Saturday, May 12, 2012

Getting the MetaFit exercise as part of daily routine

This week in the Immuvit MetaFit Challenge was tough for me as the food we mostly had at home came from a weekend party. To make up for it, I did the MetaFit workout 2 to 3 times a day just to help me burn what I eat.

I was not able to record achieve weight loss this week although I feel my thighs becoming tighter. My biggest achievement this week is doing the MetaFit exercise daily and becoming part of my body system already. A day is not complete without doing so.

My realization this week includes:

  1. The more you do MetaFit, the body becomes stronger. The 4 minute routine may need to increase especially if you find your body recovering soon enough. I definitely don't want to get stuck in the somatopause phase anymore.
  2. Don't skip meals as the body will store fat as part of its defense mechanism. If eating light meals every two hours is possible, that is most encouraged. Take multivitamins like Immuvit to help sustain the energy levels needed.
  3. Learn to appreciate push-ups as that is the best exercise to lose fat in the arms area.
For the final week, our MetaFit routine requires doing all the past routines in a week on different days. For example, week 1 routine on day 1, week 2 routine on day 2, week 3 routine on day 3, week 1 routine on day 4, and so forth.

I was out of town in the past two weeks that made the MetaFit challenge manageable since I was home most of the time. Returning to Manila will expose me once again to all the food, vices, and late night working hours. There will be hurdles that I need to manage to make this work such as reducing coffee and juice intake during meetings.

To keep me focused, will make time to attend the MILO 3in1 - APEX Running Clinic and FITFil Fitness Boot Camp to get inspiration in sustaining my MetaFit Challenge. I will start using my medicine ball again and incorporate in the MetaFit routine to increase difficulty.

Our MetaFit challenge stories are also shared at the Immuvit Facebook page. Check out how my blogging peers on how they cope with their respective MetaFit routines.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dealing with Pride and Humility: 10 Commandments of Common Sense

Sunset in Boracay Station 3 When religion and the Church gets too involved with politics and have views I disagree with, my faith with the establishment got affected. From thereon, I have decided to pursue my spiritual faith on my own with guidance from authors on topics I resonate with. The most recent one was Tenzin Gyatso.

While on my two week break, I got the chance to browse through "The 10 Commandments of Common Sense" by Hal Urban.

The first 5 focus on things that we should avoid as they are bad for us. It is one way or another rooted in with greatest sin of all - pride - which offshoots to all other sins.

Commandment 1. Don't be seduced by popular culture. It prevents you from thinking for yourself.

Hal encourages us to prioritize our time and focus on things that matter the most in our lives.

Commandment #2: Don't fall in love with money and posessions. It will make you greedy and shallow.

This commandment made me think of my recent pressure to "power up" for the sake of image. There is a reasonable level to it. Although if out of control, you can also unnecessary overdo it. And I have.

Commandment #3: Don't use destructive language. It hurts others as well as yourself.
I have learned this long before blogging became popular. That is why when major issues erupted online, I am more calm and understanding of those who go through an anger rage phase.
Here's the dirty thirty that can hurt and offend people.
  1. bragging
  2. swearing
  3. gossip
  4. angry words
  5. lies
  6. hurtful words
  7. judgmental words
  8. poor me - self pity
  9. discouraging remarks
  10. humiliating others
  11. excessive fault finding or criticism
  12. whining
  13. inconsiderate language
  14. teasing
  15. manipulation
  16. insincere compliments
  17. racial slurs
  18. sexist comments
  19. age-related put downs
  20. being negative
  21. threats
  22. arguing
  23. interrupting others
  24. topping someone else's story
  25. know-it-all
  26. sarcasm
  27. screaming
  28. talking down to people
  29. exaggerating
  30. blaming or accusing others
I agree with Hal. In the end, we always have a choice whether to speak or remain silent. Whether to use nourishing or toxic words.

Commandment #4: Don't judge other people. It's better to work on your own faults.

This reminds of me 2 quotes from Tenzin Gyatso -

“To be aware of a single shortcoming within oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in somebody else.“

"If you find yourself slandering anybody, first imagine that your mouth is filled with excrement. It will break of the habit quickly enough.”

Hal encourages readers to reflect regularly if we have wrongfully judge anyone. And in meeting people, focus on learning rather than judging.

Commandment #5: Don't let anger get out of control. It can wreck relationships and ruin lives.

I find this easier said than done especially when it involves the people you care or and their security or safety is put at risk. If uncontrolled, it can exacerbate into greater proportions. Of all the advice given on how to control this, the one that mattered to me the most is learn to be patient and forgive.

The next 5 focus on things we should do as they are good for us. Hal said that the root of all virtues is humility. It is at the heart of our strength and virtues.

Commandment #6: Keep a positive outlook on life. It's the first step towards joy.

Hal focuses on joy as it is a feeling and attitude that comes from within, deep satisfaction and thankfulness, rather than circumstances.

Commandment #7: Bring out the best in other people. It's better to build up rather than to tear down.

This reminds me of what I learned from John Maxwell on giving triple A treatment: attention, affirmation, and appreciation.

Commandment #8: Have impeccable integrity. It brings peace of mind and a reputation of honor.

Hal encourages us to be honest and live with integrity in what we do in our lives. For most of us, this is always a work in progress.

Commandment #9: Help those in need. It really is better to give than to receive.

Hal reminds readers to give help to the poor and in need. It is not just about money. It can also be sharing your time, knowledge, friendship, among others. I like the idea of giving quietly and cheerfully.

Commandment #10: Do everything in love. It's the only way to find true peace and fulfillment.

Hal said that genuine love is giving, not getting, and it is very hard work. True love is unconditional.

I am glad to learn about Hal Urban and his teachings.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Helping OFWs - Villar Foundation advocacy

I remember back in early days when relatives would advise us not to take chances of leaving the family just to work abroad. Otherwise, face the possibility where kids won't know you or partners-in-life become unattached to each other. But of course, most Filipinos planning to go abroad will say, "that won't happen to us".

Have seem some couples whose relationship fell apart but still end up being together when the OFW partner has already retired. Their children also followed the same path. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if they will eventually move overseas and just settle there.

There were also documentaries shown on television lately where OFWs are being helped to be brought back to the country as a growing number escape their employers for one reason or another. Watching their plight makes you pity the situation, feel helpless, and wonder why took such great risk. This includes having 3rd party relationships that resulted to having an offspring, non-payment of salaries, maltreatment, non-compliance to contract obligations especially at the conclusion part.

I had the chance to meet three OFWs who were able to escape the hard life overseas through the help of the Villar Foundation. Jacquelyln Costuna narrated her experiences to us. She escaped her employer because she was being physically and verbally abused. "Madapa lang yung anak nya babatukan na nya ako". To add insult to injury, she even had to pay her employer because she refused to finish her contract.

The same fate was also experienced by Joanalin Pascua, who was underpaid and was even sexually abused.

Another OFW Romilyn Daguplo had to escape her employer because she got scared of the punishment that the Arab government gives to unmarried pregnant women. While she was still processing her papers, she was not yet pregnant. When her application was finally approved, she was already pregnant.

The families of these women asked the help of the Villar Foundation so they could come back home. The Villar Foundation shouldered the OFWs employers exit fees, as well as the plane ticket back home.

Due to poverty, most Filipinos go abroad seeking new opportunities and new jobs in order for them to support their family. Around 11% out of the total population of the Philippines are OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers). Some OFW, like the professionals, find working aborad to be safe and easy. Others however, especially the domestic helpers, find themselves suffering the harsh treatments of their employers.

Villar Foundation have been helping OFWs to get home since 1992. According to former Las Pinas Representative Cynthia Villar, they are helping at the minimum of 50 OFWs a year.

Aside from assisting the OFWs, the Villar Foundation also have environment protection programs, livelihood projects, medical assistance or social services. This year, one of their major activity would be their inauguration of the Sendong Memorial, where they are donating a memorial to the Sendong Victim of Cagayan de Oro. Another major activity would be the Sipag Center in Las Pinas which is a resource center for poverty reduction. "Kasi we feel na talagang poverty naman ang problema ng ating bansa. In fact, kaya naman nagaalisan ang mga OFW, dahil din sa kahirapan. Wala silang hanap buhay dito, and they thought they can have better lives abroad, pero it turns out hindi din," said former Las Pinas Representative Cynthia Villar.

It is really sad to see what some of our countrymen have to endure so that they can support their families, thinking that they would have a better life abroad. Sometimes it turned out to be the exact opposite, as with the experiences of the 3 OFWs who all agreed that Dubai is a nice place. It turned out that they would fall to abusive employers or be subjected to a different culture and law. Thanks to the government and NGOs like the Villar Foundation, the OFWs can find comfort, help, and support amidst their crisis. The best part of it is that they do not only focus on the welfare of the OFWs, but also on the whole Filipino people, thereby giving them a chance to live a better life in the country.

(written by Heidi Kleiber)

PAREF WOODROSE Student’s Rural Outreach Program: "focus more on others' need"

Summer break is here and students are out of the classrooms enjoying their long vacation. Some would go out of town, or schedule summer activities with their friends and families. There are some however, who would spend their vacation learning and helping others.

I had a chance to visit the students of PAREF Woodrose, an exclusive school for girls, in their Rural Outreach Program in Balete, Batangas. This is a yearly 5 day program organized by the Narra Nueva Study Center. Thirteen PAREF Woodrose students, coming from grade 7 to 4th year highschool, attended the program.

The students' activities are well rounded. They start and end each day with prayer. Their lodging location this year is in the Balete Family Farm school. Students stay in a non aircon room - far different from what they are used to. It is especially admirable because they had to bear the current summer heat, which even I could not bear without aircon.

After breakfast, the students go to the Balete Central School, where they teach young public school students. They focus on subjects like English, Arts and Crafts, and Catholic Bible study. It reminds me of Teacher's Week back in elementary and high school days.

Even if the students are still young, they where able to manage and catch the attention of their class. There are some funny moments where the PAREF Woodrose students were having a hard time explaining or translating words from English to Tagalog, since they are used to talking in English. Still, you can see them giving their best effort in teaching.

After lunch, the students do some family visits. They get exposed to a different side of society and living situation. Afterwards, they return to the Balete Family Farm where they do some gardening.

Despite the difference of environment and society they are used to, the students still estiles their stay and the activities. When asked why they chose to attend this program: "We like to go out and meet new people, see and experience the difference between the provincial and city life". The program teaches them to "focus more on others' need, not their own".

PAREF Woodrose "nurtures in its young students a thorough appreciation of both academic and character formation”. 

The school adopts modern teaching techniques such as Singapore Mathematics curriculum for grade school. Its Christian education is inspired by the teaching of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei.

The school is known for pioneering home-school learning collaboration and mentoring system (formerly referred as tutorial system) in Philippine education. They currently maintain a ratio of 1 mentor for every 10 students. The school has a total of 106 mentors as of this writing. The program, as early as grade school includes mentoring students - working together with the parents.

Parents and students wanting to study in PAREF Woodrose need to note the following admission requirements:
The Admission Procedure
1. Submission of all required documents
  • Accomplished Parents' Information Sheet
  • NSO Certified Parents' Marriage Contract *
  • NSO Certified Student's Birth Certificate *
  • Original and photocopy of Student's Baptismal Certificate
  • Report Card
  • 2 x 2 pictures (2 copies)
  • Recommendation form accomplished by the Guidance and Testing Office of the previous school
  • Recommendation form accomplished by the Class Adviser and Registrar of the previous school
* For foreign documents, Original and Photocopy of the Marriage Contract of the Parents / Original and Photocopy of the Student’s Birth Certificate. Original Documents will be returned to the Parents.
2. Parental Attendance at the Orientation for Parents
3. Interviews and Testing
  • Parents are interviewed by a PAREF representative
  • Student takes an assessment test
  • Student is interviewed by the Level Coordinator
4. It is following this procedure that a Letter of Notice is prepared and mailed to the parents

For more information, please contact the School Registrar, Mrs. Rose Dumlao at 850-6380 to 83 local 111.
(Guest post written by Heidi Kleiber.)

Friday, May 04, 2012

I commit to being fit - MetaFit week 2 of 4

When you have been overweight long enough, acceptance comes into play. In my mind, these reasons prevail:
  1. When people talk to you, bottom-line, it is what you say rather than whether you are gorgeous or not that counts.
  2. We are more conscious on how we look like thinking what the other person thinks of us. But more often not, that is secondary.
Of course, the above thinking may be different to those who are seeking for a relationship partner.

Admittedly, guesting on television this year, made me more conscious than usual on how I look like. Here are some of the interviews I made this year and you'll see what I mean.

When the opportunity came to do the Immuvit MetaFit Challenge, I thought to myself - this is meant to be! For awhile, I have been thinking on how to go about weight loss in a sustained manner and with immediate results (without compromising my recovering left knee). Even thinking of availing those laser treatments just to get it done.

After 2 weeks of doing the MetaFit Challenge, I can feel and see the changes happening to me. It also made me conscious of my daily activities and calibrated my week 1 routine further that includes:
  1. Doing the MetaFit workout as soon as I wake up and before I wrap up for the night. When possible, I also do another set in the afternoon.
  2. Take my coffee or juice with Ivi collagen drink.
  3. Take Immuvit and vitamin E to give me the support I need for the day. Also take Vitamin E in the evening before going to sleep.
  4. Take orlistat whenever it is unavoidable to eat fried food or sweets.

(shot this video at past 1AM last night)

My week 2 results lead me to losing 3 pounds. For week 3, what I intend to do is to take charge of my urge to eat at night.

Will establish the every 2 hours eating habit this week and hopefully put my binging urge under control.

I also find myself having more reserve energy than expected. Since I started taking Immuvit, my sleepiness during travel and in the afternoon has been reduced.

Although I noticed my body also demands to get the rest it needs. If I sleep late and wake up early, the urge is there to rest early the next evening without necessarily feeling tired.

I hope in the weeks to come, coping with my somatopause shall continue successfully.

If you want to try and take on the Immuvit MetaFit Challenge, check out the following workout variations that you can carry out:
If you are on the 3rd week already, like I am, here's our workout for the week.

4 minute workout part 5 from Janette Toral on Vimeo.

I commit to being FIT

This whole experience has change my perspective on fitness. Wish I knew and have done this much earlier.

Nevertheless, to sustain, I will be joining Coach Jim Saret's FITFIL Fitness Boot Camp scheduled on May 15 in Cebu and May 21 in Manila.

What caught my eye about the camp is the Fitness Test Challenge that requires you to carry out routines in a specified time period. If done successfully, then you shall be "Certified FIT".

I will strive to pass that test.

Look forward meeting new folks at the boot camp and expand my perspective further.

To friends who are also joining the camp, I look forward meeting you there. :)