Health: Intermittent Fasting for 9 Weeks Challenge

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This post will be updated weekly through 9/6/2020.

If you know me or read my blog at all, you probably know that Jacky and I love food. Not just a little, but really loooove food, so dieting was really never going to happen for us. However, we both independently heard about intermittent fasting (IF) and the health benefits it supposedly provides whilst not restricting one’s diet in any way whatsoever.

It only required us to eat all our meals and snacks mindfully between certain hours of the day, which actually sounded doable for us. Our physician friends have confirmed that it’s perfectly healthy and normal to do, so Jacky and I decided that we would start it together after July 4th, so here we are!

We’ve been guilty of getting hungry late at night and snacking on baked goods or instant noodles or even having a full-blown meal just before bed. Often times, one of us will get peckish and start eating and then the other will follow, even if we’d resolved to not eat any more that day. We know that’s not good for us, so now that we’re both in this together hopefully we’ll be able to overcome these bad habits.

I know we’re taking on a lot of challenges at the moment (sleeping/waking early, exercising and now this), but we consider them less to be short-term challenges and more lifestyle changes that should provide long-term health benefits.

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Wellness: Wake Up Early For July Challenge

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This post will be updated daily through July 2020.

Hello hello!

We are now officially in the latter half of the year (what!) – happy July, everyone :) My Sleep By 11pm For June Challenge is now over and I’m taking my learnings from it to set myself a new challenge for July.

I didn’t manage to change my bedtime to 11pm in the end, but I did manage to sleep earlier and wake earlier than I had been doing at the start of the month and, importantly, I learned a lot from the struggles I experienced.

For July, the goal is to be able to wake up before 7:30am without the use of an alarm by the end of the month. I’m not a morning person, and I don’t have a need to be a mega-early riser (especially since my hubby is a night owl), so if I can wake up between 7 and 7:30am, I’ll be a very happy bunny.

This time I’ll be focusing less on the time I fall asleep and more on what time I wake up, because I don’t think it matters what time I fall asleep as long as I can hit my wake-target. If I’m hitting my wake-target, I reckon I’ll be so tired I’ll end up sleeping earlier anyway.

Challenge Details & Goals

Throughout July, I will be setting alarms to help myself wake up in the morning. With each passing week, I’ll be setting my alarm earlier by 30mins. The idea is to slowly re-wire my body’s sleep schedule for an overall healthier lifestyle moving forward.

The alarms I’ll be setting will be:

  • 7/2 – 7/8: 8:30am
  • 7/9 – 7/15: 8am
  • 7/16 – 7/22: 7:30am
  • 7/23 – 7/29: 7am
  • 7/30 – 7/31: No alarm

I will be tracking my sleep time (night before), my wake time (day of), hours slept and total restful sleep hrs using the same sleep tracker app as last time: SleepWatch. I will continue to note my exhaustion and headache levels to see how my sleep affects my body. I will not be tracking my weight for this challenge, but if I happen to weigh myself I’ll add it in a note somewhere.

Please check back in to see how I get on and keep me accountable. I’ll be updating this daily and will do my best.

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How I Protect My Eyes From Digital Eye Strain

Hi there. Do you spend a lot of time staring at a screen? Your eyes are straining, but not looking at a digital monitor is not an option? You want to protect your eyes from Computer Vision Syndrome as much as possible, especially now that we’re all quarantined at home? Then this one is for you.

It’s been over a year since I’ve taken these steps and they have been very effective for me, so I wanted to share these in case it can help you too.

I have always had 20/20 vision. However, my previous occupations required staring a laptop for 9hrs+ per day, and eventually I realised that towards the end of the day, my vision would be going blurry, my eyes would be dry and I’d have regular headaches etc. It would be okay the next day after I’d had a good night’s rest, but the same thing would happen the next evening.

I became frightened when I was driving home one day and realised that even the pedestrian countdown timer that I once saw with full clarity had become so blurry I could barely make out the numbers anymore.

I suddenly recalled the time we were purchasing a new pair of glasses for my sister in China, and the salesperson had asked if she wanted a pair that filtered out blue light from screens. That’s when it clicked that all the blue light coming through all these screens were probably doing a number on my body and my eyesight.

So I did some research, and found this pair of glasses on Amazon that supposedly filtered out 50% of harmful blue light. They were inexpensive and I figured I’d give them a try.

It’s been over a year since I started wearing them and my verdict is this: These. Are. Amazing.

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Bullet Journal: Initial Thoughts, July Setup & August Draft

Click here for my overall setup & June half-month spread.

It’s getting to the end of the month (what!) and I figured I’d set up my July spread in my bullet journal. I am only planning to use it for monthly trackers because I have other notebooks for other things, so figure this one journal can last me a long time.

There’s a bit of a story behind the setup of this one, but I feel that as I’m getting more accustomed to my journal, I’m also learning and better understanding how I want to use it. If you just want to see the spread, here it is! My original draft and the final spread:

July’s colours were green, so I just did some basic doodles in green and left it at that. I used a light and dark green Paper Mate pen (I have this set), and a green highlighter.

I don’t plan to change the habits I’m tracking for the moment so they’re the same as last month, but I’ve written them on alternating lines on either side of the tracker so each row has a bit more breathing space. I’ll be indicating each habit done with an ‘x’, as per the x’s by my “habit tracker” title.

For July I highlighted the weekends of the month by outlining them with my dark green pen, which I felt would be helpful for myself. I went back and did the same for June with my purple pen too. The washi tape conceals a semi-private task.

Now onto the story and my August draft…

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Fitness: Doing Chloe Ting’s 2020 Summer Shred Challenge

Image screenshot: Chloe Ting 2020 Summer Shred Challenge

This post will be updated daily until the challenge is complete.
Jump to starting numbers.
Jump to week one or end of week one update.
Jump to week two or end of week two update.
Jump to week three.

It’s that time again where Jacky and I take on another one of Chloe Ting’s workout challenges. Yes, last time I said that we would start the new workout on Wednesday and that did not happen. We were both very tired that week and then my period started and I ended up feeling way too tender.

I was still nursing a headache this morning but I finally decided enough was enough, I can’t keep excusing myself from exercise, and now I can finally fill in that ‘exercise’ column of my new bullet journal, lol.

I checked out a number of her programs and ultimately decided this one would work best. Jacky’s a trooper and is just happy to do any exercise with me so he let me choose. He’s the best <3

I’m glad this challenge has a lot more rest days. But of course, you can afford to take more rest days if it’s more of a long-haul program. I think after doing her 2 Week Shred Challenge I’m less intimidated by a slightly longer program, it’s only approx. 22-45min per day, and now that we have a bit more strength from completing the previous challenge I do feel it’s a lot more doable. Oh! And I actually like the music for this one haha, which I learned is more important to me than I thought it would be.

We had a noise complaint from our downstairs neighbour last time (with whom we’ve now made peace by the grace of God and some homemade banana bread hehe) so we’ve decided to replace her “Ep 1: 12min Full Body Workout” video with her “Ep 4: No Jumping HIIT” video. This should also be easier on our bodies while still giving us a great workout.

Unlike last time, I’m not going to post my weight, but I will still post my waist and hip measurements. This time, Jacky made sure to take photos of where on my body I measured my ‘before’ from so we can make sure the measurement results are accurate.

Last time I measured my hips at the smallest part, but this time I’ve taken the measurement from the largest part of my hips as you’re supposed to. In addition, I’ve made mini-videos of my progress pictures so we’ll be able to better perceive if there is a difference.

I took these photos just before we started exercising. I ate in the morning (albeit not a lot) and had an iced coffee in my system, but these are pretty close to what I’d look like in the morning anyway.

Without further ado…

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