A mosaic of photos from our recent trip to Korea.
(mouse over the photos to read a short description, I’ve described most of the photos.
It is Mother’s Day soon. Not sure how to express myself to her, but this song, written by a Chinese singer, says it all.
Now that I have my own kid, I realise the love, the sacrifices, the life my mother poured into my life.
You can hear the singing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ivO3srqZeM
One of my favorites from one of my favorite leader.
“Our forefathers came here because they were looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Some found that pot of gold, many didn’t. They sweated their guts out and built this city out of mudflats. We’ve inherited it, we have added to it. And I say it is worth defending it.”
– Lee Kuan Yew
PS: the photos in this post are of various quality. Reason being that I didn’t get into this health path to slim down. It was to resolve a liver issue.
I was clearing out the photos in my phone (yes, I have been using the same phone coming to 2 years), and realised I have impromptu shots of myself after gym. Couple these with some old shots and we get:
Yeah my wedding pants.
2013 – roughly when I started to change my diet. This seems to be mid 2013.
I’m quite surprised at the transformation. But it was a 2 years journey. Of course I am not saying I have arrived. And going by my current goal of just sticking to my exercise regime, a totally fixed diet, I just want to see what 2015 will bring.
I do hope this time I will remember to take some better shots.
Till next time. To better health and enduring fitness.
Many times we trim down to look good, especially in a world where external appearances matter alot. But there are the few others who decided to do so because of health reasons.
Most importantly, my liver profile.
In 2009, as my health report arrived, the doctor pointed me to an area of concern with regards to my liver profile. The readings are “off the charts”, in his own words. In fact he ordered another reading a month later, just to make sure.
The second reading didn’t fare too well either. This is when the doc said that I either reduce the readings or face serious liver issues in the later years.
*the stated readings, when they are high, it mean there is some damage going on in the liver. Anything 40 and below is considered normal. With readings as high as 120, you can see why my doctor is worried.
I stopped alcohol for a full year, did my screening again in 2011 and still the same result. Looking at the same chart, we can see that in 2012, things got worse. Not to say that alcohol consumption will not damage the liver, but in my case, even stopping a full 2 years didn’t help. I even cut out drinking soda drinks.
So what is an overweight man with an oncoming liver problem to do? This overweight man decided to hit the weights, pound it out in the gym. (I have a prolapsed disc, so only controlled, slow movements like lifting weights are suitable).
This started in 09/2012. And oddly enough, my following health report showed a drop in the liver readings. The good news is also that now my insurer is willing to cover liver related issues. And finally, the latest reading, all my liver readings are normal.
Till today, I’m clueless as to how and why lifting weights can positively impact the liver, but somehow it worked in my case.And the by-product of all these?
Take a look at the above chart. As you can see my bodyfat % dropped (25% to now 12.5%). Too shy to put in my waistline, but be sure that I have had to change my wardrobe twice in the past year.
What have I learned?
Yes of course I do go for other kind of food/drinks (i.e. burgers, soda, lattes and the whatever-stuff-w-sugar-in-them) occasionally. But those are times when I have to conciously make myself consume them.
And to answer the usual question – I use the following slimming products:
Warning, the above slimming products tend to come with a rusty smell and they induce serious sweating.
And will I continue my journey? Why not? I have a family now, my kids are going to look at the way I live my life and model after it. I also have my personal goals as to the bulk and bodyfat I want to achieve, just to see how “how many more reps I can push“.
June of 2014, the Mrs and I again went to Korea. For the food, the sights, the people and the hiking.
This time around, we decided to explore the other areas such as Gwangju, Jeju.
To say, we especially love it in Gwangju. The place is steep in local history and the people are very warm. Seems like time slows down a bit over there. Hence people enjoy lives better.
This time, I’ve decided to to post my photos in reverse order.
Tried the coffee in this nice little place. Must say that Korean coffee more aromatic than those we have in South East Asia. Though not as strong in terms of caffeine.
My Dune paperback up for book exchange, amongst all the others. This was in Pedro’s House in Gwangju.
Gwangju freedom memorials.
Traditional Korean hotpot. This establishment is 37 yrs old. And it is still running strong. A must try.
That’s my Korean host on the far right. Pedro Kim. The other 2 are also Singaporeans. This was taken during the World Cup 2014 match. Not too sure which team South Korea was squaring off though.
Hike up Mudengsan. Mountain of no Equal.
Korean cooking like a pro.
Yeah the wife is also crazy over Innisfree products. This a green tea plantation.
Finally got her hands on the famous Lee Min Ho soft toy….
Drove up some hill in the wee hours of the morning, the cold, the lack of sleep, but this is worth it. Jeju.
Our new friend in Jeju.
What happened was we were lost, and dropped by outside a bank to ask for directions. This gentleman not only lead us in his car to our destination, he even dropped by after our dinner to show us around Jeju island.
Authentic Korean food in Jeju.
Yeah another hike in Jeju.
Especially like this very colorful sunset in Busan.
Another aspect of Korean life has to be its chill out lifestyle, other than the hustle of the daily grind.
We found a quiet spot in the heart of some shopping district. The wife here chilling out over cheesecake and fresh brewed coffee.
A trip to the famous Seoul Tower.
And then the Teddy Museum, located within the tower. This little dude here caught my attention. Apparently vandalising the classroom wall lol.
And of course, the DMZ. The trip was good, although rushed. But we got a good feel of the intensity of the place.
Well wishes from locals and foreigners. Praying for the peace of both Koreas.
Kid you not, the railway in the background is still in service. While we were there, a train went by into the North of the border.
MPs on the guard.
This is our cool looking guard. Over at the backend, the grey building, is the North side of Korea.
We managed to get a glimpse of a few North Korean soldiers as well.
Lotte World – One of Seoul’s theme park. Apparently this is the world’s largest theme park also.
A few of our Seoul companions.
Yes, there is a reason why this is the world’s largest theme park. It was tiring just walking around.
Korea is an ultra modern country with strong roots in its history. Hence you can find a lot of palaces in Seoul.
The palace entrance.
This is supposedly the King’s private quarters.
The back entrance The Secret Garden?
House of Fortune!
A stove, for firewood to provide warmth to the inhabitants during the winter.
This here is a chimney, that was used to exhaust the fumes from the kitchen and heating.
The Gate of Longevity!
The building in the back served as library for the royals of the past.
The tablets marked the location of each court official for their daily reports to the king. Ranking at 1st, 2nd, etc.