I’m officially Free…

Warning I just Quit Smoking Neon Light Sign

Today, marks my first month being free.  Yes, I am SMOKE free.  I ceased to suck in nicotine-filled puff on the night of January 30th, 2015.  I am celebrating today because I no longer crave for it.  It’s weird actually.  Let me tell you my story.


It was a Friday night,  I was about to start my work shift.  I just finished my bath.  I made my “morning” coffee, sat in front of my computer and reached for a stick of cigarette.  This is my “morning” routine, (except that it’s 9 PM instead of a 9AM coffee).  So anyway, as mentioned I reached for a stick and, ‘lo and behold there wasn’t any! I was already in my most comfortable work clothes, my boxers and a tank top, (I work from home) and like I said, I was just out of the bathroom meaning I’m all clean and nice smelling and I didn’t want to change clothes again and go out and I don’t have anyone to ask a favor from.

So, I remember just shrugging it off and saying to myself, “Well, let’s see if I can make it through a work day without a smoke.”  I had a plan brewing in mind, just in case I can’t make it, because I know I usually can’t.  I will have to wake one of my daughters up in the most ungodly hour, just to escort me to the nearest 24 hour store about 2-3 minutes away, on foot and 1 minute away on a tricycle ride.  But we’d be lucky if there are tricycles around at that time.

And you know what?  I didn’t even get a hot-head about not having to smoke that day.  Didn’t fidget nor craved for it.  At the end of my shift and when everyone was already awake, I didn’t even thought of asking anyone to buy me some.  That was really awesome, wasn’t it?  I thought that I can push this a little further. “Why don’t I just go to sleep the whole day and wake up when it’s time for my shift again and see if I’d crave for a stick after that.”  And so I did my plan and voila! when I woke up to start work, I didn’t even thought about it.  No kidding.  I was as dumbfounded as I ever could be.

And since then, I haven’t smoke a stick.  I have crossed out the days on my calendar wanting to just document up until when I can go without a cigarette.  There were times during the whole month of February that I felt like taking a stick, especially since my partner is smoking around me and we have friends coming over who smoke too but I just close my eyes and pray real hard, asking “Him” to be with me because I didn’t want to start smoking again and I know “He” strengthens me because I get over it without breaking a sweat.

In that whole month, or about a week after I stopped smoking, I had the most painful withdrawal ever, I’ve had headaches — but those are bearable as I have migraine and that’s much worse.  What I had was something I cannot tolerate, I had mouth ulcers all over.  And it’s not just one or two but a lot.  I can’t eat anything.  I can’t talk that much.  I had to gargle and put painful medications.  And worst, it went on for almost two weeks.  I read somewhere and the article mentioned that if you’re trying to quit smoking, mouth ulcers may be a result of your body dealing with the change in the chemicals in your body.  Studies show that it is true and affects 2 out of 5 quitters.  I thought, hey I dealt with C-section pains, I can deal with this and it’s not going to be forever.

And true enough before my one month mark without a cigarette, my mouth ulcers were all healed.  And together with my health and fitness advocacy at this time, I think I’m off to a healthier and sexier future.  My kids were all so happy that I finally quit smoking..although they are the recipients of my tantrum escapades most of time, I just ask them to be patient with me as my body is still adjusting to the fact that it’s not going to get nicotine or any other chemicals from a cigarette, not now…not ever.

I am a fully satisfied woman to this date.  I have engaged in physical activities too and it’s so overwhelming that I’m not feeling out of breath after going down a 13-step stairs twice or even thrice and then walking about 2 to 3 kilometer destination as well and oh, playing badminton for 1 hour non-stop.  It’s great isn’t it?  I hope I can continue to be free moving forward and influence my partner to do the same thing.  We’ll see.  Breathe in….breathe out.


Starting Over Again

This is it.  I can’t believe how I’m so ready to start to be fit and healthy.  I haven’t published my other blog yet.  But just for documentation purposes…I have not smoked a single stick, not even a puff of cigarette for exactly 16 days now…this may not be too big a deal for other peeps but for chain smokers like me…you know that this is a major deal.

So there.  Since I haven’t smoked since, I decided not to wait for Chinese New Year and start my journey to weight loss and being healthy, right away.  February 9th, 2015 marks my first day to sweat it.  The whole week prior to the 9th, I was out buying stuff to start this out.  And this:


Me and my partner even had a dry run at the nearest Badminton Center for our cardio bit and will be working out a budget so that we would “bike” our way to and from the Badminton Center every other day.  And I can’t believe how fun and easy it was to play badminton for an hour without having to feel my lungs burning.  I swear…my breathing gets really tight after 2 runs on our 13-steps stairs at home but since I dropped the cigs…I can’t explain it but I felt the difference.

So, here are the major things that I’ve done for myself.  I also started ditching the rice, pasta and all that carbs.  No more fastfood restos and the likes.  I weighed in before doing everything, so I was 135 pounds, that’s 61.23 kg and I’m a 5 feet flat lady.  You do the math.

I feel kind of exhiliarated as I embark on this journey.  I have a whole board on Pinterest to post photos and all that, so here it is https://www.pinterest.com/ayinjuan/odyssey/ …so i will not forget.  Okay so this is the first documentation of my weight loss and be fit journey.  I am going to try to post on a weekly basis to track myself down and write it every Friday then.

Goodluck to me and my partner.  On the way to being fit and healthy.

I promise me


Okay, here’s what I’ve been wanting to do since midyear 2014. I had the chance to start, by only eating greens and chicken breast and pure meat at times, dropped the rice and all the carb rich (yummy) foods. Successfully shut Coca Cola out of my system and only drink black coffee with cinnamon.

I failed again come the holiday season…the food here, there, they’re everywhere. The invites for eat outs and meet ups and Starbucks moments were endless and I guess, no…I KNOW I gained whatever little pounds I lost. I know the New Year would be the best time to come around and get that resolution going but I had a couple more obstacles, this time work related that I just didn’t have the time to think about it.

So, since it’s still the early part of the new year and I have the Chinese New Year coming just around the corner, I decided to really start the promise I bestowed upon myself and this time I am making sure to get into the habit and lose some of the vices on the side while I’m at it. I am not getting any younger and the earlier I start doing the fit thing, the better.

Oh, and I’m writing a blog about this simply because, two things. Either I stand true with my promise to myself or I fail and start the journey all over again. And seeing that in black and white is like a paper weight on a contract that is binding me to myself. And so I want to remind myself also, of something I once read somewhere… NEVER COMPARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S. YOUR JOURNEY IS YOUR JOURNEY, NOT A COMPETITION. – Author Unknown. So whether I lose to this promise or keep this promise, I will have to deal with myself.

So, I thought about the best plan, Googled strategic plan to start and make my own regimen that would best suit my lifestyle. You see I’m a nocturnal being…alive and kicking as soon as the sun sets and well…I am also productive during the day time…let’s see…hmmm…then I should just say I’m a workaholic not because of the joys of working but because of the NEED. So that makes my planning a little more complicated.

Step one. Let me list the deadly obstacles to fulfilling my promise to me.
• I work graveyard shift 9PM to 6AM (regular work)
• I work again, usually from 11AM to 8PM (other job) I sleep in between or play FB games or solitaire (boring)
• I’m almost a one-pack-a-day smoker
• I drink instant 3-in-one coffee about 2-3 times when I’m working, sum it up 6 cups in a 24 hour timeframe
• I don’t eat regular meals, but when I do, I eat too much
• I work from home so I have minimal walking, standing, moving moments. And work 7 days a week.
• I’m back to eating chips and all that junk.
• I hate drinking water, makes me puke.
• Fast food is a favorite meal especially because they’re the only ones delivering during the wee hours of the morning.

It shouldn’t be too hard to break for some of those habits listed there some may say, but you know what? It is a struggle or more than a struggle if you ask me. So that’s why I need strategic planning but more than that, discipline, will power, dedication, hard work and focus are the traits I’m mostly praying for before I start this journey, yet again.

So, I’m currently in the process of putting my regimen and diet and activities/exercises all together and also trying to fix my budget, yes, budget because healthy food price are sky rocketing that’s why I need to put my finances round and about to make this work. I will leave this piece of writing with just a little unfinished, to be continued, i-hope-there’s-more-to-come article at the moment and return to it once the plan is set to launch and make that promise into fruition.
I will make this work. Moving on to Google for now.

“I do.” — Do you?

Weddings, picture perfect smiles, magazine cover poses, beautiful bride, the handsome groom.  It’s that moment when you, the guest and the groom, held your breaths as you take your first glimpse of the bride.  That has always been the limelight of the traditional wedding we’ve all known.  And then here comes the wedding vows.

This is just my perspective of one of the most awaited and celebrated day in a woman’s life.  The one that I have been a living, (barely) breathing exemplification, but a bride.  I’m not saying that every woman/bride feels the same way I do but to those who share my sentiments, well, I can’t say anything more.

I have learned that “I do” means so many things, after the hustle and bustle of the wedding hype.  (OK, my wedding hype to be specific).

  1. “I do.”  –  For me, means that more than accepting the “other” person for who he/she really is goes a little deeper than that.  It is “I do” know that we’ve been raised differently and that it means we may have many things in common but we have way more differences which will kind of tick us both in the long run.  Which could mean misunderstandings, sometimes bemusement or amusement or it could even be complete chaos.
  2. “I do.” –  for the better part of it, when these two powerful words are spoken, should mean that “I do” know that a partner means one that is united in undertaking something.  Professionally defined, maybe, but getting married really is a partnership.  So if one is in deep sh** or excuse the word, deep trouble, who should be there to pick one up and help clean up?  Any other answers?  It’s the vow that the priest uttered and we lovingly agreed 100 percent that comes into play.
  3. “I do.” –  means that there should come a time when you no longer have the fight to your right.  I mean, as simple as bending your self-proclaimed rules to consider another person that is your partner, remember?  One cannot decide on their own anymore.  Consider, consider, consider.  Wait…that is without remorse, ok?  When you say yes, you should mean yes, and not a yes-but-this, or yes-for-now-but….or you get my point.
  4. “I do.” – should mean, that you know the definition of “compromise” by heart and that you can never use this against your partner as a point in an argument nor as a treachery or worse, black-mail.  Or you have never ever learned the meaning in itself, or so it seems.
  5. “I do.” – is more than anything, affection with no limits or conditions.  Complete love.  OK, I’ll say it, unconditional love.  And I rest my case here.

So why am I even writing this?  Like what I said, I am but a living proof of someone who got on my surf board and caught the waves without training or even just a pep talk to keep me afloat.  But, I was just also a beginner, who’s wanting so much to ride the tide high and learn on my own, without giving up the fight.  I can’t say for sure if these feelings are in some way mutual with the groom’s because I was just a bride….twice.  And that’s another story.

The Bullied Kid

He didn’t want to come inside the house he said. He was scared and crying. He didn’t mean it to happen, he said. It wasn’t his fault. He was shaking like a leaf. This tiny, skinny, 9-year old boy, too small and skinny for his age. He sat just outside the front door. His head bent down while sniffing and holding on to his school uniform tightly, his knuckles white. Everyone was surrounding him now, asking, shouting, and I stood there held him by the chin and looked at his face.

My heart-ached. I just don’t know what to say. I took a deep breath, and asked what happened? I shouldn’t have. I should have known. Black and blue, swollen pair of eyes stared back at me and he cried. He’s got a big bump on the left side of his temple. I should have known. I said, “Come inside and we’ll look at you in a brighter light.” He followed. My step was heavy. My heart bled. It was as if I was holding my breath for the longest time that when I let go, tears would go with it. But this is not the time to be weak. I have to be strong for the bullied kid, my only son.

We had to go. He has to feel important and supported now. It doesn’t matter what time it was but we had to go see the doctor. He timidly and patiently follow doctors instructions. Hell, he answered all questions which I felt made him want to stop everyone from asking and just be left alone for a moment. He was brave. Out of nowhere he asked, “Mom, do you think I can forgive Diaz?” I don’t know what to say. Without waiting for my response, he said, “I saw a saying on grandma’s Facebook wall that weak people revenge, strong people forgive and intelligent people ignore. What do you think I am?”

I looked at him lovingly, not really knowing what to say. “Maybe not now. You may not forgive Diaz now because you’re still feeling the pain. But you would have to decide what kind of person you are.” Calmly and knowingly he said, “I will be an intelligent person for now. I will be ignoring him for now.”

I can’t believe this happened to me or to my kid. It was a painstaking decision for me to enroll him in “just” some school. I had a lump in my throat from keeping myself from crying. He is different. He is special. He is so small and tiny and innocent on the hospital bed. I should have known. He could not have experienced this if I had a better judgement. In truth, I cannot blame no one but me. For this would never have taken place if I was a better mom.

This was 3 months ago. I am stronger and more determined to give the best to my kids. He came home smiling one day. In tow were 4 boys…oh so much bigger than him. Heavy on the weight and much bulkier. He introduced his new found friends. First time he ever said “Friends” in all his years in elementary school. He said he loved the teachers, his classmates even the school guard and most of all he loves the new school because, he is not a bullied kid any more.

I knew I won the battle. Not the court battle I know I can’t win. But the battle inside me knowing that I made the right decision for my son’s welfare. I knew I won his heart and trust and he won far more than me, and he is continuously winning everyday. As I see his face lit up when he talks about school. I won because I know he will be okay.

How the UNFRIEND button on FB changed me!


“545 friends” isn’t a lot compared to some I know with more than 1,000 friends. But I woke up today with nothing to do so I decided to clean up my FB “friends” list. I didn’t know that i’m in for a surprise!

Going through my facebook friends, I learned that:

1, There’s a star for your closest friends (i know, i’m not tech savvy…don’t judge me! lol) and these star let’s you know every feeling, every thought, every triumphs and sometimes even failures, everything they’ve done in a day and you get happy, excited, sometimes jealous, mad, indignant, you agree and you don’t, but that gives you a reason to reach out and say “hey, what happened?”, “I’m so happy for you” and best of all, “we need to catch up” and “let’s meet up”. I have about 10-15 starred friends, and i’m sure I won’t send out 10-15 text messages every single day to ask how these starred friends are nor will I lift a finger and dial a home number to 10-15 closest friends every day.(Except that I do, because that’s my job and those aren’t friends, they’re customers!. So…you get my point!)

2. As I go through the rest of the thumbnail of smiling, pouting or duck-faced? or sparrow-faced?…whatever face, made-up, funny, professionally-photographed pictures of these so called friends, I started recalling how and when we met and how we became friends. And my “A-ha” moments get the better of me and started going through their timelines, “this is a friend from my previous work”, “this is a friend of a friend’s I met at a party and how we hit it off instantly”, “this was my gradeschool classmate”, “this one’s in highschool, how did she get so fat!”, “this one’s my bestfriend’s ex, and how he looked super hot now!”, “this used to be a girl, look at her err him now!”, “this was my a-hole boss, but he’s such a sweet dad!”, “I had a crush on this one, now I wonder why?”, “He used to be so tall!”, “they’re not together anymore?”, “she’s married!”, “this was my farmville, cafe life, candy cursh friends from all over the world!” and I can go on and on.

3. Then I see thumbnails of body parts, tattoos, cats, dogs, cars, houses, sunset, sunrise, places, coffee, shoes, food and everything else you can take a photo of. It took time to place a name on a face or a face to a name (especially if it’s a body part or…yeah!) and then I go through their timeline and number 2, starts happening all over again.

I got all through the 545 lists of friends in 5 hours and a half. I realized it wasn’t just their timeline I was able to go through, but I had a 5 hour and half journey of my life. The people’s lives I went through today are a part of mine. These people are at some point in my life made me feel thankful for what I have, made me want to do more in achieving my goals, made me feel confident, made me see the things I need to change for myself, taught me how to be free, gave me knowledge, have been teaching me lessons in life by letting me take a look at what they’re experiencing now and learning from it, made me think out of the box in accepting things that aren’t as normal as what I’ve known “normal” to be, made me broken for a time but also encouraged me to fix things up, made me cry at some point because some friends, I learned while going through the list are no longer here to make any comment on a bad thing you posted because they’re already in heaven and doesn’t need facebook to take a look at yours.

Out of 545 friends, I’m down to 492. I “unfriended” those people whose facebooks no longer exists or have been replaced with a newer one. I realized that any one person we meet along the way and you’ve gotten to the point that you exchanged addresses to add on facebook, deserves a spot on my friends list or just because you didn’t get the chance to ask but realized you have a mutual connection deserves to be there too. I didn’t think I had that many friends in real life because my usual constant companions are the starred ones…but I was wrong to think otherwise. I can’t wait to add more up people on my list of friends and see what it’s going to be 5 years from now.

Thank you for the lookback FB, I loved mine to the T, but your “UNFRIEND” button deserves the limelight for me.

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