WHAT A CRY BABY! #RoadTo150

Last Friday, I weighed then cried and not for very good reasons…

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I was debating whether I should workout before or after work because I had a meeting and there were still some things that we needed to take care of (procrastinating accounts team realness). I managed to drag myself out of my bed to get things done beforehitting the gym.

It was a rather short session because I arrived SUPER late and I was running out of time but I at least made sure that I finished my usual and put on a little of my core workout (VERY little actually). And then, it was time to step on the scale. I nervously took of my shoes and stood over the scale, it had to be done. It read 213.0 lbs flat, 1.7lbs less than my previous weight but for some reason, I was still very disappointed. Am I not following my diet properly? Do I need to put in extra work? What else should I do? Can I still push myself harder? I had questions that were so overwhelming that all I could really do is take a moment of silence and really, seriously assess my effort.

I am making progress. Slow, but still progress. As I would like to justify, this is better than nothing. But more than just losing weight, this whole process is about trying to push myself to the limits. This is about finding ways to rehabilitate my spirits and really understand the peak of my body (and mind). So, as overwhelming as these questions area, there is still one thing to do and that it is to get back much stronger tomorrow and then continue working hard for all of the hopes and goals I’ve set.

Still fighting!

 

michael

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BARELY LOSING… #RoadTo150

Posting this a few days left but I am forgiving myself for this because the past few days have been so hectic schedule-wise.

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After stepping on the scale to check my progress after the first time I stepped on one in a long time (see my previous post: Life Update: FINALLY STEPPED ON THE SCALE! #RoadTo150) I immediately messaged my brother to discuss my disappointment. We agreed that I am moving slow considering the fact that I am way WAY more than 20lbs from my normal weight so I need to step up my game. I have been doing intermittent fasting for more than a month now but before my second weigh in, I ate out for 2 straight nights and didn’t even hit the gym for an entire week. So as disappointed as I was, I did not really expect to lose much during that weigh in.

Today, to help the whole process, I started plotting my food intake on My Fitness Pal again. I remember how it helped me lose weight back in college so there really isn’t much discussion whether I should do it again or not. I just really needed to get sufficient amount of courage to finally to commit to the whole system of counting calories again because plotting every single thing I eat (and drink) gets very taxing along the way. Also, I got to open up the books from my stash last weekend which allowed me to plan and prepare better for my meals this week. I just had my Shrimp Caesar Salad (I made the sauce from scratch!) and it was so much better than I expected so I am really looking forward to the rest of my meals for this week.

My disappointing result for this week took a bit of my motivation away but I still have a shitload of motivation to keep going. I refuse to back down this time and I’ll continue to push forward and see how much of a change can I do with my eating habits and even my lifestyle as a whole. Stay with me on this and I’ll try to be more active soon, I promise.

michael


Side note: I am planning to make a content to feature my Book Sale haul from about 2 or 3 months ago. I got some amazing books from there which are really helping me a lot in planning my meals much better. I am even considering posting my weekly meal plan soon and maybe even recipes of my meals with my revisions from my personal cooking and eating experience. Sounds very exciting to me. All I need is time, a lot of it, really…

I FINALLY STEPPED ON THE SCALE! #RoadTo150

There really isn’t too much to discuss on this post aside from the fact that yesterday, I finally mustered enough strength to step on the scale and check how far I’ve gone since the last time I stepped on one.

I remember that a couple of years ago, I was strolling between 162 to 170 lbs depending on how much I ate in the week. This was when I was still in college. My weight was much less then but I was still borderline overweight (I’m probably way above now and closing obese) but again, the difference really was how I carried myself. I was confident, I was moving fast, I was going out with friends and I had a lot of activities that I involved myself in. So even if I haven’t actually hit normal in my BMI, I was still much much better in carrying myself then. But so much for how I was 3 or 4 years ago. As I have said, yesterday, I stepped on the scale and weighed (you should know that before actually checking my weight, I was telling myself that I am probably at 240lbs just to make my expectations worse) and surprisingly I’m just a little over 210 lbs. 215.1lbs to be exact. I am heavy, yes. But not as heavy as I thought I’d be. But a couple of things need to be considered here. Firstly, I have been going to the gym for nearly a week already before I weighed in and secondly, I have been doing intermittent fasting for 3 or 4 weeks prior so I am thinking that I might have actually weighed more especially after the holidays.

To be honest, I was really feeling scared about doing it (as discussed in my previous blog post: IT’S 2018 AND I’M BACK! #repurposing #RoadTo150) because I did not feel ready to check my weight and find out that I am actually far heavier than expected. It was more about how much worse I would feel about myself than just the thought of seeing my weight. This whole thing had taken its toll on my confidence already but now that I have actually done it, I feel some sort of liberation from all the anxiety. I cannot, however, say that I am feeling much better now because there is just so much to do and work hard on. But since this was the weight I had before I lost weight in college kind of gave me a glimpse of hope. Enough hope to look forward to losing more and most importantly, enough hope to keep going and then celebrate more successes in this journey.

Pretty good 2 months for this year so far in terms of my personal rehabilitation. I will do my best to post an update at least once a week just so I could keep track of my progress and you can bet that I will definitely keep pushing and I’m looking forward to finding a better place for my self-esteem and get that confidence back!

Keep up with me on this, we’ll keep rolling!

michael

IT’S 2018 AND I’M BACK! #repurposing #RoadTo150

Fried chicken, /sugar crusted/ creme brulee, tons of noodles of different kinds and shapes, and a lot more carbs pretty much composed my holidays. My sister and I had a short trip in Hong Kong to celebrate Christmas so my enthusiasm to just devour on whatever food that comes my way surely carried over to the New Year festivities. And to make things even worse (WAY WORSE), I have not hit the gym since I got crazy busy at work at the start of November. Heck, I don’t even remember having any form of physical activity since then. My heart is full (and my body too, ugh) but my brain is just killing my right now. My insecurities have gone up a notch and I’m dreading to get out of this slump. So what better time to start over than now, right? In line with all the New Year festivities and resolutions, it just seems fitting to (once again) get my running shoes and pseudo-chef’s toque on and get on the fitness train. So this blog is taking a slight turn towards being my fitness diary. Stick with me through the rest of this year as I will let you in much deeper into my days, struggles, frustrations and definitely into my small successes as well. I have never been this excited to get out there and prove myself that I can reach my fitness goals so I hope you are as excited to see the changes that are bound to happen as I am. And as I always do, I’ve listed some of the relevant goals that I’m hoping to accomplish and/or be consistent in as I move along but this, I’m sharing it with you:

 

READ MORE. LEARN MORE. I have been really trying to get myself into reading more and during the few moments that I actually found time to read, I honestly felt liberated. During this whole process, I know that it will take a lot of reading especially with my hopes of fully understanding how my body reacts to the food that I take in. My brother always talked to me about proteins, sugars and stuff like that but I never really understood any of them. I think it’ll be vital for me to get into it much deeper so I could filter my food intake much better. (And if I end up successfully doing this, I might make my brother proud along the way loool.)

COOK! COOK! COOK! Majority of what you’ll find on my Instagram feed and Youtube subscriptions are food related. I mean, I wouldn’t be reviewing food and taking shots of what I eat if I don’t feel genuinely in love with it. But more than just the idea of eating, I am also very engrossed with cooking. And as I get myself into trying to lose weight again, it’s gonna take a lot more effort in me to prepare my own food and not rely on what’s available outside. I’ve always heard people saying that losing weight is more about what happens in the kitchen than in the gym and I have some very credible people who say that same thing too. So I think it will take just a bit of extra effort to channel my enjoyment in cooking to a much valuable use… preparing good and healthier food.

 

STOP WAITING. START WEIGHING. I remember talking to you about my growing insecurities and how it affected the way I see myself. It changed a bit when I was seeing little results when I was still going to the gym. I was starting to take pictures of myself again and look at reflections of myself as well until I stopped going to the gym because of schedule problems (not an excuse, I know) and I pretty much went down-

hill again. But even through those better times, there was one thing I couldn’t do that I still haven’t done until now… I haven’t stepped on a scale. I dread the idea of it. I’m scared that I might find myself looking much heavier if I see my weight all jacked up. But I am trying to push myself to step on the scale once and for all. I need a reference weight so I can track my progress better (if that ain’t obvious). It will take a little more self-encouragement (or maybe some of your encouragements too, send some love) but I’ll definitely do it very soon. Hopefully, once I do, I’ll be able to provide more accurate progress reports as I move forward.

JUST. STAY. ON. TRACK. I know my rants about myself is getting annoying. My self-loathe is starting to get into my own nerves as well and me falling off track every single time is just getting really frustrating. Now, I will not leave a promise on here and then just get lost again along the way. I’ll just do what I have planned for the year and really REALLY push myself to get better each waking day. I’m confident with the support group that I have right now so I’m feeling really positive about all these. But just to make sure that I don’t fall off track, I’ll make sure to take progress shots and write about the whole process (maybe not daily) so I can have some receipts to look into when things get difficult. Trust me on this, I got this!

These are just few ones from my long list of goals for this year but those pretty much sums up everything. I’ll write more when I find it necessary but those would do for now.

There really isn’t much of you out there who’s reading this and maybe even some of you are cringing as you read through my post (hopefully not). But this is the first time that I’m actually writing about my invulnerabilities and insecurities and how I plan on dealing with them so I’d appreciate if you could join me on this. I’ll be better, let me tell you that.

And to close this out now, I just wanna remind everyone (especially myself) to just trust the process. It will get hard but it will be worth. It should be. Chow!

 

michael

 

GIFs are from giphy.com

It ACTUALLY Gets Better – #RoadTo150

I am starting to see some results and it feels amazing. To be fair though, being able to get up at 6 in the morning to go to the gym (after dropping my sister at work) makes me feel good about myself already. And to do this 5 times a week (might go for 6 or 7 soon, yas!) is already something to be proud of.

I have talked to you about my struggles at the gym, which is mostly rooted, to my consistent fear of being judged by the people around me. What I have yet to discuss though are my thoughts about this. See, I think the reason why I feel a certain kind of shame or submissiveness (can’t think of a better word) when I see other people looking at me is because I envy their progress. I always wish I am at their level already and this is incredibly frustrating. This is especially true when I first started out going to the gym when using the treadmill for 10 minutes was already very difficult for me and lifting 15lbs was already a struggle. It was difficult and it was frustrating. I got envious and I conscious because questions like “when will I reach their level” filled my mind. By as time progressed and as weeks passed, I started seeing some small results and these are enough to make myself be comfortable. Or at least, be a little more comfortable as each work out day passes by.

Like any other goal, there is a process and starting out with these processes is just very difficult. But, just like wise men say, you just have to start. And I have started so all I need to do now is to keep going. I recognize the fact that there will be days when it’s more difficult to get up in the morning or days when I’ll be sorer than before because I added some weight or reps or sets… Through these, I just need to keep going. Progress, no matter how small, is still progress. I just need to focus on the fact that I have already started and I just need to keep my eyes on my goals. Better days are coming and I cannot allow myself to be the same person that I was yesterday.

With all these affirmations and motivations in my head, it doesn’t seem too difficult to push myself to work anymore. I’ll continue updating here and maybe soon I’ll be comfortable enough to even post pictures of my progress. How soon? I don’t know.

Stay with me on this journey as I’ll need all the pressure that you could possibly put on me!

 

michael

Through the Senses – SINGAPORE #fieldtrip

For years, I have spent my holidays at home as we plan out our menu for our Christmas dinner. It’s traditionally grand. We cook food that usually lasts us AT LEAST three days (not even joking). 2016’s Christmas was a very different setting though. With all the changes that happened on the first two quarters of the year, we were led to having our feet touch an unfamiliar land to celebrate Christmas. So, having the spirited food enthusiast inside of me, I just had to make sure that I got my camera ready, lists of must-try foods and some comfortable shoes for all the walking (and eating) that I’ll be doing. I just cannot miss the good food the world has to offer, and this time, from the fast-paced world of Singapore.

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Wide roads, high rise buildings and people of different races immediately faced me as we were on our way to our accommodation for our short stay in Singapore. Having been so used to the crowded streets and roads of Manila, Singapore effortlessly struck me with its fast-paced lifestyle that definitely rubs off on foreigners who come in to their rather small but packed vicinity. We arrived at Changi Airport a couple of hours before dawn of Christmas Eve. I knew there was so much in store for us so a good rest was just too perfect.

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Christmas Eve, I woke up to a very chilly morning that was screaming for a holiday-style breakfast and steamy morning bath. With our friends having kilos of Excelente ham, which is very prominent in the Philippines especially during the holidays (BUT BOY, 1,300.00 PER KILO SHOULD GIVE YOU GOOD MEAT), I thought it’s not a bad idea to have it glazed and serve it with sunny side up eggs with runny yolks (CHOLESTE-ROLLIN’). Besides, what better way to have our Christmas Eve breakfast than having legit ham, right? So if my first morning in Singapore was any indication of how my food trip in their land would turn out, I definitely should have known that it wouldn’t be less than interesting.

SENSES OVERWHELMED

I flew to Singapore with no expectations at all which was very much unlike when we flew to see Bangkok. I knew I was in for possibly the most interesting food trips of my life then so it was different setting in Singapore. I may have had bits of information and probably small hints of how it would be but there was no clear expectation. And that is probably the exact reason why I was so overwhelmed every time I see stalls serving food I haven’t seen or heard my entire life. My feet just wanted to keep walking just to see how far I’ll go while following the food stalls lined up in most of the areas we went to.

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Just across the place we stayed in were series of hawkers serving pretty legit Cantonese food. I couldn’t complain. I was raised in a household that deeply celebrates Chinese (and a little Cantonese) cooking so my system may never hate it. My first shot at Singapore’s food was a clear soup with dumplings served with a smaller bowl of flat egg noodles in a rather sweet sauce (very much like the sauce of the canned pork and beans we have in here in the Philippines). It was simple and straightforward food. Maybe nothing special too, but for 3 dollars (SGD), how can I demand for more? At the late afternoon of Christmas Eve and the sun shining like it normally does in our country, I found myself craving for something sweet — and cold (or literally just anything I could eat). We were in the middle of the Chinatown near Bugis station so I was in a crazy line of food stalls (unfortunately, I didn’t get to try any of them anymore) where we found a small place that served bing su (a Korean shaved-ice based dessert). I ordered Passion Fruit flavored bing su and Red Bean Rice Balls. The bing su was nothing special but the rice balls were pretty good. I’d love to write about everything I ate in Singapore but I want to minimize the length of this post so I’ll be writing that in a different entry!

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CONVERSION MADNESS

If there was any problem that I faced whenever I ordered food, it was my innate sense of converting currencies. The conversion of our local money with Singapore’s is at (approximately) 43PHP to 1SGD. So, obviously, foods priced more than 20SGD is already a huge deal for me. I kept telling myself to stop converting currencies because I wouldn’t get to enjoy my food trip if I’ll always focus on finding how much it costs in the Philippines but I just couldn’t fight the urge to. Much more since we were running on a slightly budgeted trip so I needed to make sure that I do not overspend on food.

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BUT this does not mean that foods in Singapore are generally expensive. Of course there are pricey ones but if you’re just zealous enough then you’d definitely find food at really good deals. For example, there is this hawker near our place that already went down as one of my most favorite food places of all time. It was simple, nothing grand but really good. Reminiscent of the kind of food my mom prepares during celebrations back when we were kids. For about 50SGD you’ll already get 4 different Cantonese dishes (and I mean really good ones) with really good servings.

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So, the point is, if you want to get more out of your money, you just have to keep looking for places with good food with good prices. That means walking along the streets, maybe searching online and basically not eating at first options right away. There’s even this considerably cheap Michelin-star restaurant along Chinatown near Bugis station (but you may have to tolerate a pretty long queue). That’s definitely a good sign!

VIVID DIVERSITY

We spent about 4 full days in Singapore and I know that there’s definitely a lot more to extract out of their culinary identity. Walking the streets, you will be caught following aromas of foods being cooked that are rooted from different neighboring countries and some Western and European influences as well. It is not difficult to be overwhelmed as that would be the exact thing that could happen to anyone who would dare to understand Singapore’s diverse culinary gems. Within the span of 4 days however, I understood Singapore’s culinary identity as something that flows according to the people’s lifestyles. Foods are cooked fast and customers consume their food even faster. Most of the time, the food, regardless of its roots, aren’t too difficult to understand. They’re straightforward in terms of how they’re served but definitely complex during the preparations. Having different nations (on my observation mostly Indians and Chinese folks, so Malaysians too!) contribute to the population of their country, it is understandable that their culinary heritage has also adapted the culinary traditions of these varied cultures.

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I’ve been told that Singapore has very little to no exporting power (correct me if I’m wrong) so it’s incredible how they managed to climb up the ladders of a powerful country while relying largely on their business sectors. And that idea is very evident not just in their lives, their ethics, their habits but also in their way of enjoying food! My stay was short but packed with good food finds. I’m definitely going back soon to try out more food but my next destination (or destinations *wink*) is really interesting too!

VEGETARIAN WHO?!

I know I have talked about this before (maybe a little more than I should) but now that I’m getting close to some real holiday celebrations, I might as well write something about it again.
About three months (?) ago, I decided to get into something I never thought I’d ever get myself into. I’ve always been an absolute carnivore and it’s always been a struggle to eat vegetables. But having a small part of me that is always curious over a lot of things which leads me to try different stuff on the most random times, I ended up deciding on getting myself into vegetarianism.

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If you’ve been with me since I started the journey, you should know how days went and how much of a struggle the first few days have been. I must admit that right now, this whole system’s not too difficult for me anymore. Yes, there are days when I find it hard to find something to eat but I have this new found excitement to find good food without meat (exploring different food places is super fun too). BUT as exciting as the last few months have been, I know I cannot forgive myself if I let the holidays pass without enjoying the celebrations completely. And honestly, I don’t think I would enjoy the celebrations to the fullest if I would continue depriving myself of meat.

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So with all the holiday dinners, vacations and (possibly) family reunions that are lined up for the weeks ahead, I just know that I need to allow myself to eat meat again. But that does not go without any challenge at all. The challenge for me would be to control the amount of food I’ll be taking in. I have lost a good amount of weight already (blog for that coming soon) so I need to make sure that I don’t gain them back just because I allowed myself to eat meat for a couple of weeks. I don’t know how the next few weeks would go but you can bet that I cannot wait to enjoy the celebrations with all the meat already. I’ll think about how I’ll transition back to vegetarianism (or if I would) once the celebrations are all over. I honestly can’t be bothered to think about right now.

So for the next three (?) weeks ahead, I’ll try my best to write about how the festivities would go for me. Hopefully, I’ll get to sneak in some exciting food features in between too! Right now, I need to start calming myself down because my carnivorous self is just so ready to be unleashed!

GIFs are from giphy.com