Friday, November 27, 2009

My Year With the Wii Fit

We bought the Wii and the Wii Fit game last year. I wasn't exactly expecting much, nor was I really thinking about drastic weight loss but I did actually thought I could see some improvement in my ongoing weight challenges. I guess I'm just one of those people who get easily sucked into new technology and what it could do. I was also attracted to the Wii's visual style and seeing stats up on the big screen.

Starting out, the first few months on the wii fit didn't really live to expectations. I tried my best to give at least 30 minutes a day on the machine but I could still see my weight just go up and down and fluctuate. It didn't help that it was leading into the Christmas season and we all know what a help to the diet that is.

Anyway, I soon realised that just having 30 minutes or more on the Wii fit a day wasn't cutting it. Of course, the Wii Fit software did have helpful reminders about overeating and snacking and the effect it could do to attempts at weight loss but those words on the screen didn't really drive in the concept so much as the numbers did. The first 3 months on the Wii Fit saw me actually gain a kilo or two despite the time I was spending on it. I could actually see it on the graphs on-screen.

This was then I decided to add a bit more to my routine. I dusted off the excercise bike and started biking again. First for 5 minutes, then gradually built it up to 10, then 15 then 20 minutes a day. I also kept up my time on the Wii Fit, doing at least 30 minutes on the cardio workouts.

This was when I started on fixing my meals and portion control. I've come to realise that excercise and diet had to work together. Who knew!

So, I started having more oatmeal for breakfast and salads for lunch and eating the right amount of food. It took me a while to get used to the concept that one doesn't have to be really full for every meal.

I got into walking during my lunch breaks at work, at least 20 minutes a day in the beginning and slowly building it up to 30 to 40 minutes a day. I still kept up with using the Wii Fit and checking my weight daily.

It was fine for me to see how the changes I made translate into the graphs. I could see how a big meal would show a weight gain and how much work I had to do to get it down again. It was almost a simple equation: eat less, move more.

Before I knew it, I lost a kilo here and there. In two months, I lost 10 kilos just by building up my routine.

I started seeing the fat turn into flab so I started doing sit ups and push ups hoping to tone up the skin around my waist and arms.

The next few months showed my weight loss rate decrease as my body adjusted to the changes. I kept at my routine for the most part although I have to admit I soon was using the Wii Fit as just a way to keep track of my weight through the charts and graphs. I stopped doing the 30 minutes a day on the Wii Fit and concentrated instead on the biking and walking.

I now have lost 20 kilos since I started. I lost over 10 inches from my waist line as well.

The funny thing is I don't feel especially healthier but I guess the gradual changes haven't made me notice. I still can't run for more than two minutes without gasping for breath so I'm starting to work on my fitness in that way.

I have controlled my blood sugar and cholesterol as my last tests shown I'm in the normal range for the first time in a long time.

We recently came across old videos of me from almost 7 years ago and the kids could hardly belive their eyes, me neither! I also had this picture of me and the girl from last year and how I look today. I can see the difference now and I hope I am able to maintain this for as long as I can. I don't want to be one of those cautionary tales of drastic weight loss and gain!

Last year...


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Blogging Hiatus

I have totally been neglecting our blog in favour of Facebook status updates. I don't know whether to be sad about it. Oh well, I guess it was inevitable but I still do want to maintain this blog of ours to keep writing in the long form.

At any rate, I do know I have to revisit this blog sometime soon. I just need to to inspire my writing side.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Photo Shoot

We went clothes shopping some time back and the kids got new outfits. We did an impromptu fashion shoot one day when we were about to go out. The kids were game enough to pose even if just for a short while.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Trip to the City

A Trip to the City
Originally uploaded by chazzvid
It's the school holidays, has been for a couple of weeks and the wife and I decided it was a good idea to have one of our girls and boys days. The idea was that I take the boy out while the wife took the little girl and explore the city.

Things didn't go exactly to plan as we had to leave late in the day. Didn't matter though because it was always a treat to have the kids in the city.

We started with lunch at a sushi train restaurant. Before this time, the boy didn't really like sushi but he's actually developed a liking to California rolls. The girl, however, is quite adventurous and will try almost anything.

I remember one time I had her try a little bit of wasabi and to her credit she actually tasted it. She thought it was avocado and was about to take a huge helping of it at one point before I stopped her!

After lunch we had dessert at this fancy cupcake place which wasn't too bad but I felt charged too much for the food, fancy as the cupcakes may seem.

After the cakes and coffee we went our separate ways as the girls went to the hairdresser's while the boy and I went and got our own haircuts. We then explored Rundle Mall for while before we met up with the girls again at the museum. We spent some time there before we did a bit of shopping and rode the free bus to the Adelaide Central Markets for some more late food shopping.

We ended the day by having dinner at our favourite Chinese restaurant on Gouger Street. A sort of belated/advanced birthday thing for the parents.

A good day, especially when we were able to get home in time to watch our current favourite TV show, Master Chef!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Celebration Dance!

The kids had to prepare a presentation for their "graduation" ceremonies in last summer's McDonald's Kiddie Crew. This is something they came up with themselves.

Paella For Lunch

Paella For Lunch
Originally uploaded by chazzvid

Last weekend was a long weekend here in Oz. So, I had time to prepare my wife's favourite: paella.

It's not quite the complicated dish it ends up to be. As long as all the ingredients are ready in the beginning then it really just comes together in a big wonderful mess.

I usually make a ( sort of ) traditional paella, with pork, chicken. This time around I decided to make it a more seafood one, with fish and mussels.

Again, there are tons of paella recipes but this one I sort of just winged it and it turned out great.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Photos from Philippines Holidays

I know it's been a while but I've finally been able to upload some of the photos taken during our last holiday from the Philippines. I don't know why it's taken me a while but I guess I was just too lazy to blog and post these past few weeks. Sigh... I guess I just need to get back into that writing groove.

At any rate, there are more photos at our Flickr site.

Monday, May 04, 2009

And We Are Back...

After a quick 3 week vacation in the Philippines. We didn't really plan on going back home but because it was my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary, it didn't take much to convince us to plan a trip back.

Good thing that it was also the kids' Easter holiday break and we were able to make the schedules work, although the kids had to skip a week of school. We did our usual route via Singapore and stayed overnight before the last leg into Manila. In Singapore we were able to catch a bit of sightseeing at the Jurong Bird Park before our next plane ride.

We arrived in Manila on Saturday and the next day being Easter Sunday we went straight into an Easter Egg hunt and the little celebration for my in-laws's anniversary.

The next few weeks was a blur, sort of. It was all about the kids really. In between mall hopping, shopping and eating, the kids had art lessons, ice skating lessons and were also enrolled in the McDonald's Kiddie Crew summer program. We had time to at least get to Tagaytay, UP Diliman and visit my wife's family roots in Bulacan. Oh, and of course, lots of swimming for the kids.

I'll try to sort out the photos next post, promise. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sports Day 2009

The kids' school had their annual Sports Day last week and as usual it was a good deal of fun. It was the boy's second Sports Day and the girl's third. It used to be that they played the same events during but this time the girl moved on up to the senior primary events such as tug-o-war and the high and long jumps. The wife and I had to divide our times between the two kids now that they had separate games to play.

It was a good thing that the weather cleared up and it turned out to be a great afternoon for the Sports Day.

Here's the boy in action!

And the girl!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Belated Birthday Celebration

The boy's birthday was last week but we had already decided to celebrate this weekend. Our good friends, who just moved into their new house, kindly offered their home to have the little get-together. Birthday celebrations for us tend to be small affairs unlike the huge parties we would have when we were growing up in Dumaguete. It's far different these days but no less enjoyable.

I made palabok and pork barbecue for dinner and the wife baked a cake and made leche flan for dessert which is already a full party in our books. We had a couple of families over, our closest friends here in Adelaide and we had a fun time catching up over dinner and the kids played on the Wii until almost midnight.

I already made the barbecue a couple of times before. As for the pansit palabok, I just used the palabok mixes that you get in the Asian/Pinoy store. The sauce itself is easy to make what really makes the palabokis the toppings. Just add prawns, fried tofu, crushed pork crackling ( chicharon ), sliced spring onions and some squid balls and you get yourselff a little taste of home.

Don't ask me how the cake and leche flan are made, it's my wife who does the sweets in our family! :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

6 Years Old Today

You'd think he would be excited to wake up this morning. But, we still ended waking him up and bribing him with his birthday presents so he could get out of bed!

The kids still had school so instead of celebrating today, we will have to do it on the weekend. He brought some lollies to give out to his class today and we just had home made spaghetti for dinner. He just loves the noodles!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where Are The Blog Posts?

I have been totally remiss in my blogging duties lately. What with work and other real life duties conspiring to sap me of my writing strength. I have been "posting" mostly on Facebook for the better part of the last month and have yet to find time to actually sit down and write longer posts on this blog.

At any rate, just a quick summary of what's going on so far:

I've been on a health kick. I know, I know. I've said that before but this time I'm actually seeing some results. I shouldn't say anything lest I jinx it so suffice to say that diet and exercise actually works.

The past week had the wife and I finish painting the interior walls to our kitchen and dining room. It was a quick weekend job and it being the long weekend last week, it was as good a time as any to finally finish it. After moving the fridge and other furniture around it didn't take too long to clean and paint the walls and now we've got a nice beach type feel going on with the browns and blues coming together.

Of course, you have to imagine the above scenes without the mess.

As for the kids, the boy just got an award today during their weekly school assembly for "Showing friendliness to others, supporting his peers and giving his best work in class". He's been enjoying his new class immensely and seems to be thriving very well there with quite a few praises for his reading and mathematics skills.

The girl has also been getting top marks in her weekly tests. She's doing weekly tests this term because there will be, as part of the Aussie curriculum, standardised tests given to all South Australian pupils at her year level to mark their progress and she's been really working hard on it.

With that, I don't think I have much more to report on but I hope I don't wait for one more month before I post again.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sunday Night Dinner: Beef Salpicao

I've been wanting to try this dish for a long time and finally found a recipe from MarketManila.

I cubed about 500g of porterhouse steaks and marinated it for a few minutes in Worcestershire sauce and Maggi seasoning.

Next I chopped up a whole head of garlic. I then melted about 2 tbsps. of butter in about the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. When the oil and butter were hot, I dropped the garlic in and fried it for about a minute or two.

Next I put the beef and had it fry for a few minutes, in which time I seasoned with some salt and pepper, paprika and more of the Worcestershire and Maggi Seasoning.

I tried not to keep the meat at medium to medium rare as having it well done would toughen it too much.

The result: absolutely yummy!

( Next time I'd try to slice the beef into smaller pieces tough as I still had to cut it up even more for the kids. )

Monday, February 09, 2009

Australia's Worst Bushfires Ever

Ever since coming to Australia, I've since become very familiar with the term "bushfire". For us in the near suburbs of the big cities, bushfires are what happens to country towns.

But now, as the extent if Australia's largest and worse ever bushfires is being known, with over 130 people already deceased, bushfires is no longer what happens to other towns, it is what happens to all Australians.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone whose lost homes or loved ones to this horrific disaster.

Satellite Image of Australian Bushfires from NASA

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Kid Funnies Part 29

Gee, I haven't been doing these in a while.

Anyway, we went to the beach a couple of weeks ago and I just had to share these photos. The kids were piling rocks and they struck some funny yoga poses. They were hilarious!

Of course, we had to do the obligatory jump shot.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Heat Wave for the Year

I seem to be reporting this every year now but looks like it's the start of another bad heat wave here in good old Adelaide. We had the Australia Day holiday just passed, Chinese New year and the kids first day back at school. It's also the first day of what is shaping up to be a week of 40ºC days. That is HOT.

Although it's good we'd be at work and the kids will try to stay cool at schol, still, just stepping outside is almost enough to melt your skin right off. I exaggerate of course but still...

This week also started with Australia Day. We just spent it indoors and, after the long drive we did to Rapid Bay, we decided it was a good idea. Today was also the start of the new school year. The kids were so excited to get back to school. The boy was starting first grade or Year One as they call it while the girl was pretty proud to be in Year Three.

They had a good day today, something we knew they would have but we later heard from the boy that the girl got a bit upset and had a little cry. Apparently, she thought that we were picking them up straight after school but because of work, they had to go to after-school care. She calmed down soon afterwards but I guess she just forgot that we weren't picking them up today. Looks like the heat is also getting to her.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Victor Harbor Mini-Break

It was a busy time we had the last week. We just came back from a few days holiday at Victor Harbor, which is a town just a couple of hours drive away from Adelaide.

Before the holiday though, we actually had some visitors drop in from Sydney. It was quite unexpected but we were happy to see them despite it being a short visit before we had to head off on our own vacation.

Victor Harbor is a picturesque town by the sea in the region of South Australia called the Fleurieu Peninsula. It's a great small town which is a real holiday destination for many in Adelaide. We drove down and stayed a couple of nights there. We stayed at a small serviced apartment and spent the days enjoying the usual sights of Victor Harbor, from riding the Cockle Train to going to the Whale museum to riding the horse drawn tram to Granite Island to see the little penguins.

During the times we spent in the apartment, we actually had a movie marathon, taking advantage of the provided DVD player.
Ever since we bought the kids the PS2 game, "Lego Indiana Jones", I've been wanting to show them the first 3 Indiana Jones movies so they can appreciate at least where the game was based on. This was the first chance we had to sit down and watch it with them and they had loads of fun. We did have to close their eyes during the scary bits though!

Unfortunately, halfway through the vacation the little girl actually caught a little fever, perhaps because of the sometimes cold sea breezes. Good thing she bounced back right away and we were still able to enjoy the rest of our stay in Victor.

The last time we were in Victor Harbor was three years ago. We also came on a mini-holiday but we didn't stay overnight. This time we find that staying a few nights gave us a bit of time to take in most of the sights and the kids ( and us! ) didn't get too tired out.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Barossa Valley

Last weekend we took a daytrip to South Australia's wine country, the Barossa valley. The first and only time we were there was when the girl was less than 2 years old, the first time we visited Adelaide. It tooks us almost 6 years to visit again.

At any rate, last Saturday morning we all piled into our good friends' car and drove up to see some of the most scenic country views and have a little tour of this picturesque area. The Barossa is world famous for many of the wines produced in the region and many tourists come to visit the area. There are many wine tasting and mini tours that come through the valley to see the wineries and the sites.

We started by going up to the highest point of the Barossa valley. From the top of Mengler's Hill we could almost see the entire valley with it's grape plantations and many wineries. We spent time playing around in the statue garden at the hill and we took a lot of wacky pictures too.

We then picked up a few supplies on our way to have a picnic lunch. Our friends were all prepared with their own cooker and we had an impromptu barbecue at one of the many parks around the area.

After lunch we went to Maggie Beer's farmhouse which was a foodie's delight. Maggie Beer is a well known cook and author who's made her home in the Barossa valley. We catch her show, "The Cook and The Chef" all the time and we were genuinely excited to see where they actually shoot the series. We also got to see a cooking demonstration using one of Maggie's favourite ingredients, verjuice. They were passing around some samples of verjuice to show that it was not only for cooking but you can actually drink it straight up. In fact, the boy quickly developed a taste for it and had 4 shot glasses worth of the stuff. Of course, we couldn't help ourselves but got a couple of bottles to experiment with at home. The farmhouse also had for sale a lot of the Maggie Beer range of olive oils, patés, terrine's and other stuff. I'm sure will make it a stop on our next trip back.

After the farmhouse we had a quick stop at Angastown to buy some dried fruit and candies before our last stop, the Whispering Wall. The wall is actually the dam that forms the water reservoir for the Barossa valley. It's buit in such a way that sound echoes from one end of the dam to the other. It's build to exacting measurements that if you stand on one side of the wall, you can hear exactly what someone else is whispering on the other side hence the moniker.

After the wall we headed for home. We all had such a great time and I'm sure we won't let 6 years go by before visiting the Barossa again.

More pictures at our Flickr page here.