Saturday, May 23, 2020

Alcohol and me 1

After two months, finally got to taste wine again. Just one glass, savored. With a huge glass of water beside it. And no pulutan. C3 and I did a 5thirsty to celebrate a monthsary and the weekend.

Sipping that one glass made me more conscious of the taste, the tones and the slow buzz that came with it. What a lovely combination. And to preserve my fitness gains, that one glass was at the expense of the afternoon meryenda.

Pisceans have been known to be escapists of the Zodiac, with alcohol and other vices as top avenues for escape. I am no exception. Alcohol and I, we have have had some wild times together. And to that usual question ‘how drunk have you gotten?’, this is my “I was so drunk that...” list

Tequila Night at Elephant Bar 

This was the first bar I could actually go to alone, not needing to set up a posse. I knew the owners, and eventually the staff. I would hang out there at the bar, just enjoying beer. 

But there were fun nights, too. One was a Tequila-for-all sponsored night. Lick-Shoot-Suck pairings. They were pouring Tequila straight into our mouths. That was Party! Party! Till almost everyone was decimated. I was so drunk that my friends saw me sitting on a urinal dozing off. A sober friend (party pooper) had to drive my car and me home. But they were amazed that I was able to direct them to the house even as I was lying on the back seat of the car, eyes closed. 

I hated Tequila for months after that. Literally, my stomach would turn at the whiff of it.  But there’s no denying the fun then, and the fun remembering it now.  

Sunday, May 17, 2020

My 50’s Fitness Journey during #ECQ

I am finally back to my desired weight level. I have lost 12 lbs since I started changing my diet, incorporating daily workouts. I thought I’d never get back to this weight pre-ECQ, I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t fitting into my pants anymore. I had even started folding these, ready for donation. 

Learnings about my 50’s body. Bulking up, trying to build muscle doesn’t work for me anymore. (I tried to do that in 2019) My PT asked me about my goals back then. I mentioned a lower fat % and bulky, especially around my shoulders. He squarely said that those are competing goals, as one required eating less and the other is about eating more (quality calories, of course). 

I dumped my diet and started to train heavy. I started fine. I was even challenged to do really go heavy (well, considering my capacity). And I quickly fell into a rut. My joints were sore all over. I was dreading working out, knowing that I was going to be in pain, and not be able to carry the weight, and hate myself. Ugh.

By end of 2019, I was going nowhere with my workouts and with my weight. And it coincided with my new job assignment, so I wasn’t in a happy place. I was heavy, fat again. And it just disappointed me more. 

I started to make some changes at the start of 2020. I began waking up really early so I could workout BEFORE going to work. But I still hadn’t gotten around to my disciplined eating (and monitoring).

ECQ made that happen. I was determined not to come out of this heavier. After week 1, I started incorporating working out into the WFH arrangement. Then I went back to daily (yes, daily) monitoring of my weight, my caloric intake). And by Holy Week, I had to commit to a diet of chicken breast, vegetables, mainly.

I think I also finally had the app MyfitnessPal all figured out. I am able to really track my calories. I have also realized that for me to start losing weight, I should average 1,200 calories a day, And to think before ECQ, I was looking at 1,800 to 2,000 calories daily! Sidenote: 1,200 is Basic Metabolic Rate or BMR. I get this from previous weigh-ins. I never thought much about this metric till this time.

I structured my workouts around the limited hodgepodge of home equipment I have. I do resistance training MWF. Then I do cardio TThS. My cardio includes dance now, which I am rediscovering HAHA. Next up is to include serious HIIT about 1x or 2x per week.

It helped that my city imposed a liquor ban. Haha So I’ve been dry since March 21. I end up drinking about 375 - 500 calories of wine or alcohol every time I drink! (Wala pang pulutan yan!)

So I am in a good place now, as far as my fitness/health/weight is concerned. Trick now is to maintain this and include drinking wine in the process. Because when I get back to my beach house, and I am on my view deck looking out to the West Philippine Sea, I have to be drinking wine.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

ECQ Day 55, May 10 Sunday

This ECQ really messes up with my head sometimes. I become irritable, withdrawn at times. Though most days, I am usually just ok. (It’s Day 60 for me. I started counting on May 17 when ECQ was imposed for all of Luzon).

I’m on my favorite afternoon spot on the platform before descending the roof deck. I am appreciating the cool breeze.  Grateful for that breeze, as it has been hot and humid the past days. No sunset though. Clouds are obstructing the sun. Not that I could see it from where I am. I face south so I never really get to see my favorite view.

This overcast Sunday afternoon surprisingly is not making me moody. I am now wondering: once the ECQ is downgraded to a GCQ, what would I want to do first?

I want to visit c3. I want to spend maybe an overnight just being with him. I miss the cuddling. Though we Facetime everyday, I miss talking in person with him. And watching Netlix together. And snoring together.

I want to visit my dad at Heritage Park. We were not able to hold a proper first year death anniversary commemoration. I want to bring my mom there though I don’t know how we would manage if GCQ prohibits movement for senior citizens.

Of course I want to go to my beach house! I want to see the sunset there again. I want to see the improvements that have been happening during this period. I want to see the caretakers and their family. 

Though I have to think what kind of safety protocols I should put in place once I get there. And when I come back here to Manila. Should I enforce that the caretakers wear face masks while I am there? Do I limit their movement? Do I quarantine myself upon coming back? So many things to consider.

I do miss drinking. Our area has been under a liquor ban so I have been dry since March 21. But now I don’t know how to balance that with my diet, yet. I’ll figure that out soon.

I don’t miss eating out, if only for the fun of it. Yeah, I still have my sugary cravings. But I don’t intend to indulge once this lifts. 

I don’t miss malls or shopping, either. 

At this point, I am just looking forward to being able to drive out of my city, still with my facemask, gloves, glasses and cap, alcohol, wipes and maybe my face shield. 

It may not happen anytime soon. That’s the cold reality. But the time will come. And I will be ready for that. Gotta keep my head intact till then.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Burning Hearts

The Gospel today, usually given entitled as “The Road to Emmaus”, I will always remember as the Gospel read during First Holy Communion. We had rehearsals on the participative Gospel reading. “Please stay with us. Night is coming.”

Reading and re-reading the Gospel, I am struck by the way their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. Contrary to what the priest said at the sermon, they did not recognize Jesus because of their disappointment. They were “prevented.”

I reckon that Jesus had this cloak of many faces upon his resurrection. I bet that the mysterious Faceless Man character in Game of Thrones was based on this. (Which I have previously blogged about. Hehe)

I wondered how it is to feel ‘a heart burning’. I am recalling how I become engaged and excited in certain conversations, many of them debates and arguments. Certainly, my heart beat races as I try to understand what was being said AND formulate my own on reasoning, counter-arguments, or even just questions to test the rationality of the argument.

Could this be what Cleopas and companion were feeling as the Scriptures was being explained to them by no less than Jesus himself? I imagine how impassioned the discussion must have been as those disciples had made up their mind that the prophet they were following could NOT have been the Messiah. They must have felt so lost as this figurehead they had pinned their hopes on was crucified. They must have felt crushed and humiliated. And they couldn’t wrap their minds around the stories that somehow, he must have resurrected.

They must have tried to argue against the facts being laid by Jesus. Yet they couldn’t. And they began to understand both his horrible death AND his resurrection. They probably had that “Aha” moment, just as he broke the bread. That moment of realization coincided with the ‘reveal’ - it was Jesus, all along who was with on that journey! Jesus, his tasked completed, disappeared. But he left them enlightened and even more zealous as disciples, hearts burning!

How wonderful it must have been to hear Jesus himself explain the Scriptures for us. And to have our faith re-awakened, re-ignited with a clearer understanding of His Life, Death and Resurrection! Such Good News we couldn’t keep to ourselves!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Quarantine Easter

This coincides with my dad’s 1st year death anniversary, his babang-luksa Many plans for this day but COVID19 happened. 

26 Days since start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine for Luzon. And it has been 19 days since I have actually went out of the house. I went out for an hour just to buy medicines at Mercury Drug in Wilson. 

Work from home arrangement could be a lot busier. With Viber, SMS, FB messenger, Email, MS Teams, I am virtually connected to the office 16 hours a day. I can be in multiple meetings and chats. I am expected to reply to messages almost instantaneously. 

I have put some semblance of order and regularity in my workweek. I wake up at 6-615am. I do some morning abs workout before taking a shower. I log on at all my Viber groups by 8am (or a little before it). But never earlier (unless there are emergencies). 

I work out after 5pm, usually at the roofdeck so I could have some outdoor breeze. I have started to use all the workout equipment I have always had lying around. MWF strength training using elastic bands, dumbbells and going for high reps. TThS left for cardio burn stuff, from simple calisthenics routines to some HIIT programs. But this changed during Holy Week. I was off the whole week (company VL). Workouts became mornings, finishing by 930 to 10am, fasted workouts. 

Afternoons I spend usually at the roofdeck (pictured) where I get my summer breeze and golden hour view. At one point, I actually climbed all the way the rooftop just to appreciate the sunset and see smog-free Metro Manila. A buwis-buhay shot.

Quarantine weekends have been spent on home projects. 1st 2 weeks saw me and the help cleaning and beautifying the few ‘garden spaces around the house. Holy Week gave me more time to work on cleanup of the storage. Ugh. So much junk and trash accumulated throughout the years. But it also yielded precious items like old photos in albums and picture frames, some books, and lots of memories.

Today was the first time the family got to use Zoom meetings. Since we “attended” the Easter Vigil celebrations last night, we had the morning to finally do that video conferencing app. It was great seeing my siblings, my nephews and nieces interact with my mom and us based here in San Juan City. We tried to do some communal singing. But with differing internet speeds, that was a flop. But we got to share old photos using Zoom. And we got updated on how everyone was doing. It looked like we were all still free from COVID19. 

 No more grieving for Tatay. It has been a year. He is in a peaceful place now. I dreamt about him last week. His message: “I am always around. Haven’t you wondered who has been carrying you?” Strange yet comforting, he is probably looking out for us. And telling us to just hang on, kapit lang as something good will still come out of this. We just have to keep the faith.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Goodbye the Twenteens

The decade that was. I call this decade the Twenteens decade.

This was the decade I turned golden. I started to feel it, too. I continued to be active at the gym, but I am nowhere near the strength and stamina at the start of the decade. The years have also taken its toll on my joints, especially my shoulder and knees. Though I reached an ideal weight around 2017, maintaining it became a challenge in 2019. And I fear I am back on my flabby self again as the decade ends.

I started the decade single. I had been single since 2008 and was just dating and hooking up. I eventually gave up singlehood in 2010. But that relationship ended by 2012. I am ending the Twenteens in a relationship, six years and counting.

The decade had me going back to living with my parents but in a newly-built house. After 8 plus years of living in a condo, it was back to staying in a house with all the creature comforts and amenities. I.e. household help. I am happy I made that move as I would be losing my father by the time the decade ended. 

Aside from being able to build that new house, I got to build a new one with my design, my ideas as the decade was ending. And this time on a dream location by the sea. 

The company I used to be part of continued to grow tremendously at the start of the decade. It peaked in 2012 then things went south. Competition had set their eyes on us and they were relentless. It has been downhill since until eventually, by 2016, the competitor swallowed us whole. The company still exists but by end of the decade, I will not be part of it anymore.

That, I believe, is the biggest change that happened in the Twenteens for me. I take on a new role, I say goodbye to the old role in my previous company. I never thought this day would come, earlier than retirement.

This new decade will see me turn 60 in 6 years. What that holds for me, I am excited about. Happy New Decade!