Friday, May 30, 2008

Glad to Learn Something New Everyday!

While planning menu for next week, I decided on trying out these two recipes:
* Jamie Oliver's Tasty Fish Bake (which looks amazing)
* Simply Recipe Chili Beans

As always, I go through the ingredients list, to see if there is anything that I won't be able to get. In Jamie's recipe, "Hmmmmm?" pops up at the "Single Cream". What is it? Google-d it. Here's what I found.
What is the difference between single and double cream? -- Kirkfood
Single cream is 35% fat cream with no thickening agent, like gelatine, added. Double Cream is 45% Cream with no thickening agent. You will need to read the fat Content on the pack to work out what is what as in Australia, the labels do not mention single or double. Single Cream is usually called "pouring cream" and is widely available in Supermarkets. To my knowledge, there is only one manufacturer of what the English chefs call Double cream and That is Bulla. You may have to look hard to find it, particularly outside of Victoria. I think its is called Bulla Pure Cream, but remember, check the fat content.

Next, Chili Beans... "HAH - Cilantro leaves?" What is that Pokemon?
Well - it turns out, that is what American calls Coriander -- Taste Forum (my favorite herb, that is!).
More on Coriander in Wikipedia.


Thursday, May 29, 2008


Yes!!!! I finally find the CAPS LOCK key in my O2 Atom XDA "Large Keys" on screen keyboard.

I bought my O2 nearly 2 years ago and I was using the "Small Keys" on screen keyboard up until January 2007. Since then, I swapped to use the "Large Keys" on screen keyboard, which I find much easier to navigate in the small screen. And since then too, I've been in the search for the CAPS LOCK key to no avail!

It took me nearly 1.5 years but I finally found it (by accident of course)! It's double tapping the SHIFT key!!! ARGHH!!! All these time I've been going back and forth from letter to the SHIFT key when I need to type words in UPPERCASE!!!!

Anyway - just thought it might come in handy for someone else! :P

Monday, May 26, 2008

Weekly Update 4

This is the last week of my 30 day trial thing. In my "weight stabilizing quest", I've learned a lot about myself, about my body, about my eating habit. I'm extremely glad I've decided to try this out.

This week average: 1463 calories. (i.e. average of 1220.5 calories after calorie burnt through 3x Bikram Yoga classes and 4x walking up the stairs from Ground level to 19th floor.)

Last nite, I consumed 1 medium container of cinema popcorn by my self (on top of the regular serving of Nando's chips)!!! Bleh - I feel pretty crappy by the end of yesterday. In the past, this would have made me feel like a failure. That I'll never be able to do this. There's no point in keep trying.
But this time, it's okay, I realised it's a once off splurge. I decide to move on, start the next day fresh and keep doing what I've been doing so well... Have to admit, the following quote helps...
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lesson for this week? Avoid eating off people's plate (as much as I can anyway)! Why? Well - my brain does not register those as well as the food I put in my plate while the calorie still counts!

I don't have much to say anymore. I will continue doing what I'm doing; i.e. the calorie counting, the Yoga, and the stair walks; until I get to my "stabilized weight".
Though my posts have helped me in completing the 30 days commitment and analyzing the process, I decided that I won't be blogging about my progress anymore. I don't want to bore people to death and I'd also like to spend my time doing other things. :P

Anyway - here's a very compact and informative article which talk about what I've been trying to explain through my posts... "The One True Secret of Weight-Loss Success" by Diet Blog.

Psst.. If you're trying to "stabilize your weight" as I am, check out Australian Calorie King! Great tutorials, motivational articles, recipes, and calorie information of all sorts of food. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

nicholeV photography

Found the nicholeV photography blog through Tara Whitney's recently great post, "not quite sure what kind of fun-house mirror, camera magic they have but…", which features an extremely gorgeous blanket! Quick - check out the post!
Back to Nichole Van's blog... if you love photography, then be sure to check out the recent post, My little fairy in the orchard . . . .
It features very amazing shots! Here's a sneak peek!
Taken from the nicoleV photography [the blog].

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Word of Advice

"Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you,
and in the end you are sure to succeed."
-- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Question from the Movie "21"

I went and see the movie "21" with Shanon last nite.
Taken from the Official Sony 21 Movie Website.

Early in the movie they talk about "Variable Change", or "3 Doors Math Question" which leaves me wondering through the whole movie!!! Gladly I wasn't the only one. Have a look at the following discussions around the topic:
Question aside and despite the movie being a tiny bit extended - I still really enjoy it, so try and catch it in the cinema!

Psst... check out the movie review I posted at DWS Movie Buffs blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Life Pleasures Restrictions

Just a thought.

With my recent calorie intake restriction going so well, I've officially become a little 'confused'. It used to always be a seesaw of food vs money for me. Whenever I managed to lose weight, I go crazy with my shopping, putting my bank balance in trouble. Or, when clothes don't fit me nicely, I don't shop, and my bank balance is fixed, while my jeans get tighter.

I am proud to say that I think I am now healed from the shopaholic syndrome (the phases of de-cluttering and selling stuffs on Ebay really does put me off buying things unless I need or want them). Nowadays, food has started to present itself to me in a similar way, i.e. I question if I do really need or want them.

Naturally though, having been a splurge for as long as I can remember, from time to time I get the urge to splurge.

Now this is where it gets confusing for me. I just automatically held myself back. The thought of the impact of that splurge (both food and money) pops up. Thought of the amount of exercise I need to do stops me from over-eating and thought of the stuffs (clutters) that I've dumped to Salvation Army or Ebay stops me from buying things.

It feels wrong, yet right that nowadays I love and enjoy staying at home (mine or Shanon's), playing stupid PlayFirst games, watching TV series, reading the over-stacked magazines and books that I bought from like 2 years ago, de-cluttering and organizing things (physical objects or digital), or even just sorting out my recipes. Plus, I actually enjoy going to my peaceful (at the same time being full-on) Bikram Yoga classes.

Questions bubbling in my head...
Is this really me?
If not, how long will this last?
Am I over-restricting myself?
Am I living a lame life and becoming a bore?
Or maybe, I've actually grown (as a person) and become better?
Am I weird to be extremely reluctant to accept lunch/dinner or drink invites (excl. coming from close friends)?
Have I become obsessed with being in control (of food, things, money, links)?
Is this a bad thing or a good thing?
I guess only time will tell...

One thing for sure though, these pleasure restrictions have actually made me enjoy the pleasures more. I recently actually savoured the taste of one teaspoon of peanut butter. WOW - I can tell you it's superbly yummy! I'm now looking into doing my money splurge - not sure what yet - but I assure you, I'll make sure it is something that I will enjoy for a long time. :)

Thanks to these awesome read which inspire this post: ZenHabits' Enjoy Life Now, AND Save for Later; or, Why Delayed Gratification is a False Dichotomy || Dumb Little Man's 4 Signs That Your Hyperconsumerism is Ruining Your Life.

Nubrella: The New Umbrella?

Image taken from Nubrella.

"Introducing nubrella; "The Ultimate Weather Protector". Nubrella is no ordinary umbrella. It protects you against rain, wind, sleet, snow and extreme cold. It is an umbrella for all inclement weather conditions not just rain."
It looks kinda cool, seems perfect for Melbourne annoying rain which goes diagonally.. :) What do you guys think?

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Life's Ups and Downs

I have to say - I'm amazed at where my life's at right now. I really have no complaint whatsoever. Sure, I want it to keep improving, but for now, there is really nothing I need to change. I'm loving it. I feel at peace with everything.

My family life is better than ever. Other people might think differently, but it doesn't matter. I personally think it is currently awesome. It was really great having my dad here for a short while and my mom here for a month (in the past month). Her presence lights up our li'l cosy apartment and get things in order. I hope it will just keep getting better and we can all lead a happy and healthy family life. :)

My love life is ... *speechlessly awesome* :) No further comments necessary.

My close friends are as great as ever. :) As above - no further comments necessary.

My new diet and health approach is working out better than I could ever expect them too. I'm eating things that I love, in moderate portion, as well as lower calorie things that will fill me up, when I feel like eating. I'm starting to get addicted to Bikram Yoga - to the point where I actually look forward to the class and especially the feeling I get when I complete a class well. To top that, my clothes are now fitting so much better. :)

My work life is going well considering everything. I no longer dread Mondays. I am busy and quite excited with the work that I need to get done. Plus, having decided that I have and will make use of the option of doing interesting evening courses, really does make me feel better about the 9am-5pm IT work.

My home has less clutter than ever. As it should - after my decluttering sessions from end of last year till early this year plus my mom's recent visit. The icing on the cake for me is that I've just cleaned up my paperworks. I got rid of the useless receipts and inapplicable terms & conditions papers, put all my yearly tax documents in a folder. Sorting the

My financial setup? Couldn't be any better. I've just setup my spending plan for the next few months and I'm extremely happy with it. I now have 1 transaction account, 3 purpose-driven savings accounts (linked to my transaction account with instant-access, i.e. I can transfer fund to my transaction account as needed), additional savings account (without instant access), 1 regularly used credit card, 1 temporary credit card - because it offers 0% balance transfer for 6 months (check out St George Vertigo Card if you're interested) and 1 emergency credit card. The spending plan (in an excel spreadsheet), along with my mmex, portable money tracking software, allows me to spend a mere 15-20 minutes weekly to monitor my (yes, some would say excessively many) accounts. It feels so good to be in control of all this without barely any effort and/or time. It works extremely well for me right now. Refer The Spending Plan: Budgeting for Non-Budgeters ∞ Get Rich Slowly || How to Automate Your Personal Finances ∞ Get Rich Slowly || Use a Freedom Account to Prepare for the Unexpected ∞ Get Rich Slowly for other useful information on this topic.

I still have quite a few tasks on my to do list. But they're not dated. They're just there - waiting for when I feel like doing them or need to do them.

Moreover, I love having lots of spare time, to work on things that I want to do (my Interior Design course, my recipe box, browsing my snapshots, and my silly time-consuming task oriented games - PlayFirst) or simply to hang out with Shanon and/or my siblings.

I love my life (and plan to continue to...)

PS: This post is not meant for me to flaunt or to hurt anyone (in any way). I don't remember ever feeling this way and to recognize what a milestone this is, this post is here to remind me of how great a life I'm leading, what a precious group of people I have in it and how grateful I am for them. Peace.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekly Update 3

When I decided to embark on this journey of food intake change, No one can make you happy..., based on "mind over matter", I didn't realised how close to truth I was.

Keeping my food diary, trying to lower my food intake and increase my energy output has made me learn about myself and my mind more than ever. It's a struggle to control my mind, but at least nowadays sometimes I am in control. I become aware of the MASSIVE link between my "not so slim" body to my "not so strong" mind control. Let me explain more.

For as long as I can remember, I've NEVER been slim. Some people will argue that it doesn't matter (which the old me will totally agree with), but the new me realises and admits it matters (at least to me). I believe I deserve the experience of being slim and proud of my physical appearance (or at least become more confident). I don't want to be 50 and still be a little sad sometimes that I have never been slim.

Some people would think that writing down every one of my food intake and controlling seems like too much work and a bit too extreme. But, I'm trying to change a habit that has been with me pretty much forever - my eating habit. So personally, the 'extreme' effort is really needed for me and I also find it is much more fun to take control over my mind than feeling sorry for myself or envious of others. Don't get me wrong. I'm not ALWAYS feeling sorry for myself or envious of others. It happens occasionally. And, I know that being slim will not make my life suddenly perfect. But I do realise that it will give me one less reason to be envious of others and love myself. So, why not?

The funny thing is, the more I'm doing this, the more I realise how much it is really about "mind over matter". When the temptation is being shoveled to me in my face, as in the "free food" or the "food that my mom has put so much effort into cooking" or the "awesome exquisite cute food" or something else, I have a choice. If I don't want them, I can say No. Or if I really want them, I don't have to completely deny them. All I have to do is eat them in moderation. I have to be in control of my mind and stop myself before I over-eat. THAT is one of the key thing.

The first few bites are not the problem, the problem is cleaning up the plates and not registering it in my head. Letting myself get back to be the person who mindlessly put things into her mouth while watching something or doing something else, or eat to counter-act boredom or to make myself feel better (very temporarily). That is the habit that I need to change. It's that big cycle that I go through every time I go on a diet. The big choice that I have to make. Giving up on my good effort and falling back into my habit. Well, people do say, "old habits die hard". But it's OK, this time the habit is going. Slowly. But surely!

I'm armed with a really good lifestyle changing method. Perception change.

Forgiving myself is also another key thing. Knowing that I'm learning to be in control of my mind and it's difficult makes me more forgiveful. It makes it OK to slip back to my old self once in a while... as long as I realise that it has to be occasional treat. Not on daily basis.

It's quite funny really, this learning to control my mind thing, it has made me learn so much about my head and my mind, like:
* I have this thing about not wanting to miss out on something, especially food. :P So even when I'm bloated, I will still say yes to that Chocolate dessert offer (especially when it's free), because I feel like I don't know when else I might get to eat that cake. But now I know, I can have that chocolate dessert anytime. Most importantly, I'm not missing out on anything! In fact, I'm helping myself big time by not eating that piece of cake!
* My portion control is really bad. Really. I tend to over-eat. That's why I have to make sure (when I can) I'm eating something low in calories, so that when I eat lots, it doesn't kill my whole progress the way 1 big plate of lasagna would do. The good thing though is that I like salads and fruits. I do.
* This week, when I was wondering alone in the city, I bought some snacks only to realise that I totally wasn't hungry and the snack wasn't even tempting. It was merely out of habit and temptations of other snacks that I walk past which causes me to buy this one.
* Since I know I'm still very weak (in the whole mind control game), it is best for me to avoid bad free food events. :P

I have to admit, some form of restrictions are really good for me. It actually helps me savour and thoroughly enjoy the occasional treat. I know this sounds cliche, but it's very true.

Mantra for the week? "Eat because you need to or actually want to, not because you're idle or bored or out of habit (e.g. snack in front of TV). Stop gulping and savour them!"

This week average: 1467 calories. (i.e. average of 1230 calories after calorie burnt through 3x Bikram Yoga classes and 3x walking up the stairs from Ground level to 19th floor.)

Check out this kewl blog, I Eat, I Shoot, I post, love his tagline! "Never waste your calories on yucky food!" Totally relate-able!

Tribute to Melbourne

Wow! This blog that I was recently referred to (by Neoma) is just full of temptation and fascinating pictures! I highly recommend all of yous to check it out!!!

The Design Files and in particular its post of Melbourne Places. Totally can't wait till I can find the time to visit all these places...
* Journal Canteen - Definitely will have to try out the antipasto (pictured on the post!!!)
* Top 5 Bookstores - This is definitely going on my to do list! :P
* Brunswick Bound (awesome bookstore with very cool counter!!!)

Or try out the "last great meal" restaurants in the interviews that Lucy, the blogger, held with interesting Melbournian, e.g.:
* Dean Angelucci's answers were: "Ezard in Flinders Lane or Da Noi in Toorak Rd" - I love Da Noi! I have to try Ezard!!! :)
* Kristina Karlsson (of Kikki.K) answers were: "Breakfast at Eurodore this morning (Bay St, Port Melbourne)" - The Eurodore place looks so interesting and TOTALLY my type of dining place (on their website)!!

Or make use of the shopping guides posts, which are very very informative and lots of fun to read!!!

Cool blog indeed! Love Melbourne! Thanks Neoma!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happiness (by mystcvie)

I came across this post that Mona posted yesterday, titled "Happiness". Loved it!

Here's some sentences that I particularly agree with and/or like very much:
  • "Until recently, I discovered that happiness is a state of mind."
  • "I can either succumb to the bad day, or I can take it easy and move on with the next task. It is all in your mind."
  • "I learned that I have a choice - and it's always my choice."

Mona, thanks for the inspirational thought that serves as a reminder, no matter what life gives us, happiness is a choice, and we should all make that choice! :)

Made of Honor

Mmm.. I watched this movie yesterday! It was "okay..." Better than "What Happens in Vegas" for me, despite Rotten Tomatoes rating Made of Honor as 12% and the later 29%!!!
There is this one thing that I noticed in the movie though. Michelle Monaghan is one stunning actress! She is SUPER DUPER pretty!!!
Pictures from IMDB (

She looks a little like Liv Tyler, doesn't she?
I also love the dresses that she wore in the movie!! I mean, look at them!
Pictures taken from Rotten Tomatoes.

*Giggles* I've been eye-ing dresses a lot lately. Really feel like buying one. But I've decided to wait. It can be my incentive, for when I achieve my goal. :P

Friday, May 09, 2008

Weekly Update 2

Apology for the delay on updates.

So - this week - I bought the calorie counter book (by Allan Borushek). It's a really good guide book when I'm out and about deciding what I'm going to have.
My biggest problem at the moment? Dinner portion control! It's very difficult. As soon as I come home from work and sit and eat - I just can't quite control myself. I'm going to try to tackle it with having soup / salad as appetizer.

Mantra for the week? Remember, those 'FREE doughnuts' or 'feeling impolite to decline food' or 'just a little bit more to polish the plate' - they all count! They are all part of my calorie intake. It helps a lot :)

I didn't have coffee at all this week! Yay! :) I figure I could make better use of that 50 calorie rather than spend it on Skinny Cappucino :P Plus, I find when I drink coffee on the day that I do Bikram Yoga, it kills me during the practice.
I've now stashed low-er calorie food everywhere. My home, workplace, Shanon's home. :) LOL. It's quite fun really. It's a big change. The best thing about the calorie counting? I still get to eat whatever I want to. I just have to plan it into my daily intake.

On Friday, I tried to walk up the stairs at work. Gosh. Going from Ground level to the 8th floor only take 2 minutes but it definitely kills my breath.

Funny thing? I sometimes think about eating junk food "secretly" only to realise that it doesn't matter, I can't lie to myself - it still has to go into my food diary. :P *LOL*

I'm quite happy with the things that I learn this week. Interestingly, I just realised that actually already have the necessary skill to make this work. It's basically like counting money. I just need to learn to be more discipline about it and start looking at it the way I look at money.

Tips for others who are changing their food lifestyle too? Omit or replace stuffs (dressings or cheese) which are really high in calorie but you don't actually taste it that much. :) Choose better junk.

The best thing? I've really gotten a massive confidence boost from doing this. I feel great almost all the time, knowing that the situation is not hopeless, that I am in control, that it's my choice whether to eat excessively or not. The other good thing is that I don't think I could go back to ignore the fact that I know how big in excess calories I'm taking in. :) So - this most likely will work.

This week average: 1525 calories.

Check out Leo's post on 17 Tips to Help You Get Lean and Fit!

Note to self: Pssst... weight loss, there is nothing magical about it. It's just like saving money. You just have to be discipline and patient. You'll get there! :)

In my search for a travel blog...

I came across this advertisement that TOTALLY "speaks to me"!

The Longitude 131° in Uluru is calling me...

*LOL* I must be the queen of their target market!!!

Back to my Travel Blog quest, I found this very cool blog with kewl pictures! Very happy! Check it out, Everything Everywhere Travel Blog and Travel Photography!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Melbourne in Winter

Hmm.. I really really like these three pictures that I took recently when I was on the tram home from the Melbourne CBD with mom and Shelwin. I think they're very nice (even if I say so myself :P).

Tara Whitney Interview by Two Peas in a Bucket

I've been admiring Tara Whitney's work for a while. Well, ever since I was introduced to her from Pipi's blog. Her pictures are exactly as her motto, "perfectly imperfect".

Yesterday in her blog, she talked about the recent interview that Lisa McGarvey from Two Peas in a Bucket held with her. I was very excited to read all about her. :)

In the interview, she shared three amazing images that best represent her style (see sample below). Psst... check out the interview for the other two! :) She also talked about the photographer she was influenced by when she first started, Stacey Kane. Hihi. Wow! It feels like finding out about my God's God to me! *LOL* What I meant to say is that - it was kewl to find out that she was also influenced by someone else!

Anyway, I checked out Stacey Kane's blog and I really like the thumbnail-ish pictures that she did for jo + chris wedding (see below).
The colouring is amazing!

But - I still can't see how this relates to Tara's style... until I saw this post, "on location in #1". Loved the pictures!

Overheard n New York & Ripple

NYC - I really can't wait to be there! In the mean time, I find this website, Overheard in New York, pretty satisfying. :)

On another note, checkout this Ripple website. It says "save the world, one click at a time". Please set them as your home page here, instead of Google. It still comes with the Google search bar, but now at least you'll be donating, while Google-ing!

Apartment Therapy: Top 10 Organizing Tips From Chez Larsson

'Totally desirable' is the right phrase for these organized shoe racks and book shelf below!

Came across these settings in the Apartment Therapy's new post, "Top 10 Organizing Tips From Chez Larsson".

The tips are pretty good. Here's the ones that are very applicable to me:
6) Own what you love.
"Just because somebody you love gave you something doesn’t mean you have to display it or, in my case, even keep it if it’s not to your taste."
3) It’s only “stuff”.
"You probably won’t regret what you’ve edited out."
2) Let it go.
"I always keep a row of grocery bags in the garage designated for stuff I want to get rid of. One goes to the local charity shop, one goes to my son’s younger cousins, one goes to recycling. When one bag is full I bring it to wherever it’s intended. I love it when all the bags are gone!"

So far, I'm enjoying my decluttering cycle. It allows me to appreciate and love what I have MORE!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Weekly Update 1

Focusing on controlling my food intake has been very tricky for me. Well, no surprise really, seeing that this is the cause of my weight issue. I love to eat, but what a shame, I don't necessarily know how to enjoy what I eat. A lot of the time, I gulf down my food without thinking about it. So, the main thing that I learned this week is...
Write down everything that you eat. Everything! As close approximate to the portion as you can. It takes a lot of time and effort. Especially for Asian home cooked variety food cause they don't come with calorie information.

But - there's no other way! Write it down (along with the number of calories)!

I had to Google for approx. calorie for all food I choose to eat, which serves two purpose.
1. I choose not to nibble on things (cause it's a hassle to write down 2 roasted almonds, 3 mars balls, 2 dark choc with almonds, etc). It's true story! Yesterday, I wanted to eat peanut M&Ms but, the thought of counting the M&Ms and having to weigh them to know how much calorie they amount to, puts me off it. Instead, I had one corn flakes dark choc biscuit thing that my mom made, which I've already allocate # of calories to. *LOL*
2. I realise how much I take in. Seriously. Some of them are insanely overpriced (calorie wise).

If you need even more convincing proof, here... The author of ZenHabits, Leo Babauta, put up a new Training Blog in April 2008. He said, in his introductory post, OK, Here we go!, it is "To hold myself accountable, to allow the light to shine on my training plans, meal plans, and actual results. To motivate myself."

According to BMI/BMR calculation, to lose weight, I should start with deducting 15-20% from my maintenance calorie intake. At a sedentary lifestyle level, I calculated this to be ~1600 calories.

I've made that my primary goal this week. It's very very very difficult. Especially when I'm eating out quite a bit of the time. Grrr!!! I find it hard to watch what I eat when I'm nibbling on people's plates! But, I try, very hard. This week my calorie intake approx. at 1650 per day. (This might be not as accurate as I'd like them to be, as it was very tricky to count the calories at the BBQ and at the dinner :P)
I was doing really well during the weekdays and not well for the weekend. My excuse? My sister's birthday dinner, birthday BBQ and my craving for nachos.. :P But, I give it my best shot! No regrets. :) I'm sure I'll keep improving.
I'm also working on getting recipes that comes with calorie count. That will help a lot when my mom left and I have to start cooking. :) Plus, I'll find out more about how to count calories when you're eating out.

On the exercise side, I did three classes of Bikram Yoga this week. Very happy about it.

On the interior design side, I finished off my first part of Tutorial One. I might have to polish it a bit to make it looks prettier, but it's there. :)

Anyways - some useful links for weight loss help: | 11 Practical Changes to Make Your Life Better | | The Truth About Counting Calories And Weight Loss.

Lesson of the week:
Awareness is key. Being aware of what I eat. Being aware of how much I eat. These things are vital. Working off as much calories as I can without knowing how much I take in is blindly ineffective.

Disillusioned with IT? -- Slashdot

Shanon GRS (Google Reader Shared) this particularly interesting (at least to me) discussion in Slashdot, Disillusioned with IT?.
cgh4be writes
"I have been working in the IT industry for about 12 years and have had various jobs as a consultant and systems engineer. Over that time I've had the chance to do a little bit of everything: programming, networking, SAN, Linux/AIX/UNIX, Windows, sales, support, and on and on. However, over the last couple of months I have become a little disillusioned with the IT industry as a whole. Occasionally, I will get interested in some new technology, but for the most part I'm starting to find it all very tedious, repetitive, and boring and I'm no longer really interested in the hands-on aspect of the business. I suppose going the management route is one option, but I would still be dealing with a lot of the same frustrating technology issues. The other route I had in mind was a complete career change; take something I really enjoy doing outside of work now and try to make a career out of it. The only problem is that I have a wife and kid to support and my current job pays very well. Have any of you been through this kind of career 'mid-life crisis?' What did you do to get out of the rut? Is making a complete career change at this point a bad idea?"

I'm on a similar boat - in terms of how I feel about IT at least. I don't really have a wife (well - husband - I should say) or kids to support though. :) I do however have a mortgage to pay. And it's just not easy to decide to make the switch. But I guess life is not meant to be easy. Well - I'm planning for it (slowly but surely) and I find some of the feedbacks from the above post very very useful... Especially the ones below:

  • Re:Thats irrational and selfish by SleepingWaterBear (1152169):
    "...There is absolutely no reason to think that he can't raise his children to be at least as healthy and happy on a smaller income.
    Depending on what he goes into, he may end up with more time to devote to his family, which is worth more than money.
    I'm not saying money is irrelevant, but it is not nearly so important as some people make it out to be."

  • well.. by thermian (1267986):
    "I have a wife and kid, and had a long term career that I was fundamentally bored with. I quit, went to back uni, and ten years later don't regret a thing.
    I say take the chance, or risk looking back in ten years and wondering where your life went, seriously."

  • Re:well.. by terjeber (856226):
    "The best time of my life is in the future, and it always will be. Take chances, try new things, and that will always be the case. Don't listen to those who tell you to "be responsible" and "content with what you have". There is only one reason they are giving you this advice. They hate to see you on a new adventure. It reminds them of all the opportunities they passed up in their miserable lives. When you get successful some time in the future, and if you try hard enough you might be, they will tell you about all that they "could have done, only it was... [wife, kids, job, weather, house payments, sick mother - take your pick] that prevented them from becoming successful.
    Oh, and BTW, if you succeed, these people will resent you for it."

  • Baskin Robbins by ohzero (525786):
    "You have what I like to call Baskin Robbins Syndrome. It's where you really really dig ice cream - UNTIL you get a job where you can eat a bunch of free ice cream. You now loathe ice cream.
    Unfortunately this cycle is perpetual. Baskin Robbins Syndrome applies to any profession. So even if you're immensely interested in what you do for a living, you will eventually grow to hate it. Don't you think Taco and crew have had mornings where they wake up and go "wow, fuck slashdot, im going to go be a hamster farmer..."
    I went through this a few years ago with IT security. I even tried going into gaming. Eventually I solved the problem by taking a year off of anything work related to travel and clear my brain. This isn't an option for a lot of people, but if you can do it, it will change your perspective in a huge way."

  • I feel the same way - Here's what I did... by microTodd (240390):
    "... So here's some of the options as I saw them:
    -Complete career change: The problem here is that this is kind of the same solution as "rewrite all the code from scratch". Read this [] to realize why this is a bad idea. You are throwing away *TONS* of sunk costs in experience and education.
    -Go back to school (maybe at night) and learn another trade, then transition to that. Safe, but slow. Initially expensive.
    -Get a hobby, part-time night job, or something that peaks your interest. I started teaching adult algebra classes at night and I love it! Yes, IT during the day still sucks but teaching at night makes it way more bearable.
    -One-off career change...can be difficult but doable. Maybe hire a professional career counselor or resume writer.
    The closest I've come to solving this dilemma is getting hobbies and part-time night jobs that scratch my itch. Also, I try to force some of the fun back into my day job. For example, once a week I'll take a few hours and just play with a new language or tool just for fun (although my boss would probably get mad if he found out I was on-the-clock). ..."

  • Chase your passion by Unoti (731964):
    "1. Chase your passions. Work in a field that you can be passionate about. The best way for you to be happy and successful is to chase your passion. Crazy examples: maybe you want to create new content in Second Life. Maybe you'd be happier teaching troubled teens how to use woodworking tools. Maybe your dream is to be a park ranger. Figure it out.
    2. Don't worry about money. Restructure your life so that you can chase your passion. Figure out a way to live with half of your current salary if you have to. Live somewhere that you don't need a car. Hike with your groceries. Use public transportation. Work from home.
    3. If you don't know what you're passionate about, hurry up and find out now, before you're dead. You only have one life. Don't waste it as a slave, doing what you don't want to be doing.
    Consider this very seriously. Nobody is forcing you to do what you've been doing. Don't be a sheep, take control of your life, because if you don't there's plenty of other people who will."

Well - the list could go on and on and on... but I choose to stop here.
I definitely could use the inspirational boost I get from this discussion - so thanks to my darling. :)
Will post up my action plans (when I eventually come up with one - hopefully soon).

No one can make you happy...

... but yourself!

I'm having a very very good day. Why? For many reasons. But mainly attributed to "feeling slimmer" - yup, like most women out there. :P

I've decided to make good use of this great feeling, my clearer vision (more in thoughts than literally :D), my silly embarrassment, and my blog. What am I talking about? Well! Last week, suddenly this following quotes make overwhelming sense to me!
"Mind over matter."
It's like doh! How can I not think this way all this time? How can I don't read that sentence and totally applies it to all aspects of my life? Seriously!
This triggers my brain to try and find ways to apply the following...
"Our mind is a powerful thing, you can do anything that you set your mind to.
Let go of the things that you can't control, focus on those you can!"

So - what am I going to do with this?
I took a look at my life. A real good hard look.
In the past year, I feel that I (and my life) have improved a lot. It doesn't matter what other people say (to me - which is a great improvement on itself), I know I have. Seriously. I've made many decisions and changes that I'm VERY happy with.
  • I love the person I'm with.
  • I love my lovely and refined relationship with my family (refined is more so with my siblings).
  • I (have always) love my friends. I enjoy my day to day routines (outside of work).
  • I cleaned out my clutters (as much as I can).
  • I detached myself from shopping (yup - also as much as I can :P).
  • My financial state reflecting the changes in my spending.
  • I am very proud me and Shanon's attempts to shop at the market and cook (of course - until my mom comes over and spoil me :P).
  • My decision to choose Bikram Yoga over Fitness First gym. Totally attributed to my feeling great!
  • Finding a good proper Tax Accountant (thanks to Sam!).
  • My great dentist who scared me into flossing (and scrubbing my feet) before bed.
  • I've also made the swap from Medibank to HBA (irrelevant).
Mmm.. I could go on listing things but then I'll never get to the point. In conclusion, I just feel that my adult life is at its peak at the moment. (Mmm.. I don't really want the word "peak" here, cause it implies that it won't get better - which I totally don't agree with, but I guess this will have to do. Will modify if I think of a better word. Anyone?)

Now, how does this relate to mind over matter?
I'm still trying to find the links.. *LOL* ;) Just (half) kidding. I'll try to explain.
Well, the happiness actually points out the things in my life that I really want to change. From within, my guilt, my insecurity. Worldly, my physical appearance (i.e. my weight issue) and my work life.
Right now, the internal stuffs are still blurry to me (in terms of what to do and how); but I've now made the decision to do something about my worldly issues. These two things will be my focus points for the coming months.
This is where the "mind over matter" takes place.

In the past, I've made decisions like these. Very good ones. But things happened, situations changed, and they have all fallen into the black hole (i.e. /dev/null). Now, I'm going to try a new approach, "make up my mind, then plan and do it", instead of just going along with the flow and pray for the best. Even better, I'm going to make myself account for this *new found* determination.
What's the plan?
Well - as of the 28th April 2008, for one full month (i.e. up to 28th May 2008), I will do the following (refer to Steve Pavlina's 30 Days to Success post for more information about the one full month trial thing):
  • Controlled food intake. (1200 - 1600 calorie daily).
    For week days, I'm mainly relying on Ultra Slim, the meal replacement milk, along with fruit for brekky and sushi roll for lunch (which I don't generally have time to really enjoy anyway).
    For weekend, I'll let myself enjoy my meals - but will definitely still watch the amount of calorie that goes into my body.

  • Increase calorie burnt through exercise.
    I will do Bikram Yoga (2-3x a week) and an hour fast walk in the park weekly.

  • Interior design course.
    I vow to do at least one tutorial every 3 weeks. Geez - I enrol in this course 2 years ago!!! Better make good use of my money, and do it! I like looking at nice houses anyway! :)

I will provide weekly update on how I go, even if I'm the only one who's going to read this, I know that it's out there. It will embarrass me big time to swallow back my words. Psst... (I know it's too early but - ) so far it's WORKING!!! :)

Why am I boring you all about this?
As I said in the very beginning, I'm having a very very good day. I feel that I can think through things very clearly. I want this to last. I want to use this to pick me up in my bad days. Cause from my past experiences, I know that I don't feel good all the time. So, I'm sure that I will need this sometime later. An added bonus would be this post being (even at the slightest) useful for someone else.

Just to remind myself later, what is my motivation?
This "feeling good about myself" thing is my MAIN motivation. I want to make myself happy. I have realised and believed that only I can do things to make myself happy and I choose to act upon them.

Note to self: Stop using the word "Well" and "So" please!!!