2016 Mid-year goal check | Exercise and Slimming

I had actually planned on reviewing my resolutions from last year in February this year but somehow it never materialised. The draft is still in the draft folder! 🙂 I wanted to get it out in June, but school holidays always means less time to write. Nevertheless I thought I should at least get it done sometime eventually. And instead of haphazardly trying to tell you everything at a time, I’ve decided that I’ll just focus on the biggest goal which I’ve set for the year 2016 (but have yet made known on my blog).

GOAL for 2016: Exercise and slim down

One of the biggest things for me this year has been focusing on exercising and slimming down. Make no mistake, this weight and flabbiness isn’t exactly postpartum. I actually did lose the weight I gained in both my pregnancies and even blogged about it four years ago. Unfortunately, with age catching up, a slower metabolism rate, and the unchanging sweet tooth, I gained back almost 10kg (cue: scream) over these few years – this time with no baby inside.

So, last year I made my first step to making exercise a part of life by signing up for Zumba. I actually liked it so much I ended up signing up for it twice a week. But after the instructor went for knee surgery and a serious bout of stomach flu on my end, I dropped off both sessions eventually after half a year. This year with the extra hour or so per day to myself now that I’ve stopped homeschooling, I signed up for a gym membership with Contours Express, and Zumba at the Community Club once/week early this year.

After half a year of gym and Zumba, I’ve not lost weight significantly (only 1kg) due to building up muscle mass. I’ve never really been bothered by the scales though – it’s the lean, toned and sculpted look that I’m after. I’ve had questions about my apparent ‘weight loss’ since I am definitely looking slimmer (there’s still a long way to go, I know), so I know I’m making improvement, somewhat.

If you think I wasn’t fat to begin with, I thought you should know that my tummy was bulging badly even though I was trying my best to suck it in. I caught my friends checking out my tummy, and I could literally hear the little voices in their heads wondering if they should ask if I have a bun in the oven. I sported a distinctive double chin and my already thunder thighs were just unspeakable. Everyone in my family was telling me about the chin, tummy and thighs, with my mum and aunt’s weekly reminder resonating the loudest when I go over for dinner. 😀

So really, there was no question that I really needed to work on my appearance (and health). Yup, so that was some time last year – although I believe I was fattest in late 2014. Anyway, I was really tired of looking pregnant, so it sparked me on the quest to work on exercising and slimming down for the year.

After all that exercise (gym 3-4 times/week, and zumba once/week) – I don’t go for super high intensity kill-myself-type-of-training – I have managed to slim down visibly.  I’ve cut my fat percentage by 7% so far, lost 4kg of fat, and gained 3kg of muscle mass, even with a weekly or fortnightly ice-cream/ cake, and pretty minimal change in my diet. I have however switched to eating more for breakfast as I’ve realised that it does help me eat less during the rest of the day. And the best part – I am more energetic and happier (except during PMS! :D)

So how do I look now? I rarely appear in my photos because I have been shying away from the camera. But I thought for the record, I should have a couple of photos to document the progress. Btw, I totally suck at taking selfies, considering how rarely I attempt to do it, and how even more rarely it turns out fine. 😀 Let me know if you have any selfie tips, I really need some.

Photos taken in July 2016 #nofilter #nophotoshop (I should have taken some in May when I was slimmest! #regret):

 

Well, everything’s not just a bed of roses. I’ve sadly regained some of what I lost on my hips and most of what I lost in my thighs due to the holiday period and inactivity in June.

I’m actually wondering if there’s any hope for my lower body because I’ve already been working out quite a fair bit, and it’s been my problem area since puberty. The moment I slack, it just bounces back up.  I think short of something drastic like sleeping in the yoga prayer twist position, as my hubby jokingly suggests, I really don’t know if I can achieve a slimmer lower body by the end of the year, or in my lifetime! Anyway, I hope to give a positive review of how I fared by the end of the year! 😀

Any suggestions to help me on my journey to slimming down?

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Lovely and constructive comments are welcomed. Do hop over to my Facebook page where I connect with my readers and I would love to have you following me on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram too 🙂

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Ergonomic kids study table and chair {Review}

You might have been aware that we changed our study tables recently.

Setting up one of the tables

It’s been 2.5 years since I blogged about our first set of ergonomic tables when my little girl was in preschool. Now that she’s in Primary 2, things have started to pile up at her desk! There’s just not enough table space for her to do her work properly. She’s either using the table just to place her things, or items just keep falling off her desk while she’s doing her work.

It was definitely time to get a new study table! Something which could provide ample table space for both her comfort and her eyesight. And since we were getting her a new set, we got another for little boy. We already knew that the day would come that he, too, would need more table space so we ‘upgraded’ both tables at the same time.

NOTE: We made a video too to show you how the table is like and how we use/ adjust it. It’s our FIRST video review – be sure to check it out at the end of the post! If you want to have a quick overview, scroll down to the video.

The Ergonomic Table

Front view

Back view

Side view

Because this table is much bigger than our first (it’s double the length), we could no longer place the tables side by side due to our furniture layout. It’s actually better to separate them anyway since they were frequently distracting each other when they were both at their previous tables.

When I first saw this model on Qoo10 (link goes to the item on Qoo10), I knew that it was really quite ideal for what we need at this moment. It had a shelf to accommodate her workbooks and school books (so they needn’t be strewn on the floor or elsewhere in the house or clutter tabletop space):

A small display area:

Two small drawers to store her little knick knacks:

A well-planned stationery drawer:

What I love most about this table

Not the entire tabletop has to be inclined when she is doing her work. There is a practical and functional tabletop space which remains level – and that’s where she can place her other belongings which she needs within reach (e.g. cup of water, next piece of homework). The items won’t fall off because that part of the tabletop is not inclined.

More detailed specifications (picture from Qoo10):

This model E120 is available in three colours – pink, blue and grey wood

Super satisfied with her new table!

Adjustments

Another improvement from the previous set of tables is that there are no pre-determined angles. This table can be adjusted to any angle within its limit of 60 degrees. All you need to do is to hold on to the lever at the right bottom underside corner of the table and adjust the angle to your preference. (Our previous ergonomic table had only three pre-determined angles.)

Simply hold on to this lever during the adjustment

As for height adjustment, just wind the Allen key (which can be attached to either side of the table for your own convenience). The table will move up/down depending on the direction which you turn the Allen key. #easypeasy

It is so easy to use that even my kids can do the adjustment themselves!

Despite the easy adjustments that can be made, the table is extremely sturdy. It can take the weight of a 80kg person standing on it!

So you’ve been seeing most of my girl’s desk. Here’s my boy’s!

The other desk

Little boy reading at his desk:

This is how our little boy’s table is organised:

There’s finally a proper storage space for his belongings – especially his Pen Pal WHIZZ talking pen, and the accompanying Chinese readers and English readers!

Because his table is not directly under a light source unlike my girl’s, we got him a small table lamp from Ikea. We didn’t get him an expensive one since he hardly does work there at night. There’s a space for the wire of the table lamp to go through so the shelf remains neat and tidy without any unnecessary wires.

The ergonomic tabletop is made of MDF+ Melamine face+ PVC edge. 

The Ergonomic Chair

As can be seen from the previous photo, there is also an Allen key for height adjustment of the chair. Pull out the coloured portion for a better grip, adjust the height, then push it back to avoid bumping into it.

More information about the chair:

The chair is optional and is considered an add-on item. You can choose this original chair or top up an additional amount for the more premium ones. The original chair is not entirely hard, and I consider it to be very slightly padded at the seat area, so it is quite comfortable already.

The ergonomic chair seat and back are made of two layer blown PP. Frame is made of round steel tube.

We made a video to show you how the table is like and how we use/ adjust it – be sure to check it out!

Retail price: S$699 (includes chair); $609 (table only)

For more designs, options and other products, you can visit Take A Seat. You can also visit their showroom at No. 27 Mandai Estate (Tower 2) Innovation Place #06-07 Singapore 729931. Showroom opening hours 9am-6pm (closed from 1-2pm for lunch). Call 63622480 before heading down.

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Lovely and constructive comments are welcomed. Do hop over to my Facebook page where I connect with my readers and I would love to have you following me on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram too 🙂

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