First plank

The plank is one of the most deceptive workouts ever discovered. It looks very simple but wait till you try it!

The key is to ensure that your form is correct. Once you get the basics right and with practice, you will see results.

The plank is great for strengthening your core and trimming fat off your stomach. At the same time, it works your back, legs, neck and biceps.

With practice, you can hold the plank position for  up to 1 minute. But I have been out of practice, so it was a struggle just to do 15 seconds!

Other than using the timer, you can use other methods to help you hold your position. I decided to do the plank while reading. So just now, I did the plank for as long as it takes to finish a long paragraph. Since I read a few pages, I think I managed to do at least three minutes of the planks for tonight.

I think that’s good enough for today. I’ll try again tomorrow and work my way up from there.  


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Losing three kilos

Please ignore the fact that I have abandoned this blog for TWO years. I have no good excuse. I got busy with work and life. I also discovered Kpop that has overtaken my life. But that’s a story for another blog.

What had happened in the last two years? A lot, but at the same time, nothing much.

I got promoted, I went to do my mini Hajj and started covering my hair.

I’m still married to the same man, but still without children. Health-wise, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis last year and am seeing a specialist. My condition is mostly under control.

I’ve also started seeing a fertility expert. I did two unsuccessful IUI and am due for a Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling. I just need to find the time to do it. I hope to see my doctor next week to discuss that.

In between dealing with work, infertility and aching feet, I somehow managed to shed 3 kilos.

I attribute it largely to intermitten fasting and taking public transportation to and from work.

What is Intermitten Fasting? You can read all about it here. But by my definition, it’s having my meals only between 12pm and 9pm in a day.

Apart from that, I also walk a lot these days since taking the bus to work and the train home. I would walk to the bus stop from home any chance I get and walk to the train station. I normally take the stairs but if I’m in a hurry, I walk up or down the escalator.

On the train, I would stand for the entire 30-40 minute journey from KL Sentral to Shah Alam with my nose burried in a book. They say standing up burns more calories than sitting down, and so on.

As a result, I lost about 3 kilos effortlessly. People who haven’t seen me in a while tell me I have lost weight. I can’t say it doesn’t boost my confidence.

The best part about losing that little weight? It has deterred me from overeating and eating junk. It also motivated me to walk more. Heck, I got me thinking about picking up yoga again.

The hardest part about shedding pounds is of course keeping at it. I aim to maintain the weight and lose maybe just 2 kilos more.

I think the last time I weighed less than 60kg was in 2008 when I was a gym rat and ran on the treadmill a few times a week. RA has made running less desirable. It’s okay, I’ll stick to its low-impact cousin called walking.

I dropped three kilos without even trying from walking anyway.

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Friday blues

I won’t lie. Today has to be one of the most stressful days in 2011.

Not that I had a tight deadline to meet. Rather, I had bad news/information overload.

News about an impending four-month weekend project with few breaks in between descended on the team today.

It will start just before my wedding anniversary which means that I have to skip the annual tradition of going on a holiday for Labour day this year.

A colleague will celebrate her birthday working on the last day of the project. So I guess we’re on the same boat.

But I’m glad that the news came today because at least I had some time to blow off steam at the gym.

After that, there was the birthday dinner at La La Chong, Kayu Ara to look forward to.

Today I spent 35 minutes on the elliptical machine. That’s a mean feat for me because I get bored easily on it. But luckily I had my mp3 player. I blasted my favourite songs and moved to the tempo.

I broke up a sweat more than I normally would on a treadmill. It’s because you have to continue pushing and pedalling to keep the machine running. If you slow down, it will pause or shut off.

I tried to sustain the momentum on the elliptical machine but I couldn’t do it past minute 35. So I hopped off the machine and hopped on the treadmill for another 20 minutes.

This time I walked for a bit and then forced myself to jog to a full song. It was tough because my legs were killing me — thanks or no thanks to my Runtone shoes that makes running on pavement feels like running on sand.

So the day that I can run a full 15-minute with those shoes on will be the day that I’ll be in the best shape of my life!

Well I reckon so because running in Runtone is totally killing me! 🙂

So that was my workout for today. I was drenched in sweat and my face was so red by the end of it. There were times that I felt I could keel over but I survived!

I might run around the neighbourhood this weekend if weather and time permit. Wish me luck!

SuziemcleanThanks for visiting my blog! If you like what you just read, feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. You might also like to check out my older stuff and my other blog. Thank you so much and see you soon!


Run together, stay together

My husband and I went for a short jog around the neighbourhood on Monday, the day after he took the photos for the earlier post.

It was a completely spontaneous decision. We were driving home when he asked if I wanted to jog round the housing area. I said yes. So we rushed to change into our sports clothes as soon as we arrived. We wanted to hurry before it got dark.

We walked for a bit and started jogging once we reached a junction leading to the secondary school in Section Two. My husband had no problems running but I was dying!

My throat hurt so bad as my lungs craved for oxygen and my shins were painful. Pounding on tar is so much harder than on the treadmill, I can tell you that!

I felt bad for my husband because he had to wait for me when I couldn’t run up the hill. After I reached the top of the slope, I could barely force myself to run down another. My stamina was THAT bad!

My temples were pounding as I felt the blood rush to my brain. Sweat started pouring profusely out of every pore of my body as soon as we reached home, a short 15 minutes later.

But I felt pretty good after that. I even slept early that night.

We left the office a quarter past six on Tuesday and were in the jam. We arrived in Shah Alam at 7.20pm and decided it was too late to go for a jog. So we went for dinner instead.

My husband had plans to watch the football match between Malaysia and Hong Kong at the stadium today, so we didn’t go for a run today either.

But he will have futsal on Friday, so that means I get 1.5 hours to myself at the gym. I’ll be hitting the treadmill to while away the time.

I’m glad that I get the chance to work out with my husband this week. He was never into running as he’s more of a team sports person. His favourite games are football and volleyball.

I think the interest in running came after watching the film Did You Hear About The Morgans?

A movie poster courtesy of a website called "blog.80millionmoviesfree.com"

The film stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant as a couple who became estranged after a case of infidelity. But they eventually rekindled their love for each other while on a witness protection programme.

In the film, the Morgans jogged together and essentially spent more quality time as a couple and getting to know each other again. I think this was what inspired my husband.

Suffice to say, the movie has grim echoes of bleak episodes in our relationship. I think we both could relate to it as we have the same issues that the fictional couple faced. You don’t know how real some of the scenes felt to me.

It’s amazing how fiction and reality can pan out in the exact way!

I think it’s a brilliant movie because it speaks to me in a way that other films don’t. It’s not the best comedy out there but it’s clumsy, quirky and real. The movie poster does not do justice to the film, IMHO.

What I like most about the film is the ending and how we are where the Morgans were when the movie ended — at a much happier place.

Seen a movie that has lifted your spirits and made you a better person, improve your relationship, etc? Share with me in the comment section!

SuziemcleanThanks for visiting my blog! If you like what you just read, feel free to share it on Twitter. You might also like to check out my older stuff and my other blog. Thank you so much and see you soon!


The best place to jog: your neighbourhood

My brother S likes to spend his weekend jogging at a nearby park. Sometimes, he would drive more than 40 minutes into Kuala Lumpur to do that.

I’m one of the luckier people who don’t need to drive to get to the nearest park.

Today, I realise how nifty it is to live in Section Two, Shah Alam. You just have to look at the photos below to get what I mean.

The writer runs down the slope

The trees form a leafy canopy above the head

The writer stops to pose for a photo. Check out the running shoes! She's at 63kg when this was taken.

Isn’t it just a wonderful place to have a leisurely walk or a run?

My husband and I went for a short walk/run today. He brought his camera along and captured the romantic view.

The tall trees form a leafy canopy above the head shading all from the hot sun. The land inclines gently from the main road providing a challenge to runners and walkers alike. The residential area is big enough to suit all types of fitness enthusiasts. If you’re looking to walk or run for an hour, all you need is to make two to three rounds round it.

However, I would not recommend running or walking when it is dark outside for security reasons. The tree-lined trees while picturesque in the day can look eerie at night. You never know what is lurking in the dark.

Still, looking at these pictures — there are more on Facebook — I wonder why I didn’t jog here sooner.

I know that I would be more comfortable jogging in the park because of the crowd but Section Two housing area is still a good place to do that. Although it is quiet, it is not completely deserted. There are people in their homes either gardening or playing a game of badminton. So they can keep you company along with your playlist.

I would definitely jog solo around here in the future. Perhaps this coming weekend?

So if you’re looking for a new place to jog and you live in and around Shah Alam, Section Two is worth checking out. If you need a walking partner around here, leave me a message 🙂

If you don’t live here, just look at your own neighbourhood. I have seen USJ residents jog along the  busy roads at dusk. The USJ Municipal Council running tracks also attract many runners and walkers at night — oh how I envy them!

So you see? You don’t really need to drive very far to get a good walk/run. You can do it in your own backyard — figuratively of course.

SuziemcleanThanks for visiting my blog! If you like what you just read, feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. You might also like to check out my older stuff and my other blog. Thank you so much and see you soon!


Happy Federal Territory Day!

Federal Territory (FT) of Kuala Lumpur does not enjoy many public holidays. When it does, those who work and study there cherish it.

February 1 — which is FT day — is one of those few breaks that we get.

While I normally sleep in and laze around on my off day, I decided to wake up around the same time that I would on a working day and go for a quick run.

I debated with myself whether or not to go although I had everything ready the night before.

I had my running playlist on my MP3, workout clothes laid out and running shoes.

But I still hesitated because I have this paralysing fear that I would suddenly and urgently need the toilet.

If you have or are familiar with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you would know how real the fear is.

But I refuse to be ruled by IBS, so I made sure I went before I go — knowing full well that I might need to go again, soon. Running — all that bouncing and your insides jostling together — makes me go.

And I did go halfway through my walk/run. But I managed to find a toilet and it was empty and clean.

See? The world didn’t end.

I walked/ran for maybe 30 minutes. Running outdoors is challenging. I was out of breath in no time.

So before I had to go again, I headed home and ended my workout session with yoga on YouTube. That helped settle the stomach issues.

I felt really good about that because once again, it shows that if I pencil something in, I’m likelier to “show up”.

I’m so glad that I chose to on FT day.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


Rain ran over my plans

I can’t believe it rained all day long. Not that I had any outdoor activity planned.

Well, I planned to run. I even made a playlist on my MP3 player but of course it is out of the question today.

So instead, I stayed in and ordered (and paid) for pizza online (check out Domino’s on the Internet y’all!).

Now, that’s an experience worth blogging about. But it’ll have to wait.

Right now, I don’t even want to think of how much calories I gained from the two-day pizza lunches. Oh well, all the more reason for me to continue exercising.

I miss yoga so I might do that in the am. It would be good to start the day with some stretching.

I’m expecting massive jam due to the last Federal Territory Day parade rehearsals tomorrow. I don’t know if there will be a rehearsal tomorrow morning but I’m not surprised if there is.

Well, I better pay attention to the road. Am the co-pilot to my husband and we’re on our way to pick up my father-in-law at KLIA.
Oh, the Marshall gps just told us the rest area is 5km ahead. Good girl!

Anyway, later!

P/S: I wrote this post on my phone 🙂