Archive | April 2015

Cheat & Run

The following calorie overloaded food and drinks, I enjoyed yesterday at Sweet Ecstasy. This is the second time that I’ve visited this gastronomic fantasy on earth. Haha.

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Here’s the double cheeseburger in Ecstasy sauce.  The burn and the feel of double quarter pounder of 100% ground beef cooked  to perfection resonates in my health conscious tongue, screaming delight, and bursting with delirious sensation of delicious guilt.

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And what is a burger stand experience without the ecstasy burger fries loaded with cheese,   ground beef, fresh tomatoes, crispy lettuce, oozing with sweet ecstasy sauce?

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Finished off the meal with a large serving of MudPie smoothie on vanilla ice cream base and generous swirls of whipped cream.

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Definitely gave me the energy to run away from the delirious guilt.  Finished off the day with a 70-minute walk, jog, run, squat, and stretch. Oh yes. I felt the burn.  😀

Thanks to my boss who brought me back to Sweet Ecstasy. Saraaap!

 

PS.  I don’t advocate feasting too much on food that are not very ideal of healthy lifestyle. But, heck. Try Sweet Ecstasy at 10 Jupiter Street, Barangay Bel-Air, Makati City Contact: 0916-594 -1229.

Just run afterwards and feel the burn. 😀

 

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Dachshund dog

This is Hotdog, the Dachshund dog.  She is yet a puppy and the sweetest puppy I’ve ever seen. I would call her and she would run to me and feel the comfort of my caress. Haha.  It was as if we have met for a long time already.  Holding her in my hands made me realize the joy that my niece and nephews have when they play with their dogs.

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Hotdog is my childhood friend’s dog.  This short-legged, long-bodied dog belongs to the hound family.  The miniature dachshund was bred to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. In our country, this dog stays at home and spoiled to perfection. 😀

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I traveled 3 hours from Metro Manila to Dasmarinas, Cavite to finally see and meet my childhood friend again after more than 20 years of not seeing each other.   Maria Ana used to live in the house in front of ours in Baybay City, Leyte and we used to play Chinese garter, cartwheel, barters, and jack stone together.  We also used to study basic math together.

That was back when we were 6 years old until we were 9.  Their family moved to the big city just before we started the 3rd grade.  As a child, I was totally devastated.  She was the childhood playmate that I considered as my childhood best friend too and she left for good.  I didn’t even have any slight idea if I would see her again.

Fast forward to January 2011, she added me on Facebook. My joy was overwhelming.  I was fascinated by how technology connected us. Since then I kept on plotting to see her again live in person.  It took another 4 years before we’ve finally met. But it was all worth it.

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We had a good time catching up and enjoying the food she prepared.  The salad mix of carrots, turnips, cucumbers, lettuce, tuna, and beef loaf strips in Vietnamese spring roll wrap was fantastic. I ate two of those and it was a total gastronomic treat.  We shared stories, filled the gap of those years that we missed, shared jokes, and shared photos.  It was a blast.

I’m glad I didn’t allow laziness to stop me from travelling that day.  It was the best travel yet that I did for this year.  One that connected me with my childhood friend again and her family after 26 years.

It was fantastic.

Where does your happiness lie?

Everyday we look for happiness. Some of us look for happiness from someone else, from somewhere else.  The elusive pursuit of happiness has become the daily purpose of almost all of us.

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Kids find happiness in every little thing they have.  My nephews playing with their puppy are happy.  My niece hugging her stuff toy dog is happy.    The boys played with a real dog.  The girl played with a stuff toy. They share the same excitement. The same happiness.

Yet adults gloat over events that happened in the past they can’t change and about the future they haven’t been.

I had my fair share of gloating too.  Ha ha. I gloat over the past and feel wary about the future.  I became depressed and hopeless. I grew to be obese and didn’t feel good about myself yet I continue feasting on unhealthy food, no-holds barred.  I would cry over a funny movie because I chose to replay the tearful events of the past than enjoy the fun of the the movie currently playing. I would always see sadness in  every humor. I would zone out in a room full of noisy and seemingly happy people.

Yet, my friends and colleagues saw me as a strong woman, happy, doing a job that most of my colleagues would like to have.  A woman who who finds humor in everything. Life is truly ironic.  Or was I a good thespian and the world was my stage?

Open palm.  I’d like to look at it as a reminder that letting go may be better than holding on. I’d like to think of it as reminder that things come and go, that we don’t have any control on the natural course of nature.  This is a curious part of our lives. It has to be felt, appreciated, experienced. Nature evolves and so do we.

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The lines and creases of my palm is a wonderful documentation of my life’s history. It shows me the lessons of the past. It shows me the path to my future.

Happiness is not in some place I don’t know where.  I realized that happiness is not with another.  Happiness is in myself. I have it all along.  I only needed to appreciate and want what I already have.  Lesson 44.  I already have everything I truly need.  God truly never blinks. 🙂

I left the gloating and hopelessness behind.  The fact that I thought I was hopeless means I believed in hope.  And because I believe in hope, I was in fact hopeful. The fact that I was depressed means there was happiness that was aching to get out. Ha ha.   The irony of life.

When I feel sad, I choose to think happy thoughts.  When someone attacks me, I choose to be calm.   When I feel terrified, I choose to fly.

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I lost a total of 48 lbs (21.82 kg) already in a matter of 10 months. The moment I chose happiness, I also started living healthy lifestyle. I shun away from processed food. I chose to enjoy real food. I chose to move my butt. Ha ha. There is no substitute to exercise. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 132 lbs.   I feel lighter. I feel nimbler. I am happier.

Happiness is my choice.  Happiness is my daily choice.

What about you?

Over scone and latte

I have this fascination with scones since I had my first taste of this biscuit in Toorbul, Queensland, Australia.  Scone was one of the desserts that our picnic hosts, Liz and Colin Tune, served.  Since my first fill of this delicious flour-based dessert, I promised myself to find it in my home country and experience it again.

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Staying at Paddington, this is the bus stop at Gilday Street where we waited for the bus daily going to work during my almost 1 month visit in the laid back, peaceful, and beautiful city of Brisbane.

The Coffee Bean in Burgos Circle at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig didn’t disappoint me today.  They have this last piece of raisin scone for the day.  Haha.  With a cup of latte and 10 g of butter, the scone was pure bliss.

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 Today’s delicious raisin scone at Coffee Bean.

For over a year now, I’ve finally picked up and read a real book again, printed in real paper.   What an amazing feeling.  I feel my humanity again.  The last book I’ve read was World War Z which I’ve read through the e-book version, almost a year ago.

There are 50 chapters in the Regina Brett book I’ve read.  She calls it “50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours”.  She wrote it so beautifully that I felt like she was just in front of me, talking.  She is so sincere in the retelling of her life’s detours (the positive word she chooses to describe her life’s pains) and how she learned from them.

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The truth is the pain from the rejection caused by a break up I never so expected caused a turmoil in my being I thought would never end. For some time, I stayed in my little corner of wishful thinking and imagining the “what ifs”.  What if I did this? What if I did that?  What if? What if?

While I was busy thinking about the “what ifs” of my life. I saw myself feasting on all the delicious (and unhealthy) food my eyes would crave. I was stress eating, depression eating, fatigue eating, over-eating, and eating based on what my eyes would want. I ballooned to become a 180-lbs class 1 obese woman.  Food was my refuge. Or so I thought.

One of the lessons Regina Brett shared in her book says “Life is too short for long pity parties.  Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

In June of 2014, I made a life-changing decision.  It was time to let go of the “what ifs”. It was time to accept that the break up happened because it was how it had to happen. It was how it had to end.  There is so much love to give.  But I’ve forgotten to love myself.

It was now time for me to get some loving.  And who else can give me the pampering I so understand?  I realized, it was, no other, but me.

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This is a photo of me taken about 4 days ago.

Fast forward to 10 months later and healthy living in between, I shed off a total of 47 lbs. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 133 lbs.

Happiness is my choice. I am happy. 😀

The Music of Michael Jackson

I became a Michael Jackson fan in the 1990s when MJ released the HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1.  I was always waiting for the Book 2 and up until now, I’m still wondering why there was no Book 2.  Haha.

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I was in high school then and my friends were not much of an MJ fan.  In fact, I think there were only two of us in our class of 30 that were MJ fans. The fact, that one of the two of us,  Jennifer Dumaguing, was the best singer in the class,  I felt like, being an MJ fan was all that mattered during that tender years. I always remember Jennifer singing so soulfully MJ’s “You are not alone” in our high school’s grandstand while waiting for the Maverick’s students to practice our cheer leading.

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During that decade, MJ was beleaguered by allegations that Tom Sneddon passionately pursued on.  I always believed the allegations were not true.  In my youthful mind, I always thought MJ was such a gentle soul that he wouldn’t do the things he was being prosecuted on.

My favorite song in that album was of course the album title:  History. The song was upbeat, a lyrical genius, a musical treat, and powerful song that motivates me to conquer my fears and achieve my dreams.

Don’t let no one get you down
Keep movin’ on higher ground
Keep flying until
You are the king of the hill
No force of nature can break
Your will to self motivate
She say this face that you see
Is destined for history

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Michael Jackson was a creative genius.  He totally dominated the concert stage.  He turned the concert scene into a total spectacle only he can do.  He was a mesmerizing man no other artist has ever done. He was a total performer.

I was one of the millions of fans who cried when the news of MJ’s passing broke on TV.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was totally in shock.  June 25, 2009 was a gloomy day for all of us Michael Jackson fans.

For all the music Michael Jackson made, for all the videos he created, for all the concerts he did, I thank the man.

Thank you Michael Jackson for making the entertainment industry what it is supposed to be: ENTERTAINING.

Cheeseburgers and milk shakes at Sweet Ecstasy

Damn!  This is the best cheeseburger and milk shake I’ve ever had.  This is going to be difficult to resist.

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Ecstasy Cheeseburger and Coffee Oreo Milk Shake @Sweet Ecstasy

My boss brought his management team in Sweet Ecstasy. I wasn’t prepared for what I was going into.  Haha. It has been over 8 months since I last had my piece of a burger and over 9 months since I had a sip of a milk shake.   Damn. This milk shake is made up of milk-vanilla ice cream, coffee, and loads of Oreo cookies. That’s what I call ecstasy! 😀

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The sweet potato fries and Ecstasy fries

And the calorie overload didn’t stop with the cheeseburger and milk shake.   I had a serving of fries with all the mayonnaise and cheese splatter all over it.  To make myself feel a little better, less guilty, I had a fill of sweet potato fries.

It was a gastronomic affair, one that I wouldn’t do for a long time again. Haha.

Of course I felt so full all throughout the day. I had to don my running shoes and walked, jogged, and run for an hour and a half. It was fun. I found myself in the Mall of Asia in front of the zip line. I was in front of that line I was wanting to try for a long time but was afraid to do so.

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Me in Tagaytay City last December 2014, getting ready for the zipline 

Years back, I felt I was too heavy and the ride might break if I were on it.  I convinced myself to try it in December of 2014 when I have already lost considerable amount of weight.   I felt that when I’m lighter the line should already be able to carry me. My first try in Tagaytay didn’t happen as planned. I chickened out. I got out of the line and gave my ticket to my friend instead.

Today was absolutely different. I felt bold and courageous. Either I try the zip line now, or I will end up imagining forever of how it feels like to fly in the air.

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Me flying in the air at the mall of Asia. My first attempt at riding the zip line wasn’t bad at all. 😀

The loads of calories from the cheeseburger and milk shake and fries that I got from Sweet Ecstasy must have boosted my courage and adventurous spirit.  Today, I finally did it!

I knew I can fly. And so I did. 😉

P.S.   First, let me make this clear. I don’t advocate eating calorie heavy food. Eating this type of food should be done in moderation.  

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But  if you want to try the menu at Sweet Ecstasy, they are located in Jupiter, Makati, Metro Manila, 0916 594 1229.  This is the best burger restaurant in the City.  

How my twin lost 9 lbs in 30 days

Jen is definitely on track.  After 30-days through her healthy weight loss journey, she has already shed off 9 lbs of unwanted weight. From 205 lbs in March 9, 2015, she is now 196 lbs.

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This is my twin in May 2014.  She was 190 lbs.  10 months later, she packed in 15 lbs more and grew to be 205 lbs.

3 months through my enrollment in the gym, Jen was convinced to enroll in the same gym I go to.  She had a strong start and she was definitely having fun.  However, she got caught up with her work as a manager in a BPO company and she was not able to consistently do her gym sessions.  Finally in January 2015, she dropped the gym and went on with her daily life.

Just 1 month ago, Jen and I met at Go Salads, a green salad bar in Eastwood. While enjoying each of our serving of green jeepney smoothie made up of lettuce, pineapple, and some almonds, our catch up detoured to a conversation about my weight loss.  She told me that she was completely inspired by my transformation from an obese class 1  to a healthy 134 lbs woman. She listened to my story.

That same day, I gave her a short session on understanding calories of the food she eats.  I also encouraged her to start a healthy weight loss journey with me which includes eating real food only and drinking only water at least 2 L per day.I told her that if she would follow through the tips I am giving her, she would definitely lose 8 – 10 lbs in 30 days.

Jen started to change her grocery list and started to buy real food.  She used to be a big fan of processed food such as hotdogs, bacon, and spam.  But since then, she has said yes only to real food. She would send me photos of her breakfast, her lunch, and her dinner.  She would enjoy her vegetable and eat her fruits,  steamed chicken, fish, and beef and snack on controlled portions of nuts and banana.

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Jen’s steamed cauliflower and carrot dinner.

She would also drink coffee with 10 g of Anchor unsalted butter in the morning during her breakfast. This coffee concoction suppresses her cravings to eat more food and makes her feel full a little longer until her lunch time 5 hours later.  She enjoys eating sweet potato too.

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This is my twin, from 205 lbs in March 9, 2015 to 196 lbs 30 days later.

Jen’s healthy weight loss journey doesn’t stop with eating the right kind of food. She also takes time walking for at least 30 minutes 3x a week.  Either she would go out with her music and walk or she enjoys her walk pushing her niece’s stroller.

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Jen with her niece, Katnese, enjoying her afternoon walk. 

“Twin, now that I’ve started this healthy weight loss journey.  There is no turning back.” Jen declared with her eyes beaming with determination.

She is definitely on a roll. And she is loving it.   😀