Friday, 10 March 2017

Effects of Working Out

I was at my heaviest in Poly, weighing 74 kg on a 1.55m height. My BMI was 30.8, though we now know BMI may not be the best measure of obesity since it doesn't take into account the higher density of muscle tissues compared to adipose tissues. My ex had a friend who, according to BMI is overweight even though he's obviously lean. As student nurses, we sometimes use the monitoring machines on ourselves while on attachment. My pulse was in the 90s though I can't call it resting heart rate due to the fact that I was walking around on the job. It wasn't super strenuous so a pulse in the 90s showed how unfit I was. My resting heart rate back then was in the mid 70s, considered to be normal. My BP was in the normal to very slightly elevated range which probably wasn't a good thing for someone under 20. It was usually 120/80 with the occasional diastolic mid 80s.

This was taken last Friday morning while I was at work as demonstrated by the date & time stamp on the monitor. My pulse was 63, a significant drop from the 90s when I was 18 while at work. I must say that this was an unusually low diastolic BP for me. A systolic of 97 borders on normal (anything below 100 is considered low). The diastolic of a 46 though, is quite low (anything below 60 is low). I'm asymptomatic though so I'm not too worried about the numbers. But it does speak volumes about the improvement in my cardiovascular health. Not too bad for 2.5 months of work.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Touchy Subject

I arrived home at 7.30 pm after yoga to a baked piece of basa fillet waiting for me. So I sat down for dinner while watching MKR. I left to shower & when I came back, hubs was watching a program on racism in Australia. They did a couple of experiments & the 1 that struck me the most was the Muslim lady in hijab attending an anti-Islamic rally.

The speaker was going on about how the Quran is not compatible with Australian beliefs & way of life. The lady was standing there listening, not doing anything really. She was then approached by a couple of Caucasians & it quickly turned not so pretty. Apparently, someone called the police & they gave her a written order for inciting fear of violence, grabbed her arm & forced her to leave the venue. Living in Singapore, I've grown up with so many Malays (Muslims) so I don't have that kind of animosity towards them. In fact, we never really had a problem until terrorist groups claiming to do the work of Allah surfaced.

I'm surprised that at this age, people still fail to see that it isn't the religion. It is man. It is us. I'm not a Christian & I can't say I know Christianity very well. But I have this question. What would Jesus have done in that situation above? Would he hurl racist remarks & demand that the Muslim lady leave? Or would he have protected her & instead administered with love & compassion?

I'm not saying that you can reason with terrorists & convert them with love & compassion. I'm just saying that regular people like you & me deserves the kind of respect that we think we deserve. What makes me better or superior than the other person? Nothing really. We all have to be born, grow old, die & meet our maker someday. Wouldn't it be better then, to promote a world of peace & acceptance?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Brain Numbing, Back Breaking Work

It's a woman's job. I'm sure some men do it. But it seems that among everybody that I know, it is always the job of the wife or girlfriend to plan the itinerary. This post happened becoz I'm taking a well deserved break from working on our itinerary for Japan for over 3 hours, since 6 am. My back between the shoulder blades are aching terribly & my brain all fogged up from going through so many places of interest.

It usually takes me many hours over several days to properly plan the itinerary for a 3 days camping trip. I can't imagine how long it'll take me to plan a 12 days (excluding the 2 days of flying), 3 cities (potentially more, depending on my findings) trip in Japan. To make the most of your time (& money of course), you need to execute a thoroughly planned itinerary. Hub's friend & his family visited Perth 2 years ago with, in my opinion, a terrible itinerary. 1 day they were in Pinnacles. The next day, they drove down to Margaret River. The 3rd day, they drove back up north for something else before going back down south on the 4th day. Too much time & fuel wasted travelling up & down for no reason at all. They should have asked us to have a look at their itinerary. But by the time they visited us, they were on their 2nd last day of the tour when most of the tour had already been completed.

The 1st step is always deciding where & when to go. After I've confirmed my leave, I will book the air tickets. That alone is quite a headache as there are so many airlines, so many different prices, so many different layover time. Once I've confirmed the date & time of arrival, it's time to start looking at the places of interest in that city. I will go through all of them, going into their individual websites & shortlisting the ones I'm interested in visiting. Useful information like opening hours, how to get there, whether they close on certain days go into my Word Document. These locations get cross referenced against Google Maps then gets plotted out so I travel in a circle rather than erratically. Places of interest that are near 1 another gets grouped together for the same day. Then, I will book my accommodation based on my itinerary. It sounds simple enough but it really is not. I know. I'm being overly thorough & perfectionistic.

Break over. Time to get back to my itinerary planning. Why I won't let hubs help? 1st, he won't have the patience like I do. 2nd, it won't get started till perhaps 2 days before the trip & it'll end up being a shoddy job. 3rd, major logistics will be missed. Perhaps most couples I know are like us. Perhaps that's why I only know of women who plan itineraries.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

It's Pay Back Time!

We arrived back in Perth on Tuesday night. I spent Wed morning for Konga at the gym, followed by stocking up the fridge, unpacking our luggage, portioning out the dogs' foods for freezing & watching Arrow on Netflix. Full on work on Thursday, didn't get home till 7.30 pm. Half day work on Friday, Body Combat in the evening.

It's such a small world. We have a new Combat instructor for Fridays now which I only found out when I attended it yesterday. Turned out that he's 1 of the youth leaders cum photographer for SGIA Perth. Being extremely bad with faces, I recognised him but couldn't figure out where I've seen him & I've been attending meetings for almost 3 years now. Major oops. Hubs was the 1 who made him out. With the lady instructor, we have time between tracks to get a drink of water. With him, he pushed on without breaks in between. I haven't been doing this for 2.5 weeks so I ached a bit after.

This morning, I pushed myself to do Body Combat followed by Body Pump. I've not done Pump before & the instructor advised me to use the lightest weights. My poor arms & quads... My legs quivered as I descended the stairs to exit the gym. Lifting my arms up requires much effort. My hair was totally drenched as if I had just came out from a shower. But, I've never felt better. Totally hooked.

I love my life here in Perth. I know hubs do too. He just finds it hard to let go. He said that he grew up in Sg. I told him that he's gonna grow old here now. Lol.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Sin-ing CNY

I'm not sure if we'll break the tradition next year but we kept to our tradition of going back to Sg for CNY this year. Every return visit leaves me in the red in the annual leave department, with me owing 30 hours of leave this time. It is especially hard when the 2 weeks Christmas break leave is compulsory & CNY is always just round the corner. We're approaching our 3 year mark in Perth. While I never fail to feel sad when the visit comes to an end, I feel glad to be back on Aussie soil. Perhaps I'm just identifying less & less about Sg being home.

Flying with Scoot, we always arrive in Sg just shy of 12 mn. Like previous times, we got home close to 2 am after spending time clearing the automated customs & waiting for our luggage on the carousel. (It seems that our luggage is always the last to be unloaded.) It took the taxi uncle only 35 mins to travel West from the East, mostly becoz he was driving at 130 km/hr on the 90km/hr expressway. Hubs held my hand the entire way. I'm not 1 who finds speed exhilarating. Lol.

The horror set in the next day. It never was this crowded (people) & this congested (vehicles). Even the feeder bus experienced a jam travelling to the town center. I could only looked on in dismay. This wasn't the Singapore I remembered & I haven't been away that long. Hubs must then go through his mandatory allergic reaction to whatever it is in Sg air which I remedied by getting Zyrtec from the pharmacy. He had to have 1 every single day to keep the hay fever at bay.

It poured for the 1st few days we were back, granting us temporary reprieve from the heat. I was really happy to see everybody again. It was the only thing I looked forward to. By the end of the 1st week, I was already feeling very "sian". I can't explain it nor can I describe it. For 2.5 weeks, we overate, overslept, over everything. Although hubs kept telling me that he doesn't know where home is, he appeared to breathe a sigh of relief upon reaching home here. The 1st thing he said was, "It's good to be home."

Friday, 6 January 2017

1st Day Back At Work

It was hard. Over 2 weeks, I've slept late, woke up late & napped plenty. I didn't sleep well as I felt really hot despite the temperature being in the 20s. I was awakened at 1 am by the hot mattress on my back. I couldn't get comfortable no matter how I flipped. Work wasn't too hard, a nice way to ease back into work. I did some cleaning, traced the lenses for all the way up to Wed & ordered the ones we didn't have. Job done.

There's a 5.15 pm Body Combat that I wanted to get to. I went to take a nap (oops) without setting an alarm, thinking that I would wake up way before 5 pm. Obviously I was wrong & I missed the class. I must say that Body Combat is really powerful. I went for the Tuesday evening class & I ached the worst I've ever been in my life the day. Probably didn't help that I attended Konga on Wed morning either. I literally ached from my shoulders all the way down to my lower back & my arms as well. I had difficulty putting on & taking clothes off. Walking & changing positions hurt. By Thursday it had subsided plenty & there's just a tinge left in between my shoulder blades today. I was looking forward to another session of torture but silly me missed it. Work will be full on next week. I better enjoy the weekend while I can.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Goals To Work Towards In 2017

I dreamt again. Zombie apocalypse. I know, I watched too many such shows on Netflix. Although I was trying to escape in my dream, I was helping others do the same, trying to keep them safe. It is a far cry compared to my dreams from when I was younger. I was always afraid, always running. While there's still the element of fear in my dreams now, I'm either fighting to protect others or trying the best of my ability to help others. I'll like to think that it signifies a shift in my subconsciousness or perhaps a strengthening of my character. The dream ended with me successfully helping the group escape to the aid of an army group deployed to kill the zombies.

Hubs went back to work today. I don't start work till Friday which hardly counts as work. We're just supposed to do some cleaning & for my part, check & order lenses for the cases on Monday. It'll probably take about half a day. Home alone, I attended the 9.15 am session of Body Balance at the gym. We have to sign in & collect a tag for the respective class. This lady was trying to see the class roster underneath the sign in clipboard & she said, "Sorry, dog." I could have taken it as an insult but it would speak more of me if I chose to take offense. We always talk about kosen rufu in our Buddhist studies. Kosen rufu means world peace. For world peace to prevail, it has to start from me. I brushed it off as her strong character which was later very evident in the class. I do the same with my manager as well. Besides, dogs are very endearing. :)

I thought Body Balance would be easy for me since I've been doing yoga for over a year. Granted, we did stop yoga session for over a month now which we will pick up again this weekend. But I didn't expect it to be so hard. I had to stop & rest several times during the class. I kept up better with Konga which was much more fast paced. It did bring up my weak spots, namely, balancing (all the 1 legged poses) & quads strength (all the warriors & holding of lunges). At the end of the class, I verbalised that to the instructor & she told me to keep at it & I'll get better at it. Through conversation with her, I also found out that she teaches Body Combat as well, which is what I'm planning to get to this evening. Sometimes gym work (jogging on the treadmill & weights) can get repetitive. Going to such classes mixes things up & work on different sets of muscles. I truly find them very enjoyable even if I can't keep up.

Rather than resolutions which I consider "must get there no matter what", I'll go with goals to work towards. It's a bit more lenient & allows a bit more leeway should I fall short.

Physical Health/Fitness

  1. I shall aim not to give up going to the gym that easily. It's ok not to see results. Just focus on how good I feel after each session. 
  2. I will like to master at least 1 inversion by the end of the year, starting with head stand.
  3. I shall eat well & stop deprivation diet becoz it just doesn't work.
  4. Instead of a weight goal, I shall aim to build more muscles & lose more fats. 
Mental Health
  1. I shall sing more to my dogs. Singing is 1 of my favourite past times. I sing during the journey to work & back home everday. Hopefully they'll enjoy it.
  2. Cut the self doubt. Whether I can or not, as long as I've tried my best.
  3. Cut the self degrading talk. I'm as good as the next person. 
Spiritual Health
  1. Human revolution is a life long work in progress. I shall continue to polish myself so that I will shine even brighter.
  2. I shall contribute a little bit more to kosen rufu than I did last year even if it's something very small.
  3. I shall aim to further apply the Buddhist principles I've learnt in my life. 
  4. Finally, never stop doing the 3 pillars of faith, practice & study.