Monday, March 24, 2014

the lonely boys club

Cousin Hughie was over from Miri for a short break because he was having a week of school holidays. His mummy dropped him over on her way to work in KL.

We managed to get Hughie to come to the condo for a sleepover! The boys had loads of fun doing boy stuff! Cousin Adam came over to play as well. I call them the Lonely Boys Club because Hughie is an only child and Solomon and Adam are both the only boys among many female siblings in their respective families! Lol!

Needless to say, they really enjoyed each other's company!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

inter-school sports meet

On the 17th of March, an inter-school sports meet was held at Jubilee Ground. It was organized by MSSM, Majlis Sukan Sekolah-sekolah Sarawak (I think).

Anyway, Annie was entered into the pentathlon event, which was an open event, meaning girls of all ages could enter. So Annie being 13, was the youngest of the 6 contestants! The rest were either 17 or 18 years of age! She was however, one of the tallest and surprised everyone by coming in third overall! 

The pentathlon consists of five events, namely; short putt, hurdles, 800m, high jump and long jump. She had never done the long jump before this, and her coach just managed to squeeze in a few lessons before the event!

She came in first for the high jump, breaking her own best height with a 1.44m jump! So now she has been chosen to represent Kuching for high jump (girls ages 13 & 14), in the inter-division sports meet in April.

Lodge School did very well this year, coming in 4th overall. The first two schools are sports schools, where all the students are hand-picked athletes.

Now all the athletes chosen from various schools are undergoing intensive training, at SMK Tabuan Jaya. There are six students altogether from Lodge National and International school, including Annie. This is a good experience for them, and hopefully they will all perform well when the big day comes!

Monday, March 17, 2014

the long road to skinny jeans

Ever since I was small, I have been chubby. Chubby is my default setting, unfortunately. I envy those who can eat as much as they want and yet not gain weight! All I have to do is smell fried chicken and I gain one kg! lol!

Anyway, after 4 kids, chubby progressed to the next level; overweight! I've practically spent the last decade either pregnant or fat! In the whirlwind of pregnancies and wailing babies, I must've let myself go...

Well, now that the kids are bigger, it is time to reign myself in! Since I closed the pharmacy, I have more time on my hands. So now it's my time to get into shape!

I tried quite a few things before Zumba. In between my pregnancies, I did join an aerobics class behind my shop. I made myself go maybe two or three times a week. It helped with my stamina, but I did not lose any weight. eventually I just got bored and stopped going altogether.

So after the last kid passed the 'wailing infancy' and 'clingy toddler' stage, I was determined to get some exercise in. Hubby was also getting fit, so I didn't want to get left behind!

First I tried jogging with Hubby. If we jogged at Stutong park, I usually ended up walking and enjoying the flora and fauna and looking out for monkeys and that resident pheasant fowl!

 When we jogged around the condo, I found it so horribly boring and monotonous. 'Oh, here's that crack in the pavement...... Oh, here it is again...... And again.....'

What do people think about when they run for hours? I know I'll end up thinking about food and cakes, and that doesn't help one bit. There was one time when I was jogging round the condo with Hubby and then went missing. He eventually found me upstairs baking a cake! Hehe...

So then we joined the gym. We paid a year's  membership for Kinesis Wellness Centre at Stampark. It was expensive, so that provided further motivation to go to the gym! Lol!

Unfortunately the trainers there are not very helpful. We approached them and their attitude was like; come and do cardio at least 3 times a week and after a month we'll train you. Well, if I had the discipline and motivation get myself to come and do cardio 3 times a week I wouldn't need a trainer to motivate me anymore now would I?

Anyway, Hubby found a trainer at the poolside gym who looks like Incredible Hulk and was happy to whip him into shape! That was when he became a gym junkie, complete with protein shakes, until his back broke! (See 'Screwwy spine' post)

As for me, I just went to the gym myself to use the machines whenever I felt guilty enough! That was maybe 1- 3 times a week? I've never liked cardio because it's so repetitive i.e: boring, so usually I did only 15-30 mins of cardio (while watching CNN) then went to play with the weight machines and the Kinesis pulley system thingie.

We also started swimming more. Since there was a pool downstairs it made sense to make the most of it. Swimming however, was weather dependent. Also I can't stand the cold, so mornings was out. Then I'm allergic to direct sunlight (exposed skin breaks out in rash the next day) so hot afternoons were out too. Evening was the best time.

 But I found swimming to be as boring as jogging. Up and down versus round and round. At least when swimming one can use different strokes. I taught myself the butterfly stroke, (the only stroke I didn't learn when I was a kid) with some tips from Hubby. Now that is really tiring!

Anyways, gym and swimming helped a lot with stamina and toning. There was no massive weight loss but I was more toned and also a few shades darker!

However, it still took a lot of effort to get myself to the gym or into the cold water! So soon enough I got lazier and lazier and stopped altogether.

When the gym membership expired, we didn't bother to renew it, because Hubby was recovering from his back operation and I was just plain lazy.

So when I spotted a promotion for Phoenix Gym at The Spring, I went for it. It was a 2 month membership plus a private training session at a discounted price. After seeing friends really get into Crossfit, I wanted to try it out for myself.

Crossfit was quite interesting. The best part was they had classes in the morning (when the kids are at school) and one session only took averagely 15-30 mins! That was excellent for me as I do not have much time to spare in between marketing and cooking and sending lunch to the kids etc...

I like how Crossfit pushes your limits and makes you feel like a badass muscleman! Lol! The people in the class were very friendly and encouraging as well and the instructor was very good. He made sure I did the exercises correctly, with correct posture and technique. Also they show MTV on their televisions, instead of CNN! :)

However, Crossfit really injures you and you're in pain for days after each session! After my first Crossfit class, my legs were basically jelly and I almost rolled down the stairs! I also felt like puking halfway through because it was so intense and you really try to force yourself to complete the task, even though your body feels like falling apart! Lol!

So when you do Crossfit, you can't go to the gym everyday, because you need time to recover. Or maybe it's just me because I was so out of shape! So anyway, after resting, it's hard to get your lazy butt back to the gym again. And if you miss one class, you have to wait a few more days till the next class as they didn't have crossfit every morning and I couldn't go at nights or weekends. Therefore, I ended up only going maybe once or twice a week. 

I tried an 'abs blast' class once. The instructor was away so the class was taken over by another guy who taught advanced classes! The next day, I had so much pain in muscles I never even knew I had!!

In the mean time, our band friend Felicia invited us to the opening of her cousin's Zumba studio, Exhilarate Fitness Studio. There was a free first session. I wasn't really interested at first. There were Zumba classes at Phoenix Gym as well and I never even tried them.

However I did join them in the end and before I knew it, I was hooked! 

The 2 months gym membership ended and I decided not to renew. I was not masochistic enough for Crossfit classes and the likes. Going to the gym was still a dreaded chore to me.

Zumba was a different thing altogether. It is so much fun! You're burning calories but it doesn't feel like a workout! It just feels like you're having fun learning how to dance! That in itself is priceless!

It also doesn't burn you out too much so you can do it everyday. It's sassy moves and awesome songs make you feel sexy and puts you in the zone. It's never boring as you move to the fast music and learn new songs and steps all the time! Each session makes you sweat buckets! Even your underwear is soaked through! For every hour of Zumba, you burn an estimated 500-800 calories!

Our instructor Catherine has an amazing energy that is contagious and the class is full of crazy and fun students! I have made many new friends and we have all morphed into Zumba addicts! 

The feelgood endorphins really make you come back for more everyday! Instead of forcing myself to go and exercise, I now have to control myself from going to Zumba classes too often! Lol! I try to keep Monday as off day.

Initially they had morning classes, but later cancelled them as there were not enough students in the morning. At first I didn't think I could leave the kids at home with the maid in the evenings to go for Zumba, but I tried and it was no big deal after all.

The first few times I left the kids and went for Zumba, I had so many missed calls on my phone after each class. After a few times, they got used to the fact that I didn't answer my phone during Zumba and the missed calls have since lessened.

I guess after catering to the kids for so many years, we imagine they can't survive without us. We also feel guilty and are not used to putting ourselves before them. But I think it is important that we take care of number one and it is also good that they see us taking care of ourselves.

Now everyone is used to Mummy going for Zumba. It is my 'me' time.

Oh yes, and the weight loss? I didn't dare weigh myself before, but I estimate I have lost at least 4-5 kg. My clothes are all looser and I am definitely more toned! All the regulars in the class have lost lots of weight. Seeing the results really is the best motivation! There is no need for discipline, as you actually want to go for class, otherwise you'll dream of Zumbaing in the night! Lol!

So thanks to Zumba, I have finally found a fabulous way to stay fit! It is something I can incorporate into my daily schedule as a way of life, a lifestyle change.

The only downside is the wear and tear on the body, the joints in particular. I am experiencing lower back pain and knee pain. However with the right shoes and knee guards that seems to have lessened. I hope it doesn't progress to the point where I cannot Zumba anymore!

Anyways, I still have a way to go in my long road to skinny jeans. But I don't mind at all, as I can actually see progress, I have great friends keeping me company and most importantly, the journey is so much fun!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

lion dance

Ever since Chinese New Year, the two boys have been obsessed with lion dance. After visiting Aunty Cynthia's house and watching a lion dance performance, Solomon announced to me that next Chinese New Year, he was going to perform the lion dance!

Cousin Adam is even more obsessed and his mummy bought the two of them mini Chinese drums and even made a lion dance costume out of leftover cloth and an old Mc Laren stroller sun shade! Lol!

When they get into the groove, they have lots of fun, but for the rest of us, it's torture for our ears! They even get oranges from the fridge to eat and arrange nicely on the floor!

Bashing on the cymbals is the most deafening! :)

Jasmine's birthday

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to little Jasmine's birthday at Permai Rainforest Resort. It was a gorgeous, sunny yet windy day.

There were lots of little munchkins at the party and they all had a great time playing games on the beach. I think we should make the time to visit the beach more often.

The kids all went home happy, tired and sun-burnt! There's nothing like an awesome day on the beach...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

lodge school sports day 2014

So Sports Day was held on the 17th of February this year. All the girls were involved, so we spent the whole morning there! It was a fabulous day; Annie won the best female athlete for her age group, Claire won a couple of medals and Eva was reserve. Even Solomon went to support his sisters. Also, their house, Purple House reigned victorious once again! This is the fourth year in a row or something like that....

the march pass

Annie's 1500m open was the first event

Claire at the starting line

and she's off!

Claire came in first for 50m

Annie broke the record with her 1.4m jump

Annie at the 4x400m relay

Claire passing the baton during the 4x100m relay

Solomon with cousin Amanda

Best female athlete for her age group!

Purple house wins again!

50m gold and 4x50m silver!

Annie's haul: silver for shot putt and 1500m and gold for high jump and 4x100m, not forgetting best athlete trophy.

Solomon wanting in on the action!

Well done girls!!!

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