03 October 2013

Sitting Pretty

A guaranteed seat on the train (Mass Rapid Transport) or on the bus in Singapore was one of the perks I enjoyed the most whilst I was pregnant.
Of course when I say guaranteed, uhm what I really mean is, not really! Especially early on in the pregnancy. I used to wave around my ultrasound scans on the train just so someone will give up a seat for me. Nope, it didn't work.

Perhaps I should have bought a badge - I'm PREGNANT! Even that probably wouldn't have worked either.
Photo Credit: Gordonator
Yes, that golden I mean red or blue Priority Seat on the MRT and buses, even when I looked like I was about to burst I still had to fight for it!

As my bump grew more and more I thought it would get easier. I would gullibly wait for someone to offer me a seat. 40 minutes later I've reached my destination and I'll come out of the train fuming because no one's offered me a seat. And trust me, you wouldn't have wanted to cross my path. When hormones are flying all over the place, it ain't pretty!

A few times I was tempted to poke people with my bump so they'll "wake-up" from pretending to sleep or pretending to be very busy doing whatever they're doing on their smartphones.

My guess, Diamond Dash. Candy Crush only got popular later on.

I'm naturally big boned. And to be honest, with my gigantic bump as you can see from this picture. I have no bloody idea why I've suddenly become invisible!

Taken at 35 weeks, just 1 week before
H & I made an appearance

As I've had more practice, my strategies and tactics changed. I would only target the men though just in case I asked a woman to move out of the way and they're also pregnant. Can you imagine? That would be very awkward.

I found that the most effective tactic was a direct approach. Tap them a few times on the shoulders and then I would say loudly "Excuse me, do you mind?" then I would flash them my sweetest smile then point to my bump. Worked like a charm!

So why am I rambling about this now?

Just a few minutes ago a kind woman, (bless her heart) offered me her seat on the bus. I muttered "No, thank you" through gritted teeth. In actuality I wanted to bitch slap her.
Hello, I'm 11 months post-partum!

Maybe I should have just taken the seat and pretended to rub my "bump" as I sat down.

Damn you Ben & Jerry's!


01 October 2013

Getting Back Into Shape

I was reflecting on the bus on my way to work this morning and I had a sudden itch to revive my blog. So how's everyone been? It's the final quarter of the year. Well hello there October. Bloody hell where did 2013 go?

2013 just flew by. Whilst I watch the world go by, I've been juggling motherhood, work and planning our near future. The little monkeys have grown so fast and sprouted some teeth and more hair. I think I got so used to seeing toothless grins and bald heads that it sort of freaks me a out a bit when I see their toothy little grins and their heads with hair now.

Back in January I remember proudly posting the below photo on Facebook. Our first family portrait. There were a few lovely comments and one not so, errr lovely. Mind you that was probably the first time I heard from her in over 15 years. She said – friend, you are fat (a loose translation, as she wrote in Filipino). Say what? I was stunned for a moment, surely she's not being serious. So I looked at the photo again.

I was livid! Was it really necessary? For goodness sake, I just popped out 2 human beings into this world just 11 weeks prior and I was expected to be stick thin? Admittedly I was 86.5 kg at 36 weeks just before I gave birth and around the time the picture was taken I was down to 72kg.  

So I lost 14.5kg in a space of 11 weeks on top of a few birth complications and a delivery that almost cost me my life and apparently that wasn’t enough!

It's really sad and unfair that women are pressured to look like their pre-pregnancy selves as soon as they've delivered as if nothing has happened! The media doesn't help either. Plastered photos of say Miranda Kerr 1 week post-birth on the internet and magazines is enough to push anyone into depression.
Perhaps it was the cocktail of sleepless nights, stress of first time parenthood, breastfeeding/expression and crazy amped hormones that I lost all that water and weight at 7 weeks post-partum I was down to 72kg. Then the girls started sleeping through at 3 months old and the weight slowly crept back in. Come June my weight went up to 80kg, I was in denial and was totally unhappy with myself. I would come home after work and I barely had any energy to play with my girls.

I wasn't too bothered with the vanity side – well, maybe a little. I was looking at the big picture, really I was more worried of the health risks. Coming from a family with history of high blood pressure and diabetes and alarm bells ringing in my head. I had to do something.

I stumbled on a forum thread where people are posting what had happened to Filipino celebrities that are no longer in the limelight. There was this chubby girl in a Purefood hotdog commercial, Chantal Umali, apparently she's lost a lot of weight. I quickly goggled her and I came across a photo posted by her Aunt.

Photo Credit: Vivian Zapanta
A before/after photo of Chantal that totally astounded me. I later found Chantal's blog and since Tumblr doesn’t have a monthly archive, I patiently went through every page backwards. I was very interested to read her journey through her blogs and photos. Her transformation inspired me, not just in a physical sense but in another way that I can't totally pen down. I thought if Chantal can do it, then I can do it too!

Now I understand. It's not just about weight loss, it's a lifestyle. So slowly I started making a conscious effort to eat more healthily. I also started doing yoga at home in front of the telly thanks to Tara Stiles YouTube videos. Eventually I bought a set of Tara Stiles DVD as it's a bit distracting trying to click from video to video every 10 minutes on YouTube in between poses.

I read that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So I challenged myself to do 21 days straight of yoga, I woke up at 6am – an hour earlier than I normally would to practice yoga in my living room. I started 8th July. So far I've done 11 days straight including weekends twice with 3 days breaks in between. In summary I practiced total 20 days in July, 12 days in August and only 5 days in September since I've suffered from tonsillitis.

Now it's the 1st of October, time to kick-off the 21-day challenge again. Hopefully now that I have documented it, it will give me more motivation to push myself further.

By the way, I know I said it's not about weight loss. And no, I'm not being hypocritical nor am I trying to justify myself. So far I am happier, I feel less lethargic and I have more energy to play with my girls, I feel less aches and pains and I've lost 10kg in the process. And believe me, losing weight is just a bonus.   

Years and years of neglecting and not listening to my body, I know I still have a long way to go. But at least it's a start.

01 April 2013

Easter Bunnies

April Fool's Day once again. I still can't quite believe that the prank post I posted last year that I was pregnant would backfire on me.

I was in fact 5 weeks pregnant upon writing it. I swear I had no idea that I was with child. Later that week we found out we were expecting not just one but TWO! Mother Nature definitely has a sense of humour.

Or maybe it was my subconscious telling me. Some sort of premonition perhaps or simply a woman's instinct.

I better not do a prank post this year in case it comes true again. Haha

Hope you all had a lovely break. Wishing everyone a blessed Easter!

03 March 2013

In Her Shoes

My mother is a gentle person with a huge heart who always sees the good in people and I've always looked up to her. She taught me to be forgiving and to always look at life from different perspectives, to always put myself in other people's shoes.

When I look into my daughters eyes I am filled with worry that I will not be able to protect them all the time. Now I finally know why my Mom worries even up until now that I'm 31! Now I finally know the answers to a lot of things I used to just wonder about. I guess I had to be in my Mom's "shoes" before I could fully understand the meaning of true love from a Mother's perspective.

I found a blog entry I wrote in 2005 about parenting. (Confession alert!) Before I became a parent my biggest worry and fear was that I will not be a good parent. Unknowingly my Mom has prepared me all my life all along. 

To the incredible woman who gave me life, thank you for all your love and nurture. For making me the person I am today. I will always be your little girl. And as an added bonus you have an additional two little girls from me and Mark. =) 

Happy birthday Grandma! We love you so much. 

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