The 100 Day Project

Fit 2019 – February Check-in

Stitches & Words | Fit 2019 - February Check-in

What FIT means for me

This year, I have resolved to once again take charge of my health and wellness – to be FIT! I did a pretty good job of it for a good part of 2017 through the early parts of 2018, and it has meant a lot of good things for me, including but not limited to:

  • Better-fitting into clothes that made me feel really confident
  • Being able to walk straight (instead of crooked), a bit faster and for longer distances too
  • Going up the steps without losing breath too quickly or having to rest every now and again
  • Having regular menstrual periods (maybe not regular, but definitely better than before)
  • Generally feeling better!
  • Losing 40 pounds!

Getting to my healthiest self felt so good, losing the weight was really just icing on the cake. Fit is about these things and more – not so much about the weight or how I look.

My health & wellness ‘secret’ sauce

Getting healthier wasn’t an overnight success. This was achieved by taking it one step a time, day after day after day. Making better food choices, taking the right supplementation, and also choosing to lace up and follow a workout 3 to 5 times a week. It also meant keeping junk food and too much sweets off of our grocery cart.

I also had a great support system who cheered me through it all. My husband was a big part of it – working out with me sometimes, trying to cook more of the stuff on my list of foods to enjoy, and switching to black rice with me for good.

I guess it’s not such a secret after all. It’s true what they all say: proper diet and exercise is really all that it takes. Let’s just say I had good advise on what that actually meant. And that’s why losing the weight was such a positive and healthy experience for me instead of being a painful or stressful one. And I know it could be like that.

Falling off the ‘wagon’

In the last quarter of 2018, I allowed myself to slip up on one too many of the good habits I developed for over a year. I had let myself indulge on food that I thought made me happy but really only made me feel overstuffed in the end; my workouts were too spread out, until I just stopped exercising altogether. When at work, I sat around too much instead of finding opportunities to walk around.

Before the year ended, I had felt stuff that signalled my brain that I was in a state of emergency!

  • I felt bloated
  • I found myself walking awkwardly, and breathing heavily far too soon
  • Sometimes I would feel pain on my lower back – maybe from too much sitting around, or perhaps for the weight I had gained back
  • And then stepping on the scale confirmed what I had suspected all along: I had gained over 10 pounds throughout the holidays.

This made me feel really bad. Lucky for me, I already know what it takes to get back on track. I have the solution! I just needed to put it in action.

Game Changer

Stitches & Words | Fit 2019 - February Check-in

In January, I set up my Passion Planner to help me outline my wellness goals, list actionable steps to take and track them. Hitting my health goals is my Game Changer.

I feel it is so because so much ties back to being truly well and healthy: it means having the energy to do so much more. To be well lends to doing well. It means being better, so I can do better.

So I am making self-care a priority. I do this out of love for myself, not out of a need for punishment. I have no desire to lose weight FAST so I am not going to be pressured in to doing heavier and more challenging workouts when I am not ready for them. I know that those could potentially make me burn more, but I also learned from experience that too much exercise is a lot like too much stress – it tends to harm me.

Celebrating Each Success

This is not to say that everything has been smooth-sailing so far. In truth, I have only met my goal of exercising 5x a week twice last month. There was a week I exercised only twice. For a few days last month I bled too heavily so I prioritised getting ample rest over working out.

That is something I’ve also been working on: rest. I have sleep apnea and have trouble going to bed, I am training myself to sleep better, otherwise, I will not exercise when sleep deprived.

So I’m not the model for a strict routine, but I am still winning at this game. And I intend to keep on winning.

I had junk food one week, and finished up a whole bag of chocolate chip cookies on my own on another. But I’d been pretty consistent with watching my portions, and having veggies with my meals.

I celebrate every win, because each one counts, and is an inspiration to win more.

If you’re also taking steps to care for your health better this year, feel free to share your progress. Specially if you need some cheering on. I know how it feels to do everything and not see the weight go right away. I want to be there for you to tell you to hang in there, and keep going! Cheers to achieving our health and wellness goals for 2019!

The #100DayProject 2018: A Recap

A hundred days have come and gone!

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100 days!! @elleluna sent me a text the other day with the news that there are now over ONE MILLION posts with the hashtag #the100dayproject. Think about that for a second. That’s a million posts but really it’s millions of moments in which people chose to make something. To be an active participant in a world of passive scrolling. That’s radical. Wherever you’re at, keep going. You did it, you’re doing it. And it’s time to celebrate! If you’re interested in hosting one of the global meetups in your home town, click the link in my bio. We’ll share more here and in the newsletter soon. Thank you for being part of this wild art experiment, whether you participated or you cheered us on. We love this community so much. Thank you.

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A recap of #verawritesfor100days:

  • Publishing 24 posts
  • Having a list of topics I could still explore and write about in the future.
  • Accumulating drafts on specific topics I thought I wanted to write about, but may not live to see the light of day (the drafts I mean, may not get published at all).
  • Realizing that I still loved to write, even when I sometimes feel like I don’t have the words.
  • Feeling good about Likes on Facebook, and even better about actual Comments!
  • Coming to terms with having very little readers, and STILL continuing to write.

So I didn’t make it to 100 blog posts in 100 days, but I choose to consider this project a success. I have no intention to catch up or to make it up to 100 posts because in the process of getting those 24 out, I feel like I have already learned and gained so much.

This project has meant more than just actual blogging or writing.

  • I’ve unfollowed profiles on Instagram to make space for those I followed for their 100 day projects. Because I realized that I wanted to be inspired enough to take action instead of allowing myself to look at a feed, compare my life to that feed, and feel bad about my non-IG worthiness.
  • I also unfollowed profiles whose posts I don’t really engage with – those I just scroll through, not even bothering to read the caption.
  • My hands have been really productive, and that has been so good for my sanity. I typed, I crocheted, I’ve knit. I even completed two projects on my sewing machine (which I haven’t shared yet)!
  • I read eight books.
  • I had anxiety over work, and I have worked through it.

I had a piano teacher in high school that said that my hands were good at making things. I didn’t believe her because she was referring to my attempt at hand-lettering on my folder of sheet music. I didn’t believe her because I had classmates who were better than me at that kind of thing. But now I appreciate what she said – because I do good and beautiful work with my hands.

Over the last 100 days, I have re-connected with myself. It has been a journey finding my way back, and and adventure setting a course to take in the days to come.

Midyear Musings

Another month done. Halfway through 2018. Six more months and it would be just another year gone by.

How much have we accomplished thus far? Is life all about the passage of time, or about how much we do or make in a given amount of time?

Do you measure life by how you feel?

If we want happiness – how does happy feel like? Stop for a moment and think about this: how do you want to feel? Whatever that it is – do what you need to do to feel that way.

Many times, I catch myself thinking about how much time I have wasted. It’s as if I look back at days, weeks, and months, only to realize that I’ve only been going through the motions but not really being fully alive.

But I don’t really think that’s 100% true. I think what’s true is that my idea of living constantly changes. Sometimes I want more, and other times, it is enough to simply exist.

And always, these ideas are influenced by what or who is around me. My husband is prone to saying that social media is evil – and he has a point. How many times have I looked at my social media feeds and come out feeling bad that I didn’t do this, or I haven’t been there, or my house doesn’t look like that? So many times.

But it isn’t social media‘s fault. I realized that I’ve allowed myself to compare my life with an idea of someone else‘s life based only on carefully curated photos. I judged myself.

It took some introspection, some inspiration, and some deep conversations with like-minded people, plus the husband, for me to come to terms with the reality of the choices we make in life. Because ultimately, that is why we are where we are in this season of our lives. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about what we prioritize.

That’s how I managed to stick to the habits I learned when I gave my health a reboot. That’s how I’m finding time to spend with the people I want to surround myself with. It’s also how I’ve managed to complete 8 crochet projects so far this year, and read 16 books! It’s also how we’ve now managed to travel to two countries in less than a year’s time vs ZERO travel in so many years.

Life is all about what we make space and time for. When we look at it that way, I think, it opens us up to nearly limitless possibilities.

This is not to say that I’m living the life. I am also a work in progress. I know that I am still making bad choices, and my daily actions still don’t reflect my vision for the future I want to have. I am inspired – but more often, as it appears, not inspired enough to take real action. Understanding that, I am less frustrated by how much I haven’t yet achieved.

Inspiration. Choice. These are the precious first few steps, but they are not enough to make our dreams a reality. That requires consistent and focused action. That’s why I share this note to the world, not to preach, but really to remind myself to

Choose your vision. Get up. Show up. Do the work. Make it happen.


Our First Potluck At Home

We did it. We pulled it off.

Our very first time to entertain at home. 🙂

Technically, it’s not the first time. The hubby has had friends over for drinks, but they only ever really spend time at the back and its only for drinks. On Saturday night, we hosted our first potluck dinner party to celebrate the hubby‘s birthday with his side of the family.

This is the first time his family is coming over for a visit. We have been dreading this day for two months – since about the time the cousins agreed that the June inuman session was going to happen here.

Why have we been dreading this day?

Our entire living area is such a mess. It looks like we just moved in, or a tornado just blasted through. That’s why I don’t invite friends over, and why one of my goals this year was to finally be able to entertain friends and family at home – to motivate us to really clean house!

Initially, we wanted to do the cleaning all by ourselves. But we’ve postponed the dinner date because that didn’t happen. And just a week left before the last day of June, we were desperate for help. We finally booked the help of Busy Bees Housekeeping Services to get the house in shape.

They really saved the day.

They helped us declutter and let go of a lot of things. They cleaned up our couch, our bathroom and our kitchen and back area. There’s still a lot of stuff we held on to, but it’s a start towards breaking free of ‘stuff.’ Next time, we intend to enlist their help again but for the bedrooms and the upstairs bath.

Sorry, no before and after photos here but trust me – they did wonders to our home! My parents will attest, specially my Dad! 🙂

Too bad we didn’t get to take photos of everyone who made it to our small shindig, specially since it was the first time since the wedding three and a half years ago that my parents got any face time with my in-laws. By the time I remembered to snap this photo of our remaining guests, the ‘oldies’ had already left 🙂

On a side note, the Big Winner of this gathering was really our nephew/inaanak Grey who got to pick three items from his Ninong Dodong’s Lego collection:

Honestly though, we are wondering how many days we’re actually going to be able to maintain order and cleanliness around here. Haha!


If you need cleaning services, chat up Busy Bees Housekeeping Cleaning Services on Facebook, they are very responsive and will provide you with a free estimate.

The Book Thief

How many times have I found myself transported to another place, and another time? How many times have I imagined living in a different world, a different era? But I would never wish to exist in the time of The Book Thief.

Specially not on Himmel Street.

The Book Thief is my book #14 for 2018. I took my time with this one, reading just a few pages a day. Towards the end, I wanted to keep reading. All the while knowing…

That I may not have the courage to live in that harsh reality of wartime Germany. I don’t know that I have the heart to survive it.

Liesel Meminger had to say so many goodbyes at a tender young age. All because of words. Words. Words. Words that planted seeds of fear and hate. Words that started and fueled a war. Words that ripped families apart. Words that sent home thousands of souls earlier than they had to.

Is it coincidence that I read Markus Zusak’s masterpiece at this very season? There is a lot happening in our country, and in the world today. And once again, words are at the center. Words that are once again being shaken and used to distract, confuse, instill fear, and instigate hate. Words that are rewriting history, and shaping a new reality.

But it is also Words that helped Liesel cope. Words kept her alive. Zusak weaved for us a beautiful tale of humans that existed in that time. He forces us to remember that where there is ugliness, there is also beauty. And that kindness continues to persist in a world full of hate.

No, I would not wish to have lived in that time, in that place, but I would have been fortunate to have known the likes of Liesel, her family and her friends.

They are a reminder that there are Hans and Rosa Hubermanns out there who are willing to care for the lost and forgotten. That no matter the danger, it is right to repay kindness with kindness. There are Rudys, who are true friends, and this one shows us that boys can grow up to be decent young men who will give their all. And there is Max, who held on to hope even when it seemed that all is lost, and who never failed to show gratitude in every way he could.

So I also know that now we have a choice – do we allow the words of modern-day Fuhrers to shape our world, or will we use our words to spark hope, spread kindness, bring joy, and inspire change?


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