Twenty – Twelve : “Leaner & Meaner You” Program

Since Xhi and I became friends, around 2006, it has always been some sort of a habit for us to “declare” a theme for the upcoming year.

Yesterday, we found time to discuss our plans for the upcoming year and had decided to set our goals in line with the theme “Leaner & Meaner 2012”.

I could imagine our beloved readers asking themselves “Hmmm.. what does that actually mean?”

Okey, here goes, as in any plan, we then tackled the WHAT part..

Being “Lean” means cutting down extra fat, extra baggage in life : things that don’t work anymore, be it physical, emotional or mental. Things might be doing good right now, but imagine if you take away the emotional, mental and physical “clutter” in your life – that would definitely be a good way to start off the year.

No drama, no masochistic negative self-talk, no “damsel-in-distress” mentality.

Travel light.

Being “Mean” is about taking charge of your own life – holding the reigns and directing it the way you want it to be.  It’s about living your life with passion. Living your life with that fire burning in your heart, knowing that whatever you do, in the lives that you touch, you bring value in every interaction you make.

The HOW part of the equation had us plan for the actionable items in our list. We had then set our Fitness Goals for the year.

Both of us want to achieve maximum lean body mass / body fat ratio with focus on optimization of functional movements in our physical exercise routine.

We also want to go back to the doing the things we both love but  was just shoved under the carpet when “real life” kicked in – because, what’s stopping you from it not being part of “real life”?

Looking back at the activities that brings us back to our own “happy place”, we were reminiscing the days when we were one with nature. The lush green forests and diversified landscape that we encounter each time we celebrate nature by climbing mountains gives us that happy, heady feeling of blood rushing through our veins, the feeling of being truly alive.

It was unanimous that we SHOULD climb mountains on 2012 – a goal that my hubby fully supports since that is one of his passions too.

Setting a goal should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bounded.
A realistic number for us is one mountain per quarter. One mountain every three (3) months.

To give reason and rhyme to it all, we decided that the four mountains will be one for each corner of the archipelago: One mountain from the North, one from South, from East and from West.

That got us excited!

For that to happen, as we plan in being more “kikay”, we want to look good while doing it (that’s just our personal preference, don’t mind us. Haha).
Looking good entails us to climb the trails without huffing and puffing our way to the steepest part of the trail and negotiating it with gusto despite the sweat, mud and what-have-yous.

This then needs to be supplemented by going back to the gym and revisiting our Program and the Nutrition that backs it.

January 2012, Xhi will give birth to baby Malcolm, a second addition to her team. After recovery, the plan is a come-back with the “Leaner and Meaner 2012” Mantra.
I on the other hand, plan to spend time with my own team of four lovely girls and further instill in them the value of Fitness – Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.

This is my WHY – my four lovely daughters.
Have you ever noticed why, for most part, the plans and resolutions one makes at the start of the year ends up being a wish-list than an actual action plan? I believe the main reason for that is that one has not set the most important part of the equation. After plotting the WHAT and HOW, the heart of the matter is the  “WHY”.

What is your  “WHY”?

Why do you need to do what you are doing? What is the consequence if you don’t? How big is your  “WHY”?
Your  own “WHY” should be the fire that powers up your HOW so that your WHAT would easily be met without out even wondering if everything is all worth it.

My  “WHY” is for me to enjoy God’s gift of life to the fullest and be an inspiration to my four daughters.

I would want it that when I grow old, I would still be able to have fun with them, laugh, run, bike, swim and climb mountains if they want to with their own little ones. This lady IS my inspiration.

Xhi and little Lulu
I would want my husband and I to continue on exploring nature having the time of our lives as we grow and mature as partners.

Xhi’s “WHY” is for her to be a stronger mother to her kids.

Knowing your  “WHY” is very important in your goal setting for this coming New Year.
Like your own True North, this is the one that fires you up emotionally and is connected to your own sense of happiness, your own sense of pride.

So dear readers, wrapping it up, WHAT – HOW – WHY (of course we got the “when” part covered already!).

 I hope all of us take the time to assess how the year that was came to pass and how we plan to improve on ourselves on the Year of The Water Dragon.

Here’s to a leaner and meaner 2012!

It Takes 21 Days to Form a Habit..

Here’s a secret, fifteen (15) days ago, I added an activity in my To-Do-List :
A 30-45 minute work out EVERYDAY.

I know that most people would advise against a daily workout, but if one is building a habit, one should be consistent until it reaches a point when it gets to be human nature already; like breathing air.

¹The 21 day habit theory as sourced from The Aristotle Blog “Dr Maxwell Maltz wrote the bestseller Psycho-Cybernetics. Originally a Plastic Surgeon, Maltz noticed that it took 21 days for amputees to cease feeling phantom sensations in the amputated limb.

From further observations he found it took 21 days to create a new habit. Since then the ’21 Day Habit Theory’ has become an accepted part of self-help programs.

Brain circuits take engrams (memory traces), and produce neuroconnections and neuropathways only if they are bombarded for 21 days in a row.

This means that our brain does not accept ‘new’ data for a change of habit unless it is repeated each day for 21 days (without missing a day).”
Whew! now that geeky stuff and references are out of the way, we continue with our conversation.

I am now in day 15 and I have 5 more days to go for this 21 Day Challenge with myself.
Yes my friends,I talked myself into working out everyday.

In the past, I did all the tricks that I could think of to trick myself into working out.
I kept with me this handy notebook that I log my workouts in.
I had nice little stickers used as a reward on the days that I worked out with the idea that I’d fill up the whole week of my moleskine with stickers indicating that I did a workout the whole week.
Sadly, because it was not a habit, I was not successful in having it ingrained in my system.

I know that we all want to be fit and healthy, but those things don’t just happen. Those things are planned, monitored and done.

When I decided to go for the whole 21 days, the first few days were fun.
Week two though had been a challenge and this was the time when I have to be creative.
Will power and commitments will be compromised and questions would creep in — why am I even doing this to myself? I sometime ask.

Being creative had me incorporating workouts with family time.

*My 12 and 11 y.o. stopping for a pose during our jogging session

The other weekend, I invited two of my kids for a run at Bonifacio Global City. Yesterday, I had my 11 yo girl accompany me in the gym to lift weights while her sisters took a swim.
Combining activities that create fulfillment for myself further strengthened the habit because of the reward it brings.

*My youngest doing a set of 10reps of dumbbell presses

Creativity would help you take out the monotony factor in the equation.

This would help you out with drafting your Plan B in case Plan A does not work out.
Challenge yourself to do a positive change for 21 days in a row.
Start with something small and start NOW.

By the time you finish the challenge, you have programmed your brain making it easier for you to keep going with your new habit.
So decide what positive habit you want to build and act on it!


Fitness and The Outdoors

The past months, my hubby and I have been travelling and having adventures of our own.
Since we started our friendship seven years ago, we have been climbing mountains, doing cave explorations and river trekking while other couples were dating and watching movies as their courtship stage.

Fast forward years and years after, we’re still at it.

Our adventure have diversified to reaching our goals, supporting each other’s dreams and exploring paths that we take on our daily lives.
Having your bestfriend as you lifetime partner really helps out with one’s overall well being.

As I always tell my single friends, never ever settle and keep the faith.

Having a fitness regimen make you enjoy your life to the fullest. With all the thing that life has to offer, why wouldn’t you not grab every opportunity to maximize the experience?