If you remember, the first blog I shared on this website was my turning point on eliminating sugar from my diet and I also started to be more active, like walking to the bus station and taking the public transportation.
Actually, I have already started my regular exercise on cross trainer and have been pulling weights on Precor Glide Functional Training System but I still don’t feel heathy enough. Also, there was no drastic effect on my weight and my waistline. It was only when I changed my lifestyle and diet that I felt better and increased my strength that I could even manage to do sit ups.
I’m privileged to have been permitted to share with you a before-and-after picture of the effect of a weight training for three months. I have seen a lot of these on social media but since I don’t personally know the ones uploading the pictures, I have no way of knowing their authenticity. Below is a picture of my niece, Maria Isabela Aurellado, who is finishing her Master of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from the Texas Tech University College of Human Sciences. She is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and in her latest weight training class, she joined the before-and-after photo challenge she required her students to do. Look at this!
Visualizing by taking photos of ourselves, according to Isay (as we fondly call her) will help us be more motivated and is a positive way of reaching our physique and health goals. She also added that aside from taking pictures, we should also jot down all workout activities and food intake on a regular basis to be more effective.
Now, take a look again at the shape of her stomach. In just three months, with regular weight training and the right intake of food, the stomach can reach its ideal size. Of course, it might take us longer than her. Isay used to be a varsity basketball player and when I vacationed with her family, if I walked on treadmill for 30 minutes, she would run on treadmill for an hour. Mmmm, I still have a long way to go.
Why is the shape of the stomach a concern for us? As I grasp the bulge of my stomach while writing this blog, a Harvard Medical School article refer to this bulge as the subcutaneous fat. That would be the fat (if you call that fat because compared to mine that is not fat at all) that Isay successfully trimmed off in three months. The more dangerous belly fat is the visceral fat which we couldn’t grasp with our bare hands. It is present in overweight people and is associated with cardiovascular disease.
Isay also shared with us a photo shoot of a page in her book that shows that regular physical activities will improve memory. So not only does exercising make me physically fit, it will also make me more mentally alert.
Speaking of cardiovascular disease, Dr. Fabian (Toby) M. Dayrit, shared with us the latest research on the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil in lowering high blood pressure. A research was conducted in Brazil which proved that coconut oil is effective in lowering blood pressure.
In the study, there were four groups of rats:
1. Sedentary fed with coconut oil in their diets
2. Dieted without coconut oil but exercised
3. Fed with coconut oil in their diets and exercised
4. The control group where there was no change in diets and exercise
The researchers were not surprised to find out there was drop-in blood pressure on rats in the 2nd group. They also found out that there was drop-in blood pressure in inactive rats in the 1st group. But what surprised them the most is that the 3rd group of rats with coconut oil in their diets and exercised found the biggest drop-in blood pressure and cure.
As quoted from the article: “The effects of coconut oil were twofold, and scientists believe it’s because of the medium chain fatty acids in the oil. These act as extremely powerful antioxidants, eliminating the oxidative stress of free radicals attacking heart and blood vessel tissue.”
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is a big thing in the Philippines, thanks to Dr. Conrado S. Dayrit. He was a medical doctor and wrote the bestselling book in 2005. His son, Dr. Toby Dayrit, a chemistry professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, wrote the 2nd edition in 2013 focusing on the chemical aspects of coconut oil and VCO. What has interested me the most is that VCO does not only lower blood pressure but that the antioxidants present in the oil help improve our memory.
I have taken VCO off and on few years ago but since February this year, I have taken two spoonfuls a day.
Now my lifestyle on my quest for sharpening my memory is complete: avoid sugar; increase physical activity; increase intake of vegetables and fruits; and regular intake of VCO.
Full disclosure: Dr. Toby Dayrit is my brother-in-law and I get my regular supply of VCO from my sister, who is married to him.
Update: Since 2019, I source my VCO in Indonesia. I use the brand Vico Bagoes