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The Biggest Loser is a Big Winner

When I reached my 30s,  I found it more difficult to keep my tummy flat - without exerting a tremendous amount of energy in the gym.  I hired personal trainers.  I joined every single cardio class.  I drank diet soft drinks.  I ate brown rice.  But with all of these - I continued to have a round tummy.  My Chinese friends call it ITALY ( which phonetically sounds like the Chinese phrase - big round ball ).

I was getting frustrated with all of these - and wondered if I will always just be thin-fat.  I was generally thin but I had a big tummy.  

And recently - I reached the age of 40 --- and I thought to myself.  Maybe exercise is not the only thing that can make me lose weight.  Maybe I need to start watching what I eat.  A big part of me was protesting against this because I love food.  Controlling what I eat will mean that I may have to forego the joy of eating.

So I took some steps towards eating more healthful.  Almost a year ago - I started eating just salad for lunch and dinner.  I kept to eating rice and everything else for breakfast.  For six months - I continued to lose weight.   I started at 172 lbs and ended at 161 lbs. ( I used to wear XL sized clothes and 36 inches waist pants. ) I was happy with the results.  Then I hit a plateau in my weight loss.   

It took me months - as I continued with this routine - and I noticed that my weight see-sawed from 161 to 164.  So I knew I had to do something different.   I realized - I may have to give up on carbs and sugar altogether.  It's just one meal right?  So the transition may not be that hard.

A month ago.  I received an e-mail from Sebastian Sherpa (one of those internet marketing e-mails). Most of the time - I'm skeptical about these e-mails but I said - I'd charge it to experience.  I'll buy the program and see what's it all about.  Sebastian talked about our hormones - and how it affects our ability to use fat for energy.  His program basically promises - that in 22 days - my body will stop relying on the food that I eat for energy --- but will start burning the fat around my tummy for energy.  When that happens - my big fat tummy (ITALY) will be gone.

So what the heck - I said - I will try this program.

The program is basically a low carb program.  It also had other components - like walking,  breathing exercise,  detox, and sleep.  I am also to stop snacking --- which I did religiously in the past because my body must have food every two hours.  

I followed the program - and the weight started to melt away.   My starting weight was 161 lbs.  After 22 days - I was down to 155 lbs.  Finally - my weight has breached that 160 lbs. mark.   

After the 22 days - I continued with the program - low carb, no snacks.  Carb and sugar only allowed during the carb feast days.   After the 22 days - I even introduced my body to drinking fat tea ( that's tea with high MCT oil like Coconut Oil ).   Drinking fat tea allows me to practice Intermittent Fasting - and my weight continued to drop.  Today - I weigh 150 lbs.   

I still have some inches to loose and I need to build muscle definition back up.  But overall - I'm happy with the results.   I can even wear my aspiration T-shirt.  You see I bought a bunch of T-shirts 7 months ago - which were medium sized --- because I was optimistic - I will be able to fit into them. This sleeveless shirt - is one of them.   It fits perfectly today.   My pants size?  Down to 30 inches.  And the skinny jeans - really look like skinny jeans!

I read somewhere that when you reach middle age - you may have to give up on the dream of being able to wear your clothes when you were young.   Wait - I don't have any intentions of wearing the 90s jeans and T-shirts I had --- but I did wish to wear the sizes that I used to wear.  I guess - my wish has come true.

Batman T-Shirt

My favorite superhero is Batman.  He is not an alien.  He is not a god.  He was not exposed to radiation that made him a freak.  He is human - a very rich human being - but still human.  His abilities are honed by training - a lot of training - and of course technology.  

The only thing I don't like about him is that he can be a bit of a psycho.   Actually - sometimes I like him exactly because of that.  But if I were Batman - I don't want to be psycho. 

With Batman being my favorite - of course I have to get a Batman T-shirt from DC Comics Store in the Pavilion mall in KL.   

I was actually thinking of wearing a tuxedo - with the batman T-shirt underneath -- but it just wasn't working out so - I said - screw that --- I'll just wear jeans.

Oh --- I also thought the black t-shirt is a good combination with these Converse High-Top kicks that I got when I was in Dallas.   Converse was having a buy one pair and take the second pair half off.  The shoes are very 80s - and the sales clerk was I think born in the late 90s --- but she thought it was cool. 

Kennon Road

When you travel to Baguio from Manila ( or any city or town from the South or Central Luzon ) - you have two choices of roads to take to the City of Pines.  One of the roads is Marcos Highway ( but in maps you may actually see this as the Aspiras-Palispis Hightway ).  The other is Kennon Road.

When the weather is fair - we prefer taking Kennon road.  It's a shorter road compared to Marcos.  Moreover - Buses and Huge Trucks are not allowed on this road.   The added bonus is the fact that it's a more picturesque drive up.

On the fork between Marcos and Kennon - you take the road on the right.   Pretty soon you will be greeted by this arch signifying you are entering the Benguet province.

Look to your right side to see the mountains of the Cordilleras.  You will see a lot of green.  In fact one of my friends say that driving to Kennon reminds him of the scenes in Blue Lagoon.  I told him - that there are portions of Kennon where I actually expect King Kong to come out from around the bend.

This is a familiar sight in the Philippines.  The trusted Jeepney carrying goods between provinces where it's packed to the brim.  Passengers end up riding on the estribo ( hanging on for dear life ).

Some parts of the mountains already have very thinning vegetation.   You hear stories from locals indicating that in the past all of these were green - or sometimes yellow - which are the sunflower blooms which the city of Baguio is known for.

This is one of the better bridges that you will use on your way up ( or down if you're coming from Baguio ).  Lots of them - and most of them were originally built by the Americans pre-WW2.

During the rainy season - we don't pass through Kennon because the waters tend to erode some rocks ( some might be small but still deadly ).   It is also common to see some of these rock walls transformed into water falls.

You will see some towns along the road.  Some of them were actually miner towns - since there were mines ( and there still are mines ) in this region.  The Spanish were actually hoping they would get gold in the Philippines - they never did.   The Americans found gold in the Mountain Province.

A famous landmark - the Lion's Head.  When you see this - you know you are near your destination.

Some vegetables getting delivered to Baguio.  Not all vegetables grow in Baguio.  Its temperate weather is not good for tropical vegetables.  

When we drive up - and I look up - I feel that heaven is a lot closer.