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Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Friday, July 29, 2011

A New Journey..

Hi all..
I know I haven't been blogging much this month. The truth of the matter is something MAJOR has happened this month but unfortunately I think it's best for me not to talk about it at the moment. All I can say is that I am setting sail on a new unexpected journey filled with worry, anxiety, fear and hopefully, joy.

I really apologize for the lack of posts. I will try my best to do more next month. For those who are still reading and keeping up with my blog, thank you. Your support means a lot to me. Till the next post. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weight Loss Update (As At 13th July 2011)

Hi there!
I totally forgot to update you guys on my weight loss journey and my experience with Herbalife. Yes, I am continuously taking Herbalife. I can't seem to go by without drinking it at least once a day now. Anyway, lets get to the weigh-in results first before anything else:

7th July 2011

Weight: 71.5KGs
% of fat: 39.9 
% of water: 44.0
Muscle mass: 40.3KGs
Physical Level: 3 
Metabolism: 1367
Biological age: 50 
Bone mass: 2.6KG
Visceral fat: 7

My weight didn't budge compared to the weigh-in previous to that. My percentage of fat increased by 0.5%, percentage of water decreased by 0.4%, my muscle mass decreased by 0.4KG, my metabolic rate decreased by 10 and my bone mass decreased by 0.2KG. Crappy numbers, I know. The only great thing was that my visceral fat decreased from an 8 to a 7.

After my 7-day Herbalife program I decided to do the 10-day program which ended today. So my health coach decided to weigh me before starting my 30-day program tomorrow (which program you choose is up to you.You can keep doing the the 10-day or 7-day program for as long as you like. I just decided to take the 30-day one as it's more cost-effective in the long run). So here are my most recent results:

13th July 2011

Weight: 70.1KGs
% of fat: 38.5 
% of water: 45.0
Muscle mass: 40.5KGs
Physical Level: 3 
Metabolism: 1364
Biological age: 48 
Bone mass: 2.6KG
Visceral fat: 7

I lost 1.4KG, lost 1.4% of fat, increased the water content in my body by 1% (it took hard work, dedication and tons of trips to the loo to achieve this I tell you!) and increased my muscle mass by 0.2KG. Best part of all, I decreased my biological age by 2 years! Yay!!! My metabolic rate decreased by 3 and my visceral fat didn't change. I'm not going to let that get me down though. 

Here's what I noticed that I did differently as compared to the 7th July 2011 weigh-in that maybe helped me in some way to lose the weigh:

1. I started drinking the aloe vera and lemon hibiscus tea mix twice a day instead of once a day.

2. I regulated my eating pattern by taking lunch with lots of veggies, a bit of rice and a source of protein just like the picture of the plate in my previous post. (During the time that I lost my initial 1.2 KG, I hadn't started taking Herbalife yet but I was taking regular meals with lunch as the above).

3. I try as much as possible to reinforce 'treat day' every other day to limit yet still get my 'naughty food' fix. 

Just a reminder, Herbalife is not a magic product that enables you to eat whatever junk you like, be a couch potato and still make you lose weight. If such product exist believe me, Oprah Winfrey would have found out about it and made it one of her favorite things to give away to her audience during Christmas eons ago.

So, yeah. That's my weigh loss update so far and I am really excited. Am really hoping to get down to the 60KG range by my next weigh-in. Chaiyo!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

How Old Are You?

You will be turning 26 years old  in 2012 and your birthday is in the month of June. If someone enquires your age in the month of March 2012, do you:

a) Tell them that you are 25 years old because you not your birthday yet.

b) Tell them that you are 26 years old because 2012 is the year that you would turn 26 anyway so why bother with dates and birthdays?

c) Say "I'll be turning 26 years old this June".

I know the "how old are you?" question is such a trivial thing to spend too much time thinking about but I always pause when I get asked this question by a nurse or by anyone where the age in my record would count. Do I need to be technical about it (a) or do I just generalize it (b)? Preferences aside, is there even an actual 'correct' way to answer?

I have a tween cousin who, when she was a kid, would answer that question with "3 bulan lagi mau 10 tahun" if it was for example, 3 months to her 10th birthday and so on. If she gets asked a few days before her birthday she would say,"Dekat sudah 10 tahun". Haha...

So how would you answer if you get asked this question? Do you answer (a), (b) or (c)?

P/S: I would choose (c).

I'm Married And Single..

No, no, no, I hadn't just jumped on a plane to Thailand and gotten married. Sorry for the kind of misleading title. I'll be honest and say that this is a rant post concerning married (and single) men and the common way they think about wives and marriage. If you feel that this is not your cup of tea or that this might offend you, do click the 'Back' button and forever hold your peace. Thanks.

As a Government Servant I have witnessed this scenario happen countless times. Husband or wife both work in the Government, one gets transferred and the other tries to follow. Normally, the wife is the latter of course.

Last month someone I know's wife managed to transfer to the district of Tuaran and while us women reacted with "Dapat sudah dia pindah? Wah, syukur la. Mesti dia gembira kan?" upon hearing the good news, the guys reaction could not have been more different than ours. Among the comments were:

"Terhad la sudah pergerakan dia"
"Ha,claim sy sudah masuk. Boleh la keluar... Kalau tidak takut bini lah... Bahahaha..."

I don't know about other women but I kind of feel annoyed and offended at the guys' comments. Why do they always relate a wife who come to join her husband (up-rooting herself from a familiar environment. and plunging into a scary and unknown place) as a drag? 

Sure, the guy will not be able to go out whenever he likes or do whatever he likes. Isn't that part and parcel of marriage? With marriage comes responsibility and also change. You can't expect to get married and enjoy the benefits while still adopting the single life. Otak letak mana, di lutut kah?

Sure, I am not married and may be the last person who is qualified to talk about the subject. I've heard from some friends that they wish that they are single again when life is free and easy with no worries. That's common and there's nothing really wrong with that. Having the day out with the girls, doing girly things and splurging on something completely useless and whimsical is accepted 'single' behavior and to be adopted occasionally as it is good for the soul. 

However, coming home drunk after a wild night's bash is not okay. Text flirting and dating other men is not okay and neither is it 'harmless'. Same goes with the men. Going out with the guys to 'ngerteh' (have a drink, whatever choice of beverage that may be) occasionally is fine. Stumbling home drunk is not okay. Flirting and asking for other women's number is not okay.

Marriage is a sacred union and needs constant TLC and attention to blossom and grow. Even if you are a 'liberally-minded' married couple, there are boundaries that just cannot be crossed. It's true, how a couple manage their marriage is none of my concern. It pains me though to often (much too often, I'm afraid) see marriages go down the drain caused by practicing the 'single' life. Yes, event the liberal ones who do it together. 

Back to what I was saying earlier, sometimes people (especially married men) tend to overly worship and covet the 'freedom' of single life that they over-look the bright side of marriage. It's not all ball and chains and electrocuting barbed fences. You get a companion to share your happy and not so happy moments, a person to snuggle up to at night and, well, do 'other things' with. You get a shared income, a ready pair of arms to hug you and a cheering squad of at least 1 when your down or working towards achieving something. 

That bachelor best friend of yours that you are jealous of and love to hate? He drives haphazardly back to his studio apartment (the only thing he can afford with his single income) rip-roaring drunk and stumbles into his bed (single-sized, assuming that he has one), and wake up the next morning with a hangover that could reduce any jaded rock star to their knees with no one to help them out of bed to go pee.

Conclusion? Men, it's best to hold off from getting married if you're not as financially, emotionally, mentally or spiritually ready as you can possibly be. Granted no one can ever be 100% ready for such a huge and unpredictable undertaking, but keeping an open mind to the changes that may come and not being resentful of the doors that might be closed to you will help you to see the new doors that materializes once you get married, insyaAllah... 

P/S: This also applies to married women who view their husbands as a 'burden' just because they can't do all that they used to be able to do when they were single. If you want to live the single life for ever and ever, just don't get married. Simple. Jangan gatal mau Fairytale Wedding baru mengada mau buat perangai yang tidak ketentuan lepas sudah kahwin.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Common Weight Loss Myths and Misconceptions

Before I go any further, I would like to make a disclaimer. I picked up on these misconceptions through talking with the women that I met at the Nutrition Club and my intention is to clarify these myths, not to air anyone's dirty laundry to all and sundry.

Also, I am not a nutritionist nor am I an expert. Far from it, I am just a regular girl who has read a mini library worth of books on nutrition and weight-loss for the past 8 years on my life in an attempt to find ways to slim down. I myself had once believed in these myths and I'm sure that there are others out there who do too.

Last but not least, I explain in my own words and not using bombastic scientific terms so if you're a dietitian, a doctor or someone who studies sport science/nutrition and you stumble across this post, don't hang me for not using the 'correct' terms.

Now that I have put that out there, lets get on to some of the common misconceptions about losing weight:

Myth 1
Don't eat, you will lose weight faster
The truth is, when you don't eat you won't be able to lose weight! Think of the body's metabolism like a car. A car needs fuel to run right? Same goes with our body's metabolism. It needs food in order to burn energy (namely fat, which is excess energy) in our bodies or else it turns sluggish and slow down, burning less.

Without food, this is what our metabolism would look like...

Another thing to remember is that the body is very adaptable and, kind of have 'a mind of it's own'. When we don't eat, our bodies go into 'starvation mode' by slowing down its metabolism to preserve energy because it 'thinks' that we are stuck in a dessert somewhere with nothing to eat! By slowing down the usage of energy, our bodies will be able to survive longer without food until we get 'rescued' (or so it thinks). Pedahal orang mati2 nda makan supaya kurus. Hehe...

Myth 2
All that matters is what the scale shows (aka the scale is God)
This is not necessarily true. Undeniably as we lose the excess fat on our bodies we will lose weight. However, weight loss is very relative to a lot of factors. Fluctuation in water intake, hormone changes, stress, lack of sleep, muscle development or loss, etc can make it seem as if you're losing, gaining or maintaining your weight (walaupun sudah exercise macam mau mamp*s selama beberapa minggu).

For example you do strength training for two weeks and when you weigh yourself, the scale shows no reduction in numbers. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're not losing fat. The weight that you've lost in fat might have been replaced by increased muscle mass from strength training.

The best way to measure is using your clothes. If you're getting slimmer, your clothes will be looser. No need to obsess too much over the numbers on the scale.. :)

Myth 3
Must.Not.Eat.After.Dark.. *faint*
While this is not a total myth, there are mixed views regarding this. The majority agrees that not eating at night is key to weight loss. There are others though that think it's not so much of when you eat but what and how much you eat that matters.

Granted, at night we wind down and relax from our busy day, thus not exerting as much energy or needing much 'fuel' as during the day time. However, not eating at all at night will result in you feeling famished in the morning (making you wanting to eat everything in sight) or even worse, having the munchies in the middle of the night.

Having a serving of something light such as plain crackers or fruit at least 2 hours before bed time will prevent this from happening. If you are still Hell-bent on not eating anything after 7pm, know that it's a good idea to drink a glass of milk about an hour before going to bed to prevent midnight trips to the fridge.

Myth 4
Rice is the ENEMY! Die rice! Die!
There is so much animosity towards rice in the 'Dieting World' that you'd think that people would rather see the late Osama Bin Laden alive and kicking rather than eat a spoon-full of rice. Personally, I've always believed that everything that Allah SWT has created for us and  has NOT commanded us not to consume (meaning any food that is Halal) is okay to eat but portion and balance is key.

Brown rice is a good option as it is a hi GI (Glycemic Index) type of carbohydrates (from henceforth will be called carbs)**. If you don't like the taste of brown rice or if it's hard to find, you can always eat white rice but keep the portion small. Eat using a smaller plate and fill 1/2 of it with vegetables (another type of hi GI carbs), 1/4 with a source of protein (preferably fish or chicken) and the remaining 1/4 with rice. Allow a small space for fats such as sauces or condiments.

**Confused? Basically hi GI type of carbs are the ones that contain lots of fiber, making it hard for our digestive system to breakdown. This releases energy slowly, making us feel full longer.

Low GI carbs are the opposite. They provide us with a spike of energy and drops our blood sugar level to an ultimate low, making us feel hungry all within a short span of time. Foods with low GI carbs includes anything that is high in sugar and low in fiber. So remember this formula peeps. Hi GI carbs , good. Low GI carbs, bad. 

Myth 5
All low-fat/no sugar/zero calorie foods are God-sent for the waist
Wrong! In fact, most low fat/no sugar/ zero calories thingamajig contains sky high levels of sugar (yup even the 'no sugar' ones) or other forms of sweetener such as corn syrup (and no, it's still not good for you even if it's made out of corn) and chemicals to make up for the lack of taste after the fats have been removed.

More often than naught, we're better off eating the real thing (fats and all) rather than opting for the 'low-anything' ones. One way of knowing if the 'healthy' foods are bad for you? Take a look at the ingredients. If you can't pronounce more than one of them in the list, put it back on the grocery isle.

As for myself, I would pick butter or mayo over the light versions of both any day. The original ones have more flavor as compared to the light versions and thus a little is enough to satisfy the taste buds.. Another danger of using 'light' versions is that people tend to feel that because they are using the 'good' or 'holy' option, they can use more of it. Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

So there you have it, some of the most common weight loss myths of all time (I think). I hope you guys find this useful. Cheers!

P/S: All photos are courtesy of Google search and www.elleandblair.com


Friday, July 01, 2011

Herbalife- A Testimonial..

First of all I would like to make a disclaimer that I am in no way affiliated with Herbalife. I am not getting paid to say this nor am I a member of Herbalife. This is just me sharing my experience about taking products under this brand.

I first tried Herbalife over 3 years ago and I did it to lose weight. I didn't feel like I was experiencing anything positive health-wise because I was so focused on the weight loss aspect of it. This time around however as I've mentioned in one of my previous posts I did it just to try it out and check my progress with their weigh in system.

My last day with the 7 day program was yesterday but I decided to continue taking Herbalife because I noticed some positive changes in just 11 days (I skipped 4 random days). As a couch potato, to say that I am a sedentary person is an understatement. I try to get in a bit of exercise at lunch time by going back to my house which is 10 minutes away from the station but that's about it.

First of all I started jogging around 2 weeks ago and expected to experience muscle soreness but I didn't. I drink a 'full course' after work (aloe, tea and shake) before I jog and on the first day that I did this I was afraid that I would experience weakness and extreme hunger either during or right after jogging. Again, my fears were unfounded. Instead it gave me energy that I didn't know I had.

 I only get to jog about 2 times a week because of the weather and when it rained yesterday I decided to substitute jogging with stair climbing (20 times up 2 flights of stairs). I know, very ambitious right? Needless to say, I was ready to die by the time I completed my work out and my legs were on fire. Again, I expected to feel muscle pain today but I only experienced minor of minor discomfort that did not hinder me in any way.

The most noticeable change however is in my skin. I have a skin condition called eczema where it flakes and when I eat certain foods like eggs, beef or shrimp paste my skin would flare up. Lets just not get to the graphic details okay? I have been taking Ezede for my allergies and topical creams were my best friend.

I recently realized that my skin haven't been itching as much and that all the flared up areas are, well, no longer flared up. It's healing up nicely and I haven't used topical cream for ages since my last bug tube ran out. Yay! I feel so free. So yeah, despite the hefty price I think I am going to continue with taking Herbalife as much as my lack of funds allow me to.

Today I started to take it as my breakfast and Kak J who prepares it for me, Bless her generous soul, gave me a double dose of protein. Haha.. Thank you Kak J. I still experienced the munchies but when I eat I find that a little is enough to satisfy me so I feel that taking it for breakfast is probably much better in terms of weight loss. Haven't tried jogging with this new routine though so it might change.

If you're worried about spending the money, you can find a Herbalife Nutrition Club near you (there's one in Wisma Merdeka and also one in Inanam that I know of) and do what I did, try the 7 day program first. They also have a 10 day program and a 30 day one as well.

There's no need to get carried away with just the weight loss or the business part of Herbalife (I know some of the members can be a bit pushy when it comes to buying products). Just invest in your health according to your needs and priorities.

I hope this is helpful for you. Cheers!


Be The Boss Of You.. Love Your Body!

Yesterday was my 7th and final day of taking Herbalife shake with the Herbalife Nutrition Club. I was asked to weigh in and this is what my numbers showed:

Weight: 71.5KGs
% of fat: 39.4 
% of water: 44.4
Muscle mass: 40.7KGs
Physical Level: 3 
Metabolism: 1377
Biological age: 50 
Bone mass: 2.8KG
Visceral fat: 8

The numbers were disappointing but then again not too surprising as I weighed in at the end of the day instead of early in the morning.. Silly me. However during those short moments of resentment I came to realize just how far I've deviated from my initial purpose and principles.

Yes, I want to lose weight but I also  want to be fitter and slimmer. Losing weight doesn't necessarily mean that you're getting thinner and vice versa. I am gaining muscle mass and bone density so that could be the contributing factor of the less than desirable weight loss. 

To all of you out there who have tried slimming products and failed, I understand how you feel. I too,  have tried so many slimming products before including Herbalife and failed. It is only recently that I realized why I never succeed with any brand of slimming products. It is because I have too high and expectation for them. 

I think of the products as miracle items that will help me not feel hunger for hours so that I won't have to eat. When I do feel hunger (which is only 1 hour after taking the product) I get angry and frustrated because I feel as if I have been spending my money for naught. What's the use of me buying them if I still feel hungry?

I kind of put myself in the position of a victim. As if I am helpless and have no self-control without this product and if it doesn't make me feel NOT hungry the product is going to MAKE me fail at losing weight. See how wrong my mind-set was?

I recently realized that I am the one in charge for what I put into my mouth. I am the one who is responsible for the workouts that I do. I am in control of when I give my body nutrition, not Herbalife, Sendayu Tinggi or any of those slimming products out there. I am the boss of ME and those products are simply assistants to help me. 

We have the power to resist temptation and choose our moments and pleasures. For example, I give myself a treat every other day which is a 2-finger Kit Kat bar. Yesterday was not treat day but I was craving to have cheese baked rice. Instead of having it yesterday when the craving hit, I decided to have it today and forgo my Kit Kat bar. 

See? I chose my moment of pleasure and I feel very proud of that small accomplishment because I have always thought that I am one of those people who can't resist anything. It's still something that I am working on and I believe that every effort counts no matter how small it might seem.

Also, remember that everyone is different and not all eating programs and fitness routine suits everyone. Some may be able to resist eating junk food at the blink of the eye and others might be able to not eat rice for months without too much effort. Know yourself and tailor your eating program and fitness routine to suit you. You too, can be the boss of YOU and make it happen.

I hope that this post is helpful for those out there who is struggling with their weight issues. Please, please don't torture your bodies by taking medications, starving, purposely giving yourself food poisoning and etc. Love your body because it is the only one we have and it's not even ours, it's a precious gift that Allah is lending to us during our time here on Earth. 

Cheers everyone!