How I Burn Fat in 4 Minutes

Photo: istockphoto

I really don't like exercising. And I still try to find every excuse to not do it. "I have a headache... I have to wash the toilet... The kids are awake... The cat needs a bath..."

But to realize my goal of 24% bodyfat, I knew I had to get moving. Eating clean and healthy alone won't cut it. Exercise is needed to build bone density, sculpt and maintain muscle, and of course, burn fat, among other things. And without it, any benefits of any healthy diet will stall. This, I know from experience.

But not just any exercise program would do if I wanted to be successful. I had to design one that fit my lifestyle and preferences...

(1) short - My morning yoga and occasional hula practices get interrupted often by the kids because they take more than the 10 minutes needed to feel any benefits.
(2) something I can do at home - Getting dressed and traveling all the way to a gym takes too much time, effort and money.
(3) something that doesn't need equipment - I like mat work... I hate weights and machines.

And I want a million dollars!!! Yeah, tall order... :)

But according to the Tabata Method, it's not.

The Tabata Method is the 4-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout named after Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Tabata's group found that these short intervals of hard exercise followed by rest are highly effective in strengthening aerobic functions and burning fat without compromising lean muscle.
Here's how it works:

(1) 20 seconds: Perform an exercise for as many reps as possible - but don't be sloppy... always use proper form!
(2) 10 seconds: Rest
(3) Repeat steps (1) and (2) again 7 more times.

Done right, this workout should leave you huffing and puffing and covered in sweat.
Please note that this is a very intense 4 minutes. Dr. Tabata - and I - stress that this type of exercise is not for the obese or for those with existing health problems, so see your healthcare professional before starting this or any other exercise program.

One of my most favourite things about this workout is that it's highly customizable. Here's mine:
Interval 1 - pushups (chest and arms)
Interval 2 - squats (legs)
Interval 3 - v-sit rotations (abdominals)
Interval 4 - breast stroke prep (back)
... then I repeat the entire cycle once. At the moment, I do this workout once a week... I really need the recovery time between!

If you want to try this out and customize your own routine, be sure to do your research as not all exercises are suited for Tabata.

Recommended Reading:

  • Workout Without Weights
  • Tabata Workout is an Intense and Effective Exercise Routine
  • award: come to my lemonade stand!

    A super big thank you to Laura at Buttons and Ribbons for this awesome award!
    Laura's fab projects are a real treat for the eyes. And I love how she posts the things she encounters in her world. Like this.
    Go and check it out, then come back. Really. Go -- I'll wait. Go! Now!

    Back? Okay.

    When Laura first notified me of this award, I was all "I wonder why a lemonade stand." But the more I thought of it, I was all "yeah! I'm taking life's lemons, making lemonade, and sharing this yummy sweetness with the world!" What do you think? Is it too much? Am I over-thinking it? Does it sound like something I just pulled that out of my ass? Yes? Okay! My work here is done!

    In the spirit of spreading the warm fuzzies around and not breaking the rules of this award, I now share with you 12 of my favourite blogs... (in alphabetical order)...

    I ask these 12 dudes and dudettes to go forth and share the love on their own blogs, if they so wish.
    To see more blogs I know and love, head over to my "DAILIES" in my sidebar. They are truly bitchin'... go, and check them out. Go! Now!

    20 things I want you to know.

    I liked this post by the lovely and talented Avitable so much, I decided to steal it.

    You see, I know 20 people out there who:

    (a) don't take unsolicited advice very well, even though they desperately need it.
    (b) would most likely take my compliments the wrong way. (Really, can't I say you're hot without you thinking I want to "take a ride on your disco stick"? Yo!)
    (c) seriously need to be taken down a notch or two.
    (d) have asses I want to (virtually) kick before I go bitchcakes on the next person who cuts me off or sneezes in my general direction.

    And I want to say stuff to them, so of course, I'm taking the coward's route and telling them all via blogpost. Ahem.

    So, who are these 20 people? I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader to figure out, but yes, one of them could be you. (No, Roomie is NOT one of these 20 people.)

    Worry not. This snark and crankiness is just a temporary affliction. I love you all, and I'll be back to my old sweet ways as soon as I get some more sleep, a big bowl of coconut ice cream, and maybe a good bedding. Heh, heh, heh.

    20 things I want you to know

    1: No, you didn't love me. You were very sweet, but I don't think you knew me well enough to love me.

    2: You didn't think you were good enough for me? Ha! Give me a break! And, so what if it would've only lasted 6 months! I was only 18 -- I wasn't looking for forever! It would've been the most fantastic, hottest, and raunchiest 6 months of your life. Coward, now you'll never know.

    3: No, you REALLY don't know why I won't speak to my parents. I know you think I'm just being immature and rebellious, but you truly don't know the whole story -- the story they will NEVER tell you.

    4: I faked it every single time. No, you really REALLY weren't that good. And I was so young and so dumb to try and make you think you were. Ew.

    5: You are such a beautiful girl -- why do you ruin it all by wearing that frosty eyeshadow that makes you look like a 50-year-old cougar?

    6: I'm so glad you've found your direction. I see great things for you in the future. And I'm so incredibly proud of you.

    7: You're too young to be burnt out. But if you are, you might want to consider switching careers. You're doing more damage than good if you continue where you are. And I don't just mean damage to you.

    8: You are way too frickin' sexy for your own good -- I wish I were you. Dammit.

    9: If you don't teach your kid who's boss, he won't respect you. He's being cruel to you, and you're letting him get away with it. You aren't doing him any favours.

    10: You are one of my best girl friends. It makes me really happy to say that.

    11: I really wish you were my sister. And that you lived here.

    12: When you said "at least you had a father", you truly didn't know what you were saying. I'd have rather had no father than go through what he put me through.

    13: You lost my respect and trust when you took credit for someone else's work. Grow up -- we're not in high school anymore.

    14: You've become such a great girl friend. I can't wait till we meet in person.

    15: I'm glad I've made the decision to cut you out of my life. It's the best decision I've EVER made where you're concerned.

    16: Put your dog on a effin' leash. Pick up the effin' log he lays on the boulevard. And if he comes anywhere my kids, I'll effin' hurt YOU.

    17: I appreciate you more than I can ever tell you.

    18: No, I don't want your husband. I dumped him, remember? If you don't like me being his friend, you may want to look into your own trust issues, because believe me, I got a much better deal with the husband I have.

    19: Telling people "Oh, you've gained a little weight" when you see them won't win you their respect. Especially when you can stand to lose some yourself. So, just shut up.

    20: You are one of the sweetest men I know, and I hope you find that special lady who will appreciate you as we do. Don't let your past become the obstacle to your future.

    and family weddings are even better.

    I know, I know -- you're thinking "Where the hell have your frickin' posts been, Nenette?" They're all in my brain, folks, because I've been too busy (a) recovering from the most awesome family wedding, and (2) dining out with out-of-town and soon-to-be-out-of-town friends and family.

    This means (1) I'm somewhat well-rested, and (b) I have a TON of blog fodder. You will be bleeding out of every orifice with the sheer number of posts I have for you to read. Okay, I actually hope not, because, you know, ew -- but if you do, you should probably go and get that checked out.

    First out of the hopper...

    The Wedding of the Year

    I've been sitting on, wrestling with, fondly caressing, necking outrageously with, and smashing the crap out of this post for days!!!

    SO MUCH wonderfulness happened that day that I'm not sure if I can do it any justice with my usual narrative. I usually do really well with lists and pictures, so guess what you're getting!

    Yup, I present to you the outstanding moments -- the highlights, if you will -- of the wedding of Car and Mar Flores, my dear "little brother" and his beautiful bride, in point form!

    I remember... (in no particular order) - click on the photos to enlarge...

    - Arriving at the church just as the bridal party was walking up the aisle. Mariel, the beautiful bride who was outside in the sunshine waiting for her cue, called my name, and despite being minutes away from getting married, she said, "I'm glad you made it! I've heard so much about you!" with an incredibly sweet and radiant smile.

    - Being so pleased and proud of my little brother, all grown up, and getting married.

    - Fiercely hugging my cousin Zandra, who I've missed so much, and finally meeting her dear beau Fran in person (I'm already stalking him on Facebook).

    - Gawking at the odd priest who reminded Zandra and me of Gilbert Gottfried. Fran stopped her just as she was going to tweet it -- she did it after the service.

    - Giggling as said odd priest kept forgetting the bride's name. He didn't call her by the wrong name, but he said um, ah, uh a lot while rustling through papers hunting for her name.

    - Going to 7-11 after the long, hot service so Mini and I could cool off with slurpees.

    - Pictures with my beautiful cousins Zandra and Chrystalle, and seeing the familiar ginormous boobs and prominent non-filipino noses inherent in our family. (Aren't we Alejandria ladies overflowing in gorgeocity?!)

    - The awesome number of people in the bridal party... yes, you see 2 tiers of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and sponsors. And that's not including the godparents, flowergirls, and ringbearers!

    - Zandra winning over Mini with several trips to the punch bowl and wedding cake. (Photos taken by Mini!)

    - Mini getting to know her beautiful titas (aunties). Seriously, aren't they smokin' hot?!!!

    - Mini's snazzy blue glasses.

    - enjoying time with my dear family (aunt, uncle, and cousins from BC).

    - Dancing the cha-cha with my Uncle Cesar just like old times -- and getting tired WAY before he did! I swear the dude has the energy of the Energizer bunny!

    - Almost missing the garter/bouquet toss because Zandra and I were having such a great time catching up and gossiping in the lobby/lounge.

    - Seeing so many of my dear cousins including Cyndi and HDR.

    - the Spartans coming to claim the garter. (Um, Carlito, you probably should've taken that helmet off first.)

    - Carlito's pantsing -- the filipino version of the medieval "bedding" ritual of taking the groom's pants off in preparation -- he had a very modest pair of underwear shorts on.

    - Zandra, Mini, and me raiding the dessert table.

    - Mini so happily enjoying her new purple frog stuffy from her Tita Zandra and Tito Fran. She named it Frisbee.

    - the bride and groom giggling over my Very Important Advice for Newlyweds. I wonder if they actually took it -- oh, no, I don't want to know. Yikes. :)

    - And finally... Mini not wanting to go home at the end of the night!!!

    I have to admit that it felt like the night ended way too soon, but in all honesty, my feet hurt and Mini needed to sleep. We got home at 12:13am, WAY past Mini's bedtime. But seriously, no regrets. It was fine time to reunite with family and old friends, and introduce little Mini to ALL of them. I'm looking forward to seeing them all again.

    Yes, yes, it's our turn to visit... sheesh... :)

    Congratulations and Best Wishes to you, Mariel and Bouboy!
    Much love to you both -- Enjoy your new adventure

    ladies who lunch: family style.

    I've been basking in the glow of love and family these past few days, and holy man, it's been so awesome!

    It all started on Thursday, when I had lunch with the two lovely ladies with me in this picture. (Our fab server took this picture, which I had to totally crop to eliminate the blinding vision of my not-yet-hot ass.)

    The little beauty is Mini-C, and her beautiful mama is Cyndi. And yes, they're my family.

    Cyndi is my godsister/cousin (yes, there is such a thing y'all!). My father is her godfather. Also, we are cousins by marriage via Cyndi's and my mutual cousin Zandra. My father and Zandra's dad are brothers, and Zandra's mom and Cyndi's mom are sisters.
    I hope that makes sense because my last resort is to draw you a picture, and that just might confuse you more -- my drawing truly sucks.

    My dear Cyndi and I are truly like sisters, and despite the fact that a border separates us, we've grown closer over the years thanks to the 'net. If you've read the comments here, you've seen Cyndi's name pop up once in a while. I even interviewed her as one of my Life Candy celebs too!

    See? Still basking in the love, people.

    So, Cyndi, her roomie DK, and little miss Mini-C came to town for Cyndi's brother, my cousin Carlito's wedding (his lovely bride is from here). As the family came to town a few days ahead, we arranged to do lunch.

    At first, we made our way to my favourite sushi joint Wasabi Bistro, and much to my bitter outrage, it was closed! FOR LUNCH?! Wha?!!! The nerve!

    After I recovered from the shock, we switched directions and headed over to Naru Sushi, which had the good sense to be open for lunch on a weekday. Super tasty and affordable!

    Check it -- what started with a couple of boxes, mine a sashimi/california bento, and a bakudan/edamame bento for Cyndi...

    ... ended as empty boxes...

    In addition to stuffing our faces, we did a load of chatting, catching up, and cooing over Mini-C, who allowed me to relive the trail of destruction Baby Lam and Baby Mini used to leave at every restaurant we went to. It was spectacular! :)

    Afterward, we went next door (quite literally) to Baked Expectations to enjoy dessert.

    See the awesomeness? Cyndi had a hot chocolate and a slice of oreo cheesecake, in the back, and I had a chocolaccino bowl with my requisite slice of pavlova, in the foreground.

    Are you jealous? Well, don't be -- I swear I gained 25 pounds from this meal alone. Had a hell of a time putting my dress on for the wedding. But yeah, totally worth it.

    As our outing ended, we went back to Casa AM so Mini-C could freshen up and meet Lam and Mini. The kids enjoyed sharing their toys with Mini-C, and were quite horrified every time she put every one she grabbed into her mouth, considering the cat's habit of sitting on the toys. Ew.

    Lam especially loved hanging out with Mini-C. In addition to her extreme cuteness, I think she reminded him of his days as a big brother to a baby. He likely misses the baby his little sister was -- when she used to worship him, look up to him, and never used to kick his butt at video games.

    In the end, Cyndi and I wished we had more time together. Luckily, we knew we would see each other a few days later... when a very different kind of party would take place. What kind of party was it?

    Stay tuned...

    we're all about the decadence.

    The college instructor (Roomie), the gr.1 graduate (Lam), and the nursery school graduate (Mini) have started summer holidays, and the boss/queen/event-organizer/mommy-diva (need I say who?) finally finished the annual "Birthday Week" Extravaganza.

    So, from now until the end of August, dear friends, we are resting and relaxing. In fact, you can even say we're living the life of royalty by...

  • wearing crowns
  • this is especially important whilst relaxing on the very regal Sponge Bob chair and ottoman.

  • eating chocolate-dipped strawberries for days in a row
  • the chocolate fudge must be specially made by Chef Nenette, the most exclusive and awesome mommy chef EVER.

  • wearing weird glasses and not caring what the unwashed masses think
  • glasses are courtesy of the goodie bags celebrity swag at the recent IOK bash.

  • getting special facial treatments, including the very exclusive Eyebrow Combing
  • if your daughter royal aesthetician includes this treatment in your program, it's probably time to trim your eyebrows.

    cat parade: when a festival comes to your livingroom.

    I love how kids just do whatever the hell they feel like doing. Like the other day, Lam and Mini decided to have a festival in the livingroom.

    What kind of festival? you may be wondering. Well, it was never really clear. It was just a bunch of random activities and exhibits strewn throughout the room. Anything was fair game for their festival.

    There was a puppet show, a balloon display, a Chaotic and Pokemon card showing, and a delightful puppy exhibit featuring one of those very annoying entertaining mechanical puppies that moves around, flaps its ears, and plays a "catchy" song -- very much like those singing fish on a plaque. You know, the ones that your children adore and would press the button to replay the song over and over again until your ears bled? Yeah, that one. It's sitting on the shelf in the picture above.

    But the highlight of the festival was the cat parade. Yes, folks, the cat parade.
    The cat was unaware of such an event.

    an ice-cream shirt, a lemon cake, and a new 5-year-old girl

    Over the weekend, we celebrated my dear Mini-girl's 5th Birthday*! Yes, it's true. My baby, who used to look like this...

    ... now looks like this...

    I know, she's gorgeous. She's going to be a Supermodel/Rocket-Scientist. She already has the mad math skillz and stunning good looks. Yeah, totally proud are we.

    But wait. You might be thinking "Didn't one of Nenette's kids just have a birthday, like, yesterday?!" And the answer is "Not yesterday, but close."

    What can I say? October is a good month to have unprotected sex around these parts. It's Fall, getting cold. Too cold to do outdoorsy things. You stay inside, do some cuddling, then BAM! -- you're knocked up, waddling around, and popping out little humans before you know it.

    Friday the 3rd was her actual birthday, so she got to choose her birthday cake (a white chocolate lemon cake) at La Grotta, eat her favourite meal (cheese pizza at the mall), and open presents from us. Check out the La Grotta cake of awesomosity.
    Mmmm... white chocolate lemon cake...

    Sunday the 5th was her party. Mini, her brother, and 5 of her fave buds gathered at Michaels to do a craft activity. Mini is crafty in more ways than one, you know.

    Each child was to decorate his/her own t-shirt using a stencil -- the boys chose to do rocket ships and the girls chose to do ice cream cones.

    I would've chosen the rocket ship myself, but that's me. I'm just built that way. (Insert weird, perverted line by Roomie about the way I'm built and his appreciation of said build.)

    With t-shirts completed and left to dry, we brought out the requisite ice-cream cake, almost exploded the place with sparklers, sugared up both kids and adults (including Sarah, our super Michaels craft leader), tore into presents, and took a bazillion photos.

    Before I knew it, we were done, bagging our leftovers, and sending the kids home with their folks, loot bags and t-shirts in hand.

    Mini thought her birthday party was perfect. Oh, sorry, Princess Mini thought her birthday was perfect. She was surrounded by her most favoured loyal Lords and Ladies, and for two hours, she laughed, did crafts, and gleefully held court -- just like this...

    Happy 5th Birthday, darling Mini! We love you!

    Roomie and I shout our thanks to Trinity (my buddy and mom of one of the Ladies present) and Edna (my dear big sis) for all your help and company. You are beyond awesome!

    * - I was going to post this yesterday but I was frankly exhausted after the annual "Birthday Extravaganza". Lying immobile on the bed staring straight up at the ceiling was all I wanted to do -- I ended up eating chips and sewing a soft cuddly bear together instead. Chips rock.