Day 5: Taipei, in the city

Today we go to Taipei! Only reservation I havevis we will drive there and it’s about an HR drive. Ugh.

Need to work out first. Still doing the 60 day challenge and it’s hard not to eat all the good food.

So after working out I came across this at the local store:

It looks a little familiar

Right Dan Kim?

This “lion’s teeth” seems to be a knock off of Formula O2 devloped by 2 local Ohio guys. It also claims to be a recovery drink of sorts. I tell you it just tastes like diluted juice.

I really do like formula O2, esp the mango. (Go try it)

They waste a lot of sunscreen

After a dizzing car ride with cars cutting us off, sudden stops, we make it to lunch. We have dimsum at brothers hotel (one of my dad’s favorite).

Juju is sad about the dead duckies

We then visit my Grandma’s apartment. Since it’sin Taipei, it’s a ridiculously expensive condo, but as you can see definitely different compared to the on in Tamsui. Frank and I spent many summers here.

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Now to the Living Mall

Vivi has been having about going back here. It used to be a fairly upscale mall, with lots of stores. Over the years it apparently has not done well. Most stores are gone and now replaced with many child play areas.

Check out this massive bounce house.

It was a little sad seeing this place. It was remiscent of what City Center looked like.

The girls were exhausted after 2 hrs of crazy bouncing.

The trip back to Tamsui was rough, long car ride with exhausted kids make for irritable angry kids.

We took a stop at this massive fruit stand

The rest of the night everyone pretty much passed out.

Day 4: swim and still recovering

I was thinking the jet lag is over. Wrong.

Still up early at 6am. Plan is to take the girls swimming and to go check out the local community center.

Supporting Team AidenBear fight cancer
Greeted by a mantis

Unfortunately didn’t get any ohitos swimming or or at the community center. They didn’t allow photography for whatever reason.

On the way back tried out a local establishment.

Promptly pass out for a few more hours.

Then get ready to eat some more traditional local cuisine.

The girls got to ride the bus for the first time.

And end the day with one more stop at the mega grocery store CarreFour (Walmart like place)

Tamsui Taiwan Day 3: getting settled in Personal time exploring

Jetlag? Nah. Up at 5am local time. Let’s go workout for a run.

Had to get my bearings first. Without highspeed internet this is difficult, but luckily I have something and can at least use Google maps to get my way home. About 1.5 mile run to the beach but get stuck at this barrier. #Tamsuiborderwall

So many stray dogs. I wanted to pet them then I realized… Not a good idea. So I didn’t

Didn’t do much the whole day otherwise. We went to the local market to get supplies and eat.

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MommyMd and I did get chance to explore some more we ventured to get a local SIM card to get some highspeed data.

For references for anyone ever planning to go to Taiwan, you need a passport and another ID (usually your driver’s license). Current law allows for one mobile phone number per person.

For internet you could rent a portable Personal 4G wifi router that you pick up at the airport upon arrival. We should have done this but did not. They also sell local SIM cards at the airport. I prefer to get the prepaid cards from there local telecom shops. Just remember to make sure your phone is SIM unlocked.

Depending on what carrier you use, they have different plans. Far EasTone offers a 1 day, 3 day and 5 day Unlimited data use. You can also get a 30 unlimited option.

After getting out SIM setup it was way to hot and tiring to walk back so we tried out the YouBikes. It’s a bike sharing program they over in Taipei. You get a bike for about 3USD and ride it around for 4 hrs. You get charged more for the money you need it.

Can’t really see the bike

Riding back up home was much quicker esp in this heat. It’s kinda scary to ride here with all the crazy traffic. Also not helmets. Noone wears a bike helmet here.

After passing out a few hrs we have dinner at home and end the night with some lychees.

Taiwan Day #2: arrival

After 24+ hours of travel, we arrive in Taiwan.

Touchdown. Juju’s first time in Taiwan and Vivi’s second

They love their Yeye. First thing they do is start to headbutt him

The girls love their Yeye. They only hey to see him a few times a year since he only come back stateside a couple times a year.

It’s nice having T-Mobile overseas. You get free international data, but it’s at 2g speeds. Good enough to look something up or post a few pix.

At Home (in Taiwan)

Hi tech toilets
Amazing lychees, can’t get this in Ohio

First (whole) family trip to Taiwan: Day 1

Semi live blog:

It has been 13 years since MommyMd and I went to Taiwan. Vivi was fortunate to go back with Nainai right after her 4th birthday.

5/2016 vivi’s first trip to taiwan

Now 13 years later with a Juju, we venture back to the humid hot island of Taiwan.

6/2018 family trip, Vivi’s second adventure

Waiting for the plane

Up at 3 am finishing packing. Vivi and Juju we’re a little difficult to rouse but the excitement set in and we were off to the airport.

First let me tell you TSA Precheck is amazing. First time using.

There was a super long line to get through security, and no line at the PRE check. If you don’t have Precheck, get it!

6am: Now that we got here super early, we got 2 hrs to wait.

Might as well explore

Exploring concourse B @CMH: family bathroom

731am:

Things are getting silly now: “I’m queen of the world!” ~Juju

8:13am

8:20am local Chicago time (9:20 in Ohio)

Excited to be enroute to the next flight.

Going through that lighted path at ORD

I used to love running through here

Enjoying the United club. If you happen to have an extended layover anywhere, access to the United Club is very nice.

9:37am Chicago time: on the plane, let’s go to SFO

Sisters

1215pm (315pm ohio) touchdown to SFO.

Short layover then on the Long haul.

And after a 1hr delay

225p:Ready to board

So grandma got upgraded to a better seat so it left a gap in our eating. Somehow I got screwed with a center seat between strangers. Yay.

12hrs + of fun

They look like they are having fun

Must be nice

Complimentary treats with the international flights.

So I caved and purchased the inflight internet. I can only watch so many movies nonstop.

Finished Geostorm, Justice League, 12 Soldiers, now watching Downsizing.

Very hard to sleep and not end up leaning on your neigbor.

The girls are splayed out and are out.

I’m not even sure what time it is. I thinks it’s 1018p Ohio time. Still 9 hrs left.

6.5 hrs left. Just finished I, Tonya and now Hostiles

Done with jumanji. Less than 2 hrs left

Someone just woke up

Less than 1 hr left.

60 Day Challenge: The weight out- start to finish.

I have finally reached the end of my 60day Challenge.


People likely don’t really want to see this, but I will post it anyway.

My journey started Last July 2017, where I realized that I was becoming unhealthy and developing the “dad bod.”

With the sleep apnea getting worse, and with MommyMD getting more fit, I figured, CRAP! I gotta fix this. As in my previous posts, what right do I have to tell patients to lose weight if I was just gaining more weight and not eating healthy and not working out?

By the time I started the challenge I was already down about 10 lbs from 7/2017

Below is the essay I had to submit in order to get my “money back”
The 60day challenge was 60$ to participate in, but you can get 60$ credit in “lifetime bucks” to use at the gym if you submit an essay at the end.
This is my essay. I figured I was going to blog about it anyway.

So one of the cools things would be that you could potentially win a fairly large cash prize if you were the “grand prize winner”.
In order to win, people have to vote for you. I think it is based off your before and after photos, before and after stats (weight, body fat), and maybe the essay.

Either way I obviously won’t win that, but I definitely won my goals!

***

“As a family physician, I tell patient every single day that weight loss, healthy diet, and routine physical activity will significantly improve their lives and prevent future health complications. It may seem like an obvious concept, but it is truly a challenge in practice. With life, children, and work, I also had fallen into the trap of contentment. Slowly gaining weight. Making excuses not to work out. In the pursuit to find a better way to motivate my patients to seek health, I realized that I needed to lead by example.

I had started to track my food intake and started to exercise routinely and was slowly losing weight, but like my patients, I had my share of setbacks. It is very easy to skip a workout day, or not log that donut during lunch. The 60day Challenge gave me an opportunity to engage with a trainer and have a better understanding of what I needed to do in order to attain my goals.

The routine weigh-ins and communication with our trainer helped keep me accountable and motivated to not give up. It was gratifying to see my progress each week. The 60day Challenge introduced me to other group fitness classes, that I would likely never had tried. The “try it” sessions helped acquaint me with the other gym equipment that I would never have braved to try. The other benefit was making new friends. This just makes going to the gym that much more enjoyable. The next big challenge is to stay motivated to sustain my new found health. The problem with most “diets” is that the results are not long lasting. The consistency each week helped establish my workouts an integral and entertaining part of my daily life, rather than just another chore that had to be checked off.

The 60day Challenge helped me make my health a priority in my life, and realize that have no excuse to not be healthy. With this experience, I am better able to relate and appreciate the obstacles that my patients face. I can sincerely tell them that “it’s easier said than done.” I have been trying to utilize the knowledge and experience I gained to motivate others to actively seek health.”

***

So this is my final END result here:
Overall, I have to say I am pleased with where I am at. I just need to make sure I don’t fall back into the poor diet habbits.

As mentioned in my prior posts, I think I will avoid snake jucing it now. I have found that fasting works well. If you dont eat you will lose weight (duh), but I think my main goal now is to stay healthy, eat healthy. Maybe get amazing abs like S. Devor. #Goals. #noexcuses.

Spring 2018 60 Day Challenge

So I did sign up for the next 60 day challenge, which will start in May. I really dont think I am going to lose much more weight, if I do, it is going to fairly hard.

Maybe I will look like this:

60 Day Challenge: weigh-in day

So yesterday was weigh-in day. It just got real!

I’m officially participating in the 60-day challenge at Lifetime.

Kickoff Week Weigh-in:

WT 180.3#

BF%: 19.7

A perk if the challenge is I got to meet with a personal trainer (Leeanne who is awesome) to discuss my goals and they gave me be some good insight into what I need to do in order to obtain my goals.

My original goal was just to get down to 170 pounds (prewedding weight), but at this point apparently I should be doing more strength training. This was never my strong point.

Back toward the end of July I saw my weight was trending up toward 192-196#. That’s the heaviest I have ever been. I realized something had to be done. That was when I forced myself to start going to the classes at Lifetime Fitness Dublin.

One important thing to sticking with working out is to not get bored. Luckily the instructors at Lifetime are awesome, and very nice. It compels me to go. I feel guilty when I don’t, which I guess is a good thing.

I plan on posting the before and after photos, but then again, I don’t think anyone really wants to see that right?

Add me on MyFitnessPal: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/profile/alphapenguin

NO EXCUSES. gotta get fit

Here we go again. I was off to a good start this past summer. I haven’t posted on my blog in a while. I have been working hard and dieting well up until this past month. Riddled with a flu like illness, holidays and a back sprain, I have been off my game.

I realized I need to get back in gear. I figure Feb. 1st 2018 is as good of a time as any to reset myself.

Today I will make it a point to track my daily calorie intake, and to MAKE time to be active 6 days a week at least.

I also realized I had not posted on my blog in a while, I forgot all about my previous post. Sure enough Lifetime is having another 60 day challenge.

This time I decided to participate. I mean why not? Money is a great motivator. There is an opportunity to win $10,000! I dont really expect to win, but I have to put in 60$, but I do get that money back at the end in the form of “lifetime Bucks” that I can use at the gym. I also get access to training sessions etc.

I do plan on documenting my progress again from here on. My main hopes is to hopefully motivate others into doing the same.

#NOEXCUSES
#MAKETHETIME

 
 

From Buddha to Adonis (body type) – the 60 Day Challenge

It’s scary to look at some pictures from just a few years ago. It’s so easy to just let life happen and all of a sudden you have sleep apnea. I’ve been telling myself, I need to get back down to 170lbs for the past… since 7 years maybe? Well this post is more of a motivation for myself than anything.

Life Time Fitness has this 60-day-challenge where you get some access to other classes, and “virtual coaches” and diet recipes that help you get to either a goal weight or overall “whole body transformation”. You can actually win some loot. Now there is an associated cost, but it helps drive incentive to perpetual physical activity. 

I feel like I want to join and be on my way to a healthy BMI, but then I start to make excuses… I already don’t have the time to dedicate 100% to working out, going to the fitness classes (which is true, the times are not compatible with current life), I will not have any use for the recipe’s that they offer, and why should I use a virtual coach, how would that help?

Well… as I tell my patients, you have to make the time. There is always time to do something. You may not want to do it, but there is always a way to find it or make it. For instance, instead of working out now, I am sitting here writing this blog (which by the way, I commend anyone who does this regularly because it is hard to do well). As I made the excuses in my head, I realized, how can I expect my patients to take anything I say seriously if I can’t do it myself. 

My current BMI is 26.4 (near my all time high). I do have a family history of vascular dementia, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. So why the heck would I not take my health seriously, and take my own advice. Now As I write this, I have already started to implement some Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC). On my professional Facebook Page, I have been trying to track my physical activity via PolarBeat. I like tracking my heart rate during exercise as it give me a better idea of the calorie use. I also sport a FitBit (mainly due to the benefit we get from our health insurance). You do NOT need these tech gadgets to be healthy, but I like gadgets.

I frequently ask my patient to use myFitnessPal to track calories and activity to help them stay focused on their goal weight loss. They have Apps you can use for both Android and iOS. I think you can actually watch my MyFitnessPal Diary here. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/alphapenguin

So back to this 60-day challenge. I’ve tried sticking with P90x in the past but can’t get beyond day 30. Working out about 90 minutes a day takes a helluva time away from the day. Personal trainers are expensive. You know what though, not good excuses. Even if it’s just 40, or even 30, or even 20 minutes a day, it’s better than nothing. Finding ways to multitask works best. Unless you are superhuman and get up at 4 am to workout like some people I know, great ways to get physical activity in is to be active when you choose to be sedentary. Sounds obvious, but I mean instead of sitting down for 1-2 hrs watching NetFlix or a basketball game, get on a stationary bike or a treadmill (if you have one) and watch the Netflix. If you don’t have one, there are ways to get creative to do something. Now YouTube has a lot of great workout channels/videos with exercises. If you want to spend the money, there is the BeachBody On Demand, which gives you access to most of the BeachBody Material via the Android/iOS apps or via the website.

To keep myself motivated and accountable, and maybe to help motivate others that know me (or even the ones that don’t), I decided to publicly journal my strive for fitness. I’d love to have that six pack, but I think I would love even more is to not die of a heart attack prematurely or succumb to diabetes. As far as I know, I have been lucky so far with my biometric screens. Also, it would be nice not to have sleep apnea.

My current Plan to stay accountable:

GOAL: Weight loss down to 170lbs

Commitment:

  • must work out at least 20-40 min in a day, 5-6 days a week, and will provide proof. Will likely update blog weekly. maybe daily? To be seen.
  • must log food/calorie intake daily (will be using myFitnessPal), as above, may update only weekly.
  • will post weekly weigh-in weight.
  • no Fast foods.

how long am I going to last…

[dare i post a before picture here?]

 

Feel free to comment with any thoughts.

 

The Morning Struggle (with sleepy children)

For some reason, every morning seems to be a struggle in this household (specifically “school days”). Without fail, I find myself in a perpetual battle with my little clones. It’s like a video game. Level 1 is the Wake Up battle. When I enter their room and start the wake-up ritual, I am usually rebuffed with:

I’m too tired… I hate baba… baba hates me… I don’t want to go to school… bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

It’s almost scripted. 

I know I am not the only one who faces this opposition. The Holderness Family on youtube made a very exact/funny music video that depicts the struggle well:

You would think that a 6-year-old should be able to get up, go to the bathroom, and brush their teeth without assistance (since I’ve seen her do it before), or am I expecting too much? Then the ever monotonous “put on your pants… put ON your pants… PUT ON YOUR PANTS… ok when I come back you better have your pants on!” The response usually is “you have to heeeelp meeeee. I cant do it myseeeeelf… WAAAAH!” I know I know, they are just throwing a fit and trying to make the sap-of-dad succumb to their will, but when you are in a time crunch, there is no time to putz around.

Some days they like to do the exact opposite. VBear was actually out of bed. Teeth brushed, and bladder emptied. All she had to do was put on her pants. I give them to her, and tell her I will be back after I take the dog out. I come back and of course, she’s ready… to make me late for work. For some reason instead of putting her pants on, she was sitting with just the undies on. It was comical and infuriating at the same time. She was just sitting there still staring at her pants. She wasn’t laughing or giggling. Maybe she thought it would be funny. Maybe she needed to take her shirt off and socks off before putting the pants on. Till this day I never did get an explanation. 

Now if this was a video game, Level 2 is getting out the door. You have to get not just one but 2 unruly hooligans to get their shoes on. This may seem to be an easy task, but for some reason they can make it very arduous and exasperating. De-Ja-Vu. I hear the words “I can’t do it by myself, You have to help meeee!” mixed in with the occasional cry. Now Jette and Viv both can put their own shoes on. I’ve seen them do it. To expedite departure, I end up helping. 

The odd thing is ViviEtte always give me the wrong foot no matter what shoe I grab. It’s almost like they really think the curved insole belongs on the outside (but I don’t think they are even looking when I am helping.) Maybe they are just f’ing with me.

With one child, I still encountered these shenanigans, but with two the variable of the sibling c0nlfict must be factored in:

 

My beautiful girls in all their glory.

Now once I get them in the car, get to the daycare, we reach the final level. The drop-off. It’s a hit or miss if Jette will happily sit down to eat breakfast, or if she will be like an alien

 

face hugger, and cling on for dear life. Now if she chooses the latter, it’s another 5 minutes of prying her off. Don’t get me wrong I love my penguins. If I didn’t have to get to work, this would be less of an issue. It would still be an issue because these antics would drive anyone insane. That’s a whole other topic. I commend anyone to everyone that is a primary stay at home parent. It’s a thankless job that requires patience and mental fortitude. Every time I go through this I think to myself, I need to give my mom a hug for not only raising me and my brother but also watching my Penguins.

After beating the final level, you think you’ve won, but now its time to play another game… the one called work.  It’s like an MMORPG. Then it restarts all over at 645am the next day.

I commend anyone to everyone that is a primary stay at home parent. It’s a thankless job that requires patience and mental fortitude. Every time I go through this I think to myself, I need to give my mom a hug for not only raising me and my brother but also watching my Penguins.