Fasting Experience 

I have an over the top relationship with food. A couple of years ago, when I was about to go somewhere else, my friends prepared a video tribute for me. 90% of the video was about my love for food.

I am going through a spiritual journey and one thing I have never done was fasting. Given my aforementioned relationship with food, I thought it would be impossible for me to survive even just a day without it. Past experiences have shown me that when I skip a meal, I get super cranky, like Godzilla level. Also, I get so nauseous even just after half an hour of delayed food. Hypoglycemia or something. 

We had a spiritual camp meeting a couple of weeks ago. The speaker, Andrew Michell related his fasting experiences. There were no mind-boggling miracles that happened but there were definitely great unexpected things and ideas. I felt that it was the right thing to do because I was feeling a plateau in my spiritual life as well.

We had an intimate dinner with him after the camp meeting and I asked him how to prepare for fasting. He said I have to know the purpose of why I am doing it and I should start skipping supper so that my stomach would get used to being empty for longer time. I thought I would do that for two weeks and then I would fast. Come Friday, fifth day of my preparation and I thought I should start already. 

I have a lot of requests that need answers, personal, for my family, and for our church.   We needed to raise $3000 for the next couple of days and as of that day, we have only collected $450. It was also the best time to start because I observe the Sabbath. It would be a great time for my stomach to rest as well.

I planned on doing a 24-hour fast, from Friday sunset to Sabbath sunset. I ate my supper at 5 pm on Friday. I had a nightmare that night because my body was not used to eating at night anymore. Other than that, the fast went on smoothly. I did not feel any struggle. I was actually surprised that I was alert the whole day, I did not feel sleepy even during my nap hours. 

The Sabbath day ended and I went home from church, did some chores, ate a pear and drank soy milk. I did not research well though on how to end a fast. Apparently, I was not supposed to eat a regular amount of meal. We had a celebration in church that night which, of course, included lots of food. Again, given my relationship with food, I ate and even had some dessert. The result was me not sleeping until 2:30 am. 

Nothing spectacular happen during the fast. After the fast though, my prayers seemed to be a lot more focused and clear even if I was already sleepy. And today, the amount that we needed to raise is almost met. We’re only short by $104. Of course, I would not take credit for that because the whole church prayed about it but I believe my prayers helped. 

Despite some errors that I could have avoided to make the experience better, that first fast was good enough. I would definitely want to make fasting a regular part of my life.

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Here I Go Again

The badminton tournament ended last week. Monday night, I was able to do yoga for 30 minutes. I  took a shower, made a smoothie, washed the dishes, read a little bit then I felt sleepy. It was just 9 pm! I took advantage of it and went straight to bed. I probably fell asleep around 9:30. And because of that, I woke up at 6 am the next day. Hallelujah! 

Last night, I tried to sleep early again but I got to bed around 10 pm. I was having menstrual cramps so I was not able to exercise which I assumed was the reason why I felt sleepy later than the night before. I did not use my alarm clock this morning though and woke up at 6:30. I don’t consider it a regression because of my current situation. I even felt dizzy (still) when I got up. Like I had to sit down for a while and make sure that I have my balance before I could stand. Oh the monthly struggle, it’s real! 

Vivid – Yes, That Is How I Would Describe It

via Daily Prompt: Vivid

I have watched The Intern again tonight, which stars Hollywood A-Listers, Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway. Jules’ (Anne) lines when they were in the hotel talking about her husband’s infidelity could have been my very own.

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That last line is too familiar to me. It said that in my mind many, many times. Isn’t that the struggle of most, if not all, successful women today? It’s like, you have to go to school, get good grades, be competitive even but when you get married, make sure that you are not more successful than your husband.

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Ben’s (deNiro) advice is so sound but I wish it were easier in real life.

That conversation.

The feels.

Vivid.

 

 

Movie Reaction: Moana

They got the island vibe right! The dances, the rituals, the coconuts, the tattoos. I was smiling at the island scenes because I see those things in real life. I’m so lucky, I know. Don’t be too jealous. I love being an island girl! I’m even thinking of growing out my hair again to really look the part.

The story, however, for lack of better word, is bland. I probably expected too much given the tweets I read about Moana last Oscars when they did not win the Original Song award. Watching the movie with kids who have already watched the movie more than a thousand times was not a good idea too. The songs were good great. I loved her song when she was summoning Te Ka/Te Fiti whose heart was stolen by Maui. I know that the movie is supposed to be a feel good movie. However, Disney usually have strong plots to make the movie feel good. I can still remember how much I cried for Brother Bear when it was revealed who killed the little bear’s mother. How relieved I felt when Anna was saved by true love, which was not from any man but from her sister’s. You get the point.

I felt like Moana was too protected. When she started her journey, her struggles seemed a little too easy for me. She was so smart, she did not do anything stupid. She went against her father’s wish to not go beyond the reef, yes, but it did not have any real consequence. She was not disowned, her father did not have a heart attack, or anything like that. He only got mad. Besides, it was not a stupid decision because her people would starve if she stays. She was not in any real danger because the ocean always, always protects her. She doesn’t even have to swim. Maui did not even feel bad against her for long.

The movie did not keep me on the edge of my seat nor did anything to my emotions and I love being turned into an emotional bowl of mush whenever I watch Disney movies. I think the conflicts were just too fast, they get resolved in just a few scenes, there’s no time to feel bad so I did not really feel the contrast of feeling good afterwards.

Still the music is great, Maui was funny, the island was beautiful, I loved the dances of the island people, like seriously, why are islanders very graceful dancers? The best part was probably when she was able to deceive Tamatoa by using bioluminescence (let me tell you, they are amazing, AMAZING in real life! You would feel like a fairy underwater with them around, everything just glows!). I’d be waiting for the next Disney animated movie.

What I Loved About Yesterday

Trivia: I know how to measure blood pressure using an analogue sphygmomanometer.

I had a full and tiring day yesterday, what did I love about it?

  • Helping people with their health needs. I am an accountant by profession but my first love in career has always been in health care. I wanted to be a doctor before but I decided against it because my selfishness took over. I did not want to do the “holy hours”shift or be bothered while I am enjoying my time off work so I chose the career path of that with normal office hours. I try to join community outreach as much as I can though and I love every moment of those. Trivia: I know how to measure blood pressure using an analogue sphygmomanometer.
  • The weather. It was bright and sunny. It has been raining the past days. You could tell from the soft ground and mud in the softball field.
  • The facts I learned from giving a mini-lecture in our station. We were assigned in Station 6: Air. Did you know that 1 gallon of air is moved in and out of our body when we are resting and up to 26 gallons of air when we are exercising? That’s 26 times more fresh supply of oxygen to our cells!
  • Spending time with my church family. It’s always a great time when I am with them.
  • Playing softball with my school family. They knew there was going to be a game. I did not know that. They asked me to play because there’s not enough players on our team. Rusty is an understatement. The bat felt so foreign in my hands. I was a pretty decent hitter before, not excellent, but I could always hit the ball. Yesterday, it’s all air. Dangit.
  • The softball game. It was so fun and funny. The score was 0-0 up to the 5th inning. The opponent (kids) made a homerun in the 6th and our team tied in the 7th.
  • The comments by the game commentator, a previous college baseball player. He said that he was named MVP 3 times when he was in Hawaii. Comments like:
    • “If only you can hit as well as you can catch.”
    • “Our score is still at 0-0. This is such a tight game.”
    • “This is the fastest softball game I have ever seen.” When no one was making a run, everyone either strikes out or hit a fly ball, one inning is over in less than 10 minutes.
    • “Two women out.” Even if they were men.
    • “Next time, use a wider bat.” When I did not hit the ball and I struck out.
    • “PMA wins…only by accident.”
  • How tired I got the whole day. For a few weeks now, I haven’t had a full 8-hour sleep until last night. I was in bed before 10, fell asleep almost immediately. I only read one chapter of “Life of Pi” then I slept.

What I didn’t like: dehydration, heat and fatigue took the better of me at the last minute. I just instantly snapped when something triggered me.

Besides that, yesterday was a great Sunday. Fun and meaningful (and sweltering). I love those kinds of days.

 

 

Book (barely) review: 50 Shades of Grey

I know it’s not a thing anymore but my curiosity got the better of me today and I decided to try reading the book. 

I cannot. Ana (Anastacia) was too annoying. For someone whose major is in literature, you would expect to have a wider vocabulary than holy crap, holy cow, holy whatever that is not supposed to be holy. She is just one horny virgin. Like after their first conversation, every word that ever comes out of her mouth is how much she wants to be screwed by Mr. Grey.

I did not finish reading the book. I have very low tolerance for stupid girls. It’s just another fantasy book which leverages on girls’ insecurities. Ana was described as a girl without anything special. She’s clumsy, has unruly hair, and is too pale. Yet somehow, a dashing multimillionaire cannot get enough of her. Yep. 

Is “Single Blessedness” a Thing?

Author’s note: I had to redo this whole thing because I clicked on something and just like that, my whole post was gone. *insert crying emoji*

I posted a picture of my valentine date with my girlfriends and my cousin-in-law (Hi, Ate Sha!) commented that I looked good…must be the “blessed singleness”. Now, just between you and me, whenever someone compliments me on my looks, my insides do a backflip, screaming, “Oh my gosh, she just said I look good!!!!” but outside, I’m like, “oh, uhm, thanks!”, like it’s not a big deal. Let’s just keep that our secret, shall we?

Now, that comment got me thinking, “I look good because I’m blessed to be single?”, hmmm….

I noticed that during Valentine Day a.k.a Single Awareness Day, a lot of social media posts from single people were explaining why they are happy. That does not make sense to me. For example: #oklangwalangboyfriendbusognaman but I did not see #oklangmayasawabusognaman. Is it always assumed that when you’re single, you’re not happy unless you do something extraordinary like eating a meal that looks good on Instagram? 

I really do not get the “single blessedness” label. If it such a blessing, why am I too willing to give it up? Seriously, if the right guy comes knocking at my door tomorrow, heck, even tonight, I assure you that that single watchamacallit would be out the window real soon! I mean, I consider Bradley (my car) a blessing and if you tell me now that I would have to lose it, I won’t talk to you for a week or even more.

I don’t know, I think we are putting too much and too wrong expectations on our relationship status (or lack thereof) label. Whatever good thing that could be seen in me and my life right now, let me tell you, being single has the least to do with it. Single might be one of my adjectives but there are a lot of other words that I am as well. I am a woman, daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a demisexual, a heteroromantic, a career woman, a church officer, a backpacker, a scuba diver, a blogger, a reader, a driver, a Filipino, an islander and the list goes on. 

Most of my friends are already married now. There are times when they are happy, sad, in love, mad, blooming, having a bad hair day, excited…just as I am. Sad thing is, sometimes they have to put on a happy front because society expects them to act that life is rosy because they have a family. A friend even said that she does not want to talk about the ugly side of marriage when I’m around because I might get discouraged and not get married.

I guess the point of this post is that there is more to life than the labels that society gives us and we would probably be happier if we don’t cave in. 

No need to pretend. No need to defend. Life has its ups and downs, single or not. 

So if you want to be happy, be.

Movie Reaction: Hacksaw Ridge 

I watched the movie last Saturday night. I remembered my high school years. I studied in Adventist schools my whole life, my dad being a pastor of the Adventist Churches. One of the things that occupied my time when I was a Junior and Senior was the Philippine Military Training. I underwent the Cadet/te Officer Leadership Training when I was a Junior and eventually became the Company B commander when I was a Senior. 

We never had any training for holding the rifle because we were told that we are being trained as medics because we were conscientious objectors. Our training never consisted of violence. Punishments would only include doing push-ups, squats, helicopter, and “drop like a log”. Instead of rifles, we were trained to carry stretchers properly. Knot tying and bandaging were also part of the training. 

I never wondered were they all started. I thought it was just a stand of our church. Watching Hacksaw Ridge, I realized why all Adventist Schools with military training had to be trained that way. I am blown away by how one person stood his ground on what he knows is right and changed everything for the next generation of Seventh-day Adventist believers. It made me realize how important it is as a Christian or as a person in general to know what you really believe in. It is easy to get swayed in any direction if you don’t. 

There would always be challenges when you are different from everyone else, when you don’t do what everyone else does. Keep holding on. Stand firm. Stay true. Do not compromise. 

On a different note, when I saw that Mel Gibson was the one who directed the film, all the blood and guts in the movie made sense because while I was watching, the thought that an Adventist movie would not be so graphic was running through my mind. Also, could Mel Gibson be using the film medium to face his Christian struggles? Maybe. I’m glad he did if that’s the case.

Another note, upon checking the Hollywood version versus the true story, Mel Gibson chose not to show some parts of the true story because viewers would find it hard to believe. For most adapted stories in Hollywood, they would exaggerate things that happened in real life for cinematic effects. In this case, even Hollywood could not handle the real accounts of the story. Truly, the human mind could not and will never be able comprehend the extent of what God can do.

Movie Reaction: La La Land (Spoiler Alert 🚨)

 I watched this movie without expectations, whatsoever. I did not know what it was all about. I loved the “old” vibe of the movie and it was a musical…it’s been a while since I watched a musical. 

This movie is painful! I don’t mind that they went their separate ways in the end. They already told each other that they were not sure about what would happen to them when they both decided to pursue their dreams. The girl went to Paris as an actress, the other stayed in the States as a musician. They just said that they will always love each other. 

Do you know what is painful? That last part when Mia (Emma Watson), watched that musical performance of his with her husband and upon hearing the music, there was an alternate reality that went through her mind. One where they did not have to struggle, all their endeavors were successful, and they were a happy family. It hurt to see her teary eyed and him, distracted with his welcome spiel. He was playing that piece sorrowfully in the end. They were there for each other when they were nothing! What happened to them when they were successful that they did not end up together? Had they grown apart? Did they fall out of love?

Again, I would not really mind that they split. But I mind that they are still in love when they saw each other but they are not together. They cannot be together. 

Is that really how it goes, if you go after your ambition, you would lose the love of your life? Is that really a price to pay?