Sunday, July 28, 2019

Lead the Shift in Yourself First (Reflection 14)

I just completed my first-round draft of this series. It started back on 0ctober 24 (2018), and at its 9th month as of this writing.

Clarity in my process started last May 22 after several experiments and finishing a coaching program that suits me. Lost 14 pounds and look forward to improving more.

I am at the end of my fifth sprint and will be starting my new documentation round in the next sprint.

The value of putting up and be part of the Self-Leadership: Towards Better Health community, it made me realize that changing ourselves is not easy.

I documented the process I am following, hoping to also help others going through the same, but assuming that I or anyone can just "wing" it is not true.

It is not a one-time pass through. It is an ongoing cycle that requires reflection and learning from past actions.

It made me realize that doing it in my own terms will oftentimes not be enough. I had to continually seek guidance and hear from different people's experience to get me back on track whenever I feel like I am slipping.

At home, I also learned to change my drinking habits that include:
  • Drinking water upon waking up, before eating. and several times a day. This is a big improvement for me as I was hardly drinking water before (1 to 2 times a day).
  • Drinking green tea after dinner (and in the morning when possible).
  • Drink black coffee with stevia (morning or afternoon). 
  • Regular coffee (with cream and sugar) at least once a day during eating hours. This is a treat that I decided to enjoy.
When possible, before breaking a fast, that is where I also my exercise, at least every other day.

I created a playlist showing the workout that I do at least 40 reps each. This includes:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Modified push-up
  • Squat
  • Lunges (both sides)
  • Roll up
  • Knee tuck
  • Leg raise
  • Leg lift

I am looking forward to doing another round of this blog series - starting from reflection 1 to present. Continue documenting my journey.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Your Health & Fulfilling Your Passion (reflection 13)

I am passionate about teaching, coaching, and mentoring people in the area of e-commerce, digital marketing, branding, and leadership. I have evolved in this space for the past 25 years.

On a personal note, I am also passionate about being with family and supporting them in achieving their dreams.

I had my up and down episodes with health, especially in terms of physical activities and how it affects my weight. But to grow more in my "passion areas", I have to focus on getting healthier.

Those changes that we want to happen is entirely up to each one of us. My view of health in the 20s and 30s were mostly about "how you look" or "self-esteem". When you reach your 40's and up, it is mostly about sickness prevention or healing or still self-esteem, depending on what matters to you at that point.

Whenever I complete my fast, exercise, and gradually losing weight in the process, I feel good with a great sense of accomplishment.

I graduated "fasting" in my tracking worksheet as this has become a habit for me already.

Using an app like Zero Fasting can help in recording your journey and I suggest trying it.

Another great joy I have is when I get to share my journey with others.

Especially when I see them get on board, join our Facebook Group (Self-Leadership: Towards Better Health) and start sharing their own health journey.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Long-Term Commitment & Reward (Reflection 12)

I am already on my 4th sprint and it has its own share of challenges. I stopped tracking my fasting behavior as that has been automatic to me on the last 2 sprints.

My lack of sleep is a challenge. I became more conscious of this as my 2 fast interruptions took place at night. I hope to get to 8 to 12 hours sleeping time soon and use that as part of my fasting times.

I tried going back to juicing on my 3rd sprint. However, I was not successful in making it as a meal replacement. However, I intend to try it again soon.

My love for rice still remains. However, I intend to balance it by replacing it veggies from time to time. To make raw vegetables easier to digest, I will try fermenting them (or eat kimchi instead).


I downloaded the Zero Fasting application. I will use this to track my fasting, take on challenging fasting activities, and monitor eating hours.

I also decided to listen to my body more. Take a break from my exercising if I have body pains. Take a break from working if I feel my neck is beginning to get strained, among others. Although this affects my daily exercise routine at this time. However, I will begin experimenting with routines, alternating them, so I won't be doing the same daily.

When I indulge more than usual, I feel that heaviness inside even when I am already in fasting mode and had to get them out in my system. It is hard to say in absolute that food is not a reward or consolation as I still find myself in eating situation from time to time. However, I am more conscious of it and can bounce back. Hopefully, gradually improve each time.

How do you want to look like?

Whenever I meet a prospective coach, I usually get asked how do I want to look like a year from now. I have seen my old photos through Facebook memories that reminded of my "fit" state and in a lot of those, I was not exactly in my happy times. I was getting fit not for myself.

A year from now - JULY 10, 2020 - here are some of the things I am thinking of:
  1. I would like to be healthy enough to qualify as a regular blood donor. I will see how far I am in that state on or before the end of this year.
  2. I would like to continuously lose weight. At least 1 pound a month and be capable of keeping it off. It will be great to fit into medium-sized clothing again soon.
  3. Be active in swimming, badminton, and running. Do any of it monthly will be awesome.

I intend to reward myself for every 5 pounds of weight loss with something interesting non-food treat. This incentive can go in tandem with my reward after completing every 4 sprints.


If my sprint 4 will end as intended, I hope to be able to lose 5 pounds already since I started my first sprint. Here are some of the changes I observed that occurred to me during this time:
  1. Physically - I exercise regularly. My routine now looks like 40 each of jumping jacks, squats, modified push-up, lunges (on each side), sit-ups (plus leg reach), hip lifts, leg extensions, leg/hip raise, burpees, etc. Around 400 repetition count in total per day. Focused on the balance and intensity of the exercise rather than duration at this time.
  2. Emotionally - My tracking worksheet helps me focus and bring me back to the zone whenever I tend to falter at times. I now consciously reflect why those things happened in a rational manner. I also find it emotionally rewarding whenever I "graduate" or "remove" a tracking parameter in my worksheet recognizing it as an "auto" behavior already for me.
  3. Intellectually - I learned more about fasting and diet this past 2 months. That awareness is a big help to my journey and in sharing it to others. I developed new routines as well such as drinking coffee with stevia in the morning to maximize its benefits.
  4. Spiritually - In my 3rd sprint, I started including Bible reading and hope to gradually improve on this in the sprints to come. I want to tie-in fasting as a spiritual exercise in the long run.
When I think about dieting, losing weight, and exercise, my attitude about it has changed a lot. It is not necessarily a punishment and a reward anymore. It is an investment I have to make to make my family, personal, purpose, and legacy aspirations a reality.


My breakthrough in this journey came in when I finished 1 of 3 coaching programs I enrolled in last April. I still have to finish the other 2 on my plate and intend to complete it this July.

I now use the knowledge, certification, and my own journey in developing new habits to help others in overcoming their challenges. Being able to share my own self-leadership challenges and how I  gradually cope with it (including faltering and bouncing back) helps in my teaching, mentoring, and coaching engagements.

Growing the Community

I started the Self-Leadership: Towards Better Health community last June 14. I was at first uncertain on whether this will make a dent or not. I am glad to find community members who took the time to answer the same questions as I did while they are also pursuing their own journey. We are 33 members as of this writing and hope to grow more in the months to come.

I only share the group through my blog post to ensure that those who join have a genuine interest in the topic. 

Also to those whom I have seen are active in their pursuit of self-improvement or have programs aligned to it.

Monday, July 1, 2019

New Mindset = New Results (Reflection 11)

My 3rd sprint became a bit of a struggle for me. I realized the following:
  • My sleeping has not been that smooth sailing. Been indulging in TV series lately.
  • Eating bottled sardines gets my whole fasting routine in disarray. Perhaps I enjoy it so much that its rarity was making me break the discipline I have set up for myself. Next time, I will only buy 1 bottle at a time (rather than 4).
  • FASTING is not just about losing weight. It is also about healing your body.
To make room for positive changes, I have established new habits including:
  • Drinking black coffee to help in my digestion.
  • Doing 400 reps workout after a bath in the morning.
  • Break my fast by drinking or eating something healthy.
I need my internal change in check to ensure it catches up, feel a sense of satisfaction, and not taking my progress for granted. This includes:
  • Before, what I feel as "heavy" or "overweight" was no different compared to how I felt in the past even when I was reasonably fit. But now, I appreciate the progress I am making.
  • I should not let my progress make me falter. I now recognize that I really need to sleep well or otherwise fell into the trap of breaking my fast early in the morning (2 AM, 3 AM) with biscuit, fruit, bottled sardine with rice.
  • My investment in personal growth is ongoing and that includes expressing my lessons learned in this blog.

Visual reminder

My Facebook memories usually give me a visual reminder regularly on how I look like before. But that is not enough. I have created a DAILY EFFORT MONITORING Worksheet to be more focused and remind me of what I want to achieve for myself.

Daily Improvement Effort Monitoring Worksheet by Janette Toral


I also need to be reminded of the things and ideas I am detaching myself including:

  • I am doing this to help ensure my 2039 and 2049 vision will become a reality. 
  • My happiness is clearly in the right place. It does not live in social media, meetups or networking events, to show-off or please or beat others. The last time I celebrated my birthday online, where I was at a "fit level", despite the deluge of greetings, was not exactly my happiest. That experience gave me the realization I need.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Making Time & Trade-Offs (reflection 10)

As I work on my 3rd sprint, I need to make adjustments and new experiments. Some intended to breaking my pattern in the past 2 sprints.

These more or less covers my non-negotiables for the next sprint.

Identify Priorities
  • Read the Bible especially when fasting.
  • Explore having "juice-only" meals. These are homemade juices that fruit and vegetables in it.
  • Sleep more.
  • Reduce rice intake to one meal or none daily.
Identify new habits:
  • Drink black coffee or tea to aid in digestion and fasting process. This will replace my 3-in-1 and chocolate drinks.
  • Maintain an exercise-at-home routine.
  • Drinking more water. I need to increase my intake to at least 4 glasses a day.
  • Sleep more to replace TV series watching.
Habits that served me well in the past that led to weight loss are:
  • Fasting
  • Eating more vegetables to replace rice.
  • Exercise
  • Drinking black coffee
Habits that were challenging for me are:
  • Occasional evening snacks
  • Meal size - when I tend to eat more at times.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Forming my Tribe: "Self-Leadership: Towards Better Health" (reflection 9)

I am currently in the process of improving myself. Thank you for joining me in this series. 

My next step in this journey is to form a community who can support me in this process and I could give the same as well. 

So far, I have informed my family members and peers familiar with this process on what I am doing. 

To take it a higher notch, I decided to also form an FB group (Self-Leadership: Towards Better Health) where those who would like to go through the same process can join and where I can provide moral support.

I hope we can inspire and grow together at the same time. 

In this series, I am also sharing my heart, plans for myself, what I want to accomplish. 

I hope you will also do the same. Let us encourage each other.  

Are you willing to go down this path with me? Let us grow in this area. 

Let go of those that don't serve us well. 

Don't rush. Think through your answers. Talk to people who care for you in order to help you process your emotions and concerns as well.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Establishing a Routine & Rewards (reflection 8)

Getting into a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge if you are not able to stick to your routine. One reason for that is the various changes we go through with our lives.

But getting yourself back into the program requires momentum. I had to start monitoring my progress, daily if possible, and observe where I was good and where I had slacked off.

The more I do this, routines are established and improved. Here are some examples:
  1. At Home Exercises - jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, lunges, sit-up, legs, and tummy exercises are usually done in the morning. At times, spread throughout the day.
  2. Morning fast - whenever possible.
  3. Replacing rice with vegetables like pechay and similar types.
  4. Limit beverage drinking from 1 to 2 cups per day (coffee and the likes)
  5. Weigh-in regularly.
  6. Monitor water intake.
I also had to think about ways of replacing usual activities with new ones. For example, when I am tempted to take a beverage, I can drink water and catch up with work or do standing push-ups.

I am excited with this process as I know that if I will succeed in this, I can share it to others who want to continuously improve their habits on a long term basis.

I embraced this with the mindset that I should not take any form of weight loss supplements. I should be able to do the exercises from home. I want to do this by eating less, move more, and sleep well.

The idea of rewarding myself is something new for achieving my habit formation routine. I want to incentivize myself for successfully establishing habits including:
  1. Complete a 4-cycle (2-weeks sprint each) with proper monitoring and updating. 
  2. A parameter performed regularly with discipline over time - becoming a habit. 
Rewards can be in the form of something I will get for myself or give to others. I will decide on when the time comes based on practicality.

You might wonder why I did not include a target weight. I actually wanted to but in reality, that number may likely move for one reason or another. I want to establish my own mantra. 
Improve your food and physical activity habits for the better. The weight will follow.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Intentional Improvement Monitoring in 2-Weeks Sprint (reflection 7)

Improving one's health and losing weight, I realized, needs to be a long term objective and has to be monitored consistently from my end - until it becomes a natural habit.

I am strong in recognizing my strengths and weakness in this area. I have set-up monitoring, 2-weeks sprint, to see what I have done effectively and when do I lose momentum.

I started monitoring things on a 2 weeks sprint last May 22.

It is tempting to put too many parameters to monitor. I decided to focus on 5-areas that are tightly related to one another.

My goal is to form new habits and behavioral change (using techniques learned in the various coaching programs I ventured into).

I began working on my nutrition plan as well by adjusting my meal based on what is available around me. This includes replacing or reducing rice consumption by eating uncooked vegetable (Korean style). After more than two weeks, I think I finally figure out what I need to do to start scoring on my "eat moderately" goal.

I have committed not to use any special supplement as what I am after is a long term practical solution.

My first 2-weeks sprint review exposed me to where I fall-off and how challenging it can be to bounce back. I decided to add a new parameter to monitor and see if it will work o neutralize the challenge.

I also accept the fact that I may need to do this for the rest of my days if I don't want to slide back to my old habits.

I will gradually add more items in my sprint tracking worksheet and remove others eventually as time goes by. Focusing on areas where I have not been able to discipline myself on.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Punishment or Adding Value: What emotions do the words "lose weight", "diet", "exercise" stir? (reflection 6)

When I think about lose weight, diet, exercise, these are the emotions that I feel:
  • Pressure
    The need to measure up to certain standards.
  • Guilt
    For indulging and neglecting myself.
  • Shame
    For not being as cool as my previous body shape was.
  • Sacrifice
    As exercising and dieting mean letting go of indulgence and the laziness just to focus on what you want to do now.
But definitely, I view exercise and diet as adding value because it can lead to better health if done correctly. There are many testimonies and learning materials pointing to such evidence.

I came up with a system of monitoring my progress and hope to share that soon in this blog.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Finding a Coach (reflection 5)

One of my challenges in going through a fitness journey is breaking through my thoughts, emotions, beliefs, inner struggle that one way or another affect my momentum - consciously and subconsciously.

My journey towards improving myself became more focused, intentional, deliberate in the past 2 years. I seek out mentors and signed up for programs towards improving my thinking and feeling.

In my growth journey, the authors I can seem to relate the most are Paul Martinelli, Tony Robbins, John C. Maxwell, Brendon Burchard, Marshall Goldsmith, and Brene Brown. To the point, I can already blog about this and share it.

I like Tony Robbins and signed-up for Robbins-Madanes. I had to process my fitness concern beyond the physical and understand myself better.

I like Brendon Burchard and know his high-performance habits teaching will help me make the changes ingrained in my system.

I like Brene Brown as she is very open in discussing vulnerability and imperfections. I agree with her, you can't say you have courage if you are not vulnerable. However, I will dare greatly towards improving myself.

I also appreciate Paul Martinelli's coaching in the John Maxwell Team who gives great introspection on thinking.

I appreciate John C. Maxwell and Marshall Goldsmith as their teaching help me focus on the bigger picture - not only for myself but for others.

In the process of improvement, I am ready to go through failure as part of the process but that should not stop me improving each time.

(p.s. you can check out the books - kindle/audio/paperback - I read here.)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

To Live a Life of Change (reflection 4)

I just got back from a conference to renew my credentials. One of the messages I got from it was our mentor's vision to change lives.

It is awesome to find a mentor whom you can align yourself and share a common vision - bigger than yourself.

I know that I am going to be useful and helpful in this journey for a long time but it will require me also to shape up in order to give my best years to serve others.

This includes improving myself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. These are all work in progress areas.

Physically as I need all the energy to get to the action necessary. Eating right. Exercise. Rest.

Emotionally as I need to always remind myself not to get carried away with my downhill habits.

Intellectually as I can't teach what I don't have knowledge and experience in.

Spiritually as I know that each one of us has a reason to be in this world - to serve others.