Sound of Rain And Thunder: Going Into Zen State of Mind


It was well known fact that music improves the productivity and in particular at for me, the sound of heavy rain and distance thunder.

Whenever I am going to work on some deep, complex issues that needs me to check sheets over sheets of spreadsheets and need to add formulas all of the place, I will put on the headphones and put my favourite collection of music so that I can focus.

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Some News on Dieting

A quick one before I am off on another travel assignment

(MRI scan that reveals the fat against a normal sized person. Photo source:

I weighed myself this morning – I have lost 2 kilograms. I know I could have lost more if I had put more effort to exercise but that is a story for another time

In the past, I thought exercise was the only way to reduce my weight but after watching BBC’s Truth about Food, it changed my whole understanding of the losing weight and eating the “right” food.

In this series, the conclusion was outright simple – we end up becoming fat simply because we eat too much. There were other interesting facts too – take more calcium (low fat high calcium milk is a good source) to reduce more fat and always keep track of what we eat (this means no heavy food whilst watching TV), take more liquid food to keep the pangs of hunger away and take more protein. I started to change on how I take my food on daily basis.

Then I read Gary Taubes’ post in the Reader’s Digest on how wrong we have been when it comes to reducing fat by reducing oil intake and exercising. He says:-

Obesity experts have gotten things just about completely backward. If you look carefully at the research, fat isn’t the enemy; easily digested carbohydrates are. The very foods that we’ve been sold as diet staples – white rice, fat-free yogurt, plain baked potatoes (hold the butter), and plain pasta (hold the olive oil, sauce, and cheese) – actually reset our physiology to make us pack on the pounds. And the foods that we’ve been told to shun – steak, burgers, cheese, even the sour cream so carefully scraped from that potato – can help us finally lose the weight and keep our hearts healthy.

Eating less calories and exercising won’t keep people thin, it will just make people hungry. Paying attention to the hormonal and enzymatic regulation of the fat tissue will give us the answer for what causes obesity and what cures it.

I have been eating less at night, taking plenty of low fat, high calcium milk in place of rice if I am at home, doing simple abs exercise and lately have started playing badminton in the weekends.

This started several months ago and I managed to drop 2 kilograms only recently. It is not much but that got me thinking – Gary Taubes may be correct after all when it comes to diet. Kill that rice off and take low carb for a real reduction of weight.

That’s my target from now onwards…

Read Also:-

Reader’s Digest’s The Myths of Losing Weight

Funny Gym Attire

Here’s one for the weekend…

(It has been a while since I last went to a gym but I don’t recall when was the last time I heard someone was moaning in the gym. Graph source:

From Malay Mail:-

HAVING your gym membership terminated because of your exercise gear is probably the last thing you would expect to happen.

As ludicrous as it may sound, this was the exact bombshell that landed on a 47-year-old administrator by one of the largest privately-owned health clubs in the world.

“The staff, one of whom is the manager of the gym known as Maggie, stopped me and told me that they wanted to have a talk with me immediately. They then took me to a tea stall nearby where she bluntly told me I was no longer allowed into the gym as they have terminated my membership.”

LOKE says if her dressing is considered indecent, the fitness centre should have a dress code so that members know what they should or should not wear.

“I also would like to know which clause states that we must be silent during classes? In fact, the instructors encourage us to be more participative. I did not cause anyone any problems. It is very unfair for a loyal member to be treated in this manner.”

The gym center replied to the allegations in the paper and they seem to have valid points to terminate her membership but the really funny part was the readers’ comments at the bottom. Some of the classic ones are:-

If I were to tell you her ‘activities’, one whole day wouldn’t be enough to tell half. You might say I’m mean but when you have to exercise with such an ‘INTERESTING’ sideshow, your blood would boil or you might die from over laughing

You haven’t experienced the torment that we have suffered from all those years going to classes with her. I swear if murder was legal…

Moans during the exercise? Please respect the male members. They can’t work out if certain parts of their body obstruct the movement of the lower parts of their body

Can I have her number? Is she attached?

Damn, this is really, really funny!

Read Also

Handling Gym Equipment

Let’s learn facial yoga

For those Muslims who is worried that doing yoga “may lead to another”, here is a perfect yoga pose that will not give you the opportunity to do any chanting (unless you want to sound retarded).

(This pose is known as “Free Your Tongue” – highly recommended for politicians who could not rein in their tongue and make fool of themselves. Image source: Time Online)

It is recommended that you hold this pose for 60 seconds. It is good if your eyes water; that flushes the toxins that may have accumulated there.

Click here for more poses but read the story in the Time titled “Should a Pious Muslim Practice Yoga?” first. It is an interesting read.

Yoga banned, next…

(Exercising through yoga is un-Islamic. Image source:

What’s next, smart guys?

In case you have missed it, you got to read this to believe it – from theStar:-

The National Fatwa council has declared that the yoga practice which involves three elements of physical movements, worshipping and chanting as haram (prohibited) in Islam. Its chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said although merely doing the physical movements of yoga minus the worshipping and chanting might not be wrong in the eyes of the religion, it should be avoided as “doing one would lead to another”.

He said yoga has been practised by the Hindu community for thousands of years and incorporates physical and religious elements and chants and worshipping, with the aim at “being one with God”.

When I heard about this “ruling” from my cousin during the weekends, I was not angry, I was not sad but instead I wanted to laugh. I really wanted to laugh out aloud. Perhaps those who have been living in cocoons  all these years did not realised that there are many branches of yoga.

Remember sometime ago, when some idiots made police report against an ice cream manufacturer for adding pattern cross on the biscuits? The same “my beliefs on the religion are very fragile, so screw the rest” case here?

But then, who are we to question the ruling as long as it does not affect us.  There is not loss to the Non Muslims, anyway.

So, what’s next – banning the Muslims from watching Hindi movies? I won’t be surprised if that happens anytime soon, after all there are Hindu worshipping scenes in Hindi movies and I am sure that that this “could lead to another”

For those Muslims itching to give away Datukship to Shah Rukh Khan, you may to read this interesting piece on the man (there is a documentary made on his personal life, checkout Youtube for details):-

Shahrukh Khan is a Muslim but celebrates Diwali and Christmas along with Eid every year. He keeps a Lakshmi Pooja every year in his office and at home. He even has a Christmas tree at home. From all the festivals Shahrukh’s kids love Christmas the most.

Shahrukh Khan has the holy Quran Bismillah kept along with the idols of Indian Gods at his place. His kids pray to both the God’s simultaneously

Even Shah Rukh Khan will find the latest ruling on yoga amusing.

Morning Exercise

It’s simple and fast…

We have it once a day, first thing in the morning and before we start our work and we take turn which ensures everyone gets a chance. Even other departments have noticed this too.

We have morning talks. The “speaker” for the day can speak on any topics for 5 minutes and we been doing this for several months now and people are indeed creative and good story tellers. We even had a short yoga exercise and video presentation once.

And what is the point of this?

(Learning to speak the right things, the right way. Image source:

There are several if you ask me – it allows people to speak up, break the ice and throw their ideas in the open. Sometimes it put pressure on us to come up with a 5 minute “material” for the morning talk (especially when the “designated” speaker is missing or is on leave) but hey, isn’t life just so unpredictable and so does doing a quick “5 minutes” talk.

For me, it works the same like blogging…

Good workout

A short snippet…

Last Sunday, time at home was fully occupied with clean up of the master bed room starting with clearing dust filled 2 luggage bags – it had broken latches. Next was checking and disposing old papers & documents (such as old bills, etc). Swept and mopped the room till the tiles started to shine again.

Cleaned up the table in the room and rearrange them with photos and wood carvings from Africa. Had to put aside “attacking” the closet to next week – too tired to continue. At night, bought some “accessories” for the room and bathroom – need to install those in this few days.

Went to sleep exhausted and did not wake up till this morning. Good workout for the day

To be continued…