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30 Day Challenge #1 - Updates

Recap: 30 day challenge of eating no sugar or white carbs and no missed workoutsThe first 12 days went almost perfectly.  I ate mainly meat, fish & veg. Had light meals and some fruit in the evenings.  I went from 86.9kg to 83.5kg - a 3.4kg weight loss.  Training was basically a daily 5 minute HIIT workout but I managed to get two 4km runs in there as well.The next 12 days were a disaster. During the Chinese New Year family gatherings I ate a lot of rice and noodle. There were about a half dozen beers and cider in the mix as well.I also missed every single workout after that. There have been many work related projects and CNY events to deal with and I've been pretty burnt out. Of course, these are just circumstances that are shared by almost everyone who has a full-time job and kids (and I don't even have kids!). Life gets in the way, and sometimes it ain't easy.  I make no excuses for failing. Knowing that I screwed up big time and I have to do better next time, the 3…
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Everything we know about addiction is wrong?

What if everything we thought about addiction was wrong? This is an informative talk by Johann Hari that made me think about my addictive and unconscious behaviors, the worst of which is probably spending hours surfing the internet aimlessly.

I know, he's a disgraced former journalist due to plagiarism. But there's stuff to be learnt here despite the fact that he dismisses chemical hooks being a source of addiction.

Here's a summary of my key takeaways from his talk:

Chemical hooks may not always be responsible for addiction. Accident patients are given diamorphine while recovering in hospital, but don't get addicted. Grandmothers don't get addicted after hip replacements.  During the Vietnam war, it was estimated that 20% soldiers were using heroin, but when they came home, they didn't need rehab or experience withdrawal symptoms. 90% just stopped using drugs.

Rat experiment:
Scientist places a rat in a cage and provides two types of water - plain water & …

The secret to a meaningful life...

Some simple rules to improve your quality of life:Have at least 20 minutes of face to face conversation with:1. Your spouse or partner - every day
2. Your siblings and close friends - every week
3. Your parents, grandparents and mentors - every monthJust take the time to catch up, update each other, gossip and chit-chat about life.If distance is an issue, Facetime works too.Because the secret to a meaningful life is more meaningful relationships.

Thoughts About Work

It's Monday again, and back to the weekly grind for many of us.  Do you get excited about getting back to work or do you countdown to the next weekend?I personally don't know too many people who have full-time jobs that they're happy or passionate about.  It's also tough being a fresh graduate in these economic times, with student debt, high stress work and low starting pay. Many opt to forego money and pursue their startup dreams. Neither road may offer much security in this day and age.Recently I heard someone on Tim Ferriss's podcast mention something worthwhile:
No matter how tough or unpleasant your job or business is, think of it as performing a crucial function in your life: character buildingIt helps me get through the week, more often than anyone knows ;)Updates: Day 2 of the 30 Day Challenge #1 is going well.  Avoided rice/noodles and did a short run yesterday.

30 Day Challenge #1

I've decided to do a 30 day challenge:1) No white carbs or sugar with the exception of a few beers during the Chinese New Year2) No missed daily workouts (at minimum a full 5 minute HIIT workout)The challenge will run from 15 Jan to 15 Feb and I'll post my results here.The reward for successfully completing this is probably going to be some ramen noodles and hopefully a much leaner physique :)

Life Habits & Tips: Part 3 - Pick 5 things

Let's face it, we can't all be like da Vinci or Musk.  There's a finite number or goals and projects that we can accomplish before we run out of time.These days we can learn so many new skills and acquire an unlimited number of new hobbies just by going on Youtube.  When people with passion share what they do or love, some of that passion tends to rub off on us.  It's appealing, tempting and dangerous at the same time.I know my ideal bio would read "Tournament chess & poker playing aikido black belt novelist who is also an accomplished skateboarder & ironman triathlete. Also owns a world class vintage watch collection which he photographs and posts on his blog".Yeah riiiiiiight.Jack of all trades, delusions of grandeur and all that. Without focus, my attention gets pulled all over and I end up mile wide, inch deep.A wise man then taught me (can't remember if it was Seneca, Altucher or Ferriss) to make a list of 15 things I really wanted to do.  Th…

How to avoid getting hooked on TV

Not a week goes by without someone recommending me a new awesome TV series.  I know it's totally justified as we have been living in the golden age of television since the 2000s.Lea & I have watched some great series together  such as Breaking Bad, Daredevil (Season 1 only), Sherlock & GoT.The quality of writing and directing has gotten so good that you could quit your job and watch TV full time and still not be fulfilled.So what do I do when a new series genuinely intrigues me?1. Disconnect
I don't have broadband or Netflix or iFlix at home. We borrow or buy DVDs when we want to watch something.  We also go to the movies pretty regularly.  Of course, we still have internet at home (via mobile data)2. Wikipedia
99.9% of the time I'm sure that I'm not gonna watch it, but I'm intrigued by the premise or maybe what friends are telling me about it, so I spend 5-10 mins googling the plot points & spoilers.  After that, it's done. Cravings killed.3. Read …