Tag Archives: getting fit

Getting Fit Journey (day 360) – What the pandemic has thought me

It has been a while since I posted a progress of my journey to a better me. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a tremendous impact on how I progress with the journey. Not only that I had to put on my lifestyle on hold, I have been spending considerable amount of time working remotely. Who would have thought that working remotely is as bad as working in the office? Remote working has significant impact on how much time I was able to spend in getting exercise.

The good news is I did not gain weight; but the bad news is I did not lose weight either. The pandemic has impact on a number of people as going to gym is being limited. Working out in the public comes with risk as more people are afraid of getting infected by the virus. The result is more and more people are gaining weight while being locked down in their homes.

The pandemic has taught me several things as I continue to keep my diet in check. Prior to the pandemic I made conscious decision to buy two different sets of groceries: one for the family and one just for me. To minimize the chances of getting infected, I limit the trips in going to the supermarket or groceries store. Instead of buying two sets of groceries I only focus on food for the family. However, keeping my diet in check continues to be a priority. If you have not read my previous post on how to maintain a good diet, please check this out.

There are few adjustments that I made to ensure I continue to keep my diet in check and to ensure I am not jeopardizing the progress I made so far. I no longer could afford to cut every bad food since I am eating the same as my family.

Minimize Red Meat

As much as possible, I limit the red meat in our diet. We only eat white meat such as chicken breast. If we need to make our dishes less boring, I would alternate red meat once every week. To control my diet, I would limit red met to only a small portion. Some may argue that red meat is essential and that it does not cause any harm when dieting. However, there are numerous study found that meat is carcinogen.

Small Portion

In my previous post I noted that one of the best way for diet is remove “white” ingredients from the diet. That includes white rice, white sugar and white flour as they contain high carbohydrate content that can be easily converted to fat. One of the best ways I found effective is limit the portion. I would alternate white rich and brown rice when I prepare dinner for my family.

No Sugar Drink – More Tea

Sugary drink such as soda and juices contain a lot of sugar. Not only they cause problem on our diet, they are a problem to our health as well. Unfortunately, my kids will occasionally drink them as they sometimes make the “boring” food we eat more palatable. Replacing sugary drink with tea is the best way. My family love Earl Grey tea and and it continues to be our best choice of tea. Other teas that we enjoy are fruit tea, Korean barley tea and Japanese green tea. Not only they have great taste they are full of antioxidants that may reduce the risk of many diseases including¬†heart disease¬†and certain cancers.

More Colorful Food

Food categories such as green leaves and fruits are important diet for our family. In each meal we must have at least one green dish. One of the best things about Asian food is “green” food is not only limited to broccoli, there are various type of vegetables suc bok choy, yu choy and bean sprouts. They are so much varieties that we can make our meal less “boring”. Other choice that we consciously make is replacing snacks with colorful food such as fruits.

Exercise Options

As the gyms went into lock down, getting the right amount of exercise is limited in our homes. We are no longer able to get all the required exercise we need but luckily we have a treadmill that we can use. Additionally, we also bought an elliptical machine that we can use in our home. While I am no longer able to put in some strength training I believe getting cardio exercise would be more beneficial as we continue to be locked down at home in these unprecedented times.

The pandemic upended a lot of lives and unfortunately taken a lot of lives. Not only it is a wake-up call for a lot of us, it also tells us that we are fighting a losing war with the infectious disease. It also makes me rethink how to maintain a diet in such challenging times.


Getting Fit Journey (day 60 – 130)

It has been a while since I provided any updates on my journey to get fit. The current pandemic of corona virus (COVID-19) really has a profound effect on my plan. The unprecedented event is causing such a disruption on everyone’s life that the population of the entire world was brought down to their knees.

Thankfully my family remains healthy. No one from our immediate family were infected by the virus. We were fortunate enough take early precaution once we found out New York and New Jersey started to see spike in infections. We pray for those who were impacted by the family, especially those who lost their loved ones to this horrible virus.

Since early March I was fortunate enough to work from home. When the media began reporting the onset of early infection, the company that I work for initiated business continuity plan. Originally 2/3 of the employees would work remotely and the rest to work in the city. As the virus began to spread within 2 weeks, all 90% of the employees would be working remotely.

Early Plan

Originally I planed to continue with my diet plan and workout regime since going to the nearby gym was no longer possible. I thought that I would be working remotely and I will have enough time to continue with my workout plan. Unfortunately, that did not work out the way I wanted.

Staying indoors and avoid any outside contact are easy. However, there is the question of what to eat while staying at home 24/7. Not only that I have to feed myself, I have to constantly thinking of feeding the family of 5. My family would need to eat 3 meals a day for 7 days a week. From a week becomes a month. Now we are hitting the 3rd month. Most of my time was spent on thinking about grocery and food. I no longer have the luxury of thinking about my diet because it is no longer possible to keep 2 types of diets (one for family and one for myself) in these dire times.

What Changed

Staying indoors does not mean more time. I spend majority of my time working and thinking anout food. Since going to the gym is no longer possible continue with my workout plan was out of the question. I skipped doing strength training. Instead, I spend most of my time working on my abs and running on my treadmill.

My diet plan included removing all processed food, “white” ingredients such as rich and flour and red meat. Instead I started to consume these food in moderation. The positive side of eating at home is we are eating less of the processed food.

The Results

Thankfully I have not gained weight. I have lost 22 pound since I started my journey and my BMI has also dropped from 23 to 22 which is normal for my age. I was really surprised by the results because I reduced my workout and started consume the “forbidden” food. I believe this could be attributed to several habits that I continue to follow:

  • Eat at the same schedule – I do not starve myself but I continue to follow the same 3 meals a day and I eat them at the same time. Breakfast at 9 am, lunch at 1 pm and dinner at 6:30 pm. This will help my body to adapt and metabolize the food appropriately.
  • Eat in moderation – I continue to keep eating the same portion every meal. I do not “stuff” myself until I am full.
  • Eat smart – While I have started to some of the food that I swear I will never eat again, there are still some food that I do not eat. For example snacks such as chips which has no nutritional value or chicken wings which contain mostly fat.
  • Drink water and tea – I continue to drink tea in most of my meal. I rarely drink sugary drink such as juices. One a while I may drink tea with sugar but only on special occasion. Again, moderation is key.

I know the points I raised above work well for me and may not work for everyone. How do you keep healthy in this unprecedented time? What has worked or not worked for you? I’m eager to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and do come back as I provide further updates on my journey.

Getting Fit – Let’s Get Started

I was born skinny and all my life I hardly gained any weight. In fact, I did not get much weight until I’m in my 30’s after getting married. Looking at some of the photos after my kids were born, I didn’t see any changes on my body until late in the 30’s when I noticed that I have a belly and my waist starting to expand.

Because of this reason, I never had any reason to believe that I’m not healthy. I had always believed that health is a consequences of weight. And I was so wrong!

My family is quite religious when it comes to annual health checkup. We have been going to see our family doctors since my wife and I were married so we are well aware of our health conditions. After my second son was born my doctor started to advise me to exercise more because he saw irregularities in blood. Particularly concerning was increase in glucose level in my blood. This could be onset of diabetes. This was the wake up call I needed – since then (4 years ago) I’ve been going to gym regularly.

Getting the exercise and getting fit are two very different things. It is one thing to move around to get the exercise; it is a very different matter when you try to lose weight and build muscles. I learned a few things over they few years and I intend to share my findings in this blow.

Doing the right thing

As I noted above getting fit is very different. How do you know you are doing the right thing. Some people are more receptive of light exercise while some are more effective with High-intensive Interval Training (HITT). Then there are those who want to have muscles in one are and not the other – what is the right intensity?

It is more difficult with age

Getting fit for someone in his 20’s is easier than someone in his 40’s. I noticed that my son who is 30 years younger than me gained more muscle in a shorter amount of time than me.

How do you get motivated

Not everyone has the motivation to go to gym day in and day out. There are too many distractions that prevent us to continue with this routine. I found number of ways to do it and some of them are easy and some are quite demanding. Follow along as I will list them in my next blogs.

Be realistic on what can be achieved

It is so easy seeing someone ran a 10K marathon. However, I will never see myself doing it not because I can’t do it but because I know that I’m not at the form where I can compete. Similarly I don’t think I will ever be like the Rock even if I tried to go to gym 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

You are what you eat

Food and diet are extremely important to get fit. Don’t be fool to believe that by exercising alone will help loose weight. Food and exercise go hand in hand and they are very essential to be healthy.

My ultimate goal is to be healthy and at the same time gained some muscles. I was never fat nor sick that I need to rely on medicine. However, don’t judge a book by its cover – while I may look healthy on the front, my blood tells a different story. Follow along as I will share my knowledge and my journey to be a healthy me.

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