general or on a daily basis.
Ria is the “chill lang” and laidback type. She would go out wearing clothes she’s comfortable in. She jokingly refers to it as the I-didn’t-think-I’d-come-out-of-the-car look. “It’s something I need to work on, I guess.”
She managed to shift her mindset and has, in fact, arrived at a good place where she is naturally comfortable in her own skin and able to have a healthier relationship with her body. It took time, patience, and hard work. But through her own efforts and with the help of people who inspired her, like her trainer Culver Padilla, Ria was able to embrace the body-positive mindset.
“He [Culver] would remind me—everything in moderation, work out not because you hate your body but because you want to be healthy.” Ria admits that her diet wasn’t always good, and that she used to beat herself up whenever she would eat something that’s “not good.” “Plus, I have PCOS also, so my weight fluctuates,” she says.
Ria knows that it’s not always easy to make the right choices, especially when it comes to mindset. This is especially true during the pandemic when so many people had to deal with various recurring issues, including self-love. For Ria, it’s a matter of “calibrating your mindset to believe certain things”.
BALANCE IS KEY
She believes that being physically healthy and being happy on the inside go hand in hand. To hit that beautiful balance, she tries to make smarter decisions about crucial things like work, rest, her food choices, and physical activity. She makes sure that she still lives an active lifestyle, and that she gets rest days in between busy days spent out of the house working.
She can’t, however, work out the way she used to because of the back surgery that she had to undergo in April 2021. So she makes up for it by being active in different ways.
“Before the pandemic, I would travel a lot,” she reveals, “but of course now, not so much.” When she’s not working, Ria loves to have fun, spend time in the kitchen cooking, and to read books, which she did a lot of in the midst of all the lockdowns. Some of her favorite titles include Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient and Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us and Reminders of Him.
Photography AYA CABAUATAN
Creative direction NICOLE ALMERO and MARC YELLOW
Fashion direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Beauty direction MIA CASTRO
Sittings editor JANN PASCUA and PEEWEE REYES-ISIDRO
Makeup LIN UY
Hair RJ DELA CRUZ
Styling ALDRIN RAMOS assisted by RUZZIAN ESCAROS, KATRINA PASCUAL, and RIAH LIPAD
Nails HER TRIBE NAILS
Photography assistant PATRICIA CABAUATAN
Shoot coordination KZ FRANCISCO