being happyAre you comfortable in your own skin, by just being yourself? Do you need a lot of makeup before you step out in public? Do you need to put on your best outfit to feel empowered? Do you need lots of material stuff to make up for your feelings of personal inadequacy?

I was, before. Or probably worse. I could not feel comfortable with who I really was. Even with the newest outfit that I thought would make me look fabulous, didn’t give me that confidence. I was in the habit of constant denial and always worrying about how I think people would judge me.

If any of these sound like you, it’s time to relook into your life and make a total adjustment. Feelings of insufficiency will only give rise to growing materialistic craves, to make up for our ‘skin’ which we are not totally at ease with. I found my purpose, and I have reversed most of what had mattered to me before.

Read on, and follow these first few steps you need to start making that BIG transformation.

  • Have a vision of who and what you want to achieve. Do you want to break your bad eating habits? Or perhaps you want to look lean and strong. It could be as simple as wanting to look and feel younger. Set a target, and work towards it. Write it down somewhere where you can remind yourself everyday.
  • Identify your true character/personality. This is almost like creating an look for yourself. Are you sporty? Young and funky? Sophisticated and classy? Relaxed yet chic? Whichever it is, identify your true self. Know which look makes you feel the most comfortable in. Identify it and stick with that ‘theme’.
  • Make a list. In fact make two lists. One of your bad habits, and one of planned good habits you want to keep to. Brainstorm as many points as you can, and start by keeping off the bad, and keeping to two or three of the good a day. Slowly build up upon it. Try to focus on the positive!
  • Stop buying too many clothes. If you are a spendthrift, quit the habit of randomly buying fancy clothes. The true fact is when you are not feeling your best, nothing you wear will actually make you much (MUCH) better. Even if it does, the feeling is pretty short-lived. You will start to pinpoint your own flaws again. You get better value out of buying something that can inspire you to change for now.
  • Find a buddy. Or identify a goal. Look out for someone who can help to motivate you. Your best friend, your sister, or try some of the online fitness personalities. They look good, radiate goodness. This is what you need. You need a source of positive influence.
  • Identify your best asset. It could be your eyes, your arms, legs…Play it up. If it involves sifting through your wardrobe, pick only the best out of what’s available. Leave the rest out. You don’t want anything on you to deter your confidence and pull down your faith. You want to feel good today, and better tomorrow.
  • Book in for a good haircut. A fine haircut frames your face, and enhances your features. Get a cut that can be easily maintained, yet make you look a million bucks at any time of the day, without the fuss!
  • Invest in a pair of good kicks. A good pair of shoes give you the right support for a proper posture. A good posture is key to suggesting your level of confidence. Would you want to slouch if you can look hundred times better by standing tall and straight? Find shoes that can bring you walking around the globe yet not compromising on style and highly versatile to match any outfit that will bring out your true character.
  • Invest in one health product. Making transformational change is not easy if your health is working against you. Make an investment. Having spent money will create a sort of awareness for you. Trust me on this, buy a all-rounded nutrition powder, or herbal concentrates or cod-liver oil etc. Make it a habit to start on this product faithfully. It serves as a constant ‘reminder’ that you are on your way to rebuilding yourself. When you achieve discipline with one, you know you can start on others.
  • Eat healthy. Feeling good is tied largely to our diet. A well-balanced diet can actually alleviate our mood swings. A well nourished body reduces cravings, and cravings are not happy thoughts. You need to be well aware of what you put into your body and how they actually make you feel. If junk food makes you feel guilty after eating it, then it really isn’t worth it at all.
  • Get physically active. If you dislike exercising, you really should be starting it now. If you hate running, you really ought to be trying now. When I hate increasing the intensity on my treadmill or elliptical machine, all the more I go fiercer.  Exercising helps release endorphins which not only help with moods of depression, it actually makes you feel happy and accomplished. The fact that you are putting in effort to work a change in your life is enough to make you feel fulfilled. You may be whining and screaming in pain and agony at the start but its worthwhile.
  • Adjust your mindset. Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability. Believe in your faith. Your brain tells your body what to expect so long you can get the message across to your brain. Nothing is unachievable if you are committed to make the change. Believe you can and you are halfway there.

Real transformation happens when we have emotional and mental shifts in ourselves and these shifts change us physically from the inside out.

Many of us live our lives day in and out doing what’s best for others. Whatever age you are at now, it is never too late to make a change. You only live a day in everyday of your life ONCE. Why not give it the best it deserves? Nothing is easy, but….. (read on)

changing you

Good luck lovely ladies! 🙂

We all know exercising does wonders for our body. Supposing exercise should also benefit our body’s largest organ – our skin. Is it really the case? Or does it make you more prone to acne?

acne after sweating

I started actively exercising about 4 months ago. I was working up serious sweats once every two days, or if not, daily.  I was so intrigued initially by the glow my skin gets from the workouts, happily driving myself to work insanely harder and harder, thinking that the sweating means purging out toxins and I’ll be looking all radiant and smoothed-skin.

However, I was disappointed. It was not the case. After each session, I would find a small pustule (whitehead) growing. Every single time. Having clear skin all my life did not help my franticness to find a cause and work a solution to keep those zits away.

Sweat is made up of mostly water, with small amounts of urea, ammonia, salt and sugar. When you sweat, these impurities are flushed out from your skin. Exercising increases the blood flow to your skin, and sweating helps to unclog your pores. If this is so, what could be causing the outbreaks?

What are the possible causes of acne post workouts?

  • Clogged pores filled with sebum and makeup (especially if your makeup is not ‘non-comedogenic’)
  • Dead skin cells slough off and are trapped in your pores. And because your skin cant breathe, it could result in acne.
  • Hair that sweeps across your face carries oil and dirt, which again explains why a clean face is important
  • Bacteria is everywhere and with shared exercise equipments in common gyms it is likely they are the breeding ground for germs and bacteria. These could get onto your hands when you touch the same machines.
  • Unclean towels is an obvious cause and we do not want to be wiping our faces with them.
  • Stress, though not exactly related to your exercise routine, can cause acne outbreaks. Supposing you have a hard workout session and subconsciously, it stresses your body to push yourself harder.
  • Over-washing of your face before and post working out might cause irritation and drying out of your skin which in turn could lead to the formation of acne.

To determine an exact cause to post exercising acne is challenging. Be sure to check that you are encouraging hygiene as much as possible to eradicate the problem.

Check that you are :

  • Blot face with oil blotters to remove excess oil before working out. If washing with a facial cleanser is too dry, just add a splash of water and pat dry.
  • Skip makeup before exercising will save you one time of washing the face.
  • Remove makeup if you must have them applied before your workout session. Avoid applying any skincare products before working out. These may clog up your pores if not absorbed into the skin.
  • Cleansing gently. Rubbing or tugging on your skin may cause excessive abrasion and irritation, thus increasing the chance of acne.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after exercising, before touching your face. Bacteria is all over  your hands from contact with the exercise machines.
  • Avoid touching your face during exercise. If do, please ensure it is with a clean towel. Avoid randomly throwing your towel over machine handles or on the floor. Remember, germs are everywhere!
  • Use a mild cleanser. Choose one that is mild so it wouldn’t strip off your skin’s natural moisture.
  • Antibacterial formula face washes ensure your skin is thoroughly clean and free from bacteria. Tea tree oil and Neem oil formulas are good antibacterial choices.
  • Don’t wait too long after your workout to give your face a clean wash. The longer your wait, the longer the sweat and oils have to form blockages on your skin.
  • Hydrate your skin well after washing. Cleansers tend to strip of the skin’s natural moisture and oil that serve to moisturize the skin. Remember to use a good hydrator after wash.
  • Cover equipments at the gym as they are filled with sweat, germs, bacteria and grime!

I didn’t know what attributed to my outbreak the initial 3 months of me back to being physically active. I did everything I have listed above, I couldn’t pinpoint it to any one cause. I’m just thankful I hardly get any pimples nowadays. It is important to practice hygiene especially getting rough-and-rugged outdoors, afterall, don’t we all want to look good?

Do you share a similar experience?  Share with us by leaving a comment below!

I used to run a minute and feel tired. Today was 27.5 minutes without a break and change in pace! Still lots of room for improvement but its definitely a celebrated milestone for me!

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I had the chance to meet up with a wellness coach today. He is the one who has indirectly helped me to achieve what I have today (in terms of health and energy levels). I was given me a ‘health talk’ back then and the re-evaluation of my health got me to become more conscious of what is happening in my body. In turn, I purchased some of my health supplements through him.

Following that, for the next two years, I have been eating relatively healthy. I do not drink (unless over business meetings), I do not smoke. I do not do late nights. Very good!

I too, watch what I put into my mouth. I cut off deep-fried and oily food totally. I opt for healthy choices every meal. I drink lots of water in a day. I make sure I get my necessary nutrition everyday. And just a couple of months back, I started exercising. Not too late, always better than never. 🙂

I know everything that I should do to keep my body healthy. And I am pretty sure everyone has that basic concept of what healthy living is.

However, how difficult is it to lead a healthy lifestyle? What must you do, and where should you start?

Here, I share with you 6 steps (JUST 6 STEPS) to a healthy you (GUARANTEED!) :

  • Eat well. (Get your basic nutrition right. Eating well involves complex food science and nutrition knowledge. The best way to start is to cut off sugary, oily, and processed food. Try to eat natural wholesome food as much as possible, and always opt for something that is a more ‘bland’ alternative.)

healthy salad

  • Sleep enough. (8 hrs is ideal. Get into a regular routine by trying to sleep at a certain fixed time every night. The best time to rest should preferably be before midnight.)

sleep well

  • Drink lots of water (8 glasses is what we know, however glass size differs. Ideally your body needs around 1.8 – 2.5 litres of water a day. Try the water intake calculator based on your weight here. )

drink water

  • Exercise. (Just getting your body to move as little as 15 mins a day will help. Daily running or brisk walking is a good exercise to start off with involving all parts of your body. It is said that just that little effort a day could possibly add years to your life!)


  • Eat your breakfast. (Your first meal of the day couldn’t be more important. Read my previous post on the importance of breakfast here.)


  • Think Healthy  (Thinking happy and positive thoughts forms a healthy mindset that gives you the awareness you need to do everything ‘healthier’.)


Simple, isn’t it? Just 6 steps to kickstart to a healthier lifestyle.

The key is to learn how to ‘fine-tune‘ your health. This means making small adjustments for optimal performance and results. The way to doing this for you is to set realistic goals. Start with a 1-3 day sugar-free diet, or choose to exercise for 3 times a week. Make small changes. Do what you think is possible to achieve but yet requires a little extra effort from your willpower.  You will soon realize that once your body is able to achieve the goals you set for the first 3 days or a week, your mental power will increase and that is when you can push yourself further to carry on the hard effort. No change is easy, and no change will allow you to stay put in your comfort zone. We are so attuned to the ‘easy way out’ that we succumb to our laziness and reluctance to change. Once you realize you are actually capable of doing it, that gives your more determination to carry on. Before you know it, you will be kicking off all the bad diet habits and basking in a wholesome lifestyle!

Buddy up with your best friend or your partner and chances are it will double the determination. We like to be given the lead. We like to be given goals to achieve. Have a companion to motivate you will help you see results faster!

For the benefit of your own health, start making a change today! Tell me how you start, and how well you keep to it! Remember, you are always able to do more than what your body thinks you can.

With love.

My life had been pretty average. Life used to just revolve around work, laze, surf, more lazing, eat, meet up with close friends, laze, surf (tech is a killer!) and sleep. Pretty occupied, I must say. But, fulfilling? I guess I’ve learnt now that its not.

Before, I treaded on everyday, just doing what was in front of me. I wasn’t spontaneous like how I want myself to be. I was afraid to try the less familiar, afraid of embarrassment, afraid of failures, afraid of ‘what ifs‘. I fall into this category of people who tries to make the best without wanting to move out of my comfort zone.

Now, I feel a changed person. Fitness has changed me. Or rather, vanity has. I wanted to change my ugly looking thighs.

The amazing thing about Fitness is it creates body awareness. Or perhaps it was Pilates that did that. Working out every muscle group in your body seems to have woken up every single one of them. They feel energized, alive, and always wanting to move! It has gotten to the point where I feel tired when I am not exercising.

So many positive things are happening to me now and I bet this has really changed my life and perspective.

Improved Posture : I no longer walk or stand with a slouch -who wants to look 10 times worse when they can look better? Standing or walking straight improves posture and allows for an even-workout for your body.

(Crazily) Healthy Dieting : I watch what I eat, closely – Working out everyday to burn out body fat and build lean muscles, how a tiny bit of junk food or unhealthy diet can write off your hard work of one session?

Spontaneous : I am more ready to try new things – Now that I feel I am fitter than before, the want to try more stuff is burning in me. Rock-climbing, horseback riding, run events, trekking…

Prioritizing the Necessary : I put my health before everything else – I’ve learned that we are what we eat, what we do, and that good health and great energy is achievable so long we have the right knowledge and mentality to change it.

Going Minimalistic : I focus less on who I am, how i look – Rather than applying loads of makeup to hide behind a lack of confidence, I am now happy with minimal, confident enough just to go au naturale and it does feel more comfortable to ‘focus less’ on yourself.

Happier : We all know exercise lift moods. When you exercise your brain releases endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. All these work together to make you feel good. On top of that, you feel relaxed and calm after, and a deep sense of achievement when you push yourself harder and harder.

Is life hitting your hard? Is stress bogging you down? You can make the change, if you allow yourself to. The world is moving so fast everyday that the true achievers are the ones who have time for themselves, and allow for time to look within. There is nothing more important than insuring in quality health so we live happier day by day.


It is time to do something for yourself, starting from today 🙂

With Love.

Fitness trackers are all the rage. They are devices that help us keep our fitness level in line. For many of  us, getting into fitness is like wanting to up the ‘cool’ level – we spend a great deal of money on gym gear, footwear, carryon accessories etc. And here, it is one more gadget to ‘entice’ us into getting more active.

Fitness trackers already available in the market includes Nike FuelBand, Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP, Polar RCX5, Basis B1 etc. Each one offering basic heart rate monitoring, movement tracking, pedometer and calories meter…

fitness tracks

Shine is a small dish-like looking device that looks modern and somewhat futuristic. It can be coupled with a whole range of attachments to double up as a fashion accessory.


Shine focuses on its high wearability, its versatility and its ease of syncing.

Wear : Lots of accessories to suit every day look. Be it just a simple clasp which holds on to your clothing, choose from either a thin band for exercising, or a watch band to add a bit of bulk for every other occasion, there’s  even a neck strap to wear, almost like an ID plate.

Move : Shine brings you through your walking, cycling, running, swimming, jumping, skating, surfing etc and even works itself when you sleep.

Sync : Syncing a device has never been easier. No more USB ports. All you need to do is place it on your iPhone screen! How easier can it get. Set your goals and see your stats.

shine sync

Misfits has decided to do away with a digital display. I guess the future of technology helps you save time even down to the seconds used to read a display screen. Tap on the device and there will be tiny dots lighting up showing how many percentage of your goal has been achieved.


The Shine  syncs to an app on your iPhone. The app’s simplistic interface tells you clearly if your goals are achieved and highlights your activity.

Shine also promises to last you a lifetime! Yes! It is made from aerospace grade aluminium and guaranteed water tightness. It has also won itself the Red Dot Design Award for Year 2013!

The future of fitness. Has it blown your mind?

Buy it from the Misfits website at $99.95 USD.

What fitness device do you use? How have they helped you in your performance in training?

It has been 3 months since I embarked on my fitness journey. For those who didn’t read how it started, it all came about from a photo of my ugly cellulite forming on my thighs! And sorry, there’s no way I will ever share that photo!

Prior to my vigorous fitness routine, I hardly exercise. The most I did was once a week Pilates on the reformer. The 50 mins workout was not really going to help fix anything, we know. Pilates is a great exercise, but it is relatively low-impact. I don’t huff and puff during the session and sweating is minimal. I knew I needed to build up my cardiovascular endurance.

From the moment I saw the ‘life-changing’ photo made worse with lighting down from the top thus making the cellulite look more hideous than they actually were, I started making goals on how to change my life. The ‘look good feel good’ mantra must be true. The next (probably the best) thing I did for myself was to pick up a copy of the ‘Shape‘ magazine and signed up for the coming 5km run event. The run was postponed to end Oct this year, and for sure I’ll be blogging about that after.

Look how one goal changed my May 2013.


Not much, but definitely a step up from haven’t been running for 6-8 years!

My partner and I decided to bring this to another level and we signed up for a lavish gym membership at Pure Fitness end of the month. The money paid kept us very motivated in order to make our moola worth.

June’s fitness calendar looked like this – felt quite proud of myself for persisting :


July’s – with a trip to Tokyo without a gym in the hotel, but made up with lots of walking :


Starting an exercise routine is not easy. It requires a great deal of motivation and faith to keep pushing oneself forward in times of weariness and exhaustion. ‘No pain, no gain’ – before your muscles actually tear how can they become stronger upon healing? For those who hasn’t been exercising for a while, do yourself a favor. Get up and start moving, in the many years to come, your body will definitely thank you for it.


I have my puppy to practice running with me! Whether I’m fast or slow, Kitt keeps up its pace with me! Wonderful training companion! 🙂

However, if nothing else seems to be able to get you out of the couch, maybe an ad might?


What’s your fitness story? How did it all start for you?


I may not be a convincing person to be sharing about this topic, as  I have been someone who lives each day choosing to be happy and not deprived myself the food i love for the past 10 over years.

Do not get me wrong, this post is not to suggest that we should embrace our body – the shape, our size, how it looks etc. No doubt we need to have a certain level of acceptance for ourselves, who we are and what we are born into, but here, I am going to push you (and myself) to learn to ‘love’ our body enough to ‘fix’ it!

I was very wrong to all along have this idea that those slim ladies walking around the city are born skinny like me (lucky us!), and I always think to have looked slim in the mirror, still fitting into the clothes I bought more than 6-8 years back, I am not fat! It wasn’t until my loving partner took a photo of me from the back one day, standing by the sink and doing washing, then I caught the cellulite forming on the back of my thighs! Urgh!

Not very nice, I can guarantee you. For I wear shorts out from time to time.

Now at 32, having stopped being physically (very) active for a good 15 over years, it is indeed going to be a challenge to remove those accumulated fat deposits. I am not advocating a certain fitness program or routine here, as I am still a greenhorn and learning. But hey, if I don’t start now, or somewhere, it is going to look 2-3 times worse than now pretty soon. Ladies out there, if you feel like me, please look somewhere to find that inspiration and motivation to start working out today. There is no one else who can help us, no strict dieting and surely no fast-track route to regain fitness. As every avid fitness professional can tell you, it never is easy to start. For me, I got my partner to give me a ‘big slap’ to know that the truth hurts.


Or, sometimes, a nice picture helps.

I will, from time to time, post my progress on this blog, together with diet and nutrition tips which I am religiously trying to incorporate into my daily life. Motivation comes when I know I need to ‘answer’ to my readers and keep my fitness level growing. So, bookmark or follow my page and lets motivate each other on!

Afterall, we only live once. And I want to live beautiful, with all the energy and fitness level to complete what I want to, experience what I have yet to.

Are you ready to start today?

In case you are wondering : I am currently doing reformer pilates, running, and gym-ing everyday!