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Monday, April 21, 2014

Time to Step Up


THIS is going to be week 1 of working extra hard to exercise, increase endurance and get stronger and toned. The goal: -6 lbs. 

The reward if goal is reached...the SONY RX100ii that I have been lusting after. I have read nearly every review there is to be written about this fabulous little camera and I'm 95% sure it's the one I want. I mean, I follow "The Londoner" blog religiously and did you see her photos in her review of this gem??? I know she must have edited them too but still...excellent and beautiful image quality! After 2 months of ooohing and aaahing, I have placed everything in my Amazon wish list- the Sony camera, a tripod, a memory card, and a classy case...all I need to do is click submit...hopefully by Sunday.

For now, I will postpone picking up the Nikon D90 because it's a bit difficult to lug around a huge DLSR on the trips I will certainly be taking this year. Also, recently I saw a guy taking pictures of some very ordinary RAMEN with his gigantic camera at a food court and it was kinda funny-looking....XD But sooner or later, I WILL have this camera (and the lens) too muahaha. It's the one that James Chardon from KAYTURE uses frequently =)

Oh and I do have a marathon to run in 6 months! Excited and very apprehensive at the same time- I have difficulty running 7 miles so I can't even imagine completing a 26 mile course...o.O dubious. very dubious. 

Off to a great start: may you accomplish your one big goal for this week as well.

<3, A.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday

Gone are the days of easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies galore and gatherings. As the years have passed by, it's not that I have gotten too old for these things, but just that celebrating Easter has become a much simpler affair. 

Today my sister and I attended Church and this year for the 1st time, I just didn't really feel it. No uplifting spirit and no desire to stay all the way to the end...like my sister said, it felt like a Disney concert when kids started running in and throwing beach balls and balloons into the audience while some random Christian rock group took over the stage...

However, I am reminded that we are all indebted to sin and that it is only God who can cleanse us, fill us with life, and who turns our fears into hope. So big thank you to the guy up there :) 

For lunch we went to a restaurant that's not even worth blogging about- their food was so mediocre despite generally favorable reviews. But the location gave me a good look at my new office that I will be moving to in June- it's a bit smaller than I had imagined but close to a lot of nice restaurants- and also near my old church. Maybe this will allow me to actually attend church more regularly?

Anyways, some art I have created in the last few months:




marvelous acrylics O_O I am pretty new to this but I love how easy this medium is

one of my role models: Audrey Hepburn, the eternally graceful and benevolent star

Have a sweet Easter! Best wishes from Soleil & I <3

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hello 2014: fresh start please.

I have really neglected this blog- it's been more than a year since I was last here (and I started this blog in 2012)...promise to do better and update more frequently! 

Hmm...so much has happened since I last updated..where to begin??? My 2nd vacation to Mexico, a really bad relationship with a fuckedup guy (excuze my francais) that I was demented to get into in the 1st place, a new job, the disappointing finale of "How I Met Your Mother", and more recently, a car accident and subsequently, a new car. Oh, and I'm fat again. Just great -.-... I have about a month to whip myself into decent shape for a mini-vacation. This will be near impossible given my bad habits of late but I have confidence that i can do it! ;D

Time to post of more pleasant things. My vacation to Puerto Vallarta around Christmas 2012 was the best get-away I've ever experienced. Sun, sand, and the ocean! All the ingredients for a cool refresher you can't just order from Starbucks :p- here are some pictures.

My baby sister didn't have trouble ordering drinks here


our room had a gorgeous view of the ocean



adventure time

banana boat!


@ La Leche again- the waiters wanted to jump into the pic too XD- they were all so funny and pretty great


lol i think the kitchen was playing with food presentation that night
my dinner :) the chocolate and sweet potato at the bottom were delicious

on the way to horseback-riding on an island!


my sister got a mule HAHHAHAH


met some random Australians here

time to explore nightlife again


 Christmas day @ Casa Isabel

lounged by the pool. a LOT. 


SUNSET


rise and shine




starting right: a healthy breakfast every day



a really badly chosen henna tattoo :p



adorable gay couple we befriended: I lost their contact info though :(


double AWWWW



this one was wiped out from all the fun :D
I hope to come back in 2015 or 2016 and enjoy some quality beach time again.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

weight loss tips: my experience

When it comes to weight loss I have become something of an expert on it because since the summer of 2008 my own weight has fluctuated quite a bit and it worried me to the point where it took over my daily thinking. At my heaviest weight in 2009 I tipped the scales at 180 LBS (this was at the worst and lowest point in life) and I will never forget the disappointment, self-loathing, the looks from people who knew me and strangers alike, the fear of never getting my own body back, and the anger over losing control of everything that mattered to me. For some odd reason, I didn't feel human anymore and the body i inhabited was a stranger's body that I didn't feel comfortable in. 

To me, the extra weight wasn't just a couple lbs I could sweat off in  a week; it became a burden that affected every little thing I did and even walking on the streets became difficult because my bones were carrying so much extra baggage. I am 5.55' tall and was about 50 lbs overweight for my height. 

So what did I do? After many months of nothing changing I finally decided to try at life again and began by doing exercises like climbing the stairs (in my house) and dancing to my favorite CD's whenever I could in the privacy of my home (the dancing part requires you to not care what other people think, especially when they walk in on you trying some strange moves-> just think of the goal, forget how silly you might look- because at the end, all that matters is your state of mind and the well being of your body). I lost a lot of extra weight but gained it back once in grad school because of lack of sleep & depression. I didn't finish my Master's and moved back home with my parents. Can you say FAILURE. 

2. In 2011, after starting my 1st full time job after college, I purchased an elliptical from craigslist for 325$ and lost 18 lbs in about 2.5 months. I placed the elliptical in front of the big screen TV so that it wouldn't seem such a chore to do every single day. I would stay on it and pedal for about 30 minutes varying the resistance every 10 minutes. But I lost interest after a couple months and took up mixed martial arts; I traded in my elliptical for 3 months of MMA gym membership and don't regret it. I quit the mma gym though because it was too far away and I was going on more business trips. 

3. Recently I have been using the treadmill quite a bit whenever I visit L.A. Fitness. I run at speed 7 for about 5 minutes and then turn it down to 6.5 for some jogging time, and after 10 minutes I walk at the pace of 3.5 with the incline set at 8. After 10 minutes of this, I start running again until 30 minutes have passed and I have run at least 2 miles. 


4. If you think that boxing and mixed martial arts will bulk up a woman's body, you are wrong. One of the main reasons I joined L.A. Fitness is because they have a couple punching bags hanging in the dance studio. From experience I can honestly tell you that using the punching bag in the right way is the best and fastest way to lose arm fat and tone your upper body. Boxing is my favorite exercise because you burn so many calories in a short amount of time and start sweating within 4 minutes. Some easy combinations to try: jab, cross, hook and alternate from left to right. Then do 10 straight hooks with each arm and kick the bag, 10 kicks with each leg. Repeat until you feel like dying or run seriously out of breath :) When you are very tired hit the bag lightly but stay bent at the knees.  Use the punching bag for 20-30 minutes every 2nd day and you should see your arms become sleeker and more defined within a week. 

I hit the bags pretty hard and at first your knuckles will be red and maybe even bleed. Get used to it and it will heal for sure; I don't know how many times my knuckles have patched themselves up but skin regenerates and will become more resistant to this kind of training. 


5. Weight training: I was very skeptical about weights because I saw many girls who had big arms and back muscles when they used dumbbells, but I realized that small weights don't give you those bulky muscles. Weight training helps with your metabolism and helps your body burn more calories even when you aren't exercising. I tend to go for the 3 LB weights and lift one with both hands behind my head up and down. I also use one when I do Russian twists on the stretching mat. Also, lift one while doing squats and lunges; this helps me balance better. 
6. H20 is vital; always keep a water bottle with you when exercising. You are sweating profusely and don't want to faint from dehydration and worst case scenario, hit your head on the way down on a treadmill or something. However, take small sips and don't gulp the whole bottle down even though you may feel like it. 



My exercise routine has been hectic these 2 weeks because I didn't know until November 8th that I was taking a vacation to a hot weather location where I will wear bikinis and shorts. I won't post my own progress pictures until i have lost at least 20 LBS, but here are some fitspiration images for you!

When you are aiming for significant weight loss, you need to convince yourself that you will love yourself even if you don't achieve results in the given time and that you always have another day to make a difference. Unlike models and celebrities, we aren't given the luxury and time to exercise for 8 hours with a personal trainer, and so you must be strong mentally and push yourself. Don't give up and once you reach that ultimate weight goal, you should be proud that you have done what so many have failed to commit to.