Health – Losing Weight

Photowalk: Lamesa EcoPark

It was on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon in July that we finally succeeded in going out for a photo walk. Our destination: the LaMesa EcoPark in Fairview, Quezon City. The Lamesa Ecopark is situated inside the LaMesa Watershed, the primary source of drinking water of about 12 million Metro Manila residents (source). According to the LaMesa Ecopark website, the watershed is 2700 hectares big! Of this, 700 hectares is the reservoir (dam) itself, with the surrounding forest being the remaining 2000 hectares. The reservoir supplies clean drinking water to Metro Manila, while the forest helps clean the air.

A long time ago, my grandfather used to bring the entire family to picnics at LaMesa Dam. I was either too young to remember those trips, or I wasn’t born yet at the time. I do remember cousins, my parents and aunts talking about those picnics though. Due to lack of funds for the MWSS which manages the area, the surrounding park had fallen into ruin. In the last decade, the ABS-CBN Foundation, through its programs for Bantay Kalikasan, endeavored to rehabilitate the park and reforest affected areas. The 33-hectare public park is found along the natural boundaries of the watershed and is 40 meters below the reservoir. Proceeds from the entrance fees are used towards the continuous efforts to preserve the health and beauty of the watershed.

I first visited the park years ago when they had just reopened it to the public. My day brought us there with my mom, my nephew Esban and his older sister Dal. We had wanted to swim in their pool but there was just too many people. We ended up just having a picnic (without a table because all were taken and there were no huts at the time) under the trees, and then we had so much fun dancing and laughing while bathing in the rain. Yes, we danced in the rain because the sky really went all out while we were there. It was so much fun. 🙂

Since getting Maxine last year, we have wanted to troop to LaMesa to practice shooting. We’d always thought it would be a hassle to commute to the place. Boy were we wrong! We took a cab from here to EcoPark and it cost around 150 pesos, but it was easy peasy. From there, you could just hop on to a tricycle – they’re right outside the exit waiting to take you to Commonwealth Avenue where you can take a jeepney, FX or taxi to wherever you’re going.

Though I was already sleepy on the way (I came from shift, and had work that evening too), I went prepared. My camera battery was fully charged, I was wearing tights and rubber shoes for freedom of movement, and a comfortable shirt. After all, the trip had two goals: to break a sweat walking, and to practice our photography. We successfully did both! Now, we plan on going out each week. Whoever said you can’t hit two birds with one stone? I actually hit several here: bonding with the boyfriend, practice photography, have more physical activity! Doing all these work like all the best weight loss products available out there.

It’s difficult to pick just a few favorite photos to showcase here, so if you’d like to checkout all the photos, they are on this Flickr set.

Let’s start with some flower shots shall we?

I love how this one came out. It was a really vibrant blood-red color. I forgot which part of the park this was in though.

I don’t really wear yellow, and not much orange either, but I love the two colors together be it on these flowers, or on a fire tree. 🙂

I love the purple tinge on these small flowers. It would have really been good had there been signs near these plants so we would know what they’re called, Hehe. I think that this photo could be used as background for a card. 🙂

I didn’t use any textures on this photo yet the bokeh effect was amazing. I think it took on the shapes of the small leaves of these small flowers that stood unbending against the wind.

Now, who says plants need flowers to be beautiful? These certainly look pretty on their own:

I didn’t just take shots of the fresh, thriving and beautiful. There were other interesting stuff around too. The ecopark is a true thriving ecosystem, there was lushness all around but there was also decay and somehow, also death. This post is already long enough as it is so sharing those other photos will have to wait another day. If you checkout my Flickr set though, you’ll see them all there. 🙂

Let’s go to the gym!

The weekend’s over and yet I still don’t have a plan. 🙁

I have no meal plan and no exercise plan lined up yet. I’ll have to wing it for a few more days until I can hunker down and concentrate on making these two plans. For breakfast this morning, I had whole wheat bread with frankfurters. No juice. Lunch was a few spoonfuls of rice with ginataang sitaw and squash, and a few bites of pork binagoongan. There was coke though, regular. 🙁

I’m not completely sad though. On Sunday, we visited Esban’s new house inside the SATS compound. The place has been renovated since I last visited the previous occupant. Little E was very welcoming, and he used Pinky (oh I haven’t introduced her yet, she’s my new lomo friend) to take a few shots of their house. He took us on a quick tour too. I love their place because you’re surrounded by trees, there’s no pollution, and it was not dusty and there’s no smell of the stinky creek anywhere! Going to SATS meant that Alfred and I got to do some walking! OMG! we broke a sweat so fast and we were feeling worked up after just a few minutes. Man, do we really need exercise or what? Haha. Then, very near E’s house, we passed by Mr. Suave’s gym. He has very affordable rates and we’re going to give it a shot soon. There are personal trainers too!

Tomorrow, I’ll drag the boyfriend there again so we can formally inquire about their services, hours of operation etcetera. They were closed that Sunday afternoon and we just read their rates posted on the door. Maybe we could get a trainer once a week for a few weeks just to have someone show us the ropes and recommend a workout plan. They have per session rates for gym use, as well as a monthly membership. I really hope to convince the boyfriend to give this a go, I don’t want to go alone. Gym + a sound SBD meal plan with foods that burn fat + plus weekly photo walks (just like our LaMesa photowalk) should translate to better health and weight loss for both of us. 🙂

In case this plan doesn’t materialize though, I can concentrate on walking for fitness. I just really have to start na!

South Beach Diet Recap

So it’s been a week since The Sexy Chef stopped delivering my SBD Phase One meals. How have I been? Pretty good, actually. So far, I’ve made myself proud for not totally slipping back to the way I was used to eating. First though, let’s have a recap of my two-week rations of South Beach Diet Phase One meals.

These are just a few of the meals I enjoyed for fifteen days (it’s supposed to be just fourteen but I was able to stretch it up to fifteen because of my irregular sleep patterns on the weekends). They rarely duplicated dishes, except for the shrimps which I loved, the breakfast omelets (that I did NOT like much), and the snack food. Most of the dishes were very tasty, and definitely filling. There usually is a meat or fish dish paired with either soup or a vegetable dish for lunch and dinner. There were times when the vegetable dish was a simple pack of greens (lettuce and very few cucumbers) but they did vary the dressing it came with. I loved the Asian dressing, but the balsamic vinaigrette surprised me; I loved it.

One of my favorite dishes is the Stuffed Sayote. It’s sayote stuffed with ground beef and some cheese. I would be lucky if I could reproduce that, and would appreciate anyone who can cook one up for me. 🙂

I really appreciated the one dessert and two snack items per day that came with the meals. They were my go-to items whenever I had a craving, or was hungry before meal time. The chicken salad was a little too bland but not altogether that bad, while the tuna salad was usually too salty. Though very normal, and not so exciting, I actually liked the jello. For dessert they would also pack in some vanilla cream (not quite ice cream) and others like it. Not bad. For snacks, there would be kani, tuna or chicken salad, also a handful of plain peanuts or cashew nuts, and cheese wedges or strings. Sometimes though, munching on cheese got me more hungry than I was before opening the small package. 😀

But I know that, more than anything else, people are interested to know if I actually lost any weight. I did. It wasn’t as much as I hoped though. On the Sexy Chef website, they mention an 8-12 pound loss within the Phase One period of SBD. In my previous experience of doing SBD, that is accurate. This time though, I didn’t lose as much. I did lose 4 pounds, and I haven’t gained it back. 🙂 What’s more important though is that I felt lighter a week into the program. My clothes also started to fit better. Oh, and I fit in a ready-to-wear dress that I bought in the department store. 🙂

For the past week, though not strictly adhering to the SBD guidelines for Phase Two, I have managed to stay away from rice and bread. I had cake on my birthday, and again yesterday. But I don’t think I’ve had ice cream at all in the past three weeks. I have chosen to eat salad when possible. I am thankful that Kenny Rogers has healthy alternatives for people like me who need all the help they can get. How many times have I ordered this high protein meal? It comes with rice but Alfred takes care of that for me.

If I had money to spare, I would spend it on two more weeks of Sexy Chef deliveries. It’s just more convenient and I need not worry about avoiding unwanted food because I just focus on eating what they give me. Sadly, I do not have the funds for this. Being on the guided SBD has again given me the resolve to stay away from advertised top diet pills. I’m not saying they don’t work because there really are people who swear by them, but they’re just not for me. I think that diet pills only really work for people who don’t need to lose as much weight as I do. They can be more like maintenance pills, rather than the cure, if you know what I mean.

So this weekend will be spent planning the next two weeks: drawing up meal plans and listing what to get from the grocery or identifying where to dine when in the office or out and about elsewhere. This weekend too, I need to work more physical activity into my daily schedule. It’s the only way I can achieve my weight loss goals without completely starving myself. Besides, my recently bought comfy workout clothes are hardly getting worked out. Haha. 🙂

My PC’s been cured!

As I mentioned a few posts down, my PC wasn’t detecting any network, and was decommissioned for a few days. Now, it has been fixed. The boyfriend brought it in to the shop to make sure it wasn’t the mobo. They tried a different LAN card and it worked. We had already replaced it with a spare one, but that apparently, also wasn’t working.

But all that’s in the past now. My baby is back. So yes dear friends, I will be loading it up with the (recent) wedding photos, edit away and upload, before the couple comes back from honeymoon. 🙂

I’m also due for a recap of the whole Sexy Chef/South Beach Diet experience. I’ll need sometime to think things over. Haha. But don’t you worry, I will give a review and an update on the whole experience. On hindsight, I just wish I did myself a favor and did a consistent workout while I was receiving my SBD rations. Anyhoo, I’m still on the planning stage for how I’ll continue with Phase two or restart on Phase One, and incorporate ab workouts, and all other workouts I can manage.

I just really logged on to spread news that my PC’s been cured.

I still have allergies though. And my eyes look awful. 🙁

Guitar Hero Metallica

Have you tried playing it? Guitar Hero Metallica is ?! or should I say, it rocks! 🙂

I actually haven’t been doing much GH lately, but the boyfriend was kind enough to get me the game when he was out to get new ones for himself. Ain’t he sweet? 🙂 And he lets me hog the PS2 just to enjoy it too. Another thing, you know those GH Arcade machines in the mall? He lets me play there too. I think he’s secretly proud of me, haha!

Anyhoo, for those who are back to check for updates on my weight loss diet, things are still going well. The Sexy Chef wasn’t able to deliver food for today because of the systemic blackout everyone in Luzon encountered yesterday due to Typhoon Basyang. But you know what? That wasn’t a problem for me. I had plenty of food left over from the previous day (it was due to my messed up body clock) that I had enough until lunch. After work, I had some shopping to do and bills to pay so we headed out to the mall. There, we had a nice lunch at Kenny Rogers where I had the Hi-Protein meal minus rice and drink. I still took some pictures, but I’m in a rush just now so you’ve got to come back tomorrow for those. 🙂

I am excited to share though, that I got myself another phone! I’ve got the new S phone from My|Phone. It’s a girly phone really, with Swarovski Zirconia for buttons and a Qwerty keypad. I took a photo, also to be shared tomorrow. It’s still cheap, and I have a buyer for my two-month old My|Phone so I’m not really spending much. I swear, this is the last time I’m switching phones at least for a year unless someone else gives me one. 🙂

I also, brace yourselves for this, got to buy myself a dress to wear for my friend’s wedding! This is a big thing, believe me. I haven’t been able to squeeze into a decent dress in a very long time. I’ve attended four weddings in the past year and had to settle for nice tops with my slacks when I really wanted to dress up and be all girly. We were both surprised actually, the boyfriend and I. Haha. But there, I’m not so sure I’ll be posting photos of myself wearing that. I might just keep that private for awhile. 😉

So there. I really am in a rush so sorry if there are grammar errors on this post! No time to reread 🙁

Catch you all later! 🙂

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