Recently, I had to write an essay/article regarding Dracula and the themes of gender and sexuality written in the book and to be quite honest after writing that article my mind has been blown by the nuance and depth of the book Dracula.
The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, I relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.
I was supposed to write a post about WWW Wednesdays but because there has literally been next to no improvement from last weeks post, it was just a no go. Being a working adult is hard. You’re tired all the time and when you come home you just veg out and between cooking and doing household chores and the odd insert of working out reading for me has just been pushed to the back-burner (is this the right way to use this word? I don’t think so but it sounded correct in my mind).
It has been awhile hasn’t it.
Definitely did not expect that my blogging slump would turn into a blogging hiatus of 9 months and 9 days.
It’s a bit weird now logging into Netgalley and seeing the vast amounts of books I have yet to read let alone review which by now obviously have been archived.
My personal life just slowly took over until my blog just became a distant memory until now and the reason why I came back again was because I dabbled in the whole Booktube thing but between editing my videos and speaking to the camera without rambling I just couldn’t make it work.
My words were stilted and I was frustrated when I re-watch them because they don’t seem like me.
What else happened?
I have officially lost 26 kg!
Yup! You read that right. From Day 1 of my fitness journey (God knows when was that) until now I have lost 26 kg.
I will most probably write a blog post on that particular journey.
This blog post is just some random thoughts I wanted to express before I post my book review.
Your home girl lost 13 kgs in 6 months…
I KNOW! I KNOW! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT MYSELF!
I AM STILL SHOOKETH!
Let me explain…
(here is also my youtube vid on the matter fyi)
Seeing new angry red stretch marks on my very round stomach slapped me to my senses. It’s surprising that it wasn’t seeing the scale go up to 96 kgs that made me have the epiphany that I was obese but instead seeing those red stretch marks caused me to (FINALLY) pay attention.
The majority of my weight loss happened during Ramadan of 2018 where I lost a whopping 6 kg’s and this is when I have yet to incorporate consistent exercising (I wasn’t physically active at all during the first three weeks of Ramadan and was only exercising during the last week because I had my period).
After losing the 6 kg’s I decided that it would be a waste if I didn’t continue this weight loss thing and so with that I renewed my gym membership and HIT THE GYM!
I focused on cardio exercises for the first few weeks because I haven’t been to the gym in awhile and I was too self-conscious to try using dumbbells just yet in fear of doing it in public with the wrong form.
Slowly but surely I started to incorporate weight lifting and joined what is now my favorite fitness class which is the Step Up class.
It was also during this period of time that my office organized a fitness bootcamp for overweight staffs.
So, my workout routine would be where I exercised 5-6 times a week with the majority of it focusing on cardio as I became more comfortable at the gym the cardio on all the cardio machines slowly became just a warm up exercise for me and I’d focus all my energy to doing weights as it was more fun for me.
I don’t have a set workout routine that I do but at the present moment I am into doing fitness challenges as a way to push myself not only physically but also mentally. The challenges I am doing now is the 30 days Blogilates challenge (Abs, Inner Thighs, Arms and Booty).
Previous weight: 96 kg
Current weight: 83 kg
THE BEFORE AND AFTER!
I have always wanted to be a running girl. The girl I see in the cute Nike outfit running lap after lap in my local park barely breaking a sweat whom you know joins marathons because they enjoy running. I wanted to be that girl.
Before I could barely jogged let alone run or even sprinted but ever since I joined this weight-loss boot-camp conducted by my office it has challenged me to push myself, to just try and its because of this boot-camp that I realized I could run. Not as fast nor as long as I had hoped but I could run and that my friends changed everything.
It made me believe that with the proper training and most importantly consistency I can run longer and dare I hope faster?
And so with that I decided to join the UNICEF Borneo Run 2019.
I will be joining the half marathon which is 21 km and I chose half marathon because the time I have to train for this marathon is sufficient enough without me having to compromise my other exercise activities nor my life. I have approximately six months to train comfortably for this half marathon; comfortably because I do not want to be stressed when training for it and also to avoid any injuries that will affect both my ability to run as well as my gym time.
It will be tons of fun (I hope) as I envision it also as a part-time holiday. I mean it is conducted in Sabah so my hopes is that after the run me and my friends can chill by the beach drinking some cocktails and just sit back and relax.
Unlike my fitness updates, I will post regular updates on how I am doing with my running and whether I have seen any improvements.
So in my last post, I talked about how I could only lift 7.5 kg dumbbells for my upper body and could only leg press 280 lbs for my leg press.
I DEMOLISHED THOSE STATS MADAFAKA!
My last max weight for leg press was 360 lbs which is 163 kg! YOU READ THAT RIGHT! THESE LEGS LEG PRESSED 163 KG!!!!!!
WATERMELON CRUSHER THIGHS HERE I COME BABY!
Man doing this fitness update post came at the right time too, I was just feeling demotivated. It wasn’t that I disliked working out anymore, not at all, I am still so obsessed with exercising and performing better in my fitness.
It’s just that the initial reason for this fitness craze was to lose weight and when you don’t see a huge drastic difference, you just start to wonder is it worth spending so much time at the gym doing weights then cardio but re-reading my last post made me realize shit I did improve.
I improved in ways that’s more than just what I weigh on a scale or how I look and damn straight did it make me feel so good to see that my max weight in leg presses went from 280 lbs to 360 lbs.
Because in my mind, I don’t think I am a HUGE girl ya know? I think I look pretty good but when I see pictures of myself and see how huge I actually am and this is after about 3 months into my fitness routine and thinking I am hot shit, it takes a toll on my self-esteem. Makes me feel like all the work I put in when I work out is not showing itself. Makes me wonder if all the intermittent fasting, all the cardio, all the strength training I do is worth it. Makes me wonder if I am going to still enjoy working out if I don’t lose weight and never get that bikini body, you know.
So, those are my insecurities over my weight. It sucks when you are kind of okay with how you look but then outside influences *cough*nosy family members*cough* make you feel like shit by pointing out that you are the biggest among your cousins and always criticize on what you are eating.
I mean I told them I need to eat a certain amount of food because I work out so much like BITCH! I work out 5-6 sometimes 7 days as week while you be sittin on yo couch eatin shit! So, don’t tell me how much I can or cannot eat. You try working out that much and see if you can survive on less than 1200 kcal. I AM TRYING TO MAKE THIS A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE! I don’t wanna be no stick-thin-no-ass-asian-girl you see on the street. I want thighs that can crush a watermelon! I wanna be able to legit lift and sweep the guy I like off his damn feet! and eating less than 1200 kcal ain’t gonna give me that. So, you better STFU!
Enough rambling let’s get to the stats!
Workout wise I keep changing it but so far the routine now is that I do my cardio and my strength training all in the same day.
Monday: Lower body + Cardio
Tuesday: Upper body + Cardio
Wednesday: Lower body + Abs + Cardio
Thursday: Upper body + Cardio
Friday: Lower body + Abs + Cardio
Sunday: Rest day
My fitness routine is pretty flexible, if I am not feeling too hot on a certain day then I’d scale back my weights, do high reps low weights or just do cardio.
For my strength training, I tend to focus more on basic stuff like…
- Side lunges
- Push ups
- Pull ups
Then maybe add some other stuff into that like glute bridges or bicep curls. I don’t know man I just tend to wing my workout routine depending on what I want to do on a certain day. What muscle I wanna focus on. I literally plan my workouts the day I workout. I don’t have a set plan because when I do have a set plan, life gets in the way and fucks it up.
Honestly, apologizing for being MIA from my blog at this point seems redundant as it will be a usual occurrence. Anyhoots that awkward intro to the blog post aside let me talk about my current fitness routine.
How I got back into fitness is beyond me. I think it was when I lost 6 kilos during Ramadhan that it gave me hope that with good diet and exercise I will get that dream body of mine (sounds so cliche’ but I swear this is what happened). It also helps that now compared to last year I am using the gym as a form of stress management;
Heartbroken? Go to the gym.
Frustrated because Jesus is in the way of your intent to do the Devil’s tango with a certain Christian co-worker? Go to the gym.
Having confusing feelings for a guy you like but is also friends with whom you would want to do the horizontal tango with but also don’t want to lose the friendship? Go to the gym.
The gym does not discriminate. The gym does not judge. The gym will embrace you in its rib-cracking hug and with tough love and coercion will FORCE you to workout to your hearts content.
My usual routine are as follows:
- Cardio -> 3-4 times a week
- Equipment/machine used:
- Rowing machine
- Equipment/machine used:
Depending on how I am feeling on that day, I would use different machines to target different parts of my body. If I feel like I want to do whole body then I would choose 3 machines usually the elliptical, rowing or cycling doing 30 minutes minimum on each but if I feel kind of lazy then I would choose one machine and just sweat it out for 45 – 60 minutes and whenever I use these machines I always do it on some sort of resistance as I feel its easier on my knees.
- Lower Body, Upper body & Abs -> Twice a week
So, with my strength training I am looking to both tone up as well as get stronger. Currently, the heaviest I can leg press is just 280 pounds (127 kg) but I am aiming for 300 pounds (136 kg) in my next leg day session WHICH IS TODAAAAAAY! YAS!
My upper body needs far more work though I can barely lift 7.5 kg (dumbbells) so what I usually do is I would use 10 kg’s for the first set then 7.5 kg’s then lastly 5 kg’s and right now I am really loving doing supersets. I feel like they save me time and just make me go absolute ham knowing I have a minute rest before the next rep and mind you a minute is plenty of time for your muscles to relax.
And that is pretty much it for my fitness routine and before long I will get that body and prance around the beach BUTT NAKED to show people dem GAINZZZZZ!
“Pet Peeve: Something that a particular person finds especially annoying”
It took me awhile to think of book related things that annoy me because I am relatively low maintenance when it comes to books.
I don’t mind when a book cover is skewed or the dust jacket is lopsided or folded incorrectly.
I don’t care if the sizing of books I buy that comes in a series isn’t uniform or standardized.
I could care less if my books has stickers on them.
I am even fine with insta-love.
The standards are THAT LOW (as I usually say if I managed to read Fifty Shades of Grey AND Twilight I can read and plough through anything) but a few has managed to irk me and so read ahead and enjoy!
I find it perplexing that in historical romance different authors from different publishing companies always recycle phrases, vocabulary or even metaphors to describe the male anatomy. They usually compare a male’s penis or other parts of the body to either wood or steel or worse… velvet steel. I understand that in this genre everything is stereotypical and comes in a template but it makes you wonder is that the extent of vocabulary knowledge that a historical romance authors have?
Another trope that just grates on my nerves. Why is it that in a book usually YA or contemporary romance, the female lead never realizes their beauty when they are obviously drop dead gorgeous. It boggles my mind because this is not normal. I am not the most beautiful woman on Earth yet I realize that I am at the most minimum cute. So if I know this of myself why can’t these characters do the same? Why must their beauty only be validated by a man? Why must their physical beauty only be known after a man has pointed it out to them? Why can’t these women acknowledge that they are beautiful and just own it? Had said female characters for example suffer from mental illness such as body dysmorphia then that is fine because that in itself is a whole other can of worms to be discussed. I feel like this trope need to die already and die a horrible death.
I just recently came to know this as one of my bookish pet peeves to be honest. I realized it when I was reading ‘Bookishly Ever After‘. In this book I had to read not one but two stories of which both are equally bad. I am not interested in reading a book read by the main character and written in the actual book that I am reading and especially not when both of them are just badly written and not to mention boring. A snippet here or there is fine to increase the readers interest but chapterSSSS is truly pushing the limit.
The Mary Sue
My ultimate NEMESIS. This trope is not even an annoyance any longer as it has evolved from being just an annoyance to being an absolute despicable inhumane species of a trope. The best example I can give is Rey from the Star Wars franchise. I am all for girl power and feminism and all round bad assery but when her skills and powers are given with no background no explanation no nothing that is just bad writing and a cop out way to appease the masses of SJW (social justice warriors). Isn’t it better to flesh out her character to show how she had gotten so powerful in the movie? To show that this girl who has innate talent had to work hard to get to where she is but no she can do no wrong, she is the best and will be the best. She has no character struggles. She is beautiful, she is powerful and is apparently perfect in everything. It annoys me because this is not realistic, yes one might argue that Star Wars as a whole isn’t realistic but character development and growth and struggles are the same regardless of genre or medium used to express it.
Another example is Feyre from the ACoTAR. She is perfect in everything, everybody loves her, powerful beyond her imagination blah blah blah blah.
So, there you have it my bookish pet peeve. Feel free to comment on your bookish pet peeve maybe I would realize another one that I never knew I had I am quite slow on the uptake in these matters.
Also have a youtube video on this matter although in said video I am just a rambling idiot because I have yet to master the speaking my thoughts eloquently in front of a camera.