No Sweets for 30 Days: Recalibrating the Palate

I started doing 30 day challenges in 2014. For me, it was just a game. I wanted to see how much discipline I can enforce upon myself either by detoxifying from something I have become addicted to (ex. social media) or adding a habit to my daily routine (ex. journal writing). When it comes to food, I’ve explored 30 days with no rice, no alcohol, no junk, no sweets – but all at different times. In an ideal world, we should just stop eating all of those at the same time, forever and ever. But different people have different methods of shaping their lifestyles. I have found, accidentally, that, this one works for me.

When I cut up a big challenge into smaller challenges, it becomes easier to swallow. So easy that it is inexcusable for me not to do it. I set myself up to gain a streak of small successes every day, which encourages me to tread on towards the end. Continue reading “No Sweets for 30 Days: Recalibrating the Palate”

On Dylan Werner’s Workshop, Yoga, and Going Beyond Yourself

Dylan Werner
Photo from dylanwerneryoga.com

This weekend was enlightening, to say the least. I attended my first ever yoga workshop led by Dylan Werner from California. It consisted of four classes spread in two days: Beyond Balance Vinyasa Master Class – 2 hours of flow that was so intense it felt like we were in a heated room, Strength, Balance and Core Stabilization Workshop – which emphasized how much we use the core in every movement and totally debunked the way I have always planked, Flexibility Fundamentals Workshop – 3 hours of techniques on how to be more flexible and how it is directly correlated to strength, and Get Acro Workshop – which was also the first Acroyoga class I’ve attended. Continue reading “On Dylan Werner’s Workshop, Yoga, and Going Beyond Yourself”

Just Don’t Do It: Subtraction is Creation

Usually we stop doing certain things because they’re bad habits. I consider my Facebook addiction a bad habit, for example, so I got off it for 30 days. 2 years back, I did the same for social media in general. Since then I realized how effective 30-day challenges are in terms of letting go of previous habits and building new ones. And so I started applying the same for food: I’ve done a month of no rice, another of no junk (spell: fast food, chips and soft drinks). I’ve attempted a month of no alcohol (and failed on the 27th day). The latest I’ve done, which I finished 2 weeks back involved not eating sweets. Sweets, for chrissakes!

In every challenge, the basic rule is this: choose one thing you think you need to let go of, and just don’t do it. For 30 days.

It’s so simple, and yet it’s a very big commitment. There’s so much teeth-gritting involved, that I won’t be surprised if normal people would think of it as self-deprivation. I mean, Vida, why the hell do you do this to yourself? Continue reading “Just Don’t Do It: Subtraction is Creation”

Why Facebook is like Junk Food

I’m one day away from going back to Facebook. I’m not excited.

Once in a while I give myself these mini challenges in which I get rid of one thing I’m addicted to for 30 days. Today is my day 29 without Facebook.

It started back in 2012, when I caught myself mindlessly refreshing social network feeds every single second. At that time, I remember I wasn’t even reading the feeds anymore – my finger just sort of automatically swiped down within my social apps as a force of habit. It was time consuming, to say the least. So one day, I was just, hey you know what, I’m gonna get rid of you all. And I did. I let go of my four basic sins completely: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.

4 days came and went, and then 14 days… You’d think that at day 30 I’d be so concerned about all the things I’ve missed out on in the online world. But it was quite the opposite. Being offline meant I had extra time and mind space to be more productive, read real books, write blog posts that are more than 140 characters long, and in general, ingest things that are of quality and value. Continue reading “Why Facebook is like Junk Food”

Blessed May Be An Overused Word

There are many things to be grateful for today. And so despite my tired bones and sleepy eyes at this hour, I feel obliged to write them down lest they fade away into dreams.

Here’s the reality: I am blessed.

I just came from a whole-day yoga event called Global Mala Project Manila. I was supposed to be up and about by 10:30 am for the second class, but I ended up staying in bed a few hours more as a result of my long and sleepless week. (I must say, even that sleeplessness is a blessing in itself.) Continue reading “Blessed May Be An Overused Word”

Breathing Out

In the past few weeks, I’ve been filled with a lot of tension. Due to recent life changes, endorphin boosts have been critical to my everyday sanity. Although there is always the option to drink it up and drown in bottles of wine or scotch, I find the latter impractical, not to mention really unhealthy.

We all go through something of this sort once in a while – challenging life phases, dark tunnels we can only get out of if we walk through them… It’s nothing new, really. Except that every time you’re in there – where you don’t know when the light will finally show up, with all your fears creeping in on whether it ever will – it always feels as bad as the first time. Continue reading “Breathing Out”