Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Makeover Project, Episode 6: What Do You Say to Taking Chances?

So: Where do you go after you've followed up the worst day of your life with a weekend full of love, laughter, and lots of new friends?

What do you think would happen if I'd taken off for a weekend, dog-tired and disappointed (let's just say that bureaucratic red tape + purse thieves = hell) - and deliberately leaving my cell phone, my diet journal, and all my expectations behind?

Mind you, my food was rationed, too, even if it was all delicious and diet-wrecking. That was nothing compared to breaking out of my shell and getting to know people better. That was nothing compared to people pulling me into group pictures every five minutes.

It was like my birthday all over again, but with more people.

(SPOILER ALERT: More revelations and epiphanies, right after the jump.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What's Your Fantasy: Guy Who Looks Like My Ex Edition

We interrupt the ongoing Makeover Project with a steaming hot dose of  testosterone.

(Photo credit for screen grab: USA Network.)

Unfortunately, said dose of testosterone bears a slight resemblance to a guy I once dated in college... and not even one I want to remember fondly, since it took me a whole year to realize that He Just Wasn't That Into Me. Yowch.

Anyway... can we talk about Frederick Weller here? We've been getting reruns of In Plain Sight here in the Philippines these last few weeks, and yesterday I hit upon a major jackpot: two different seasons running on two different channels, with both of them showing some unprecedented hotness from US Marshal Marshall Mann himself.

One channel - the earlier season - showed him in a basement, wearing a wifebeater and getting all wet for some reason-or-other. Unfortunately, the room got hot all of a sudden, and I was forced to change the channel back to the one showing the later season.

That's when I stumbled upon this monologue, as he gives a toast to his partner's engagement:

Here's to the best friend I've ever had, could ever hope to have, a girl for whom no man will ever be good enough, I hope you know that... I love you, and I wish for you nothing but a lifetime of happiness.

And this was my reaction: "Dang, that's so... wait, did he just say 'I love you' to Mary Whatsherface?"

Weller just kills that monologue so much that even the way he says "I love you" is just heartbreaking, knowing that she's not going to love him back right away because she's getting married to a much hotter guy. Then the camera goes to Mary McCormack's face, where it looks like she's going to die from all that awkwardness and WTF-ness... and that, my friends, is how you deal with unresolved sexual tension. (Bones and NCIS, are you listening to me?)

And... scene.

Due to a much-needed weekend away from my computer, The Makeover Project will return next week. Stay tuned for more entries about body issues, insane workouts, and all sorts of diet craziness!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Makeover Project, Episode 5: Now with Monthly Favorites!

I think the slogan for this set speaks for itself.

This is the Polyvore set that I should put up on my refrigerator, so I can look at it every day and think twice before I get to that hidden stash of peanut butter.

Details, after the jump

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Please Stand By

Due to some housekeeping issues with FeedBurner, I am forced to disclose my email address for those of you trying to get in touch with me.

You can now contact me through the email provided in my Blogger profile. Thanks! 

The Makeover Project, Episode 4: Hello, Aunt Flo

(Posted using ShareThis)

Here's an excerpt from my latest SparkPeople blog entry:
Usually, whenever Aunt Flo comes over for her monthly visit, I try to indulge her - steaks, red wine, dark chocolate, you name it. Maybe it's the bad diet advice I got in college when I stopped seeing the campus nutritionist, but somehow I managed to justify it all with talk about antioxidants, iron, and B-complex vitamins.

This month, however, my monthly visitor took her sweet yet passive-aggressive time with me.
The full entry - and by "full" I mean "chock-full of menstrual musings and cheesy euphemisms about my period" - can be found here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Makeover Project, Episode 3: Where's The Beauty in All of This?

Now we get into the discussion of where the usual Domesticity stuff fits into the scheme of things.

Right now I have a closet full of work clothes, and I need to go to the dressmaker soon to get a formal dress made in time for an event in June. (My dressmaker already has my measurements pre-Makeover Project, so it's too soon for her to re-measure me.) I can't do anything about this wardrobe until I am absolutely sure that I've lost at least 20 pounds, so until that happens, I'll have to stick to alterations at the local tailor.

In the meantime, here are my Domesticity Rewards for my weight loss goals:
  • 10 pounds: Manicure and pedicure.
  • 15 pounds: New makeup - and by this I actually mean going to Manila and plunking down some cash for some high quality stuff at a department store counter, as opposed to the cheap thrills that I can get at Mercury Drug. A new fragrance would be nice, too.
  • 20-25 pounds: Definitely a new pair of shoes. By this time I'll need to buy a new pair of running shoes, since the Reeboks that I bought last year might not age well into the next few years. Also, depending on how my knees are doing, I'll be able to treat myself to some high heels. 
  • 30-35 pounds: Start transitioning my wardrobe back to regular women's sizes. (Scribey tells me that Mango tends to be quite figure-friendly, so I'm thinking that a pilgrimage would be in order.) Also - depending on my schedule - a full spa day.
  • Target weight: CELEBRATION! And by "celebration" I actually mean "spending the whole day at Alabang Town Center, shopping for a new wardrobe." 
Notice that none of these rewards involve food or alcohol of any sort - I've already accepted the fact that there will be more than a few high-calorie treats coming my way throughout this time, so I'll have to act accordingly. Notice that I've also held off on discussing the maintenance phase - I am making plans for that, too, but right now I'm so focused on keeping the numbers down that the rest will have to come later.

Until then... ten less pounds, here we come!

Next entry: My first cross-post from my new SparkPeople blog!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Makeover Project, Episode 2: Me and My Yoga

Power Yoga - StrengthMy interest in yoga was stoked when I purchased a Power Yoga workout on VHS, starring Rodney Yee as an instructor. Despite being a sedentary college student at that time, I surprised myself by being able to follow each and every position without a single modification - even managing to hold a tree pose without toppling over. Of course - as Scribey pointed out to me when I brought the tape to her apartment so we could work out together - it also helped that I was being led by a hot Asian man performing gravity-defying exercises in tight and tiny shorts. (Hello!)

That tape has been lost to me now - though Rodney has now found a home in SisMei's DVD stash, thanks to A.M. and P.M. Yoga - but I've discovered a bunch of different yoga routines on video since then. In fact, I now have three yoga DVDs in my current stash, which I have used with a fair amount of regularity.

Coming up right after the jump: reviews of the three yoga DVDs that I've been putting under heavy rotation.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Makeover Project, Episode 1: Goals, Plans, and Random Details

Thank you to all of my loved ones and beloved readers who have sent their positive vibes my way since the last post. You guys are the best.

A little background information about where I'm starting: I'm 5'1 and 174 lbs., which means that my BMI is high and that I'm at a higher risk of being taken down by heart disease and other related ailments than most Filipino women. I've also been over-eating since I moved back with my parents, which hasn't been helped by the massive portions that we usually get at the dinner table.

My diet is currently under strict medical supervision, and has been approved by a nutritionist at a local hospital. Right now I'm trying to keep my caloric intake to 1,900 calories a day - lower than the 2,000 calories that are usually consumed in the average Filipino diet. This is actually easier than I thought, though, since the average Filipino in my age range thrives on relatively small to medium-sized portions.

Here are my goals, in a nutshell:
  1. Stress management. Obesity may be Villain Numero Uno, but all of the health problems I'm encountering comes from stress. Hypertension? Blame stress. Abnormally high blood sugar? Stress again. In the long run, there are a lot of crazy ups and downs in my life, so being able to handle the craziness of it all is top priority here. 
  2. Bringing the numbers down. The most important numbers being the following: blood pressure, blood sugar, LDL, and purine. Consider this as an investment in my future: I've seen what these numbers have done to my parents' generation, so I'd really appreciate it if I could reduce my risk of a stroke for the next 30 years. 
  3. Weight loss. Sure, I would love to fit into sexier clothes... but what about my poor knees and ankles, which are always at risk of buckling under me whenever I walk? (Yes, it has gotten to the point where I can't wear heels any more. Pity.) Again, it all goes back to the investments I must make for the future.

So how am I doing all of this? (More, after the jump.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Makeover Project: Pilot Episode

I hope that this is the last picture you'll ever see of me as a Size 16. ;)

I've just noticed recently that, while I have been quite fastidious on posting about other people and other things, I've forgotten to post a lot about myself.

Yes, I know - this blog wasn't always supposed to be about me and my personal struggles - but I feel like I've been sloppy with my blogging in the same way that I've been sloppy with the rest of my life. No FOTDs, no pictures of my new makeup purchases... just a lot of overcompensation for the fact that I've been struggling lately.

Lately I've been going back and forth to the doctor's office, and for good reason: Despite my valiant efforts, my blood pressure continues to be unusually high,  my blood sugar has reached pre-diabetic levels, and my uric acid levels has gone from "okay for a thirtysomething" to "lay off the falafels, woman." Don't even get me started on depression, either.

And it all goes back to that all-encompassing Big Meanie of them all: obesity. Yes, the Meimei has been certified obese by Filipino medical standards.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm being asked to diet myself down to FHM cover-girl status; I like myself well enough not to starve. It's just that the extra weight I'm carrying is just that - extra weight. And I, for one, am more than ready to cast it all off - to cut down on the eating and moping, while I build up my courage and intrinsic motivation to be the best Meimei that I can be, regardless of whether or not I'll be able to wear that bikini. 

Welcome to the Domesticity Makeover Project, folks - you will definitely hear more from me soon. :)

Got any tips or motivational words to get me started? Post your comments here!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's Your Fantasy: Pinoy Hotness, International Edition

Remember how I blurted out not too long ago that Alicia Keys could've used a hotter guy as a love interest in the "Un-thinkable" video? (I understand that the theme is about interracial relations in terms of "black" and "white," but I still would've preferred any actor other than Chad Michael Murray.) Well, a few days after I said that, I stumbled upon an Internet discussion where the posters suggested that, if Alicia were to cover interracial dating in any of her next videos, she should do show up with a hot Asian guy.

Since I've already covered hot Korean guys on this blog (and seriously, Alicia, would it kill you to fly to Hawaii and get Daniel Dae Kim?) I should go ahead and suggest some hot guys of Filipino lineage who could use a bit of work would be nice to see more often on heavy rotation.

(More, after the jump.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pretty Persuasion: A Polyvore Set

WARNING: The following entry contains a significant amount of political satire and idle speculation masquerading as fashion commentary. Reader discretion is advised.

Let's just pretend, for a moment, that you are Shalani Soledad.

This week is supposed to be your week. Not only did you recently get re-elected as a city councilwoman, but your long-time boyfriend is literally minutes away from being declared President-Elect of the Philippines. By now you are at home, taking in the relaxing drink of your choice as your mind continues to buzz with all the great ideas that you can bring to City Hall as soon as you get back to work.

Then you start reading the newspapers. (More, after the jump.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Last Song Syndrome: Would It Make Us Look Crazy?

This is easily my favorite track from The Element of Freedom.

That said, I seriously think that they should've chosen a hotter guy than Chad Michael Murray. (Even if he does seem to be sporting a mullet - with matching facial hair - during the '80s sequence. Hilarious.)

Also, I'm still waiting for "Put It In a Love Song."

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Everyone

Give your mom a break this weekend and treat her to something nice, for a change. :)

In the meantime, here's the seriously wacked-out video for Kelis' "Acapella" - one of the most moving and danceable songs about motherhood since Lauryn Hill's "To Zion."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Shut Up, Preview

Speaking of election madness, here's the May 2010 issue of Preview magazine.

I already have enough problems with Preview as it is, what with the bad copy-editing and the faux-British fashionista parlance (seriously, people, it would be a happy day in the Hacienda if I never see the words body-con and sunnies in my magazines ever again... and the less said about ferosh, the better)... but this - THIS! - is just plain horrifying enough to stop me from buying this issue altogether. 

- The hat. THE HAT. There are a few people in the Philippines who can pull off that hat; KC Concepcion, unfortunately, is not one of them. Paired with the plain white background and the awkward pose, this whole thing takes the whole "homage to Isabella Blow" thing way too far. So unoriginal.

- Speaking of old hat: I am so over Sex and the City that it's not funny anymore... unless you count the inevitability that Scribey and I (and possibly our moms) will be watching SATC2 - in separate theaters - just so we could point and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. Does no one even realize that the whole thing is actually a cartoon?

Here Lies Love (2CD)- I dread the contents of "Fashion and the First Lady" for two reasons: Either they're repeating their fashion-workshop homages to Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni, or it's going to be yet another article heaping deserved but awkwardly ill-timed praise on The Imeldific. (There is, after all, a reason why the David Byrne/ Fatboy Slim collab Here Lies Love was not received warmly.) The only way I could find this entertaining is if they'd Photoshopped the heads of Shalani Soledad, Cynthia Villar, and Nikki Prieto-Teodoro over the bodies of fashion models wearing clothes we wish they'd wear. Heeee.

- A few months ago, Preview did a fashion spread that was supposed to be inspired by sci-fi, which turned out to be very disturbing. (Folks, I did not need to see a model done up as a Vulcan just so I could get a glimpse of her thong. Highly illogical, indeed.) The same issue also featured a cool-looking pictorial about military style, which got ruined by one picture showing the model straddling a cannon quite overtly - such a horribly cheap and cliched move, if you ask me. So you can imagine the kind of apprehension I now have after seeing the words "Navajo style" on the cover... either that, or I've probably lived in the United States for far too long.

- Um, yet another article on lingerie dressing? Are we running out of ideas now?

Okay, Preview folks, I've already said my piece here. Now get back to work!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Public Service Announcement: I've Got Your Mandate Right Here

For those of you who haven't been in touch with Philippine politics lately, here's a sobering reminder:

It has been nine months since I wrote this entry about the elections, and since then my attitude towards Philippine politics has changed. I'm still excited about voting in my first election EVER, but the rose-colored glasses have gotten quite foggy since then.

I'm tired of getting platitudes as answers when I ask for specifics. I'm tired of the promises, the nostalgia, the cheesy TV ads and the cheesier campaign jingles. I'm tired of the annoying ads on the side of my Facebook page trying to get my goat with ominous headlines about "The Truth About Candidate X." I'm tired of the way that many voters have started acting petulant and bratty whenever somebody offers up a legitimate criticism of their candidate.

Let's face it, folks: I'm not exactly jumping for joy over any of our current presidential candidates here in the Philippines. And yet, there is absolutely nothing and no one that can get me away from my voting precinct on May 10.  

Let me repeat what I just said nine months ago to this day:
I may not have voted during those times, but I felt that I had to do something about my world - and writing my little letters-to-TPTB meant nothing if I only had my opinion to back me up. I may have been a "citizen of the world," but the Obama campaign taught me that real citizenship and civic duty meant taking responsibility for any decision that leads to change. My vote, after all, was my leverage as a citizen - leverage that I can wield, not just to support my leader, but to hold my own government accountable for any mistakes made in leadership... regardless of who wins, or whoever rises to power eventually.

No matter who ends up winning the whole shebang, we can't expect all of our leaders to be messiahs, because they're human and therefore bound to disappoint us in the long run. There's also no way that we can ask them to change just by marching on the streets and throwing coups d'etat over every single damn misunderstanding that we have with our government.

Like I've said before, voting is more than just being the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. The beauty of voting comes from the fact that you can exercise your duty in the way you want to do it, for as long as your conscience remains clean.

And remember:

Have a grand weekend, everybody.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Scenes from a Birthday

This is yours truly at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. Note how gorgeous this place is; the lobby smells fantastic (seriously, it smells like somebody dusted the whole place with perfumed powder) and the architecture is as breathtaking as it was when it first went up 15 years ago. The MeiParents took me here for my birthday lunch, which I enjoyed immensely.

Spotted at National Bookstore in Power Plant: Lauren Luke Looks: 25 Celebrity and Everyday Makeup Tutorials. Twee cover aside, this looks like a pretty interesting compendium of her YouTube tutorials. Anyone read this yet?

Reason # 5498 why my sister is awesome: She was the one who sent over the Sonia Kashuk Double Duty Brush Set for my birthday. Personally, I couldn't be happier since it hasn't been easy for me to find decent makeup brushes in Manila, and I just love the soft, silky feel of these ones - especially the brushes with the Taklon heads. (My personal favorite has got to be the "crease" brush at the other end of the eyebrow comb.) Can't wait to do more with these babies!

PS: Longer Blog Post Later

A few notes on my recent "disappearance" from this blog:

One, there is no truth to the rumor that I had been kidnapped and tortured by jejemons over my refusal to endorse certain candidates in my locality. That's just a bunch of crazy-talk.

Two, I am - in fact - in some sort of mourning: I just lost at least one-third of my current makeup arsenal, which had mysteriously disappeared from my drawers and various storage units. Since I don't remember throwing any of this stuff away - and I don't want to make accusations that I can't back up on this blog - I'm speculating that some kind of phantom makeup bandit had made off with my loot. It's not a happy situation, but I am moving on.

Three: Yep, I also turned one year older this weekend. Woot woot!

We have got to talk, dear friends, so I'm saving everything else for another entry. Hang in there!