Interesting stuff

Netflix Now in the Philippines

When it was announced in January that Netflix has expanded its reach and is now available in the Philippines, I was so excited to sign up. But we were having Internet connectivity issues at home so I decided to wait until we had more reliable connection before I signed up for the free 30-day trial. I decided that today was that day.

Sign up is quick and easy. In less than 5 minutes, I was streaming my first movie: Aloha, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams.

There was no hassle whatsoever. Perhaps it helps that it’s Sunday at noon and other people have better things to do than hog the Internet. The husband is also fast asleep, having come home from shift last night. If he was right next to me playing online, that might be a different story.

Already, I like Netflix. It may be a good reason to give up our premium cable subscription, but we’ll see. We had decided a few weeks ago to upgrade to Sky Broadband’s hi-speed offering but they are taking their sweetest time to get here and set us up. So earlier today the husband went online and signed up for an upgrade for our PLDT DSL connection. We are still considering which option will allow us to save on both Internet and cable, but I guess in the end, the fastest to get us setup would win. I just hope whichever comes first, doesn’t disappoint.

Reboot

It’s been so quiet around here I feel like stepping inside an old house and hearing my voice echo off the walls as I say “Hello! (oh-oh-oh)”

I attended the Life Bliss Weekend a month ago and I had a milestone – I came home with a different realization than what I thought I set off to have.

Let’s just say that thinking about what I thought my life’s mission was (prior to the weekend) meant staying in my current job for another year or two, and then setting off on an entirely different course.

What happened was that I went home with a renewed sense of what I should be doing in the role I currently have. How my mission can and should remain the same over time, albeit set in different roles in life.

I have tried many times to write about that weekend, but where do I begin? What’s important is that I have taken steps to work on my takeaways from that experience, and it looks like I’m well on my way to finding bliss.

How does that relate to this blog? Everything is connected. My desire to define my mission in life, the need to rekindle a passion for my work, and the non-activity on the blogs, are all connected.

And things that are happening now couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve had an opportunity at work to attend a training/workshop that gave me further affirmation that I’m where I am supposed to be.

For my blogs, I’ve been working on material that I signed up for two years ago. I’ve been stuck on having a mission and unable to move forward. But working offline on myself, I think, is allowing me to move forward here too. So I’m working on that.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am in an ongoing reboot process. Personal Reboot, Work Reboot, and even a Blogging Reboot, because really, how can you separate the three?

When was the last time you did a reboot?

100 Happy Days

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#100happydays

Have you heard about it? I’m on Day 6 of my personal 100 happy days’ challenge. What is it all about?

Here’s what it says on the challenge home page:

What?

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.

71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason.These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?

How? Plain simple!

every day submit a picture of what made you happy! 

It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day to a favor you didto a stranger.


#100happyday challenge is for you – not for anyone else.

It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.

So I took up the challenge and began on February 11th. I think it’s important to note that for some people, happiness doesn’t come naturally. Which is why we must intend to be happy. It is my intention to be happy for a hundred days. That’s more than enough days to make happy a habit. Smile

I’ve always said that I already am a generally happy person. It takes a lot to get me down. But it may also mean that being so leaves me highly prone to taking for granted those that make me happy. Hence the challenge to document and share the 100 little or big things that make me happy.

Please do join us! I share my photos via Instagram (@verabear) with the hashtag #100happydays. It can be shared in any way you choose – via Facebook, or your blog, Twitter, or if you choose to go private, you can just send them a daily email. If you’re already doing this, or are already done, please do link me up because I definitely would like to know what makes your days happy Smile

McKenna Pope–Child Activist: Haters Gonna Hate

I feel so proud of this young lady, though I don’t know her and I never even heard of her cause until seeing this video early morning on Sunday. She sends a powerful message though – that we have it in all of us to effect change. When we make a stand–specially on a potentially controversial issue-it’s inevitable that not everyone will agree with us, but so what? Take a stand anyway.

Haters will hate.

So what did she campaign about? She had a younger brother who was really interested in cooking and so the family thought it would be great to give him an Easy Bake Oven. Now we don’t have those locally, so not everyone may know what it is, but I believe it’s a toy that allows kids to actually bake something. I would have loved one as a kid!

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Photo credit: http://www.thecookinginn.com/easybake/easybakerecall.html

The problem was that McKenna’s brother was hesitant about getting an Easy Bake because it was “for girls.” All the marketing for the toy was aimed at girls.The colors were pink and purple, and the commercials always had girls. It was as if they were perpetuating the stereotype that the place for girls and women is at home and in the kitchen.

So she started a petition to ask Hasbro, the makers of this toy, to use gender-neutral colors for producing and marketing the Easy Bake.

Listen and watch her TED Talk here:

Dieting and The Brain

This post is sparked by the TED Talk by Sandra Aamodt: Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work. Video is embedded at the end of this musing should you want to listen in too.

At the heart of the talk is the fact that the brain, specifically the hypothalamus, acts as a sort of thermostat that signals hunger, energy, and metabolism. Whether you start out thin or fat, when you lose weight, your brain thinks you’re starving. For self-preservation, you will feel hungry and have less energy available.

Because I have been morbidly obese in the past 10 years or so, my body and my brain may very well have learned to think that this is the normal. Going down to a ‘healthy’ weight in the obesity scales will definitely not be a walk in the park because I am no longer wired for a lower number on the weighing scale.

Realizing that doesn’t give me an excuse to not make an effort. In fact, what she says next only encourages me further to continue with the lifestyle changes I’ve committed to recently.

Sandra points out that there are two types of eaters – intuitive eaters: rely on their hunger, and; controlled eaters: rely on willpower. Looks like I’ve been more of the latter. That explains the endless cycle of starving and then binging. Skipping meals and then going on an all-you-can-eat buffet.

When I was in highschool, my grandmother was against my going on a diet. She argued that I just need to stick to a healthy three full meals a day. Don’t skip, but don’t over indulge. If I had just listened to her then, I may have a chance to be 30 pounds lighter today. By the way, looking at my highschool photos now, I realize now that I wasn’t FAT! But at the time? Geez.

Sandra also talks about mindful eating. Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. But listen too when it says that the hunger has been satiated. Now that may take me awhile, so smaller portions will also help.

She then shows a graph of a long-term study across people of various weights and their risk of death based on four healthy habits: eating enough fruits and vegetables, exercising 3x a week, not smoking, and drinking moderately. It looks very similar to this:

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Image Source: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/12/31/evidence-that-fat-people-can-be-as-healthy-as-thin-people/

The short story is that the more of the 4 habits you have, the lower risk of death – regardless of weight. For the obese (darkest shaded bar on the graph), even just one healthy habit significantly reduces the risk by almost 50%. And when all four healthy habits are present? Then weight doesn’t matter. The person with the normal weight is just as likely or less likely to die prematurely than the obese person. 

So I guess I am on the right track. Except that when I resolved to make a habit of having green smoothies daily I had weight loss in mind. Now, I’m changing my mindset. My goal is no longer to lose weight, but to just be better. I think that can be achieved without necessarily losing all of my excess weight. If I can lose weight while eating more fruits and veggies and adding exercise in my lifestyle, then that’s a bonus.

What are your thoughts on this?

 

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