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Untitled (Hello, Laziness)

I’ve been MIA for a few days but only because I’ve been busy with life. Sort of. I was supposed to write an entry regarding my trip to Sagada (which was awesome, by the way) but I’m feeling pretty tired at the moment so that will have to wait. A mini update will do for now although I can’t promise that it’s going to be exciting or whatever.ImageToday I used my cousin’s Polar watch to check how many calories I burn during my workout (weight lifting + HIIT). The number surprised me a little because I had no idea that weight lifting really does burn a serious amount of calories despite being seemingly more laid back than cardio exercises. My right knee became haggard again and it’s starting to worry me. I should figure out a way to strengthen my knees.

Yesterday, I binged on cookies. I have no idea why. I wasn’t stressed or anything and the cookies weren’t even vegan. This morning, my sinuses got worked up and I really think that the dairy I consumed has something to do with it. I am never going to touch dairy again. And I need to learn how to bake vegan cookies.

Although I am still traumatized by my previous company, I applied for an English tutor position this afternoon and will be coming in for an interview tomorrow. I hope this one goes well because I seriously need to start working for the sake of my second degree. I guess if this company still isn’t very good, I’ll have to suck it in and endure it until I have enough money saved. I am doing my best not to end up at a call center.

When we went grocery shopping two days ago, I bought buckwheat flour which is so exciting because I’ll finally be able to make buckwheat pancakes! Problem is, I don’t have baking powder so I have to search for a recipe that doesn’t call for that ingredient. I’m not one for experimenting in the kitchen because I don’t even know the basics of cooking. I don’t even know how to tell if a pan is hot enough to cook things on; it’s all a matter of trial and error for me.

So there you have it. Not a lot has happened but at least I finally got out of the house. I’ll try to write that Sagada trip entry ASAP. I know how helpful travel-related blog posts are for people who plan their own itineraries so I want to give my own small contribution.

Have a great week, guys!

 

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Raisin’ the Numbers

Good news! I was able to deadlift 80 lbs. and squat 90 lbs. yesterday! Woohoo!

I know those aren’t ridiculous weights yet but hey, 90 lbs. is only 12 lbs. away from my current weight. I was almost carrying one of me while squatting, haha! Those weights, by the way, were the highest I did because I weight train in a reverse pyramid: I also squat using 80 lbs. and 70 lbs. and I do deadlifts with 70 lbs. as well. I think I should add another weight to my deadlifts but it was only yesterday that I started doing them properly (during the first time, I had the wrong form and wrecked my lower back, ugh, newbie problems) so I was only in the experimental phase. Next week, I’ll only be able to lift weights once because I’m going on that Sagada trip which will serve as my three-day long workout, teehee. I’m already so psyched for it.

I think I may have pulled something in my knee during yesterday’s workout but hopefully it will be all better by the time my friend and I are spelunking. But either way, I won’t let a tiny injury get in the way of an awesome physical activity.

I’ve been reading up on losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. Apparently, I’m a lucky dog because beginners are capable of doing both. My goal is to lose fat and maintain the muscles that I currently have but not necessarily bulk up (not yet, at least). I want a body that’s between that of a marathoner and a sprinter (though the latter is much more ideal in my eyes hahaha–fast twitch fibers all the way, baby!). Gotta keep the diet and workouts in check.

Today is Saturday a.k.a. Don’t Give an Eff About Calories Day. YAYYY!

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Hobbit Legs

Hobbit Legs

I tried my new weight training routine which was a full body workout instead of an upper body/lower body split. I changed it (again) because I found out that a full body workout benefits beginners more. It was EXHAUSTING. I had barely gone through the lower body exercises when I had to drink a glass of water in between sets. Still, I pushed through with it and made some adjustments. It was way too long–an hour and fifteen minutes–and that doesn’t include the 18-minute HIIT bout right after. Of course, with pain comes endorphins and I was on a major high when it was over. As you can see in the photo, my legs remain pudgy so I am far from reaching my goals. Tomorrow is rest day a.k.a. anxiety and less calories day. I am not looking forward to it.

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The Sandman Hates Me

Right now, I want to sleep. I’ve been yawning like crazy and my eyes are already drooping. However, I know this is just another trick that my body’s playing on me. This has been going on for a couple of weeks or so but whenever I go to bed, I find it extremely difficult to fall asleep. The longest that it took me to sleep was four hours–four fucking hours! Although I’ve done my research, none of the common sleep disorders match my case. I’m living a very healthy lifestyle. I have nothing to be stressed about. I don’t drink anything caffeinated at night. I go to bed not full but also not hungry. And, most importantly, no matter what time I sleep, I get up at eight in the morning feeling refreshed. This totally doesn’t make sense!

You might say that I don’t have a problem because I can still wake up properly, but the point is, it seems that the Sandman has stopped visiting me. Or I’ve simply forgotten how to sleep. The stranger thing is that whenever I take my afternoon nap, I fall asleep just fine. I don’t know what to do anymore. Got any advice for me? :\

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Dying to Become a Dietitian

I want to take a second degree in Nutrition.

I entertained the thought before when I encountered a scholarship for a Master’s degree in China. However, I didn’t push through with the application because a) I don’t have a background in Nutrition to begin with, and b) the nutritional studies in China might be different from the ones here, perhaps leaning more towards traditional methods and such. Just when I thought that I would never be bothered by the desire to study Nutrition again, the fact that the people around me have shitty diets and are getting sick because of them has very recently reignited my agitation.

In particular, my older brother whose diet consists of around 60% meat, 35% processed foods, and 5% whole foods is not the healthiest person I know, and he has been coughing like crazy for more than a week now despite his visit to the doctor and prescribed medication. Furthermore, when he is in a normal condition, he works out yet remains totally overweight. The rest of my family still eats a lot of red meat and white bread, finishes liters of soda every month, consumes tubs of ice cream, and practically inhales instant noodle cups. I worry for their health, especially my parents’ as they are both already 50 years old. I’m pretty sure none of them are willing to be vegan (although my father is a pescatarian) but I do want them to be more conscious about their dietary choices. If I were to become a dietitian, I could help them and other people recover from sickness without having to pop a single pill. Food, after all, should be the first thing that comes to mind when one desires to be cured. With all the medicines being made in factories and advertised like crazy nowadays, though, we seem to have forgotten that.

I talked to my recently certified nutritionist friend (who is a brilliant chap, by the way, could be deemed a walking encyclopedia and has, over the years, developed a much better sense of humor) and he told me to go for it as he has never met someone so passionate about diets. Quite frankly, I never thought that I’d turn out this way. Before coming to Korea, I did not touch vegetables at all. I was a bit picky about fruits, too. I loved meat, chocolate, chips, and pastries. Because of my sweet tooth, I gained weight every year and became a yo-yo dieter. I remember going through an entire month not eating lunch, thinking that I could go without the calories; I ended up fainting while we were grocery shopping.

Things changed when I became a foreign exchange student. In Korea, I learned to eat and love vegetables. There are plenty of Korean meat dishes but they have all sorts of delicious vegetable-filled dishes as well. Unfortunately, I gained a whole lot of weight while I was there, thanks to pizza nights at our dormitory, midnight fried chicken feasts with friends, and loads and loads of alcohol a.k.a. Koreans’ favorite medium for forging and strengthening relationships. I reached my highest ever weight of 53 kg (116 lbs) within only 5 months. It was during summer vacation that I decided that no, I refuse to be this pudgy. So, I went to the gym. Every single day. After a little over 1 month, I was down to 47 kg (103 lbs). I was able to do that because I applied what I had researched about going on a proper diet and taking on an exercise routine. That summer had been an eye-opener for me and if I had not found out everything that I did then, I would probably still be a wreck today.

Another thing that has increased my interest in nutrition was taking up a Food Nutrition class during my last year of university. We were taught only the basics but they all fascinated me nonetheless. I received a high grade in it after the semester and the knowledge I received there remain very useful to me in everyday life. Although we were taught not to go for any sort of fad diets, I tried the Atkins Diet early this year (I’m a stubborn bastard) and went through nightly chest pains because of all the fat I was consuming. I eventually reached ketosis but I was more miserable than ever. Along the way, I found out about the 80/10/10 diet which worked for me and I absolutely loved because of all the [unlimited] fruits and vegetables involved. It was that diet which pushed me towards the direction of veganism. Soon enough, documentaries like “Forks Over Knives,” “Hungry for Change,” and “Vegucated” convinced me to become a vegan for life. I have not turned back since. Veganism is the ultimate DIEt for me, the lifestyle and way of eating that I will take with me to the grave.

I want to become a nutritionist so that no one else will have a shitty relationship with food as I did. I want people to enjoy their lives to the fullest, free from diseases, and at the same time love the right kinds of food. I do not expect to be able to convince people to let go of their bacon and french fries, but I can certainly show them that plant-based foods can be just as–if not more–tasty and wonderful as processed foods. I am also thinking of educating the poor and letting them know that a plant-based diet is not only healthier but more suitable for them since most fruits and vegetables are cheaper than meat. My highest ambition is to eventually be part of the government, specifically at the Department of Health, so that I can reach out to everyone in the country and influence them by providing dietary and exercise guidelines and coming up with projects that promote and establish healthy habits. It’s a long shot, I know, and the soonest that I can go back to school is in 2015 (I plan on working for a year to fund my education) so my goals will have to wait, but you can’t completely change your life without having the right amount of drive for it, yes?

I should really mention this to my parents soon.

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Arm of the Tiger

Arm of the Tiger

This is such a lame amount of progress but oh my goodness I did not have this much of a curve a month ago! Before, whenever I posed like this, my arm would just be straight which I really hated because I felt like a cartoon character. Now I have bigger arm muscles, YAY! Today is upper body day so I’ll be sculpting my guns even more. Woot woot! (Excuse my strange-looking clavicle, haha!)

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The Other Kind of Travel

Active travel. Why have I heard of it only today? It’s probably because I don’t know of anyone who does it–travelling in other people’s books entails simply going to a place, taking pictures, sightseeing, discovering the history behind geographies, and having a taste of local cuisine–and that to me is a tad bit disappointing. I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of physical activities in people’s lives today or the tight hold of city life on them telling them to be wary of Mother Nature and her array of threats in the form of cliffs, wild animals, and poison berries; whatever the reason is, it has to disappear from the face of the earth. To date, my only active travel experiences are 1) hiking a mountain for four hours straight and then going down for several more hours in torrential rain and ankle-deep flood threatening to wash us away into an untimely death, and 2) island hopping to swim and snorkel among schools of fish addicted to pieces of bread. Aside from monetary problems, like I said earlier, the thought of active travel has not crossed my mind until only a couple of hours ago when I read about cycling in Death Valley (an instant addition to my bucket list). That led me to researching about physically challenging local trips and, ultimately, to the term which makes me giggle like a schoolgirl in excitement.

Active travel. Doesn’t that sound beautiful or what?

I spoke with my mother last night about our spelunking and trekking trip to Sagada and she reluctantly agreed to give me the money to make it happen. She thought that I was going to ask for a converted amount of $232 which I was appalled at. First off, her inexperience in travelling has seemingly led to her overestimation of the expenses for a trip. Secondly, she does not know that she has passed on her being a cheapskate to me. And third, well there’s no third but I felt that coming up with just two things wasn’t right. Anyway, I quickly explained that I needed less than half of that amount and that it included everything. She wasn’t able to protest much after that. So, my third active travel adventure will definitely happen soon, and I plan on making the most out of it.

In preparation, I will be training harder starting tomorrow. I have less than three weeks to get into a much better shape in terms of strength and endurance. I am the one who planned the itinerary and made the budget so I only hope that my friend will be able to do all the activities with me. She’s trim but she doesn’t exercise due to her schedule as a grad student and I’m worried that, like a lot of the people who have gone on the same journey, she’ll be too tired and sore by the third day to do anything else other than walk around and go on a food trip. I might have to ask her to jog or at least walk for a minimum of thirty minutes a day every day before our trip. Cross fingers that she’ll agree to do it.

My goal is to be able to partake in more active travel trips in the near future. I want to swim, climb, trek, dive, pedal, and row my way across the world. I already have one adventure in mind: climbing Mt. Pulag, the third highest mountain in the country. I’ve read about people awakening to a sea of clouds and that, to me, is something worth seeing. Oh, and I would like a photo of me doing a handstand on the summit, haha! I’ll be working hard on my yoga to be able to do that little number. Nothing is impossible!

I need to get a job soon. ;;;