Review of 2018 Goals

COmmit to behealthy & fit

Two more weeks to go and half of 2018 is over. It is just amazing how time flies so quickly.

Last night while in the washroom brushing my teeth, I glanced to the piece of paper I posted on the mirror earlier this year. It was my goal for 2018 which aimed specifically on fitness. Honestly, New Year’s resolutions and goals are not really my kind of thing however I still did set my goal early this year. 

The goal for 2018 is to be FIT. 

So how did this go for the last five months? 

100% whole food plant based diet.  Well, I am not yet into this. I still eat occasional seafood and meat. There are days that I am not really cheating and I eat 100% plant based without any cooking oil and processed ingredients. 

Though somehow I found my way here in this area already, I am still kind of vulnerable a week before my monthly period. I have all these insatiable food cravings that sometimes I cave in. 

This is my weak point though partly I am happy to where I am now compared previously when my regular meals were comprised of burgers, pizzas, ice cream, fried chicken with loads of white rice and chocolates. 

So this goal is still in ‘a work in progress’

30 minutes daily exercise. Not to brag but I guess I exceeded this goal since April 2018. Thanks to our Nepal trip where I found my fitspiration

Nowadays I start my morning walk / jog exercise between 4:30AM – 5AM. On weekdays I exercise on average of one hour and on weekends it’s longer, around two hours and a half. 

I stopped going to the gym. Anyway it was not that productive because I just utilized the treadmill. I realized that walking or jogging in open area like park makes me happier. In the gym I dreaded everyday staring on the same screen on the wall waiting for me to complete the thirty minutes walk. It was not that motivating really. 

Learn and master new sports. Living a sedentary lifestyle since childhood, my intention to improve my fitness level requires conscious effort. It doesn’t come naturally like others. 

That’s the reason that I would like to learn and master at least one sport this year. I have been doing a morning walking exercise for over a year now and I began to embrace and love it. 

I found it to be mentally relaxing. However I still cannot escape the fact that aiming to cover certain distance by walking can be really time-consuming. As you know, I have a full-time job, 8am to 6pm, and that doesn’t leave ample time to exercise. 

I really want to cover longer distance in my daily exercise. At the moment, my average daily distance is around six kilometers but because I walk slow it takes me between one hour and a half to two hours to cover this distance. Well, that includes few minutes of selfies, meditation and toilet stopovers. 

That’s why lately I have been pushing myself hard to jog which hopefully leads to running in the future. If I can jog continuously, one hour will be enough for me then and that will even allow me to cover more mileage. 

But still, my current reality is still far from where I want to be. Right now I am struggling to jog continuously for one minute. So just imagine how long it will take me to practice to finally be able to jog continuously for one hour, or just even five kilometers. 

I know, it sounds depressing. Right? But I am not losing hope. If it takes me a year or two to be able to jog continuously for one hour, then let it be. 

Anyway, I am not gearing up for some race though I am considering to sign up for some 5K fun run. 

Let’s face it. Doing the same thing over and over again can be boring, right? This is specially true for peeps like me who are not into sports at all.

So beginning this year I also embark on a new journey of discovering and learning about yoga. My first ever orientation with yoga happened last February then again in March. Sadly I stopped practicing so I enrolled again for last May.

So these are the two kind of sports that keep me busy everyday. I am not even sure if these two are considered sports but in any case it keeps me active; it keeps me moving.

Still I am not in the level I wish I am but I think what matters most is I am moving; I continue exercising regularly. 

Have I shared to you about the cholesterol level? Oh, not yet! 

Last September 2017 I had my blood tests done. Quite disappointed with the results, I was advised to take maintenance medicines. My cholesterol was around 244. 

Stubborn, I bluntly refused the prescriptions and opted to be more serious in my lifestyle change. 

Last  month I went to the hospital again for blood test. My cholesterol level dropped from 244 to 184 which I contributed primarily to my lifestyle change. Even my sugar level, which used to be in the borderline, was in normal range. 

Indeed this gives me more profound reason to keep up with my goals. 

What about you? How are you progressing with your goals this year?

 

10,000 Steps Obsession

Cheese! (1)It is just me. My nature. I am not into tracking things. Tracking every penny that goes out my pocket. Tracking my food intake. Tracking my weight. I tried tracking things but failed miserably many times. 

Oh, I just remember. I have been tracking my monthly period though for the last five months. You see, I always have been irregular period since before. Perhaps in average I get three to four times in a year only. It is the same reason why I missed my first trimester of pregnancy. Sounds dumb but I just realized I was pregnant when my belly was already 16 weeks!

So imagine when I started to have monthly period from mid last year. It was strange and amazing occurrence.

Anyhow, I gave the credit (of my monthly period) to my new lifestyle, exercising regularly.

Anyway back to my tracking matter, my sister recently gave me a gift, a smart watch (Is there really such word? Oh well,  I just search in Ecosia, try this search engine and you are helping mother earth, and yes indeed there’s such word).

Because I have a goal to trek on my birthday and see the Himalayas range, I need to boost my fitness level so I can endure hiking for 4-6 hours every day. That’s the goal. However, since I am just your normal working mom who juggles office work, motherhood and exercise, my time (apart from work) and energy is mainly spent to my son. With my new goal, I needed somehow to manage my time so I can squeeze in daily exercise hoping to develop my stamina and endurance.

And of course, I began with the exercise that I knew best. Walking.

For the first time, I am tracking religiously my daily steps. Later I realize that the best way to track my progress is to track it through the distance I cover.  So lately I added this in my records but in this graph (below) it is not showing. Perhaps next time when I have more data to share.

Steps trackers

So far, I am not losing any weight. Sometimes I find it frustrating but I remind myself that the goal is to develop stamina and endurance. The goal is to improve my fitness level, not really to lose weight. If I shed off few kilos, then that’s a big bonus. 

But for now, I have to stay focus on my goal , #Poonhilltrek!

Cheers! 

 

 

Sharing and hopefully Inspiring others

10When you experience something great, you tend to share it with your friends and love ones. When you taste a heavenly snack, you brag about it to your friends and colleagues.

I think this is human nature. We share, we talk, we preach, we advocate, we recommend, we refer, when we experience, see, taste or feel something great, something worth remembering, something extraordinary.

So imagine how I share with passion about plant based lifestyle to my family, friends and colleagues. I can talk on and on about it. I have the intense desire to share and to talk about it because I experience the difference between my old life and now.

My old life means indulging on burgers, fries, fried foods, pizza, hot dogs, daily mugs of coffee and so on. When stressed, I craved for burgers or ice creams. When tired, I relaxed by watching TV and gobbling chips and burgers. After a tiring work week, the best way to recharge was to oversleep on weekends and to eat pizza and fried chickens at nights. 

When I ditched this old life and started embracing plant based lifestyle, the result is inevitable and it doesn’t go unnoticed too. My colleagues became curious. My friends began asking questions. My family was amazed. And the best part, I started to feel good and more energetic than ever.

So when an old good friend talked to me about his cholesterol issue, I shared about my new lifestyle. He was honest enough to ask for help, for support, for encouragement, to do the overdue lifestyle change. Hey, I am not a health guru, not at all, but I share what I changed in my life and how good it feels. I sent him real life testimonies to read and documentaries to watch to help revolutionized his mind. I really hope that he reads or watch those stuff I sent to him. 

Anyway, this journey, the lifestyle change, is actually a mind game. 

I realized it has to start from the mind. You have to convince your mind. You have to feed your mind with encouragement, with hopes, with possible results, with inspirations, with health benefits, and so on. Once your mind starts to believe it, then it becomes easy.

Now when I see dairy products, I remember the Fork Over Knives and What a Health documentaries I watched. Because you learned the downside of consuming dairy products, your mind automatically refuses to entertain the idea of drinking cow’s milk or eating cheese. Your knowledge became like nagging thought, a voice within your head, that never stops until you resolve that you are not eating that yummy double cheese burger. 

Last month I received an email from my old good friend updating me about his health status. (Sorry, have to delete some of the other details to keep his identity confidential.) This was after a month of encouraging him to exercise daily and opt for healthier versions of his food. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: XXX

Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2018 9:29 AM
To:
Subject: Happy

Hello, you need a big hug..  my cholesterol went down from 290 to 180, you pushed me so hard to take good regular healthy food and that’s the result,

Also regular exercise and many factors have done this good turn around. Thanks 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also a colleague, whom I always have lunch together, has now been cooking most of the time vegetarian dishes with almost without oil. She discovered that it made her skin clearer as her pimples became lesser.  She gave the credit to eating less meat, dairy products and fried foods. 

However, my ultimate goal is to share this healthy lifestyle to my son. This is one of the legacy I want to leave to my son. We are what our parents were, right?

I am glad though that my six year old son somehow grasps already the importance of avoiding processed food. I am one proud mama when I see him reading the ingredients written on the packet of snack which he picks from the grocery store. Then he will request me to buy it for him giving a justification that it is good because the packet is all natural, no preservatives and no added sugar.

I am not a devout person however I still believe that our health is our greatest blessing and we ought to be good steward of this blessing.

So let’s continue to live a healthy lifestyle and hopefully we encourage others to do the same!

Cheers to healthy living!

 

Sharing healthy lifestyle means LOVE

HelloEcstatic. 

I think that’s the word I can describe best  my feeling today.

You see, my sister and I shared similar passions. 

The passion to travel and to experience new culture. 

The passion to help less fortunate students. 

The passion to treat others equally and generously.  

The passion to hang out in coffee shops to work and brainstorm ideas. 

Lately, as I try to engage in sports (and wish to pursue an active lifestyle), I am embracing her passion for active lifestyle too. And oh, because of this, I start to appreciate the guys she likes. You know, those guys who are sporty, active and easy going peeps. (peace sister! lol!)

The passion for great and yummy comfort food! 

But since a ditched my old eating habits, I have now my own definition of yummy food. I turned away from ice creams, rich-dairy pasta sauces, baked goodies, burgers, fries, pizza and fried chicken. 

Nowadays my yummy food is pasta topped with spinach sauce or flourless muffins or vegan mac and cheese. 

My sister is also on the heavier side like I used too. With all these great results that I am reaping from plant based lifestyle, I keep pitching (non-stop, lol!) this idea to her. 

Try it for a week. Or maybe just for three day. Try water frying your spices instead of using cooking oil. blah.. blah.. blah.. 

I was trying to evangelize her about the ‘awesomeness’ of this lifestyle. I wanted her to experience what I am experiencing. But I failed. 

But when we met earlier this month in Nepal, I knew she saw the difference in me even though she wouldn’t admit it. I have somehow kept off my weight for the last one year. 

I was 83 kilos (I guess more but I stopped weighing, afraid to be confronted of the real score in the weighing scale) before I started my lifestyle change journey last March 2017. Now I weigh between 66 – 67 kilos. On days I disregard healthy living I balloon to 68-69 kilos. 

But still, I am proud of what I have achieved, not only about the weight loss but importantly the fact that I manage to keep the weight, without really bouncing back to 83 kilos. 

So just imagine my intense desire to take my sister on board in this journey.

As mentioned in my previous post, Nepal has given us a ‘fitspiration’ resulting to a plan to trek Poon Hill this August 2018 to celebrate my 40th birthday. I can’t wait to see the Himalayas range! Promise, I will post an ‘instagrammable’ photo with the Himalayas backdrop. LOL!

Because of this plan (well,  the real plan really is to trek to Annapurna Base Camp some time next year), it pushes us to be physically healthy. We have to. 

So for the last few days my sister is doing her own way of transformation. And today, I was sooo happy when she messaged me that she wanted to be a vegan. Hooray!!! 

Big sister here is more than happy to support her! 

As you know, I follow a vegan diet with no cooking oil and processed food. She can’t imagine food without cooking oil. How can you possible whisk some yummy food without cooking oil (and dairy products), right?  

The supportive sister offered her help. I suggested to come up with one week plant based menu. Since she lives back home in Philippines, it means I have to consider the the local ingredients. 

And earlier today, she cooked her first vegan dish without cooking oil! bravo!! 

So let’s see where the WFPB (whole food plant based) diet will take her. 

I really hope that we will trek together more places in the future. I am optimistic that Poon Hill trek is just the beginning of so many more trekkings and hikings adventures. 

Cheers to healthy living! 

 

 

One year into weight loss journey and healthy living

FinalIt has been a year now since I started my healthy living journey.

I’m proud and thankful to achieve my current weight of 67kg (sometimes 66kg) through plant based eating with no cooking oil and less processed food. Of course, it was not an easy journey. It has been a tough ride and up to now I am still navigating my way.

There’s always a learning curve. There’s always pitfalls. I stumbled, not once, but many times. I cave in sometimes to my cravings. There were days I was too lazy to lace my shoes and exercise.

But life goes on. Another day comes, another new opportunity to make again the right choice – clean eating and exercising.

Yesterday I have been browsing my photos in my phone. I was amazed of how far I have come from compared a year ago. It’s from 83kg (or even more but I stopped weighing myself ashamed to be confronted of the real number in the weighing scale) to now, 67kg.

Most of my clothes have been repaired, made it smaller to fit better. Those old clothes, which I hid because it’s too tight to wear, are now back in my closets and I have been using it regularly.  Those t-shirts that used to look like a ‘fit blouse’ to me are now back to its original purpose, a t-shirt.

I used to hate selfies too because it would take me time to find the right angle to project the slimmer version of me. But now, I began loving selfies.

Now my only concern is just to find the right angle that looks best for me.  I don’t whine anymore after the photos are taken (unlike before I used to curse why I was looking fat in the photo. I guess, I was in denial that indeed I was obese.) Now I am okay with it.

I realized also yesterday that I am okay now with my body. I am not keen of achieving anymore the 58kg, my earlier goal. I think I would look very skinny at this weight which I don’t like.

I am happy with my weight now and all I wish is to maintain it. My priority now is to tone my body and increase my level of physical activity.

I am not yet sure how. I haven’t figured out the details yet. 

All I know is that healthy living is a choice, a constant choice that I make everyday. 

Cheers to healthy living! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off the wagon..

www.sports-bra-is-life.com (1)Ohh, what a shame!

The last post I wrote here is a month back. Apparently I am not so good at keeping up with this blog.

But hey, you can head to FB page for regular updates. 

Well, it has not been very good couple of weeks for me. I fell of the wagon; didn’t stick to 100% vegan oil-free and processed-free-food lifestyle. Whew!

I was not so motivated too to keep up my daily walking exercise. I had so many excuses that I cave in. 

And this makes me down. 

I don’t know what triggered this emotion, this lack of motivation and simply a mere fact of laziness. 

So now, I am slowly bouncing back, trying to be back to the groove, and I know that I am not at my most best physical condition at the moment. I miss that oomph that sets in after I do my meditation and morning exercise. 

It is funny how I notice now my body’s performance. I can sense when I am not at my level best and generally this happens when I don’t stick to clean eating. 

Unlike before (when I was not into healthy living yet), I was clueless. All I would think was to gulp enough coffee to get me through the day. 

I think this is life. This is what we call journey that is oftentimes confronted with its own ups and downs. Everyday is like combating my own demons, which hopefully in the long run, I can get to work with (these demons) harmoniously.

For now, I have to pin down this demon that drags me off the wagon of healthy living. 

 

 

 

 

Getting Rid of Yoga Misconceptions

My yoga fascination started in my college days. You know, the pre-internet era where the source of information was limited only to magazines, encyclopedias, libraries and, on rare occasions, access to experts.

Aside from the financial limitations, I simply didn’t know where to learn more about yoga. Anyway, like any kind of out-of-reach-dreams, I shrugged off my fascination and continued with my life. It was even shove to the furthest chamber, almost buried into oblivion, in my mind as I succumbed to unhealthy living and stressful work life for decades.

My fascination was again rekindled last year when my journey towards healthy lifestyle began.

Why I prefer yoga as form of exercise?

My sister, the sporty-type-person, abhors yoga. It’s a boring physical activity for her. Unlike me, the slow-mo (slow-motion) type of person (lol!), I think it’s the best form of exercise. I can do it anywhere, anytime.

There’s no need of special equipment or location. Well, of course, yoga mat is preferable.

Last year during my vacation back home in Philippines, I intended to keep the morning walking exercise routine. As I live in the province, it is quite common for households to have dogs. Not only to keep the dogs as pets but also to guard the house at nighttime and on days when no one is at home. So the first few days of morning exercise didn’t end up well. The dogs kept barking, fiercely barking, like we’re thieves. Sometimes street dogs chased us too. 

It was not really a good idea to walk around (at least in my neighborhood) but I found a great place for exercise. You can read more about it here.

At least with yoga, you can do your workout at home, in the hotel room, in the garden or beach. Wherever you can find solace, yoga is possible.

This was my main motivation to learn yoga.

But this all changed when I attended last month the Happiness Program of Art of Living. I wrote about it here

The program included breathing exercise, yoga and meditation. I got hooked with it. The following week, I enrolled in Sri Sri Yoga Level 1 which was just 5 days class for two hours each day. 

The new addiction

Do you like body massage? I found yoga similar to body massage except that the massage is done directly to your muscles.

The stretches, even it was difficult, were so soothing that I felt rejuvenated after every class. Unfortunately, the class is only for five days and there’s no available schedule until end of March. Well, I found one and it is the same program (Sri Sri Yoga Class Level 1) which will take place in end of February. Yehey!!

The real challenge actually is not the yoga but the time. Those five days of yoga class meant that I didn’t have quality time with my son after office work. But still, I want to learn under the instructor’s supervision because I am not so good at following instructions through YouTube. I know, there’s tons of  available yoga instructional videos in YouTube but they cannot see what I am doing, right? They cannot correct if I am stretching my back in the right manner.

That’s why, though it will cost me money, I still want to learn from a certified instructor. I am hoping to find like 2-3 times a week of yoga class so at least I don’t feel so guilty spending a lot of ‘me’ time.

Realizations

It is funny how Facebook and Instagram deceive us, right? For years I thought that yoga was only for slender chicks. You know, those women who have been blessed with skinny genes.

I always had this notion that yoga was not feasible for chubby person like me. How could I possibly do all those bending, twisting and like-somersaulting poses. It is impressive when you see someone who does it gracefully.  Unfortunately, I can hardly even reach my toes when bending.

So imagine my surprise on the first day of Happiness Program. The persons who taught us yoga were not slim but they could bend gracefully or stretch their arms and touch their toes. I was even more amazed with my yoga instructor for the 5 days class. No way she’s slim but she did all the Asanas pose with grace, control and effortless. While my legs and arms were trembling as we did the ‘superman’ pose, the instructor lifted her legs and arms high (way higher than mine) with ease.

Of course, how can you an instructor if you cannot perform all these yoga poses, right? But, it also gives me hope that you know, one doesn’t need to be slim or slender to do yoga.

Another thing I realized is the clothing. When you watch all these yogis in Youtube or read them in magazine, they are all geared up in tight pants and tank top. It is showing off your flesh and all your body contours, right?

Well, all the yoga instructors I met so far didn’t wore all these outfit. They wore loose, kind-of-light-weight cotton, comfy pants and tops.

And it makes sense too to wear this type of yoga clothes. Maybe I am conservative but it helps the students to focus on the yoga lessons. It is very comfy and it hides your private parts when doing all these yoga poses.

The yoga, which was taught to us, was holistic. It didn’t emphasize yoga as form of exercise only (though I admit that this was my main intention earlier).  There’s the breathing, meditation, its philosophy, mental, health and so on.

And I like this kind of yoga actually.

Last week my friend and I attended another yoga class from a freelance yoga instructor.  It was tough and very rigid despite of informing the instructor that we are beginners. He calls it as ‘physical yoga’. 

Indeed it was. 

We did one session only then we cancelled. It was not the kind of yoga we’re looking for.