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Staying Fit

Dear friends, 

Behind the scene during last year’s Gawai. Photo by Marcel George Levi.

Once again we meet virtually in my blog. Thank you for taking your time in this blessed Sunday to read my blog. I want to share with you the story that I had today, which is a conversation that I had with my fellow Catholic friends and musicians – Frank and Fabian. Intially we were talking about that famous 10 years challenge (that I did not participate at all). Fabian mentioned that he has changed so much in a decade. Frank also shared his challenges to manage his weight and body health, especially after each gig where they are tired and thirsty. Therefore, I shared about my ways of looking after my health and how to stay fit, and in a way, did not gain any additional size after 10 years. I am still using the same pants size since my secondary school.

As we bid goodbye to each other, our conversation sparked something in me – why don’t I write a blog topic about this. Besides, it is a common issue that I believe quite a number of my friends are facing, but have no place to turn to. With this be best of my ability, I will address later on here in this blog. I hope this will add value to your life. For info, everything that I said in this blog is for information only, and it is based on my current experience and its positive effect to my body and health in general. 

If you wish to know more, you are most welcomed to read on and try it. If you are in a good health shape, you can stop reading here. For those interested, I encourage you to try it and hopefully it will add value to your life. So, let’s go. 

Let’s start with why. 

WHY?

Why do you want to stay fit?

  1. You want to live longer to see your grandchildren
  2. You want to be a breadwinner to your family. 
  3. You want to look young
  4. You want to be able to carry your spouse/loved ones in case of emergency
  5. Bonus: You want to have an interesting body shape.

The truth is, all of you can have many reason to stay fit, but as a start, find one that really sticks close to your heart. Everyday, rehearse this inside your mind until it becomes your second nature. Everything that you do must be relatable to your main goal to stay fit. If you have a really solid reason to stay fit, the other small distractions will not be able to shake your resolution. Forget about new year resolution. You just need one lifelong goal in mind. Which is to stay fit. This part I will not be able to decide for you. You will have to make up your mind. If you are doing this half-heartedly, I will not be able to bring you to the next phase. But once you do, read on.

Once you have a firm WHY in your mind, then we can proceed to the next phase. 

HOW?

This one is the part that I can share with you. I acknowledge that everyone has a different metabolism rate, each and everyone of us are unique, unless you and I are identical-twin. As a start with this phase, I suggest you not to be fixed to your body weight, which is not a good indicator to your health. I don’t bother about my health or my BMI. All I care about is the daily health rituals that I practice. Now, for the first time, I am sharing it publically.

These are my suggested steps:

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Practice intermittent fasting
  3. Drink lots of plain, warm water 
  4. Sleep adequately 
  5. No alcohol and smoking
  6. No ice/cold drinks

Exercise Regularly:

This one is commonly known, but how many of us practice it? When you exercise, are you doing it from genuinely from your heart, or you want to achieve something else? You don’t have to answer me in this question. For me, I exercise because I want to be healthy – plain and simple. I relate it back to my why. Throughout my exercise, I will be focused on my activitiy such that during that 30 minutes intense exercise, I will not be doing anything else. If I am running at the beach, sometimes I sing as well. That is one way for me to improve my stamina, especially when you want to sing for church choir. Otherwise Mrs Chan or Amy Lee will say I have no energy. Lol.

My suggestion: If you have no time to exercise, wake up early to exercise. Then you can do your day normally without bothered to exercise. It is a good therapy and it also acts as a start for your body’s engine. Target 30 minutes of continuous cardiovascular-related exercise. If you have to gossip, do it while jogging or running.

Always try to do physical activities at work, such as taking staircases instead of elevator. If you are unsure you are doing enough or not, try tracking yourself using work out apps. At least it can give you an indication whether you have done a lot of good work or not.

For your info, exercise triggers your body to release endorphins. This hormone is the one that makes you feel good after you exercise. In a way, you can release stress and feel joyful, a sense of accomplishment etc. That is a good way to start your day.  

Stay fit, brother.

Practice Intermittent Fasting

This is the element that I think many people is struggling with because it involves with the act of not eating food as one wills it to be, and to control your appetite. The bitter truth is, a lot of us suffers from having too much nice meals. One way to reduce intake of food is to practice intermittent fasting. It is my favourite, and it helps me to maintain body weight and shape ever since I exit my secondary school.

You might be curious on how does it works. There might be some of you who never heard this term after such a long time. It is called intermittent fasting because in between your fast, you still can consume liquids, but limited to plain water and plain tea or black coffee. Normally I limit it to only drinking plain water during this period. However at work, since I am served with drinks, I chose plain tea and plain water.

For you to start, you should not eat anything from your waking hour to mid-day, say 12pm. When you wake up, drink a lot of plain water. Drink as you require, and when you hear your stomach growling. Your first meal of the day is your lunch. Your eating window is frim 12pm until 8pm. Normally after I finish my dinner around 6pm, I will not eat any more meal as I sleep early around 10pm. Assuming you sleep at 12am, then you should not eat anything from 8pm until 12am. 

In summary: 

  1. Waking hour until 12pm: do not eat anything. Just drink plain water and tea (best is water with slices of  lemon).
  2. 12pm – 8 pm – your eating window. You may eat as you wish here, as your body required. However, I suggest you not to eat too much. Eat when you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty. 
  3. 8pm until waking hour – do not eat anything. Refer to #1. 

However, if you just came back from your gig that finished around midnight or 2am, I suggest that you consume hot lemon tea, instead of taking a full meal and beer. that would be an alternative for you to stay hydrated. Besides, if you take that heavy meal in the midnight, where you are going to spend that extra calories instead? Bringing it to sleep will do you no good at all.

Drink Lots of Plain, Warm Water:

We are creature made of water, about 70% of our body is made out of it. For your body to function properly and to remove waste properly from your body, it has to be properly hydrated. It means you need to drink a lot of plain water to ensure that it will be at its optimum condition. You need to stay hydrated, especially when your are working outside under hot sun. If you can drink at least 3L of  plain water daily, you will be able to see the difference. By drinking a lot of plain water, you can help yourself to stay awake as well. Another benefits are it helps your digestion, better hydration, more complete bowl movement and reduce sugar craving.

Bonus: After I have my meal, usually I do not drink anything within one hour. This will enable my body to digest it perfectly. I read about this one sometime around 2007 but forgot the source. If I have to drink anything within that one hour, I will drink it in small batches. 

Sleep Adequately:

This one is also a commonly underestimated factor. Please do not skip your sleep, and always strive to get a good sleep daily, unless for whatever reason you are unable to do so. For me, I strive to sleep 7 hours per day, but sometimes I woke up on my own without alarm if I have a good quality sleep. Ensure that your bedroom is totally dark to promote a good sleep, with a bit of illumination at the pathway to assist if you need to wake up in the dark. A lot of young-looking celebrities emphasised that they always have a quality sleep daily. Also, if you have a quality sleep, your work performance will increase. Too good to be true? But tired of dozing off at work? Try it yourself.

Big sis guarding her little brother sleeping.

The next ones are my list of don’ts.

No Alcohol and Smoking

I don’t drink alcohol, unless there is a strong reason for me to drink it. If I am on my own, alcohol is not in my list. If I have to drink beer, I will shake off the gas. That gas is making my stomach bloat for no good benefit at all. Luckily, I am not a smoker. I suggest you start doing this too, for your own good, for your finance health as well as your family’s well-being. Yes, it might cool – drink and smoking, but are you willing to pay the price down the road? 

No Ice/Cold Drinks

This one is simple to explain. A healthy human’s body temperature is 37°C. If you drink a zero degree water into your body system, it will affect the thermal equilibrium. Among the effects are thicker nasal mucous, high probability of getting a migraine and slower digestion. Also, to make it worse, the sudden cold temperature will make whatever fat inside your stomach suddenly “freeze”. This is bad for you. 

And that is what happen when you only drink once. Imagine if you have been doing this for the past few decades. God knows what harm you have done to yourself. Knowing this, that is why I strive to not to harm myself intentionally.

Bonus: Eat more vegetables, and reduce your meat intake. I realised a lot of peoples including Bryan Adams have started becoming a vegetarian since they are getting older. Now that you have realised this early, you can start reducing your meat intake as you go along. I strive not to, but when your mother cook for you, it is hard to say no.

I hope this sharing is useful for you, and hopefully, will improve your health condition. Have a productive week ahead! 

Regards,

Claudius

Stay fit so that you still can ride ATV with your grandchildren.

Disclaimer:
Everything that is written in this topic is purely based on Claudius Weson experience. Currently Claudius managed to maintain his weight around 65kg and waist circumference of 29 inch.

Stay fit so that you still do street photography like Thorsten and Michael.