Saturday, December 30, 2017

I reached a milestone (fitness wise!)

Last year, around November (2016), I decided to sign up for a gym membership again. Emphasis on the word "again" because I have in the past, spent money on a gym membership - 9 years ago according to Timehop!

But like I mentioned in a previous post, the first time didn't work out for me. I threw away my hard earned money for a gym membership I rarely used. Now it's a different story! Because now, it has been a year since I signed up and I've made good use of the gym! Yay me! Now this is a real milestone because I've never been able to last this long at any fitness regimen before!

I've seen quite an improvement with how I look over the past months! 

So this is me, pre-gym days - took a selfie with my round chubby face! 

And me these days  - I think it's safe to say I'm sporting a round but smaller face (",)

Last year, there were clothes that I could wear but was a tight fit especially around the tummy area! I blame it on my love of eating rice three times, maybe more (depending on how stressed or lonely I was on that day). An old boyfriend used to tell me "Para kang butete" because I had a bulging tummy. An asshole remark, yes I know. I kept eating anyway long after he was out of the picture and not working out because well, masarap kumain e and I didn't want to subject myself to the hardships of exercise! 

So what finally got me to sign up for the gym? In a previous post, I said it's because I wanted to lose weight (which is true!) and be healthy overall (also true!) but actually, the reason that gave me the push was because I got my heart broken. Cliche I know. Nagmahal. Nasaktan. Nagpapayat. I searched for an outlet, a new thing that would keep me busy (other than work because work was making me fat!).  


Look at how far I've come! The bulge on my tummy's significantly been reduced! And yes guys, I'm breathing properly here! Not holding my breath (baka isipin nyo stomach in!). I've lost weight because some of those tight fitting clothes I can now wear more comfortably. I have no abs pa syempre! I'd like to! You know, ala Selena Gomez and Khloe Kardashian. 
But I credit this achievement to being more conscious with what I eat, when I eat and whom I eat with plus all the work I've been putting in at the gym! 

If you asked me though last year before I started, I never would have said I'm going to enjoy the gym. But I'm singing a very different tune now. 

Meet some of the people who've helped me with my fitness journey:

First and foremost: Simon! I grabbed this from his Facebook because we don't have a photo together! I've been bugging him to take a photo with me actually but I have not been successful yet. Simon's my personal trainer. He trains with me for an hour, twice a week. 

When I signed up for a gym membership at Fitness First, I had two free PT sessions and he was assigned to me but now I'm officially part of his client roster. He's good looking, isn't he? That's why I signed up with him in the first place! I thought he's hot and so mabango pa and I wanted to have his undivided attention for at least an hour. Ha! Ha!  Landi + fitness!  Unfortunately for me, Simon's taken so... 

Nowadays, I just simply enjoy our training sessions because I know that while all the things he asks me to do are hard, it's all to help me get fit. Although I still sometimes mentally curse myself for signing up with a fitness trainer because gusto ko lang naman talaga lumandi and how could I do it when I'm all sweaty and he has me doing all sorts of workouts that makes my arms, my core or my legs burn. Plus I like the fact that Simon's patient with me especially because I often forget what I'm supposed to do or I don't nail the workout at first try.    


Meet my favorite Freestyle Group Training (FGT) instructor, Franz. He's cute too, isn't he? This was taken after another intense FGT class with him as my workout partner. I didn't want to try FGT when I was starting out at the gym because Ryan tried it and got dizzy after awhile. That kind of scared me! But after giving it a try during his class, I realized hey I could do it naman pala and now I enjoy doing FGT! It helps that he's also patient with me and he cheers me on. Nakakamotivate. Also he's always smiling. He's also a nutritionist. He taught me a lot about a healthy diet plan - something realistic and achievable. Of course, I still have days when I eat more than the supposed 1200 calories I should be consuming lang but really I do my best to stick to the diet plan.  

And finally, Cedric. He teaches FGT as well. Also Hardcore, Hardcore Overload, Spartan and Pro 45 (cycling). I attend most of his classes whenever I can. But my fave class with him is Pro 45. Such a fun class even when my legs feel like jelly after! I've done so much cycling lately that even my mom had said "lumiit na hita ko".  Oh I gotta buy new shorts that will fit me! Yay shopping!   

I'm doing the peace sign (because I had no idea how to pose for this pic). 

One year of going to the gym and I've made real progress! I remember when I was just starting out with this fitness journey. Simon asked me to sit ups and I just couldn't lift myself up without struggling. He asked me to do leg raise and I also couldn't lift my legs straight off the ground. My knees always curled. And then he had me doing mountain climber with my hands on a bozu and after two tries, I experienced leg cramps. 

I can now do sit ups and leg raise easily! Pre-gym, I really couldn't lift myself off the ground well kasi nga, ang bigat ko. I also now know how to do push ups! And I can plank for two minutes!

I sometimes even wake up early in the morning to go to the gym nowadays! But okay, it's not just to work out. It's also because I'm always looking forward to seeing my crush at the gym. (",) 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A First Time Viewer's Take on Murder on the Orient Express 2017 Film

Just recently, I finished reading Agatha Christie's popular novel, Murder on the Orient Express with super sleuth Hercules Poirot. It was definitely a great read. I would say a page turner, trying to analyze the characters as I read along and thinking to myself, what could the motive be? And more importantly, whodunnit?

And so when I found out it was coming to life in the big screen, I knew I had to watch it. It's not the first time Hollywood adapted the famous crime novel of Agatha Christie. According to my research, it's been adapted into the screen many times. In fact, it's 1974 version was an Oscar winning one. It's my first time to see it on the big screen though and as someone who has just recently read the book, allow me to share my thoughts on the movie.

First of all, it's a star studded cast. There's Johnny Depp, Judy Dench, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe; Daisy Ridley; Leslie Odom Jr., Josh Grad and Michelle Pfeiffer to name a few. I think having such a star studded cast would be enough to entice a movie goer to see this film even if they were unfamiliar with the story.   

I also give props to the costumes. They're all so elegantly dressed to kill. Vanity Fair even had an interview with the movie's costume designer.

I thought the production set design was amazing. The Orient Express. The scenery complete with the snow. One critic complained that it's C.G.I and therefore lost its realism. But I suppose for the untrained eye like mine, it was beautifully done.   

As for the movie itself, I thought it was okay. I did not regret spending money to see this film in cinemas. But it's not also something that I'd rave about. In fact, when my friend asked how I found the movie, I did say it was okay. He decided not to watch for himself after that. Ha! Ha!

There was a bit of humor and action mixed into mystery in this Murder on the Orient Express film. I appreciated the humor. But not the action. Maybe Kenneth Branagh together with the screenwriter, Michael Green thought it would give the film some excitement. But honestly, I thought it could have done without it. After all, the story itself in the book was not action packed but it was still exciting. It was exciting because it had the crime mystery which I thought was lacking in the film.

I give props to the stellar performances of Pfeiffer who played Mrs. Hubbard and Ridley who played Miss Mary Debenham. I also liked Gad's performance as Hector McQueen, right hand man of Edward Ratchett (the victim played by Johnny Depp) and Tom Bateman who played M. Bouc, big shot at the train company and who happens to also be Hercules Poirot's friend. Some actors like Dench and Dafoe I thought weren't really given much screen time which is a shame because I know they're really good.

As for Kenneth Branagh's take on Hercules Poirot, I didn't think he did the famous Belgian detective justice. Sure I liked that he gave Poirot some personality - fretting about two imperfectly sized boiled eggs and being bothered by an unkempt tie but I didn't appreciate the dramatic flair.

For someone who's read at least two Agatha Christie novels with Hercules Poirot as the protagonist of the story, I thought it just out of character for the detective to be that reactionary. For the most part of the movie, Poirot seems to let his emotions get the best of him which is so not the Poirot I've gotten to know in the books. In the latter, he's someone who's calm, careful and logical. He's also very observant - that was his strength. That was made the Hercules Poirot novels so good to read because at the end of the novel, the big revelation of whodunnit as would be explained by him would leave the reader feeling incredulous.

As for what makes the novel, Murder on the Orient Express, such a good read, is the motive of the characters for the murder all explained in detail. That was missing from the film. The characters' motive for killing wasn't given much depth to it. The clues that were laid out were also not really tackled so much. Everything was just in passing as if the screenwriter and the director was thinking "let's just get it over with". It felt rushed honestly which is a big let down because these are the elements that truly makes the story something so unique and incredible. 

Still I thought the movie's ending was nicely done. It made sure to show the viewers' the agony of Poirot, who seemed to usually see things in black and white, as he realizes he was in a grey area of whether to do the right thing or look the other way around after learning the motive behind the killing. So if I were to rate this movie, I'd say 3 out of 5 stars.

*movie photo from Slashfilm