Fitness and a Jawbone

After years of stubbornly avoiding it, I gave into the whole fit tracker trend and bought a bracelet. But the rebel in me refused the get a Fitbit so I got a black Jawbone UP2 instead.


I got it from Amazon for $45. You can access your stats through the website or, more conveniently, an app. It tracks your steps, activity and sleep:

I have this synced with my company’s Spring into Motion system so I hope my team would win a prize this year. But even if we don’t, I like that I can see how much activity I’ve done in a day. My target is at least 10,000 steps and 8 hours sleep.


I wish we started the contest during the weekend in AC. I must have spent at least 5 hours dancing.

Clearly, I need to move more. The weather is not helping. It rained all weekend and I spent two days laying on the couch or sleeping because I felt like sh1t. I couldn’t even study because my vision was so blurred. I feel so much better now. It must be the walking and 3 cups of coffee.

Speaking of the weather, what happened to April showers lead to May flowers? May is almost over and it’s still chilly and wet some days. It better not be this way during the weekend of Warren and Jay’s wedding. Otherwise, commuting to NY would suck.


Why Change is Hard

I’m so pissed off with myself. I really need to lose 4 tons super quick.



Stupid solutions that might actually work:

  • Do what Emily Blunt’s character in The Devil Wears Prada did: Not eat. And when she feels like she’s going to pass out, eat a little piece of cheese. I just happen to have cheese here at work. Hmm.
  • Wait until I feel like I’m going to be swallowed by an ocean of hunger. Eat maybe two to three forkfuls of something (no restrictions on what you want) — just enough to keep myself from feeling weak. Rinse and repeat. This actually worked before, lost 10 pounds in four weeks.
  • Drink coffee pretty much all day. This will kill my appetite and I will only eat once a day.

Good solutions that will work and reasons why it won’t happen. I’m not saying that they’re the right reasons. I’m just being realistic here.

  • Renew my gym membership and pay $21 a month for something I won’t use. By the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is change into my yoga pants and jump on the elliptical. Now, I just change into my yoga pants and instantly couch surf. Which is sad because when I was faithfully going, I got addicted to working out. But that was when the gym was in the same building as my apartment and I only needed to go down to the basement.
  • Wake up at 6 am in the morning and run for at least 30-40 minutes. I like sleep too much. And the best sleep is between the first alarm and the next (in between hitting the snooze button).
  • Do yoga and pilates in the living room. The dogs like sleeping on the yoga mat the moment I lay it on the floor. Pushing them away every five seconds is not worth it.
  • Do J.J. Smith’s smoothie cleanse for 10 days and try to stick with it this time. I’m supposed to lose 15 pounds to start with and I’m supposed to manage it and lose more. (I need to find that book!) It’s the incredible discipline required that makes it so hard.
  • Buy the Insanity or T25 videos by Beach Body. I’ll spend about $150 and have the discs sit on top of the DVD player when I use the PS4.

I think weight loss is 85% food and 15% exercise. Which means that I have to change my eating habits. This means that I have to break up with a few things.

Goodbye, Ferrero Rocher.
Goodbye, eating white rice everyday. (It’s just once a week from now on.)
Goodbye, Tostitos with a hint of lime + Spike salsa.
Goodbye, anything sweet and baked.
Goodbye, second helpings.

*gets over it*


I didn’t get much sleep last Sunday. Yesterday, I swam with Jovett for more than an hour so by the time I got home, I was so tired and sleepy that I conked out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I intended to take a nap, but it lasted for 10 hours. I’m now at work and I feel so dizzy, like my head is disconnected from my body and is floating at sea. It’s not entirely unpleasant but I have lots of work to do.


I don’t think I am losing weight though I haven’t checked for the past two weeks. I know swimming doesn’t really make one thinner but it does tone the body all over, which is why I combined it with cardio. As far as I know, it’s working. My legs feel like long blocks of muscle, haha!

I’ll try to avoid eating too much rice. For an Asian, this is really hard because steamed white rice is our staple food. I have already halved my daily rice intake but progress is slow. But I successfully managed to eat rice only every three days five years ago and I’m determined to do the same now.

This is day one of the rice project.

Food Diary

I think women are cursed to be on a never-ending quest for weight loss. It doesn’t matter how thin you are, you still want to get thinner! I gained a few kilos over the past year and it annoys me to no end because they just won’t disappear. I do have a healthy appetite so that probably counts as one of the reasons why. I usually don’t like junk food. I don’t buy soda, chips or candy and I don’t get out of my way to eat fast food. But the problem is when other people buy some and share it with me, I don’t always say no. I end up losing track of what I’ve eaten and take unnecessary calories that I had no intention of eating.

So I decided to put both my appetite and my distaste of junk  to good use. I outlined simple rules for myself that doesn’t target weight loss but general fitness including changes on what and how I eat and how often I exercise. I want to feel energetic again. And I want to be able to run for 10 minutes without huffing or puffing like an overweight 60-year-old.

  • I’m going to eat small amounts of food 5-6 times a day instead of eating 3 big meals per day. The latter is how most people eat, but we also end up eating snacks because we get a little hungry in between. So instead of doing that, eating a small portion of food several times a day would control food intake, maintain my metabolism because I would never feel hungry, and wouldn’t let me get that full, bloated feeling.
  • The types of food I eat will also change. People who diet go on drastic weight loss regimens (e.g. carrot juice and veggies, Mayo clinic diet) and end up gaining the weight back and more as soon as they return to their normal eating habits because their metabolism has slowed. I evaluated what kinds of healthy food I like and decided to incorporate a lot of those into my meals. Fruits or veggies alone won’t make me feel satisfied and will leave me with a gnawing hungry feeling. Servings of protein, fiber-rich grains, certain fats (like omega 3 rich foods) and good carbs are necessary. And since I absolutely love fish, chicken breast and other white meat, I will be eating much more of those than beef, which I dislike. An example of a mid-morning snack is 1/3 cup of low fat granola (tastes great with or without skimmed milk) and a mid-afternoon snack is a small mashed banana mixed with organic muesli. Muesli is tasteless when eaten by itself but is absolutely yummy when taken with fruit.
  • I will update my Food Diary everyday. Writing down what I eat helps so I set up a spreadsheet on Google Docs were I list the food and portions that I eat for each one of my small meals. If I see anything that says cake, cookie, chips, or candy on my spreadsheet, it looks bad and my instinct would be to avoid similar foods because I know that I just ate some recently. It also encourages me to continue with my goal to eat better.
  • I will exercise everyday. Hell, gym fees are deducted from my paycheck every month. I may as well use it. Why everyday? Because if I set my mind to go everyday, I will go as often as I possibly can. Though there will be times when I can’t go due to engagements or when I just feel bone-tired, I still end up going three to four times a week. If I have my mind set to go only three times a week, I will end up going only once or twice. Right now, I have a simple regimen: run for 20 minutes followed by crunches, pull-ups and stretches. It only takes 30 minutes, which is really all the time I can afford daily for working out.

That’s it so far. Maybe I’ll adopt a more rigorous gym routine later on, but I want to start slowly because I don’t want to break my back. And running appeals more to me than the elliptical, spinners, bikes, or any machine. When I move out of Saudi Arabia, I can probably run anywhere and enjoy the scenery and fresh air instead of being forced to do it indoors in a gym.

This also doesn’t mean that I will stop making delicious stuff. Nope! Due to my nooby experiments, cooking and baking has become a passion. But this means that I will feed more of what I make to my family and various friends because I certainly can’t eat it all by myself!

Trish and Alet are determined to do the same thing, with differing details suited to our interests. Alet cycles a lot and Tricia loves to run like me. We’re a terrific support system for each other in spite of the long-distance friendship between us three. Again, it’s not so much about losing the weight but we want to change our eating habits and lifestyles. No more devouring of whole boxes of ice cream bars unless one of us gets dumped! Being healthy comes first and gradual weight loss will surely follow.

(I don’t usually weigh myself but because I was weighed last week in the clinic, I got curious yesterday. I already lost half a kilo and I’ve only been in my regimen for three days. That was a nice surprise.)

Excuses topped with Stupidity, Exercise, Pain and Shopping

I haven’t blogged for so long I feel like I lost an arm. Initially, my absence meant that I was having way too much fun in the Philippines where I went for a month-long vacation to spend the holiday season with my family and some friends I managed to meet. When I finally arrived back in Riyadh so I could resume working (insert sad face here), I didn’t blog out of pure laziness. That plus a stupid moment that lasted for days: I couldn’t access the internet on any browser for 4 days. It was weird because Skype worked just fine. I feared the worst! Maybe it was a virus (I knew linking with my Dad’s laptop was a mistake) that system restore or several virus scans could not fix. I uninstalled all browsers except for IE and they refused to reinstall. I was resigned to reformatting my hard drive when, on the 4th day, Chris suggested that I reset my modem/router. I did just that and my browsers started working normally. ARGH! The pain of stupidity is excruciating.

Now that my epic excuses are done, I have to mention (just in passing, mind you) that I’m back to my lifetime goal of turning-my-body-to-what-it-was-when-I-was-22. While I am far from fat, I am not a skinny ass anymore (I’m now a US size 8 *sob*). I have accepted with some bitterness that I will never be disciplined enough to go on a rigid diet and count calories like I count the minutes before I go off work. So I’m on a portion-control diet instead. Also known as the French diet, I eat anything I want in controlled portions. I also go to the gym everyday on weekdays and walk/work myself to death on weekends. My muscles have toned a bit while I was in the PI. (Yes, yes, I’m pleased. Now if I could just tone up the rest and lose 4 tons in the process, please?)

Yesterday, I woke up with the most horrible body pain ever. It was reminiscent of the mind-numbing ache that I experienced when I had H1N1, only to a lesser degree since I was not sick. I suspected it was from these reasons:

  1. Working out everyday
  2. Showering after working out everyday
  3. Cleaning Apartment #2, doing the laundry and moving furniture the day before (there’s nothing like a good chore-day to make anyone sick)
  4. All of the above

khaki ditsy print dress from Dorothy Perkins

By 3pm, I felt “solid” enough to leave the bed and eat. You’d think I’d spend the rest of the day chillin’ at home? Nopes. It’s January, dears. Sale month in Riyadh, and this is according to the nice salespeople who informed me two months ago.  Dad agreed to take me out and I spent six hours shopping. That much walking probably burned the calories of half the pecanbon I ate to a crisp.

I like the 50’s inspired belted dresses at Dorothy Perkins. The dark green one I got seemed made for my curvy frame. Why was I born in the wrong decade? Only it shows too much boob area so I have to cover up creatively if I wear it here in KSA. The wrinkled Chinese inspired dresses at John Rocha were just as pretty but they looked a bit Divi-like for the price. Topshop was as fun as ever and I’m in love with the distressed tube minidress and the mesh ballerina shoes with the fluffy black flower on the toes. I tried the tube dress on as soon as I got home and it fit perfectly as long as I don’t breathe too deeply. Must get sheer black nylons for it. Or dark red lace.

Everything I chose was scarily reminiscent of my maarte 5-year old sister’s taste. Both my Dad and Chris insists that Sofia got whatever mutation she has from me but I’m still in denial. After all, I have sensible underwear. Six of them (or maybe five?). She has one. Hah!

damnation to ironing

Dr T passed by today. It’s his first visit since he left for Canada last year. I greeted him enthusiastically enough and then…. I noticed something.

Me: OMG. You look like an actor.
Dr T: Yes, a mataba (fat) actor.
Me: No! A really cute famous one.
Dr T:
Me: … But he died this morning.
Dr T:

Yes, Dr T is a Heath Ledger lookalike! Even the smiles are identical! J didn’t believe me so he Googled Heath Ledger until he finally admitted that I was right. 😀

I feel very passionate about certain things, not just about the things I like but the things I dislike. And they are:

  • Ironing – I have a huge pile of clothes that I need to iron. This is the reason why I’ve been dressing like some lost college kid at work again.
  • Folding my laundry – The even bigger pile on the couch has been begging for my attention for days. I’m never too tired to go to the gym but when I see the clothes… *sighs* I just can’t lift a finger.
  • Filing (grrrr) – Let’s not even go there.
  • Taking a bath with cold water – Dad once used up all the hot water because he just *had* to use warm water to wash the dishes WHILE I WAS TAKING A SHOWER. It’s January and it’s freezing and I spent half of my shower with ice-cold water pouring over my shampooed hair just because of those plates. I stepped out of the bathroom ready for war.

Dr R, my physician, just told me that I’m not allowed to go to the gym tonight. In fact, I’m not supposed to exercise for the whole weekend.

He actually sounded serious. Hehe.

Yes, I have severe anemia again. Add that to the list with my epilepsy and hormonal imbalance and I could be a walking pharmacy.

New Look!

I have a new layout!

Trish said it was about time I changed the look of my blog and I agreed with her. But it was hard to let go of the angel touching a finger to her lips, which was the header of my previous layout.

After my apples-only diet, I did the extreme opposite and ate nothing but brownies for the next 24 hours after that.

I should never have asked my mom for that recipe. Take the oven away from me!!!

I haven’t ran/jogged/walked in two weeks. I could blame muscle pain but it’s really pure laziness. I need a thinspiration! Maybe I should watch The Devil Wears Prada again to shame me to turning into a size 4. Or I could stick a screenshot of Jessica Alba from Sin City on my bedroom wall.

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