Archive | October 2015

The secret to my losing weight

Last year, when my height of 5 ft and 3 in packed in a total of 180 lbs, obese, unhealthy, and somewhat sickly, a glitch in my brains all of a sudden electrocuted my desire to eat my favorite hot and spicy salty corn chips and removed my desire to eat big servings of Pan de Manila’s pan de coco, ube bread, and giant ensaymada.  This glitch caused me to only want to eat healthy food and shun sugar.  And as if by magic, my weight started to drop. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I shed of a total of 52 lbs in May 2015.

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Me sometime in June 2014

TAGAYTAY

Me in Tagaytay last September 2015.

Well,  I wish my healthy weight loss was caused by all that – by magic! But no.  The truth is,  the secret to my losing weight is not complicated. There was one important decision that caused me to lose 52 lbs of unwanted weight.  And that decision was …

The decision to be happy 

Yes. It was the decision to be happy, love myself, and feel good about myself that made me decide to sit down and think through what happened to me.  I started to ask myself. How did a 110 lb 21 year old ballooned into a 180 lbs 30-something?

The answer it turned out was:  sadness, depression, and sulking into the past that I could not change at all.

I was missing my smile. I was missing my confidence. And most of all, I was missing the joy of being able to wear the clothes that I like.  Ha ha. I know, it sounds so trivial, and yes, my joys are trivial. But the simple things that I was missing out are the simple things that makes me happy.

The decision that made me love myself

The decision to be happy made me realize that in order to be so, I have to love myself.  And a big part of loving myself is to make myself feel good and to pamper myself with the joys of the trivial and simple things that make me happy.  I started to pamper myself with the joy of listening to Sarah Geronimo and Janet Jackson on my MP3 player while walking or running.  I started to not care about what people say when I don my runners while I wore my black A-line dress.  I started to enjoy buying new clothes once a month just to feel good about myself.

The result of my decision

The result of my decision to be happy is the conscious choice to be picky on my food.  I stopped drinking soda. I stopped drinking powdered juices. I ditched the milk. I shunned sugar.

I started replacing rice with sweet potato. I ate lots of sweet potato and fruits. I ate lots of apples, pears, bananas, papaya, water melon, and pineapples. I replaced cheese with peanut butter. I replaced my thousand island dressings with vinegar.  I dropped the processed food and stopped eating hotdogs, corned beef, spam, bacon, and ham.

I started regulating the portions of the food that I ate. I stopped eating with my eyes and started eating with my stomach. I started to listen to my body and gave my body the pampering it was always aching for.

I started to exercise. I loved the sweat as it drenched my skin with salty waters. The sweat was the trophy of my hard work in the gym and in the running field. The sweat felt good. And the muscles on my legs taking firmer shape inspired me to exercise even more.

I lost 52 lbs in 11 months

The secret to my losing weight is no secret at all.  My decision to be happy made me lose 52 lbs in 11 months without spending money on diet gimmickry.  I dropped my weight to the healthy range without having to starve myself and without putting myself into the diet yo-yo.

I’m glad that I made that decision. I’m enjoying my healthy body now. And I am taking care of it.

I’m keeping myself — HAPPY.  🙂

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Shakira makes a man want to speak Spanish

I’ve always been a Shakira fan. I wasn’t a very big fan to be honest. In fact back in the early 2000s when Shakira started to become an international name, I only heard or at least, I was only familiar to 3 of her songs.  One was the smash hit “Hips don’t lie” which she performed with Wyclef Jean.  The second song was “Underneath your clothes” which was a staple in our Karaoke session. And the other one was the 2010 World Cup theme song “Waka-waka” which had a pretty awesome beat but I never really understood the lyrics.

Although her song with Wyclef Jean was a huge success and I kept on hearing it played on the radio, I didn’t bother to listen to it completely. It was just like: okay I heard it and it’s a good beat and yeah, she’s pretty, hot, and sexy. The other song, “Underneath your clothes” was pretty decent, so I thought, and yeah everybody in my circle made it like the Karaoke national anthem.

Shakira

Source:  http://www.music-any-time.com/shakira/

But just very recently, in fact, just this weekend, as I was watching music videos on YouTube, I decided to search for Shakira. I just remembered for no reason at all, the song “Waka-Waka (This time for Africa)” the 2010 World Cup theme song. And for the first time, I felt connected to the song. Whoa! It wasn’t just an excellent beat. It was in fact a fantastic dance song. Shakira became a can’t-let-go YouTube staple all of a sudden.

My entire weekend was a Shakira feast. I watched and listened to Vevo’s list of Shakira videos including of course all of the ones I already liked.  My favorite that weekend is her “Whenever Wherever”. Oh wow. The song sucked me into a world of mystics and girl power. Haha. My data provider must have noticed the sudden surge of my data usage that I got cut off from fast streaming.

The fair use policy applied on me didn’t stop me from listening to Shakira’s music. I’m even listening to her Spanish songs too. She actually sound more than awesome in her Spanish songs.  Her deep vibrato is perfect for her Spanish ballads. Her Spanish ballad “No”, is so powerful it cuts deep down to my deepest melancholy.  Haha.

Oh, how I love Shakira now. I’m a huge fan now, to be honest. Shakira dances like the wind blowing the sea waves.  She sings like her soul communicates to my every emotions.

Wyclef Jean is right to say “Shakira makes a man wanna speak Spanish!”. Oh yes. This sexy performer makes women want to speak Spanish too!

Shakira is one hot awesome. I am now a certified big fan. No doubt!

How to manage stress and keep yourself healthy

Last week was pretty intense for me. My work in the office particularly the writing of contents for our website was finally in the homestretch. Writing solid contents for the website of a subscription-centric business takes a lot of brain power. Especially during crunch time, stress level goes to the roof.

Content writing is a big job. For one, it is very important that you truly understand the product you are writing about. And with a huge number of topics I needed to finish, my creative juices ran dry. I was running out of fresh ideas and my brains felt too stretched out.

Challenges in the personal aspects of my life was also piling up too. My head seemed to start to split.

I take pride of the work that I do. But I very well know that when stress starts to whack the reasons out of me, I won’t be able to deliver the best output I always wanted. Plus, when stress level is too high, my body just automatically tells me I’m hungry. Whoa! I can’t go back to stress-eating.  It is a total bad habit that packs the body with too much calories it cannot burn for the day and eventually store as fat. I’ve spent a good amount of time and I worked hard to get in shape. I can’t go back to my 180 lbs self. Definitely not.

I needed to give myself a break. I needed to keep my stress level in control.

4 techniques in managing stress while keeping yourself healthy

1. Brisk walking. Nothing beats the smell of good sweat on my skin after a 45 min to 60 min of brisk walking and the feeling of successfully overcoming the desire to take in food that I didn’t really need for the moment.  Add to that the instant gratification of seeing calories burnt and my legs getting firmer. Brisk walking helps my body to burn calories fast and consequently, I can eat more good food than when I do not exercise.  This week, I successfully went back to brisk walking at the Burgos Circle and at Tierra 28 in Bonifacio Global City.  The 45- min to 60-min per session that I did thrice that week definitely helped me manage my stress.

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I burnt 197 calories after a 45-min brisk walking last week

2. Play music.  There is a good reason why Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez make extremely good amount of money out of making music.  It is not just about how beautiful their voices are  and how beautiful and sexy these two music icons are.  Music in fact soothes every pent up emotions of every person who just wants to relax. Music releases pleasure triggered by the brains pleasure hormones called “dopamine”.  The pleasure is increased when you listen to music that you already like or when you listen to new songs that you instantly get excited about. People buy what can give them pleasure. And music is pleasurable.  No wonder, every time I go out to walk and run, I put on my headset and plug it to my MP3 player. Walking and running become more pleasurable with music on my ears.

3. Get on the phone and talk. Talk on the phone.  Reach out to the people who matter in your life.  Start with a “hi”, a “hello”, and a “how are you”.  Just go ahead and start a conversation. Catch up. It is always satisfying when a familiar voice is on the phone talking about things you both are interested in.  This week, I spent time talking to my mom, my sister, and my 5-year old niece on the phone.  It is great way to connect with my family who stays in different parts of the country. Hearing their voices and listening to them is therapeutic. Family love is always a soothing therapy for a stress-filled week.

4. Get social.  Connecting with friends on Facebook can never be more fun than when your stress level is extreme and you just want to talk to your friends. Before Facebook, connecting to my friends was easier when I send them SMS or when I call them on the phone.  But these days, they are more active on Facebook than on their phones and more practical than sending them SMS and waiting for them to respond that may take forever. Just watching their photos and videos and reading through the comments in their walls can give you and instant feeling of being connected.  It is a fantastic way to satisfy the part of our psychology that makes us human:  the sense of belongingness. Visiting my friends’ walls and the news feed was a staple to break last week’s work monotone.

That week is over and we finally finished all the website contents we needed to complete. What an accomplishment!

I am starting a new week now with new challenges ahead. I know that stress will pile up again as the week progresses.  My walking gears, my MP3 player, my headset, and my phone are ready to help me ease the stress away.