Fitness & Vanities

Workout Nutrition Simplified

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you had a wonderful weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’m posting a handy infographic I found over atยย  It’s basically a nutrition guide for people who exercise and clearly outlines what’s best to consume before and after a particular workout type to give us the best nutritional support we need.

After confiding to you my exercise woes in this post, I certainly found this infographic to be very timely!

I hope you find this useful too ๐Ÿ™‚



Fitness & Vanities

Am I Shooting Myself In The Foot?

cat workoutHello sexy people! Happy Monday ๐Ÿ™‚

Every Monday I talk about fitness matters here on OSB&V and today I’d like to confide something – I’ve been eating like a madwoman the whole of last week. Really!

The Bottomless Belly

It’s alarming because I can’t even feel myself get full anymore, something that I’ve been training myself to do when I started in November, back when I decided behavior modification was the way to go as far as weight loss/maintenance was concerned. What’s even crazier is that I need much more carbs than I used to, and like I haven’t eaten any in 2 days!

As I’ve told you 2 weeks ago I took on a Fitness Blender program which outlines 3 hard-hitting workouts per week. And because I โค Fitness Blender so much I also supplement on days off with more Fitness Blender vids.ย  (So no more dance fitness vids for me despite initial plans to the contrary).

Is HIIT To Blame?

Here comes last week and I find that my appetite is through the roof! Could it be the combination of HIIT and strength training?

I did some reading and found out that HIIT increases metabolism and could also increase appetite – which seems to be the case with me.

And let’s talk about strength training while we’re at this. I’ve also noticed that it renders me virtually useless the rest of the day. I am sluggish like a sloth, fuzzy-brained and craving sweets.

What a deadly combo ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Have you had a similar experience with your exercise routine?

Change of Plans

So back to the drawing board I go. As I’ve already decided that appetite control is at the bottom of my weight management pyramid, anything that disturbs that will be reviewed, including exercise.

The plan is to stillย  do FB videos (because I still think they are the best), but I’m going to lay off on the HIIT for now, especially when doing strength training. I’ll do low impact cardio toning exercises alternated with strength training and keep tabs on the overall duration of the exercise.ย  I do enjoy exercising very much, so my goal is to still challenge my body but keep my appetite on an even keel. I’ll see how this goes.

Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fitness & Vanities

Feedback Keeps Weight On Track

diet-695723_960_720Happy Monday everyone! It’s the 1st of the love-month! Squeal! ๐Ÿ˜€ Make sure you’ve got that dinner booked already, okay? If that’s your thing, that is ๐Ÿ˜€

Today I’d like to continue on the same vein I started with last Monday which is about the weight loss I’ve experienced since last November.ย  Although it’s not that drastic – a mere 4.5 kilos from where I started – I lost that through some simple and easy-to-implement behavior modifications. I am convinced that behavior modification is key to sustainable and lasting weight loss.

Last week I shared some basic truths I stick to; today I’ll share about the simple but very important feedback tools that help keep my eyes on the ball – I have 2.

Tool #1:

Okay so some of us rely on our favorite pair of jeans for that wake-up call.ย  We go merry-ly on our way until one day – bam! We can’t pull the thing up past our thighs.

I think by the time this happens it’s already too late. We step on that dreaded scale and find out we’re way off where we’re supposed/want to be. And we’re now in panic mode.

I didn’t want this happening to me anymore so since November I’ve become besties with the trusty bathroom scale.ย  I hop on it every morning and it tells me whether I’m on or off track – before my jeans bite and choke me.

I weigh myself at the same time every morning, before breakfast, after having done my business in the toilet.ย  I do it daily not because I’m being obsessive, but because I’m watching out for trends.ย  Weight naturally fluctuates, so I don’t take a single reading as definitive.ย  I only take it as real if the same digits come up 2 or 3 days in a row.

And what if I don’t like what my bestie is telling me?

Tool #2:

That’s when I go check my (uber-simple) food diary.

I’m not particularly a big fan of this tool, truthfully. It’s cumbersome.ย  So I keep it real simple and only write down what I eat, when and a general portion description of it. I keep it on my iPhone because I always have my iPhone with me. You can be more descriptive with it of course, whatever works and promotes the most consistency.

I don’t write down calories or ingredients or how much they weigh.ย  I know the foods I eat anyway so when I say I ate 1 chocolate muffin I can estimate its level of ‘sinfulness’.

Complementary Tools

So when tool #1 tells me I’m going the wrong way I check tool#2 and see what caused it.ย  Maybe that 1 chocolate muffin every after dinner became a daily habit I did not even realize.ย  (Seriously, sweets can be really stealthy!) I’ve found that it’s usually something insignificant that builds up over time, and that it’s just a matter of elimination.

— (Like that lunchtime ice-pop that over time became a habit with the group I used to go out to lunch with while I was still working.ย  That was just 1 ice-pop per day, but all of us gained weight! Sneaky sweetie!) o_O

How about you? What tools are you using to help you manage your weight?

Fitness & Vanities

Becoming Smarter At Losing Weight


I registered 68 kilos on the scale for 2 days in a row – so I’m claiming that as true. That’s 4 kilos down from when I started at 72 kilos last November.

Yay! ๐Ÿ˜€

I don’t really have a problem with my weight since I’m 5’8″ tall and with an athletic frame – but I’ve always wanted to be slimmer. I figured now was the perfect time, while being a SAHM, to really focus on it.

Here are 3 basics that are really working for me this time:

1. Not relying on exercise to lose weight.

Exercise is the fountain of youth. In terms of aesthetics, it’s what makes our bodies look bikini-hot as opposed to flabby-thin. But in order to lose weight, it’s still hands-down what and how much we eat that truly tips the scales. (I wish I realized this a year ago).

Getting clear on this saves me from being complacent about my eating habits and deluding myself into thinking I can always “burn it off with a workout later”.

2. Finding out my REAL “why”.

Okay so here’s a confession: I’m a bit vain ๐Ÿ™„ And it was only last November when I accidentally stumbled upon my REAL why. I was playing some sort of fashion game on my phone when it hit me: I wanted to be slimmer because for me that would make it more fun to dress up. Apparently, all the health benefits I could recite at the bat of an eyelash weren’t the real motivators. It was the pleasure of having fun dressing up. Eureka!

Totally superficial, I agree but hey, it continues to light my fire. I’ve been able to stick to my eating plan and having more fun exercising since I embraced this [superficial] truth ๐Ÿ˜€

3. Focusing on sustainable behavior changes – not on quick fixes.

In my experience diets only work while you’re “on”them. The radical changes that diets require are often not sustainable long term and only teaches dependency.

I’d rather expend my time and efforts on making lasting behavior changes. Small but consistent steps like, only drinking water (and my morning cuppa!) will add up over time.

A lot of my friends right now are taking this weight-loss tea โ€ฆ but I honestly don’t see any weight coming off. (And they’re waking up at 3AM and have no idea why). Worse, they continue to eat as before thinking the weight-loss tea will do all the work! I don’t think it’s smart to be dependent on a diet “crutch” to loose weight safely and for the long haul.

this image found here

I was happy to observe that I did not gain weight over the holidays with this new approach. I also do not feel unhappy or constrained. My workouts have become more fun because the objective and expectation to lose weight through activity is no longer there. I’m making it my goal to land at an ideal weight and physique comfortably and safely – and for good.

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Mid-Holidays Check In From Paardje :)

treeHey everyone! Happy Holidays! ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ How are the holidays treating you? ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays relaxing with dear friends and family.ย  As for me, I have had the wonderful gift of not cooking for 6 days straight (21st to 26th), and I enjoyed it thoroughly XD

We had a few days in Melaka (Malaysia), unfortunately we weren’t able to extend our stay for Christmas because the limo service didn’t want to be on the road from the 25th onwards.

Apparently, something really fascinating happens between Malaysia and Singapore during the holidays – they exchange population XD XD So what happens is a MONSTER dose of traffic both ways along Johor Bahru‘s causeway (this connects Malaysia to Singapore) – huge enough for sane limo drivers to avoid ๐Ÿ™„

So we had to come home earlier than planned, spending the holidays in Indonesia instead and just making the most of it ๐Ÿ™‚ I took some pictures for you:

~ย  a very serious looking penguin next to a Christmas tree standing at attention in one of the malls


~ย  a haunted house during Christmas?!? (Apparently yes! And it’s attracting huge crowds too!)

haunted house

~ย  our new toy which has gotten my small nuclear family all agog ๐Ÿ˜€

new toy

~ย  a silly picture of my fruit cake that I just had to post here because the raisins look like hearts (do you see it?) ๐Ÿ˜€

fruit cake

And seeing as we’re ending this post with a fruit cake, I’m very sure a lot of you out there are worried about weight management during the holidays (even if you don’t like to admit it) XD

๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ Paardje’s Holiday Weight Management Tip:

So here’s a small tip (I hope it’s not yet too late!) ~ I’m taking the focus off of weight loss and just concentrating on not gaining.ย  That way I can still eat without pressure, but also am not throwing all caution to the wind just because it’s the holidays.

My friends have stopped going to the gym for December and are allowing themselves to be reckless with food intake on the thought that they’ll burn it all off in January. I think this is a mistake.ย  It’s really not easy to burn off the weight gain and, it’s actually far much easier to just exercise a little mindfulness (read: control) as you focus your enjoyment on [only] your favorite foods.

And that’s all from me for now.ย  Keep safe and enjoy the holidays! โค


Coffee. Love it or hate it?

There once was a time not too long ago when I had crystal clear vision and even levels of relatively high energy throughout the day.ย  Absolutely no trouble sleeping, and no trouble waking up. This is me on no coffee.

But you see, my mornings are never complete without a cuppa, so this state of ‘perfection’ is really not sustainable for extended periods of time.ย  Believe me, I’ve tried.

However my sleeping pattern has been really wacky as of late and along with that comes a fuzzy brain and a roller coaster of cravings + energy highs/lows throughout the day. This is me on coffee. Even if it’s just one cup a day ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

So I’m switching to plain old Lipton tea this week until I get my zen back.ย  (Decaf just makes me sad).

Here’s an infographic I found about the pros and cons of coffee.ย  The pros are quite amazing as you can see but I’m taking those with a grain of salt.ย  I’ve read before that studies like these are funded by coffee makers as a marketing strategy.

What do you think? Are you team coffee?