Monday, November 26, 2012

Get Movin'! Motivation to Exercise

So the second part of the weight loss help tips! I would say that the first time you tell yourself that you are going to lose the extra weight and have a healthy lifestyle, you are half way there already! NO KIDDING!

You must believe that you have the right to have the body that you want and the health that you want. By believing in your right, you will be more motivated to work towards the right to have the body and health that you want!

I guess everyone who is motivated to lose weight has this light bulb moment where they want to make this change. Every time you feel demotivated, you must stay focused by knowing WHY you are doing this in the first place. Is it because you want to be have energy because you are tired of feeling lethargic or you want to fit nicer looking clothes because you are tired of wearing frumpy clothing and people telling in your face 'no size! no size!' It hurts terribly for me when I see other friends having the freedom to choose the clothes while I'm stuck with nothing!

After you establish WHY you are doing this, the next step is to be focused on what you SHOULD do to go to there. Many of us hate exercise (I still do..heh..) but every time I walk into the gym, I feel re-energized after I see other people who don't look like they need to lose weight...doing it! Then while I'm on the treadmill or on the stepper, I tell myself that I am doing this because I want to look good and feel good about myself and yes sometimes I envision myself as being Beyonce..heh..or Kim Kardashian..because they're curvy and fit looking. I want to look more attractive and I want to look good as I get older and not even frumpier looking.

So it's all about keeping up with your motivation and doing it for the long term...yes, long term..which means that you have to do it as part of your lifestyle. The thing about exercising is that you have to find yourself a suitable exercise routine that incorporates cardiovascular exercise for weight loss and strength training through the use of weights and dumb bells to tone and develop muscles which in turn will help you to burn more fats. Don't get too worried about gaining muscle mass for a woman. Another problem with not using free weights in your exercise is that you will develop sagging skin as you lose the weight and you don't want to be slimmer yet have flabby looking skin right?

When I say suitable, I mean that it should cater to what helps you and motivates you to do the routine the next round and the next and so on. Of course initially it will be hard especially if you don't have this 'yay I LOOOOVE exercising' mentality but you just have to do it and keep at it by telling yourself why you are doing in the first place to keep the motivation going strong. 

Then of course some people prefer to run outdoor while some people prefer going to the gym. There are also other people who prefer exercising in the comfort of their own home or their own room. It's just a matter of finding a suitable exercise routine that will keep you motivated instead of slacking. Besides finding a suitable routine, find a suitable time to exercise and keep at it. There is no such thing as not being able to exercise because you simply have NO TIME. Hunny, you do have time...you just have to make time for it. Take a look at your daily schedule and then plan which pocket of time you are willing to spend on exercising. Believe me, you will find that pocket of time. Even sparing 30 to 45 minute 3 to 4 times a week is suffice. 

To get you even more motivated to have a healthier lifestyle especially if you're Asian, do take some time to watch this recent video from one of the local beauty bloggers who offer very useful tips regarding making wise food choices from her experience. As Asians, our food choices mainly consists of starchy carbohydrates like white rice. Then as Malays, we do have food choices like Mee Rebus, Lontong which are actually staples Malay food that can be found in many stalls. Learn how she tackles her lunch, 4 o'clock craving and dinner.

Normally I take one step further by not eating anymore after lunch which is basically a simple sandwich with plain water and whatever available snacks I have received at work or half a serving of rice with two veggies and eggs if I have to stay up late for work. Then I take note of what time I stop eating and then I will not consume anything else until dinner time.  If I get hungry, I will drink cold water and normally I stop being hungry for like half an hour and then drink more water if I get hungry again. It's a bit drastic but to be honest, it doesn't always work for me this way but I have to make it into a habit of not snacking because I have such a sweet tooth which means chocolate coated biscuits or snacks..fooh! Luv them! However I realized that it is my downfall in making me put on weight the whole of last year and I don't want to make the same mistakes again so this year, I'm putting in extra efforts to not only burn the fats I have over the years but which I have put on as recently as last year.

Okay I should stop blabbering and let you watch the video in peace..haha.

Good luck!







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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Portion Control & Healthy Snacking

I haven't been writing about this for a long while regarding weight loss but yah, if you are like me who are still in the process of losing weight or at least want to try to lose weight but do not  know where to start, I can share some tips here. I started to slowly gain back the weight that I lost two years ago and even though it's not that significant, it bugs me because it made me go back to a past weight range after working so hard the last few years since the end of 2005.

I guess it is because of the stress I was in that eating was such comfort. The 'best' part is (being sarcastic here), after the weight gain, even since then it has been a roller coaster ride. There will be a short victory and then somehow I would be back to the previous weight and what's worse, it will be slightly more. It is so frustrating.

But finally, after tweaking a lot in my diet by carefully analyzing what has gone wrong and what could be done, I am finally (yet again) back on track and I foresee myself going back to the previous weight range..yay!

First thing first, what went wrong. I would say unhealthy snacking throughout the day takes the cake. Pun intended. At times at my workplace, I will be offered food and it's difficult to turn them down. I will also buy unhealthy snacks like chocolate biscuits from the supermarket and snack on them.

So, definitely tweaking will have to be done.

Well, the easiest is to just turn away the cupcake, for instance. But now what I do is that I still eat it for lunch for example but then I will NOT eat for the rest of the day until dinner time which is after 8 usually. To be honest, firstly that cupcake is free and secondly, I will get hungry especially like around 4 plus or even earlier at 3 plus and that is when, I have to distract myself with work and I will either take sips of leftover home made tea or plain old cold water from the pantry.

At first it was very hard and now it's slightly harder only, haha..like got diff'', but it somehow lets my brain gets the message that my hunger is only temporary and now I can go up to even 7 hours without actual solid food after I tell myself okay officially now, I will stop eating food after lunch right until dinner. But if you think this is such a long painful task to do, going without food, you don't have to completely deprive yourself.

You can get hold of healthier snacks such as stocking up on fruits or wholemeal biscuits so you can snack on them. If you can't help but reach unhealthy snacks like chips, chocolates or sugary biscuits, my suggestion is simple: just DON'T buy them from the supermarket if you are out shopping. If you have no such food at near distance, you won't be tempted to eat them because in the first place, they are not even there!

So now, when I walk past the aisles, I can only touch the packaging of such sugary biscuits or snack treats and not buy them..haha. Freaking all the time. I tell myself this weight loss thing is NOT going to happen if I give in to temptation.

Now the thing is, you don't have to completely deprive yourself. Like see, I can still have the cupcake or maybe for you, you can still have lunch like rice with dishes but it's a matter of careful choices. If I ever buy rice with dishes on my own, what I do is that I have two veggies or at least one veggie. I won't buy dishes with gravy that contains coconut milk but that's my personal choice. You can buy food with gravy but perhaps, don't ask for the gravy as explained why later.

However, if I am at a buffet and somehow, they serve such dishes, I will just eat the meat and toss the meat first to get rid of as much gravy as I can. Yes, crazy but usually the calories come mostly from the gravy. Me thinks you can still have just one fried item, preferably a small piece and not one big chicken piece and two veggies instead of two meat and one veggie.

But let's say you have a heavy lunch, then it is not the end of the world..or your weight loss routine. You can substitute it with a light dinner. If you're Asian and there's no way you can skip rice, even though it's mostly complex carbs which isn't good for your body, you can limit your rice intake. For me, I will eat rice on alternate days and if I have eaten rice yesterday and today, my mum still prepare rice even though I said earlier I'm not eating rice (mums..they always feel like they're not feeding us enough..haha) she will prepare one plate only and I will share that plate with my brother.

Speaking of which, for years since I started my weight loss regime, I practice portion control. It's easy to pile on food at buffet and it's easy to eat the whole plate to yourself but when I am eating takeaway food with my family, I will only eat at most 1/3 of the package since technically, there are 3 of us. If it's food that I avoid like the yellow hokkien mee or chicken rice, I will only eat very few spoonfuls to get the craving away and that's about it. For buffet, I take very small portion of rice or noodles and pile on more veggies and little meat without the gravy.

When I am with my friends, which is usually on Saturdays, I do eat and finish the whole plate of lunch or dinner but actually it's alright for me, because the next day on Sunday, I will work out at the gym. It's a weekly routine for me irregardless of whether I eat a lot on Saturday. We shall explore more on exercising in the next post.

So in conclusion, you should take note of your calorie intake by making a mental note of what you have eaten so that you are aware and do not just eat blindly because it's easy to pile on the calories like that. For you to have weight loss, you must cut down your calorie intake daily such as sticking to a limit of say, 1000 calories a day or below 1500 calories. Ideally, you should consume up to 1800 calories but if you want some weight loss, the lower the better but just don't deprive yourself too much.

Practise portion control such as asking for less rice, be conscious of what you have eaten throughout the day because some food simply have hidden calories and some food can easily have 400-500 calories in just one serving. Cut down on unhealthy snacks that only provide you with empty calories and instead, eat more healthier snacks such as fruits and wholemeal biscuits. 

If you have a heavy lunch, have a light dinner or if you know your dinner tonight will be heavy, have a lighter lunch. My lunch is usually light because my mum will prepare sandwich for me such as avocado, tuna or low fat cheese sandwich and then I can afford to have heavier dinner but not so much as having more rice but still controlled portion of rice intake.

On my side, it is easier to get hungry because my lunch is like what..sandwich only, so my stomach will be growling by 4 plus so now I just drink water and keep drinking water to curb the hunger. I will tell myself I will be able to eat later so just 'tahan' or bear with the hunger which will usually go away and I will distract myself with work instead.

So okay, hopefully that will help you in small ways or another. Take it as a positive lifestyle change and don't pressurize yourself too much into losing weight quickly or otherwise it will be such a chore and you will give up easily. If you are disciplined and determined, just like in other aspects of your life, you will see positive results so don't give up :)



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Monday, November 19, 2012

Gratitude & Starting the Day Right

The auditors are finally gone and we're back to regular programming with mounts of paperwork...well, almost. It was so frustrating because we're so behind in terms of the past paperwork because there were many things that we were supposed to do and we didn't so we end up..or rather I, end up doing them for others as well. And then my manager tends to put the payment vouchers at her desk because the paperwork don't seem to end and more gets piled up and the previous paperwork gets buried underneath.

However, I do not want to judge her organizational skills because I would say that she is a very effective leader. She has an eye for details and she's not afraid to voice out her opinions and displeasure only for the sake of making us improve ourselves and learn our mistakes. While other leaders may not care for staff welfare and is only concerned on getting promoted instead of helping us to progress and improve.

So basically I went home so tired after being 'lost' in paperwork back in office because most of the time, I did not know what I was doing and just do as instructed. But I am not taking it at face value like that. I learn how to do some things that we ignored in the past and use it as a learning process and who knows, a promotion for me in future.

I would say it has been a roller coaster ride.

However, at the same time, when I reach home, I have also been doing some things for my online business which of course, is still stagnant but I just want to imagine orders coming in and I become busy preparing the orders, receiving payment and sending them out to customers. That day will come, I promise myself :) I hope to leverage on the gift giving season which is Christmas and perhaps, I will try to heavily publicize it or something.

I've also been watching self help videos because I want good things to happen in my life and I don't wish to attract negativity. I don't know if 'The Secret' or the 'Law of Attraction' actually have some bearing to it and the best part is, they said there is no such thing as coincidence. So people becoming richer and the poor getting poorer is no coincidence. It's because of how you channel your thoughts and naturally, the universe acts upon it. 

Oh well, some things you take them with a pinch of salt. But they do make sense in certain things like gratitude and being thankful for what you already have instead what you don't have. Loving yourself and knowing that you are worth it especially if you have weight problems that erode your self esteem and make you super self conscious like yours truly. When you love yourself including your body, you will do things to nourish it well, make yourself beautiful, wear the nicest clothes and it will just naturally show up on the outside and people will love you more than every pound in your body.

Let us all make today a good day. It's important how you start the day right. Don't let distractions get in the way and appreciate that you have made it to another day and plan to live it right from the start.

So what are your wants that you want the universe to act upon? For me, I want to earn $300 from my online shop within the next few weeks and I want to get to know a sincere guy friend even it we start off as strangers because I need more guy friends :S and right know, that I.T. guy at work doesn't really count as we're just good colleagues..haha.

Plus positive thinking will only attract good things from the universe, according to the secret. To simplify it, I don't want to dwell on the negative things and instead, I want to channel my thoughts by imagining a better life for me and my family and not having to worry about money problems, debt and so on :)
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Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...