Getting fit is sooooo hard: the workout edition

So this is a hard topic to write about, but I feel like I really want to. Getting/staying fit is so hard, y’all. There’s a lot of effort that goes into consciously making those decisions that, nope, I will not be 57 and sick, or 35 and obese.

First things first: gyms are so expensive. Some time last year I signed up with one of the big gyms; I paid the membership fee and monthly dues and all that stuff. The problem is, I couldn’t find enough motivation to go and utilize that membership (despite not being in my best shape).

Going to the gym is hard. I don’t know where to begin and when I’m done I kinda just feel like…. meh. I tried going for classes at the gym but I don’t know, I just don’t feel inspired. So I had to terminate it early AND THEN PAY TERMINATION FEE, because I was on 12 months contract. Apparently I don’t have that kind of commitment.

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Nope, nothing like that

Since then, I was on a mission to find a workout that works for me, that I also enjoy. I went back to yoga, and while it was good, it doesn’t quite keep me coming back for more. Granted, it’s probably because the studio that I went to wasn’t the most accessible, but still. Maybe if I find a more suitable studio it would work better.

Then I tried Ritual Gym, a HIIT gym with 30-minute quick workout concept. Let me just tell you this: it was super fun. And it really worked, and I really loved going there every morning. The workout takes less than 30 minutes, and after showering and such, I’ll be done in under an hour – I will still make it to work on time. The only problem (for me), is that it’s pricey. It’s worth what you’re paying for, I think, it’s just that my broke ass self can’t afford it right now. You should try it, though!

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One day, my friend.

And then, just when I was about to succumb to fatness and unhealthy lifestyle, I found a workout that works for me. Barre, y’all. Barre exercise. And thanks to WeBarre, my experience with it has been great.

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Probably the best purchase I made in the last month or so

WeBarre’s workout is a combination of ballet technique, yoga, pilates and strength training, and works out every part of your body in 60 minutes. I was drenched on most sessions, and classes are super fun. As a (former) dancer, the workouts are very enjoyable because it’s like being back in dance studio (minus screaming choreographer). They play really good music in class that goes with your workout, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find the instructors whose music taste matches yours. A tip: try different instructor’s class to see which style suits you the best if that’s something you’re particular with. Me? I just choose the best timing for me cause all the instructors have been very helpful and classes are always exciting.

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It’s not the cheapest option, with single class priced at SGD38 and class packs starting at SGD330 for 10 classes, given that I know there are cheaper (even free) workout options out there. But hey, the key is to find something that works for you. It has to be motivating enough to keep you going, and then coming back for more. This one has worked so far, and if you’re interested to know, I got the unlimited monthly pass because I just feel it was gonna be more worth it, given that I planned to go (and have been going btw) for classes every other day.

I do plan on trying a wider variety of workout, though. I recently caught up with The Busy Woman Project, and am excited to discover more workout places, and healthy eating spot in Singapore. Check them out, they’re amazing.

‘Til the next rant.

Writing

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Growing up, I have always loved to write. I am not entirely sure why have I stopped. Perhaps it's got to do with the fact that I don't feel particularly fluent in any language.

I mean, yes, I am well versed in both English and Indonesian. But I have not written/spoken/read Indonesian like I used to when I was a child for a long time, until bout 1.5 year ago when I started working.

I was so rusty.

The thing is, I never considered myself particularly good at English, either. Sure, you can compare me with what they call 'average Indonesian' and I'd do better – but that's because English is the language I use day in day out. It's hard to suck when you are forced by circumstances to be good at it. Still, I don't think I'm good enough to have the courage to start writing the way my 12 year old self used to.

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What I did love about writing – still do, actually – is how it has always helped me sort my thoughts. When it's three in the morning and my brain runs wild, or those lazy hours in the afternoon when ideas came to visit.

I used to always write them down; whether it's a possible future projects with action plan (more often than not I never actually act upon them), or random strings of words that enters my brain – an actual word vomit of sorts.

And when words cannot describe them, I read. I read and I read and I read everything that resonates with me. I read what helped me find words that match what I think and feel.

Now, 16 months into my corporate job, reading and writing feels like work. I would really love to read more,  and write more, but it is also what I do in the office. It became harder to look at words and appreciate them, and it's really sad… although I suppose I got better at both English and Indonesian simultaneously during the course of this job, so I guess that's fine.

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On my recent visit to Jakarta, we drove past little cafes along the streets of the city. I told my father that when I have the chance to stay in the city for a while, I'd love to drop by those cafes and sit down, observe.

Mom said it's a waste of time to spend hours siting in a coffee shop, doing practically nothing with absolutely zero purpose. The thing is, I love people watching, and an overpriced cup of coffee usually really helps… although not so much in the wallet department, obviously, 'cause I'm still broke as fuck.

Maybe when the day really comes, when it becomes possible for me to hop from one coffeeshop to another, in a city that feels like home but has become increasingly foreign for me, I'd write again. I'll grab a book, sit down in a corner of the cafe, alternating between reading and observing. I'll grab my pen and write down the words that would be running through my head.

Hell, maybe I'll write a whole book then.

JAPAN TRAVELOGUE| Kanagawa Temple Run

On my first day in Japan, Teru took me around Kanagawa to see some beautiful temples in the area. I had no idea what to expect, but boy was I impressed. I tried some really good street food, visited Kōtoku-in – a temple with giant Buddha statue – and the famous Hase dera.

Between the ramen and the octopus snack, I had a hard time believing any food can top that when I’m Japan… but the Oshiros took me to a French dinner that night and then I realized:

You can’t rank food. You just can’t. They’re all good.

JAPAN TRAVELOGUE | Teaser

Last October, I went to Japan to visit my good friend Teru. I promised that I would create a proper video for it but damn, the amount of effort is crazy for a first timer like myself. Anyway, enjoy this preview and wait a couple more months for the next one HAHA.

Seriously, though, it’s so hard to be broke in Japan.

Skin Care: Expensive, but apparently necessary

Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with like, super good skin. My own grandmother has never had so much of a zit in her whole entire 83 years of life, and my mother didn’t have pimple until she had kids.

Why can’t I get those genes too???? I’m your offspring!!!!

Instead, my face is a dry-oily combination and for the last 5-6 years, my face has been constantly decorated with good ol’ blemishes.

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Clear skin??? Never had one of those.

I didn’t usually care too deeply about my less than perfect skin. Quite honestly, I think for the most part I just sort of gave up, and it didn’t really bother me. I reckon the cause of my bad skin condition was part food, part stress, and sheer ignorance. My skin care regime until recently had been wiping off make up with whatever remover I can buy (the one I used to use is oily as fuck, and honestly was quite uncomfortable to use) washing my face with a facial wash cleanser thing and occasional mask if I want to. Then go to sleep, sometimes around 4 in the morning to get up at 7.

Until one day, the breakout was super bad that even me, myself, my unbothered self had to start to care. First, I gotta switch my facial wash. I usually used The Body Shop‘s Tea Tree facial wash. It had worked fine in the beginning but as I moved on to the second bottle, I felt like it didn’t work as well anymore.

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The Body Shop, SGD 20.90

Then I read up, apparently you should switch your product after some time (for a broke girl like me perhaps when the first bottle is out????).

Second, I need to change my makeup remover. I feel like it has to contribute something to my skin, and I don’t think any more oil is gonna do my face any good.

So anyway, I was roaming around this mall after work, and I thought, might as well. So I was set to buy facial wash and makeup remover ONLY when I walked into The Face Shop – not thinking I was actually gonna buy anything, since I hadn’t actually decided when I saw.
The best looking skin care kit.
Ever.

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This Darth Vader won’t lure you to the dark side, unless you mean it in money sense.

The only problem? It’s FOR MEN.  Also kinda expensive. (For reference: this set is called The Gentle for Men, retails at SGD72. They also come in Stormtrooper for The Fresh line) But then, they also have Star Wars face mask, retails at SGD 4.90 each, or SGD 49 for a set of 10 sheets.

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Kinda disappointed it doesn’t have Vader pattern on it
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Actually kinda hurt to wear because of the foil

I am not too proud, but also not ashamed to announce that I BOUGHT BOTH OF THESE MASKS. I got me 2 sheets of Stormtrooper and A SET and one sheet of Darth Vader. Initially I bought one sheet each, but the Vader mask was so soft and velvety I had to get a whole set.

Anyway, after the initial straying away from my initial intention of buying the essentials, I finally got what I actually went in there for.

I bought The Face Shop’s Rice Water Bright Lip & Eye Makeup Remover – which is apparently recommended for oily eyelid.

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Recommended for oily eyelid

It retails at about SGD 14, which is a massive upgrade from my typical drugstore makeup remover (well, not really – those cost like SGD 9), but it is much kinder on my skin, especially for daily usage.

I also got foam cleanser, toner and moisturizer from Dr. Belmeur line.

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is Dr Belmeur a real doctor?

The foam cleanser retails at SGD 17, while the toner is priced at SGD 31 and the moisturizer at SGD 34 – which is definitely not the cheapest, but I wasn’t gonna gamble with my face, okay? It’s enough of a mess I don’t wanna fuck it up even further.

I actually got some other makeup stuff like eyeliner and such but that’s for another day. Also, because the outlet which I bought these products from was going to be closed for renovation, I got an extra 30% off for Dr Belmeur line. Which is, of course, a steal.

For about two weeks now my regime consist of cleanser – toner – mask – moisturizer, and my skin has improved like, way more. Not to mention my makeup remover is a lot less greasy, and make my makeup came off easier too. My colleague was like, hey, you’re complexion has gotten so much better! and I was like, yea it better be, I spent a substantial portion of my pay check for this.

Honestly the only problem with being broke is that I felt guilty for spending, nay, investing this much money to care for my skin. But I guess sometimes you gotta spend a little (well, not THAT little) so you don’t gotta spend a hell of a lot more on dermatologist or some expensive facial treatment (laser? botox?) when you’re 77.

Midnight Movie: Beauty and the Beast

WARNING: There may or may not be spoiler in this post. I don’t know if y’all will consider this spoiler ok but whatever.

I have always loved Disney, and I am a bit of a sucker for Disney princesses (no surprise there?). And while Belle is not my favorite Disney princess (that title belongs to Mulan, ok), I was very excited for this movie for many reasons:

  1. It’s Disney, and I have never missed a Disney Princess live action movie.
  2. Emma Watson
  3. Great songs, that I may or may not have misquoted in my spotlight interview at work (ahem), and it’s the tale as old as time.

So, knowing the story by heart, I decided to go and watch the movie at midnight, so that when I cry (I know I will), no one can see me.

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Except, WRONG. I watched the movie on the third night since its opening, and boy the theater was filled, even at the 11.50pm showing. WHY. Also, I started crying not too long after the movie started when they were showing Belle’s father working on this piece featuring baby Belle and her mother.

J, with whom I watched the movie after massive persuasion, pointed out that Belle is very much Hermione Granger. Bookworm, live in a castle, go to places she wasn’t supposed to go (chamber of secret/third floor of Hogwarts vs West Wing of Beast’s castle),  dealing with hot-headed men (Ron, Beast…), and definitely need to sort her priorities straight. Good job Disney on casting Emma, she’s been playing Belle her whole life.

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Ok, on to the movie. I found the movie very much enjoyable despite hearing about how this movie isn’t as good as other live action movie like Cinderella or Maleficent. I mean, okay, it’s very hard to top Maleficent in terms of… everything, really, because Maleficent is a giant spin-off offering a very different story from the original.

Beauty and the Beast, however, is a re-telling of the original cartoon with some changes, like the fact that Belle invented a washing machine, and the background story of how Belle’s mother died because of the black plague. I think this humanizes Maurice a lot more, because in the cartoon I only remembered him being a loving father, but is also a strange old man.

My favorite part of the whole movie is of course, Be Our Guest musical number.

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The color and the whole animation (and the song, obviously) MAKES. ME. SO. HAPPY. Also, it left me asking, did Belle even get to eat anything with the whole show going on in front of her eyes? Because those are some good food.

Also, how cute is Chip?

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-5-13-09-pmWhen he met Maurice he was all, “Mom said I shouldn’t move because it might be scary,” which is why Maurice even ran in the first place. Tsk, tsk, tsk, bad Chip. And then he pulled that blowing bubble on his teacup thing on Belle and his face got all scrunched up.

Another thing that I do like about this movie is when the villager came for the Beast, the servants (in the form of antiques), beginning to recognize the people (Mrs Potts found her husband), and it made sense because a long time ago they were all basically living in the same village, except this Beast guy was rich.

There was also re-appearance of the witch/enchanter at the end of the movie, who un-cursed the Beast… she’s been watching him! The. whole. time! And technically Belle missed the deadline to say ‘I love you’, so the witch eventually taking back the curse is why they turned back into humans, not Belle.

Overall, I love this movie, and while Emma Watson singing doesn’t sound the best on the audio tracks, it was all forgiven when the songs play on the movie with the whole thing going on. Bonus point for a very hot and extremely condescending Gaston.

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Watch the movie, guys. Watch it. You’ll love it.


 

Oh, the struggle

Oh shit, what? I’m blogging again?

Yes, yes, I know. This is my 378464th attempt at blogging. This takes a shit ton of commitment, okay?

The thing is I have a new, very real struggle which I may need an outlet to vent about. The problem being, I am so fucking broke. All the damn time. Don’t get me wrong, okay. I have a job that pays well and all that stuff, but I am also a 21 year old living in Singapore.

SINGAPORE.

What’s the deal about Singapore, you ask? Well, my friends, Singapore is apparently the most expensive city in the world, according to The Economists, per their March 2016 data. Personally, I think there are other countries that seems like they could be more expensive than Singapore, but these are the datas, okay, and numbers don’t lie.

At least I think they don’t? If they do I don’t know what else to trust. And I guess I understand why. For one, the rent price is higher than the empire state building. And then there’s this whole other thing about food (especially the healthier ones), the lifestyle, clothes, the list goes on.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, come aboard and join me in this crazy blog as I vent about losing my heard earned money  to food and my attempt to look not ugly, and sometimes have social life, while I try my hardest to stretch my dollars.