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Midori Beagle, Happy Gotcha

Six years ago - for my birthday - I asked one of the queens to give me a puppy.  I sorta have a puppy back then - Macchiato - but he lives with in Marikina.  I wanted my own furry companion.  So - we all went looking for a beagle (a breed that I've always liked because of Snoopy).

Midori was a noisy beagle - which I knew could be a problem because we lived in a condominium.  But I guess - like with our relationships with potential human partners - we also act out irrationally with our animal partners.  So even if she was the noisiest of the bunch - but because she was pretty - I brought her home that day. 

Today - Midori is the real queen of our household.  She is the most demanding of my three dogs.  My Shar Pei, Char Siew,  actually developed this notion that he has to protect her.  This is why he doesn't let other dogs near us when we're out walking at the park.  The newest member of the pack, Brita the German Shorthaired Dog, follows Midori's every move.  Even if Brita is the taller dog - you would actually see her acting like Midori is the big sister.

My life changed - since that day that I got Midori.  Although it may actually be a cliche - I can attest to its truth - Dogs are indeed Man's best friend.  As she and I grow older together - the bond goes deeper.

Happy gotcha day my buddy Midori.  Here's to many more years of driving each other crazy.

Brogues from Reed's Bootery

I love shoes.  I'm not an Imelda Marcos - but I own a dozen pairs.  Some of my selections actually attract stares - especially in the office - because they're not what most guys would choose to wear.

Most of the time - the shoes shops that I go to have the right design that will make me go "Oooh!"  However,  I really wish that there are more snazzy options.  I wished so many times in the past - that I can find a shop which can make shoes according to my specifications.   

That wish has been granted by my fairy godmother - and she showed me the way to Reed's Bootery at the Abanao Square in Baguio.  Reed makes shoes according to your specs.  He has a variety of design to choose from - and you can pretty much request for the type of leather that suits your budget and taste.  I've had a pair of periwinkle boots made last year.  This time - I thought - I'd go for a little bit more classic design.  I want black and white brogues.  

The brogues you will find in shops today have a more rounded end.  I want mine to be a little more elongated at the tip.  This is the fun part --- making Reed and his staff understand what I want.  It can be a hit or miss of course --- but who cares?  Designing your own shoes makes them unique.

I told Reed that I will actually want croc/alligator boots in the future. They can be a bit pricey --- still way below the price of what the stores will charge for croc boots - but still over 100,000 pesos a pair.

When I wear these new babies - I feel like I'm Fred Astaire --- and although I won't have these get wet --- I want to just be;t out: "Singing in the Rain".

If y'all are interested in buying your own pair of custom-made shoes --- visit the Reed's Bootery at Abanao Square in Baguio.  They will take your sizes and specs --- and have it delivered anywhere via courier.

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.