Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A new me?

Been thinking about closing this blog for a while now. I guess I just don't have the passion I used to have in bloggings. Well, it takes time to really write to impress. I guess I'm just not that impressive... hehehe...

Anyway, I'll keep this blog and will update my life's journey from time to time. Right now I'm heading towards a major turnaround in my life. I'm going for Circular Strength Training's certification in Chiang Mai this coming February 2011. I'm really working very hard to prepare myself for this. Lucky I'm a self motivator. There's certainly many times I've thought to myself that I couldn't possibly do this... that it's to hard and that I'm not ready yet. But, this is my passion. I want to be fit and healthy and flexible. I want to be strong and fast and agile. I want to be functionally muscular and have the body of a gymnast. This is what I want. So, this is what I'm gearing towards. 2011 will be the best year yet.

On another front, I'm getting married in 2011 too.... yes! Finally eh! Betty and I are really excited about this. We just booked our wedding band from Tomei earlier this month. Now we are discussing many other things on the preparations and what not. This is exciting time for the both of us. Again, 2011 will be the year.

There'll be a lot of things going on with my life from now on. Work is terribly hectic and is taking most of my weekdays. I had to missed my Aikido training more than a dozen times and as a result, I'm being left behind by my colleagues in terms of knowledge and grades. It sucks but work brings money to my wallet and food to my table. So I just have to prioritise.

Well, I've written quite a lot and I'll be writing again very, very soon (I hope). Not sure if there'll be anybody reading this but I'm writing for me. So, it doesn't matter. Adios for now!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I last wrote. The last few months have been a hectic one for me and Betty. Well, I enjoy being busy. It makes me feel full of life. A little over six months ago I was transferred from the regional office to one of the branches in KK. I must admit, I'm totally flabbergasted with the transfer at first. But then, I decided to jus give it a go come what may.

It's been a while now and I kinda like it here. I meet new people and make new friends. I learn to adapt to the new environment and in the process forge friendship with some beautiful personalities. I really am glad to be where I am now. Of course not everyday is 'sunny'. There were 'rainy' days too. But I learn to look at things from a different perspective. God send me here for a reason. It's my duty to be a living testimony of His boundless love.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Take a deep breath..

Here's a great article from Joel Marion (a fitness expert) about breathing techniques that can be used to calm our selves in stressful situations. Enjoy ;)

Yesterday I was having one of those days. You know, the type of day where everything seems to be out of whack and a hundred inconveniences seem to jump out of nowhere.

We all have them. They’re part of life.

The icing on the cake, though, came later in the day when I got a flat tire.

And of course it was rush hour.

And of course it was on a major highway.

So there I was on the side of the road, annoyed, attempting to change my tire in the midst of hundreds of cars whizzing by me at 70 mph.

And then I realized something.

I was letting the day’s circumstances−circumstances that were completely out of my control−get the best of me. It was affecting my energy, and that’s something that I really try to avoid.

So, I put down the tire iron, got back in the car, turned on the radio and started to breathe.

You see, a long time ago I learned the value of using controlled breathing from a martial arts instructor friend of mine. Now, you may be thinking “Yeah, okay…controlled breathing…Tai Qui…oogly moogly” and you know what, that’s exactly how I looked at it once, too.

But then I gave it a try. And it works.

The fact is, controlled breathing exercises are an extremely useful tool for managing stress and renewing focus. And in just a minute, I want to share with you one relaxation breathing exercise that has been clinically proven to reduce stress and sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity. In fact, almost immediately after you begin to breathe like this, the body begins to calm itself. Heart rate slows, anxiety decreases, and you can just “feel” the effects.

Here it is:

The 4-7-8 technique:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth.
  • Breathe in completely through your nose over a period of 4 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth for a period of 8 seconds.

Repeat the exercise three more times for a total of 4 breaths.

Try it now for proof. See how it makes you feel. I can guarantee if you do, you’ll use it again…especially when you need it most.

And in a couple minutes I was back out working on the tire, only with a completely different attitude.

Don’t let circumstances out of your control dictate your energy. And if you sense they might be, take some time to breathe.

Stay focused,


Another life's lesson...

Phew! The past couple of months have been hectic. Work pressures abound and is taking away much of my precious, precious time. There are days when the thought of quitting my job enters my mind. But at this very moment, quitting is not an option. The Lord gives me this job for a reason. I have to hang tough. His love is what strengthen me to move on with my hectic life.

2 weeks ago my fiancee and I drove back to her home town in Keningau. It was quite late and its getting dark. But having complete trust in the Lord, we continued with the 1 hour 45 minutes journey. The trip to Keningau via the Kimanis route are hilly with slopes ranging from 10% to 12%. The journey went on smoothly until we reached the last hill. As we descend down the hill, I thought I heard something snapped. But nothing happened. So we move on and reached home soon after. As I drove into the house compound, I tried to change my gear shift to Reverse. To my astonishment, the gear did not shift. And the realisation hit me. The snapping sound must've been that of my gear cable. As frustrated I am with the sudden realisation, I am grateful that we managed to reach home safe and sound. So I left my car where it was, turned off the ignition and headed into the house.

Fast forward to mid-nite, the sound of car crashing woken me up. I looked through the living room window but saw nothing. Without giving it a second thought, I return to the couch and resume sleeping. Suddenly there's a sound of the gate being crashed and..... !BAM! .... another crashing sound... followed by the sound my car's alarm. I jumped up from the couch and quickly ran out of the door. I can't believe what I saw. My car was hit by a pick-up truck drove by some drunken guy. Man! When I thought my day couldn't get any worse, there I am standing in front of my wrecked car staring at the drunken driver's eyes. Fast forward to today, the workshop told me that my car would be ready by Sunday. The drunken guy has agreed to pay for the cost of repair (minus the gear cable of course).

The biggest thing that I've learned in that fateful trip back is to always be grateful to the Lord in whatever circumstances. It's always easy to say thanks to the Almighty when we are happy. But the ultimate test of character is to be able to say thanks in the face of calamity. I am truly grateful that God has chosen me to be where I am now. He showed me that life is not always comfortable. What matters is our perspective; we either choose to let the circumstance to get the better of us or we can choose to smile and be grateful for the opportunity to learn another life's lesson from the Creator.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diets That Reduce Calories Lead to Weight Loss, Regardless of Carbohydrate, Protein or Fat Content

This is an article from Harvard's School of Public Health (got it from the link in Brad Pilon's Facebook's post). It goes to show that the most important thing to note is to eat healthy at a reduced calories irregardless of whether it's low fat or low carbs or even low protein.. healthy natural food... that's the key.. so here goes..

Long-Term Study Shows That Attending Counseling Sessions Also Key to Promoting Weight Loss

For immediate release: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boston, MA -- Many popular diets emphasize either carbohydrate, protein or fat as the best way to lose weight. However, there have been few studies lasting more than a year that evaluate the effect on weight loss of diets with different compositions of those nutrients. In a randomized clinical trial led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System, a comparison of overweight participants assigned to four different diets over a two-year period showed that reducing calories achieved weight loss regardless of which of the three nutrients was emphasized. The study, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, appears in the February 26, 2009 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

"This is important information for physicians, dieticians and adults, who should focus weight loss approaches on reducing calorie intake," said Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at HSPH and lead author of the study.

The NEJM issue includes an accompanying editorial on the study's findings.

The trial included 811 men and women who were randomly divided into four diet groups with different target nutrient compositions:

* Low-fat, average protein: 20% of calories from fat, 15% of calories from protein, 65% of calories from carbohydrate

* Low-fat, high-protein: 20% fat, 25% protein, 55% carbohydrate

* High-fat, average protein: 40% fat, 15% protein, 45% carbohydrate

* High-fat, high-protein: 40% fat, 25% protein, 35% carbohydrate

The participants were diverse in age, sex (62% women, 38% men), geography and income. The diets followed heart-healthy principles, replacing saturated with unsaturated fat and were high in whole cereal grains, fruits and vegetables. Each participant received a diet prescription that encouraged a 750-calorie reduction per day, however none were less than 1,200 total calories per day. Participants were asked to do 90 minutes of moderate exercise each week. They recorded their daily food and drink intake in a food diary and in a web-based program that provided information on how closely they were meeting their dieting goals. Individual counseling was provided every eight weeks over two years and group sessions were held three out of four weeks during the first six months and two out of four weeks from six months to two years.

The results showed that, regardless of diet, weight loss and reduction in waist circumference were similar. Participants lost an average of 13 pounds at six months and maintained a 9-pound loss at two years. Weight loss primarily took place in the first 6 months; after 12 months, all groups began to slowly regain weight, a finding consistent with other diet studies. However, the extent of weight regain was much less, about 20%, of the average regain in previous studies. Waistlines were reduced by an average of two inches at the end of the two-year period.

Most risk factors for cardiovascular disease improved for dieters at six months and two years. HDL ("good") cholesterol increased and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and insulin decreased. The metabolic syndrome, a group of coronary heart disease risk factors including high blood pressure, insulin resistance and abdominal obesity, also decreased.

The main finding from the trial was that diets with varying emphases on carbohydrate, fat and protein levels all achieved clinically meaningful weight loss and maintenance of weight loss over a two-year period. "These results show that, as long as people follow a heart-healthy, reduced-calorie diet, there is more than one nutritional approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight," said Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., Director, NHLBI.

Another important finding was that participants who regularly attended counseling sessions lost more weight than those who didn't. Dieters who attended two thirds of sessions over two years lost about 22 pounds of weight as compared to the average weight loss of 9 pounds. "These findings suggest that continued contact with participants to help them achieve their goals may be more important than the macronutrient composition of their diets," said Sacks.

Support for this study was provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health and NIH General Clinical Research Center.

"Randomized Trial Comparing Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrate Composition of Diets for Weight Loss for Two Years," Frank M. Sacks, George A. Bray, Vincent J. Carey, Steven R. Smith, Donna H. Ryan, Stephen D. Anton, Katherine McManus, Catherine M. Champagne, Louise M. Bishop, Nancy Laranjo, Meryl S. Leboff, Jennifer C. Rood, Lilian de Jonge, Catherine M. Loria, Evan Obarzanek, Donald A. Williamson, NEJM, February 26, 2009, vol. 360, no. 9.

For more information, contact:

Todd Datz

Visit the HSPH website for the latest news, press releases and multimedia offerings.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Choice....

"I shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny."
- Og Mandino -

We choose to be who we want to be. That's the beauty of God's love to us. He lets us decide and still loves us no matter what. In the past couple of months, I've reflected a lot on my past decisions. Some propels me closer to who I really want to be while some became road blocks in my life. But that's life. Nothing ever comes easy. Life is to be colourful to ever be meaningful. It calls to mind the words in Ecclesiastes 3.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."

The contemporary worship song In His Time speaks forth the following truth:-

"In His time, in His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time. Lord, please show me every day, as You're teaching me Your way, that You do just what You say, in Your time."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Shack.... and my journey to intimacy..

It's been quite a while since I last posted. A lot has been happening since then. I've finished reading The Shack and I must say that it's been an awesome read. Since my early age I've always have this feeling that God is ever so close to me. Time passes by and the feelings gone with the wind. The dogma of religion kills the real meaning of love. In religion, we are forced to comply. Not through our own free will but to conform with those around us.

I consider myself to be lucky to have understood the meaning of God's love. In Him there is no condemnation. There is no finger pointing. There is no hatred. In Him love is very, very, very real.

I'm still learning to know Him better. Learning to be able to discern His voice. To be able to see His works around me. To marvel at the simplicity of His touch. Every day is a new day. A new beginning. A new future.

The Shack touches me so deeply. The realization that God loves me just the way I am leaves me 'love-struck' (for lack of any better word... hehehe....). God is not who we were led to believe by religion. God is the great 'I AM'. He is who He is. I am in Him and He is in me.

This journey is not easy. But its worthwhile. I'm not alone for He is with me.