Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm Back!

So I'm back from vacation and have been spending the last few days just trying to get on a regular sleeping schedule. I guess you could say I'm jet lagged, but I was on this sleeping schedule before I even left! It's surprisingly tough to wake up at 7am when you've been used to going to bed at 6am. But since I've been back from China, I've also been binging on some good ole American cuisine *cough*in-n-out*cough*. Don't get me wrong... the food in China is freaking good and I could eat it all the time. Just craving the stuff that's harder to find there. I will be on some sort of regiment soon though (come Monday), so just getting in the foods that will be missed.

But when I was in China, I noticed something that was kind of odd to me. It isn't a new discovery as my friend and I noticed this last year when we went on the same vacation, but everyone there is so skinny. I don't get it. A "healthy" looking person by our American standard would be considered obese over there. Actually, I should clarify more. In Taiwan and China, they weren't skinny as in unhealthy skinny... they were just skinny. It was rare to see someone that would probably be average weight in America. It's not like they eat a lot less than we do here. They actually eat a lot over there... and the food is plentiful with all the street vendors and night markets. And it's not like the food is especially healthy compared to how it is here. They aren't absent of McDonald's or KFC or Pizza Hut. They even drink a lot (at least the people I hung out with) So how do they do it? Here are a couple of my theories:

- The food IS actually healthier. I've had pigs blood, bites of what seems to be just pure fat, and a lot of carby foods like noodles... but their ingredients are more pure. You won't find a lot of preservatives in their foods or processed foods or anything like that.

-They have better eating habits. There isn't a lot of binge eating going on over there. But everywhere you go, you see someone nibbling on something. They eat more frequently, but in smaller portions, so when they do go home or go out to eat, they won't eat as much. This keeps your blood sugar level and steady throughout the day, thus increasing your metabolism.

-They live more active lifestyles. At least I think they do. Seems like a lot of people would take public transportation and just walk around everywhere. Despite taking great advantage of the metro system (so much better than BART btw... by far) and taxis to get around... we still did a fair amount of walking to get to places. It felt like a workout just to get to places.

-They drink a LOT of tea. Almost any place you eat at, you can get or will be served tea. They drink tea almost as a replacement of water, so in a way it's like drinking super water. The health benefits of drinking tea is undeniable and fills a long list: they have antioxidants that protect you from disease and cancer, it raises your metabolism, has fluoride which is good for your teeth, strengthens bones, boosts your immune system... all with 0 calories and great taste. But beware. Adding milk and sugar can totally undo all these benefits, so it's best to just have it pure. I will probably add a post about tea sometime in the near future.

What do you think? What are your theories to why on average, the physique of Asian people appear to be so much healthier than American people?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The 2011 Game Plan

As you might have guessed from the post before, the plan for reaching my goal will be via the p90x program. I had seen the informercials for it thinking "okay those are the most insane results from any fitness program/equipment I've seen on tv". I mean, seriously flabby flab to ab fab. On top of that, I know a few people closely that have done the program, and I have seen the results with my own eyes. I myself started doing the program, before I stopped 3 weeks in. I do have to say though, in those 3 weeks I built a lot of strength and had increased energy in doing other activities. In about 5 weeks I went from being able to do 1-2 pull ups, to 5-6. Granted, 6 still wasn't much, but it was a 300% increase in ability.

Well now that I have the blueprints, it's just a matter of building, which everyone knows is the hard part. I will be leaving for China on Jan 12, for about 12 days, so unfortunately I won't be starting my program before then. My China trip is going to be an eating and drinking binge... which i'm quite looking forward to. The food is so good and cheap. So I figure it wouldn't do much to start the program just days before a trip like that. But after that, it's time to take it seriously.

Last year, it was a goal of mine to post something almost everyday, revealing what i've been eating, how i've been working out, my failures and successes, etc. This time around i'm gonna keep it a little more free flowing just so I don't feel pressured or overwhelmed by having to post something everyday. But I don't want this blog to be just about me and my journey of fitness. I also want it to be a source and forum for people who follow me, so I will be posting stuff that could be beneficial to someone else who might be going through the same thing... such as recipes I've come up with, tips for cooking, working out, shopping, eating out, as well as tips for succeeding, etc.

So become a follower and see how I do! Keep me accountable! Maybe you'll learn some things that'll help you reach your new year's goals, or offer something to help me meet mine!

2011: Will this year be the year?

Soooo.... yeaaah.... haha. Okay okay. I know. I didn't last long at all. I had a clear goal in mind, and I failed. I didn't keep continual updates in my blog like I wanted. But along with my failures, I had some successes. Overall, I had lost about 10 lbs off my weight, and throughout the year I had some good spurts of eating well, working out, and playing sports such as ultimate frisbee. Alas, my ultimate goal was not achieved.

It was a hard year though. Now that it's a 2011, naturally one will look back at the past year and look forward to the one ahead of you. In retrospect, 2010 was probably the worst year of my life (for reasons I won't get in to) and that mentally and emotionally put me into a funk as fetid as stinky tofu. But just like a new year can bring, I feel a second wind... a rejuvenation if you will, to shed that tainted skin called 2010 and work to a better 2011. I've got a new plan in mind to help with my goal... and if all goes well, I should reach my goal within 90 days.... or should i say, p90x days. Details to come soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meal Plan Week 3 update

Okay, so this week has been a complete fail. It was almost as if I wasn't on the diet at all, but not quite that far. I wasn't eating as many meals as I wanted to when I wanted to, and it didn't always have as much protein as I wanted (like only having cereal with milk for breakfast). I also went over my budget in alcoholic drinks (not by much) and ate 4 Godiva truffles in one sitting. I think the big problem was running out of diet compliant food and not finding a lot of time to go out and grocery shop for more. So I was really unprepared this week, hence more opportunity to fail.

However, I still feel like my will power is pretty good (besides the few slip ups of course). I've had plenty more opportunities to drink and such, but I didn't. I'm also generally very more conscience about what I'm eating so that's a plus also. I think part way through my week I knew I was slipping, so I got into the wrong mindset of "Well this week is already a fail, why bother getting back on track." Toootally wrong to think, I know. But at least I recognize it and admit it, so I can take steps to correct it. After all, it's a new week. Time to get back on track!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 2 Progress Stats

Beginning weight: 190 lbs
Week 2 weight: 185 lbs
Difference of: -5 lbs

5 lbs isn't much, but at least it's going in the right direction! Hopefully this number will start declining more rapidly once I start actually working out. My goal for the next 2 weeks is to get under 180 lbs. I plan to achieve this with not only exercise, but with better eating habits as well. I am eating a lot more but I have to better mind the portion size. Overall I think this a good start. I wish I knew exactly where these 5 lbs were lost (and if you're thinking clothing, I was wearing the same thing I wore when I first got weighed): is it fat? muscle? water weight? Hard to tell just after 2 week, but maybe in the weeks to come, a change in physical appearance will assure me that I'm losing the right weight.

Meal Plan Week 2 update

So this week was a little more of the first: general keeping to my diet but still eating out, healthy albeit. I did however use my 2 alcoholic drink maximum (vodka redbull friday night and a beer sat night). But considering that, I didn't drink at all at the Mos Def concert, and not a sip of any alcohol during the SuperBowl! A win for my will against temptations. I did snack a little on some Lay's chips (not much though) and had BBQ ribs for dinner. As for my SuperBowl meal? Tuna Burger on Whole Wheat thin buns with spinach, tomato, grilled onions and an aioli made with light mayo, lime juice, dijon mustard and sriracha.

Generally, I feel like this week was a little more of a fail from the first week, but i've had some big successes. I still need to get on a track where I have more control over what I eat, so that will be my goal for the following weeks. It's all about preparation.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Meal Plan Week 1 Update

Ugh. So I didn't post as much as I wanted to, updating everyday on what I've been eating. Maybe one day I'll get there, but it's hard to find time throughout the day to get on my blog and post it. Perhaps I should just document what I eat then post later? But with that in mind, I can at least update on my diet this past week.

Overall, I'm pretty proud of diet progress. I've haven't been following a strict plan like I wanted to, but my general changes have been good. I have been really good about eating smaller meals and snacking healthy, drinking a lot of smoothies, and making sure that almost everything is Abs Diet compliant. Where I have faltered though is that I have been eating out a lot. Not as much control as I wanted, but in doing so I have found some good eating out alternatives. At Toast, a restaurant by my work (the one with the cute hostess), I get the Chicken Apple salad and it's pretty tasty: Grilled Chicken with slices of Fuji apple, walnuts, blue cheese, fennel with a vinaigrette on mixed greens. At Pasta Moto (also by my work), I get the Mama's Meatballs: Turkey meatballs with a red tomato sauce, roasted mixed veggies and a little ricotta cheese. And for breakfast, Starbucks has a good choice with the Low Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich: Turkey Bacon, egg white and white cheddar in a whole grain english muffin. Also eating out for lunch the other day, I got a grilled salmon with sauteed spinach and lentils... really delicious and healthy.

So overall I feel pretty good. Where I'm most proud is my will against temptations (oh and they're there). Last Tuesday I went to a concert and Friday we had a small party at work with free beers, and I didn't drink anything. I know I'm not completely restricting it from my diet and I could've had a drink or two, but why not just cut it out if you have a choice? I also declined a chocolate truffle and some tres leches. Again, I'm not completely cutting this out of my diet, but the diet is more than just eating right... it's about testing my will power against these tasty temptations and having control over what I eat. So far, it's been surprisingly easy. I'm not missing these things that much, but it might have to do with my diet. I'm keeping my tummy satisfied and eating plenty of berries and fruits for my sweet tooth. Not as readily satisfying as a chocolate truffle, but once I see results, then it will be all worth it. Then, as I see results, I'll reward myself with these yummy yum yum's. Always in moderation though.

Check back on Sunday when I post my Week 2 Meal plan update, as well as a physical progress report! (sorry ladies.. and Chad.. no shirtless photo's this time. Just weight and BMI).