Myth of Motivation

Recently, it’s been brutal waking up earlier to get my training in…some days I just feel like utter poo and demotivated (shocker to some since I’ve been assumed to be a gym rat and LOVE torturing myself). Hellloooooo, I am human and I love cookies too!

Some days I set a gazillion alarms…though I end up prolonging my snoozing

Some days I schedule my training and PTs back to back…though end up waking late and just making it for PT before work, thus missing training for the day

Some days I ask Alix to carry me out of bed in the morning…LITERALLY…which might or might not result in morningcrankinesspossibleasswhoopingbyagirlwithmuscles


Some days I get up on time but end up lounging with my coffee, denying procrastination…resulting in shorter time allocated for training

Some days I stalk Michelle Lewin’s videos…seriously that woman can motivate even a snake to wanna build a booty…AND THEN I feel pumped to hit the gym

michelle lewin db row

This is all honesty, no bullshit, just because I train others doesn’t mean it is easy to train myself ALL THE TIME.

So when I came upon this snippet on motivation

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 7.12.16 PM

I thought it was perfect and that I can’t be the only one facing these struggles.

Hope this helps you too

Here’s the full thing:

“Motivation comes and goes. Some days, it’s awesome — you are full of zest and mojo and ready to kick life in the ass.
Some days that motivation will be totally MIA. You’ll consider wetting the bed because it feels like too much effort to crawl out to the bathroom.
But it doesn’t matter.
You don’t need motivation nor inspiration to have good habits.
In fact, what differentiates an “expert” from an “amateur” is not motivation… but action. “Experts” hunker down and find ways to get the job done, regardless of how they feel.
We commonly assume that motivation and inspiration — in other words, a particular mental state — come before action.
Sometimes that’s true.
Most of the time, it’s not.
Action often occurs before motivation and that desired mental state.
For instance, let’s say one day you decide to go for a walk. You’re not really inspired per se, but your brain feels fuzzy and you want some fresh air.
At first, you just sort of clump along, staring at the ground.
After 5 or 10 minutes, the brisk breeze starts to clear the cobwebs.
You stand taller and breathe more deeply. Your stride lengthens and your hips loosen up. Now you’re walking proud. You have direction. The movement is actually giving you energy.
After 20-30 minutes, you finish that walk on a high.
Your brain fuzz is gone, replaced by crystal-clear thoughts. Your body is energized. You feel re-engaged with life and the universe. Now you’ve found that motivated mental state.
What changed? You acted first.
When it comes to change:
**Action is more important than information.**
**Doing is more important than knowing.**
No matter how much you know, only consistent, daily action creates change.”
What’s one small, meaningful action YOU can do today?


We Train The Same…But Why Don’t I Look Like Her…

If you’re always surrounded by these fit looking friends and people at your gym, or at your Pole class and they look completely different to your own physique, you might have wondered …

pole dancer estee zakar

“..but I’m doing what they are doing..aren’t we doing the same training? She probably doesn’t eat.  Why don’t I have abs like that?”

Crossfit Girls Christmas


…then this is something you need to try and understand.

“Your body has a desire to stay the same, to stay balanced via many internal physiological processes.  People are scared of manipulating nutrition, eating more, eating less, thinking that a change today is going to result in an irreversible change tomorrow.  It doesn’t work like that.” – Alix James (Head Coach of Reebok Crossfit Asphodel)

His full blog post is HERE

CFA Alix

Every girl has been there (I think), when desire, progress and effort are not aligned like a beautifully paved rainbow bridge to total-body-happiness.  It’s either the desire and effort that feel like they’re on turbo mode but progress is creeping in like my beat-up Ford Escort station wagon fresh out of a car wreck….or….well that’s really just it. No “or”.

weight-loss-frustration cominc.jpg

Expectations to see progress and results gets more and more unrealistic today and with the incredibly efficient way social media is delivering visuals of transformation photos, I reckon most of us will expect fat to melt off our bodies in 5 inhale/exhale cycles, when it took us 5 years to accumulate that same amount of body fat.

burning fire calories.jpg

Bodybuilding ain’t easy as a lot of time, money, effort, mood swings, sacrifices and brain juice goes into the end result.  No doubt anyone who post their success stories online have given their best and deserves the recognition where due.

ifbb figure winners.jpg

It is just something we should consider before assuming results at that level is achievable safely for anybody regardless of background, genotype and health.

Even the women who model for Victoria Secret, who are on the other spectrum of bodybuilding, can’t escape body shaming.  I recently read some pretty nasty comments on how the girls should eat a sandwich and how it is unhealthy to send the message to young girls they should starve themselves…did they assume those girls didn’t work hard to stay a size 2?

VS Model TRX Force.jpg

BUT…..we have to be nice to fat people who ate their way to obesity and should be accepted to love their unhealthy system?


(little rant done. thank you)

Going back to thinking “we train the same..but why don’t I look like her?”

Honestly, unless you have compared down to the last detail in RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion), recovery methods, quality of sleep, capability of handling stress, digestive system, age, genotype, activity level, choices of food, methods of cooking…and so on…you DON’T train the same and you DON’T eat the same.

What I like about Alix’s post is the science, shit just makes sense when it’s rational and logical, even though they ain’t skittles and rainbow advice I wanna hear.  Ever since I started practicing using a track record, I find myself being less stressed about eating, training and weight.  I can actually go out on decent social events and eat without having that nag of beating myself up with guilt.  Having a lot more control on my progress might mean a little more work now but I would much rather take the challenge now than face regret later on losing my years.

Still trollin’ on ‘skinny chicks’?

Still rolling your eyes at ‘fit-obsessed chicks’?

Still offering sympathy for the unhealthy obese and leading young children to think fat is OK?

muscle shaming scr1



DO SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE PROUD OF. (I doubt typing a smart-ass comment on someone’s Instagram photo is the highlight of your week…I hope not)







Are You Resting or Recovering?

This is a difference that should be acknowledged.

I started working at a young age as a waitress and have always had a lot more plates to juggle at the same time than I should.  The desire to over achieve plus the sense of satisfaction when I get multiple tasks done when it is usually considered daunting for the average task-doer, is probably what has kept me going at the rate I am still at now.

One thing IS very different now though, is that experience has taught me a few lessons on understanding the value of REST and RECOVERY.

Sure, it may seem rational to think I can achieve more as long as I DO more.  Although, am I actually achieving them at 100%? or am I achieving everything at 70% because I am so tired from lack of rest and recovery?  If you love ticking s*** off your list of to-do like me, you might be able to relate thinking #nodaysoff is the way to success, be it at work or with exercise.  If you’re not doing anything on rest days, what ARE you doing, for your career and fitness goals?

minions rest day

I think we reflect the way we approach daily matters, similar to how we approach our health and training.  Hitting the gym 6 days a week on top of my other activities like Muay Thai, dance class, pole training and aerial training was a norm for me.  Quite frankly, it is pretty hard imagining the rest of my life without any of these activities to keep myself agile, fit and appreciating what the human body can do.

Having said that, I learned how to realign my training goals over the summer by asking myself, what is more important to me, to keep chasing tricks, flips and heavy weights just to prove to myself I can do it, no matter what injuries come with them? or to spend the rest of my life being able to do what I love sans injuries that come without proper length of conditioning phases?

Recovery mode using the Power Plate


I learned to say NO to projects that I am not passionate about.

I learned to say NO to chasing fancy tricks or heavy weights without proper conditioning

I learned to say YES , get smarter, rest the nervous system, recover the body (and mind)

Rest day for me, was what a Training Day would look like for the average joe.  Because seriously, I did not know what to do on a day where I was not active.

rest day what is life

Recovery was probably a word I never really took seriously, including having horrible sleep routine and nutrition.

NOW that I understand the steps for optimal recovery, I am ALL ABOUT those Rest FOR Recovery – finding that right balance of doing nothing vs doing something efficient for recovery goal.

Boy, am I finding a waaaaaaay better way to enjoy my life and activities right now…than taking that #nodaysoff literally.

train hard.recover smarter

I like this guide from Reebok Crossfit Asphodel’s blog.  They talk about their athletes training frequency and posed questions on methods and perspective on “recovery”.  So to quote –


“…what SHOULD be happening, how close are you to meeting all of these points, and which can you start to include in your ‘recovery period’.”

  1. SLEEP. Every night, as much as your schedule allows, shoot for 6-9 hours and make it restful, undisrupted. Get rid of your phones and computers an hour before bed and let your mind relax.
  2. FOOD. Your body has the potential to get stronger and refuel after it went through muscle tissue trauma (which is what happens when you train hard). You will have micro tears in your muscles and they need nutrients to heal –  carbs, proteins and fats are all required.  A diet void of any one of these nutrients may be leaving you with suboptimal performance.  You may reach out to us at if you want to find out what you need nutritionally specific to how you train, ultimately optimizing physique goals.
  3. ACTIVE REST. Better thought of as ‘recovery’. If you’ve just done 200 squats and can barely walk, going for a 20min walk for a couple of days, climbing some stairs etc, will put your body in a much better position that if you bum out on the sofa for 3 days.  Simply revisiting the same movement that made you sore can help break up and disperse any of the waste products that may be hanging around in your muscle tissue, causing discomfort.
  4. MOBILITY work. You have 1 hour a day of training (typically). If you harbour any serious mobility restrictions-and most of us do!-you need to be hitting this mobility stuff daily. Keeping a softball or tennis ball at home or at the office can be a quick fix for those tight areas.  Sitting all day?.. Have an alarm on your phone to stand up or change positions after 30mins.  It’s the least you could do after all of those burpees!
  5. HYDRATE. Water, no other fluid or nutrient is needed in your body more than this one.  Hot climate, check, frequent exerciser, check.  The signs are there you could be at some risk of dehydration.   Just being dehydrated by 2% of your body mass can cause performance impairment. Take all the opportunities you can to take in more H20. Carry a bottle around with you and consciously improve your recovery throughout the day. Most ladies would benefit from 2-3 litres per day with guys looking at 3-4 litres per day. Give it a try for a week and see what differences you feel!
My latest favourite from Green Vitamin Hong Kong

Reebok Crossfit Asphodel Blogpost HERE

From Pole Dancing to Muay Thai

A few months ago, I was stoked to be back hittin’ pads.

I was only back in the gym for 2 sessions…and then…I sprained my ankle doing something else.

Ankle injury is healing and recovering in pretty decent time, I hope to be back at the Muay Thai gym in a few months!

In the mean time, I can only watch where I was, what my current recovery process is and where I see myself pretty soon.

Visualization is a pretty powerful motivator.

Nutrition for Injury Recovery

I love this infographic from Precision Nutrition.

There are many reasons why I signed up for their Level 1 course, one of them being that I have been dealing with multiple injuries in the recent years from a combination of inadequate recovery, inadequate conditioning and lack of knowledge in nutrition for injury recovery.

Moving forward, I hope we may all chuck our egos aside and admit we don’t know EVERYTHING about eating for your goals and learn how to LEARN.

Not a fan of long articles? Well I hope this infographic sparks more interest when you are done scrolling through it.

PN nutrition recovery infographic

Original article HERE

I’m On a Plan…but Christmas…

Christmas is my favorite season of the year.

That also means I look forward to traditional recipes, try out new recipes for the dinner table, and BAKE! BAKE! BAKE! (I swear if I wasn’t so heavily into the fitness industry, I would be a pastry chef!)

Currently my jam – popcorn from Sote Hong Kong

Keeping the holidays stress-free though, has always been a bit of challenge, since I love how I feel when I am eating smartly for physique and recovery goals.  So every year, I find ways to keep myself focused and motivated up until the few days of Christmas eve-Christmas day-Boxing day before it is back on the lifestyle I enjoy more.

This year, I have a performance on NYE and a stage show in April 2016 so these two events are enough to keep me on track through the holiday feasting.  This guide from Optimum Performance Studio is also very helpful and would apply too to my friends and family.

Double Lyra Act – Ea and Emily


  1. Prepare ahead of time. Avoid eating a lot of high-calorie items at holiday celebrations, such as processed meats, fried foods, cream-based soups, heavy casseroles, and rich desserts. Fill up on lighter foods like lean meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. When attending potluck events, bring a healthy dish so that you and other guests will have an alternative if the other dishes served are high in fat and calories.
  2. Do not arrive hungry! Arriving hungry is a quick gateway to overeating along with choosing foods you normally wouldn’t select. Never avoid eating during the day to “save” your calories for a large dinner later; it will most likely cause you to eat more overall. Have a healthy snack before heading to the party. You will still be hungry enough to enjoy your favorite holiday foods, but not so hungry that you overeat and choose too many unhealthy options.
  3. Holiday favorites. One of my favorite approaches to holiday eating is to focus on the foods I only get to enjoy on that special day. For me, these include my grandma’s Italian green beans (dripping in oil, onion, and garlic), or my mom’s pecan, macadamia, and chocolate pie, candied sweet potatoes, and salted caramel cheesecake. I skip the bread roll, corn, mashed potatoes. I can get these foods any day of the year. Choose your favorites that you truly only get to have on that holiday.
  4. Fill-up with fiber. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and contain an abundance of nutrients. Vegetables help you feel satisfied for a longer period of time than most other foods do. Fiber causes your stomach to feel fuller, along with having a better sense of satiety. Eating raw vegetables as snacks, appetizers, and in salads and side dishes is a smart way to fill-up on healthy foods to satisfy your hunger. Try filling half your plate with vegetables at meals.
  5. Healthy swaps. Substitute skim milk to decrease (saturated) fat and calorie intake. Consider substituting recipes with lower fat dairy products whenever possible. Replace sour cream with plain Greek yogurt, swap skim, 1% or 2% milk instead of whole milk in recipes. Other swaps include using rolled oats for bread crumbs, cauliflower as substitute for mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash for pasta, pureed low-fat cottage cheese for cream cheese, and even pureed fruit for sugar.
  6. Turkey = lean protein! Turkey is one of the leanest types of meat. Broil, stew, bake, or even grill your meats instead of frying them. Use a rack when cooking the turkey to allow the fat to drip away from the meat. When selecting other meats to prepare, choose leaner cuts when possible, such as loin or round cuts.
  7. Do not try to DIET! The holiday season is one of the most difficult times to try to diet for weight loss. Trying to follow a strict diet when you are not completely committed can cause you to relapse and binge on foods you have eliminated, and thus cause weight gain. Focus more onmaintaining your weight over the holidays. You can do this by controlling your portions, getting regular physical exercise, and making healthy food choices.
  8. Alcohol. A cocktail is like a cupcake. Everything in moderation is an even more difficult mantra to follow during the holidays at parties, gatherings, and events. One standard drink serving is 12 ounces of light beer, 8 ounces of regular beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor or spirits. Savor indulgent drinks (e.g., eggnog) as if they are a dessert. ALWAYS drink water between alcoholic beverages to prevent dehydration. This may also help to curb your appetite, helping to prevent overeating. Also, be choosy with your drink mixes. That is where the calories can add up quickly.
  9. Get active. A busy holiday schedule can easily derail your normal exercise routine. Try to workout early in the morning to avoid schedule conflicts in your day and/or have a backup plan. If you cannot make your normal fitness class or training session always know you can get a great body weight workout at home in just 15 minutes. Try a circuit of push-ups, squats, plank, tricep dips, and lunges. Do each exercise for 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest for 3 rounds. Remember to include fitness in your holiday traditions: play flag football, go sledding, take a walk to view the holiday lights or go caroling. (More Holiday Workouts)
  10. Out of sight. Keeping holiday snacks and treats out of sight drastically improves your odds of not mindlessly consuming them. Keep treats put away in the pantry in opaque containers and on a higher shelf. Freezing treats in individual servings can also improve portion control. You may also want to send to-go containers home with guests after the party packed with leftover treats.
  11. Be realistic. Holidays are centered around family, food, and fun! If you happen to splurge don’t feel guilty. One day will not make or break your nutrition and fitness routine. Stay mindful and aware of making sure that one day doesn’t turn into several. Even if it does, you can always start fresh. Not one day, one weekend, or even one week will completely ruin everything. You can always get back on track. The average holiday season weightgain has been logged at just under two pounds. The goal is to not gain those extra pounds at all, but if you do gain, don’t let those extra pounds stick around year after year.

Here’s to healthy holidays with food and fitness along with family, friends, and fun.

(original guide from HERE )

PINK Classes at Flex with CancerFund

Pink may not be your favorite color but it sure can be a color of cause for you to take note on.

Flex Studio fully supports Power to the Pink with special classes this October.”..

“In support of cancer awareness and women living with breast cancer, we will be running a series of PINK classes in collaboration with the CancerFund. For every participant that signs up for a class, HK$100 will be donated to the CancerFund Pink Revolution. All funds raised will go towards Pink Recovery Packs which will be delivered to the bedside of a breast cancer patient who has recently undergone surgery. These packs contain vital information, provisions and aids to ease women’s anxiety and discomfort, and guide them on the crucial next step of their cancer journey.” – 

EatPlayTrain PINK


An awesome highlight from Hong Kong’s contribution to World Pull Up day on the island side.

Check for updated scores worldwide and see if we set the world record or not!

Here are my chin ups:

In the mean time, I’m gonna enjoy doing some shopping 🙂

Thank you Street Workout Hong Kong team and Adidas!