Thursday, September 21, 2023

5th Year Into Fitness Journey: What works

Hi yall, 

I suddenly had this weird urge to write. I've just completed a 10 minute HIIT workout, sweating in my tights. 

Anyway for the past 5 years, I've been quite consistent with the workouts. It helps that I'm working by myself, having the luxury to arrange my schedule, at the same time adding workouts to my schedule as if it's part of work. 

Years of tweaking and adjusting and I know what works for me:- 

1. Last heavy meal by 7pm - The only times I break this rule is for family gatherings or date nights. I do have snacks sometimes at night but nothing heavy. 

2. More noodle soups than rice - It helps that I've always loved mi hun sup, kuey tiaw sup, ladna and the variety. I don't miss rice that much. I love noodle soup with lots of veg (the only time I binge on vege variety). I skip rice many times a week with pleasure. 

3. HIIT workouts - I swear on PAMELA REIF's HIIT workouts. Keeps me fit & maintains my weight. I feel GREAT after a HIIT workout. I first started doing them because I needed a workout routine that doesn't take much time. I'm talking about 10 minutes here! I used to only do HIIT workouts 5 times a week but felt like my body needed something else. Hence

4. Pilates - No, I don't even pay for it. It's all on Youtube! I love Lilly Sabri's workout. You get sore afterwards but over time you feel stronger, tighter and your body feels more sculpted. So I alternate the days of pilates with HIIT excercises. If you feel that this is too much work, imagine me spending 15 minutes TOPS everyday. A tiny chunk of my day but doing it consistently. 

5. No store bought juice in the fridge, order warm water as much as possible when eating out - Basically cut out sugary drinks at home and outside. My only exception and 'treat' is having MILO at home, no added sugar. 

6. Morning park walks - We go to the park as a family every weekend morning, usually 3000-6000 steps. The kids complain but they always finish the track and they get ice-cream afterwards. Sometimes we alternate with hiking trails. 

These are tried and true. Being fit is a lifestyle and especially if you're mom and wife, you have to get your family on board. Luckily hubs is just as committed on his fitness journey, although HIIT and pilates in front youtube is not his thing. So when he wants to go to the gym, sometimes I'll tag along. 

I also hope that our lifestyle rubs off on the kids as they grow older. I can safely say, nowadays the kids seldom gets sick, eats well. The only thing is, I always wish they were chubbier like when they were toddlers but alas you can't have everything can you?

Moving forward, I'd like to take care of my food intake better, eating more variety of vege and fruits. It's been a challenge because we lead such hurried lives. Fruits and vege don't last long. It's extra effort to go buy fruits and vege every few days and you can't guarantee you'll finish it all before it turns bad. I don't always cook at home, so it's been a challenge to balance healthy eating. 

Also, last May, I fractured my wrist. Was put in a cast for 1.5 months. That prompted me to research brittle bones. As it turns out, our bones lose density as we get older and one type of exercise may help which is weight training. I just bought dumbbells 2 months ago and incorporating weight training into my exercise routine. Weight training is a bit slow and boring for me, personally. I guess it works well in a social setting, but I'm not giving up. 

I would say, it's an effortless effort for me to be fit. If I let myself go, I would definitely gain alot of weight and get out of shape. As you grow older, it's much easier to put on weight so you have to adopt a fit lifestyle somehow. But by having a "lifestyle" you don't actually feel like you're putting in too much effort, it's just daily life if you know what I mean. 

My motivation has always been to be ready whenever a zombie apocalypse comes. I need to be able to sustain running, jumping, and eating little. It's a joke but not really. Last December, we felt an earthquake from our apartment. Me and my daughter ran down 18 stairs and it wasn't a big deal. That's what I mean. 

My body has to be ready for anything that can happen in this crazy world. 

So there, if you made it to the end, thanks for reading and all the best to your fitness journey. 

Do you have a fitness routine? Share your thoughts <3

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Dreams and then some

It's like 11.54pm at the moment. Lately, I've been sleeping late and waking up with panda eyes which is not good for Instagram close-ups. Yup, I'm thinking about stuff like that now. What a far cry from the days of sarong the whole day. 

I guess life changes in a split second. You have to savour every moment. 

You also have to make firm decisions that would propel you into a new life. Five years later, you'll thank the day you decided to make exercise part of your morning routine. You'll thank the day you pick up the camera and start sharing on youtube. You'll thank the day you started consciously avoiding things with an extensive carbon footprint. You'll thank the day you tentatively invested a little amount in the stock market. 

If you have dreams, it's easy to take the next step that would support it. It's never comfortable but it will feel purposeful and necessary. 

When I started out on social media, I didn't know which language to write in. I felt comfortable expressing myself in english but I'm aware that I would alienate the people who needed the knowledge the most. So I decided to brush up on my awkward bahasa and punch through. OK PUN. As they say. It might still be awkward but who cares. The important thing is that I'm conveying my message clearly.

I also wished that I could hide behind words and continue blogging forever. But if we don't get out of our comfort zone to do what is required, others will and then take away our dreams too. 

I look at Bill & Melinda Gates with their philanthropic work. Simply inspiring. I could listen to him talk about eradicating Ebola & infectious diseases all day. He changed the world via tech and philanthropy. And managing to be humble.

If there's something we should be good at, it should be something we're already doing. I'm hoping that one day, my kids will say "mommy & daddy" as their inspiration.  

Thursday, August 13, 2020

How To Have Healthy Weight and Keep Fit After 3 Kids

As of today, I weigh 51 KG at 157cm. Not exactly thin, but not over the normal limits in BMI. 
I have maintained this weight for the past 8 years. Before that, my weight hovered around 47-48kg so, I was never overweight. 

I realize that people say this has something to do with genetics and I agree to some point. However, I believe if I let loose, I would gain weight as easily as anybody. 

Maintaining healthy weight is a mentality and a lifestyle, not using quick tricks which will take you nowhere. 

There are a few things that changes once you have children: 

1) Body fat distribution. This one is a wonder. Your fat stores are used in ways you never imagine. One day you wake up with a butt, one day it's gone. One day, it's back but it looks different. If you've had children you'll know. 

2) Body posture. This one creeps up on you. At first, I didn't notice, then one day I caught my self in the mirror and I became conscious of it. After carrying children for 10+10+10 months, your posture suffers and there's that tendency to slouch. 

3) Muscle tone. I believe I lost muscle tone after my three pregnancies, although I'm not sure that's due to age or because of pregnancies. 

I think I spoke about it before. After my third pregnancy, I felt like a blob. And I had to find myself, so I started exercising intentionally. I started consistently in January 2019. One year and half in. 

Exercise is a huge part of giving me a confidence boost, so much that I didn't care how much I weigh anymore, simply because I was feeling really good about my body. I was strong and toned at the height of my consistency. 

The second part goes to food. A few things that we maintain as a family that I think helps ALOT in maintaining my weight (and hubs actually!) so far. 

- When we got married in 2011, me and hubs decided that we will eat dinner before 7pm. And no food afterwards except snacks like bread etc. I'm proud to say that we have maintained this until now. We don't get hungry after 7pm because we're just so used to it. 

Although when I was breastfeeding, I did have heavy supper. Later I found out 'intermittent fasting' which has a similar concept of limiting eating time. 

- Starting with our first daughter, we eliminated sugary drinks and juice from our fridge. Yes, we had a very logical discussion about it, looking back. We maintain this until now. 

- I drink only plain water. When indulging, only ordering half-sugar. Your taste buds will adjust and think everything else is too sweet. 

- I do have a sweet tooth for desserts and chocolates. But I balance it out by not taking sweet drinks. 

- I have always been a slow eater. But looks like it's in my favor now! Did you know that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register being full?  

- I also avoid fried food whenever eating out. 

So, my tips may sound mundane and simple. But maintaining it long term is the real key. 

We started adding on new good habits like, always having a banana at home. 

One more important thing is that your family must also adopt this change, otherwise it'll be hard to maintain the lifestyle if you're the only one drinking plain water all the time. 

- The goal is never to be slim. But to be fit and healthy, thus the title of this blog post. There's no point of starving and not being able to enjoy life but to take a wholesome and moderate way of keeping fit. 

I would like to swim, run and hop with my children, and hopefully my grandchildren. I don't want health to be an issue as I grow older. As you know, being overweight contributes to a plethora of health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances. There's alot more, you name it. 

My next step would be to take care of our food. After MCO, I have a huge urge to eat home cook meals only. And making sure there's alot of anti-oxidant fruits at home. 

Lately, my daughter has been requesting nuts. Even I don't eat nuts for fun. But let me just say this, eating healthy and taking care of your health rubs off on children as well. Do it for the health of your family and the next generation. 

Photo by Adilah Adib in Taiping Lake Gardens. Image may contain: one or more people, tree, child, outdoor and nature

Yours truly, 
Mom of three

2020 Thus Far

We're halfway through 2020. Oh boy does the year go by really fast. 

I've hardly had time to process what was happening. There's a lot of disappointment career-wise this year, many things didn't go like it was supposed to. But what am I talking about, some people around the world are starving from the lockdown so who am I to complain. 

When things get tough, all you have to do is keep swimming. (Dory's voice appearing in my head)

I'm doing something new this year, which is quite exciting.

All your life, you've thought of yourself as one thing but I'm good at proving people wrong. I had been laughed at in the past for my presentations because I FREEZE. That's what I do during presentations. Literally. 

So when the agency bosses invited me to share my story with new recruits, I said yes and tried to dissociate myself from the past. And I'm happy to have shared my story twice this year and one time via zoom. 

It might not be a big deal to other people but it definitely is a challenge for me. 

I've also started a youtube channel as a marketing avenue for my real estate work. Finally took the plunge. We'll see where does this go. 

2020.. to the year of challenge, pivot and growth. Half way there!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

DAY 16 Movement Control Order Covid19

Today is an especially hard day. I tried to be productive by updating my website but with 3 kids running around it's just impossible. I really lost my temper today with the kids. It's not really their fault, they have been stuck indoors for 16 days.

Yesterday we received all the toys I ordered from lazada. I figured it will keep them distracted for a while. Honestly I was never one who likes buying more stuff for the kids. In fact, their toys are quite minimal.. and we do toys rotation every few weeks. However, staying home and not going out for 2 weeks does things to you so I caved and bought them those toys.

I don't think it works any better than giving them a cardboard box to decorate. In fact, playing with cups, decorating cardboard boxes and drawing with youtube keeps them occupied longer.

I was mulling over the idea of sending my son to my parents who are 5 minutes away. We'll see how that goes.

The days are up and down. Some days are productive, some days are just a downer, but I notice it to be worse when I don't start the day with a 10-15 minute family exercise.

I really hope the mco will be over by 14 April. I really miss going to work, seeing people and some semblance of normal life. Take care everybody, let's flatten the curve.

Monday, March 30, 2020

DAY 14 Movement Control Order COVID 19

I believe we need to thrive no matter in what situation we're in. We as humans, the strong ones pivot and adapt to changes. And I believe that's what we need to do. I foresee a difficult unknown future.

In the immediate future,
what would working be like?
what would Ramadan be like?
what would Raya be like?
would we be able to hold big events again?
How long will this go on?

Just thinking about it and listening to the news makes you really anxious.

I've started reading quran in the morning again.
This is definitely a test and how do you fare?
Only god knows what will happen, and the only logical thing to do now is to turn to god.

Confide in him about your fears, about your anxiety.

We don't know anything about how things will pan out and I think I've accepted that. That's not going to change. This might go on for a long time, which we also don't know.

I'm ready for all possibilities.

Be strong everyone, we're in for a bumpy ride.

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