Don’t Think, Just Run

I feel like I’ve somewhat passed a strenuous physical exam after recovering from a super strong strain of flu that had my brain dizzy, muscles sore and made me just collapse into a sleeping beauty every night.  My immune system is now super charged and ready to take on what come.  Now it’s time to get ready for the Bangkok Marathon in November.  This week, I’ve started doing extra long runs at the gym. (Not really that long for a professional runner, but long for me)

I usually run two sets of ten minutes in the mornings, but that is really not far at all.  It takes me only roughly a little over a kilometer.  To make 5km, I’m going to have to keep running and running and running. Running for around 40 minutes non-stop.

To do that, this week I’ve been doing running stretches of 20 minutes.  Knowing that my brain would want to give up after ten minutes, I eased myself into running 20 minutes by lowering the speed slightly, but keeping the incline at 1% (so that the treadmill will resemble the outdoor a bit more).

I also had to stop thinking.  Yes, don’t think when you run.

If I think, I always end up stopping.  So I had to keep telling my brain to just ignore the thought process for awhile and kill off the voices from the lazy me inside.  Every five minutes, my lazy me would go through the cycle of trying to talk itself into stopping.

“Five minutes is a nice round number, yes let’s stop here for a bit.”  At this point, my lazy me is smiling and making the stop seem so pleasant.

“No, I’d reply.  Another five minutes then we can stop”  Yes, I trick myself every five minutes to run another five minutes. (I say I’d stop, but actually I won’t, because I’d trick myself again later.)

This self tricking involves not looking at the timer on the treadmill when the seconds count down from 4.56 mins to 4.57mins  to 4.58mins then 4.59mins.  My heart gives a big thump.  I must not give in, no I won’t and so I ignore this awful timer and instead try to look around the room at the other people running and exercising. I look out the window, watch the flickering TV screen and note to myself that the grandpa on the other treadmill seems fitter than me.  By the time I look again it becomes 5.10mins and then I say to myself,

“Haha!! you passed the round number, might as well run to the next round number. You know you are going to feel like a better person for having finished the entire run than giving up on yourself halfway.”

When I finish the run, it is indeed a feeling of accomplishment.  Even though how little the accomplishment, I think it’s a great way to start the day.  You won over yourself and ran a full 20 minutes. You killed the lazy voices, put them in coma.  Next week it’s going to have to start being 25 minute runs.

Yes, lets all stop thinking and just run!  RUN for your health, run for yourself, run for a new life.

The List

It’s August already and the end of the year is fast approaching. Just like that.  In a few months 2011 will be over and done with.  However, there are still a zillion things I want to do and so today I give you instead a list of places I still want to go to and things I want to do before the year is up.  I’ll probably be adding to this list as the months go by so ideas are more than welcomed!

Walk up to the Golden Mount Temple;
Go inside Hualumphong Train Station;
Take a one day train trip on Thailand’s ancient railroad (steam engine if possible);
Take the Chaophraya Express Cruise 9 Temple Tour;
Take a one day trip to Pattaya;
Take pictures of old shop house signs in Old Bangkok;
Walk along Saphan Kwai, an old business district;
Discover the wholesale flower market (PaklongTalad);
Visit the Grand Palace;
Explore the weekend jatuchak market;
Organize my photos and burn DVDs;
Finish making my handmade books;
Reorganize Having “Me” Time Website;
Initiate an event;
Run the 5K Bangkok Marathon;

If you have any suggestions for places I should go to and things I should do, please feel free to let me know!! Lets start on this journey together for together we are better 🙂

Beige it is.

The other day I went shopping for clothes. It’s something I haven’t done too much of since I lost those 15 kgs, as there were still so many “small” clothes I had left in my closet waiting for me to “one” day be small enough to fit in.  It’s a good thing I never lost hope and just donate them all away.  Now that I am small enough, I have been busy wearing those “small” clothes.  New ones had to be bought though I never realized how much I was still the “chubby” me inside even though I have been shopping for almost a year.

I suddenly realized the other day when shopping and trying on clothes, that I kept unconsciously picking out clothes were subject to the old rules. Rules that had been part of my life for much too long.  An eternity it feels like.

The list goes like this:
No horizontal stripes.
No light coloured bottoms.
No large lines.
No large patterns.
No sleeveless.
No skinny or pencil skirts. A-line or pleats only.
No straight legged pants. Boot cuts were favoured.
No lightweight material.  Materials need some weight to hide those flabs.
No chiffon, no knit.

I couldn’t let this continue.  I had to try on something different.  I tried on sleeveless shirts, dresses with large patterns, horizontals and yes, the other day I actually bought myself a BEIGE coloured skirt. 

What’s so interesting about BEIGE?  Nothing… I love it.  I love it now that I can wear it. 

Beige skirts or bottoms were things that I previously steered from as far away as I could.  I ran away from them and dared not introduce them into my closet.  Beige was a BIG “No No”   A fashion faux-pas.

My skirts or pants were all in the “darker” and slimming tones of black, brown and navy blue.  It was like that for almost as long as I’ve been working (and that is a LONG time) .  Now I have some greys, and pink, but BEIGE is still a new thing for me.

For the first time in my life, there are no rules I have to live by for clothing.  I can wear anything. I can pick out a funky shirt, a pair of shorts or a weird dress and just wear it.  Gone forever are the rules.  Tear them up, throw them away and burn them to ash.  No more will they become part of my life.

Freedom. Freedom at long last.

If you are working on losing weight.  Remember this:  once you have reached your goal, no longer will you have to burden your brain with all these rules.  No longer will your closet be filled with only the darker shades on the colour wheel with bottoms in only black, brown and navy blue.  You will be free to wear (or not wear) anything you choose or want to.  You will be able to wear that pencil skirt, perhaps in beige, or perhaps even get yourself a nice beige suit for work.  Wear a beige or white coloured pair of pants for the summer together with a light top.

Imagine it all. Imagine yourself in beige. I love it.  I hope you do too.

A “Good” Time

And so the weekend is over. Just like that its done and over before you know it. Just like that and your life will have passed you by.  Just like that you’d have gone through that experience you feared, undergone that operation or crossed that terribly high bridge.  Whatever happened, it didn’t kill you and it was over.  Over just like that.

It’s the same thing with exercise and weightloss.   Many people still ask me how I did it. (Even a year after)  The answer is simple.  You just take a deep breath, decide to do it and DO IT.  Don’t hesitate, don’t waste another minute of your precious life wondering when is a “good” time to do it, when is a “good time” to start that project.

If you just do it, before you know it , you’d have reached your goal and be done with it forever and ever.  There is never a “good” time to do it as when the “good” time arrives,  you’d undoubtedly find another reason why some later time in the future is a “good” time to start that weight loss program instead.  It a “good” time when you start it, whenever it is.

Now is a “good” time.

So if you want to do something you’ve had on your mind and you are just waiting for the “good” and “right” time, my answer to you, is to start doing it “Now.”  For there is no time as good as the present 🙂  Before you know it, you’d be done and wearing that bikini you’ve always been dreaming of 🙂

Let’s Join the 5K Bangkok Marathon

With all my rantngs on good eats around Bangkok and around Malaysia, I assure you I have not given up on running. I still do go running at least twice a week even after I hurt my back and had to give myself a one week break. It has been hard to regain the momentum I had when I was on my diet after a week off, and a lazy week after, but it is important not to give up and stop running if you want to maintain that health you worked so hard for.

I am planning to run the 5K at the Bangkok Marathon which is held annually every year in November and its about time I started training seriously. If you are reading this, I hope you will join me this year. It’s on November 21st, 2010. (

The last time I did the 5K (which by-the-way is considered Micro-marathon, Walk and Fun Run which means they don’t even consider it a “real” run) was in 2007 when I was totally unfit and unprepared. My good friend invited me to join and I thought “why not?” I’m really happy she did bring me along, or rather I tagged along, because it was a wonderful experience. Waking up early before the sun rise and running along with the beautiful royal palace as a backdrop… Gorgeous. I even still have the finisher medal.

Going totally untrained and unfit is not recommended. I remember being overtaken by people running along while pushing a wheelchair (since 5K is so EASY, its a “fun” run), and overtaken by people who were significantly older than me. Being at the end of the crowd, your heart kind of just drops when you see a large crowd of people running along happily in front of you.

Anyhow, I am going to seriously start training and if you are interested, try this 5K to couch program that helps you prepare for the 5K run. (

I’m somewhere around week 6, so what I have to do from now on is to push myself to run for longer periods non-stop. Remember, running outdoors is harder than running on the treadmill, and its all the mind! 🙂 Oh, and if you want to do the 10K Mini-marthon or the full marathon please go ahead!! I’m happy with the 5K for now 🙂 See you soon!

Time flies but its in your hands

Time flies.  It seems to fly by faster the older one gets.  I remember when I was young, a day seemed so long. It was filled with going to school, having the afternoon nap, homework, playing with the dog, reading or doing other odd things.  I was always looking forward to birthdays and another year.

Nowadays, a day is over even though you feel like it just started.  You’re sitting there working and then before you know it, its already time to go home.  It goes by so fast, that years past like it was months.  My birthday seems to be coming by around faster.  Too fast.  I don’t look forward to it as much anymore.

Whenever people ask me how long I’ve been working, the answer is no longer one digit.  It is now two digits and I realize: “Gosh, I’m not that young anymore.”   What happen to all my dreams and goals?  Have I  accomplished all I want to?  Grey hair is popping up.

Despite all the bad news about time flying by fast, the good thing is that you’re the one controlling it.  Even if time flew by faster than expected, it’s never too late.  You’re the one in control.  You direct what to do with your time.

The trick is just to not get drowned by the speed with which its gone, but to hold it in your hands and decide what to do with the rest of it.  That’s what matters. It’s all up to you .  There’s no one else who can tell you what to do with it.  You’re the captain of your ship. 🙂

Afterall, didn’t Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC succeed at age 75? 🙂