Posts filed under ‘About Me’

Journey to Honeyville

cavitex

 

We just finished wrapping up our busy season at work. So here I am with some extra time on my hands, and I have decided to update my blog.

It has been 3 years since my last post and a lot of things have happened since then. To keep myself from repeating the same thing, please check my About page for updates about me and the kids.

In addition to what’s there, I have also travelled back to the Philippines this past March. Yes, after 23 years! I was very excited preparing for the trip, but at the same time I was sort of anxious. Imagine, it has been a long time since I was back home. I didn’t even know if I’d feel at home there, if I can still connect with my relatives, my aunts, my cousins. Will they like my pasalubong? Are they expecting a lot? Will they be disappointed that I didn’t bring designer labels? Will I manage to navigate my way to the places I want to visit? Will I be able to commute by bus and jeepney on my own, or will I always need a chaperone?

But you know what? The minute I got there, I realized how silly those fears were. Once I started meeting my cousins, it was just like old times. Non-stop stories about our childhood, our present lives, our work, our kids. We also shared stories about our partners, broken relationships, dyeing hair and getting highlights, ingrown toenails, etc. And as for finding my way, I did manage to find my way to the mall and back to the condo where my mother and I stayed. 🙂 And I think, if I had stayed longer, I would have managed to get on the jeepney on my own.

My vacation in the Philippines was only 3 weeks long, but I tried to make the most of it. I visited a few tourist spots, some of them with my cousins, some great bonding time there. And of course one place I made sure I get to visit was my childhood town of Noveleta, Cavite. Oh boy, that was one sentimental trip!  As I looked out the window of the bus as we drove along Cavitex, I thought, this is my “Journey to Honeyville.” That’s the name I chose for this blog before I changed it to “niceheart.” And as I try to revive this blog, I am bringing Journey to Honeyville back.

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July 1, 2014 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

How I lost 20 pounds and kept it off

First of all, I’m not a health and diet expert. So you won’t see me writing about calorie counting or doing any kind of exercise regimen. I’ve shed off 20 pounds and I have managed to keep it off, for about a year now. And since it’s the start of a new year and I know that there are people who make New Year’s resolutions and I also know that “to lose weight” is most likely to be on that list, I thought I’d share with you how I lost weight. Maybe it will give some hope and inspiration to those who, like me in the past, has been unsuccessful, no matter how I cut my portions at dinner, cut back on softdrinks (soda, pop), and did a half-hour walking.

How did I gain the weight?

In 2001, I started working at home. My three boys were then ages 3, 7 and 11. My youngest son was in daycare and the high fees were putting a big strain on our budget. When the company I work for offered the work-at-home program, I immediately grabbed it. I pulled my son out of daycare and looked after him at home while I worked. This opportunity also gave me a chance to spend more time with my growing kids. We got to sit down together at breakfast before they went to school, and I was also at home when they came back from school. Oh, how I loved working at home. I didn’t have to rush in the morning, or the kids for that matter. Less stress. I also didn’t have to dress up. It was so comfortable. So comfortable that I took my time at breakfast, took long lunches, munched on snacks – potato chips, M&Ms, candies – I have a sweet tooth, you see.

I didn’t gain the weight right away. It happened gradually. I didn’t notice anything until after about three or four years. My usual attire at home was just a plain T-shirt and my elasticized pants. So I didn’t really notice the expanding waistline. What I noticed was that I would sometimes pant when I went up and down the stairs when I did the laundry. Or when I had to walk for more than 10 minutes. Well, once in a while I did have to get dressed up when we were invited to birthday parties, and then I would notice that most of my decent clothes won’t fit me anymore and I’d have to buy a new blouse or new pants. And then I’d see myself in the pictures and I’d see the double chin or the big derriere, or the love handles (flabby mid-section). No wonder my youngest son would ask me if I was gonna have another baby. At first I thought that he wanted a baby sister or a baby brother. And then he would sometimes call me fat and I realized then it was because of my big tummy. I looked pregnant to him. And when I saw that picture where I looked like I have two sets of boobs, that was kind of depressing

Taking action.

So I started to do something about it. First, I stopped drinking softdrinks. There was a time when I’d drink a glass of Coke at lunch, at snack time and then at supper. I remember Dr. Phil saying on his show that in order to stop eating or drinking something that you want to avoid is to stop buying it. Well, I didn’t actually stop buying them. I would buy just one or two 2-liter bottles per week. For the kids, I would say.

softdrinks-x

The famous doctor also showed the viewers how to eat a balanced meal. Imagine that your plate is divided in four parts. You put your starch (rice or potatoes) on one quarter of your plate, your meat on another quarter and your veggies and fruit on the rest of the plate.

balanced-meal

I also heard somewhere that if you want to cut down on your portions, use a smaller plate. So I did that, too. I started using a smaller plate, 8 1/2 inches, instead of the bigger 10 inches. If I still felt hungry after finishing the food on my plate, then I’d just eat another fruit.

I also realized that being cooped up in the house everyday could be a contributing factor to the weight gain. I knew I needed to get more active. Get out there. I thought of going to back to the office so I could get out everyday. But I loved working at home so much. I got to work and stay at home at the same time. And I just loved being there for the kids. I decided to stay at home but resolved to do something to get my butt off my chair for a few minutes or so a day. So I thought I’d walk for half an hour everyday. I did walk, but not everyday. There was work to do and I didn’t always have the extra time. I also volunteered at my son’s school as a school patrol. That did get me out of the house. Patrolling didn’t really give me a chance to do a lot of walking. But getting out of the house did some good. I wasn’t as sluggish as before. And it made me a bit energetic. So even though I didn’t lose weight, I felt better. No more panting or getting out of breath. And I was happy about that. I’ve learned to accept that maybe I’d be stuck at the size that I was.

The turning point.

Late in 2007, I got recalled back to the office. I had a feeling that it was going to happen. But I was still kinda taken aback. I had mixed feelings about it. I knew I was going to miss working at home. Being there most of the time for the kids. But at the same time I was also excited and looked forward to the changes that would happen. Going through all that morning rush, getting dressed up, trying to catch the bus, literally rubbing elbows with people going to work and interacting with people at the office. I also took a second job at around the same time that I went back to the office. All of these changes that were happening – the sudden activity of getting my butt out of the house everyday and also my second job required a lot of standing and walking, I slowly shed off some pounds. Besides I wasn’t munching on my usual snacks of these.

chocraisins-x fuzzy-peach-x potatochips-x

Yes, I realized then that even though I was cutting back on my portions at lunch and dinner, I hadn’t given up on chocolates, candies and potato chips. Lots of sugar and salt and hydrogenated fat. That was the reason I couldn’t lose the weight.

I developed these bad habits when I was working at home. I was mostly alone at home and I didn’t have to worry about anybody seeing me in a bad posture, for instance. I would sometimes have my feet up on my chair while typing on the computer. Watching TV while working. Bet you can’t do that in any other workplace. And of course, having food in front of me, munching all day long. Hence the weight gain. But when I went back to the office, I had to give up all these bad habits. I didn’t want my co-workers to see me with my feet up on my chair, or munching on junk food while I work. I observed proper work behaviour at all times.

Now, I’m not saying that working at home was bad. No, please don’t get me wrong. It had been a really good experience for me. I wouldn’t trade those six years for anything in the world. I had the time of my life. There were just some things that I did not handle right. Looking back, I think I should have given more thought on time management. I guess I was trying too hard to be a super mom, or a super woman. I thought then that since I was at home, I would be able to do everything. Like do my work and also the house chores and still tend to the kids. Or like when I realized that I should be getting out of the house for a few minutes a day, I should have been more disciplined in that matter. Maybe I should have set aside a specific time of the day instead of getting distracted by the TV or the internet (blogging). 🙂

Getting recalled back to the office was the saving grace for me. I guess I was in denial at that time. I think I knew deep inside that I wasn’t happy at home anymore. The kids were getting older and they didn’t need me that much. Also, I was getting bored with the daily routine. I was just scared of the prospect of change. But you know, change is good.

In regards to losing weight, or kicking out any bad habit for that matter, I have to agree with Dr. Phil, that we sometimes have to make significant changes in order to be successful. You have to change your environment or substitute a bad habit with a new one. Like for example, I wanted to stop drinking softdrinks. I replaced it with juice and milk. I have never been a milk drinker, but I realized that I am in my forties now and I need calcium for my aging bones anyway. So why not start drinking milk now? I just hope it’s not too late. I also always have a bottle of water beside my desk.

Last summer, I bumped into friends who I haven’t seen in about six months or so. Some of them noticed my weight right away. “You lost weight!” “You look good!” “Gumanda ka nung pumayat ka” (You look prettier now that you’re thinner.) I’m sure she didn’t mean that I looked ugly when I had some extra weight on me. 🙂 But these comments were all very flattering even if they came from my girl friends.

Some has asked me how I lost the weight. And sometimes I would just give a quick response that it was because I was working out of the house now. It was the mobility.

In conclusion.

So just to summarize, here’s a list of the things that made me lose the pounds and help me keep them off. I hope these simple tips will also help anybody who wants to lose weight.

1. Give up the softdrinks. Please people, if you have to go cold turkey, please do. It doesn’t mean that you have to give it up forever, just at least during the first few months that you are trying to lose the weight. I, myself, have never given it up completely. I still drink Coke but only on special occasions. And when I do, I actually find it quite strong for me.

2. Stop snacking on potato chips, candies or chocolates. Also go cold turkey if you have to. Replace it with fruits or veggies like carrot sticks or celery sticks, or my favourites – grapes or orange slices. Or chew a gum if you feel the urge to munch on something. Like the softdrinks, you don’t have to give it up forever. I would still eat a chocolate bar every now and then, but not every day. 🙂

3. Use a smaller plate for meals. And distribute your food like this:

balanced-meal

4. Use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.

5. Take the bus to work.

6. When you take your car to go shopping, don’t park too close to the entrance. A little walk will do you good.

7. Take a walk at lunch time. If you don’t have time to do a 30-minute walk today, 15 minutes will do. Not only will it re-energize your body, but also your mind, especially if you’re having a bad day at work.

8. Before you go to a party or any handaan, eat a little snack at home. It might not make sense to you. Why eat at home when you’re going to a party where you will eat anyway? Well, it’s just to curb a huge appetite. If you’d had a little something before you left home, you won’t have the urge to fill up your plate with a mountainful of food.

9. If you don’t work, let’s say you’re a stay-at-home mom, and you think that you might also need to lose some weight, but can’t find the time to go to the gym or do some exercise. Maybe you can make arrangements with other stay-at-home moms that you know. Maybe you can take turns looking after each other’s kids and then you can go to the gym, or take a half hour walk. Or maybe find a part-time job or do some volunteer work. Just a few suggestions.

10. Have a specific and realistic goal. Don’t say that you want to lose 20 pounds right away. “I want to lose 10 pounds in two months” is a more realistic goal. Last summer, I was glad that I was able to finally wear this pink blouse that I wore on my 40th birthday. You see, I only wore that pink blouse a couple of times. The following summer, it won’t fit me anymore. And it is one of my favourites because I like the colour and the style. Now that it finally fits me again, I dread gaining weight again. So that’s sort of a motivating factor for me. To stay in this size that I am right now.

Before

Before

After

After

Disclaimer. This account is not intended to substitute or replace any medical or professional advice. Please consult your physician before you try to lose weight especially if you have a medical condition.

January 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm 20 comments

4 Things Meme

I’ve been tagged by Major Tom of The Citizen on Mars

Here’s the rule:

Click copy/paste, type in your answers and tag four people in your lists! Don’t forget to change my answers to the questions with that of yours.

Question # 1. Four places I go over and over.
My answer : 1. the office, 2. the grocery store, 3. 7-11 Store, and 4. Shopper’s Drugmart.

Question # 2. Four people who e-mails me regularly.
My answer : 1. Tammy, 2. Elaine, 3. Grace, and 4. Lu.

Question # 3. Four of my favorite places to eat.
I don’t eat out a lot, but I’ll try to answer this: 1. the kitchen (or dining room at home), 2. TV room at home, 3. my desk at work, and 4. McDonald’s.

Question # 4. Four places you’d rather be.
Winter has come to Winnipeg so that will explain my answers : 1. someplace where it’s not slippery outside, 2. someplace where I don’t have to wear up to three layers of clothing, 3. someplace where I can walk outside for half an hour without the blustering wind and the freezing cold, and 4. someplace where even warm water won’t sent shivers down my spine the first time it touches my skin when I take a shower in the morning.

Question #5. Four TV shows I could watch over and over.
My answer : 1. Ugly Betty, 2. The Office, 3. The Big Bang Theory, and 4. Pushing Daisies.

I am supposed to tag 4 people. But I feel guilty just throwing out four names when I haven’t been really bloghopping regularly.

So I’ve decided to tag the first 4 bloggers who will read this and haven’t been tagged for this meme. Of course, you have to leave a comment so I will know who you are. 🙂

1. Kyels
2. Pining
3. Verns
4.

November 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm 6 comments

38 Questions

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? Michael Scott aka Steve Carrell from The Office.

2. What were you doing at 0800? Packing my boys’ lunches.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Laundry.

4. What happened to you in 2006?  We had two special events in 2006.  My youngest son received his First Communion and my middle son received the sacrament of Confirmation.  It was a busy year for me helping both prepare with our nightly lessons.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud? “Goodnight, Ryland.”

6. How many beverages did you have today? A cup of MILO (hot chocolate), four glasses of water, and two glasses of milk.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Black.

8. What was the last thing you paid for? $4.89, a gallon of Dairyland 2% partly skimmed milk at 7-11.

9. Where were you last night? At home.

10. What color is your front door? Brown.

11. Where do you keep your change? In a small coin purse, which my mother gave me when she came back from the Philippines a few years ago.

12. What’s the weather like today? Cloudy and cold.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Heavenly Hash.

14. What excites you? Grocery shopping, opening and reading a new book.

15. Do you want to cut your hair? Yes, I’ll get an appointment next week.

16. Are you over the age of 25? Yes.

17. Do you talk a lot? Not really.

18. Do you watch the O.C.? I know that show but I don’t watch it.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yes, a guy from work.

20. Do you make up your own words? I guess, once in a while.

21. Are you a jealous person? No.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Amanda, my hairdresser.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kathy, a girl from work, although she’s not exactly a friend.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? What’s a received call list?

25. What does the last text message you received say? I don’t have text messaging.

26. Do you chew on your straw? Nope.

27. Do you have curly hair? No, it’s very straight.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Nothing planned yet.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? I can’t think of anybody.

30. What was the last thing you ate? For supper, rice and omelet with chopped onions, tomatoes, shrimp and hotdogs, and grapes.

31. Will you get married in the future? Nope. I’m already married. Belle is right.  This meme is appropriate for young people.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?  The only movie I’ve seen within the past two weeks is Transformers.  It’s okay. 

33. Is there anyone you like right now?  America Ferrera.  She’s really pretty behind that Ugly Betty disguise and she thinks that Ugly Betty is cute. 🙂  She’s also very humble despite her fame and the awards she’s garnered. 

34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Tonight.

35. Are you currently depressed? I guess a little bit.

36. Did you cry today? No, not today.  I did last night while watching Ugly Betty.  That scene where Betty told Hilda about her love affair with Henry.

37. Why did you answer and post this? Because I was tagged by one of my favourite bloggers, Belle, and I haven’t finished writing my next post yet. 

38. I’m tagging Tin, Gypsy, Karen, AnnRach.

November 2, 2007 at 11:13 pm 16 comments

My Desktop

My Desktop 

I have been tagged by Major Tom to give a Free View of my Desktop.

Here are the instructions:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.

You can do a screen capture by:

1. Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).
2. Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).
3. If you wish, you can edit the image, before saving it.

For MAC users: Press [ Apple] [ Ctrl ] [ Shift ] and [ 3 ]

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

This picture is one of the Rocky Mountains in Banff taken when we went on a road trip to Alberta over the summer.  I change my desktop picture every so often.  I sometimes have the kids’ picture there and sometimes one of my nature shots.  I should have an Autumn picture there by now, but I still can’t get over the mountains of Alberta.

I prefer to have only a few icons on my desktop.  I only have the essentials there which include my anti-virus programs, Lexmark printer, Epson scanner, Irvanview graphics editor, Homestead SiteBuilder (for my websites) and a few others.

I am tagging Wil, Kyels, Verns, Gypsy and Bugsybee

October 8, 2007 at 5:16 pm 23 comments

One word meme

This is a long overdue tag from Teacher Julie.  Sorry, it took so long.  She didn’t have any specific instructions but I guess the title says it.  You are supposed to answer the following with only one word.  Sometimes it’s hard to come up with just one word, but I tried.

• Where is your cellphone? Nowhere ( I don’t have one)
• Relationship? Mending
• Your hair? Straight
• Work? Changes ( My work-at-home stint is coming to an end)
• Your sister? Conservative
• Your favorite thing? TV
• Your dream last night? Hot!
• Your favorite drink? (Just plain old) Water
• Your dream car? Ferrari (This is my nine-year-old son’s answer.  I don’t know much about cars.)
• The room you’re in? Sala (Living room)
• Your shoes? Runners (This is what I wear at this time of the year.)
• Your fears? Empty-nest
• What do you want to be in 10 years? Grandma (?)
• Who did you hang out with this weekend? Family
• What are you not good at? Organizing  Remembering (I have a short attention span.  That’s why I have to write things down to remember them.)
• Muffin? Banana-nut
• One of your wish list items? There is A Season: A Memoir in A Garden” by Patrick Lane (I’ve been wanting to have this book for a couple of years now.  I finally ordered a copy last weekend.)
• Where did you grow up? Cavite (Philippines)
• Last thing you did? Laundry
• What are you wearing? My jammies
• What aren’t you wearing? It’s your guess (ha ha ha)
• Your pet? Fish (We once had three bubble eye fish.)
• Your computer? Sony-VAIO
• Your life? Busy
• Your mood? Good
• Missing? S – – (Take another wild guess.)
• What are you thinking about right now? S – – ( he he he)
• Your car? Malibu
• Your kitchen? Dirty (dishes in the sink)
• Your summer? Relaxing
• Your favorite color? Red
• Last time you laughed? Last night (while watching “The Office”)
• Last time you cried? Last week (While watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”.  America Ferrera made me cry.)
• School? I’m-glad-I’m-done-with-it (My other answer: Expensive – I have a son in university.)
• Love? Is like an ocean (Perhaps love is like an ocean.  Full of conflict, full of pain. – John Denver)

I’m tagging Pining, Rhodora, Haze, Belle, and Toe.

Updated on October 20, 2007:

I misread the question – What are you NOT good at? I’m actually very good at organizing. 🙂

October 5, 2007 at 9:27 pm 16 comments

My Sites

Hello Dolly

Old Songs

My Movie Room

My Webshots

My Flickr Photos

My YouTube Account – nice24heart

September 20, 2007 at 9:09 am 1 comment

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