Breakfast Sandwich

My darling,

I hope that homemade sandwich was delicious and started your Friday off right. When you left for work this morning, this particular song came to mind and wanted to share it with you. You're the love of my life and will always be my booboo :) 



The only 25 Tips you'll ever need to Transform your Waistline (links, vids, bikini photos, oh my!)

Shall we start with, what I shall deem...the "perfect abs"? Okay okay, maybe not perfect because I know there's no such thing but if you ask me what type of belly I would like to have on me..

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Gina Carano, ex MMA fighter, current kick ass role model, and going to be in the upcoming Fast and Furious 6 flick. 
Boom. As I'm sure you've heard, abs are made in the kitchen meaning, eat right and your desired abs will show through but it's not always the easiest task especially if you're a foodie like me.

Need some quick pointers on how to eat and how to exercise to get YOUR best belly?

15 Pointers on How to Eat for a Slimmer Waistline

Eat fresh. 

Make sure your plates are full of color.

Even if you can't pronounce any of the ingredients, don't eat it. 

Never skip breakfast. 

Eat three meals and 1 snack. Or however many meals and snacks you'd like as long as you're not going over your calorie intake. 

Try not to eat past 8pm. 

Eliminate alcohol. 

Drink water and tea. 

No soda and no diet, low-fat, sugar-free, enriched anything. 

If it didn't come from a mother, it doesn't belong in your belly.  

Eat more greens than anything else. I like to drink green smoothies to get the proper amount of veggies...and if you don't want to chew all day, it's a great alternative and saves time. 

Drink even more water on training days. 

Embrace the 80/20 rule. Eat 80% great, and 20% not so great. Ex: 80% of my meals are lean protein, good carbs, no processed sugars, etc but that 20% is for that half of that red velvet cupcake your co-worker is giving you...or one of those mini Snickers nuggets (gets me every time! Gah!) 

If you have to eat something not-so-stellar like a cupcake, pancakes, or anything that is a refined carbohydrate (white flours), I pump that in the morning so I have the rest of the day to burn it. Yup yup. 

Eat for your metabolic type so you can accelerate your metabolism (aka the hormones that control how you absorb food).  

"...the same foods that keep you looking trim and beautiful could make someone else gain weight and look puffy or tired." - (Source: Dr Oz on Metabolic Types)

10 Pointers on How to Exercise for a Sexier Midsection

Incorporate HIIT in your exercise routine to TORCH those calories during and AFTER you're done working out. What is HIIT? Here is Wikipedia's definition right here. How I define it? 30 seconds of doing an exercise balls to the wall style and 10 seconds of rest then multiply that by 4 which can look like this:

  • 30 seconds of however many burpees you can do 
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 30 seconds of however many pushups you can do 
  • 10 seconds of rest 
  • 30 seconds of however many mountain climbers you can do
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 30 seconds of however many butt kicks you can do
  • 10 seconds of rest 
***Note: Please check with your doctor before doing this because HIIT requires you to work at your maximum heart rate for 30 seconds. 

Going for the V-taper look (hourglass figure aka larger shoulders, slimmer waist, larger hips)? Avoid weighted side bends or overworking your obliques with weights (side abdominal muscles) because that may build muscle and create a bulkier waistline. 

It's all about the Isometric Ab workouts. What the heck is that? Here's an article explaining why isometric ab exercises are better for a slimmer waist. 

Unlike most other muscle groups in your body that need rest days in between, the abdominal muscles can be worked pretty much everyday. Not sure what ab workouts are all out there? Here's a great starter I found from Pinterest:

Ditch long periods of low-intensity cardio (resistance 2-3 on the elliptical for an hour or walking for 40 minutes on the same speed the whole time). Unless, of course, HIIT is something your doctor does not allow you or if you have heart problems, by all means do what's physically best for your body. But, if you CAN do HIIT - you actually burn MORE calories even if you are spending LESS time doing it. It's the intensity levels that help continue burning calories hours after leaving the gym. 
*Bottom line: Save time, work harder, lose that rubber time faster. 

Track your progress! And no, I do NOT mean a scale. Actually, go ahead and donate that scale to your nearest Goodwill because it won't do anything but discourage you. Muscles weigh more than fat so when you're making progress, you're almost bound to weight a little heavier! Track your measurements every two weeks to a month and/or take pictures. Not sure how to measure your body? Here is an article on how to properly track them by Nerd Fitness

Confuse your body every two weeks. If you do 10 pushups every single day for the next two weeks, your body's going to be like...

Switch it up! Every two weeks, at least. Same evidence for your brain - if you take the same route to work every single day, your brain activity levels aren't as active because you're on autopilot. However, notice how your body reacts when there is a detour on the road which forces your brain to work harder and think more critically for the next best route. 

Get into the habit of contracting your stomach muscles, anytime, anywhere. No one has to know... ;) 

Don't have time to do abdominal exercises. BULL! I won't take that. Watching a movie on the couch? Do some planks while you're watching it. Waiting for the laundry to dry so you can fold? Knock out some sit ups or bicycle crunches. Working late hours again at the office? Try these ab exercises at your desk

I'm assuming the type of workouts Gina does paired with conscious eating habits amp it up as well. Curious to see how Gina puts time in the gym?

Boom. Her personal trainer's name is Satan. Yup. I think that says it all right there. 

Who's your fitness role model? Your go-to motivational person? 

I came across this photo:

 photo cathy-beach-early-20s_zpsa6a32d98.jpg

Of me. And an old friend. At least 6+ years ago. And wondered..How the heck did I maintain a flat stomach without working out at all

One word. Metabolism. Sigh. It's okay. I'm fine, really. This picture is actually a blessing because it further motivates  me to work hard to "master my metabolism" as my fave fitness guru Jillian Michaels would say. So then I came across this recent photo of me poolside: 
 photo basset-politics_zpsf5813597.jpg Oh whoops! Did I say poolside? What I meant to say was funny basset hound meme time. Gosh, I hope there's someone out there...anyone...that can relate to this. If you know me at all, basset hounds are #1. Period.

Okay. Back to the recent poolside photo:

 photo cathy-poolside-summer_zpsfab1ae44.jpg 

Compared to 6+ years ago, my hair's gotten way shorter, my bikini is a different color, and (although you can't tell in this picture) my body has changed quite a bit. I'm happy with the changes because I'm much healthier. And that's what I firmly believe what it all comes down to - - your longevity, vibrance, and quality lifestyle rather than obtaining the perfect body which isn't logical. 

There's no such thing as the perfect body. 

There's only the best version of you and that's as perfect as it gets. 

Question: What's a random photo that is almost exactly a year ago from today? 

Here's mine: 

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Yes, that's me holding a homemade strawberry shortcake birthday cake for my boyfriend, appearing to be levitating off the ground. I think this is as random as it gets. My brother wanted to mess around on Photoshop and I was the subject volunteer.

Homework for you: Go find a photo that is dated exactly a year ago today. What is it? How much have things changed since that photo?

Deep Thoughts: What do you consider a perfect body? Do you believe there is an ideal body out there? If so, how is it ideal to you and why?


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One of our very first pictures taken at a friend's wedding almost 2 years ago :) 

Thinking About: How difficult it is to get back into the swing of blogging after taking a month-long break from it. I didn't plan for it but after reflecting back on this past April, I'm glad I did. It gave me time to re-prioritize some things in my life and invest my energy toward what matters to me most. The most common topics I seem to be mulling over these days consist of the following (in no particular order):
  • Fitness and the power of transforming one's body through proper weight lifting routines
  • The cultural upbringing from Asian immigrant parents and how that effects their children's career paths (doctor/lawyer/accountant versus a creative-based career) 
  • Why some people seem to think it's okay to be two-faced and not have an ounce of guilt/shame. Where's the human decency or better yet, the courage to be yourself? 
  • Some fun secretive surprises I have up my sleeve for my honey this month 
Feeling: Motivated but tired at the same time. As I was re-measuring myself and comparing the numbers to last month, the progression I have accomplished has motivated me to work out that much harder and more consistently. Tired because I'm a night owl, have the tendency to ignore the clock on purpose so I can fully unwind, read my book, read a bunch of fitness model interviews in regards to their nutrition and workout plans, go on Pinterest to feed my brain with art/illustration pins, and then oh crap - - I've got to wake up in 5 hours...hmm...

Watching: Just watched (most of) Hunger Games last night (finally). Checked out a few episodes of Hemlock Grove on Netflix (a unique sci-fi type involving wolves, vampires, and a splash of suspenseful drama). Recently went to the movie theaters for Oblivion, the latest Tom Cruise movie and was impressed with the unexpected plot twists as well as the computer graphics. Oh, and if you're in the mood to get spooked hardcore, go check out Evil Dead, the latest one in theaters - - a grueling mix of exorcism, bloody gore, and camera angles that will make you nervous from beginning to end.

Reading: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. If you're looking for a good read while learning how to truly change the way you live your life - this is the book for you. Did you know that habits inhabit 80% of our day? The more you understand how to effectively create or break habits, the more effective you will be at living the life that you want.

Looking forward to: Our family weekend getaway to the beach very soon! Just imagining how the sand is going to feel against the bottom of my feet while having the California sun kiss the tops of my feet - - my heart is already starting to race. I've been doing a lot of bikini hunting and it's almost time to seriously amp up my nutrition and workout routine.

Making me happy: thinking about how happy my love will be when he discovers some of my upcoming surprises, Iron Man 3 happy hour with some old co-workers this weekend, meme generators,   glute exercises, playing and acting silly with my sweety and baby girl, Nick's Italian restaurant in Scottsdale, homemade protein style burgers, and last but not least, visiting my family on Sundays to catch up while hanging out with a cool basset hound.

What's new with you? How's your first half of 2013 going so far? Thank you Danielle from Sometimes Sweet for the original inspiration behind these fun "currently" posts! 

Something to think about...

Found on notetoself

When someone tells me to "be realistic", it makes me wonder if they are:

a) being pessimistic.
b) don't believe in you.
c) don't have faith.
d) would rather be comfortable than take a chance and make a change.


5 Things I'm Currently loving

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I am loving:

1. When things work itself out so perfectly sometimes. See that top right photo above? That was taken at the Little Mermaid Jr. play and you know what? The play, every single showing, was sold out. Called the box office, requested to be placed on every single waiting list and voila ~ guess who got two front row tickets to the play! Thank you Universe for having my back.

2. Listening to fitness/nutrition podcasts on my way to work and back home from work. Finally - a way to make the most out of my time during one of the most unpleasant activities; driving in traffic. I love Jillian Michael's podcast, fit girl, and nutrition diva.

3. Coming home from work, enjoying healthy meals with my loves while sharing stories from each other's day.

4. The fact that I've finally gotten into a good "groove" or "routine" with working out consistently. I think those podcasts play a big role...and having a workout buddy...and most of all, seeing results (as tiny as they are right now) are soo motivating!

5. Seeing my creativity levels flourish the more I learn in web design class. Can you believe we only actually use 10-12% of our brain? It makes me wonder how insanely creative we can get if we used more than that...Perhaps the Egyptians that built the pyramids used more than 12?

What are 5 things in your life you've been loving lately? Rather than focus on the things that don't go right, let's redirect our energy towards the things that DO go well.

What you think is the reality you live in.

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