New 30 Day Challenge: Bellydance for the Arms and Abs

BELLYDANCE Fitness for Beginners

I know, I know. It kind of sounds weird to say that I started bellydancing, especially when you imagine that general picture of bellydancing women showing their belly (whether they have flat tummies or not) with some gold ornaments dangling on the shawl or scarf (I don’t know what they’re called) wrapped around their hips while shaking them, so to clear it up, it’s not that weird! And according to the cover or description of the work out video, it’s a good work out for beginners.

I decided to do this because I failed at my first 30 Day Challenge and because I wanted to do something that would not only be challenging but would benefit me as well.

But why a workout? If you’ve known me for years, I’ve always been skinny especially when I started going to school as a child. The elders would always comment on my frame and ask if I even eat the right amount of food so I’d get a little bit thicker. It has always been like that for years and I thought I’d never get thicker than I usually am. But I was wrong, obviously.

I never thought I could actually gain a significant amount of weight. The only hope I thought I’d have was to wait until I get pregnant and give birth (because that was the case for my mom.) But during my last semester in college, I spent most days up until 1 – 5 in the morning because I was busy doing our Special Problem or other school work and sometimes I’d stay up late waiting for Chris to go online on Facebook (fangirl much?). More often than not, when my brain is busy working, my tummy goes a-grumblin’ so the main solution for that is to eat whatever food I have within my reach. Sometimes I eat crackers but when I don’t have crackers within my reach, I settle for the mini Cadbury strawberry yogurt bars from the fridge. I’ve been told that during the wee hours of the night, it’s not advisable to eat (especially if you don’t want to gain too much weight) since our metabolism slows down. But I needed to satisfy my cravings for me to be able to work probably. I couldn’t drink coffee because too caffeine makes me palpitate and so I ate to keep myself up. And now here I am.

At first, it was kind of flattering to hear from the elders that I’m not skinny anymore. I’ve grown tired of hearing the comment, “Bakit and payat payat mo? (Why are you so skinny?)“, constantly. But lately I’ve been noticing how some of my jeans feel much tighter around my bum and my thighs and some of my shirts’s sleeves feel tight around my arms. I also don’t feel wearing most of my casual clothes in public anymore because I’m conscious about noticing how my tummy bulges after meals or when I sit down. There are even times when I’m really full after eating that I’d look like I’m pregnant (not exaggerating here because even my dad noticed. lol).

I lacked physical activities over the past few months that I feel my body’s not functioning as well as it used to. Before, I could ride the bike around our street for 10 to 20 times before I’d feel breathless but now after I’ve done 5 rounds, I’d already feel tired. A doctor even told me that the possible reason for my feeling out of breath last year was because I lacked the proper exercise and I’ve been putting off actually doing physical activities so it’s just more than right for me to do this now and don’t laugh because I picked bellydancing as my workout program.

My mom has tried this program before and I in fact saw some improvement in her physique. I hope that after 30 days of faithfully doing this program, I would not have flabby arms, thighs, and tummy anymore and at the same time, my bodily functions and strength would improve.

I started the 30 day challenge today and it was terrible. During the first part of the work out, it was hard for me to keep my arms up. It was even harder to lift my upper body up during the floor exercises. Hopefully, when the 30th day comes, I can go through the routine perfectly without failing at any of the exercises. I’m actually quite excited about it! 😀

Here’s to fitness and health! 🙂

PS: I’d post a before and after photo on the 30th day of the challenge. Let’s see if the program worked out for me.

Coding Progress and the Operation Smile Fundraiser

As I have posted on Twitter and Facebook, the basic codes that I needed for posting new blog entries and editing the existing ones are done. I used an open source javascript WYSIWYG editor called TinyMCE and as you can see with this post (I am using the editor as I type this), it works just fine. It even has some built in emoticons! I won’t be posting a screenshot of my dashboard yet since it’s still pretty chaotic and I’m still thinking of a good layout for it but I will once I get things going the way I want them to. 😉

I’ve also done the comment box on each post so you can now post a comment on any of my posts if ever you feel like saying something. Each comment is moderated after submission so if you submitted a comment on any of the posts, you won’t be seeing your comment until I approve it. If I found your comment offensive, I most likely won’t approve it. I moderate the comments through my dashboard as well.

I am planning on making CMS’s for the other pages here on the website and once I wrap the blog and comments CMS codes up, I’ll start working on the one for the podcasts and then the projects page. I would like to manage the contents of all the pages without having to do some hardcoding every time so I hope to get things working soon.

The current progress of my work is making me quite excited with this website! 😀 I’d have to admit that this is actually the first time I’ve done something this special for myself and I’m loving every inch of the excitement it gives me!

On a sidenote, actor Zachary Levi is an ambassador for Operation Smile and he has teamed up with The Nerd Machine and Zachary Levi Fan for a fundraiser for Operation Smile. Operation Smile   is a charitable organization that provides free surgeries for children around the world with cleft lipt, cleft palate, and other facial deformities.

OS Fundraiser Banner

I’ve been helping with promoting the fundraiser since June 1st that’s why it is a featured link on my website right now. Our goal is to reach $3000 by July 1st. So far we have raised $1328.86 and it would really mean a lot to us if we reach or surpass our goal by July 1st.

If you donate to the fundraiser, you might get a chance to win a Chuck Cast signed poster (yep, a lot of autographs from the Chuck Cast 😉 ) and other Chuck-related items! The fundraiser is organized by Hayley Stirling of For more information about the fundraiser, click here.

Chuck Cast Signed Poster has a new layout

After less than two days, I have come up with this new design for I got tired of my old dark background layout so I made this new one fresh and light. I hope you like it! 🙂

While the layout is new, I will still be working on the backend (mainly the CMS for the blog and updates), so some of the pages are still under construction and static. I would probably use jQuery to make a drop down menu for the navigation. Once I get things worked out, I will either make my podcasts public to everyone or set up a sign up form for people who’d like to listen.

I also added a new section to the site where I could feature links, charities, online shops, photos, books, etc. so I could introduce people to all the amazing stuff out there. It’s not an ad. I won’t get paid for promoting them. I just figured it could be a great way to let people know how they can help charities or fundraisers and at the same time introduce and help the people I think worthy to be recognized.

I know the site doesn’t contain much yet but I have big plans for this domain of mine. 😀

PS: I haven’t made a comment box for the entries yet but you can leave your comments or message on my contact page. Feel free to use that to contact me. 🙂

Christopher Gutierrez to Me

Christopher GutierrezWhat happened twelve hours ago seems so surreal right now and I don’t really know why it happened but it did. I was hoping for an e-mail from him if ever he received the letter but instead I got something better and I just feel so blessed and thankful right now.

I’m glad I stuck to my crazy stunt of writing him a letter and sending it through mail. Sometimes doing something crazy, out of the ordinary but meaningful makes it all worthwhile especially if you got what you wanted to achieve or received something even better than what you expected.

I am probably romanticizing things and being overly cheesy about it but I can’t get over it. I just can’t. It just made me want to challenge myself more and try and go out of my comfort zone and do a lot of things I haven’t done before because I was scared or hesitant to try doing them.

Chris isn’t exactly a role model if my parents would have their say but I look up to him because he knows himself. He knows what he believes in. And what he puts out there is real—whether it’s his written words or speakings— and that’s what I want to look up to: someone real and genuine and knows that he has made mistakes in the past and has learned from them; someone not afraid to admit he has made countless mistakes that he regrets having done up until today.

Chris is my rock and my crutch—someone that I listen to for more knowledge and information as well as opinion; someone that I listen to when I feel like I need to run another extra mile. He’s inspired me so much that what I have been writing and thinking about for the past week were thought about or inspired to be made because of him.

He thanked me for my words and my continuing support for him and I’ll thank him for every word and insight he has ever written to make me believe that I should do much more than what I am doing right now.

I’ll continue reading and listening to his words. I’ll continue supporting him for as long as I can. And I’ll continue to write of him or for him so I could share to the world the virtues or beliefs that he has enlightened me with.

Written on my physical journal on december 7, 2010 at half past two in the morning

Christopher GutierrezIt’s another one of those nights where I absolutely cannot go to sleep and something just rouses my senses even more. And the one thing that makes this moment a little bit high on edge than the other stuff that has happened to me is that right now I am absolutely starstruck and spazzing over someone I look up to.

I was actually beginning to fear that Chris might not ever receive the letter I sent him because I realized only a week ago that I misspelled a part of his address and everything that I hoped for would only go down the drain since he might never know I wrote him something.

Thank god I was wrong. He talked to me on Facebook chat a while ago. I really didn’t foresee it was going to happen because when I first heard that buzz or notification from Facebook chat I initially thought it might probably be [redacted] commenting about my podcasts or the webcam chat I recently put up. Turns out I was wrong. It was actually ChrisThe Christopher Gutierrez saying, “Hey you,” to me to strike up a conversation.

I totally spazzed. I think it was fortunate that only three people were watching my webcast because I know how stupid I looked when I found out that Christopher Gutierrez was actually talking to me.

I know it’s not really a big of a deal to other people but to me it is. It’s not every day that someone you look up to (who happens to be very far away and doesn’t even know you) would actually spare at least a bit of their time to tell you that they received your letter and they appreciate your words. It’s not so common but it happened to me and for that I feel special—blessed.

The main reason why I am writing this now even though I clearly need to be forcing myself to sleep is that what just happened is EPIC.

I know it’s not exactly like I actually met the guy in person. But to be able to sort of establish a connection and let that other person know that you exist is already something and perhaps he might actually remember me because I was the girl from the Philippines who wrote him a letter which had to be sent all the way to Chicago for him to read.

Perhaps I am thinking big again. But who knows, right?

One day I might be able to come to Chicago and meet him. No one really knows. But now I have to make things happen. Like he said, “Stay in school.” And I am going to get my diploma when this semester ends and I’ll start making my dreams come true after that. 🙂