Being In Yoga At ECHOyoga Shala

I first experienced the practice of yoga when I was pregnant with Flash Boy in 2007. I was only able to do it a few times, then decided to stop because of the distance of the place from our home. After that, I enrolled myself in one of those large fitness gyms that had yoga/pilates/tai chi as one of their group exercises. I loved doing that the most because I felt that yoga achieved in 15 minutes what I can only achieve doing an aerobic workout for an hour. When my membership was over after a year, I didn’t have the chance to practice it anymore. Though I’ve been wanting to get back to it, I wasn’t motivated enough to do so. An invitation from fellow  blogger, Janice of The Roller Coaster Ride, to join a yoga class at ECHOyoga Shala was met with much enthusiasm by me and I accepted immediately.

The day before I attend yoga, I was already looking forward to it. I felt that since I’ve been working out for a month, I would have a much better capacity to do the poses. One of the first things I noticed upon entering the shala was how calming the interiors are. The colors and design blended well together so that when you enter, you can forget what’s outside. It helped that it was located on the 3rd floor of the Steps Dance Academy Building at Kalayaan Avenue, Makati, because the street sounds can hardly be heard.

Echoyoga Shala interiors

Our  teacher, Ms. Jeannie Javelosa, took the time to explain the difference of doing yoga and being in yoga. She mentioned other yoga classes that offer yoga as a kind of sport or only doing the poses as opposed to being in yoga. As I understood it, being in yoga is really doing all the steps – the breath, the poses, the values and living it as a lifestyle. She said there should be no demarcation line between the yoga mat and your life.

 

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Ms. Jeannie led us through an hour and a half of gentle yoga since most of us had little to no experience. She is a thorough teacher, gently explaining the moves in detail and correcting us where needed. At the end of the class, I had a very good workout and felt very relaxed. I took home the breathing technique she taught and continue to practice it by myself. She said that even if that’s all we can do for now, that’s already being in yoga. If you’re looking for a new place where you can go to practice being in yoga, and not just practice it as any ordinary sport, give ECHOyoga Shala a go. They also offer Deepening Education Programs, Counselling, Acupuncture and Reflexology.

Echoyoga Shala yoga

Know More About ECHOyoga Shala

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New Address: 3rd Floor,Steps Dance Academy Building,8465 Kalayaan Avenue (behind Rockwell) Barangay Poblacion, Makati City

Website: http://echoyoga.echostore.ph

Landline: (02) 956.7119

Mobile: 0906.5063958

Email ECHOyogaShala@gmail.com.

Facebook: ECHOyogaShala

Twitter and Instagram @ECHOyogaShala

Contact Persons:

Jeannie Javelosa / email: jeanniejavelosa@gmail.com 0917-8194395

Marilen Elizalde / email: mgelizalde@mac.com 0917-8181152

BACKGROUND:

ECHOyoga is the wellness side of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle, the green retail store. ECHO means Empowerment Care Health and Oneness. Jeannie Javelosa co-owner of ECHOstore has been teaching yoga for close to 15 years, and with her co-teacher Marilen Elizalde, launched ECHOyoga five years back, offering weekly and corporate classes. Today, the two certified yoga teachers bring their passion for wholistic living through yoga in a new space called ECHOyoga Shala, located in Kalayaan Avenue, behind Rockwell in Makati.

Quotes from the owners:

Jeannie Javelosa – “Launching ECHOyoga Shala in a new space is for me a natural extension and addition to support ECHOstore’s philosophy of a sustainable lifestyle. Yoga is my disciplined practice that wholistically connects the Body, Mind and Spirit.”

Marilen Elizalde – “Yoga has always been my grounding that brings me to my center, especially with my life as a busy mother, homemaker and wife. Through teaching yoga, I expand my awareness and can share this beautiful practice with many.”

ABOUT THE NEW ECHOYOGA SHALA

ECHOyoga Shala opens its new space with the objective to offer a wholistic approach to a sustainable lifestyle, strengthen community collaborations and bring a deeper understanding of yoga practice. It is open daily, from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm with five daily classes, weekend schedules and workshops plus a daily early morning Self Practice space.

Yoga in all its varied expressions will be offered to beginners, intermediate and advanced students classes like Gentle Flow, Restorative Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga Vinyasa and Power Yoga. ECHOyoga Shala’s thrust to go beyond just the physical practice of yoga as exercise includes sessions on Meditation, Breath Control (Pranayama) for distressing, and even “Off the Mat” community talks are led by certified and trained yoga teachers, with international experiences. Other offerings include counseling and life coaching sessions, and body-energy work therapies.

If yoga is to be embraced for a sustainable lifestyle, ECHOyoga Shala’s classes, sessions, workshop, community talks are sequenced and offered to guide the students in their yoga practice and discipline to develop a strong healthy Body, a steady focused Mind, a compassionate Heart. The ultimate goal is the development of a personal Self-Practice and tools that can be used for a deeper appreciation of life.

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Event: How To Win Over Breastfeeding Challenges–Talk and Book Signing

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More than 18 years ago, when I was still a very young mom-to-be, I made the important decision to breastfeed all my children. When my first baby arrived, I was eager to breastfeed but did not receive support from my family. Hubby was very supportive but it was just him and myself against the rest of my family of origin. Because of my perseverance, my milk came in about 3-4 days after the birth of Guitar Babe. My breasts were so full of milk. But I was faced with so many challenges: I was required by my boss (who was also my dad) to go back to work a month after delivery; I had a very domineering sister who insisted, although she wasn’t a mom herself, that too much breastfeeding was bad for my body. My whole family insisted that I just leave my baby with powdered milk at home after a month in order to go back to work. Being young and without any support from other breastfeeding moms, I gave in. I had no idea about breast pumps so I tried my best to feed my child at night. After three months, my milk dried out and I was very unhappy about it.

While still pregnant with my second baby, I armed myself with information about breastfeeding. I wanted to face this challenge head on and was very determined to fully breastfeed her for at least six months. I used all kinds of breast pumps that were available to the market – the Pigeon electronic pump, the injection-type pump and a manual pump. All these can only give me about an ounce or even less than an ounce of milk when pumping. I thought that was the norm. So my time was filled up with constant pumping in order to keep up my milk supply. At that time, I met with a few breastfeeding moms and learned more about breastfeeding in public and pumping milk.

I faced so many challenges while breastfeeding. I had to read so many books, research online and try to meet up with other moms to ask my questions. It was hard getting answers but I did get them. Every child that I breastfed posed a different set of challenges. So if you’re a new mom, or a mom who just needs to remember how she did it, or currently breastfeeding and looking for support and answers to your questions, I highly recommend going to HOW TO WIN OVER BREASTFEEDNG CHALLENGES. Now only will you find expert help, you’ll also get a signed book and meet other moms.

Be a winner this year! Join the How to Win Over Breastfeeding Challenges Talk and Book Signing Event on March 29 at the Medela House.

What will happen when you register and join this event?

* You’d be able to distinguish between breastfeeding myths and facts.
* You’ll learn breastfeeding basics (breastfeeding positions, common challenges and how to handle them).
* You’ll learn tips on how to win over breastfeeding challenges from the author and other moms who have triumphed over their breastfeeding challenges.
* You’ll meet other moms/expectant parents who can support you in your decision to breastfeed your baby.
* You’ll get a signed copy of the book Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking as your hand out.

Pregnant and breastfeeding moms who will attend will get free lactation cookies from Mama Chows. All guests will get giveaways from Moringana.

Speakers for this event are Ms. Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag and Ms. Joyce Martinez.
Ms. Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag is the Author of Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking and successfully achieved her breastfeeding goals for both of her sons. She’s also a motivational/inspirational speaker who gives talks and workshops to companies, schools and organizations including religious groups. Aside from being a consultant for management, HR and training solutions, a career coach and counselor, she’s also a freelance contributing writer to various publications (Smart Parenting and Good Housekeeping, Kerygma, Didache, and The Philippine Online Chronicles).

Ms. Joyce Martinez is a registered nurse, a certified lactation consultant, and the in-house lactation counselor of Medela Moms. She was also a Lactation Manager at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Bonifacio Global City. She also conducts talks on the ABC’s of Lactation Management for nurses and breastfeeding classes for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

You can also get a chance to win raffle prizes from our event sponsors.
Learning fee: P600
Couple Rate: P1,000

Snacks will be provided by Mama Chows while Moringana will set up a tea station for our drinks.
Those who bought copies of the book at the book launch in Mothercare last January 25 will get P200 off from the learning fee.

The first 5 moms who will register and confirm by depositing their payment to our bank accounts (BPI/BDO) will be given GCs for complimentary body massage courtesy of Zalor Maternal Care Massage Services.

Sign up here: http://www.fulllifecube.com/breastfeeding-event-march-29-2014/

Steps Project: Stepping your way to an active lifestyle

An active lifestyle fair where you just gotta keep movin’!

The Steps Project
Join the Steps Project here.

UP Diliman Oval Track, May 18, 2014 – The STEPS PROJECT, an advocacy for better health, will be launched headed by its ambassador, Rovilson Fernandez, a fitness advocate and celebrity. This movement aims to promote awareness of achieving and maintaining an active lifestyle by moving. The movement is all about educating individuals that you can achieve better health just by making decisions that allow you to move your feet one STEP at a time. You don’t have to ‘intentionally exercise’ to achieve better health, but you need to ‘intentionally move’. Come and join the stepping community!

All throughout March and April, activities will be prepared for those who want to join the movement. We have dog walks, Filipino games for kids, belly dancing, dancing and other fun activities that you can do with other members.

Also, to further promote the Steps Project, we will be having a giveaway on March. We will be raffling off an IPAD mini to one lucky advocate. All you have to do to earn raffle entries is to promote the Steps Project by following our simple mechanics.

We are also organizing a huge launch event which is called the active lifestyle fair, which is the first of its kind. This will be on May 18, 2014 at the UP Oval. For every round a participant makes (by walking, running or jogging), he/she receives a colored band (which represents 2000 steps). A participant can accumulate up to 5 bands equivalent to 10,000 steps. These bands can then be exchanged for exciting treats and prizes in the fair’s activity area. The more colored bands collected the more freebies and surprises a “Stepper” can claim.

The event is also the launch of our charity movement: the 10,000 slippers. Everyone is invited to help us by donating brand new slippers. We are targeting to fill our duffel bags with slippers to be turned over to UP Tacloban.

Online registration for the active lifestyle fair opens on March 7, 2014. Go to www.thestepsproject.com for full registration details.

(NOTE: Join us as we launch the STEPS PROJECT on May 18 and meet our surprise guests and participants, claim treats and enjoy your way the beginning of your active lifestyle. Photo opportunities will be available.)

Join the Steps Project here.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thestepsproject
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stepsproject
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stepsproject

The Benefits of Having a Personal Trainer

When we started our Padrelanan Family Health and Fitness Challenge, I shared that we hired a personal trainer for our family. Though I considered it a major investment by taking a huge dip from our monthly budget, it’s the best decision that we have made in our life so far. Apart from salvation and getting married, that is.

personal trainer benefits

In the five weeks that we have been training with our coach, Sani Adarme, we all have progressed by leaps and bounds! Here are the benefits we have gained from having a personal trainer:

  1. Consistency in our workout schedules – Since we are now working with a coach, we all have a set schedule to adhere to. This schedule ensures that we are all working out and not give in to our old excuses for not working out.
  2. Personalized and effective workouts – Though we are a family who collectively wants to lose weight, we still have different physical make-up and slightly different goals. Hubby wants to build up his muscles, Guitar Babe is going for the more difficult CrossFit training that is so popular now, Artsy Princess is also working on supporting her spine for the improvement of her scoliosis and I have separate issues of strengthening my heart and improving my resistance. Coach Sani has taken note of all of these and more and gives us individualized workouts, thereby  helping us reach our goals faster.
  3. Gym Safety – Safety is a big issue for our coach. He takes the time to explain to us each of the machines we use and the moves we have to make. He observes us closely and makes sure that our form and execution is correct.
  4. Motivation – Working out and being on a diet is hard! The first two weeks for me were the hardest I’ve been through so far. I had to adjust to my body moving after years of being sedentary and I had to learn and still learning the Paleo diet for the whole family. I always talk to my coach about the things that are on my mind and he always takes time to motivate us. He’s a major source of support for us.
  5. Accountability – Our coach required each of us to have a small notebook where we have to record our workouts and our food intake. This notebook will have to be available anytime he asks for it. The reason is twofold: first for him to see what workouts we have been doing and to check on our food; for us it’s a motivation to see how far we’ve gone. Just the thought of having to record a cheat food and knowing he’ll take note of it (possible even make a sermon out if it) prevents me from eating it. Though we don’t see him during the weekend, we’re still mostly accountable to him for what we’ve eaten or if we have done any physical activity that weekend (and we had better have some).

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The best thing for me is the help I get when dealing with the changes in my body and my mind. I’ve had many instances of doubt and fear. Doubts would run through my mind if this is something that I should really be doing, especially when my body is rebelling because I’ve taken it out of its comfort zone. The fear comes when I am facing a new workout and I don’t know if I can do it, whether I can lift the weights, or even survive through the sets. Coach Sani would reassure me that he knows I can do it. That reassurance is enough for me to push myself beyond my limits. If the reassurance is not enough, he can sometimes trigger me to a state where I’m so angry at what he’s making me do that I’ll prove to him that I can do it. Funny somehow, right? But once I’ve done my workout, breathless with parts of my body aching, I can still find a happy smile a few breaths later knowing that I’ve pushed myself again and again and have come out of it victorious.

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Having a personal trainer to coach you in your workouts is a good thing, but all of these benefits would be null without that one thing that you need to give to your coach first:

trust-sized

Trust that he knows what he’s doing, that he’s just as determined as we are to help us reach our goals. In the past five weeks, so many of my previous beliefs have been transformed because I decided to trust in my coach. When before I thought I couldn’t lift anything heavy, just this morning he made me do back squats with a 60 lb barbell on my shoulders! The hubby has been getting compliments left and right because he decided to trust his coach. Guitar Babe has progressed steadily because she closely follows his instructions.

So if you’re on your own journey to health and fitness, consider getting yourself a personal trainer. It may well be one of the best decisions you make for your health.

By the way, Coach Sani has his own inspiring weight loss story to tell, but that one deserves a blog post of its own.

The Steps Project with Chief Ambassador Rovilson Fernandez

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Last Feb. 25, 2014 I was privileged to be invited to the bloggers’ launch of The Steps Project.  I was excited to go to this launch at the prospect of meeting Rovilson Fernandez, who I watched as he and Marc Nelson raced toward their victory in Amazing Race Asia. Even if they were not the winners, they were still winners in the eyes of many because they played smart and fair all throughout the race.

Rovilson did not disappoint as their ambassador. He was welcoming, warm and very contagious with his passion to promote an active lifestyle to every Filipino. Along with his partners, they talked to us about the Steps Project and its Mission:

The Steps Project is a movement that promotes an active lifestyle through continuously moving, making as many steps as possible.
 
The Steps Project is building a community of steppers who will live and advocate for the mission of the Steps Project.

Mission of The STEPS PROJECT:
 
• To educate people that 10,000 steps a day is considered an active lifestyle
 
• To making each “step” as fun as possible.
 
• To build communities of steppers who will advocate for the Steps Project.
 
• To educate people that you will be Rewarded for every step

In advocating for a fitter and healthier Philippines, the Steps Project aims to make it fun and rewarding as we step toward a healthier lifestyle. Walking, which is something that most of us do automatically everyday, has several health benefits:

• Gives you more energy
• Makes you feel good
• Helps you to relax
• Reduces stress
• Helps you sleep better
• Tones your muscles
• Helps control your appetite
• Increases the number of calories your body uses

Here are some interesting Steps Trivia:

• On average, every minute of walking can extend your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes.
• Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year.
• To burn off 1 plain M&M candy, you need to walk the full length of a football field. Think about that next time you dip your hand into a candy bowl at someone’s office!
• Studies found that a brisk 30-minute walk or around a track three times a week was just as effective as antidepressant medication in relieving the symptoms of major depression in middle-aged and elderly people.
• Walking increases the blood flow to the brain. A study of people over 60 found that walking 45 minutes a day at a 16-minute mile pace increased their thinking skills.
• Avoiding just 16 kilometres of driving every week would eliminate 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Did you notice that 3rd bullet about eating just 1 M&M’s, oooh, that hurts. I will think more than twice next time I have it in front of me.

It was an afternoon that didn’t go to waste. I met new blogger friends and the whole Steps Project group. They are all so encouraging about leading a fit and healthy lifestyle. As you know, our family has also been making more changes towards that end. It’s good to be in the company of people with the same goals. The Steps Project team has taken it further by providing fun ways to start the Filipino family towards achieving an active lifestyle.

The best thing about joining The Steps Project is:

Simple – no instructors or membership needed.
 
Achievable – can be done nearly anywhere, anytime.
 
Inexpensive – no special equipment involved.

The Steps Project can be found through:

Website: http://thestepsproject.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thestepsproject
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stepsproject
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stepsproject

Stay tuned for more updates about The Steps Project launch on May!

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My Health, Fitness and Vanity Goals

I’ve been working out for four weeks now but I haven’t worked on my goals yet. I don’t want to continue without pinning it down and writing it so that I always have something to go back to. I had a chat with my coach the other day about setting my goals and he advised me not to focus on the weight loss but on real goals such as live longer for my family and such. The weight loss should just be a bonus. Just yesterday when I was telling him how I felt much better and can move easier, he said I should think about how my internal organs are also improving. Honestly, I haven’t even started to think that far, but he’s right.

Before I set my goals, here are my stats on Feb. 7, 2014. I’m including the normal ranges for my height just for comparison.

 

Weight loss goals

Taken Mar. 5, 2014

  Mine: Normal Ranges:
Weight: 234.8 lbs 106.5 – 144 lbs
BMI: 40.3 18.5 – 25
% Body Fat: 50.8 18 – 28
Visceral Fat 18 (high)  
Body Measurements:  
Chest: 44.8″
Right Arm: 18.4″
Left Arm: 17.4″
Waist: 46.8″
Hip: 73.4″
Right Thigh: 30″
Left Thigh: 31.2″

Looking at these numbers, it is absolutely scary how huge and unhealthy I’ve become but I’m posting these so that I can see my reality and never forget how much I have treated myself badly in the last 19 years.

INTANGIBLE GOALS:

  • To live a longer, healthier and fuller life
  • To enjoy my family time better
  • To move faster, run and dance freely, unhindered by my size
  • To be a testimony of victory bringing back all the glory to God our Father

HEALTH GOALS:

Target weight: 125 lbs

  • To lose 110 lbs in 55 weeks (based on a safe weight loss of 2 lbs per week)
  • To reach the normal ranges for my BMI, % Body Fat and visceral fat
  • To be healed of my asthma
  • Improve my overall cardiovascular health (Cardio Day with my coach scares me. My first cardio day had me panting for breath so hard I showed symptoms of hypoglycemia – nausea, dizziness, almost passing out. I don’t want to be slayed by Cardio Day anymore.)
  • To eat healthy or clean by learning healthy cooking and making good choices in the food we consume
  • To reduce our doctor visits and medicine intake

FITNESS GOALS:

  • Run a 10K marathon with my blogger friend, Mama Cheryl, when she comes home from the USA. (still have to ask her when this is, but most likely next year)
  • To develop physical strength, stamina and flexibility

VANITY GOALS:

Here comes the fun part which I’m naming my Vanity Goals because these are purely for vanity.

  • To cross my legs from the knees – you may think that this is a strange goal, but for people like me who have large thighs, it’s very hard to cross our legs like slim women do. I can only cross my ankles, and that’s a bummer.

  • To shop for fabulous outfits in the regular sized section. I created this set via Polyvore and admittedly these are sexier than I can manage, but just imagine these showing a little less skin.
My Dream Dresses
  • I want to wear high heels again. This may not be a big deal to others, but being heavy has forced me to wear flats, chunky-heeled shoes and sandals. I’ve broken a number of heels in the past because of my weight. LOL!
My Dream Shoe Designs

I’d like to end this post with a graphic that my friend and accountability partner, Cheryl, shared with me on Facebook,

It’s not a matter of IF I will reach my goal, but only WHEN.

This is a promise to myself that I will stay on this course until I reach my goal, by God’s grace. How about you, my friend, have you created your own health, fitness and vanity goals? Comment and share your goals so we can spur each other on.

Sunshine Award Love! Accepting with Grace and Passing It On

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 

Thanks to Toni of Wifely Steps and Mommy Ginger for giving me the Sunshine Award. I was pleasantly surprised to receive such a lovely award. I did get the first award from Toni last October 2013 and did not have the time to write this blog post till now. I received my award from Ginger at the beginning of this year. The mechanics are the same except that Toni’s award requires me to write 11 random things about myself. Ginger and Toni have different questions so I will answer Toni’s questions on this post and answer Ginger’s questions on another post.

For the Sunshine Award, the blogger must:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts.
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers to recommend. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate, answer & let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

11 Random Things About Me

  1. I love the mystery and crime genre. When I was a teenager, I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. I moved on to reading John Grisham, then Mary Higgins Clark. Now I really like to read the contemporary Christian fiction writer Randy Singer.
  2. TV series that I like to watch are CSI, CSI Miami (bummed that it’s now over), CSI New York, Criminal Minds, The Closer, Major Crimes. I also like reality TV contests like American Idol, Project Runway, Project Accessories, The VoicePH. I used to like America’s Next Top Model but I got tired of the catfights.
  3. I used to dream of becoming a doctor. If I were one now, I would probably be an OB-Gyn.
  4. Aside from English and Tagalog, I speak Ilonggo and Visaya and some Chinese.
  5. I’m half Chinese. Lim is my maiden name.
  6. I cook a mean lasagna and love cooking for my family.
  7. I really like potatoes – fried, baked and chips, but I am avoiding them now because I just learned that potatoes are like pure sugar in the body.
  8. After reading books by Christian authors, I now feel that the books by authors I used to like before are too violent for me.
  9. I enjoy my online life – I have met so many new friends online, especially through Manila Work At Home Moms.
  10. I will probably never stop learning.  As long as I live, there will always be something new to learn.
  11. I have always wanted to be a mom, even as a teenager, that’s how I pictured myself as an adult.

Now to answer Toni’s questions:

1. What advice would you give your 17-year-old self?

I would tell my 17-year-old self to push forward and soar free. Leave the boundaries that are set for me by others.

There are no boundaries. Dream big, aim high, just go.

2. What color makes you look extra beautiful?

Red has always been my all-time favorite color. I believe it makes me glow.

3. If you could cook only ONE dish perfectly all the time, what dish would it be and why?

I would like to make a healthy, low-fat cheesecake perfectly. I chose this one because our family loves cheesecake but it is so fattening. Even if we are aiming to lose weight and be healthy, I would like us to enjoy a cheesecake and not have to be guilty or anxious about the extra calories.

4. Do you think you’ll consider cosmetic surgery in the future? Why/why not?

I have considered having my breasts done. I don’t know what it’s called but what I want is to have it at the same position and shape as it was when I was 18 years old. Smile

5. Have you ever been so involved with a TV show that you cried when the season/run ended?

Yes, yes, yes. It hurts when I found out that CSI Miami has ended. When The Closer finally ended, I couldn’t bear to watch the last episode and I cried, too.

6. Who’s a fictional character you’d like to be best friends with?

I don’t have an answer to this but my kids think I’d like to meet Brenda Lee Johnson of The Closer.

7. What’s the first thing you do upon waking up?

I open my eyes and ask one of my kids to find my eyeglasses. Hehe! But after that I would check my email on my phone.

8. How superstitious are you?

Not at all. I don’t believe in superstition because I know that God is sovereign over all things. I don’t depend on the position of things, on whether I walked under a ladder, etc, for my future. My future is in God’s hands and I can trust Him for all things.

9. What else would you like to achieve with your blog?

Beyond The Silver and The Gold started out as a way to encourage Filipino homeschool families  to persevere in their own journey despite the challenges that they face. As my family and children grew, I changed too. The direction of this blog has now expanded to helping work-at-home moms with their challenges, documenting our weight loss journey and providing inspiration for moms. I dream for this blog to keep on growing, to keep on providing encouragement and wisdom to moms and their families.

10. When faced with stress, which do you go for: Fight or Flight?

Flight, because I like to go to my happy place first and try to turn my back on the cause of stress. Then, knowing it’ll never go away, I’ll fight till the end.

11. What song calms you down?

I don’t have any one particular song, but any worship song that will help me to worship God always calms me down.

Passing On The Sunshine Award

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I am nominating these 11 bloggers because they bring sunshine to everyone they touch.

  1. Chris of Mommy Journey
  2. Julieanne of Joy In Our Journey
  3. Tina of Truly Rich Mom
  4. Patricia of Mrs. C’s Sugarcoated Life
  5. Marge of The Happy WAHM
  6. Lani of Tweensel Mom
  7. Jhanis of The Vanilla Housewife
  8. Janice of Roller Coaster Ride
  9. Millie of Not Your Ordinary Mum
  10. Cheryl of Not Just Yum
  11. May of Fully Housewifed

Let Us Know You More by Answering These Questions

  1. How did we become friends?
  2. What are your favorites: color, food, drink, weather?
  3. What do you like to do on your spare time?
  4. Share a photo of you and your hubby/life partner (if you or he wouldn’t mind Smile) and tell us how he brings sunshine into your life.
  5. Share the link to your favorite blog post and  and tell us why this is your favorite. It doesn’t have to be the most visited or most commented on, but one that you wrote with your heart and mind.
  6. Given the chance to live your life over again, what would you leave out of it?
  7. If you were your own child, how would you treat yourself?
  8. Share something funny about yourself.
  9. What do you write about on your blog and how has blogging affected your life?
  10. Who is your blogging inspiration?
  11. What or who can you not live without?

That’s it! I am so looking forward to your blog posts.

Our Family’s Weight Loss Journey Begins Today

I’ve been a yoyo dieter and inconsistent exerciser(for lack of a better word) for many years. I’ve tried every diet I’ve heard of and can never sustain it. I would go on periods of working out and can’t sustain that as well. I’ve read all the diet books I can get my hands on, but to no avail. Every year, I see the numbers on the weighing scale creeping up and up. In the last couple of years, I’ve basically given up on myself and hardly believe that I can still lose all my extra weight.

But I’ve never been the kind of woman to dwell on my losses. The reason I’ve been on and off the dieting and exercising route is because I also keep believing that I can do it, over and over again. So as a follow up to my Weight Gain Journey post, I’m writing this first post on this weight loss journey that I’m taking on again. This time it’s going to be different and you’ll know why in a little bit.

 Today, February 20, 2014, is the first day of our family’s weight loss journey.

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So that’s my declaration that I’m posting for the world (or for my blog readers) to see. The difference between now and then are these:

THEN: I never shared it to anyone that I’m in some sort of a diet or that I’m exercising to lose weight. That makes it easier for me to cheat or just give up altogether.

NOW: I’m posting it here on my blog for my interested readers to follow along. Now I’m sort of accountable to a lot of people to continue with my journey.

THEN:  I don’t have an accountability partner or even someone who will just walk with me through it all. Maybe others can do it all on their own, but I can’t. I’d rather hide and eat than announce to the world that I’m off on my weight loss program.

NOW: I found a blogger friend who offered to journey with me. In fact, we already have an agreement to do a 5K run when they come back to the Philippines.

THEN: I would do things on my own – find a workout video online that I can do on my own. I’d lose some weight but had no direction. I’d also find some book about dieting that I’d try on my own. These have not worked.

NOW: I hired a personal trainor to help not just me, but the rest of my family as well. Okay, before you react that it’s so expensive to hire a personal trainor, here’s how I think about it: If I or any of my family gets sick, we would be spending even more than what we’d be spending with the trainor. Add to that the time lost, the fact that we’re sick and the effect on our bodies. I’d rather do this now than wait to get sick before I start doing something about it. Along with the trainor is his partner chef who I’ll be meeting real soon to learn about good nutrition for the whole family.

THEN: I’m never honest to anyone about how much I weigh, except for my insurance company, I never admitted to anybody what my current weight is.

NOW: I will share it now because I want this weight to be my last heaviest weight, then I want to see the numbers going down from here.

Follow along as I narrate our journey to health and fitness. If you would like to, you can also do it along with us. I believe that doing this difficult thing within a community could inspire us to do better. Leave a comment if you’re also taking on a health and fitness challenge this year for yourself and/or for your family.

I pray for victory for our family and victory for you as well.

NEXT POST: Setting Our Goals

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Event: Baby Nutrition and Dental Care by Manila Workshops and MedelaMoms

Baby Nutrition and Dental Care

When I was just a young kid, I had bad teeth.  I had a lot of cavities and at elementary age, had to endure the pain of toothaches and being treated by the dentist for the cavities. When I had my first baby, I armed myself with enough knowledge to ensure that I can take care of my baby’s teeth. I learned that caring for baby’s teeth begins when baby is still inside your womb by taking in foods that would build up your baby’s bones and teeth. Even when baby is still breastfeeding, it is necessary to clean baby’s mouth. Teaching your child to brush their teeth is very important for their future dental health. As a result, dentists are pleasantly surprised when they check my children’s teeth and see it with very few cavities.

I’m no professional and I can’t remember the details on how to keep your baby’s teeth healthy, so apart from the above, I can’t give you any more tips about it. Instead, I’d like to point you to the Baby Nutrition and Dental Care workshop by Manila Workshops and MedelaMoms on February 22, 2014 at the Medela House.

Click here for more details and to register.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Valentine Blog Posts Collected Around the Web

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have enjoyed reading blog posts around the net about Valentine’s Day so I decided to create this post curating the one’s I like best and to share them all with you. I hope you enjoy reading them! Then after reading, go out and celebrate this one day of the year when everybody is free to proclaim their love publicly for their significant other.

I’m starting this off with a friend’s article on MomCenterPh that sparked such a lively and transparent discussion among the women of Manila Work-At-Home Moms. Homeschool mom and Owner of The Learning Basket, Mariel, collated our answers and gave 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage After Kids. You’ll find my comments in her article and what I said about loving my husband of 18 years.

The Nanay Notebook’s Blessie, writes about husband envy on social media and why she loves her imperfect husband.  Author, blogger and business owner Teresa talks about her husband and  how to Recognize Love in the Little Every Day Things. Blissmaker, blogger and branding expert, Martine, shares the insights she has gained on six years of marriage. Speaking of loving our husbands, I also wrote two posts on this subject: Four Ways to Love Your Husband and Tangible Ways to Show Love to Your Husband. Wifely Steps’ Toni shares a very important Marriage Tip: Be Each Other’s Cheerleader, something I strongly agree with.

If you have run out of ideas on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Glam-O-Mama shares ideas on what to do indoors, outdoors and at home. I kinda like her lingerie fashion show idea. If those are not enough, Mamanees’s Nest also shares 10 Things to Do for Your Husband This Valentine’s Day. The Vanilla Housewife takes a realistic and humorous look and shares her game plan for this day. I suggest you read her blog and get ready for loads of laughs!

Sweet and supportive mommy blogger, MrsC, shares her thoughts on her son’s very first Valentine. Oh, I don’t know if I could support my son like she did. But as early as last year, my 6 year old Flash Boy is already talking about having a girlfriend! I can relate with MrsC!

NanayStrip attends a wedding at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and found ways to turn this into a romantic date for her and hubby. Now if you happen to be among those who are single and dateless on this love day, don’t despair because Mom Chronicles shares fun ways to survive this day and not feel like you’re the odd one out.

Ah love! On this special love day, let’s not forget the Originator of love, the One who loves us the most, God our Heavenly Father, who modeled love to us which is why we also know how to love. Below is a post I found from one of my favorite blogger and author, Ann Voskamp, that reminds us all what true love is.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day!

Oh, and if you have a post about Valentine’s Day, please feel free to share your link on the comments.