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Given that I absolutely adore food and haven’t really ever actively tried to lose weight, this has been a somewhat trying time. :[ I already eat pretty healthily most days, and I already work out fairly regularly, but I’m pretty sure I used to eat way more than I actually needed to on a fairly regular (aka daily) basis because I like food more than I like drinking fluids (and I hate having to get up all the time to go pee), which basically translated to me being in a perpetually dehydrated state.

It sucks, but I wanna do well, so I’m doing it.

Truth be told, I was supposed to start dieting back in mid-April, when my whole I’m-going-to-enter-a-powerlifting-competition ambition began. But two days after this idea was placed into my head, our town had their annual chocolate festival…and then a week later, it was my birthday

Basically, I made all the excuses in the world to avoid having to diet. :[ I’ve never actively tried to lose weight because weight can fluctuate so much so easily. I also don’t own a scale, so I’d much rather go by what I look like in the mirror. A couple days ago, my friend suggested I check out how much weight I lost from night to morning, so I decided to take him up on that.

At 7:30 p.m., when I weighed myself, I was at 125.8. 5 cups of tea/water and a meal of grilled tilapia + steamed veggies later, I was 3 pounds heavier (3 hours later). The next morning, I’d lost 2.2 pounds.

(You see why I’d rather just look in the mirror? >_> )

I really, really wish I could just work out harder instead of watching what I eat, because to me, lifting a couple hundred pounds is infinitely easier than curbing the sheer amounts of food that I consume. (Let’s not factor in how much I crave unhealthy food when I need to study. :'( )

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. :[ When I stepped on the scale about a week ago and saw that my weight hadn’t changed at all (still at 127), I got pretty worried, because I need to be at 123 for the competition. Granted, a lot of this must be water weight (at least, I hope so), because I’ve been guzzling water/green tea like a fiend (it helps to curb the hunger and possibly increases insulin sensitivity/has potential effects on energy metabolism + fat oxidation). In a sense, this is good because, I kid you not, this is the most well-hydrated I’ve ever been. I seriously need to start some kind of a caloric deficit though if I don’t want to be completely miserable next weekend (last-minute ideas include not drinking anything on Friday and then putting on all the clothes I own and running a mile or three, or spitting in a cup all day).

My “maxes” (quotations used because they’re not my 1RM; I still have no idea what those are, but I guess we’ll see) are currently as follows! (This is probably what they’ll stay at because today’s my last day for gains.)
Deadlift: 255
Squat: 225
Bench press: 120

I was at the gym on Tuesday and one of my friends (co-officer for FM club) asked me what I was working on.
F: Today’s deadlift day!
J: Is that all you do?
F: Well, there’s squats and bench press and several other accessory exercises too, but that’s the big one for today.
J: Cool. I’ve always been really impressed by your deadlifts.
F: Really? :D!
J: Yeah! They’re awesome!
D: What are you at right now, 235?
F: Yep! I did 225 last Friday, so I figured I’d move up.
(I was going to shoot for 250, but they convinced me to try for 255.)
J: Alright, let’s do this, Farrah!
F: Alright!! (manages 2 reps)
J: Holy shit. That’s really, really impressive. I wonder if I can do that. I’m a little scared to try now.
D: Yeah, it looked like you weren’t having much trouble with it. You know what’s really impressive though?
F: What?
D: Can I see one of your hands?
F: (holds up hand) They’re puny, I know. :[ It sucks for piano.
D: Your hands are about half the size of mine and you can still lift all that weight.

Encouragement and positive self-talk has been monumentally helpful.
From mid-April to now, I’ve gone from:

  • 110 to 120 for BP
  • 185 to 220 for S
  • 215 to 260 for D

I still don’t know what my 1RM is for any of em’ though. My bench press sucks. :[ We’ll see if I find out my maxes next week!

Daniel and Justin say that if I do manage to break the national records (I’m pretty far off right now, but someday!), they’ll put up a banner for me in the second year classroom. :D

Waking up in the morning and seeing some really awesome abs staring back at me = amazing motivation. If being driven by sheer vanity and dreams of badassery can make me stick to this, so be it!



What do you value about EXB?

Last year, for some unbeknownst reason, Davis decided to temporarily suspend EXB (Exercise Biology) as a major. I am fully aware that I’m completely biased, seeing as how that was one of my majors, but [to me]  it was quite possibly one of the stupidest decisions the school has ever made.

EXB changed my life, and I’m very sure that I’m not the only one. I loved almost all the EXB courses I took (with the exception of biomechanics, but that was due to the fact that I hadn’t taken the prerequisite or the recommended co-requisite yet due to my quarterly attempts at academic suicide), and I still carry the things that I learned from those classes with me today. My decision to change my original major to EXB was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The teaching and instruction that I received from the amazing professors in that department remain unparalleled, and I’ve taken a crap ton of classes (105 different classes in my four years of undergrad alone >_> let’s not factor in grad school and med school), so I really think that’s saying something. It’s 1/2 of how I started exercising regularly (so I wouldn’t be a disgrace to my major, and also because my ex offered to be my free personal trainer, so why the hell not).

I’m actually lying about not having a clue as to why they suspended it as a major. Word on the street was that people thought it was “just another premed major, and the school already had enough of those.” Seeing as how I’m a poster child for that very reasoning because I’m currently in med school, I can’t argue against the fact that it is indeed an amazing major to be under if med school is indeed your goal, but it’s also produced a whole ton of dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, physician assistants, nurses…(I could go on, but I’ll stop there.)

Please don’t take that major away. :[ It’s honestly one of the most unique majors in the school (with the funnest, most informative and applicable classes, I might add).

Loosely related, but I helped out at a women’s health fair the other day and while I was there, I decided to check out what my bone density was. (I also got to see just how sun-damaged my face had gotten. Apparently, it’s not nearly as terrible as I thought. Mayhaps all those years of my parents telling me to keep my face out of the sun so I wouldn’t get any more freckles/get any uglier weren’t all for naught after all.) Anyway, back to bones. Once upon a time (senior year of undergrad), Dr. Shaffrath called me out in the middle of EXB 117 to say that I was an awesome human being. (I still wish I’d recorded that lecture, because I’m pretty sure it’d cheer me up even on my worst days.)

His reasons for doing so were because I’d somewhat recently volunteered to be the test subject for the hypothermia lab (it is just as it sounds; I basically submerged all but my head in a tank of cold water for an hour so we could monitor how my body responded to it vs. someone who exercised on a cycle ergometer next to me in the same tank). Usually, shivering is the beginning of the end and once you start doing that, you’re done for if you stay in said conditions for too much longer. But! We discovered that I was at the perfect body fat:muscle ratio that my shivering actually managed to raise my core body temperature. Pretty sweet. (Super-fun labs, didn’t I tell you? It’s been 3.5 years but I still remember all that pretty effing clearly.)

I’m really bringing this all up to preface my bone density results. I did a presentation in Cantonese for PHAC that year too, to educate the public (e.g. our patients) about osteoporosis. As an Asian female with a fairly small frame, a family history of osteoporosis (although I think it’s due in part to the fact that she’s sedentary/had to take corticosteroids for a while) and possible low calcium intake (I may be lactose intolerant, and I haven’t been eating/drinking much stuff with Ca lately), I have several risk factors for osteoporosis.

But hooray for weight-bearing activity, right? Your calcium stores peak at around the age of 25, so start building em’ so you’ll have farther to fall (especially if you’re female)!

I guess 0.9 isn’t too shabby. (My friend was at 1.5, so I’m really curious as to what she does. Mayhaps I should increase my calcium intake and start kicking telephone poles.)

  • 0 to -1: normal bone density
  • -1 to -2.5: osteopenia (early osteoporosis)
  • -2.5 or less: osteoporosis

So this is my public service announcement to everyone:

  • Prevention is key!
  • Make sure you get adequate calcium + vitamin D.
    Up to 1 yo: 210-270 mg
    1-3 yo: 500 mg
    4-8 yo: 800 mg
    9-18 yo: 1300 mg
    19-50 yo: 1000 mg
    51+: 1200 mg
    Vitamin D
    400-1000 IU/day for adults (it’s safe for anyone older than 1 yo to take up to 2000 IU/day)
  • Weight-bearing activity!
  • Don’t smoke!

90’s pop

Nothing makes me feel like more of a badass than lifting weights to Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears.

We have Shane to thank for this.

The guys sing em’ together in between sets. It’s pretty awesome [and hilarious].


Alright, kids! I was waiting til after my exam to share this news, and now that it’s over, here it is!

I’m entering a powerlifting competition! :]!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know that I aspire to be a badass, and that I set up arbitrary levels of badassery that I want to achieve (e.g. choking out my friend Mike-still in the works). I like working out because it relieves stress and keeps me sane/healthy, but have been going it alone basically ever since I started because most of my female friends here don’t even want to be in the gym at the same time I am (my presence apparently makes them feel bad ;_; ). I also operated on a somewhat insane schedule, but anyway, over here, this basically translates to me working out with my guy friends.

Two days before our endocrine final, Steve (I can now call him a friend now since we actually talk and stuff, haha) found me at the gym (or vice versa, since I got there after him). I’d had intentions of going to do some cardio so I could study and exercise at the same time, but as it always happens, I ended up running over to the weights instead. (By the way, this weather we’ve been having reallyyyy makes me wish I liked running, but alas.)

S: I’ve been comparing med school to Cinderella. You basically only get to live one night each month, and then you go back to being a pumpkin for all the other days of the month.
F: That’s quite possibly the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard. :[
S: Think about it though. When are you happy? After an exam.
F: True, but what about when you’re eating good food? :D
S: Farrah, we were born for each other.

lawl. Anyway, he was saying how if I end up staying here this summer and we hang out, we will likely get absolutely nothing done in terms of studying in advance for boards because we’ll just end up at the gym. Or eating. He probably has a point.

S: But if you’re here this summer, I really want to take you to a powerlifting competition. It’d be really fun.
F: :O! Really? When is it? That’d be really cool!
S: By take you to one, I mean enter you in one.
F: :O! Even better! But I’d need to train a lot. I’m kinda shitty right now.
S: No, Farrah, you don’t understand. If you were to enter now, you’d win.
F: What? Seriously? :O
S: I’m not kidding. But if I work with you, we can probably get your squats to 200. Your deadlifts are probably at the very least 225, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were more.
F: Are you sure about that? I’ve still never done anything over 185.
S: Farrah, I’ve seen you lift. You could easily do over 225.
F: Full of awesome! My bench press is terrible though. I’ve been stuck at 95 for ages.
S: That’s okay; bench press is every girl’s worst event. I’ll just work with you on technique and you’ll be fine. So you really would be interested?
F: Hells yes! That’d be awesome!

So that was Tuesday.

At present, I’m shooting for the 123-lb. weight class since I currently weigh around 126 in the middle of the day, give or take a pound. Steve says I could get to that with basically no effort required…but then I talked to Mike (and again, I will preface that he used to wrestle) and he said he could work with me and easily cut me down to the 114 lb. weight class. Now, the amount I know about wrestling could probably be filled into a thimble and nothing more, but my brother and two of my closest family friends used to do it back in junior high/high school, so I am aware of the crazy things they do to lose weight that cannot be. in any universe, deemed healthy. He’s apparently cut from 180 to compete in 165 in a couple days (or was it a single day? I don’t even known anymore).

However, he did preface that he’ll only help with that if I really actually want to get down to 114, since it’d be entirely fine for me to compete in 123, but if I want, he’ll do a much more simmered down version so I won’t (a) hate life, (b) be miserable, and (c) do ridiculously unhealthy things to myself. (Since I weigh almost 60 lbs less than him, those 12 pounds are gonna be harder to lose.) Between the three of us, I think we have enough of a science background to not ruin me forever. PATH TO GLORY AND GREATNESS, HERE I COME!

Anyway, I’m super excited, if you can’t tell, and I think this will be an awesome experience. :]

Since we finished our exam yesterday, I met up with Steve at the gym later in the day so he could check my form/teach me technique/get a baseline estimate of what I can do currently so he could draw up a game plan for me over the next almost-2 months. I PR’ed in every lift yesterday, and they definitely weren’t my max lifts. It was awesome. :D

Deadlift: 215 (my form was slightly off on this one and I was making it harder than it needed to be, so apparently, I could do a crap ton better)
Squat: 185
Bench Press: 110

So between the two of them…SHINY TROPHY, YOU ARE MINE! (Hopefully.)

The only downside is that this means I have to go on a diet. Since this blog pretty much revels in food, I’m pretty sure you know just how miserable this may make me, especially since I already eat pretty healthily. (I basically just need to scale back on the vast quantities I consume.) We had a birthday dinner for my friend yesterday and I was referring to it as my last supper, but apparently diet starts Monday, which means I can go to the chocolate festival tomorrow.



Let’s face it: in a small town where everyone knows everyone, if you show your face in public at all (aka if you’re not a complete basement-dweller), you’re bound to gain a reputation of some sort.

Among my friends, I’m the jack of all trades (with the exception of my neighbor, who calls me the “bad Asian”). The question they like asking most is, “Is there anything you don’t do?” (Sadly, there’s plenty. :[ ) They call it talent; I call it having way too many interests.

At school, my reputation is as follows:
1) hula girl
2) girl who lifts hella heavy stuff at the gym
3) resident food receptacle

(Monika: “You’re the hula girl who goes hard at the gym and eats everything.”)

That is not unlike what I was known for at Davis. :D Except at Davis, I was also the music librarian and the resident [and/or emergency] accompanist.

Some things don’t change. :] I can definitely live with that. :D

I did a massive cleansing/revamp of the recipes once more (partially because I wanna join the secret recipe club :x ). There shouldn’t be any more broken links. :] Sorry about before!