29 September 2009


I might have mentioned it more than once that I'm never lucky in Lucky Draws. Especially at dinner functions, it's either the table I'm in gets neglected, or many people at my table wins something except me.

Well, I guess this makes up for all those disappointed times!

Recently, top Malaysian fitness blogger DailyMuscle ran a lucky draw for passes to the Asia Fitness Convention in Bangkok, held from 27-29 November 2009 and valued at USD399 each. It was so simple - just complete a slogan! I was kinda half-hearted due to my previous experience with draws but I figured it wouldn't hurt so I entered my half-assed attempt at a slogan.

Long story short: I won one of the 3 passes available! I was shocked watching the drawing process as I was more interested in seeing how he would conduct the draw, rather than praying for my name to be on it. So when he revealed my slogan as the second winner I sat there in stunned silence.

I'm currently awaiting e-mail confirmation but I've already started planning my trip there. This will be my fourth time to Bangkok so I've seen most of it all. My focus is on the exciting group fitness sessions where I'll get to see international presenters rip it up on stage! Hopefully get to learn some new moves to incorporate in Cardio Fit. Oh, and "wardrobe upgrading" with help from Chatuchak Market.

28 September 2009

Cikgu Zemien

In 2006, I wrote a post about sending an email to the future. I've forgotten most of the contents in that email (have to wait till 2016 to read) but I do remember one question that I asked Future Me: "Have you become a lecturer?"

The passion to teach has been in me for a long time. I'm not interested in dealing with young brats so that rules out school teaching. That leaves the young (and not-so-young) adults, hence the desire to be a college lecturer.

Well, that dream is now a reality!

Starting next semester I'm taking up a part-time lecturing gig at a private college. To protect myself and the college, I will not mention which college or what subject I'll be teaching. This way it's easier for me to blog about interesting students or office politics without courting controversy.

What I can reveal is that I'm teaching a software-related subject, and it will be two evening classes every week. So right off the bat the students already hate me for taking up their evening time. Luckily the course content is filled with practical work so this should prevent them from dozing off.

I'm very excited to take on this challenge, even though it cuts down my leisure time. And even if they only employ me for one semester, I can say that I have achieved my goal of being a lecturer. So that's 1 dream down, 227 to go!

21 September 2009


My head felt a little dizzy from the nutrients after juicing:
  • Carrots
  • Green Apple
  • Fuji Apple
  • Lemon
  • Celery
  • Ginger
  • Cucumber
Slightly diluted with water and honey.


17 September 2009

Meme: Save Yvonne's Eyesight

How much is your eyesight worth? Dare you put a pricetag on your eyes? Sadly, Yvonne is losing hers and the pricetag for the surgery is almost RM16,000. She's raising the funds for the surgery not by begging for it, but working for it. She's published a book (see above), maintains a blog, and sells merchandise. You can support her by buying something (I plan to get the book from MPH, btw) or donating to her fund directly.

You can also help by sending on this meme. If you do, please follow these meme rules:
1. Create a blog entry titled "Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight"

2. List three things you love to see. Add in the picture of Yvonne's book cover. The URL is http://www.yvonnefoong.com/images/banner/my-story.jpg

3. End with the line, "Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at http://www.yvonnefoong.com.

4. Tag 5 blog friends. Be sure to copy the rules, OK?

5. If you have a Facebook account, please check out Ellen's new invention, a "feme" pronounced FEEM, a meme designed for Facebook here. And if you want to blog about NF, that would be great too!

The three things I love to see are:
1. A beautiful beach
2. A genuine smile or laughter
3. Dancing

I'm tagging the following blogger friends to ask them to help out:
1. Freedom09
2. Mark the Pooh
3. William
4. Silverhaze
5. Khwai

Anyone else interested in passing on this meme is more than welcome to do so. Yvonne (and I) will very much appreciate it!

16 September 2009

What the Hell..?!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my back gave way about 2 weeks ago and I have stopped all physical activity except for some light walking/hiking and my ballroom class (more about ballroom next time). Most of that time was spent catching up on downloaded TV shows and resting. Basically inactivity lah.

Before the injury I weighed about 75kg, my new weight after all the rich foods I ate in Beijing (along with some muscle I put on at the gym there). It stayed at that level even when I went back to my previous activity level (3-4 classes/week).

However, I weighed myself this morning and was shocked to see the scale read..... 71.5kg! Huh? I was expecting 75kg or even more, because my food intake remained consistent while my activity level dropped off a cliff. So where did the 3.5kg go?

The logical deduction is that I lost most of the muscle gains I made in the past 4 months. A quick check with my Body Fat % gadget (hardly accurate) shows that I have reduced my fat % too. So the real answer is probably a bit of both.

In addition, I'll be taking the upcoming long weekend to do a 3 day detox. Besides cleansing my colon, it will inevitable obliterate some fat storage and (unfortunately) more muscle mass. Based on my detox experience last year, I should go back to my original weight of 70.5 to 71kg.

This post is an extremely long way of saying - Operation: Eat has been reset. I'll have to start Season 2 after the detox and I've recovered from my back. Sigh.

15 September 2009


I was stubborn, I didn't listen to my body. I thought it was a normal sprain, something that passes with time. Even after I suspected it to be sciatica, I hot headedly rushed back into teaching. That's the thing about fitness instructors - we believe in stretching beyond our limits in our quest to get fitter and inspire others to do the same.

That was probably why, 2 Fridays ago, I felt a sharp intense cramp in my lower back when I bent down to pick a sock off the floor. I had even bent my knees so it wasn't exactly bad posture but the intense pain told me, "This is serious, this is different." I struggled to stand up and paralyzed on the spot as I tried to breathe through the pain. Heart beating wildly, I sought to calm myself down, "I'll be fine, I'll be ok, this is just a normal cramp."

I slowly walked up to my room to do some stretching, as that's the best thing to do for cramps even though it hurts. But this time it only had a temporary effect as my whole left butt cheek area was burning with pain. I shuffled slowly to my father and told him I would need help going to the clinic. All the while worrying, "Will I be able to teach again?"

At the clinic the doctor gave me a painkiller jab and more pain pills to swallow at home. My perspective on western medicine is this: they're great in fixing many problems, but pain is not one of them. Pain killers reduce inflammation and numb the pain, but something wrong had to have happened, and no amount of medicine can fix that.

In the afternoon Dad drove me to a Chinese traditional massage centre. Tit ta (literally, "iron hit" in Cantonese) , though I don't know why it's called that. It was my first time doing this, so I had my reservations but the situation was too dire to worry about the sifu's qualifications. The waiting room was already full of injured persons, and I took my number (22!). I waited for about 90 minutes before being called in, and the sifu proceeded to work his magic.

He immediately identified the errant nerve (or muscle?) that was swollen and cramped up. Surprisingly, though the pain is in my lower back, the problem was in between my butt cheek and my hamstring. The moment he started stroking that area - wow! - I knew it was the right spot. The session lasted about 30 minutes and RM40, and I felt an immediate improvement. Before treatment I was inching forward like an 80 year old. After treatment I was shuffling about like a 60 year old. Amazing, if you ask me!

I stayed in bed for the rest of Friday and Saturday, as any movement reminded me of the cramp. I was more mobile on Sunday, and it got progressively better after that. However, as of this moment, 12 days after the injury, there's still a little nagging tightness/soreness. I allocate 20 minutes before bed and after waking to do stretching, but I'm slightly worried about the persistent discomfort.

I am taking an extended break from teaching or participating. Will I be able to teach at 100% again? I'm worried, but this is just another hurdle in life. And there's only 2 ways about it: give up or jump over it. I'm jumping!