I just returned from a business leadership seminar in KL on Sunday evening. I was halfway cleaning my room and zai2 showed up. He wanted to just see me a little while since he was nearby. We ended up talking for almost an hour. Just as he was about to leave at around 11pm, mum rapped on my window. When I opened, she gestured that she wanted to talk to me. I was really tired, hadn't even showered after I came back and was in the midst of cleaning my room. But, something in her eyes suggested that something was wrong.
After zai2 left, I went outside to see her. I could see a distressed face. Something was deeply troubling her. Instinctly, I don't know how, but I knew what it was about. As she raised her sullen eyes and look at me with a pale face, she uttered a queston that hit my suspicions in the bullseye.
"Mark, are you gay?"
It has been about 2 years since that question has surfaced. I asked her why she asked such a question. She cautioned me not to get angry as she explained. While I was in KL for the weekend, dad decided to take a nap in my room, since it had an air-cond. My room was always locked but I kept a spare key which was accessible to both dad and sis. Long story short, he accidentally found a DVD that I was holding for a friend. From the illustrations, there was no need to explain what it was about. I don't know how, but he also found my lube (for personal use) and some condoms I had, which were handouts from AIDS awareness program by volunteers. He had just told mum everything right before the confrontation.
I told her to come into my flat and sat her down. She was distraught. She asked the question over and over again. She began to blame herself again. I had never intended to come out to her a third time. The last episode scared me enough to never raise it anymore. Although this was very unexpected and should be a shock, I was in control. I was calm and composed. My mind was clear. I guess I have grown a lot in 2 years.
As we sat together, I wanted to make sure why she had asked. I knew she was in denial but still suspicious. Deep down, it seems as if she wanted to affirm her suspicions after so long. She began again to mention what they had done wrong. I pulled myself close in front of her and held both her hands, looked into her eyes and assured her repeatedly that none of this was her fault. That there was nothing wrong with me. That I was mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. That I was not abnormal or imcomplete but just different. Just different from the masses around her. She said that she was so heart-broken and I might not have my own family and I might end up all alone when I'm old. I told her that I understood how she felt, that no parent would be glad if they found out about their child.
She asked why hadn't I told her directly. I got up and went to close the front door. I sat down and held her hands again. I asked her if she remembered the last time I told her. I told her how crushed I was for the few weeks after that. I told her how I had to drive out of office, park in an alley outside and sob uncontrollably in my car over what had happened. I told her how painful it had been for me to see her blame herself and everything around her, refusing to see me as I am. I told her how I felt when I told her my innermost secret and truth, and she refused to believe me. I told her that the denial was the underlying reason why the gap between us widened over the years. She didn't disagree, because she noticed the gap as well. I used to tell her almost everything about myself, nowadays I would tell her nothing. I told her that I was afraid to get close, because I didn't want her to pry. I told her how afraid I was to confront her for fear of rejection. I told her no matter what, I would always be her son.
As I told her all these things, I wept. I cried as I held her hands. And as I cried, she wiped away my tears, finally listening to what I was saying. Finally seeing how tortured I had felt. Finally, a part of her was inclined to try and understand. After I had told her all these things, she didn't deny nor push away my admission. For the first time, she was actually thinking about it. She told me that no matter what, I would always be her son and she would never reject or throw me out. But, she still needs time to absorb or understand and perhaps tolerate it. She told me that perhaps I should enhance my circle of friends and be more open. She said that I should not try to filter or put a barrier of who I am when I meet new people. I told her I'm as open as can be, and have no trouble befriending anyone. She insisted calmly that perhaps I should give myself more chances at a normal relationship, and not to rule anything out. I told her I'd give it a try if that chance ever came.
She still hopes that I might have a family one day. I don't abhor the idea of having my own family actually. In fact, I would love it. I told her only time will tell if this would happen. But for now, I hope that we can try to heal the wounds and see what happens from here.
I don't know how she will re-act or change in the coming days. I don't know if we can grow to become close again. She might either progress to gradually understand or regress into denial. Only time will tell.
At least this time she was more willing to see my point of view. At least this time she actually listened. The third time was much better. I didn't feel stressed or lose sleep afterwards. I still felt calm and collected. I guess the ball is not in my court now. I've done all that I can.
I applaud this effort to make the country change its ways for better health and making the right choices when it comes to food. It might be a little drastic and might need a bit of tweaking in future, but overall its better than doing nothing at all.
PS: That's why I love Jap food. So much healthier too =)
I didn't realize this term existed until I saw a video posted in FB. And NO, manorexia does NOT mean depriving yourself of men. Read on...
Anorexia nervosa means refusing to eat, an eating disorder that is fueled by a distorted body image of thinking that one is fat, no matter how thin, frail and emaciated one gets.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder with recurrent binge eating, followed by compensatory behaviors. The most common form is defensive vomiting (sometimes called purging), fasting, the use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and over exercising are also common.
Manorexia simply means anorexia that is suffered by men, and was initially thought to be affecting almost exclusively women. In fact, a Harvard study shows that men account for 25 percent of anorexics and bulimics.
This is video I saw in FB:
Another video featuring the same person.
An episode of The Early Show on CBS on Manorexia.
My own experience and thoughts
I suffered a milder form of eating disorder more than 5 years ago. I was fat and decided to get thinner. While it was great that I finally decided to make a change, a lot of what I did was wrong. When I started out, I only at 2 very small meals a day, but luckily had the common sense to include a lot of fruits daily. As the weight began to go, I was able to take up exercise but my 'diet' was still meager. I wasn't aware that I had picked up on an eating disorder. The more I motivated I was, the more drastically I dieted. Coupled with more exercise, it began to take a toll on me. My body was reaching a point where it gave me constant cravings for foods, since I had deprived myself so much and would give in to the caloric demands of my body. I was basically under-feeding and over-exercising.
Then, I learned about 'cheat days', which would psychologically help me to stay on track and keep my sanity in check. Cheat days was basically planned days (usually once a week) when I could eat anything I wanted and this would serve to give me a metabolic boost since I had been on low calories the whole week. Depending on the source of advice you receive, a cheat meal could last a whole day or only one meal on that day.
However, I took this overboard and cheat days became a day when I gave in to all my cravings. Instead of eating whatever I wanted to sensibly, it became a binge day. I stuffed my face with everything I could get my hands on. My stomach told me I was filled to the brim, but my mouth couldn't stop eating. It was scary sometimes because I felt that I was losing control of myself. I would become either so bloated or sick by the end of the day. And this cycle would repeat itself week after week. It was not only abusive to my body, but put my progress to a halt. At some points, I was even going backwards.
Gradually, I began to realize that I was stuck in the vicious cycle of severe dieting and binging and this was the root of my problem. I made a change in my mindset and re-educated myself on how to change and live a fit and healthy lifestyle. I realized the importance of healthy eating and moderation, instead of relying dieting and deprivation. Although I make a conscious habit out of choosing the right foods 80% of the time, I do reward myself. I no longer subscribe to cheat days/meals, but instead get right back on track after indulging myself instead, which I find much easier to do.
Food fuels not only our bodies, but our souls as well. Some of the fondest memories we have usually revolve around food, either having your favorite foods for the first time, eating with loved ones or in favorite places, eating during special occasions/celebrations etc. If we place TOO much emphasis on what we eat until it becomes so stressful, we risk developing an eating disorder and becoming paranoid about food. While it is good to practice HEALTHY eating habits, it is imperative that we remain vigilant so that we do not to cross the line.
Having the perfect body not only affects women but men as well. As much as women desire the lean and toned body of every female celebrity or model, the same goes for men who want a muscular, lean and ripped body. The media plays a HUGE role by displaying a lot of models/celebs with perfect physiques in magazines, ads, internet etc. While it is admirable that they have achieved such an amazing physical condition and should be a role model, it can be a double-edged sword. It could cause an individual to develop a false perception of the ideal body image and think that they are inadequate and deeply flawed physically. This can have an negative impact on one's self-esteem and create an unhealthy obsession to make themselves perfect.
Don't get me wrong, having a drive and determination to improve your health and physical state is ALWAYS a good thing. In fact, that is what I constantly strive for. But, it becomes a problem when dedication evolves into an obsession, which is separated by a thin line. AND, this could also be a matter of perception. A dedicated person can be seen by others as obsessed. An obsessed person might see himself as extremely dedicated and not caring what others think.
So where do we draw the line? From my experience, it is best to stop on your tracks every now and then to evaluate what you're doing and how you're feeling. If you're constantly dieting, exercising too hard, feeling like crap all the time OR experiencing all three, then it's time to take a step back and listen to your body. Eat more, exercise less, get more rest and give your body a break. You won't get any results if you're constantly depriving your body of food and beating it to a pulp during every workout. Give yourself a break psychologically by treating yourself to your favorite foods too.
A healthy body is one that is sound in all aspects: physically, emotionally and mentally.
You don't get fit to get healthy, but you get healthy to get fit. Health ALWAYS comes first, then everything else will fall into place =)
PS: This is not based on any studies, but from my own experience and what I've observed.
I've been a nocturnal creature most of my life. I'm usually most active at night and like to stay up late. As much as I try to sleep early, I'd feel as if I'd be wasting the night. I guess this habit spawned when I turned a teenager. Staying up late on the PC playing games and watching porn or watching TV. In college, it evolved even more due to late night CS matches at cybercafes, last minute cramming for exams which usually ends up with supper afterwards and/or just generally friends calling randomly close to midnight for yumcha (GOD, I miss those days so much T.T).
Even today, I struggle with that habit. At some periods, it can get really bad. I guess I do it most during weekends, sometimes hitting the sack at around 4-5 AM or even later (or is it earlier?). Occasionally, I'd be able to hear people preparing their stalls downstairs to get ready for the morning market ><. As a result, I usually miss half the day, with mornings usually out of the question for any weekend plans. Of course, weekends are also the time I try to alleviate my sleep debt but sometimes it's just an excuse coz I was stay awake at ungodly hours.
Lately, this habit has seeped into weekdays. Not as bad as the weekends but on some work days, I'd only get 5-6 hours of sleep, which is a no-no. Coupled with added stress from work, exercise and a busier lifestyle, this is an even bigger NO-NO. Being tired and sleepy all the time isn't healthy or normal. It disrupts my schedule, gives me undesirable mood swings, adversely affect my physical well-being, kills my daily motivation, makes my thoughts go in disarray and clouds my judgement. Occasionally when I have time for myself at home, I'm usually so beat that I want to do nothing else but laze around.
Sometimes, life feels like a huge mess and I have to constantly re-adjust my course to avoid accidentally plunging into a ravine or driving into a herd of stampeding cows, figuratively speaking. It's ironically amusing how something as simple as lack of sleep can take hold of the wheel and drive like a drunk driver on drugs. My biological clock is overdue for some fine tuning, and the mechanic would be my bed.
Wah, this is the longest I've gone without updating. Been quite occupied until I forgot ><
Zai2 and I had our first 'fight' last week. Two Sundays ago, zai2 decided to pay me a surprise visit...in THE MORNING. I actually had everything planned out on that day (Mother's day) and it was gonna be a whole day event. Zai2 decided to drop by an hour earlier than the time I was supposed to wake up, with hopes of me waking up promptly to have breakfast and spend a little time with him. But, my tiredness got the better of me and I ended up continuing my sleep after I let him in.
As a result, he waited for an hour and left after that. I sensed that something was amiss coz he wasn't himself when he was leaving and he ended up ignoring me the rest of the day. My suspicions were confirmed when we ended with a spat over MSN that night. He was really mad that he came all the way and felt ignored after that. It was a nice gesture to surprise me, but it was just the wrong timing. I always need to catch up on sleep, ESPECIALLY on weekend mornings. Showing up too early was just a no-no for me. Heck, I usually NEVER plan anything before noon on weekends, except going to church. We managed to discuss things out and he mentioned his concerns about our available time together. He feels that I'm so near and yet so far. It's true that between work, gym and part-time project, my time is pretty much limited each week. Sometimes I'm just too tired and need some available time to rest, it's not that I don't want to see him.
But, it's all good. We managed to talk our way through it and he was himself again the next day. I promised to allocate more time especially on weekends for some 'us' time. Oh yeah, it's already two and a half months since we've gotten together. Usually, the trial period (at least for me) for a new relationship goes about 3-6 months, depending on how well we go together. I still have some doubts that I wanna talk over with him though.
The POOH IS BACK ONLINE! W00t, line is really fast now that I've gotten a new modem. Didn't get a fancy wireless one with multiple ports or router support though, just a normal LAN broadband D-Link modem for RM 68.
Going to the Jelutong night market tonite to contribute to the massive crowds and scout for yummy tummy treats, which are aplenty there. Someone posted these funny (some kinda true) tips, so I decided to plagiarize re-post it here XD
5 Top Tips for Nabbing That Hawt Night Market Ah Beng:
1. Your hair can *never* be blond enough. Even then, there's *always* room for some electric blue or toxic green highlights.
2. A funky hairstyle is a must if you want to get into that Ah Beng's budget Hush Puppies underwear. Try a little gel as the base, followed by copious amounts of styling clay to emulate your favourite anime character. Finish by fixing it with 15 seconds of hairspray, or until an ozone hole appears above your head. God forbid a stray hair should go out of place as you're giving head!
3. There's a lot of people at night markets, so you need to make yourself stand out with some bling. This may include piercings of every imaginable nature - but don't go overboard! Ah Bengs are not punks and will still be scared off by that spike sticking through your nostrils. If you're not the piercing kind, you can still accessorize with lots of cheap looking flashy jewelery - the night market you're at should have plenty on offer!
4. No matter your age, make sure you wear something that only 15 year old boys with a warped sense of fashion will wear. This can range from fake Adidas (spelt 'Adidos') sneakers, jeans with a dazzling array of silver studs (bling!), and the good old neon-coloured singlet. Again - don't fret if you don't have these. They can be easily bought at the night market you're at.
5. If you understood everything above, that means your English literacy is better than the Ah Beng you're eyeing. Don't use the Queen's English as he'll just stare at you clueless. You should fake bad Manglish to impress him, in addition to Hokkien or Mandarin. DVD sellers will know Cantonese too, usually.
FINALLY, some progress on my broadband that I've been bitching about. The technician came this morning. Checked and troubleshooted everything, according to dad since I was at work, and concluded that the modem has gone KAPUT. FINE! At least I know what the hell was going on. I kinda suspected it already, but wanted confirmation to avoid wasting money on the account of possible bad judgement. Gonna get a new one after work today and pray that I will once again be a denizen of cyberspace. I miss killing people virtually as well =P
On another note, zai2 has been kinda sad lately coz I couldn't spend as much time with him as when we first started. Between dad having health problems, me taking charge of more responsibility and tasks for the family, and running a part-time project, my time is pretty much scarce, except for the weekends. Constant schedule clashes between us made it even more difficult. So, both of us pretty much have to plan each week carefully to find time for each other.
I heard about zai2 not being happy about the lack of 'us' time from a close friend. It didn't come as a surprise at all. I didn't want zai2 to be sad or feel left out. So, I picked up zai2 on Tuesday after work and spent the whole evening with him. Just some much needed private time for the both of us. I could see as he gradually lit up and became his usual self again. I'm glad that the Pooh charms were still working.
I told him that he needs to tell me anything that was bothering him, moreso if it's about us. I don't want to be left in the dark if there was something wrong. Although this time it was obvious, I still wanted to hear it from him, not someone else.
He said me that when I'm around, he can't talk or think that much. Coz I'm the only thing that he can focus on at the time =P
Just in my last post I was bitchin' about how slow our supposedly no.1 broadband connection was. Last Friday, it DIED ON ME! So, I've BEEN WITHOUT INTERNET FOR 4 DAYS AND COUNTING! Even now, I'm blogging and accessing FB from work!~
Ok...deep breaths, deep breaths. I need to calm down to prevent myself from violently imploding in a bout of internetless (is that a real word? I DON'T CARE!) frustration. Yes, LOTS of drama here but I HAVE NO INTERNET! That's like...80% of my life gone!~
It's sad, but true. It's my drug. In fact, I think I've been experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I'm missing out on my daily web-surfing, Youtube and FB action!~
So far, I've made 2 reports to Streamyx, one for the SLOW and DEAD connection respectively in the order that they occured. On the slow connection issue, even after numerous troubleshooting, it's still crappy. They called again a couple of days after, saying their tech 'fixed' something on their side and ask me to re-verify and they'll follow-up, but they didn't. Anyhow, it was stil crappy after the 'fix'.
THEN, the connection DIED on me on Friday. I watched in distress as the DSL light conked out on my Aztech modem, never again coming back, no matter how many PC or modem restarts I did. Or even after connecting directly to the phone line, bypassing the splitter.
And I think as a SUPPOSEDLY no.1 telecommunications company, TM is doing a POOR job in communications within. After I made the report on the DEAD connection, the TS person still called me during the weekend to ASK IF MY SLOW CONNECTION ISSUE HAS BEEN FIXED, WHEN THE TECHNICIAN HASN'T EVEN COME TO FIX THE DEAD CONNECTION? Wah lau, talk about inefficient re-dundancies! Yes, come rub salt, then splash honey and release fire ants on my bleeding wounds, why don't you? Talk about adding insult to injury. The insufferable bastard might be giggling like stoned schoolgirl after hanging up that call *sarcasm alert*
TS supposedly remarked in my report to have a technician come to my place on Monday, since it was a replacement holiday for me and I'm not available the rest of the weekday afternoons. So I called on Monday to verify WHEN he would be arriving as I needed to take dad to the hospital to get some meds. The person who attended to me was just BLUR or a plain newbie and reading from a script. She said that the system was down and she can't do anything to help me.
What the hell? You're a telecommunications company and your system is DOWN?!?! On top of that, that person kept saying that she can't do anything about my report OR situation. Every time I asked for assistance or some questions, all I heard was can't, can't, CAN'T! Well, there goes my faith in your services, or what was left of it in the first place.
EVEN if you really can't do anything at the moment, at least tell me that you'd look into it as soon as you can. And NOT tell a paying customer who's beyond frustrated that your paid services are operating POORLY and right now NOT even working, that you CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! Seriously, where do these nitwits get their training from?
Did I feel better after writing all this down? In all honestly, it just riled me up more to give them another call and blast a friggin' voice cannon in the ears of the unsuspecting, unfortunate soul whom my call has been routed to. I'll give them another day and see how they would respond to this shit. If I don't get anything, then it's a call to switch broadband services.
Be afraid, be very afraid. A pissed off Pooh is not something you should be messing with!~
PS: What alternative broadband are you using? Can gimme some feedback on the speed, coverage as well as the rates?