Fitness: I’m Trying Chloe Ting’s 2 Week Ab Challenge

Image screenshot: Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred Challenge

Okay, Chloe. I see you. I see all your recommended videos popping up all over my YouTube. And I’ve just seen so. many. success. story. videos (<—!!) and okay I’m convinced. (If you’re only going to look at one, just watch the last one because, honestly, there are just too many.)

It looks like she has a lot of free workout programs but I think the one I’ve been seeing the success stories for, and the one I think I can actually commit to, is her 2 Weeks Shred Challenge (click here for the program).

I really love that she’s put all the videos together in such a convenient format on the page so all you need to do is literally just bookmark the page and click on the videos each day. Plus you know what you’ve signed up for in total workout time and total workout videos so you can plan your day accordingly.

In addition, she has a bunch of tips in the FAQ’s, meal plans and videos of the before/afters on the page to keep you motivated. This girl has thought of everything! I don’t know why I’ve been avoiding her until now. Thanks, YouTube algorithm, for recommending her to me.

I’ve been eating way too much sugar lately so let’s do this… starting tomorrow. Haha. I’ve already worked out for 25min today and I think that’s about as much as I can handle for now.

Here’s the thing: I was actually working out often and even going to the gym for the first time in a decade back in January/February, in preparation for my wedding. I’m really thankful we were able to have our wedding with our friends and family as it took place just a mere couple of weeks before quarantine began.

Unfortunately shortly after all the gyms shut down for quarantine, I also developed some other health problems so I stopped working out entirely, which in turn has probably made my health worse. It’s been a bit of a downward spiral. So my goal for this is simply to get back into shape. As in, get fit again, and I’m hoping this 2-week journey will be the start of regular workouts again.

I won’t be changing my diet and I don’t think I’ll lose any weight, but I do hope to tone back up and lose a few cm’s if possible. As such, I’ll post up my before and after numbers to see if there’s a difference. Not that there’s anything wrong with how I look now (I literally just posted an Instagram Story about how I liked how I looked haha) but it’d still be nice to know in case it helps to encourage you on your fitness journey.

Please check back on my progress and leave me a message to keep me motivated. That’s another reason I’m posting this online — because it’s very likely I’ll get lazy and give up otherwise. Let’s begin!

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Fitness: Cutting Excess Sugar From My Diet

Image credit: Unsplash

Back when I was trying to lose weight for my wedding, I cut out sugar and exercised a lot more. I practically lost 2lbs in a week just from cutting out sugar alone. I felt healthy and strong.

Lately I’ve been having anxiety on/off for no good reason recently, as well as bizarre, anxiety-inducing vivid dreams. My husband said he heard me gritting my teeth while sleeping last night, and I’ve had a headache since going to Costco yesterday.

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A Season of Growth

sunrise over mountains
Image credit: Unsplash.com

Once again it’s been a while. Over 3 months, actually. Getting good with updating and actually putting thoughts to computer genuinely takes a lot more motivation than I’d like to admit and is something I’d still like to grow in, if I’m to be more serious about my blog, haha. That’s a 15-year-long goal and counting now though.

I am not into dramas anymore (or at least, not in the way I was 3 months ago). God was (is) gracious. I can’t pinpoint the exact time I started feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders again, but I think it’s probably after Christmas, when we went for our Church retreat.

It really was a restful retreat for me. A time of healing, a time of growth, a time where I could put everything else out of my mind and focus on Jesus. Christmas seems to have that healing effect on me, and I thank God for the Body of Christ who is always there to help guide and convict.

It was during the retreat that I realised I was able to smile again like I used to, that I no longer felt the heaviness on my heart and that I felt I was free again. If I think about it, it’s also during that time that I was able to reconnect to God.

Just personally, here’s what I believe may have happened:

  • I was freed from the attacks
After being let go from my job, I immediately used it as an opportunity to dive deeper (and back) into God’s Word. I had more time on my hands, more time in the morning, more time to dedicate to ministry, and naturally Satan doesn’t like that. So he attacked. I felt weak – both physically and spiritually – and unable to concentrate on reading and devo’s for quite some time. Thank God the attacks ended, I believe through His protection, and through the prayers of my brothers and sisters. Thank you all <3

  • I grew
Growing pains hurt. But they’re necessary. I do believe God was working in me at the time – mentally. I need to constantly check myself because I’m sure I have a pride issue. I’m sure I had a desire to be cared for when I felt like I was pouring out so much in ministry. My heart was not in the right place, and I needed to grow from that. Don’t get me wrong, I loved serving and I loved seeing God work and I was honoured to be used, but I needed to grow more before He could use me more. He needed to put me back in my place to ensure I was working for His glory and honour and not my own. At the end of the day, I shouldn’t expect people to treat me with more love than they were willing to give, just because I felt like I’d shown them love, which leads me nicely to my next point…

  • I realised I’m just not that important – and that’s important
It’s easy for my mind to go places that it shouldn’t, to warp and twist people’s words or take negative things personally when they aren’t personal. Just because I was going through stuff, doesn’t mean others weren’t as well – they aren’t intentionally trying to hurt me. In fact, they were already caring for me in the best way that they were able to – I just needed to be able to see that. I may be the centre of my world, but other people don’t see me that way, and that’s both a relief and a reminder that I really shouldn’t take myself too seriously.

  • But I am still loved
I experienced so much love when I went on the retreat. And that… was enough.

It was upon further reflection a couple of weeks later that I realised it was probably a time of growth for me. I do believe God was disciplining me and in His sovereignty, He used those attacks and that time to bring to light further sin in my heart that I had either been hiding or did not know I had, to work in me, to equip and prepare me for whatever else He has planned. Either way, just being worked in is an honour. It hurts like hell while going through it, but especially per Hebrews 12:6, 11 (ESV):

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

I am a blessed child of God indeed. <3

I’m into dramas right now.

autumn mist
Image credit: Unsplash

I’m going through a hard time for no good reason. I can’t pinpoint why, and I can’t say for sure when it started. I have a few guesses though:

1. A result of major burn out
Even after — by God’s grace — I was let go from my job with severance in late August, I hadn’t had a break. I was already severely burnt out from my job and thank God that I had almost 2 weeks to rest before getting married (very small religious ceremony, we are having a wedding vow renewal ceremony and reception in late Feb), and due to no longer having a job I was able to travel up north to be with my new husband and spend time with him there.

But I still didn’t have a break because church needs increased, I had to seriously start planning more for our wedding in Feb, when I went to visit Jacky in NorCal we were apt hunting, then moving, then buying furniture, then putting the apartment together. It’s finally done now, but the burn out is already strong, and recovery is slow.

2. A subtle but persistent spiritual attack
Typically the onset of depressing feelings alerts me to demonic activity around me. And of course, why not? I had been entrusted with increasing serving responsibilities with youth and worship team and was also working hard to welcome newcomers. I’ve also been there before (depression), and it’s easier to relapse.

The one-off off day isn’t anything to be afraid of, but when the heaviness in my heart persists and the lies of “nobody loves me, nobody cares” don’t stop swirling in my mind it’s obvious something is wrong. Logically I know this. In my heart and in my brain I know this. But it’s like an outside force is trying to drag me down and I have to fight so hard not to internalise these thoughts. This is especially true when I go out and interact with my friends and church family who, often through no fault of their own, say or do things that hurt me deeply and end up reinforcing this lie, and, if I had somehow managed to move forward a couple of paces in this battle, these things just knock me straight back to where I started — or sometimes even a few steps further into darkness. It’s exhausting. I’m so tired. I hate being overly sensitive. I just about have the strength to fight my demons to stay afloat right now. I can’t face other people outside of this.

I’ve been going out to meet with my wedding coordinator (who’s been a life-saver in all things related to our wedding planning) and some vendors. Outside of this, maybe a conversation here and there with UK friends over the phone but I’m otherwise too drained to leave the house or even read anyone else’s messages let alone respond to them.

I haven’t been able to face my church family at all this week. I’m struggling with finding the strength to go to fellowship tomorrow. I want to go; I should go, but I don’t know if I have the strength to go. I don’t know if someone will make another off-handed snide remark or snarky joke that regularly I’d laugh along but right now can’t handle again. I’m scared. It’s sad.

3. The weather
One of the reasons I wanted to move away from UK was probably a degree of seasonal depression. Rain outside and dark days tend to get me down. It got better in LA — we don’t have many seasons outside of sunny and sunny with the occasional cloud — but it rained a lot in NorCal. That said, I wasn’t as bad in NorCal and LA has been very sunny recently, so I’m not sure this is as big a culprit. Maybe I’m just missing my hubby and the NorCal apartment space that is ours. Having him around to remind me of his infinite love (and a reminder of Christ’s love for me) made things much more bearable.

4. Lack of exercise
This one might be a bit more chicken and egg. I don’t think my depressive state is related to lack of exercising, but I have noticed a marginal improvement on my mental state after exercising (I just did a little now and finally have strength to write something here, which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time). But I need enough mental strength to push myself to do the exercise in the first place.

Either way, it’s been hard. So, I’m into dramas right now. They help me to escape. It’s not the healthiest, but it’s making it easier.

My goal is to escape into God’s Word and prayer. These two things have been lacking recently and that’s probably why I’m on the losing side of this battle right now. I was moved to pray hard yesterday against demonic attacks and for God’s protection and today I am feeling the strength of prayers (also from others, as I am sure there are at least 3 others praying for me). I thank God for them.

I’m trying to do more reading these days, but it takes a lot more effort than just sitting in front of a screen and escaping reality through entertainment and feeling the rush of happy endorphins or relieving stressful tears through empathy. Please pray for me, it’ll come slowly. Please don’t rush me, I can’t handle that right now. My mental state is weak. There’s not much more than I can bear these days. Please be patient — God’s not finished with me yet.

On the bright side, I discovered Viki’sLearn Mode” in dramas and have actually been able to learn some Korean through it. I purchased an annual subscription because they have a 30% off sale (ends 2nd Jan, 2020) and since I have watched The Tale of Nokdu for the 6th time in a row (up to ep. 8 at least) I can now confidently have a basic conversation with you in Joseon Korean heh heh. Kidding. But not really kidding. I’m trying to watch some modern day dramas so I can actually learn some usable Korean now.

Thanks for reading, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to you recently. Please keep praying for me.

The Military Diet – Results & Stuff

Whoops! Slightly belated, but I guess not bad for an update. I completed the military diet aaaand… after weighing myself the next morning, I had lost around 2.5kg in total.

Which is pretty good, right? :)

Shortly after, I did put back 1kg, but a final total 1.5kg weight loss that’s kept off is definitely not bad. It’s been almost 2 weeks since and I may have even lost a little more as my appetite’s decreased and I’ve been making sure I don’t overeat. My scales are currently broken though so who knows.

I actually enjoyed some of the meals so much I ate them again outside of the diet plan. I’m trying it again this weekend so we’ll see how it goes!

No ‘after’ photo yet, but here’s a pic from when I was back in Spain, which would be a fairly accurate ‘before’ I guess…

Bobbie in Murcia

I’ll post the rest of my Spain trip pics soon, promise.

Want to give it a go? To make our lives easier, I’ve compiled a list of everything I ate, how I cooked it and a shopping list. I’ve used carefully calculated substitutions based on calorific values of the approved substitute foods.

If you’d like to go for the original diet plan, it’s here. Calorie values here, approved substitutions here.

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