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It's easy getting me to try anything as long as it promises weight loss. And if you know me well enough, you're probably laughing at me right now for attempting to create a post like this. But who's gonna stop me?

I've had it with gyms, pills, slimming teas, and impossible workouts that never really got me to my desired shape. So in this entry, I'd like to focus on healthy diets. After all, don't all the fitness gurus say a healthy lifestyle is 80% diet and 20% exercise? HAHA.

Image source
Here are 5 different diets I've tried that have surely helped me jumpstart my journey to a healthier me, except that I wasn't able to maintain them and found my sorry ass rolling back to the start.

Should we rephrase the title?

5 diets that didn't work for me
(that could work for you)

1. Juice Cleanse



This is by far the most effective diet I have ever subscribed to because after 3 days of nothing but pure juice (plus some sneaky crackers and cookies), I lost a noticeable amount of weight and didn't feel deprived at all. I felt strong, clean, and renewed. And true enough, I was ready to take on another buffet treat, bwaha (joke lang)! Too bad it's a pain to maintain cos a day of juice cleanse would hit at Php 1,300/day. Oh well, health is wealth.

Read about how my 3-day experience went!

2. Master Cleanse 


aka Lemonade Diet aka Beyonce Diet

This requires a lot of pre-meditation as it will consume you physically, mentally, and spiritually (when you're already on the brink of life and death, and the image of your goddess Beyonce is beckoning you to the afterlife, kidding). This diet is damn hard I quit on Day 1 pa lang 'cos I didn't prepare for it. Well, I did read the Master Cleanse guidebook but that's all I did as far as preparing myself went. After reading the book I was so sold that everything my body needed to reboot itself is contained in lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. My bad that I didn't follow instructions and failed to gradually decrease my food intake and stuff so I suffered terribly on Day 1, feeling so weak and hungry, giving in to my cravings and eventually putting all my money and efforts to waste.

Here's my failed attempt at doing the Master Cleanse. To be fair, even though I have long concluded that this diet is not for me, I believe that it can really jumpstart your weight loss journey to an extent that will motivate you to live healthily ever after!

3. Calorie counted meals

Photo from Lunchbox Diet
The goal in subscribing to calorie counted meals is to accustom your body to eating balanced meals in correct portions. 1200 calories a day, they say, is enough to promote weight loss if sustained for long periods of time. I personally have tried Lunchbox Diet and Princess Kitchen and both have proved helpful if you have no time to plan your meals and don't trust yourself with the portions (like I do). I would suggest subscribing to this after finishing a Juice Cleanse to extend that feeling-healthy feeling while introducing solids foods again to your body. :)

Don't forget that sometimes it's not enough to rely on these diets alone to stay healthy, you have to supplement yourself with vitamins too! This is the least you can do if you find it hard to commit your entire meals to a specific diet with meager portions. What's one tablet daily for a productive day?

I take Enervon everyday, as suggested by most friends and family, specially since I'm working the night shift. It's effective in keeping my immune system intact and providing me with energy. Diets tend to make us weak on the first days or so, so don't skip on your vitamins, you'll need it!

4. Soup diet

Yummy tomato soup!
We've been constantly rolling our eyes over infomercials cos they sound like a load of crap. But heyy, for the first time we bit into the trap (stepped onto the crap) and purchased the Soup Mate Pro (basically a hybrid of a blender and a water heater). It came with a 7 Day Soup Diet booklet that contains recipes for a variety of totally tasteless and foul looking soups. Why do they have to look so delicious on screen? Oh, right.

Good thing is, it's easy to alter the recipes so we kindof added pampasaraps to lighten the burden of getting into this diet.

The result? It's good to know we're being consistent with eating vegetables. That's all. LOL. Will make a separate review of the Soup Mate Pro one day! :D

5. CGN diet (Chrono-geno Nutrition Diet)


Source
Oh this. I remember being so excited to try this because it's personalized based on my blood type.

I had to pay to have access to a portal containing a detailed meal program complete with grocery list and recipes, an active forum of dieters, and an effective customer support system manned by their very own nutritionists and dieticians. They really answered all my questions, encouraged me to keep up with the program even though I kept on complaining that I have no time to do the grocery, cook my food, let alone shell out more money than I paid for the membership HAHA. I was so whiny. And fat.

But then I liked this program. Looking back, the recipes aren't that hard to cook and meals are quite easy to prepare. You'll get used to it. Plus, it's really masarap. I don't usually cook and this forced me to cook my own meals and I loved it. Char.

I chronicled the days I was in this diet, and apparently I failed (HAHA) but I had no regrets. I would gladly do this again!

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The ultimate goal of these diets is to promote good health and quite frankly, weight loss is just a consequence. Take this list as a form of suggestion if you're looking for ways to jumpstart your journey to good health. :)
January 18, 2016 CST is DAY 0

Getting used to the cold
Uhm. Day 0 is really just an excuse. I got super sleepy last night I wasn't able to reach Day 1 of the P&F booklet I'm using. :(

Anyway. Let's say Day 0 is prep day for what I'm supposed to fast on for the coming days.

As usual, I decided to fast on social media, uninstalling Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on my phone and tablet and fighting the urge to open said sites on a PC.

They really are my major distractions and if I wanted to keep a stable devotion I should avoid checking them every now and then. Problem is, looks like I'm not really distracted by them. I'm distracted at just about anything. Group chats, eBooks, emails, surveys. I figured that I'm naturally a person with a terrible attention span. I couldn't focus on a single thing. Even if I closed all the windows in my PC right now, I'll always be able to find something to take my mind off what I'm supposed to be focused on. :(

Oh, I'm also not joining lunch with my friends this week. I know it's gonna be hard cos as far as my social life is concerned, that's all I've got hahaha. Hay Lord. XD

I want to start the year by bettering my spiritual life. I want to read the Bible, contemplate on God's word, and spend my me time productively.

And I'm gonna do just that. :)

Reading the prologues of this P&F booklet I have (and also talking to my boyfriend), I was reminded about the misconceptions of embarking on a fast. This year, I'm fasting because I want to improve my spiritual life and cry out the needs of our society. Not because I want to lose weight, and not because I have a special request that needs divine intervention. This year, I'm fasting because I want to rekindle the feeling of being riveted with God's word, getting caught up with His message. I want to reinstate my devotion to him.

:)

When Scott McCall wished to be more than just an ordinary teenager, he did not expect things to take a supernatural turn. Bitten by a werewolf just before he starts sophomore year, his life is turned upside down – as if your regular teenager did not already have enough issues to deal with. Scott is forced to deal with a double life as he struggles to protect his loved ones and keep up a front of being a “normal” teen.

The series set in the town of Beacon Hills is on its 5th season. Coming off the midseason cliffhanger, the new episodes will unfold with Scott’s attempts to reunite his group and other characters picking up broken pieces of their relationships damaged by past conflicts. Tune in to also find out if more light will be shed on what exactly Parrish the hellhound is up to.  Developed by Jeff Davies and starring Tyler Posey as lead actor, Teen Wolf airs every Monday at 8:50 pm. First and exclusive on Sony Channel.

Sony Channel is seen on SKYCable Channel 35, Cignal Digital TV Channel 60, Destiny Cable Channel 62, Cable Link Channel 39.

About Sony Channel 

Sony Channel is the premier destination for female-skewing entertainment with the biggest and best of Hollywood. Designed for the socially connected viewer, Sony Channel features some of the most captivating and talked-about drama, comedy, lifestyle and reality programs on TV, all airing close to the U.S. telecasts, together with popular feel-good movies. Fresh, confident and stylish, with a dash of clever wit, Sony Channel is visually stunning with a brand identity that perfectly complements its line-up of high calibre programming.  Sony Channel appeals to a female-skewed, male-inclusive audience who loves to escape, engage and lose themselves in premium content. Viewers are modern, social, stylish and aspirational.

Sony Channel is wholly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and managed by Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia, which also operates pay-TV channels AXN, Animax, ONE and GEM. See www.sonychannelasia.com, as well as follow www.facebook.com/SonyChannelPH and https://twitter.com/SonyChannelPH for more.

Earlier this week I chanced upon a trailer of The Choice on TV and wondered if it's based on the book by Nicholas Sparks (the one that had me bawling all over Jollibee). Turns out it is, so I'm super excited! I may not be able to watch it when it starts showing here though, cos seriously, who's up for some mushy and tragic love story on a February... with me?! If I was back home I could easily drag my sister to this but naaah. Nevermind. Will just download it later on.

Anywaaay, since I've already read The Choice, I decided to read other books by Nicholas Sparks. He's known for writing really good page turning, tear jerking, love stories. And I happen to be a fan of all the sad feelings he wants to relay from his books. I love romance. I love tragic. Together they make me really weak.

If it's not too obvious yet which book I read (hint: photo), it's A Walk to Remember, okay? :D

I gave it 4 stars over at Good Reads cos I love how easy it is to read, how it was written in a point of view of an older man, and how naturally the love story developed. Sure they were both too young. At 17, you'd expect boys and girls to be dead smitten in an instant but their story is different. It didn't "just" happen, and I like that haha.

I also love how the book revealed why the title is that way. When I realized that the walk to remember was actually Jamie's struggle of walking down the aisle on the day of her marriage while her body is giving up on her, I just cried.


"It was, I remembered thinking, the most difficult walk anyone ever had to make.
In every way, a walk to remember."


I'd put this a notch under The Choice cos it's still my favorite Sparks to date but come on, I've only read two so far haha, who knows.

By the way, here's the trailer to The Choice



Gabby is being played by Teresa Palmer! Yeah! The one who looks like Kristen Stewart, and who starred at Warm Bodies, and who thankfully has a lot more emotions to show and is an overall better actress than her kalokalike haha. Good grief!

Travis will be played by Benjamin Walker, I've never really heard of him, they look super good together though!

Oh, this trailer made me cry. arg.
I usually ramble a lot when it comes to year-ender (or starter) posts but for a change I'd like to be brief with this one so let's not change that.

The reason this post took so long to be published despite having the text ready for over a week already is this:

i even filtered it wrong
I wanted to draw something for this post but I can't finish it cos I'm too lazy so I'm leaving you with my drafts. I had 3 but I didn't want to tear off the other one just for a pic lol

A video posted by Yan Birog (@yanbirog) on

Here's a super short clip I created to commemorate the new year! Shot it right outside the cafeteria at the office and edited it using Kine Master Pro. LOVE THE APP!

2015 was a good year for me, especially where my career is concerned. God has been truly gracious and I couldn't thank him enough!

So here's what (was):


I got my first official art commission (also the second children's book I illustrated). Read about it here!


Then I got my second, this time a layout job!

yes. kaya nyo yan
I got invited to become a speaker whuuuut. Possibly because the student affairs director (who is also my friend haha) couldn't find anyone else lol but heyyy I was in a poster with VPs and CEOs and that felt grand haha.This was the mooooost nerve wracking day of my entire year. I can't even focus on the spread of dishes they served us speakers. If you know me, that's weird.

A photo posted by Yan Birog (@yanbirog) on

I enrolled in a multimedia arts class and learned Illustrator and InDesign!

with my new teammates
I officially quit being a developer. I mentioned during our career planning chuchu that I wanted to try software testing for a change (but really, it's because I felt inadequate as a developer haha). Turns out they're forming a team of performance testers that time so I was signed up for a short training and got selected (well, more of endorsed) to be part of that group. A month after I moved to my new team, I was informed of a possibility to be sent onsite, then the next two months were spent furnishing deployment requirements: US Visa, clearances, permits, etc. I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

hovering over LA, on the way to MN!
Finally, I was sent off. Holey moley. I couldn't thank God enough for blessing me with such a career milestone. It's a big deal you know, to be sent to the US. That's gonna be freaking sparkly on my resume haha. And then,

let's pretend these snow covered steps symbolize my promotion lol
I got promoted, what the heck! It was a month after I flew to the US, so I was freakin ecstatic. Here's when I started to literally cry to God. I wasn't expecting to be promoted at all being that I'm only a few months old on my new track and have done nothing worthy of a raise as far as my dead developer self is concerned. On the contrary though, turns out I was promoted on account of my grade C dev efforts haha. So that means I'm just being paranoid thinking I suck as a programmer. The perils of lack of feedback, or lack of initiative to get feedback lol. Then again, if I hadn't changed tracks, I wouldn't be here. So yeah! I'm still basically reeling at all of this so forgive me for babbling too much!

one of our last pictures together
Off the career track, Jeckie and I turned 4 this year! I admit, I've been confused a couple of times, wanting to break up twice, but somehow we manage to keep it together. To be honest, the struggle continues to this point, and sometimes I think there's only so much a compromise can do to continue binding two people together. But I'm not losing hope, we're not losing hope. I've been blessed so much this year and I didn't want this to become the trade-off. Ajaaa!!!

I could be missing other eventful things but those were the moments that really stuck out for me, so yeah. Thank you Loooord <3

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2015 came by so fast, and most of the time I felt like I was trying to keep up with the days instead of walking leisurely alongside them. This year I want to focus more on what's happening, spend more time with myself and just be! I also used to believe this blog jinxes my plans, this year I want to kill that off.

Hoping for a great year ahead of us all! :D