Paying it forward…..

Paying it forward…..

From hating Bangkok to actually loving it for what it has given me. It has made me open my eyes to what a rat race we live in, people are just so busy within themselves and not bothered about anybody else. People here are very quick to judge, I have been called Osama, or they think I am an Arab or just a stinking ignorant Indian. When I tell them I am from the UK, they look at me with disbelief.

Apart from one, the Sikhs have been very unfriendly. This has actually stopped me from visiting the Gurdwara. My friend was doing an Akhand Paath, I asked what help can I give, he looked at me confused, help?! We just give the money to the Gurdwara and they take care of everything. We then only attend on Sunday. Here money talks…..!!

In the ‘ghetto’ you see people living in one bedroom houses, sorry that is incorrect and I should say one room houses. Everything is done in the one room, it is a living room, bedroom, kitchen and dining room in one, if lucky the toilet is outside. Yet, when you walk past they are happy to say hello and talk to you. Some people are actually offering me food! No matter how little food they have, they are always eating, smiling and joking as a family. We have so much yet we always want more…..!! The media, a fantastic marketing tool always brain washes us into thinking ‘we need that…..!’ Or ‘we should look like this…..!’

There is a huge drinking and drug culture here. From doing a quick search there is no support network here for people to talk or resolve their issues. There is a Kundalini Yoga class downtown but they charge 400 baht per class (about £8 GBP). This is a huge amount of money so the clientele will be well off.

The people in the ghetto have got used to me, well I do stand out! Probably the only guy there with a beard and moustache! They always have time to talk to me. The motorbike taxis are always discussing football, now I do not know a thing about the sport so I just mention a few club names and they cheer me! The stall holders are always asking how am I or where am I going. It is a genuine interest. Of course this relationship did not happen overnight but built over the last three months.

I have got so much out of Bangkok but given back nothing. Now this really upsets me, the Thais are amazing and once you build a bond are very friendly.

If you have any ideas how we can help, please do comment or email me…..

 

Is this life…..?

Is this life…..?

Starting weight: 88.8kg
Target weight: 63kg
Weight recorded on November 22nd 2013: 77.3kg

 

When I started training at the WPT gym in Bangkok, I was so wishing the three months would quickly pass…..now I have roughly ten days, I am thinking why did I wish the time away…..? Especially as I am making excellent progress with my weight loss and fitness.

This is what could be possible with my current training and diet:

Oops I just read the statement about putting my body in starvation mode!!

This has made me think, is life like this? Are we wishing this wonderful gift of life away? When we are young we are always wishing to be older so we can do ‘adult’ things, e.g. drive a car. Go out traveling, not have to be told what to do. Then when we are adults we are thinking I want to retire…..!

On a Monday one would go to work wishing Friday would quickly arrive. Literally not living and enjoying each moment but always looking towards the future.

This was my experience here, always looking forward to going home and giving Sangeet a huge hug. Sometimes hating being here, especially after the first month when I was training very hard and not making any dent to my weight.

Two years ago when I had the huge weight loss, within 4 weeks I had gone from 95kg to 70kg (so wish I had joined weight watchers, I would have been their ultimate winner, then could have gone on various chat shows, e.g. Oprah and “discussed” how I lost the weight through meditation and yoga, I could have made billions!!) the surgeon without taking any biopsies and whilst I was in theatre fully awake with a camera up my….well I am sure you know where. He announced I had cancer!! The week that followed was just so painful, I was in tears, in fact writing and thinking about it now has started to make my eyes water. Only then I wished I had done the things you are always putting off to the future.

We are always putting things off to the future, “I will go traveling when I retire” or whatever your heart desires. We should make the most of life and do it now. Who knows we may not reach the retirement age…..!!

 

Eat to live…..or live to eat…..?

Eat to live…..or live to eat…..?

Starting weight: 88.8kg
Target weight: 63kg
Weight recorded on November 20th 2013: 80.8kg

 

How much do we really need to eat…..?

I never asked myself this question until I started training here in Bangkok. In the UK my philosophy was what the hell just eat away, sometimes I would try and eat healthy, go to the gym and not see any weight loss, I thought to myself I am eating food which I am not really enjoying, I would then just go back to eating naughty foods!

Training and living here has let me experiment with my eating habits, when I first started, I ate two very large meals a day, both after training. There was no in-between snacking. At first this felt great, eat as much as possible, you will definitely burn it off. After the first month my weight had hardly changed!

I then cut out the rice and ate more vegetables. Excellent for a few days until I seemed to be loosing my energy. The electrolytes came next, this helped a bit but not much, I found just drinking plain iced water helped a lot more.

Now comes wearing a sweatsuit, the first few weeks were exhausting. I did the walk/run came back to the gym and literally collapsed! I needed large amounts of water, which annoyed Master Pimu!

For the lack of energy I tried eating a banana before training, for some people this may help but I found myself being more sluggish…..
Also tried eating once a day. You would think I will have no energy and actually you are right, I lasted about one round of hitting the pads after that my performance just went down hill!! At first eating once a day I was loosing half a kilogram per training session then after a few days my weight had shot up!!
 
At the moment after the morning training session I would have a small portion of vegetables, no rice. Around 13:30 I will have some fruit. In the evening I will have another small bowl of vegetables.
I know some people have said that fruit is not the best but at the moment for me it seems to be working…..I have energy for my training sessions, which are so much more intense, the last two weeks are going to be crazy…..!!!
As yet I am still working on eating habits that suit me…..
What works for you…..?

 

Open note to myself…..

Open note to myself…..

This is an open note to myself, when things are getting tough or I want to give up, I can look back and read this. Also it reminds me to carry on eating healthy!

I have worked extremely hard over the last 2.5 months, the training has been very tough, extreme Muay Thai training twice a day in the intense heat. You could say I have gone to the extremes in order to get onto a healthy lifestyle. So far it has been worth it! It would be a big shame to see this gone to waste.

IMAGE_59.jpg

My workouts now consist of 420 sit ups and 150 knees per session, so 840 sit-ups per day, before I leave Bangkok this will have increased to 1000 sit-ups a day. In the UK, I started doing sit-ups and got to 50 after a while I gave up, when I tried to get back into doing sit-ups I found 10 very hard!!

Sometimes one takes for granted at what level they have reached. When one sees no fast results it is easy to give up.

 

Loi Kartong…..

Loi Kartong…..

Today is the celebration Loi Kartong which is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand and certain parts of Laos and Burma (in Shan State). The name could be translated “Floating Crown” or “Floating Decoration”, and comes from the tradition of making buoyant decorations which are then floated on a river.

Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.Loi means ‘to float’, while krathong refers to the (usually) lotus-shaped container which floats on the water. Krathong has no other meaning in Thai besides decorative floats, so Loi Krathong is very hard to translate, requiring a word describing what a Krathong looks like such as Floating Crown, Floating Boat, Floating Decoration. The traditional krathong are made from a slice of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. Modern krathongs are more often made of bread or styrofoam. A bread krathong will disintegrate after a few days and can be eaten by fish. Banana stalk krathong are also biodegradable, but styrofoam krathongs are sometimes banned, as they pollute the rivers and may take years to decompose. A krathong is decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, incense sticks, and a candle. A small coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.Government offices, corporations and other organizations bring large decorated krathongs. There are competitions for the best such krathong. A beauty contest is a regular feature and fireworks have become common in recent years.

Loi Krathong is often claimed to have begun in the Sukhothai by a court lady named Nopphamat. However, it is now known that the Nopphamat tale comes from a poem written in the early Bangkok period. According to H.M. King Rama IV, writing in 1863, it was a Brahmanical festival that adapted by Thai Buddhists in Thailand to honor Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama. The candle venerates the Buddha with light, while the krathong’s floating symbolizes letting go of all one’s hatred, anger, and defilements. People sometime cut their fingernails or hair and placed the clippings on the krathong as a symbol of letting go of negative thoughts. However, many ordinary Thai use the krathong to thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha (Thai: พระแม่คงคา).The beauty contests that accompany the festival are known as “Nopphamat Queen Contests”. According to legend, Nang Nopphamat (Thai: นางนพมาศ; alternatively spelled as “Noppamas” or “Nopamas”) was a consort of the Sukothai king Loethai (14th century) and she had been the first to float a decorated raft. However, this is a new story which was invented during the first part of the 19th century. There is no evidence that a Nang Nopphamat ever existed. Instead, it is a matter of fact that a woman of this name was the leading character of a novel released during the end of the reign of King Rama III – around 1850 CE. Her character was written as guidance for all women who wished to become civil servants.

Kelantan in Malaysia also celebrates the same celebration, especially in the Tumpat area. The ministry in charge of tourism in Malaysia recognises it as an attraction for tourists. Many people visit the celebration each year.

 

Loi Krathong coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival known as “Yi Peng.” Due to a difference between the old Lanna calendar and the Thai calendar, Yi Peng is held on a full moon of the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar (“Yi” meaning “2nd” and “Peng” meaning “month” in the Lanna language). A multitude of Lanna-style sky lanterns are launched into the air where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the sky. The festival is meant as a time for tham bun, to make merit. People usually make khom loi from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached. When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air which is trapped inside the lantern creates enough lift for the khom loi to float up into the sky. In addition, people will also decorate their houses, gardens and temples with khom fai intricately shaped paper lanterns which take on different forms. Khom thue are lanterns which are carried around hanging from a stick, khom khwaen are the hanging lanterns, and khom pariwat which are placed at temples and which revolve due to the heat of the candle inside. The most elaborate Yi Peng celebrations can be seen in Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom, where now both Loi Krathong and Yi Peng are celebrated at the same time resulting in lights floating on the waters, lights hanging from trees/buildings or standing on walls, and lights floating by in the sky. The tradition of Yi Peng was also adopted by certain parts of Laos during the 16th century.

 

 

I am way ahead of all of you…..

I am way ahead of all of you…..

According to the Buddhist Era I am in the year 2556…..

Thailand mainly uses the Buddhist Era which is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian year. The year AD 2006 is indicated as 2549 BE in Thailand. Despite adopting ISO 8601 (see below,) Thai official date is still written in DDMMYYYY format, such as 1 January 2549 BE (AD 2006) or 23/04/2555.

ISO 8601 Data elements and interchange formats – Information interchange – Representation of dates and times is an international standard covering the exchange of date and time-related data. It was issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was first published in 1988. The purpose of this standard is to provide an unambiguous and well-defined method of representing dates and times, so as to avoid misinterpretation of numeric representations of dates and times, particularly when data is transferred between countries with different conventions for writing numeric dates and times.The standard organizes the data so the largest temporal term (the year) appears first in the data string and progresses to the smallest term (the second). It also provides for a standardized method of communicating time-based information across time zones by attaching an offset to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Looking around you wonder if in the future the world will be like this.

Some people have no time, they are working 7 days a week, every three to four months, if the employer decides, they can take a day off!

When people are in restaurants, bars and even clubs they are always attached to their smartphones/tablets, they just need to know what everybody else is doing, they then feel the need to tell everybody else what they are doing.

Could this be a Facebook entry of the future?

“I have just been on the dance floor, danced to the music, it felt strange dancing and not being able to check my phone. Luckily the dance only lasted 1 minute so my phone and I were not apart for long!”

Then there is the traffic, a short journey takes so long because of the crazy traffic jams and nobody walks, they love taking busses, taxis or motorbike taxis. When mentioned that I was going for a walk to the Tesco Lotus, everybody was in shock they said take a taxi as it is very far! It is a 20 minute walk!!

Pollution is just so bad, you are walking in the street and the bus passes you all you can see is black exhaust fumes, one just has to cover their nose!

 

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