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Monday, 23 September 2013 at 12:13 p.m.

Wrapping Up 20 Weeks of Turbo Fire


I'm about to wrap up the Turbo Fire workout program (I followed the harder "original" schedule) that I followed mostly in the correct chronological order. (I sometimes swapped days depending on my schedule.) I just made a few adjustments along the way:

- Keeping my workout days to 4-5x a week. I missed my period when I followed the original 6x a week.

- Skipping the Stretch 40 workouts after a month because I find yoga boring. The Stretch 40 days were supposed to help ease tired muscles, but I felt I didn't need them. Besides, I had monthly massages, thanks to my membership at The Spa!

- Skipping the Stretch 10 exercises (even I find 10 minute stretches boring, LOL) and swapping them with Abs 10 exercises, when I had the time. The jury's still out on whether stretches are essential for a workout, and I've never been compromised in all my years of exercising whenever I wouldn't stretch.

I actually hope to follow a few of the Turbo Fire workouts for a while on a "free" unprogrammed schedule, after I complete the 20-week program. I might do the quick and mindless workouts (15-min and 20-min HIITs, 30 and 45-min cardio sessions) and ab workouts when I get home from work, and reserve the longer and harder cardio workouts and strength training exercises for the weekends.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Upper-20 workout, which concentrates on the arms. I use the supplied red resistance band, which I later found out was equivalent to 30 lbs of resistance, or a pair of 15-lb dumbbells. Heh! No wonder I effortlessly used a pair of 5-lb dumbbells when I went to Barre3 a few weeks ago, while everyone else still used the puny 2-lb dumbbells. :P

I don't think I've lost any weight, but I notice more cuts in my arms and abs, so that's what I want to continue working on.

The harder part, as has always been with me, is to cut back on my refined carbohydrates. Sigh.


  my diet for today, Monday, 23 September was... (Average)
  Breakfast Old-fashioned oats with dark chocolate peanut butter, coffee with creamer
  Lunch Steamed ground beef, steamed broccoli, brown rice
Friday, 20 September 2013 at 11:07 a.m.

All in the Family

This post was inspired by babstar's entry on inspiring her family.... So I should talk about mine!


My brother F, the one with the glasses, has already lost 40 pounds. His friends from high school have to do a double-take when they see him now, because he's already lost so much weight, and they jokingly attribute his drastic weight loss to drugs. In truth, it's just lots of exercise (he joined our barangay's basketball league and regularly goes to the gym) and cutting out a lot of junk food, although he has his cheat days every now and then.

My brother P, at the far right, has also lost weight from his college days. And I have to give him props as well, because even if he has a harrowing commuting schedule, he still takes the time to exercise regularly, even as late as 9 pm.

They'll never admit it because they like teasing their Ate, but I'd like to think I've set an example for them with my own weight loss, diet, and exercise. They ask me for diet and exercise tips and follow my cheat day schedule, so we keep one another in check. I also respect their opinions, and they also encourage me. They voiced out their concern when I looked too thin at 99 pounds, so I started to add weight by building muscle. They say I look fine now.

I wish I could say the same about my dad, but his own family, including my diabetic lola and my chubby titas, have always had atrocious eating habits. It's been very hard for us to convince him to change his bad eating habits. When I was a kid, I saw how he ate, and that was how I ate too...mindlessly eating lots of chocolates and junk food while watching TV. That was why I was a chubby teenager. But I inherited my mom's vanidosa gene, so I decided to lose weight the proper way, with diet and exercise, after I graduated from college. That vanidosa gene also made its way to my brothers somehow, haha.

My mom? She's an excellent cook and baker, but she's slim and looks 20 years younger than she really is. But don't tell her I said that, it'll go to her head. She's so, so particular of her pictures on Facebook, and her iPad and cellphone have been full of selfies even before "selfie" became a word. Is your mom like that too? :P

So, sheepishly, I admit vanity was the primary motivation for my family and me to lose weight. In any case, it's been pretty effective. :P

ETA: Lunch today with Trina. I liked how we stuck to our old order, good enough for 3 people, even if JQ flaked on us.

  my diet for today, Friday, 20 September was... (Poor)
  Breakfast Nuts and yolk mooncake, basil and olive oil crackers, coffee with creamer
  Lunch Fried tilapia, General's chicken, gising-gising, rice at Recipes
Tuesday, 9 July 2013 at 12:11 p.m.

Say It Out Loud: I'm on a Diet!

I usually encounter people who keep it a secret that they're on a diet or exercise program. The reasoning is that they don't want to be embarrassed when they fail. Sadly, in most cases, this ends in a self-fulfilling prophecy, and they drop out without progress in their goals. There was no conviction in their actions, neither was there a stable support system.

Instead, I encourage you to make that self-fulfilling prophecy work in your favor. Say it loud, and say it proud: I'm on a diet, and this is my goal. Use your blog or your weight loss journal here in your account, and cross-post your declaration to social media like Twitter or Facebook.

I mentioned a few entries ago that I declared my goals on Facebook, which has helped me stick to my goal of limiting sweets and refined carbs. I've succeeded, for the most part. I've only lapsed this past weekend, when we took our balikbayan family friends out to dinner at Café Juanita (hmmm, so good!) and my friends and I indulged on tapas and sangria at Cova (another place I'd love to return to). I was supposed to recover yesterday, but settled for a doughy S&R pizza at lunch. Oops.

Imagine my surprise, when, my dear friend in Miami updated her Facebook status today, that she'd successfully eliminated sweets for the past month now. That coincided with the same time I started with my own promise. And she admitted she was inspired to do so by my status update. At the same time, her status update today inspired me to get back on track after my own lapses.

See what a virtuous cycle this causes? 

I should also mention that my two younger brothers have chosen to follow the same cheat day schedule I've imposed on myself. Basically, "When Ate has a cheat day, I can cheat too." That way, we keep each other in check, and it's easier to avoid temptation because we don't have to witness the other binging while the other one can't.

That's the same idea as to why you should participate more in the community here: in the blogs, forums, and groups. Sure, you can follow the diet to the best of your ability (and it will work), but to motivate you and to keep you in check, you should be open about your experience, and who knows? You could inspire others too.

After all, a diet is nothing to be ashamed of, but rather a positive change in your life.

  my diet for today, Tuesday, 9 July was...
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

Cheating on a Cheat Day

To keep my sanity intact, my scheduled cheat days are Wednesday (or one weekday), Saturday, and Sunday.

But on Sunday, after passing by the mid-seasonal Naturalizer sale, I headed to a nearby restaurant that I'd always been wanting to try, Juju Eats.

I knew about them from the Juju Cleanses that Erica has been trying, but while cleanses aren't my thing, salads are.

I got a regular roasted pumpkin salad, and in it were mixed greens, roasted pumpkin, feta, bacon, parmesan, walnuts, sun dried tomatoes, and balsamic dressing.

The edge it had over my usual Goolai salad was that they didn't skimp on the proteins and fats! They were definitely generous with the feta, walnuts, and bacon. But, of course, it comes at a price, it was twice the price of the Goolai salad.

Nevertheless, there are other cheaper offerings that I'm sure are just as tasty, and you can get them as a half-order or a wrap.

Juju Eats is just next to my dad's office, so next time I want something, I'll just have them sent to my dad for him to bring home to me.




Visit Juju Eats' website

G/F BCS Building
2297 Chino Roces Avenue Extension
Makati City

  my diet for today, Tuesday, 25 June was...
Thursday, 20 June 2013 at 1:14 p.m.

Got Oily Skin? Try Avène's Cleanance K Gel

I'm also pretty known around here for complaining of my oily, acne-prone skin. I used benzoyl peroxide for a while, but that stained my headphones, so I decided to stop. My dermatologist initially recommended Avène's soapless gel cleanser for my oily, sensitive skin, and I liked it so much, I was compelled to check out other products by Avène.

What has been my miracle product for my perennially oily skin? It's Avène's Cleanance K gel. It's available at selected Mercury Drug branches. (Check Avène Philippines's Facebook page.)


How do I know? Whenever I use oil control films while I was using Cleanance K, I'd barely have oil anymore. Also, I've recently stopped using it, while I'm undergoing retinoid therapy to lighten hyperpigmentation spots on my face. My face has been rather oily lately, compared to back when I was using Cleanance K.

I'm a recent Avène convert, and I'm also using the soapless cleansing gel, the eau thermale spray, the very high protection SPF 50 sunscreen emulsion, and the Cleanance toner, all available locally.

Sadly, my three other favorite Avène products are not yet available locally—the SOS spot treatment (the best zit zapper I've ever tried!), TriAcnéal (it doesn't make my lips peel like Retin-A does) and the micellar lotion make-up remover (I broke out like crazy when I STOPPED using micellar lotion!), which I've had to get during my recent trips to Taipei and Hong Kong. Let's hope Avène Philippines also stocks these soon!

  my diet for today, Thursday, 20 June was...
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