Finding meaning and purpose in the Present

Be Present

2014 went by so quickly…and by the looks of it, 2015 is not going to be much different.

As it is, this year has already thrown some challenges my way. I decided my new year’s resolution was to be happy, only to find out days later that my mum is diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. HP and I are trying to start a family but it hasn’t been an easy journey so far. In some ways, I wish 2015 would be over so we can all start anew.

But, such is life. Without these challenges, I would appreciate all that I have a little less I think. I would not relish in getting the chance to cook my mum pancakes for breakfast and see her smile as she dowses them with Pancake Syrup. I don’t think I would appreciate HP for being so supportive and strong in a time when I’m emotional at my lowest. Challenges, it seems, has made me see how fortunate I am.

So, my resolve to be happy is stronger now than it was on the first day of 2015, when I was idealistic about how simple it would be to succeed this time around. Now more than ever, I NEED to be happy…and I intend to do just that.

Shawn Achor on Live with Kelly and Michael from GoodThink on Vimeo.

Reaching Milestones

Yesterday was a huge day for me. For the first time since I started my weight loss journey, my body fat percentage actually dipped below 30%.

It was 29.9%. Hehe.

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Body fat percentage in pictures

I know, i know…just 0.1% short of 30%. But still, it was a huge milestone for me. Since I started out at 36.4%, getting below the big three-O was huge.

Now, my next milestone will be to reach 65kgs. Once I get there, I’ll have done 80% of what I set out to do and that will be an amazing boost to finish off my goal for 2013.

With just 10 weeks to go, this truly is the final sprint.

The perfect vacation

When you think of the perfect vacation, what comes to mind? For me, it’s the image of deserted white, sandy beach leading to a glimmering turquoise blue sea, with the sun glowing beautifully on a cloudless day. It’s an image that invokes the feeling of pure rest and relaxation…not a worry in sight and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty that is before me.

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The perfect vacation

In reality, it isn’t always easy to get to that secluded beach destination and the truth is, most of the time even if I were to be there, I would be worried about seeing and trying everything I should to make the most of the trip. However, over the years of visiting many places, I finally found my perfect vacation… It’s a very relaxing few days spent in Nusa Dua, Bali.

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Beautiful statue on a roundabout

My first visit to Bali was in April, 2007 with my mother. It was a short one; 4 days and 3 nights. We stayed in Sanur, booked a full day tour and had a spa day. It was really nice but unfortunately it rained almost all the time so we didn’t go to the beach much. A couple of years later, I went again to Bali, but this time with HP. We spent 7 days there and split it between Nusa Dua and Legian area. We loved Nusa Dua so much that a year later, we returned again to it, staying at the same place and going to the same beaches.

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Padang Padang Beach

A few months back, after almost three years of not visiting Bali, we went back for a vacation…and it was perfect. We went to our favorite beaches, ate at familiar places, stayed in the exact room we stayed in before and just relaxed. It was during this trip that I finally realized that coming to Nusa Dua was my perfect vacation.

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A statue of Rama

Everything is so familiar to us yet foreign enough to remind us that we are in fact on a vacation. There is no fussing about what to see or do or eat. Instead, we just make the plans as we go and completely enjoy each and every delicious minute of relaxation. I can safely say that there is no other place in the world I would rather vacation at to rejuvenate myself and come home a new person.

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Balinese statue, covered in moss

The only problem with knowing you have found your perfect vacation is the compulsion to start planning your next visit to that destination.

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A fluorescent pedicure on a gorgeous beach

Lucky for me, I’ll be heading there again in a few short months.

Healthy Eating Day 4 & Day 5

After getting back from the gym on Wednesday, I was knackered. So, I didn’t do any cooking at all. I decided that I’d rather wake up a little earlier and deal with meal prep in the morning, rather than force myself to cook so late at night.

Of course, I didn’t really get up any earlier the next morning and instead ended up rushing through my morning routine. No matter though, because at the end of my morning cooking session, I had the most amazing quinoa salad.

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Quinoa Salad Prep

And it really was amazing…it had chick peas, tomatoes, mozzarella, roasted pumpkin and cilantro. While having it for lunch, I kept wishing I had made a little bit more. Must make more next time.

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Lunch Box Day 4

Last night, i had some time after work so I cooked some pasta for lunch today. The sauce was already cooked over the weekend and that made it so much easier. So, there was no need for any meal prep this morning which was really important because I had my RPM class. I just managed to squeeze in a little time to have a banana and pack my lunch for the day before bolting out the door to make it to class on time.

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Lunch Box Day 5

Having gone through the work week having home cooked food everyday has actually been really nice. For one thing, I knew exactly what was in everything I made. Also, I could track my veggie and fruit portions better as well as actually finish off 90% of the groceries bought last weekend (less wastage! Yeay!).

Eggplant Pasta with Rocket Leaves

Eggplant Pasta with Rocket Leaves

 

Finally, I also saved on having meals out. Usually the most convenient option would be to eat out, though the food is not at all healthy (way too much oil and way too little nutrition). Doing this for the last few days has shown me that eating healthy is not the chore I thought it would be. I’m definitely going to continue this next week and see if I can maybe come up with more meal options…perhaps a fish dish?

I’m now kind of looking forward to grocery shopping this Sunday. :)

Healthy Eating : Day 3

Last night, I got home from the gym about 9pm and immediately got to work in the kitchen. I cooked some quinoa and made my lunch for today, a bacon and spinach fritata.

Bacon and Spinach Fritata

Bacon and Spinach Fritata

This morning, I made a rocket and tomato salad to go with my fritata. I also cut up a melon and strawberry salad for my mid-morning snack.

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Rocket and Tomato Salad

Tonight, I’m going to be doing 40 minutes of cardio, one HardCore class and then finish off with a BodyPump class. So the banana is still there as a pre-workout snack.

Lunch Box of the day

Lunch Box of the day

I have to say I’m feeling pretty good with the food so far and it hasn’t been too difficult getting everything ready without getting late to bed or work. Tonight will be the real challenge though…After all the workouts at the gym, I usually end up super tired when I get home. Hopefully, I’ll be motivated enough to get me quinoa salad done for tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Eating Healthy

Part of my plan to lose weight is totally dependent on the food I eat. I’m not a very big eater and most of the time I can even get by without having any dinner. I do love to snack though…and I have a sweet tooth. So, if I’m peckish, the first thing I’ll reach for is a lovely, indulgent bar of chocolate. That does not help with losing weight.

I’ve come to realize that if I don’t plan ahead and make healthy options available to me when I do want to snack, I’ll inevitably get something sugary. So in order to avoid this from happening, I’ve decided to try eating as healthy as possible for this whole week.

My week started off on Sunday when I made a meal plan, did the grocery shopping and prepared the ingredients for the meals. Also, I made a cooking plan i.e. Monday – cook pasta, Tuesday – cook the fritata, and so on. Then, I have to wake up about half an hour earlier everyday to prep my meals for the day.

This morning, I made a chicken rye mountain bread wrap for lunch and cut up some strawberries and melon for my breakfast.

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Chicken Rye Mountain Bread Wrap

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Strawberries and Melon

I also packed a banana for my pre-workout snack just before I leave the office for the gym. This is what my lunch box looks like today…

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Lunch Box for the day

I’m on Day 2 of healthy eating and I’m hoping this week is going to help me see that with a little effort and organization, it’s actually possible to eat healthy.

Wish me luck!