Resolutions

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So almost two-thirds of the year is up and unlike previous years, I haven’t followed up on any New Year resolutions mainly because this year, I didn’t make any.

Having seen myself not keeping to my resolutions in previous years, I decided that this year I would just go with the flow, do my best and try to stay happy. For the most part, this has been working out pretty well in terms of my performance in university and my own mental health.

The problem, however, is when it comes to fitness. I have gained a few pounds, and while this has not made a significant change to my appearance, I have sensed that I do not have as much energy as I used to. In addition, I tend to get tired after physical activity compared to more than around a year ago. So I feel that when it comes to getting healthier and stronger, I definitely need to have a few resolutions to keep me on track.

Although the new year is still 4 months away, I’ve decided not to wait and to just start now. Putting this off ain’t gonna keep the pounds away.

So here are 9 resolutions I hope to stick to till the New Year comes around.

  1. Wake up at 5am every day
  2. Yoga and Meditation Daily (45 minutes)
  3. 30 minutes of Cardio/HIIT 5 times a week
  4. No alcohol
  5. Avoid oily food
  6. Drink at least 5 bottles of water every day
  7. To keep a food log and have a balance of foods from all nutrient groups
  8. Stick to my skincare routine
  9. Practice mindfulness throughout my day as much as possible

That’s it! They sound pretty reasonable, but some are going to be a real challenge (like waking up at 5am on holidays).

I’ll give an update on my progress in a month’s time. Wish me luck!

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Book Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

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Allan Karlsson has officially become my favourite literary character.

He is unconventional, honest, forgiving, kind, patient, polite and tolerant of everyone. Of course, his slate isn’t completely clean, but I’ll leave it to those who haven’t read the book yet to find out why.

What I love about him was how he never worried and just went with the flow, he took everything in his stride, did his best and most importantly (in my opinion), he is the only literary character who has come close to altruism. In addition, his nonchalance to politics is amusingly endearing as he stumbles into various meetings with political leaders of the 20th century.

When I first started reading this book, I had no idea what to expect. I had just picked it up on a whim after reading reviews on Reddit claiming that it would give me a good laugh, and I have to admit, it got me chuckling on more than one occasion.

When the book broached into Allan’s travels as a youth I was hooked as I have an avid interest in history, and it was interesting to read it from the “point of view” of someone who didn’t care much for politics or the ongoings of the world.

Jonasson is a talented author who interweaved the past and current timelines beautifully without disrupting the story. He has created a wonderful set of characters from Allan to Sonia and even the fictionalised personas of the various historical figures.

I can’t wait to read more of his books and am looking forward to reading ‘The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man’!

Time to get fit!

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This is my latest attempt at getting stronger, healthier, shedding a few pounds and toning my body.

I’ve always had a problem being consistent with exercise. For the amount of food I eat, it’s a wonder my bmi is still in the healthy range, I’m just lucky my metabolism is good. However, being a healthy size does not mean I’m healthy.

My stamina is shit. Climbing up a few flights of stairs gets me slightly out of breath. If a zombie apocalypse were to occur, I’d be that person who gets dragged away and devoured. Not an appealing prospect.

Hence, I made the resolution (Not a New Year’s One) to start working out everyday, do cardio (to make my heart happy) and eventually, gain an amazing body.

While I admire people who wear bikinis despite being chubby or not toned, I myself could never bring myself to do that. For me personally, I would only wear a bikini if I had a toned body (skinny doesn’t count either), and so that’s what I’m going to do, get toned.

Currently, I have finished 5 days of this workout. On top of this HIIT workout I’ve been doing every day, I also follow up with pilates. Casey Ho who has the blogilates YouTube channel is one of my favourites. I’m adding a few of her videos below for you guys to see. Some of the moves look really simple, but after repeating that single move multiple times, trust me, it is gonna BURN.

 

I will keep you guys updated on my process, what works and doesn’t work. I do encourage you all to join me too in this, not just to look better, but more importantly, to feel stronger and happier!

The First Time I Told My Parents I’m Going on a Date

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My parents are pretty strict and I basically wasn’t allowed to date my whole teenage life – not that it stopped me – but it used to result in complicated plans like something from a spy movie. I feared my parents would find out.

Now I’m 21, and my parents seem to have gotten more liberal. So I became honest with them for the first time in my life yesterday. I told them I had met a guy, we got chatting and exchanged numbers and we may be going on a date soon.

Their reactions were completely polar which I found pretty amusing.

Mom: Omg I’m so excited, who? What does he do?? Give me all the details! (She sounded like a teenager)

Dad: Ok, it’s good to make friends. (I think he’s in denial)

Mom was beaming with a smile while dad was just stone-faced, looking at his phone and reading something as though I had just told him that I saw a dog in the park.

I’m honestly relieved at them taking it well, especially my mom – she’s normally the stricter of the two. As for my dad, his reaction was rather fishy, I don’t know if he’s pretending he didn’t hear the date part. Anyway, it’ll be nice not to have to sneak around with a guy anymore, constantly worried about bumping or being seen by family friends who may report back to my mom.

As for the guy, well, he’s really cute and nice, but it’s too early to even predict anything, we’re just friends, but I’ll definitely be dropping a post if anything changes. 😉

Book Review: An Artist of the Floating World

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Kazuo Ishiguro takes one through a beautiful journey that jumps through time seamlessly. His execution of the character reminiscing his life through past and present occurrences was weaved together beautifully with no sudden shifts in the flow of the story.

Ishiguro’s attempt at writing it as though he were translating a book from Japanese to English was commendable as it did bring in the formal and respectful essence with which Japanese is spoken.

Our main character Ono was of a sweet disposition who seemed eager to ensure his family had a good future despite his support for the Imperial cause during the World War. He also seemed rather despondent at losing the faith of a few of his younger prodigies who now viewed the older generation as the sole cause for the tragic and traumatic loss Japan suffered at the hands of the Allied Powers. While it did not dwell too much on this, it gave a deeper meaning to Ono’s actions in his present time.

I feel it would have been nice to gain insight from Ono’s daughters Setsuko and Noriko on why and what they would belittle their father on. I was genuinely curious and would have liked to know more.

However, on the whole, the book was wonderfully crafted and I look forward to reading more of Ishiguro’s books.

Fake

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I’m sick of fake people and fake promises,

fake gestures and fake nuances.

Smiling but not reaching your eyes,

crying but hiding inside.

I don’t like you so why do I have to pretend,

society’s just keeping me on end.

This is the norm,

you’re out of form,

stay in line,

or we’ll crack your spine.

Bow down to the leaders, the elite, the power,

scum you are, we’ll push you lower.

Fear with every step I take,

fear with every gesture I make.

Ostracised, pushed aside,

who am I, just a life?

People think it’s not rude to ignore,

that is what’s causing all this gore.

Listen!

It’ll awaken your senses,

push you to see the monsters created.

Inside you, inside me,

all the horrors unbound and free.

Still, you smile like nothing’s wrong,

keeping silence as your sound.

Fake, that’s how you, me, we survive,

hiding all our thoughts, inhibitions in a bowl,

stored inside the black hole of our soul,

hoping it’s all gone,

but that’s where you’re wrong.

It hurts you see, deep down inside.

Listicle: Movies

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Creating this post so I can list my all time favourite movies (in no order of preference) and so I can keep track / keep adding to it:

  1. Billy Elliot
  2. Forest Grump
  3. The Shawshank Redemption
  4. The Sound of Music
  5. Life of Pi
  6. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  7. Shutter Island
  8. The Whole Marvel Franchise of Avenger Movies (Thor, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr Strange etc.)
  9. The Danish Girl

 

Going Solo

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I’m officially done with the first semester of my first year in college! My results are a mixture of A’s and A-‘s, which I think is decent for university although I really was hoping for a 4.0. Oh well, I think I’m still off to a good start. I’ve never worked so hard in my life.

Now, in 10 days time, I’ll be heading to the UK alone for a trip! I’m really excited about this as I haven’t ever travelled alone. Despite the cold, I’m really looking forward to it!

I’ll be going to England, Scotland, then Northern Ireland and finally my favourite Ireland!

I owe this blog tales of my trips to India, Dubai and Bhutan over the past year, which I haven’t gotten around to doing – oops. It’ll come after this trip.

So excited!! Anyway, if I get time I’ll drop updates here. Wish me luck!

The Emergency 50

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In today’s world, it’s so easy to pay for the majority of things with a credit card that more often that not, I do not have any cash on myself.

After an unfortunate incident occurred today. I booked my cab through an app, and my card is registered on it, so I’ve never had to pay cash. However, tonight, when my ride ended, the driver asked for cash. I was surprised and checked the mode of payment, it said cash. I don’t remember having even switched it to cash, but it happened. My friend and I pooled in all the spare coins we had in our wallets and thankfully it added up to the cab ride ($7).

It made me realise, that I’ve become overly reliant on my card and technology. Not a good thing.

So it’s time to call out the emergency $50. It’s stupid, but I should have been doing this from sooner. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep 50 on me in emergency cash just incase of a glitch like this.