In My Face!

You can go ahead and say it: acne sucks!  It especially sucks as an adult when you’re all “shouldn’t I already be past this shit?!”  My skin has never been the most stellar on its own, but after being prescribed Yasmin when I was 20, I had it all under control.  Fast forward 6 years and I stopped taking this miracle pill (I went through a phase of giving up everything artificial – sweeteners, hormones, hi-lights).  I was suddenly stranded without my favorite skin care treatment.

All of a sudden I started feeling like a 14-year-old acne ridden girl again and that’s all I could / can focus on.  It’s just so visible and “in my face!”  It makes me feel embarrassed and self-conscious.

You can name nearly any acne treatment out there and I probably could give you a review on it except the infamous pill accutane a.k.a roaccutane.

Now you might be wondering if acne bothers me so much why aren’t I taking this godsend of a tablet.  Here are my main reasons:

  1. First and foremost, it cuts off every possibility of having a kid for two years – that for me is a deal breaker in itself.
  2. Depression – maybe the most well known and publicized effect
  3. You need to be closely monitored by a Doctor while on the pill and at present I don’t have one in this part of the world.
  4. Excessive dry skin
  5. I am against the idea of pumping my body with chemicals causing such severe effects for months on end.

*I am not a Doctor. The above is just my personal reasons why this drug is not for me.  My reasons were made based upon the information I got from Internet research, meeting with a Dermatologist and speaking to people who have taken the pill*

Over the past six months I have been to numerous dermatologists, facialist and homeopathic practioners and been given a number of options to choose from:

  1. Go on the pill – don’t want to pump hormones in to my body and from experience I know it becomes worse when you get off it.
  2. Get pregnant – my acne is hormonal based and they claim this will adjust them.  Just imagine telling my child in 10 years “sweetheart, Daddy and I had you because I am vain and will do anything to clear my skin”
  3. Take antibiotics and stay on it till you decide to get pregnant – this option was ridiculous – pump antibiotics in my body endlessly – NO THANKS!
  4. Eat healthier and drink more water – granted I could cut out some chocolate from my diet BUT I already get more than the recommended amount of fruit and veg.  I eat balanced meals.  I do not drink fizzy drinks.  I drink a minimum of 2.5L of water per day and I exercise 5-6x a week.
  5. Homeopathy tablets – tried, tested, failed!
  6. Have a facial every week.  Luckily facials in China are wallet-friendly so I will be trying to have a facial every other week to try and keep things under control.
  7. Change my face wash – i’ve gone through so many and none of them have solved my problem
  8. Yoga – made me feel more relaxed but didn’t cure the problem

Seeing as I have ruled out nearly all options out there, will I just have to live with this problem endlessly?  I really hope not.  Having to deal with acne, a daily annoyance, has caused endless hours spent being frustrated and upset.  I am now planning to see a Chinese dermatologist who has apparently healed someone in a similar situation.  I’ve also decided to take advantage of living in China and explore the option of acupuncture to balance my hormones to hopefully cure this problem.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and staying positive that one of these options work because even though people who do not have acne don’t see It as a big deal (i.e. Mr. Fabulous) it really is a horrible, traumatic thing to deal with.  Its beyond vanity, acne is a tormentor and a serious personality adjuster

I’d love to hear if any of you have had to deal with acne.  What worked for you best to help cure it?

 

 

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New Year, New Resolutions, Welcome 2012!

Last night it was goodbye 2011! You were a great year, full of changes and the beginning of my adventure. Now it’s time to say “Hello 2012! It’s so nice to meet you…”

As my first blog post of 2012, I would like to share my resolutions for the year ahead.  But before anything else, let me wish each and every person reading this a HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!  Let’s raise our glasses to bright hopes, new success, new reasons to smile and anything else our heart desires.  The sky is the limit and in 2012 we’re going to try our best to push beyond those limits.

 

My 2012 New Year’s Resolutions:

-Business-

1. Launch my handbag line.  I spent 2011 conceptualizing my own line of exotic skin handbags.  This year I plan to finally launch it.

2.  Keep up to date with the accounting and not leave it till last thing on a Friday afternoon.

-Personal-

1. Make an effort to learn Mandarin.

2. Eat more fresh foods – this year I want to eat as fresh as possible e.g boil my own beans, make yogurt at home, make soup rather than eat the tinned variety.

3. Try to read 1 book a month – over the past year I have become really bad at picking up a book and reading it.  With my new kindle (courtesy of my Mum) I want to get back in the habit of reading before bed.

4. Posting on my blog regularly – since I started blogging I have been very infrequent with the number of posts I write a week.  This year I want to aim for 2 posts a week.

-Fitness-

1. Finish 1 full round of Insanity – had to stop the program after five weeks as it got too hectic on holiday and as soon as I got back I fell ill.  Starting Jan 2nd I will begin the first full round of Insanity.

2. Complete 2 sessions of weight lifting a week.  The end of 2011 saw me slacking in this arena, so need to get back to body pump classes ASAP.

 

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~ Buddha

Today is a fresh start  to reinvigorate ourselves, to shed the baggage of the previous year and do anything our heart desires.  What are your resolutions and goals for 2012?

 

 

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1 Month later…

Yesterday I completed month 1 of Insanity.  I feel so accomplished, strong and exhausted.  The recovery week could not have come at a better time.  On Friday I started to feel burnt out but I am still enjoying the workouts as much as ever.  Over the past month i’ve been pushed to new levels and am now physically fitter than ever before.  A quick over view of Insanity:

  • a high intensity, cardio conditioning workout
  • you do not need any weights or equipment to complete the program
  • the workouts consist of high intensity intervals (2-4 minutes) with short bursts of recovery (30 seconds)
  • tons of high impact movement
  • be prepared to sweat.. ALOT!
Month 1 rotates 4 workouts.  Each week gets a little more difficult but being able to complete the workout in under 40 minutes means there’s no reason to ever skip a workout.  Today commenced my recovery week – a phase sandwiched in between month 1 and month 2 of the program. The recovery week consists of doing the Core Cardio & Balance DVD for six days straight.  Don’t let the term ‘recovery’ fool you to believe it is an easy workout – you still work up a sweat and made to ‘dig deeper’.

After the Recovery week I am planning to repeat Month 1 before moving on to phase 2.  Reasons being:

  • I feel I need another month to prepare myself for phase 2
  • Going on holiday at the end of the week means I will not be able to commit to the longer workouts.  I want to start month 2 after the holidays when I can commit to every workout and to a clean diet sans alcohol – that certainly wont be next week!
I am looking forward to this recovery week – my body surely needs a break after all the jumping and stretching over the last month!

Ever since I started Insanity people have asked me how I motivate myself to workout six days a week, especially without having to leave the house to get it done or having someone to keep me accountable to completing each workout. After pondering the question I came up with my 8 tips that make me stick to my workouts:

 

 

Prioritize: You have to plan for success if you want to make health and fitness part of your daily routine. You know the old saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Plan ahead so you can make it happen, even if that means waking up an hour earlier or going to the gym straight from work. You can make it happen if you plan it in to your day.

Weekly Calendar: Plan your workouts a week in advance. Schedule them in to your diary as if it is important like a business meeting. Some days life happens and you’ll have to skip a workout but if you can make 4 out of the 6, you’re doing pretty good! I tend to write out my workouts for the week in my food diary every Sunday evening so I know what needs to get done each day.

Me time: Think of your workout time as your hour where it is all about you – no one asking you for help, no phones ringing, no interruptions. Your time to be in control, to de-stress, burn calories and release those happy endorphins.

Goals: I recently found myself getting in to a rut. My workouts were not going anywhere, I wasn’t feeling motivated to exercise and the mere thought of exercising just bored me let alone thinking of 30 long minutes on the dreadmill treadmill. Setting targets / goals really help. Deciding to commit to the Insanity program has kept me motivated and I really enjoy having something to work towards.

No excuses: In the words of Nike, “Just do it”. There is yet to be someone who goes to the gym that leaves in a worse mood than when they went in. Are you feeling tired or not in the mood? Don’t let that be a reason to stop you from working out. You can always stop after the first few minutes if you really are not in the mood but chances are once you’re out there you’ll want to keep going. The hardest part is getting yourself to the gym or switching on that DVD, but once you do you’ll be happy you made the effort.

Eat: If you start a new exercise regime and slash your calories you will NOT have the energy to carry on working out. It is so important you follow a balanced diet. You need the fuel to get you through your work out, if you do not you will feel exhausted and lose the motivation to go back again.

Remember why you are doing it: Every time you feel like you just can’t be bothered remember why you started. Is it for that stronger body, to lose the last few pounds, or just to feel healthier. Whatever it may be remind yourself of it the next time you feel like bailing.

So next time you can’t be bothered to exercise just find a way to make it the gym and the rest will be history. Even if you go for a walk it is better than sitting on the couch for that hour.

 

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Happy 40th U.A.E!

It was back in the summer of ‘04 when my love affair with Dubai began.  I came to visit my Aunt and I instantly fell in love with this spectacular place.  Never did I imagine that in five years this magnificent City would become my home.  Today as the U.A.E celebrates its 40th National Day I couldn’t help but reflect on the 10 reasons I love this City.

1.I met Mr. Fabulous in Dubai.  We have so many special memories here.  The most important one being we got married in Dubai.

2. My Friends.  I have made some of the best friends here and even though I am not living in Dubai now I know the relationships we built over the last two years will last a lifetime.

3. Excitement of driving.  Speeding in Dubai is mandatory.  If you don’t join in you risk being run down.  The thrill of pushing your foot on the accelerator with the music blasting as you drive down Sheikh Zayed Road is one of the most thrilling experiences.

4. The special and preferential treatment provided ensure women are given “red carpet” treatment through all sorts of queues in Dubai.  We are served first and provided our own separate queues in government buildings and there is an abundance of smiling people always ready to help with daily tasks, such as: pumping gas, carrying packages, putting the groceries in the car, etc.

5. Something to do every night.  Dubai is buzzing every night of the week.  If you want to party, quiet night having shisha and playing monopoly deal, dinner, poker, cinema – the options are endless and the best part here is that people enjoy doing something everyday – no such thing as we can’t go out since it’s a work night.

6. Dubai is an ode to opulence.  It defines extravagance with all its wonders.  Burj Khalifa – the worlds tallest building, Palm Islands – largest artificial islands in the world, Dubai Mall – largest mall in the world, Ski Dubai – largest indoor ski resort in the world.

 

7. Convenience.  You can get anything done without having to go out.  Everything can be delivered day or night – laundry, pharmacy, cosmetics, food and there is someone to come home for hair, nails, massages till late in the night.

8. Safety. Without a doubt Dubai is the safest place I have been to.  Never have I worried about coming home alone late at night, taking a cab alone or being harassed.

9. It’s a hub.  Dubai is the perfect location for my Mum and Sister to visit due to its strategic geographical position between Europe, Asia and also parts of Africa.  Since they can always transit here I have been lucky to see them more often than if I lived in any other part of the world.

10.  Dubai Mall Fountains – simply the most outstanding dancing fountain display I have ever seen.  Even though I have watched it a million times, it still takes my breath away.  If you ever visit Dubai this is a must see!

In the two short years I’ve lived n Dubai I have come to love this place more than any other and am lucky to be here for its 40th National Day Celebrations.  The pride and honor in each person over the last few days, especially today, was overwhelming.  A day to remember forever.

Happy 40th National Day U.A.E

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re: Ms. Inquisitive

Dear Ms. Inquisitive

Hi. I don’t know why you care or what purpose the answers of all your questions serve to your life but I assure you it’s none of your business.  I am happily living my life, doing my own thing, not asking you for anything so stop interrogating me.  You have started asking more questions than my mom and mom-in-law put together and I am just not willing to give you any more information about myself.

Here are the only things you need to know:

  1. I am happily living in China with Mr. Fabulous
  2. I am loving life and have NO complaints
  3. When I come to Dubai I have my own house, my own car and my own life so please stop asking me how long I am here for.  I will stay for as long as like.
  4. I maintain relations with my friends (I just chose not to keep in touch with you) so please stop asking people if I am still friends with so and so.

I really wish you would start minding your own business.  What I do everyday, how much I earn, when I’m going to have a child, why Mr. Fabulous is not glued to me when I travel is not your business.  I think you should worry about yourself first and I’ll worry about me.  It is not your privilege to know everything, especially when you just want to be malicious and gossip about me.

It’s bad enough you are asking me so many questions but its even worse that you are questioning my friends about my life.
If you must know all this useless information you should be an up front creep and only ask me.  I still will not tell you but at least you’ll be a vocal and proud creepoid.

Sincerely,

Minding my own business

 

 

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INSANITY DIARIES – WEEK 2

I think I have officially become one of those people who falls so in love with something that I can’t help but talk about it till I successfully annoy / bore every person I come in to contact with.

For the record – I officially love Insanity!  

By far it is the best workout program I have ever taken part in.  I love it even more than Les Mil’s Body Attack.  I love it more than Jillian Michaels Burn Fat Boost Metabolism.  I even love it more than running.  It’s an extraordinary workout.  The plyometrics make me work up a sweat in such a short amount of time and after each session I experience a total body workout.  No more measly cardio for me.  Now I am all about the explosive, powerful exercises.

This is exactly what Insanity is about.  I love the fact that I can now workout in my own home at my own time.  No more having to work out in the evenings since the gym doesn’t open early enough in my building (can you believe it only opens at 9:30am!!!!)  I have finally started a morning workout routine.  Every morning I wake up an hour before Mr. Fabulous, quietly tip toe to the hall and start my work out.  I really enjoy having my workout finished soon after I wake up – now nothing gets in the way of my workout and I have more time in the evenings to do whatever I want.

So far this week I have made few accomplishments.  I can now go through the full warm up routine without stopping.  If you haven’t done Insanity you’ll be thinking ‘what a lame-o, she can’t even do the full warm up’.  Trust me though once you do the routine you’ll see it’s not a normal easy warm up.  It’s a workout in itself.  I’m also able to keep up with the participants on the DVD for most of the exercises and the total number of breaks I take are considerably less than week one.  After two weeks I can already feel my fitness level rise.  I am excited to see what they are like at the end of the 60 days.  Tomorrow is my bi-weekly fitness test.  I will post my results at the end of the program.

During the first week of Insanity my body was in pain and I really looked forward to my day off.  Surprisingly this week I am feeling great, my energy levels has increased and no more aches or pains.  Even after pure cardio I still managed to complete pure abs without collapsing on the floor.  Didn’t think I would have the energy to do the 16-minute workout, but I got through it fine.  Only problem with Insanity is that I am missing my body pump classes A LOT.  Two weeks in to the program and so far I have not been able to fit in a single body pump class.  Something always comes up when I plan to go.  Anyhow, as long as I am on track with Insanity I’m not going to complain.

And now the results:

So far I haven’t lost any weight, weighed myself once and I have stayed the same.  Maybe, my far from perfect eating is the reason behind this!  I am feeling more toned over-all, which I am very happy with.  I don’t know if I have lost any inches / cms since I decided I will measure myself every four weeks.  Two more weeks till I find out if I have lost anything.

Weekly re-caps of my Insanity journey are going to get really boring and I think you all will be fed up of reading about how much I love the program.  From now on I will track my at the end of phase one, the middle of phase 2 and when I complete the program.  I think that will be more than enough to keep me accountable.

I still cannot believe I have completed the first two weeks and am officially half way through the first phase of the program. I’m feeling great and can’t wait to tackle the week ahead.

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INSANITY DIARIES – WEEK 1

Yesterday I finished my SIXTH day of Insanity workouts.  I feel great that I have been able to stick to the schedule this week but after the Fit Test I got nervous thinking what else was to come.  The workouts are really tough (quite possibly most definitely the hardest exercise program I’ve ever done) but I love the challenge and change of pace in my workout.

So far this week I have done:

  1. Fit Test 2. Plyo Cardio Circuit 3.Cardio Power & Resistance 4.Cardio Recovery 5. Pure Cardio 6. Plyo Cardio Circuit

The workouts are all around  40 minutes long.  They start with a warm up (more like a workout in itself) and then stretching.  By this point you only have around 20 minutes, which is plenty time for Shaun T to do some damage.  By the fourth day my body was crying for a rest.  Luckily it was time for Cardio Recovery.  It was not easy but all the yoga really helped stretch my body out and made me feel great, ready to tackle the rest of the week.

This program is definitely not for beginners and if you don’t follow the proper form it is extremely easy to get hurt doing the moves as it’s high impact cardio – think lots of jumping and explosive movements.  I am hoping by the end of the month I will be able to get through each DVD without any extra breaks.

How am I feeling so far?  I am loving the program and feeling much stronger but the intensity of it all has really shocked my body.  On the 2nd day of the program I was sick but decided to stick with it as I heard it is common but by the 4th day my body finally started adjusting to it and I now look forward to each workout.

Since starting Insanity, I have been focused on eating right.  There have been a couple of occasions I’ve eaten out so I can’t say my food intake is perfect but I try to choose the healthiest option.  I am consciously eating  5x a day and make sure there is some kind of protein in every meal and snack.

My original plan was to continue with my regular body pump classes twice a week along with the program however this week I decided not to attend a body pump class so my body could adjust to these workouts.  Hopefully from next week I will be able to re-introduce weight training to this schedule.

Today is my first rest day.  Going to enjoy my day of relaxation with an afternoon of Modern Family!

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