I’m still enjoying the third day of my long weekend. This time of the year, the majority of the Philippines commemorate the sacrifices and death of Jesus Christ which is why there’s Holy Thursday and Good Friday both of which are regular holidays. It’s time off for Catholics and the rest of the working class. No bosses, no cares about bad call flow except for those left behind to keep the production running or churning.
I really didn’t do much of the rituals expected during this holy week. Sorry mother but don’t worry I did my own sacrifices. Food were in small(er) portions and working out and running were skipped for two days. No fuel, no go. And yes, I made my own silent prayers. Erm.
The past two days were meatless. So over brown rice and steamed veggies, yesterday I had binignit. I discovered that what I’ve known for the longest time as ginataan is also called binignit. A match on my favorite app confirms my entry. For the nth time MyFitnessPal recognizes my kind of comfort food.
Wifey and my in-laws prepared the binignit like some sort of holy week tradition. I woke up seeing them busy chopping the ingredients right outside our house. They cooked everything in one big pan that was then shared among every household. We got a lot which I thought at first I won’t eat as it’s normally cooked too sweet for my taste but thankfully it wasn’t this time. The Under Armor app says one serving equals two hundred calories. Not bad.
MyFitnessPal is always heaven sent. Until a timely bad news struck. Several news on social media report this morning that the app got hacked. What else is safe way nowadays anyway? The reports say that personal information were exposed, not quite sure if credit card credentials are among them. I’m spared, however. For one I don’t subscribe to premium service and I don’t have a credit card anymore. What only hackers could see on my account are how much eggs, and bananas with Skippy, Nutella, and Speculoos in between I have eaten. Then for two meals already, the binignit.
I must be a hermit in my past life. I could stay indoors the whole time and won’t make a fuss about it. So that’s how I spent two extra days, just at home and played games with Marcus. Man, he’s already beating me on driving games.
Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Now away from home and Marcus’ XBox today.)
Social media has all sorts of challenges. Anything under the sun, name it, it’s there. Most annoying lately is where people eat Tide pods. But I pick my battles and so far I have I tried doing a few. The last challenge I’ve been raring to take is this SamYang noodles challenge that trended few months back.
I always like watching people doing eating challenges–again, except stupid non-food feats. So when my wife asked if I could take the SamYang, I raised an eyebrow to make an arrogant statement. Definitely, I can do it.
Today, lunch was SamYang 2X. The noodles brand have ratings and what I had was half the one seen on viral videos. No sweat, I thought. One serving is 140 grams of spicy noodle that appears very similar to ordinary spicy noodles like chicken yakisoba or pancit canton only that SamYang has a more reddish color that seems to serve as a visual warning.
The first couple of bites were fine. But the spicy taste picks up in the succeeding intake, getting worse even before I reached halfway of my plate. Damn, it was hot. Wifey had a video of me eating SamYang and I’d pay her not to release it. I scrambled for two glasses of milk so I could continue until I finished everything.
Just imagine how the infamous 4X tastes. It must be super really hot but I’m up for it…maybe weeks from now as I try to neutralize the effect of a 500-calorie SamYang 2X and while I recover my dignity for crying over a spicy noodle.
I recently read an article about someone trying to avoid taking sugar for a month and I immediately thought it isn’t a feat I would succeed at. An honest assessment. It was another challenge worth checking though. With the 711 run closing in I had my mind set to cut on more sources of sweets to lose a couple weight further this week.
So far I have resisted opening the packets of Swiss Miss that’s been staring at me every time I open my workstation drawer but that’s all about it. I have a sweet tooth and can’t imagine completely letting go of sweet treats. Me regularly digging in on the Kirkland candy jar for dessert just cannot be stopped–for now. But the fat loss seems to continue. Take note, fat loss.
My weight have been stable despite my caloric deficit diet. If the fitness articles I’ve read are correct, then there’s a good explanation for my current weight plateau. Some studies show that the intake of supplements and recovery food that follow after every workout is part of the reasons that there won’t be any movement in the weighing scale. During recovery the body absorbs fluids to help heal the stressed muscles that result to muscle growth one way or another. Makes perfect sense.
My current diet has one obvious effect, however. My wedding ring has loosened further. I’ve been wearing mine on my middle finger for years and even that can no longer hold it in place. If I don’t pay extra attention it’ll fall off down the washroom drain. Placing the ring on my thumb is an option but would look weird. So I’m letting go of it until I either have it adjusted or replaced. Today I will be using my wife’s ring with my name on it as she stays at home most of the time anyway. Nineteen years later, a wedding ring will be on the right finger.
On rare occasions our son steps out of the house at night. Tonight is one of those as we keep watch of the transition from blue to blood moon. Dear clouds, please don’t fail Marcus.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Survived mood swings. Must be the blue blood moon.)
Weather remains bad for almost a week already but so far Santa Claus has braved heavy rains and strong winds, unload some toy cars, and a dominoes set. Marcus must have been that nice.
The rain let up somehow to let my father-in-law celebrate his 80th birthday today and every family member was there except for a few. Marcus too hasn’t dropped by lately due to wheelchair access concerns but come rain or shine we committed to being there. Good job to everyone who made it happen.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (It’s starting to rain again but we’re warm and cozy at home.)
I finally got myself a pull-up bar which wifey paid for as an early birthday gift. No more waiting for good weather just so I can go out of the house to do my pull-ups using our window’s coping.
The bar is tough. It can be fitted between door jambs and manual says it could hold 100 kilos without screws. I’m several notches past 60 now and it can hold me without any problem. Anway, I still installed the screws that come with the kit to add 30 more kilos to the weight margin. For 1500 pesos this pull-up bar from Decathlon Festival Mall is so worth it. Thanks again wifey and Marcus for this great gift.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Will likely set my weight goal to ‘maintain’ this week.)
It’s a great day despite the overcast skies. Just had a 500-calorie breakfast after my usual second run of the week which is the routine I’ve tried to stick to for months already. You see I have never been committed to running, not to mention waking up early, in my entire life. Now I hit 5 km on average and this week I broke my personal time by clocking below 35 minutes and with a best pace of 5.5.
I hit plateau in August and since then I decided to take actions. It was a personal challenge I took seriously just to test if everything I read about losing weight while staying fit is one that I can also achieve. So I jumped into the fitness bandwagon–extra weight in tow.
Measurement is key. Everything almost done by the numbers. In fact, I’ve caught myself doing things just so I would know the calories I take. I’ve called waiters to ask how many grams my serving has. I used the kitchen weighing scale more often than before–and was worried when the ones seven segment display broke. I would take time reading nutritional labels at the grocery isle. And I would log on my MyFitnessPal app, if not scan the barcode of any food packaging, any food I consume every meal. It’s a strict routine but fortunately not in vain.
On this tenth month of 2017 I now hover close to the magic number. I just stepped on the bathroom scale and it shows I’m 0.6 away from being exactly 10 pounds lighter than when I first started my calorie watch regimen and trend shows that it’s a matter of days when I breach 140.
It doesn’t end here though. According to basal metabolic calculator–my age, weight, height all factored in–my ideal weight is 4 pounds farther. That means more restrictions ahead but I know I would hit it soon anyway. MyFitnessPal predicts five weeks which is just a couple before my birthday. I think that by then I would have earned the right to celebrate it with my favorite 200-calorie Krispy Kreme.
Declutter. Dispose whatever is not needed. These are rules I’ve been following, or trying to follow, regardless if a stuff is something sentimental or not. I’ve disposed a lot and surprisingly so far I didn’t have any regrets. Must be the effect of reading about minimalism on my Facebook timeline.
If I could walk the talk was once again tested last night. While looking for a tool I found an empty cheap cologne container. There’s nothing special to it if not for how and where it was kept. It was among my valuable keepsakes.
By some interesting coincidence, exactly 12 years ago I took this cheap cologne on a special trip. Its scent filled my room each morning while I get ready for the day’s equipment training, it competed with the aroma of strong brewed coffee and fresh breakfast muffins I would hoard from Holiday Inn’s little pantry. The smell reminds me of Watertown, Wisconsin which was my first trip to the US, one that was unexpected. There’s some anxiety but I am now letting go of this cheap cologne. One stuff down, more to go.
I was contemplating on getting our cable subscription disconnected as we seldom watch the tube anymore. Every now and then we would but Netflix was tough competition. Plus there’s Marcus who has commandeered our flat TV.
So wifey had a win-win idea: Transfer the cable connection to our bulky Sony Wega. This got me occupied after dinner last night which led me to finding the cologne bottle ahead of the tools that I really need. Need to declutter more I guess.
Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Some trivial suffs do keep big memories, don’t they?)
I finally breached the 150 mark by a pound down. No small feat after struggling for more than six months since our December vacation that piled all the fats and the additional nine pounds. No regrets about those fudge and all the giant food servings but I just can’t carry them around all day anymore.
While seeing the magic number on the weighing scale calls for a personal celebration given the sacrifices and conscious efforts to limit food like my favorite pizza, it seems I reached the dreaded plateau again. My weight reduction progress have flatlined. Desperate times call for desperate measures then. Time to do something long overdue, time to count calories like I’ve never done before.
Resisting the initial idea of my wife to use an app that would monitor my calorie intake I eventually ended downloading it from Google Play and I got hooked on it since then.
MyFitnessPal seems like the perfect app I need. It made me realize I’ve been missing a lot on the opportunities to see the numbers behind each food I take. Grams versus calories, fats versus protein, carbs versus fiber. It was overwhelming at first but I picked up on how to process the data in less than one day.
Under Armour is the company that created this free app. Users can search and log from its database almost any food taken during any meal including snacks. Unlike the health books I once knew, this app includes almost anything. You ate isaw, monggo, or galunggong? MyFitnessPal recognizes these local foods and its corresponding nutrional values. Had buko pie or piyaya for dessert? Yup, this smart app knows them too. The key here is just to be honest and log everything to see if you are still within your calorie goal. And the good news is that this app considers exercises performed on the same day so you can exert extra effort if you just lost control and had extra rice for lunch because it was perfect with the leftover longganisa.
Besides manual entry of exercises, this app likewise connects to several smart devices. I got a Garmin watch and its Connect app works with Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app. Data is pretty straightforward. Calorie goal minus food intake plus exercises equals remaining calories for the day. It does the math so all you need to focus is if you are still allowed to pick that tempting smores in the fridge or not. Your call but be ready to face the consequences if you go over the required servings.
While this fitness app presents useful info, discipline falls on the hands of its user. Setting the right expectations is needed to avoid any frustration and blame game. Take one step at a time and see realistic results happen. Remember that whatever is measurable is controllable. MyFitnessPal also works for weight maintenance or weight gain goals.
My Timehops show that I usually go on a diet same time for the past years. Must be the subconscious working to prepare for December’s binge.
Mood: 2/10 Honks (Aiming to run in a couple of hours.)
This independence day I broke records. This would be the day I function as Uber for our resident cats. Not one, not two, not three. And not even four. Yes, I had five cats in the backseat today. Sedated but five cats in the backseat nevertheless.
Thanks to the local government’s initiative, we finally got a break after several attempts to contact other clinics and avail of free spay and neuter services. It was quite late as the two females have once again given birth to six kittens but at least we’re making progress to control their number and in the process prevent further scratches on our car among the many pet peeves of having cats around. Now there would be less three mollies and two toms.
I might as well have gotten the record for the most number of pets brought by a single owner. The venue was packed with dogs and cats alike but operation was efficient. Made me wonder where funding comes from but I am just thankful that they made this happen. Happy independence day cats lover!
The day required preparation so I ran in the morning. I did 38 minutes for a 5K. Finally losing those Christmas cheesecake fats.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Got the car cleaned. Backseat smells antiseptic and cat fur were all over.)
The just concluded long weekend due to the holy week was worth it. Didn’t get us far from home but it gave me a chance to just bond with wifey and Marcus. This video of the goats playing around and showing off to Marcus was captured on a Good Friday at the first stopover on our attempt to get closer to Mount Makiling. We live nearby so no big deal but take note that Marcus is in a wheelchair.
Mount Makiling is one of the regular Holy Week destinations for those who want to make their own sacrifices or for mountaineers who want to climb something challenging but not far from the city. The last time I was up there was about 20 years ago before I got married and when a good stretch of the road to the mountain wasn’t paved yet. Now it’s a bit wheelchair-friendly.
Next time we will try farther. And yes, next time we’ll wear something warmer.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Just a day at work then another off for me.)