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?

 

Loving yoga

Word Art (1)I had a yoga course last week for five days. Though not feeling well, I still participated because I like my yoga instructor. She is very technical and she really teaches well.

As much as I wanted to be her regular student, she doesn’t have fix schedule for her yoga classes. She is a full-time mom so her class schedules evolve around her children’s activities and school calendar. 

That’s why I grab the opportunity whenever she offers yoga course. 

So last week I was coughing hard. It was so irritating and disturbing at work, in my yoga class and even at night when I slept. On top of this, I was slightly suffering with colds too. 

In short, I was not really at my 100% best physical condition. One weekend I stayed in bed trying to rest and recover my body but it seemed resting made me sicker. So the next day I laced my shoes and head to the park, and walked slowly, just walking trying to sweat out. I stopped couple of times to rest but somehow I managed to walk for an hour. 

The next day I felt better. 

I attended two yoga class earlier this year too but sadly I didn’t do my home instructions. So when I came to know about this yoga class last week, I enrolled without hesitations because I badly needed a refresher’s course. 

And I was glad I did it. 

So now I am back to the groove, practicing yoga for at least half an hour every day. 

This third week of June they are organizing International Yoga Day. It will be a five days yoga session for two hours daily. Though a newbie in this field, I dare to join the event. Yayyy! 

I am dreaming that one day I will become a ‘badass’ yoga instructor too (LOL!) but just the thought of this makes me wonder – can I do it? For sure, it requires tons of patience and practice. This is the kind of skill that doesn’t happen overnight. 

It takes consistent practice not for few days but years, pushing yourself to the limit and loving the muscle pains that it brings. 

Let’s see! For now, let me just enjoy this beginner’s phase. 

Cheers! 

 

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.