Home & Heart

Last Minute 2017 Goals


Hi everyone! How y’all doin? ๐Ÿ‘‹

There’s only about 2 weeks left of 2017 and I guess everybody’s gearing up for maximum holiday enjoyment, right? Unfortunately for us, we have to stay in sleepy Batam for Christmas since the baby has no passport yet โ˜น๏ธโ˜น๏ธ This really is a bummerย  for me who, unlike the eldest and the hubs who get a break from school and work, could really benefit from a change in pace & scenery.

Oh well, all the better to make up for this in 2018 then.

The urge to mope is very strong but I’ve chosen instead to end the year strong by doubling down on some goals for the remaining 2 weeks:

  1. Break-fast like a champion

This book said that if you find yourself procrastinating on a goal, chances are, that goal is too big and must be broken down into smaller pieces. So wise! ๐Ÿ˜

For weeks now I’ve attempted in vain to do something about my diet (or lack thereof). I am saddled with post-natal weight (& cellulite! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ) that I am anxious to be rid of. Unfortunately, all my strategies and tricks in the past just won’t work – sleep deprivation, breastfeeding and buying food from the outside (instead of hiring a nanny I chose not to cook instead) undermine my efforts.

But there must be something I can do, right? If only to feel some semblance of control?

My initial goal was to start cooking again so I’d have more control over what we ate.ย  But this is just not something I want to take on at this time with the baby basically running my day. Then Iย  thought of cutting out carbs later in the day and well, anybody who’s breastfeeding probably knows how crazy that is. I think I thought of cutting out junkfood too but I don’t really eat that much of it so the move didn’t feel like enough …

Anyway, I finally had the brilliant idea of focusing on one meal instead, and doing that right. And since mornings provide the most self-control and sets the tone for the day, breakfast was a logical choice.

So the goal now reads: eat a solid breakfast before feeling ravenous every single day.

2.ย  Do Post natal abdominal-muscle-recovery exercises every Monday, Wednesday & Friday

I’m already past the 2-months waiting period for getting back to exercise and I’m rearing to go.ย  Luckily, I came across the idea of post-natal abdominal strengthening/recovery exercises before starting anything (well, this isn’t 100% true! ๐Ÿคฅ) or else I’d have set myself up for some self-inflicted damage.

I’m not a big fan of 1) slow exercises and 2) those that you do lying down, so this is a real challenge for me. But I want to get back to my original shape and this is standing in the way so … big girl panties on!


3.ย  Seriously Bond with Eldest

I’ve been nagged by a feeling of having neglected my eldest since the baby’s arrival and still feel that I can do better in this area. A recent incident at her school (we’ll talk about this in a separate post) drove this goal to the top of my priority list.

Fortunately today marks the start of a 3-week school break which gives us plenty of time to bond. The bonding activities might be partially motivated by something juicy (like I said, I’ll tell you later!) but it’s there and I’m taking advantage of it.

So for these 3 weeks, Eldest gets a lot of spotlight.


Aaaaand yes, that’s all for now. Wish me luck! I better do those exercises while baby is still slumbering ๐Ÿ˜ Updates in the next upcoming posts! Mmmwah! ๐Ÿ’‹


Fitness & Vanities

Lessons From A Breather


Howdy y’all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m fresh back from a well-appreciated, 1 1/2 week holiday – which effectively gave me a break from everything ๐Ÿ˜€ I love it when this happens because I always come back with a handful of mini resolutions or mini challenges for better living ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Like …

… increasing fiber intake:

Most often while on a holiday I allow myself to completely slack off on any fitness & nutrition guidelines I have set for myself. I’m not active & I eat everything I want.

I then get bloated and constipated and then become hyper-critical about my “self-consciously gigantic” midsection each time I catch a glimpse of it on any type of reflective surface. ๐Ÿ˜ถ ๐Ÿ˜ถ (Come now, don’t tell me you haven’t done this yourself! ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿ˜Š)

Instead of countering this with mad eye-make up skills to bring everyone’s (imagined) focus up instead of on my midsection, of course all that’s really required (once I stop the exaggerated reaction) is to be mindful of my fiber and water intake.

Challenge #1: add more fiber to my life (interpret in more ways than one ๐Ÿ˜‰)


As usual, I buy a couple of books from an airport bookstore because, although I have a Kindle, nothing beats the high of burying my nose amongst the pages of an actual, physical book. (Yes, I don’t read it I just smell it!๐Ÿ˜†ย ๐Ÿ˜†). One of these books had this reminder/challenge #2 for me:

Increase movement throughout the day.

Also to be read as: beware sitting on your bum for long, uninterrupted stretches of time. (Calling out all fellow yarnies! ๐Ÿ˜†)

Because apparently, doing so significantly decreases our lifetime. In fact, uninterrupted bum time is more lethal than an addiction to smoking. Think about that! o_O



Coconut Oil-Will-Save-the-World

My mom is 69 years old. The last time I saw her was during the Christmas holidays, on this visit however, I was amazed. Her face was brighter, even toned with a hint of pinkish glow, and somehow less wrinkly (if that is at all possible) ๐Ÿ’

She truthfully looked younger than last I saw her, we all noticed! When I complimented her on it, she said she started using extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) on her face upon advise from her sister.

I also had coffee with a good friend who, as it happens, carries a vial of EVCO in her bag wherever she goes. She poured a tablespoon of the liquid into her coffee without batting an eyelash and, at my surprise, rattled off the billion and one uses for EVCO, and credits it for her beautiful & abundant mane and flawless complexion.

Conclusion: the coconut universe is conspiring for me! ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„ I’m reading up on the billion and one usages for EVCO right now and …

Challenge #3: … will use it to replace my 4-step nightly face cleansing ritual.

I want to see if it will work for me too ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll let you know how it goes after a month or so.


And that is all for now. (Yay!)

How about you, any healthy resolutions you’ve taken up recently? Let me know! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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.

Fitness & Vanities

Keeping Motivated to Exercise

cat workoutNaively I thought that willpower is all you need to be consistent with exercise.ย  Of course, this couldn’t be farther from the truth! There are external things, superficial maybe but no less motivating, that can help us keep our eyes on the ball.ย  Lemme tell you a short story.

Not too long ago I hit an exercise wall and almost threw in the towel.ย  I remember thinking, “why bother, I’ll just diet”.ย  But of course that’s even sillier because I believe that weight loss is just a ‘side effect’ of exercise.ย  The real benefits are much more than that.ย  See this post for ideas.

So anyway, I was in a funk and I honestly thought that that was it.ย  But isn’t it funny where motivation can suddenly come from? In my case, it started with a closet purge that I wrote about here.ย  As I was being scrupulous about the whole process, I also did the same for my workout clothes. This left me with only a few items, but these few pieces fit me well and looked good mixed & matched together. I liked seeing myself in the mirror! This by itself gave me a kick in the right direction โญ

But wait, fortunately, there’s more! Read on ~

โญ Okay so #1 is, making sure to look good while at it. I’m no longer just throwing on what’s available.ย  Now, I also have to look as though I’m starring on some mass produced exercise video. I swear my color combos have never looked so perfect! ๐Ÿ˜‰

โญ #2 is creating my own weekly workout program.ย  I veered away from my purchased, structured program and took things into my own hands.ย  I follow a split routine with 2 HIIT sessions per week and I mix things up with other videos instead of just sticking to my usual Fitness Blender and Jillian Michaels.ย  Being the creator of my own weekly program has me invested on a whole new – and FUN – level.

โญ #3 is pretending to be a workout coach/instructor.ย  Yep!ย  And I feel no shame whatsoever in admitting this.ย  Now that I look spankinโ€™, I imagine myself leading a class!ย  It gives me more energy and makes me perform the moves better.ย  Whatever works, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

โญ #4 is not eating all those carbs.ย  This one for me is huge.ย  I used to be into brown rice, bulgur, steel cut oats, quinoa, whole grain breads – as long as it was healthy carbs, I was having it.ย  It took me a while to admit that the carbs, healthy though they were, were acting as appetite stimulants for me.ย  My body was toning up, no doubt about it, but I couldn’t see any cut or definition in the mirror.ย  This disappointed me and made working out feel like wasted time and effort.

I cut back on the carbs and immediately experienced some encouraging results.

Oh and, I also cut back on all that fruit.ย  Mind you, I was no more surprised than you to learn that there is such a thing as “over-fruiting” yourself, and at the rate I was going, I qualified!


And thatโ€™s basically it!ย  โ€“ dressing sassier, being the creator of my program, using my colorful imagination and modifying my intake.ย  In the larger scheme of exercise motivation, these might just be icing on the cake.ย  But it makes ALL the difference!