Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Lowdown on 2008

It may not be much, nevertheless, here's the all highlights and crap that happened to me in the year 2008:

1. My dad's flat caught fire beginning of the year. Aside from some money from my mum, I had to additionally fork out more than RM 1K to help him repair the place. The funny thing was that four fire brigades turned up, just to put off a small fire from a 2 bedroom flat! Either a lot of people called them, or they had nothing better to do. The mess afterward was daunting. Everything plastic had melted from the heat, including the wires in the walls. My dad ran his own technician services in that flat, so we had lots of TVs and other electronic devices sent to him for repair. Luckily, only a few badly damaged and needed to be compensated. The whole place was filled with ash, fire extinguishing powder and to top it all off, soaked with water! We had to hire some help to clean, re-paint and re-wire the damn place. The fire was caused by faulty wiring on the worship altar, which was set on a big cupboard that caught fire from the sparks.

2. My mum found out that I got cheated for RM 2.6K by a close family friend's son, who was a childhood friend of mine. We weren't close, but I lent him the money coz I thought he was in deep shit a year ago. His parents are slowly paying me back.

3. Finally started blogging.

4. Moved in with my dad to the flat next door from my mum's. Finally getting a room of my own was good, but I had to fork out about RM 2K for the re-painting (especially after the fire) and for some new furniture. In case you're still wondering, we own two 2-bedroom flats side by side.

5. For the first time, my car broke down while I was driving to work. Luckily, it did NOT break down on the Penang bridge and cause a massive morning jam, which would likely result in people cursing at me as they drove past. Had to fork out close to RM 1K to get an overhaul to fix it.

6. I fell in love with someone but nothing ever happened.

7. I came out to my close colleagues at work. They suspected it for a while, but couldn't confirm since I was naturally very straight-acting. Since they were open minded and I felt that I could trust them, I told them after some consideration. Seriously, from then on, they acted more gay than I was. It's both funny and endearing at the same time.

8. Someone else confessed and wanted to be my BF but my life was kinda unstable and quite hectic at the time, so I didn't get into it.

9. Wasted almost RM 2K for facial treatment. Don't get me wrong, products and treatment was good, but the extraction process was killing me. I had more outbreaks after that, so I stopped it.

10. Went for company teambuilding at Genting Highlands. Seriously, it's been more than 10 years since I've been up there!

11. Got attached on my birthday, ending my singlehood after one year and 9 months.

It's not much I know, but it's all I can recall for this year. Evidently, this is a bad financial year for me, more out than in my coffers. This year has also been a rough ride for me emotionally and mentally as well. I faced a lot of instability in that sense but I am lucky that I still have my health. Although, some good things did come by but ultimately, I'm hoping that 2009 will treat me better financially and will be filled with more happy and peaceful times. I will also do my best to keep true to my resolutions. Wish me luck! =)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Amazing Feasts!

I received these absolutely GORGEOUS pictures of amazing feasts in my email today. I couldn't resist but share them with you! Now...DROOL AWAY!

So...hungry yet? Muahahaha!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Resolutions for Year 2009!

It's that time of the year again to make promises to fulfill for the coming year. So here's my short list:

1. SEE MY ABS! Yes, every time I feel that I'm getting closer, somehow, I will slip up and fall off the wagon. By the time I get back on again, it'll take more work to do it. I used to be really FAT at 93 kilos, and although that was a few years ago, I still haven't achieved what I wanted even though I've already lost a lot of fat and put on some muscle. I'm putting this out to hold myself accountable and finish the last 20% of my fitness journey!

2. Don't let my physical shortcomings hamper my self esteem. I need to acknowledge that everyone is not perfect and should not let my physical flaws mar my self-confidence.

3. Learn to love myself. I'm not good-looking or attractive, but I need to remember that beauty is only skin deep, and the person inside is the one that withstands the test of time and matters the most. I always knew this, but I sincerely need to believe and remember it myself, and gradually learn to love the person within.

4. MAKE or SAVE more money! I come from a family who has struggled financially in the past and this year has NOT been kind on our coffers. I will either jump on more opportunities to improve my financial status or save more money in case of a rainy day.

5. Start doing some charity or volunteer work to help the less fortunate. It's high time I use my time and energy to help those who are worse off than me and truly need it. I want to learn to live for others!

These are what I can think of and feel that I need right now. So, have you made any resolutions yet?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Year End Ramblings...

As the year 2008 draws to a close, it's sometimes daunting to think that a year could just whoosh by and most of the time, we're just too pre-occupied with our daily lives, routines and struggles to notice it. While the expression that time waits for no man holds true, we always have the option of slowing down and savoring the moment and each day that passes by.

Ask yourself this, how often have you barely remembered most of what had transpired when the year ends? A lot of the time, we're just too held down by what has gone in the past, or sink our thoughts and emotions in worry and wonder of things that will inevitably appear in the future. So much so that we neglect to notice the present and embrace the moment. Sometimes, a wondrous or horrid experience might strike and force us to pause and acknowledge the present. Sometimes, we choose to block out moments of anguish and despair, but I think that to live in the present is to embrace everything that comes our way and take things within our own stride.

Everyone handles situations, good or bad, in their own unique way. But it is the memories of these moments that we often hold dear and should not be forgotten. Memories are the colors that paint the white canvas of our lives and when all is in the past, it is what connects us to the different stages in the journey of our lives. Good memories can bring silent joy and warmth to our hearts, as we fondly caress its sweet moments and perhaps, carve a silly smile on our faces as we reminisce. Bad memories might bring deep sorrow, bury us in guilt or embarrassment, make us suddenly swell with anger or sink with remorse, but it is inevitable in everyone's lives. But having bad memories can make us better, force us to improve and help us learn not to fall into the same hole twice . That which does not kill you, will only make you stronger.

Our journey in life is always far from perfect, and it is these imperfections that make our lives individually unique. Many will say that life is like a race, which we cannot choose where we start. That is very true, some might start behind or ahead of us. But what truly matters is how we choose to end it. What truly matters is how we push on to finish it. We only have one life, make the best of it.

So, random ramblings aside, my point is:

1. Live in the present and embrace the moment. Don't dwell too much in the past and let the future worry about itself. What matters is NOW, make the best of it.

2. Memories, good or bad, are both necessary. The good make us grateful and happy as we re-live it. The bad help us learn and grow to prepare for the times ahead, and keep us grateful for the good that we have.

3. Don't fret too much over how or where we started in life, for it is not ours to control. What matters is how we choose to live it.

I think these few points are seldom remembered by most people, myself included. Looking forward to a new year =)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays!

A very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a happy and prosperous NEW YEAR ahead from the Pooh!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why Did I Start Blogging?

Half a year ago, I was only a blog reader. I frequented famous blogs like Kennysia and Robby's. Then, I got hooked on fitness blogs such as Tom Venuto's and DM. Along the way, my appetite extended to famous floggers (food bloggers), especially from Penang, such as VKeong, PenangTuaPui and What2See, to name a few.

Soon enough, I decided to join the online sensation that is blogging. Here's some of the reasons why I started and continued till now:

1. I wanted to join the crowd. Yes, I'm guilty of the adopting the sheep mentality and wanting to follow the herd. Blogging is an ever growing internet trend and I want to be part of it!

2. I noticed the sheer power and influence a blogger can have on its readers, followers and other netizens. It's amazing sometimes how much a blog can influence a person's life, beliefs, thoughts and emotions. So, to quote Eric Cartman: "Respect my authoritar!"

3. I see blogging as another form of social networking in cyberspace. Since I started, I've gotten to know quite a few people, especially other bloggers whom I find intriguing, funny and friendly.

4. I can share different parts of me (not physically, but my personality!) with the world. I tend to be more brave when revealing my funny, wild, sentimental and sarcastic side in cyberspace.

5. I find it a convenient platform to deliver and share knowledge, especially for a clueless internet junkie like me who doesn't know how to setup my own website. *n00b*

6. I find it gratifying when you have people who take interest in what you write and leave comments *BIG HINT*. But ultimately, I still blog because I want to!

7. It's a great way to track my thoughts, emotions and activities. Blogging is like a public diary and is a great emotional and mental outlet for me.

8. Possibly another good way to earn more cash? Someone needs to teach me how...

9. My slightly narcissistic nature propels me to attempt to be popular by blogging!

So, why do you like to blog?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Event Coverage: What a Bloggiful World Penang Bloggers Gathering!

Finally, I'm able to post this, after I obtaining the pictures. So many pictures to post, I'll make it as short as I can!

Frankly, I was 20 minutes late for the event. However, I had forgotten that we're all Malaysians in the end. Guests should be given a buffer of 30 minutes to an hour from the actual event start time to appear (think Malaysian weddingslah!). Hence, the event actually started close to 1:30 pm, instead of 12 pm in the afternoon. This event anticipated no less than approximately 120 confirmed bloggers from all over Penang, and even some arriving from other states.

The organizers/committee members confirming registered bloggers and handing out goodie bags.

The event kicked off with a speech from Mr William Tan, who represented the General Manager of Paradise Sandy Beach Resort. The beachfront resort is one of the sponsors for this event.

Followed by a brief speech by the chairperson of the organizing committee, Warren Tan.

This was followed by another sponsor for the event, Celebrity Fitness, performing 3 shows from their classes back to back (top to bottom): Belly-dancing, Body Combat and Hip Hop Dance.

Where are my manners? Introducing our kawaii, entertaining and funny emcees for the afternoon, Minny and Cedric!

I shared a table with Yiphing, Kenny and Merritt, just a table away from the stage, in the middle of the room. Being a newbie blogger and hardly knowing any Penang bloggers, I chose to sit somewhere I could easily see the stage, since it was free sitting anyways.

Then, it was MAKAN time, buffet style! The spread wasn't too bad and the food was nothing to shout about. But it was more than good enough, considering I only paid RM 10 for everything!

While we had lunch, we were given a speech by one of the VIPs who is a YB for gosh-I-forgot-which-area-in-Penang. After the speech, he was presented with a souvenir.

After lunch, it was quizzes, games and lucky draw time! It was a pity that some people left after lunch, as they were not aware that there were still activities going on after.

The lucky draw prizes were Digi RM 50 pre-paid reload vouchers, GSC vouchers, free passes and memberships for Celebrity Fitness, Baptain hair-styling packages and Exabytes vouchers.

They even had a cake made to commemorate the event (or was it an anniversary?) and shared it with all the bloggers there. Looks good doesn't it?

During the course of the event, some bloggers stepped up and shared their experiences and thoughts on blogging and the blogosphere. Top to bottom: Diese, Ernest and some Indian lady (totally forgot her name, sorry ya!)

Random pictures taken of other bloggers, along with the VIP.

FINALLY, a group picture of ALL of us before the event ended at 5 pm. Can you spot me? *hint* middle *hint*

Overall, it was a great event! My only feedback would be perhaps the list of activities could be provided next time, so that there won't be anyone leaving pre-maturely. Looking forward to more of such blogger events/gatherings in the future!

PS: Special thanks to Cedric for sharing the pictures and to Ai Ling for meeting up with me to collect my last minute payment =)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Penang Bloggers Gathering!

what a bloggiful world

It's confirmed, I've just made payment today. I'll be attending my very first bloggers gathering event in Penang tomorrow. Payment has been extended until 5pm today, so if you're interested, you can still make it. Go register here if you're in Penang and call the correct person for payment to confirm your attendance!

I know it's a bit late to post this now, but better late than never. See ya there! =)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Starting Out for a Fitter and Healthier You!

So you're overweight, feeling unhealthy or just generally wanna look better with your shirt off. So what do you do? Do you just start exercising? Do you immediately go to the gym and begin to throw weights around? Do you jump on the first diet you read or hear about? Previously, I wrote a post about being a beginner at the gym. Today, I'm going to write about a bigger picture. Basically, what you need to do if you're starting out.

Fix your diet
When I say diet, I don't mean those fad diets that are unhealthy and bad for you. I'm referring to what you should eat on a daily basis. A good and sound diet or nutrition should be the solid foundation of every fitness program and healthy lifestyle. You can workout as hard as you want, but if your diet is lousy, then your results will slow down, plateau or head the opposite direction. In the battle of the bulge or quest to look good naked, people sometimes tend forget to take good health into account. They jump on fad diets, slash their calories drastically or starve themselves, which is harmful to health and bodily functions if prolonged. So how should you fix your diet?

1. Like try to quit smoking or alcohol, don't go cold turkey. Make gradual changes to your diet. Making sudden drastic changes could shock you or stress you out. Instead of reducing the quantity of what you eat, improve the quality of foods you eat. Gradually phase out junk or processed foods and replace with wholesome, natural foods (lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats). Whole foods are generally lower in calories, more nutrient dense and make you feel full longer.

2. Make better choices when picking what you eat outdoors or in fast food places (if you have no choice but to dine there).

3. Portion control at every meal. This is important to make sure you don't eat too many calories in one sitting and feel over-stuffed.

4. Know your calories. I'm not saying that you should count calories every day, which is not practical (if it suits you, go ahead) and can be very tedious. BUT, I believe that it is very important to know the calories in foods that you eat. This will help you make better informed choices, let you know how much of a certain food to eat, give you an idea of what foods you can eat more of and what foods you should eat sparingly (Trust me, you will be surprised at how high the calories are in many foods that you love!). Some good places to start; Calorie Counter, Nutritiondata, nutriWEB Malaysia (for Malaysian food).

5. Drink PLENTY of water. Don't wait until you get thirsty, coz your body will only signal thirst when it becomes very dehydrated. An average person should drink about 8 glasses of water a day, more if you're working out regularly. Drinking more water might help you eat less, as people sometimes mistaken thirst for hunger. Drink a glass of water before you eat when you suddenly feel hungry and wait if you still feel hungry. You might just be thirsty.

Exercise, training or working is the catalyst that will propels you towards your goal. You can't rely on a good diet alone. You need exercise to help re-shape, tone your body and get the results that you need.

1. Start resistance or weight-training. Join a gym if you can or equip your home with a bench or some dumbbells. You can also use old school body weight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups etc. Of course, the better option would be getting into a gym if you can afford it, since there are more varieties of weights and machines to help you get started. Resistance or weight training is crucial to help to develop better strength, increase muscular and bone density, build lean muscle which helps elevate your metabolism and re-shape your body. For an average joe, about 3 times per week should suffice. If you're more ambitious, go ahead for more but you should allow yourself enough time to rest for recovery and growth. Remember, your muscles grow outside the gym, not when you're working out.

2. Start some cardio activity at least 3 times per week. Cardio or aerobic activity increases your heart rate and requires more oxygen to sustain during the duration of the activity. It has the benefit of lowering your resting heart rate, improving cardiovascular health, increase fat-burning, improving circulation and delivery of nutrients in the body. Make it light if you've never exercised for a long time. This can be some walking, cycling or light jogging outdoors. If you prefer the gym, you can use the cardio machines like the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bikes, stair-steppers etc. If there are classes available in your gym for cardio purposes (spin class, cardio jam, kickboxing etc) , go ahead. You can even play your favorite sports on a regular basis. Basically, do any cardio activity that suits you and is even enjoyable for you will do.

3. Move your ass! That's it, even when you're not exercising. I'm talking about NEAT, Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Basically, it's activity during times when you're not exercising or playing sports. Most people today have sedentary jobs and spend the whole day just sitting down. So, move more! Park further and walk to your office, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do more chores such as gardening, washing your car etc. In other words, keep yourself moving throughout the day. Increasing NEAT will help keep your metabolism up, improve circulation, help you burn more calories and prevent tiredness due to inactivity.

It's all about synergy. To maximise your results, you need a good diet + resistance training + cardio. One without the other would just compromise your results. This is how I learned it, and most of the time, learned it the hard way. So, I hope this helps =)

PS: The model's name is Brandon Stoughton. He's an American model and is featured in Britney's Womanizer MTV. Yes, I know this is unrelated to the content of my post, but I just had to, coz I know some people are drooling right now XD