Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Road to Healthy Living

A Road to Healthy Living

“Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.” – Socrates

I am not fat nor I can call myself skinny either. I was never blessed with Scarlett Johanson’s curves nor Adriana Lima’s skinny figure. I am one of those girls who have their own body insecurities. I usually complain about my broad shoulders, my not-so-flat tummy and my chubby cheeks. And hell yeah! I am not physically fit for I was never a fan of any sports. A simple 5-minute run would give me dizzy spells and would cause me shortness of breathing. Honestly speaking, I’ve been dreading to ask my college professors on how I manage to pass  my Physical Education classes – swimming, volleyball, basketball, badminton. Ugggh. It’s crazy but I can’t even do a decent dive and backstroke.

Now you see, recalling where I was years ago when it comes to my lifestyle, I can say that healthy living was really a far cry. I care less about what I put into my mouth. As long as it looks and tastes good, then nothing in the world could stop me. Frequent booze night, sleep deprivation, overindulging to sweets, binge eating, pigging out and skipping meals are my sinful routines. I did crash diets and drag myself to the gym with an empty stomach. After a few months, not a pound went off since I tend to go back to my old routines and cheat myself most of the time. Then I realized that it’s about time that I settle to a more stable and realistic goal– having a balanced diet and staying physically active.

Today, the tides turned and I can slowly see myself living a healthier and guilt-free lifestyle. It’s not a piece of cake and not a day went by where I have not craved for my blueberry cheesecake and strawberry-banana ice cream. And please don’t get me started on how I resisted drinking that cold chocolate-cream chip frappe from Starbucks (*Sigh*). Though I still reward myself for some hard work and indulge into my cravings once a week, I ensure that I never go out of hand and do not waste an entire week’s sweat session.

I stay physically active and engage into more activities that I have a great interest in – boxing, running, hiking/ trekking. I stopped counting the numbers (e.g. calories, carbohydrates, fats, minutes I run and exercise a day) and just feel good about staying fit and improving my stamina and endurance. I really don’t know if it’s just me but there’s something about working out in the morning and feeling a spike of energy. Studies show that when you exercise, your body releases a neurotransmitter called serotonin which in turn gives you a feeling of well-being and happiness.

Staying focused and determined takes a lot of effort on anyone’s part. As I said before, it’s a struggle as you start but will turn out to be a fulfilling journey in the long run. There are times that you just wanted to go back and live it like you used to – not caring about your food intake and just merely slacking off. There’ll be tough times that you just want to crawl into your bed and grab that calorie-packed muffin on the kitchen counter. But before you turn your head back, just think of all the added benefits you’ll miss out on, from improved mood, to better sleep, to disease prevention. As Jim White, a registered dietitian and personal trainer by the American College of Sports Medicine, puts it – “The exercise has to be there.”

Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way that I think would also be helpful on your road to a Healthy Living:

1. Come up with a specific and realistic goal. Do not just say “I’ll eat less so I could lose weight” instead say something like “In 3 months time, I’ll lose 15 pounds by doing a 30-minute run thrice a week”. Coming up with a realistic goal and a specific action item would give you visible results. You’ll see the progress and you would know that all of your hard work was paid off.

2. Work out while learning a new skill. Exercising sounds like a simple task but something that’s so hard to religiously commit yourself doing. I tried paying for a month of gym membership but ended up quitting on my third week since I don’t find it fun and exciting at all. I feel dragged and tortured lifting weights and doing simultaneous machine exercises. I tried enrolling for a boxing class and I ended up loving it. Aside from sweating my ass off, I was able to learn a new skill and I don’t feel bummed out due to variations with the exercise.

3.      Stop obsessing over the weighing scale. Myth Buster: Muscle and Fat weighs just the same as a pound of cotton and a pound of meat does. Sad but true. You may not see yourself losing a few pounds but you can feel your used-to-be-tight clothes slowly fitting your now toned and fit body. It’s not a crime to weigh yourself once in a while, but if you use this to track your progress, then I say that you’re just up for some disappointment.

4.      Stay motivated by looking at how far you’ve gone through. Your motivation is at its peak at the beginning but slowly diminishes over time. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but there’ll be a point in your life where you hit a weight-loss plateau and lose your motivation to continue. I experienced that and I felt cheated by my own body. This is why you needed to work toward a permanent behavior change – changes in what you eat and how much you eat. Always remind yourself that you’ve gone a long way and all your efforts will go down the drain if you go back to your old eating habits. A year of dieting and working out is nothing to a month of sinful eating.

5.      Influence more people to living a healthy lifestyle. Social scientists found that good habits can be contagious. If you encourage more people and be an inspiration to them, you don’t just help them achieve their goal but it also help you to be the best in what you do. Information alone does not create lifestyle changes. A change in actions or behaviors along with role models can better influence changes to create a healthy lifestyle.

One thing I learned through this life-changing decision is that self-determination is always the key. No one can be of a better influence than your own drive to a healthier path. Someday, you’d realize that the personal rewards are so incredibly satisfying and worth all the hard work it requires. ;)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Exploring the beauty of the mountains

I just started out (again???!) with a new activity and I can't even find the words to explain how ecstatic I was days before our trip. I've been doing a lot of researching, reading, exercising and even praying that I can keep up with the boys since it's gonna be my first hike on a mountain.  I know you understand how men can make girls be the center of all the teasing and bullying, so I never wanted them to see me as a burden. I know, I know. Talk about penitence during Holy Week. LOL. ;)

On our way to Zambales, I was in high spirits and I can't even manage to get a decent sleep. We  had several stop overs since we didn't pack too much food and we needed to satisfy the monsters on our tummy. An action packed afternoon it will be. 

It took us 6 hours to reach the place where we needed to park our cars and meet our guide. And after loading our camping bags with all our resources - and off we went to the mountains.


After 2 1/2 hrs. of walking and slowly feeling our knees tremble because of exhaustion, we finally reached the summit. Yeeeehaaa!!!

We spent a couple of minutes enjoying all the beauty in its purest form- natural, untouched and unpolluted. Then I thought, how many generations can still witness this kind of beauty? Would my son be able to still enjoy the fresh air that we breathe? How long can they keep this natural and uncommercialized? Damn! What a drama queen I can be at times. Staying on top of a mountain is really something huh. LOL. :)

 We thought that the hardship was over, and it dawned to us that we still need to go down to reach the camping site (the beach baby!) and we need to move faster since the sun's about to set. Uh-oh! 
Mountains + Woods + Dark + No flash lights + No Electricity = Survivor mode on!

But the sun was merciful enough to shed us some light. We moved with lightning speed to have everything set up - tents, gathering of woods, bonfire and preparing of food.

And as the night falls, we fell asleep and rested our completely tired out body.

The following day was all about FUN IN THE SUN... We enjoyed the warm waters, the fine sand and the glorious sun.

Below are some of the photos we had. Please forgive me if I flooded you with too much photos. I promise that the next few would be my last. *Pinky swear* :)

I can't wait for our next scheduled hiking trip for the month of July. :)

I've been trying to do more research and I'm about to buy a couple of things a hiker should be needing. Did I just proclaim myself as a hiker? Haha.

I'll be sharing on a different post the kind of preparations I'm currently making - diet, exercise, researching for gears, etc.

Gotta hit the sack now. It's currently 2:20am here in MLA and my bed is already calling my name. Thanks for stopping by! Have a splendid day ahead! 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Summer Boho Chic

Summer Boho Chic

Summer Boho Chic by einahviray featuring a neon nail polish

I was smitten the moment I saw those tattered shorts and decided to make it as my statement piece for this outfit. I paired it up with a camel colored fringe bag and a leather bangle to neutralize the colors and tone down the vibrancy.

I can definitely see myself wearing this on an early afternoon stroll at the beach while holding a cup of my non-fat-less-caramel-sugar-free-vanilla-syrup Caramel Macchiato. Though I know that you really cannot consider a coffee as a summer drink, well it's ICED anyway. . :)

Beach tank top

H&M suede sandals
£15 - hm.com

Linea Pelle Collection summer handbag
$425 - lpcollection.com

Friis Company resin ring
€13 - shopfriiscompany.com

Coral earrings

AllSaints slouch hat
$55 - allsaints.com

Chanel matte eyeshadow
$58 - bergdorfgoodman.com

Christian Dior sun care
£22 - johnlewis.com

Black Poppy neon nail polish
$4.99 - pacsun.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pumped-Up Morning

"Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. "
~ Og Mandino.

Mr. Sun painted a smile on my face the moment I woke up and I just knew that it's gonna be an awesome day for me! My adrenaline came rushing and I took the advantage of getting a 30 minute run (that included a 5 minute running up and down to 30 flights of stairs) and a 10 minute ab exercise before I prep for work. 

Energy and Positivity is at its peak! Hoohaaa! :) 

I've got a few interesting things on my plate this week and I can't wait to see them happening one by one.

Well, let's probably start with today being my first day switching from a pesco-vegetarian diet to becoming a vegetarian (Oh God please help me!). This sounds really tough since I haven't been too religious living a Pescetarian life. Sigh. It's a real struggle keeping me away from roasted chicken. Though I've been doing some research, I know it's gonna be a long run to totally let go of my seafood cravings from time to time. One of the things I've found out is that you don't really have let go everything in a day but you start with a few pieces. Another is that you should always know your reason for choosing such diet. And if you ask me, it's always about living a healthier lifestyle (Ahem!). Oh please don't rain on my parade! One of the goals I have for this year is to audition for Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and flaunt my SEXAAAAY BODY and make those VS Angels die of insecurity. Too early for daydreaming eh? LOL. You know what they say, "Sometimes, the only realists are the dreamers."

Please do stay with me as I share my diet struggles and success for my next few posts. See yah! ;)