Saturday, August 23, 2008

:: Day 69 - Summary ::

So today my husband tells me that one significant change he's noticed in me is - I don't snore at night anymore! I've pretty much snored all my life actually (fat or thin) but what a relief that I am no longer causing him lack of sleep!!! I wonder if it's the weight loss or something else but it's nice to know I've inadvertently improved his quality of life. :)

I seriously thought I would gain weight this week... I slept very little, barely exercised this week, ate out _alot_, even had lunch twice this week - and still lost weight. Nicely done, warrior diet. :) But you know what, I really miss my clean warrior diet days. I'm getting back on the program. Cannot wait to go to the farmer's market today!!!

Activities: 752 cal burnt
7am run with Mikee, 5.0 miles with sprint at the end, 65 mins, 725 cal burnt, HRa 156 HRm 186. We came, we conquered.

10am: Freshly squeezed blood orange juice from farmer's market, random smaple fruit

1pm: Eric came over for lunch. We had some spinach wraps, chicken breast and tofu casserole. Yes, I did eat. I'm a host - I should be!

7pm: Main meal @ Kebab & Curry. Oh so delicious. But i started off with my own personal salad!

Oh and yes I had frozos! Way better than pinkberry in our opinion!


Friday, August 22, 2008

:: Day 68 - Summary ::

Ok - the long hours are over. I am so relieved. I really hated this week but the major deadline is over - thank God. And I survived. Unfortunately, with little exercise. At least the warrior diet is holding strong!

Tonight, we went for our Biggest Loser Celebration Dinner. Initially, I had requested we go somewhere else because I didn't want to pay $$$ for a dinner, stuff myself silly to get my money's worth and then feel really sick after. But turns out Mikee scored a sweet coupon for it - so dinner's free! And off we went - but at least I didnt feel bad about not stuffing myself :)

P.s. I just noticed that the collar bones are making a fine appearance!

Tomorrow, WE RUN.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

:: Day 67 - Summary ::

None yet!!! These 15 hour days are willing me - and then there are the olympics that transform me into a couch potato. Ok enough excuses, going for a run tonight - I PROMISE.
(update) OK I broke the promise. Worked another 16 hour day and got home at 1045pm. There was no way I could've done the run... But the good news is this will all be over by tmrw and I will run out of excuses.

ABCC Juice to share with Aylin, this time I added spinach and a few grapes and some flaxseed meal. Not bad - but definitely should reduce to 1/2 beet. Delish!

random times: raw cashews.
This is the first time i've actually not prepared anything for "lunch time". Heh... not bad. I'm starting to get hungry!!!

Main meal @ work

I'm stuck at work but dear Mikee is going to bringing me some homecooked food! I love the way he cooks veges and eggs! Can't wait!!!

Mikee delivering dinner to Aylin and I @ work

The wonderful veggie delight spread homecooked by Mikee. Also featuring herby oats, scrambled eggs and healthy shirataki chow mein


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

:: Day 66 - Summary ::

Nutrition reflections:
So I had a real lunch for the first time yesterday. Mostly a iceberg salad and a few ozs of garlic pasta, garlic bread, pizza bread etc . The pasta tasted great! But you know what... I felt sick for the rest of the day. Even more sick after I finished up the rest of the pasta at the office for dinner. I went home feeling totally lethargic and crappy. And this morning, I totally felt like puking. I think i've come to realize... i just can't eat the way I used to anymore, even if I want to. My body is totally rejecting it. It reminds me of Susan's story of how Adam felt totally sick after he had burger and fries for lunch. We were supposed to go to La Fondue This Friday to celebrate the biggest loser win but I've finally resigned to the fact that I can't eat the way I used to anymore. :( So i requested that we cancel and go somewhere more manageable. Like sumika grill in los altos!!!

Despite the setbacks of yesterday, working 15 hour-days this week, i REFUSE to be defeated.

7am 30 min KB max vo2 protocol 36/36
I am loving my "recycled" DragoonDoor 8kg bell that I got off Joe. The handle is way smooth and flips around nicely! I think it's also time to re-test my snatch cadence. Groan...

ABCC+Ginger juice to share with Aylin

12pm: shrimp and orange salad @ HArvest for team lunch

Main meal @ Athena's with Michiko
I KNOW I KNOW! Believe me, I _want_ to eat at home, I hate the feeling of being sick. But I've been way too anti social the past 9 weeks and its time to catch up with my friends u know? Good thing Athena serves up awesome salad!
Fasoulada (Ancient Greek Soup) - DELISH!

Greek Salad

Spanakópita (Greek pastry stuffed with spinach, swiss chard, eggs )

What i did NOT eat:
(Got so full after the salad!)


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

:: Day 65 - Summary ::

Sorry, no day 64. I deserve a break and now i'm back! Work will be really crazy but as long as I can get 5 workouts in this week I'll be very pleased. When next week comes around, things will spring back to normal I hope.

6pm KB Max VO2

8am: ABCC juice to share with Aylin
You would think I would crave the bacon mcmuffin today but when i woke up my body was craving the ABC juice. I kid you not - it actually wants goodness now and I got no goodness yesterday.

Lunch: Unfortunately, the biggest losers contestants are eating out for lunch today. I'll try to save most of my lunch for dinner instead. Good thing that Mario dishes out free salad!
Side: Tossed garden salad with honey mustard
Main: 1/4 of garlic penne
Dessert: 1 small bite of chocolate cake

Main meal @ work, eating leftovers
3/4 of garlic penne, remainder of chocolate cake.


Monday, August 18, 2008

:: The Biggest Loser ::

Today, I won the biggest loser challenge, after losing 13% of my initial start weight, averaging 3.0 lbs per week. I have so many reflections but it is going to have to wait... Work is crazy this week. But some quick thoughts...

1. Wow I did it - I actually did it. Weight loss is totally doable - it just takes determination.
2. Diet is key and Warrior Diet is awesome!
3. Kettlebells is the a no-nonsense no-excuse tool. Love it!
4. Community and accountability is crucial to success
5. Health isn't just about weight. Keep all other factors in check.
6. I'm figuring out how to listen to my body!
7. Love my body - feed it well. Eating out works against it!
8. Set goals and milestones.Some serious ones (half-marathon) and some fun ones (victory jeans)
9. Influence others - spread the love!
10. Cause and effect. Every action and decision will echo later in life. Choose wisely.

Maybe I'll do better if people just ask me questions? I'll start with some questions I've been asked...

Q: What are you going to do with the prize money?
A: Since my dad suffered a stroke, we've been supporting a portion of their financial and medical needs. The prize is going to go into that pot - and also cover some of the overhead for fitness like the heart rate monitor etc.

Q: What has been the toughest part the journey so far?
A: In terms of dieting, the 20-hour food and water fast before the end of the competition was really tough. In terms of fitness, the double workouts required alot of discipline. On some days, I came close to quitting. The KB Max VO2 protocol also took alot out of me.

Q: What have been the most victorious moment so far?
A: Asides from winning? So, so many! Every day felt like a victorious day as I overcame the odds. But some standout moments include having a stellar cholesterol report and overcoming the addiction to chocolate.

Q: What's next?
A: Get to 140lbs by Dec 31 with a 6-pack to boast - and submit my story on for a chance to be their monthly $10,000 winner! And also run my first half-marathon in October.

:: Honor Roll... ::

Before I launch into the post-contest reflections, I must take the time to give some eProps...

Firstly, to the Almighty - for it is through His strength that all things are possible.

Secondly - to each and everyone of you (readers) for being my accountability partners, my support and source of inspiration, I also could not have done this without you guys!

======================= some specific shout-outs ======================
For choosing to embark on the WD with much tenacity. For never complaining about the diarrhea-colored stuff I put in front of you each morning- therefore making it extremely easy for me to stay on the WD.

Chen Family, especially my Mother-In-Law

For all the support even from afar! And especially to my MIL for finding me healthy chinese recipes, for being extremely conscientious about the food I eat and for loaning me the VitaMix during the evaluation period!!!

I know you can't read this Dad - but I want you to know that you're a huge inspiration to me on this journey. I've seen how far you've come in recovering from this stroke this past year and my endeavor is to be the healthiest I can be. Together, we are both victorious. Love you Dad.

For always reminding me to keep my eye on the real prize and praying for me. Your personal call today was such a sweet gesture. :P

For kicking my butt initially to help me jump start. For being a friend through it all.

Hao Le
For kicking my ass at bootcamp and pushing me beyond my limits! Incidentally, you must know that it was your bootcamp that really jumpstarted my routine! Thanks for instilling in me that I should never cheat myself!

I can feel your support way over here in Santa Clara and thanks for always making a point to IM with me and send your support!

You're like one of my biggest supporters and I love how we're able to support one another through our fitness struggles. Thanks for the intro to vitamix soup. Thanks for letting me know how i've inspired you - which in turns make the bigger picture even bigger! Go vitamix!!!!!


Your accountability extends beyond the blog and into the spinning class - thanks for rooting for me the whole way and being part of the entire journey!

Sexy!!! Thanks for dropping in to check on me even from Singapore, I feel so blessed that our friendship has remained strong all these years!

For your partnership in running the half-marathon, which was one of the baby steps I started to take towards fitness. And also for being the best Biggest Loser judge ever! :P

Jennifer R.
In her own words, a very worthy adversary. :)

Joe Sarti
For your wisdom, your time and generosity, I could not be more grateful. Thank you for starting me on my kettlebell journey and making sure I do things the right way. You've never been stingy on your time or your knowledge and I am indebted.

Thanks for rooting for me all the way from San Diego - I feel privileged to have your viewership and support :)

Mark Reifkind

For keeping the kettlebell spirit alive in the bay area! For the best kettlebell workshop to come in september!

For your prayers. Thank you, thank you.

For your saying yes to ALL my crazy requests. "What?? Kettlebell?? That looks dangerous!!!". For giving up your bicycle for my friend during spin class. For believing in me and loving me - no matter fat or thin.


For your willingness to show your support for my cause in any way possible - especially the external sponsorship which made the grand prize oh so delicious! And also for not nagging me. :P (phew)


Your words are powerful, and always make an impact on me. I must admit, I'm also really honored that you've taken time off your extremely busy schedule to follow my journey.

The able assistant, yes, how can i forget you? Yes yes you're the best! And you already know that!

Susan Gibbons
Wow, Susan - Susan, you are something. You have given soooo much to me. Thank you for your advice (i.e. personal training). You have a knack for getting me to try stuff, to push myself beyond my own limits, without coming across as pushy. Not many people can have that effect on me. You have a gift and I'm so blessed that you've exercised that gift on me. Thank you for everything - your wisdom, your accountability and most of all, your friendship! Cant wait to meet you in November!


You're probably the only one reading this blog that is on the same journey as me in terms of pursuit of fitness - it feels nice to have a comrade on this and I'm glad its you! I will continue to watch your journey as well and you have inspired me SO MUCH with the RKC. Rock on hard style!

Tracy Reifkind
For showing me, by example, that it is possible to drop weight FAST and healthy! And for also being so open with your secret weapons: killer video workouts and killer salad dressing. And also for being vulnerable with your moments of weaknesses - a great reminder that we're not perfect, but heading in the right direction.

:: Game-Day Results (updated) ::

I just weighed-in at 174 lbs, not bad, 4 lbs away from my goal. Not everyone else has weighed in yet, so results are not out yet. Last I heard the cut-off is 11am PST. I am so enjoying my homemade turkey bacon mcmuffin right now btw.... DELICIOUS!!! The last 20 hour fast yesterday was practically unbearable!

And the winner is... ...
[still waiting for 1 more person to weigh in, who hasnt showed up at work yet]
[ohmigosh i had a feeling i didnt win. The judge said "it is soooo close"]
[I'm going to have a heart attack]
[Must not cry if i lose. I already won.. and everyone else are worthy competitors.]
[judge is doing photoshop on before and after pictures, hence the delay]

... ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I came in first place after losing 13% of my body weight! Apparently it was a very tight race though - Kudos to all other contestants!!! And also honorable mention to Aylin who came in at 4th place!!!
(more later...)


Sunday, August 17, 2008

:: ah.... yes! ::

When I got home today from my weekend in Toronto, I had a sneaking suspicion that I would be able to fit into the victory jeans. Dang it fit - there was a bit of a huff when I zipped it up but overall, wow, I rocked it! Another milestone reached!! :)

Like that proud look on my face? It's the look of victory... of commitment... and of discipline. This endeavor was carried out with almost military precision wouldnt you say so? I have to find my next victory thing... which hopefully will be tmrw? Fingers/toes crossed, glutes tight, biceps flexed and abs strong.

:: Walking through the valley of temptations ::

While walking from terminal C to B today, I was faced with many many temptations... there was Yoyona (delicious looking yogurt place), there was healtheatz and of course the wonderful smell of pizza! It was so tough to avoid them. I went to the newsstand and bought myself "Self" and "Fitness" magazine to keep myself focused. Just when I thought everything was under control, there was an announcement that my gate has changed back to terminal C. ARGH!!! I had to walk through the valley of temptations again. I called Mikee and made him give me a 20 min pep-talk as I made the trek back. I'm happy to announce that it was a success. His pep talk was rather powerful - you should've heard him. I'm back home now - all systems under control and ready to go to bed. Tmrw, I will swing my heart out for the "last workout" before I head to work for the weigh-in. Here goes nothing!

Here's a pic of me (2nd from L) and my besties at the wedding this weekend. Somehow, we all showed up color coordinated! I will also be posting Week 1 vs Week 9 mug shots tmrw.


:: Day 63 - Summary ::

THE LAST DAY - Wow I cant believe its almost the end of the 9 weeks. Will i win or will I lose? I honestly dont know - a win will be nice, especially after witnessing Phelps and his 8 gold medals. Who doesnt want to win right? I think i've done very well - have pretty much no regrets with my approach the last 9 weeks and just so thankful of where I am today. I will make a winner/loser speech tmrw about my overall reflections. Fingers crossed!

8am: treadmill interval training, 31 mins, 1 min speed 6.0, 1 min speed 4.0, 301 cal

10am: ABC Juice, prepared by Ryan, the able assistant who "made the difference"

12pm: Strawberry and Bananas on Yogurt (@Cora's) with Kat

Airplane snacks:
1 fuji apple, almonds, carrot sticks

Main meal on Delta Airlines @ 7pm aka "The Last Supper"

Shrimp ceasar salad, sans dressing
water fast
2 pieces of tofu sodium-free when I got home