Tag Archive | health

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.

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Today’s dose of healthy: Shopping

I’m happy I’m back working at the 6788 Ayala Avenue in Makati City. It’s been a month and 2 weeks that I came back in this building.  It’s always exciting each day. I’m loving it.

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A little photo op on my break at work, yesterday. 

Today I decided to unwind and do some shopping after another productive day at work. Thanks to my boss who dropped me at the mall.   I got to save time from waiting for a cab and I got to have another productive conversation with him during the ride.  I hit two birds with one stone.  Excellent!

Shopping is today’s dose of healthy. 

1)  Bought a pair of earrings.  I love buying earrings every month.  It’s a dose of wellness for me. And I love it even better because today, I bought a blue one. Blue is my favorite color.

2)  Bought a sofa bed and a coffee table.  I’m replacing my sala with a new one now.  It’s perfect as  I do like taking naps in my sala but my current set is a little small for me.  The one I bought now is just right for my naps and for my book reading.

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My sofa bed and coffee table I bought today. 

 

3) Bought a set of bed sheet, a blanket, and pillow cases.   I’ve changed my bed cover and cleaned up my room.  I’m feeling comfortable.

 

It’s always good to unwind after a day’s work.  I’m happy.

 

 

 

 

 

How I lost 4 kgs in 5 weeks

Yes. I did it again.  I lost 4 kgs in 5 weeks.   I was 65 kgs back in February 17, 2015.  I am now down to 61.2 kgs.

I have now shed off a total of 46 lbs, almost 21 kgs already since I started my healthy weight loss journey. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 134.64 lbs.

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Here I am during my after-work one hour walk and run.

I didn’t think I could lose weight this fast as I only lost a little over 1 kg the month before that. Thanks to the new breakfast technique my boss and friend taught me a week after I joined our Exciting team.  The healthy weight loss is pretty amazing.

So how did I lose 4 kgs in 5 weeks?

1.  My breakfast technique.  I love coffee.  The bittersweet flavor of black coffee keeps me awake and active all day.  Plus, coffee is an excellent source of antioxidant too.  Haha. Coffee is in fact a superfood!

I drink coffee in the morning usually. It’s no secret. However, about 3 weeks ago, I started to add a teaspoon of Cadia Virgin Coconut Oil in my cup of coffee.   It tastes and smell good.  And the good fat from the virgin coconut oil makes me feel full for a longer time and I get less craving for food than when I used to pair my coffee with bread.  Now, I usually eat boiled sweet potato or I eat fruits such as banana and apple for breakfast together with my coffee-vco concoction.  Good fat plus antioxidant plus vitamins and minerals and fiber from fruits and root crops. What a combination!

2)  My lunch.  I usually eat my lunch 5 hours after my breakfast.  I would typically have fish or chicken and some vegetables.  Today, I had fried fish and chinese cabbage. The other day, I had milkfish and monggo.  I dip my fish, chicken, and beef in vinegar a lot too. Vinegar makes the body metabolism really fast and it has zero calories. 😀   If I have time to cook in the morning, I would typically cook boiled sweet potato for lunch and I spread it with 10 g of Anchor unsalted butter.  As long as I have my daily dose of protein from fish, chicken, or beef, and I have my daily dose of vegetables and carbohydrates from unprocessed food, I am all good.

3).  My dinner.  Dinner time is the lightest meal for the day.  I typically would have a piece of Empanada Iloco, a serving of chopsuey, and a piece of cavendish banana.  At times it would be pinakbet and fish.  And sometimes I would have fried chicken from the local carenderia and some vegetables.  Today I had fresh lumpia, a piece of apple, and a small piece of fried chicken without batter. As long as I have my protein and vegetables I am good.

I snack in between meals too.  I would have a small square of dark chocolate at 72% to 82% cocoa which has about 60 calories.  I would also snack with fruits such as apples, pears, and cavendish banana.  And I drink at least 2.5 L of water each day.   Ha ha.  Water is filling, flushes away body toxins really fast, and it has zero calories.

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My mango-apple smoothie without sugar and without milk satisfies my sweet tooth. Just plain mango, apple, and some crushed ice. 

Of course, I exercise too.  Although I’m busy with my work in business development, I always give myself at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. It could be walking, core exercise, leg exercise, or circuit training in the gym. Exercise makes the body work faster too.  The more our body works faster, the more it burns calories.  Haha. It’s an effective way to make our bodies work for ourselves. 😀

This healthy weight loss journey is pretty amazing. Just keep on eating. No starving.

I am loving this.

How I lost 42 lbs in 9 months

From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 138 lbs.  I am now 3 lbs lower than the highest end of the spectrum of the healthy weight range for my 5 ft and 3 in frame.

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My eating habit is a huge factor of my growing to 81.82 kgs in June 2014.  Now, that I follow a healthy lifestyle,  I now weigh, 62.7 kgs. That’s a healthy weight loss of 19 kgs in 9 months. 

 

For a long time, I was one of those who struggled to win the battle of the bulge. Ha ha.  The Tokyo Bubble Tea beat me.  I was a regular customer in Tokyo Bubble Tea for their variety of milk shakes. My favorite was Double Chocolate Milkshake with tapioca pearls.  Ah! That sweet cooling sensation of the crushed ice, sugar, milk, and chocolates would always persuade me to eat more.

In June 2014, when I hit 180 lbs, I decided to change my lifestyle.  I started going to the gym at least 3x a week for 30-min total body workout sessions. Then I started to change my eating habits.

Oh yes. There is no shortcut in losing weight the healthy way.  After all, I accumulated those fats through several years of sedentary and full of sweets kind of lifestyle.

I learned that our body accumulates or lose fats based on the amount of calories we take.   Calories is the measurement of the energy needed by our body to keep us going.  Every calorie that the body cannot consume for the day are stored as fats. Whoa! It’s that simple, right?

Yes it is. There is no need to be taking diet pills, diet plum, diet tea, and diet whatever.

In my new healthy lifestyle, I simply followed the following principles:

1.  Eat only real food.  Processed food are junk food.  Processed food typically triples the amount of calories in your food.  Instead of eating a pack of crackers which typically has 3 pcs on it at 150 calories, eat 1 pc of cavendish banana instead. It’s delicious, more filling, and contains only about 60 calories.  You can even eat 2 pcs of cavendish bananas and still you have taken 30 calories less than 3 pieces of crackers.   You take in more food for less calories! Brilliant, right?

2.  Do not starve.  Starving will cause you to binge. And when you binge, you take in more food to satisfy your hunger and almost triples the amount of calories you should have gotten when you eat on time.   Schedule your eating on a regular basis.   I eat 6x a day.  But I eat only real food.

3.  Exercise.  This will make your body burn more calories faster.  The faster your body burns your calories, the faster your body shed off unwanted weight.

4.  Drink at least 2 L of water per day.  I drink only water.  Water is filling, healthy, and has zero calories. Compare that with a 500 ml of ice tea which has about 180 – 200 calories.   Or compare that with a 12 oz of Coke at 360 calories.  Remember that it’s the unused calories that are turned into fats.   I always keep my calorie intake for the day on average of 1300 calories only. That’s all that a typical adult woman’s body needs.  I would rather give my body calories from healthy food instead of the empty calories from junk food.   Plus, as an extra benefit, water flushes away body toxin.  And the more water you take, the more body toxins are flushed out.  The results:  healthier and glowing skin. 🙂

4.  Think happy thoughts.   Happy thoughts releases happy hormones.  Happy hormones makes you feel good about yourself and will keep you away from junk food.  Happy hormones makes your body burn more calories too.  Smile the stress away.  Do not entertain stress. Instead, keep yourself  busy with being happy.

 

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Here I am, happy with my boss and friend and her son.  I had lunch with them in The Wholesome Table, a restaurant who serves only organic food. 

 

By April 17, 2015  I will be down to 133 lbs.  By May 2015, my weight will go down further to 128 lbs.  My goal is to maintain my weight at 125 lbs – 127 lbs.  I’m certainly on track to achieving this goal on June 2015.

One year after I started my healthy weight loss journey, I will finally achieve my goal.

I am satisfied. I am happy.   🙂