Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Not Sure If You're Getting Older? Just Ask a 7 Year Old

Today in the car, J and I were eating pomelo.

J: *thoughtfully* I like pomelo. It's just like eating oranges.
Me: Well, they are both citrus fruits. Like lemons and grapefruits.
J: They both have little pods, and peels, and lines...just like you, Mommy.
Me: ?? I'm a citrus fruit?
J: Well, you have lines like a citrus fruit. Right here *points to the crows feet by my eye*
Me: Awesome, thanks, kiddo.
J: Your welcome. Oh, and you have some more by your mouth.

Also, my favorite commercial:

This is totes our family...if we were bananas. I mean in the literal sense.*

*Figuratively, I'm pretty sure we couldn't be any more bananas. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fitness Friday: Flexible Friday

It always amazes me how many fitness buffs fail to include this element into their training programs. Flexibility is defined as the static maximum range of motion (ROM) available in a joint. Flexibility training can help all of us increase our range of motion, but there is a limit to our individual ROM capabilities based on the structure of our joints. That's why some people are just more naturally flexible than others. I'm not particularly bendy myself, but I've been practicing yoga for a number of years, and my ROM has increased dramatically. There are so many different types of yoga* to choose from that almost anyone can find a branch that fits them best, but if you have an aversion to yoga for whatever reason, there are plenty of plain ol' stretching programs that can do the job as well.

While cardiovascular endurance and weight training are the cornerstones of any good fitness program, flexibility is like the bastard step-child that no one wants to talk about. It's a terrible shame because there are so many benefits to making flexibility training a priority:

  • freedom of movement and improved posture
  • increased physical and mental relaxation
  • lessen muscle tension and soreness
  • reduced risk of injury

*I'm partial to Ashtanga and Kundalini myself

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week Off On Account of Holiday

So you may have noticed that posting has decreased this week. That's mostly because work has been crazy busy, but it also has to do with all of the holidaying over here. Yes, yes there's that whole Eid and Ninoy Aquino Day thing, but as many of my longtime readers* know this be Pu birthday weekend up in herrr. So we've been conducting super, exciting birthday activities like playing Life (regular and Pirate version), having family movie night, and going to the market. That's just the kind of party freaks we are.

To celebrate the actual day tomorrow, I've invited over several 5 and 7 year olds since we're basically on the same mental wave length. Here's hoping for plenty of sunshine so we can kick them all outdoors play outside and enjoy the pool. When I get a free minute I'll post pics and description of our favorite markets. I'll also be bragging about my kids (yeah, what's new). As a sneak peak, guess what middle schooler made the high school JV volleyball team as setter? GUESS!!?? 

*aka my family

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fitness Friday: Staying Motivated

Getting and staying motivated is one of the hardest parts of maintaining a fit lifestyle. It is soooo easy to come home after a hard day at work and just collapse on the couch or to hit that snooze button and sleep in rather than get up for your workout. Trust me, I know. But, I also know what happens if I don't get my butt out of bed every time that alarm goes off. Because it is just as easy to let that one time late-sleep become a daily habit. For me, my motivation comes from my kids. When I look around at my kids' peers, I worry about the future state of our nation's health. Fitness is no longer a habit for many Americans, and it is becoming more and more evident with our children. It is super important to me that I pass on a fit and healthy lifestyle to my kids, and there's no other way than to model it for them. Getting addicted to the endorphin rush doesn't hurt either! :)

There are many other ways to find motivation to start or keep going with an active lifestyle. So I may have recently mentioned that Husband and I are signed up for the Bangkok marathon?* This is how Husband stays motivated. He likes to set a specific goal that he can achieve in a relatively short period of time. A marathon set for a few months away is the perfect motivation to keep hitting the pavement.**

To make sure I can at least crawl across the finish line come Nov, here's my current line up of workouts (keeping in line with my back to basics theme to build cardio endurance):

Month 1
M/W/F - JNL Fusion + Marathon Training
T/Th - JNL Fusion + Abs/Stretch
Sat - JNL Fusion + yoga
Sun - rest

Month 2

M/W/F - JNL Fusion + Marathon Training
T/Th - JNL Fusion + Abs/Stretch
Sat - long run
Sun - yoga

Month 3

M/W/F - Marathon Training + Core Conditioning
T/Th - long run
Sat - yoga
Sun - rest


*Coming up fast this Nov, yikes!
**Or hitting the treadmill, as is the case here in the land of constant rain

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Why I Love the Olympics So Much

Watch to 3:19.

PS: In case you were wondering. Yes. It's still raining.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

Oh.My.God. Will it ever stop raining???!!!! It has been raining without a break for about 10 days now, and I'm not talking no Seattle-like rain. We are talking torrential downpours intermixed with light rains. Our pool has been overflowing for days. Yesterday the Embassy closed for the 2nd time in a week due to flooding. Oh, and did I mention it's closed today as well? And it's not even a freaking typhoon!! What happens when a real storm gets here???

I knew the Philippines had a tropical climate and that we would get some pretty serious rainstorms, just like we did in FL, but this is verging on ridiculous. The greyness and the being trapped indoors are starting to get to me (to all of us, really). And it's supposed to keep raining at least through the end of this week..if not longer! My driver says August is the worst month for rain, though, so maybe we'll start to see some reprieve in, oh, about 4 weeks, hahahahaha!* Then, of course, we'll enter the hot season, and I'll probably be whining about how it never rains ;)

Thank god some of the kids are back in school now because at least it gets them out of the house. Poor T&V are spending much of their vacation trapped in the house. I'd like to say they're being entertained by watching the Olympics, but the Olympics coverage in the Philippines, to put it mildly, sucks major ass. Maybe it's because the Philippines only sent like 3 athletes to the Games (all of them are out), so no one here gives a crap? I'm not really sure, but even though we purchased the $50 (USD!!) Olympics coverage package with three extra channels devoted to Olympic coverage, all I've seen are things like the preliminary trials for women's badminton and the team epee finals (China vs. Korea!). No gymnastics, no swimming. We did catch a little of the heptathlon (Husband thinks Jessica Ennis is pretty hot), but none of the final events. Plus, they do almost no replays here, so I have effectively missed most everything I love about the Olympics. Yesterday when I was home from work we caught the replay of: women's vault medal ceremony (they did not actually replay the sport itself, that would be silly, who wants to see the action when you can watch 20min of people kissing each others cheeks and getting flowers?) and 5min of men's vault competition before the switched in mid-sir to...water polo. Yes, water polo. Are there more fans of water polo than gymnastics in the Philippines, or do they just figure that no one is watching anyway and they might as well fuck with the 3 expat viewers who were dumb enough to actually shell out the $50 (USD!!!!***)? No Olympics, no Shark Week, no sunshine. It's shaped up to be kind of a crappy summer :( In the good news, climbing out of my self-pity party column, we have started to plan some trips for post-summer, better weather season. Husband and I are signed up for the Bangkok marathon in Nov** and we're planning another trip to Cambodia somewhere in the Feb timeframe. We've also got preliminary plans for family trips to Bohol and Palawan, and a joint-family trip to New Zealand with my little sis is in the works. So we just have to get through this next month!

*please ignore the maniacal laughing. 
**Okay, so the husband is signed up for the full marathon. I only agreed to the half and only because he signed me up without my knowledge and paid for the whole thing before I could say no. 
***Did I mention that already? 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Me

So I should have posted this on the 3rd, which was my actual three month anniversary...I am officially a non-smoker. That's right, people, after 20+ years a long, long ass time it didn't take hypnotherapy or Chantix or Nicoderm, all it took was setting foot in Manila to cure me of the most disgusting habit on the planet. I quite literally quit the minute we touched down. That should go to show just how bad the pollution is here (and how much we earn our 20% differential!). So if anyone has a fried/relative who's looking to quit smoking just send 'em to Manila.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Sometimes This Life Sucks

Okay, so there's no Fitness Friday post today. It's been a crazy, crazy and kinds crappy week what with the flooding and the double workload that piled up from the work being canceled on account of flooding. In addition, we had to let one of our helpers go. We knew this day was coming. With our three kids headed back to school* and the other two headed back to the US in a couple of weeks, we just couldn't justify having two full time helpers. However, we weren't planning on having to make a decision until the end of the month until I found out that one of my new coworkers was looking for a nanny to start right away. We have been struggling so much with how to let our nanny go, and this seemed like the perfect situation. After all, we really, really liked her - she has a great personality, is a hard worker, and is very trustworthy. We very much wanted to make sure we helped her find another good position, so it seemed like this was a perfect opportunity to ensure she found another good position with an Embassy family. I've never really let anyone go before. And even though we had discussed our expectations up front, I don't think she was expecting us to really let her go. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. She cried...then I cried...and then she left. And now I feel like absolute shit. I know we did the right thing. We needed to let her go, and this was the perfect chance to find her another position within the Embassy community, but it was just so hard. I'm thinking I will likely never hire another helper again. I just don't know that it's worth it if at the end of your tour you have to crush their hopes and dreams. I don't ever want to have that much power over anyone. I still feel like vomiting a little bit when I think about how she looked when I told her we were going to let her go early. It was just a crappy, crappy day.

*Next Monday!!!!! Not that anyone's counting or anything. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

It's Just a Signal One

And already the Embassy is flooded

My Commute Today

And there's a whole bunch more headed our way...

Is it wrong to be a little happy when work is canceled on account of typhoon?*

*Although I felt terrible for the folks who got trapped in the Embassy since they arrived before they shut down the main street. We got the update that everyone made it home safely, but still...pretty sucky day at the office.