Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bob Greene's Get with the Program

It's not really a habit, but every now and then, I'd check Booksale for cheap, preloved books I could buy. Often times, I'd check the Health Section for some fitness / health books I could read to help myself learn more about this weight-loss journey of mine.

This road I am on has been the rockiest part. I don't know what's wrong with me - resources, inspiration, and motivation, but I still am struggling to get it all together. This week, my sleeping pattern was compromised as I have to wake up at 3am to prepare sister's breakfast, and although I try to stay awake 'til the time I go out and walk, by 8am, I'd be sooo sleepy and tired that I found myself sleeping, therefore I don't get to do my other fitness routines. My sister's morning shift at work will end on Saturday, so hopefully on Sunday or Monday, I can get things back the way I want it to be.

Back to the books. One of the books I bought the last time I visited Booksale was "Get with the Program" by Bob Greene. I think this is his earlier book prior to "The Best Life Diet," and both books have different phases to help someone lose weight the safest, most natural way, and mais about intain the weight once you reach your target.

Phase One is preparation - conditioning the mind and the body by making simple changes.
Phase Two is kick-starting the metabolism, as well as learning how to exercise properly.
Phase Three is a continuation of Phase Two, and it will also tackle the emotional side of eating, and
Phase Four is about increasing the amount of exercises and adding some strength training.

This program  will be slow as some phases go for about three months, but while I won't really follow the program to the T, some parts of it I will surely incorporate to my journey.

Before even starting the program, there is this questionnaire that I found so interesting and a good way to learn about myself more. It has 12 questions, and since today's the 30th and I plan to strictly go back on track on September, I figured I divide the questionnaire into parts - as each question has its own written exercise I wanted to answer.

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1. Do you believe that once you reach a certain size or weight you'll be happy?

Yes, of course. Being over 200lbs., I set myself to reach 150lbs. and I know for sure I'd be happy once I reach that weight. Think about not getting frustrated with buying clothes, maybe having a small tummy, which will help me carry my dress well. I do know that there are so many sources of happiness - reaching the target weight (and the perks that come with it) is just one of those, but I also do know that reaching my goal weight isn't and will not make me the happiest.

Written Exercise
Make a list of all the thing you could do that would make you happy. Commit to a start date for each objective, then write down exactly what you need to do in order to put this goal in your life and hold yourself to it.

Goal - Join a Fun Run
What Needs to be Done - Prepare myself to run at a steady pace for 5 kilometers. I should start by conditioning myself - walking at first then slowly incorporate running until my body is already accustomed to it. I also need to read up about running and the diets most runners go for. Also, I'd read up on stories about plus size people joining Fun Runs... their struggles, their preparation, their triumphs.

Goal - Learn How to Swim
What Needs to be Done - Scout nearby small resorts, which are operational even during off-peak season, which rates are just right on the pocket. Since Sundays will be my rest days, it might be a good day to teach myself to swim.

Goal - Prettify Myself
What Needs to be Done - One thing there is to know about me... I am not really confident in my own skin. Sure, I can smile and I have nice pictures, but if you ask me upfront, I will have a difficulty saying "I am beautiful." I guess too much ridicule I took while growing up wore my confidence thin. My choice of clothing is always "safe," meaning, I don't take risks in buying flashy outfits as I might not be able to carry it. Once, someone told me I look good, but I need to start prettifying myself so I could look better. I figured, I really am not the type who would comb hair every now and then, or maybe go to the wash room to re-touch. I do use a blusher and a lipstick, but oftentimes, I'd put it on before leaving the house and leave it as is until I get home. Part of my personal happiness is to set aside a little bashfulness and embrace the fact that I am pretty the way God made me to be. What needs to be done? Start knowing which make-up colors would look okay for me, start experimenting on clothes and just embrace life!

Goal - Tone the Thighs, Arms, and Tummy
What Needs to be Done - Divide the week to include some strength training to tone these parts. MWF will be for the arms, TThS will be for the Thighs, and everyday will be for the Tummy via Hip Hop Abs.

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2. Do you frequently look for a shortcut or an easier way to achieve what you want?

Oh yes I did, and I admit it was wrong. I have been overweight almost two-thirds of my life and when I hoped to lose weight, I had this delusion the excess weight will go away in an instant. The result? I felt dissapointed and the fight in me just crumbled to pieces.

One good thing I learned from the book, "The desire to take a shortcut usually stems from not beliving you are capable of accomplishing your goals on your own. Change has to first take place inside of you because you are truly capable."

Written Exercise
Make a list of some of the shortcuts, gimmicks, diets, or trend that you've tried in the past that didn't work. Include an approximate time frame during which you tried them, and a summary of what happened in each case.

Date: 1999
Mom got this idea of drinking Slimming Tea to help lose weight. My mom's chubby, but we in the family thought she didn't have to lose weight - mainly because of her age and that she is very much secured with her marriage with my dad, but because her friends at work all wanted to lose weight, she joined the bandwagon, and so did I. The tea was laxative - which made me go to the toilet every now and then, so it was such an uncomfortable phase. Though it was, this has got to be the longest method I used, until I decided to stop because I got "busy with life," and I didn't want to be bothered by going to the rest room every so often.

Date: 2002
One of mom's friends from the Church Org just lost a tremendous amount of weight using Herbalife, and started making a sideline selling it, too. Mom bought one set for herself, but while I didn't see any changes on her, I convinced her to buy me a set, too. The first few weeks using it was okay, but drinking mainly the shake and taking the herbal supplements while my housemates (I was living with my friend Marilyn and her cousin that time - as I just got back in college) would eat great food was a little too much to bear. I didn't get to use up all the supplements.

Date: 2005
TVCs about Fitrum made me buy one box this year. It was one of the Slimming supplements that gained a lot of popularity because the actress who endorsed it surely slimmed a lot. This gave me results, as one of my aunts did say I lost weight, but at that time I just didn't have the money to continue using it.

Date: 2006
It was through my sister that I learned about the Chinese Diet Pills, which main brand I wasn't able to remember. Sister told me her classmate lost a lot of weight, and knowing these pills are much cheaper than the other "doctor-approved" ones, I went to buy a box. I was able to finish it, but I experienced cold sweats and palpitations that I stopped using it.

Back then, I focused on diet and not on exercise, which was why I wasn't able to get full potential of the products I used. Anyway, when I went back to my weight-loss program last year (2011), I didn't use any slimming products - I lost weight by gradually portioning my food intake and exercising. I learned then that losing weight isn't about taking shortcuts, and that success was sweeter when you worked hard to reach it.

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3. Do you frequently use excuses to get yourself out of doing what it takes to reach your goals?

Honestly, even with the little success I had losing weight, I still am pulling out a lot of excuses just so I don't have to do my fitness routines. Actually, the reason why I stopped with my program in February was because I let my body take the the excuses my mind is thinking and right now, I am 10lbs heavier than I was seven months ago. I guess I do have the "Chronic Excuse Syndrome," but I am thankful that there is still hope, Bob Greene said.

Written Exercise
Write down some of the excuses that you have used in the past for not doing something that would have improved your life.

I have used a whole lot of excuses, listing all would really take a lot of space. Let's focus on February 'til August 2012. Why did I stop? I just got tired - which was a lame excuse, I know. Right now, my exercise routine was compromised because of lack of sleep - again, an excuse. Not that I am bending towards excuses, believe me, I am still thinking about how to adjust with this schedule (waking up at 3am to prepare my sister's breakfast), because next week, my sister will be having the same work shift, and I surely can't bear to go for another excuse. I told myself August was my "new year," but I clearly threw thirty one days away, I don't want to continue with the excuses when September comes.

... will continue tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I Walked Alone

Wednesday was supposed to be a walking / jogging day for Kutchie and I, but around 4am, she messaged me saying she will be having a meeting (she works the graveyard shift) and she wasn't sure if she could still meet me. I told her, I'd still go to Colinas Verdes, and just asked her to message me once she's there so I could meet her. Of course, I also told her it would be okay if she couldn't make it.

Model Houses

I was hopeful she could still make it, so by the time I reached this part of the area where the model houses are, I decided to just jog 'til I reach the end of the street and jog back again - just until Kutchie arrives. I was able to make three rounds, but there was an odd creepy feeling jogging alone, so I decided to just walk along the main road. I did get to reach the clubhouse and walked past it, but a few meters away from the clubhouse, very light rain started to drizzle. I didn't bring any umbrella, so by then I knew it was time for me to walk back.

Kutchie never messaged me, so I assumed she decided to come home after work. No worries, as this is for myself and not for anyone else.

Some random pictures I took that day -

Cocoon? Grass Insect

> Was it a cocoon? I actually don't know, but I didn't bother to get more curious because I felt there might be a live creature inside and if I ruined its home, then I didn't help the creature serve its purpose in life.

> Nothing extraordinary... just tall flowering grasses.

> A very pretty insect. When I spotted this, there were two insects, but me coming near them, one flew away. :(

Lady Jogger

This morning, I didn't wear a jacket or a sweatshirt because it wasn't really sunny. This morning, too, I decided to wear pink very light fabric shorts, and halfway through my route, I realized my clothes were soaking in sweat, and my bottoms looks like I peed on them. I felt good that I sweated that much, but I felt a little ashamed how my clothes looked, and when this woman passed by, I thought it would be good if I start buying leggings or jogging pants that will not really show if it's wet or not. Because of how I look, I didn't take the jeepney home - I decided to walk all the way home as I didn't want to offend other passengers who are all dressed up and ready for work or school.

Late that afternoon, I went to walk to the market with my brother. I was talking to him about the leggings/jogging pants issue when we passed by a shop that has leggings / jogging pants / capri pants on sale! Talk about universe aligning to my advantage! I did get to buy three pairs, and I am so excited to use them! :)

Food? I had Fitnesse Cereals for breakfast, spaghetti with ground pork for lunch, and 1 small crab with rice for dinner. Water intake was 20 cups.

PhotoStory Friday

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mom's Ralph Lauren Shoes

It's been a looong time since we last posted here, too much problems with the Internet connection, plus a few more personal problems (on my part) made it difficult for me to update all the blogs as much as I can. Happily, Internet is much better now, and that I am slowly going back to my fitness routines... means I can now go back to blogging, too.

For next few days, weeks even, let me just share bits and pieces from our closet. Thrift/surplus shopping is something us girls - Mom, Sis, and I - share in common. We love to check different Thrift shops and Surplus shops, because we do feel we get our money's worth that way. :)

About two weeks ago, mom told me she and friends at work visited this Japanese Surplus shop along Quirino Highway. She was able to buy two pairs of shoes (will share this next time as she left one pair in the office) and some dining plates and bowls, and the weekend following that, she asked me if I would like to go back to the shop as she's looking for some soup bowls and hopefully a folding table we could use during occasions. We didn't get to see a table, but she did get to buy some bowls and drinking glasses. On my part, I was able to buy a fabric sling bag and a cup.

There weren't much fashion items for sale (most are housewares), and I was a bit sad that there weren't any shoes that I would fit into, but I did get to see something that caught my interest:

Ralph Lauren Shoes (Thrifted)

A pair of Ralph Lauren Collection shoes. It looks just fine, though this one's pre-loved, so there were scratches on the sole. I told mom it looked authentic - checking the label on the soles, so mom placed it in our basket after fitting it.

The first two pairs of shoes she bought at this store cost p200 a pair, mainly because the shoes were brand new (soles were still immaculate). At first we didn't know how much this will cost, but upon checking out - the store manager charged just p100 for this pair of shoes. Yes, just one hundred pesos. Such a steal, eh?

Well, we don't know just how long my mom can use this pair of shoes, if cheap meant using it for a short time, then I guess that short amount of time would be worth it.

Personally, I feel bad that my shoe size is quite big (US size 8, EUR size 39). I once was able to buy a pair of footwear at a thrift shop, but it was just so difficult to find footwear I could fit into. Hopefully someday I can chance upon a good pair of shoes at such a cheapo price.

A Morning Walk with Kutchie

For the longest time, I felt stuck where I was. I know I had to do something, but as much as I am willing to lose weight again, the monsters inside me are always winning. People around me (well, Facebook friends, that is) are mostly into losing weight / getting in shape, and I was like, "With so much inspiration around me, why can't I carry my own weight?"

Last week, my friend Kutchie started posting about her ways of getting back in shape, and I did notice she's slimmer than she was before. Messaging her, I found out she has lost 27lbs. in 2 months. That is out of this world awesome! Her response made me feel guilty and at the same time jealous. I asked her if it's okay if we go out and walk (since she's walking in her neighborhood) and we set Monday (yesterday, 20 August 2012) to do it.

Sunday night, I was sick. My whole body was aching, my eyes were teary, my head felt it was about to explode. I planned of cancelling this walk with my friend, but I told myself I'd rest early and make a final decision Monday morning. I woke up at 5am feeling okay despite sneezing every now and then, so I went out to meet my friend.

Kutchie and Jenn Kutchie and Jenn Kutchie and Jenn

Kutchie and I have been friends since we were kids. We live in the same street and were classmates, until they moved to a different location (we were in the 4th grade that time). She enrolled in my school come Grade 5, but we were close to different classmates, so even if we were still good friends then, we weren't the "best friend" type anymore. After that school year, she transferred schools and we only got to see each other twice during our high school days, then we met again after college. Thanks to Facebook, we kept in touch, and even if we don't see each other that much, Facebook was there to update us about our lives.

We walked leisurely for two hours - sharing stories about life and the people around us. It was a great way to catch up on the old times, but we do know the next time we go out, we better have some weights to help the arms shape up as well.

The pictures above I took near the gate of Colinas Verdes on our way out (big thanks to this pile of cement cylinders where I placed the camera). While we couldn't do this everyday as she came from work and hasn't slept yet, we did agree to meet again this Wednesday.

Some pictures I took while we walked:

Colinas Verdes Clubhouse DragonflyHorse Leafless Tree

> The Colinas Verdes Clubhouse from afar - by the end of the route, I asked her if she's still up for more distance. We took a few meters taking the road to Ciudad Real, and took this image on our way back.
> A dragonfly - part of my morning walks is to notice different things around me, and because I don't get to see dragonflies everyday, seeing one that day made the walk much better.
> A horse - this we saw near where we had our pictures taken.
> A leafless tree - just plain pretty!

I was thankful and happy I convinced myself to get up and get going. I actually sneezed a lot during the walk, but walking and perspiring and sharing stories with a friend made it all worth it.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do the rest of my exercises because of my flu-like symptoms, but I did perspire a lot during the day - cleaning the house, walking to the market and cooking, as my mom hosted a dinner party for her church org household.

Kutchie and I promised we would give it a 100% to lose 2lbs by Monday next week. I don't want to fail myself. She now weighs less than I am, and I really want to catch up with her current weight. Thanks for showing me the light, Kutch! See you on Wednesday!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

ANCOP Global Walk 2012

ANCOP Global Walk 2012

Last weekend, my mom and I joined the Couples for Christ community (and its family ministries) for the ANCOP Global Walk 2012. This being the second year, the aim of this event is to send scholars to school. I learned about this event last year, but it was too late for me to join, so when mom told me she and her CFC Household will join, I told her to sign me up, too. Registration fee was p300 - which was technically your contribution to send the kids to school, but to make it fun and more satisfying, they organized this Walk.

Held at the Quirino Grandstand - the walk was 5 kilometers long (from Quirino Grandstand to Roxas Blvd. and back), but for there was also that one extra kilometer for people who are in a walking mood. :)


Before the walk started, there was a little warm - up to prepare the body. A little stretching and dancing...and we were ready to go!

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Reaching the 1st Kilometer mark made me ecstatic, really, but the distance between the 1st and the 2nd kilometer mark seemed to be quite long - people near me (and I, too) were wondering when will the 2nd Kilometer mark will greet us. 3rd Kilometer mark was a short walking distance - it felt like I was just walking and there it was, and I am guessing since we made a U-Turn at the 2nd Kilometer mark back to the Grandstand, it felt like a short walk since the surroundings were familiar to me already. Felt the same when we reached the 4th Kilometer mark, but I gotta tell that one last kilometer made me uncomfortable - NOT because I was tired, but because my feet was hurting. I decided to wear a new pair of running shoes and it was a teeny bit smaller to my usual shoe size.


Reaching the Finish mark was gratifying! Not only did I walk for my own health, I also got to spend the day with my mom, some people in our neighborhood (who are members of the CFC Community), and I helped send a kid to school.

The walk started at 5:54am, I crossed the finish line at 7:14am. 5 kilometers of slow walking (as there were a lot of people - I couldn't brisk walk) took me about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Wow, my walk/jog to and around Colinas Verdes was longer because I brisk walk and jog for 2 hours! Well, at least now I know my Colinas Verdes walk is much longer, all the more reason for me to get back to it, now that skies have cleared up.

Three of the few pictures I took during the walk -

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A wife and her husband walking hand in hand - so sweet!
A faraway shot of the Sofitel Hotel,
and a shot of the Rizal Monument.

Reasons why walking is fun.

Parting shot.


I grabbed this from the CFC ANCOP Facebook Page - taken just a few meters away past the 4th Kilometer mark - photographers at the overpass asked us to stop for a moment to take this picture... originally shot in color, there were just so many people, so I decided to convert 99.99% of it to Black and White, so that I am the only one in color. Where was I? There I was. :)

Will I join next year's walk? You bet I am!