Oh Deer….tame and wild, befriended us.

The deers in Miyajima live in harmony with the people in that  island also known as the Island of Gods. Truly a beautiful sight to observe the respect between the animals and humans surrounded by the calmness of the sea.

I believe if all of us knew where our true stand belongs, living in peace with our fellow humans will be less of just a mere hope and become a living reality.

In any case, if one needs a reality check and reminded of our grounds, I believe a ticket to Japan and a visit to Miyajima is way long over due!

Deer - I see youThis little one followed me around for roasted chestnuts! And gracefully allowed me to snap this picture. Only had to feed half a bag of chestnuts! Yet, it was well deserved.

Just a stroll down memory lane..

I have had the most amazing opportunities in life – to travel. To the most beautiful and breathtaking countries in this wonderful world of ours.

A pleasure that no words can describe. A satisfaction that could only be felt in our hearts through the gift of sight.

I wanted to write a lot about my travels, which I might. But for now, I present a feast for all of you world travellers, dreamers and globetrotters. From the countryside to the busiest cities in the world, come join me as I stroll down my memory lane..

Enjoy the photographs. Owned by me. If you share, please give me the due credit.

With much love.

Osaka-jo Castle in Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan.

One of Japan’s most famous and most important landmarks, built in 1583 by Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

Represents the unity of the Japanese. I was extremely lucky to visit during a festival of music, food and taiko drummers.

Osaka Jo - Chuo Ku

Dancing in scorching heat. I was dancing too, the music was so catchy 🙂

A boat ride around the moat. Best times of the year during the Cherry Blossom (Hanami viewing) in early April.

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Takoyaki – Octopus Balls, a popular street food especially in Osaka. Made with batter, octopus, pickled ginger and spring onions. Served with takoyaki sauce, kewpie ( Japanese mayonaise) and Katsuobushi otherwise known as Bonito, shavings of smoked and dried skipjack tuna. Oishii!!

An owl and an eagle, not one for a poser!

Fitness + Nutrition = Weightloss Journey

How did I begin this journey?

2 years ago, I had the amazing life changing an opportunity to live in a country where health and well being is second only to religion.

I saw men and women above the age of 70, living their life as if they were just birthed anew. A lot of my opinion about myself changed while living here.

I am speaking of none other than the Land of the Rising Sun – Japan!  Konnichiwa!!

So, what can I possibly say about this beautiful country? The people, the culture and traditions and food – all in one word. Blessing!

I will speak about Japan in more detail in my Travel very soon. Today, it’s about the healthy lifestyle that convinced me to follow them.

First of all, the food in Japan is delicious. Due to its complex simplicity – I am not talking about Sushi, guys! That’s ART and SKILL!  I’m talking everyday food that they eat. Home cooked meals. Lots of vegetables. Lots of fish and the wonder of wonderful Miso soup!

Now, being born and brought up in Malaysia, if there was one thing that I really missed the most, are the varieties of green vegetables that you cannot easily get in the UK.

I was lucky enough to stay at the Somerset Apartment in Tokyo ( located in front of the Tokyo Tower) my neighbour was Maruetsu, a supermarket. This was very exciting for me. Because I love food and love cooking. I saw myself at Maruetsu at least 3 times a week! My favourite aisle – you guessed right – the last section, lots and lots of vegetables especially the Green kind, both fresh and fermented. I went mad on it! Each day was a luxury for me. I was swimming in green!

Every meal consisted of at least 2 varieties of vegetables, kimchi, miso and a serving of fish or meat accompanied by rice. Still, there was more goodness on the plate because of its fresh ingredients and it was home cooked. I soon found myself adapting really well cooking Japanese dinners – no, not Sushi or Tempura. In fact, I ate Sushi once at Roppongi with my friends and Tempura twice, in Tokyo and Kyoto in all that 5 months I was in Japan! That’s how much home cooking I did all along the stay, which I am very proud to admit.

I enjoyed eating healthy and fell in love with the idea of my health healing. I fell in love with me.

That’s when it mused me. How much of goodness I’ve deprived myself over the years by allowing the western culture to take over my vibrant eastern culture. I am not saying the western food is bad. But cream, butter, deep fried and cream and butter and deep fried.. you see where I’m going with this? Haha – Yes!!

So, I decided it was time I went back to my roots. I found my ground and this time I was going to grow, stronger and healthier. I wanted to be vibrant and colourful too, just like the food I was abundantly offered in Japan.

I ditched my poor eating habits and switched to focus on my health. I was going to bring spice back into my life. Herb pots made its way into the kitchen.

I realised the food that is so yummy and delicious can also be healthy. I’m not saying that I ate takeaways 7 days and stuffed my face with chocolates and ice-creams before this journey began. I cooked my meals every day and night. Yet, I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t being as active as I used to be. I allowed myself to believe that I can eat anything, any amount and so what if I’ve gained weight. It’s my body and I can do as I please. Then, it was time to change.

It was time to change that mentality. It was time I changed and renewed myself.

And as I get older, my body’s metabolism also slowed down. I was constantly reminded that I was getting older. That was depressing. It didn’t have to be that way, we can’t stop time. Because in Japan, the oldest woman who lived was 117 years and 27 days old and I am not even half of that!

Misao Okawa was a great example of how we can always change the way we age and enable time to be in our favour. Simply by leading a healthier lifestyle – simply by Living!

That was the day I discovered myself- my EPIPHANY if you would call it that.

I’ve not given myself  2 years or 5 years from now to achieve a certain goal. Because this journey is for the rest of my life.

A complete lifestyle change was in order. I still enjoy the occasional social events and have fun. But, I never give up on my journey to health. I never forget why I started in the first place.

I lost my first 4kgs in Japan!

I came back to the UK a new person. I was confident that I will make this change permanent and I was going to follow through. I gave myself a few months to continue my Japanese adaptation of living, here in the UK.

I got a membership at my local gym.  And witnessed the loss of a whopping 22kg of weight in total ( a gradual progress no doubt),  the first year of hiring a personal trainer.

I have regained my strength. People say I look different – supposed to. All that hard work and dedication will show when you put your mind to it. Yes? YES! It does and it will.

Most importantly was how I felt on the inside not just by an appearance that made me. I got my MOJO back! I am happier, I am stronger, I am fitter and healthier. I rid off the negative thoughts and negative people from my circle and life.

I focussed on my dream of becoming an Author.

I started to build better relationships with family and friends who were there for me, at all times, mostly bad times.

I enjoy talking about my weight loss journey instead of shying away from it.

Take yourself less seriously and you will succeed in everything that you work hard. I laughed at myself when I can’t skip on the rope – still can’t but I laugh because I can! I smile when I finish 2 virtual spinning classes in a go because I couldn’t manage a 10 minutes bike workout before!

That is how I measured my progress. The confidence that I can now see myself in the mirror – naked. Yes, Naked. And smile. Because I am in love with that body! That body is mine. I worked hard to see that change and I’ve put it through a lot of beating. In return, my body is showing its love to me.

All it took was the 5 months in Japan which changed my entire perspective of life and living. I never believed I could make living a healthy life a reality. Now, nothing is impossible. I have proved it to myself that I was my hardest obstacle and now I am my wisest strength.

Waking up to a new me every day, realising that this is also part of my ambition keeps me going. I haven’t looked back since!

Arigatou Gozaimasu, Japan! I’m forever humbled and grounded to you!

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