Notes: The Wanderer

www.catatanfani.comRunning has always been my thing and I have always been into outdoor running. Unfortunately, since I moved to  Bangladesh in early 2016, outdoor running did not seem to be visible. It is because I cannot wear my ‘normal’ running gear -sport bra and short- as it is culturally inappropriate. As a foreigner, I just have to respect the local culture. Additionally, the 2016 terrorist attack which occurred in July 2016, has also limited our movement. Therefore, I decided to give up my hobby partly and started doing indoor running at the gym.

I must say indoor running is quiet boring because all I had to do was just staring on the screen all the time which then led me to think ‘When am I going to complete this run?‘. I did not enjoy it all. Yet, what to do? I had no choice. I had to force myself to fall in love with it. After months of training, I become used to it and I did not mind one way or another as long as I run.

For me, running has always been an important activity to me because it provides me a good dose of endorphin which puts me on a good mood. Additionally, it also helps me to cope with my anxiety and depression problem. Hence, there is just no way for me to skip one run unless I am on the plane or being hospitalized.

Anyhow, three weeks ago, I started to do an outdoor running again, here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Of course, I still cannot wear my normal running gear but what to do? At the end, I have to compromise and that is okay. I must say that despite the fact it was extremely hot having myself covered with long sleeve shirt and long pants, it was not bad at all actually. As I run around the park, crossed the street and went inside small alleys, I discovered so many things including the road, the beauty of local attire and the contrast of people’s lifestyle which I would never see if I only run in the gym. And I must say that since I arrived in Dhaka, other than the birth of my son, I have never been happier because I was able to run outside.

Outdoor running  means a lot to me. It gives me the sense that I am a free social being  and  I am not trapped. I can see what kind of place and society I am living in. I wish this place doesn’t have security problem so I can explore the city by running every morning without any worry.

Ride the bus

Notes: Losing Your Body? Nah!

www.catatanfani.com (1)Many people say that once a woman becomes a mother, she will lose her body, become fat and have jiggly yet flabby body especially those who has baby delivered through c-section including me. Don’t even dream to get your body back, so they say. But here I am, I prove them wrong. You can still have a well-shape body even you have many children be it through normal delivery and/or c-section.

I started getting back to my training regime at seventh weeks postpartum. I must say that I didn’t find it easy. Sometimes I got frustrated because I didn’t seem to lose any baby fat after working out for one month. Sometimes I got frustrated or even depressed because l only run at the slow pace. Sometimes I even gave up, just sat down, did no exercises for hours and just played with my phone because I felt that I did not make any progress. 

But one day, I said to myself “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just started again,” so I started to take it easy that time. I just forgot about the aesthetics result and just focused on the form of my exercise as well as my diet.

At the end, aesthetic result is not my main exercise’s goal but sanity is. As a result, I got my body back faster than I expected as you can see on the picture above. 

Ps: no whey protein is being used. It’s all natural diet.

Ride the bus

Catatan: Olahraga Waktu Hamil?

SONY DSCBagi beberapa-banyak orang, berolahraga saat hamil adalah ide yang sangat gila. Banyak yang khawatir bahwa olahraga dapat menyebabkan keguguran. Bahkan banyak bapak-bapak atau laki-laki kabur setiap kali melihat saya masuk ke ruangan gym dengan perut besar. Tapi apakah betul bahwa perempuan hamil enggak boleh neko-neko dan lebih baik duduk anteng dan makan sebanyak mungkin? Well, saya ingin berbagi pengalaman saya. Bukan sebagai dokter kandungan ataupun personal trainer tetapi sebagai fitness enthusiast.

Kalau boleh jujur, saya seneng dan juga agak sedih ketika saya tahu bahwa saya hamil. Lho kok gitu? Well, mungkin karena saya sangat egois, saya tidak ingin kehilangan bentuk tubuh yang sudah saya bentuk selama tiga tahun terakhir ini. Mulai dari legs, abs, shoulder, back and also chest. Dibutuhkan disiplin dan ketekunan selama beberapa tahun untuk mendapatkan otot-otot tersebut. Saya enggak mau kehilangan semuanya itu begitu saja. At the same time, I was very excited with the little one inside my womb and I want him to be healthy and happy baby. 

But then again, there was a fear within me. Kenapa? Well, sebagai trailing spouse yang baru saja gave up my job and beradaptasi di tempat baru, saya takut tiba-tiba mendapatkan anxiety attack or even worse depression. Di mana dulu, tak jarang, saya mengkonsumsi xanax ketika kedua hal tersebut menyerang ketika saya tinggal di J-Twon. As a result, saya takut untuk mengkonsumsi obat tersebut. So, how can I have a healthy pregnancy? Being fit and staying sane.

Luckily, seorang kawan memberi saya buku berjudul What To Expect When You’re Expecting yang ditulis oleh Heidi Murkoff dan Sharon Mazel.  Pada Chapter 3 buku tersebut yang berjudul Pregnancy Lifestyle, Murkoff dan Mazel menulis “Workouts are not only a-can-do for most pregnant women but a definitely do. In fact, the vast majority of workout work well with the vast majority of pregnancies, which means you can almost certainly count on continuing your usual routine through your 9 months.”  langsung loncat-loncat dong waktu baca chapter tersebut. So that was the answer! Saya enggak perlu anti depressant dan lain-lain untuk tetap waras selama hamil.

IMG_4492Lalu apa keuntungan berolahraga saat hamil? Well, banyak! Baik untuk ibu hamil maupun janin. Untuk ibu hamil, olahraga dapat meningkatkan stamina, kualitas tidur, kesehatan, mood, otot dan punggung serta menjaga sistem  pencernaan agar lancar. Plus, lebih cepat sembuh setelah melahirkan. Sedangkan untuk janin, meningkatkan peredaran oksigen dalam tubuh dan dipercaya akan jauh lebih pintar.

Nah selama hamil, saya justru tidak melakukan yoga tapi tetap melakukan jogging, running dan weightlifting. Saya berolahraga setiap hari dua sampai tiga jam per hari. Hasilnya, saya hampir enggak pernah merasa depressed selama hamil. Boleh dikatakan bahwa olahraga saja enggak cukup. Makan makanan bergizi pun penting terutama buah-buahan, sayur-sayuran, susu dan juga daging-dagingan. Kalau bisa, jangan terlalu banyak konsumsi makanan yang mengandung gula. Selama hamil pun berat badan saya  naik 12 kg dan sekarang tinggal 2 kg. Saya masih punya banyak PR untuk membawa tubuh saya kembali kebentuk semula. Bukan, bukan kurus namun sehat dan berotot.

Tentu banyak orang yang berpendapat berbeda-beda namun saya akan jauh lebih mempercayai hasil riset daripada mitos tentang ibu hamil. Oleh karena itu, kalau ingin sehat dan dapat terus berolahraga selama hamil, alangkah lebih baik jika mulai menyukai olahraga sebelum hamil sehingga badan kita enggak kaget dengan berbagai macam perubahannya. Bagi saya, sembilan bulan hamil bukanlah waktu yang susah, gamping banget! Yang susah justru tiga hari setelah melahirkan apalagi saya melahirkan secara c-section. Bahkan sampai sekarang kalau saya enggak olahraga bekas jahitan malah sakit.

Btw, saya baru bikin akun Instagram yang berisi fitness dan makanan sehat. Follow @ibuksehat yuk!

Ride the bus

Kitchen: Pumpkin Soup

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Pumpkin Soup [2016:EO]

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg of pumpkin or squash (chop into chunks)
  2. 2 large onion (finely chopped)
  3. 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  4. 1/2 chicken breast (chop into chunks)
  5. 700 ml of water
  6. 1 tsp of salt
  7. 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  8. 2 tbs of olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over the medium heat for 30 seconds
  2. Place the onion and cook it for 4 minutes until it gets soft;
  3. Add the chicken chunks and stir it together with the onion for 5 minutes until it turns white;
  4. Add the pumpkin chunks, then carry on cooking for another 5 minutes until the pumpkin get softs;
  5. Pour the water into saucepan, add the salt and pepper; stir them together and continue to cook it over medium heat for another 15 minutes until the pumpkin gets really soft;
  6. With a hand-blender, mash the pumpkin and chicken until it turns to be puree;
  7. Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve it with garlic bread.

PS:

  • you can also make large amount of it and freeze it as an ’emergency food stock. It can be frozen up to two months.
  • if you are a vegetarian, you can remove the chicken

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Notes: On Mental Health

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Drying and dying [2018:EO]

The world marks October 10 as the World Mental Health Day. It aims to raise awareness about the mental health issue. By raising awareness about mental health, people who have mental health problem could get help as soon as possible because they are aware that they have a problem. And I know very well how useful this help can be for one.

As you might have been aware that depression and anxiety are two of mental health issues which have been openly discussed on the Internet in these last few years. Prior to that, people used to hide those problems. They felt that it is embarrassing and they felt ashamed about it because many tend to bully or mock those who are suffering from depression. As a result, many who are suffering from depression do not get help and it could get worse for some people whether some would turn to be an alcoholic, sex addicts, smoker, drug users or even commit to suicide. 

It happened to me a few years ago…

After a piece of bad news broke in 2009, I have always been sad. I was afraid that I would not have enough time to fulfil my dreams. Since then, over the years, I tried to race with time to do as much as I could. Yet, I always felt that I only did a little and it was never enough. It made me upset. I often got home cried and felt miserable. Yet, I thought it was just a simple sadness. I thought I was just being a drama queen.  

It took me years to realize that it was not just sadness as I started to get suicidal thought or suddenly become hysteric. It even landed me in the hospital several times. Since then, I knew I had a problem and I decided to seek help. Yet, I could not seek help from friends or family. I felt that they would judge me or preach to me. So, I built a wall, kept a distance from people and I tried to seek helps from professionals. It was not easy to find the right one. They offered me various solutions including anti-depressant consumption, therapy section, engaging in a religious activity as well as being physically active. I found it hard. Later I figured that exercise was the best solution among others. Yet, it requires self-discipline. 

I vividly remembered one Monday morning when I felt down and my body feeling week because I did not exercise for nearly a week because I was being lazy. That day, I realized that wonderful effect of exercise toward my mood. Since then, I always tried to make time to do it even only for 30 minutes on a daily basis. I forced myself to run even it is only 4 am and many are still sleeping. As time passed by, I become an addict, addict of exercise.  Happy with the result, I maintain until today even with various adjustment. Frankly, I did not really care about the aesthetic result of exercise as my priority is to feel good about myself in mind, body and soul.

Hence if you have a problem, don’t be ashamed to talk about it and seek for bits of help. Share with those who have similar problems, they might be able to help you or they actually might not be able to help you. Nevertheless, it is all about your willingness to acknowledge it and get help. While for you who know anyone with mental health issues, please try to acknowledge it even only by listening to them. Never ignore them especially if they are the loved one. 

Ride the bus

Notes: Jogging on Jakarta’s Road

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

In these past few months, I have been enjoying my new morning routine, which is an early morning jogging on the road.  What? An early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta? Really?! Yes! I do an early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta, one of the most polluted city in the world.

I actually have been enjoying an outdoor running since early 2014. I used to do morning jogging in the Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s jogging track, part of Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s sport center in Setiabudi Subdistrict of South Jakarta. However since companies rent the sport center for some company’s event week after week, I decided  to do my morning jogging on the road than running on a treadmill in the gym.

According to Nike+, I usually do jogging for as far as 4.5 kilometers on week days and go for as  8.4 kilometers on the weekend. It does not take me long to do 4.5 kilometers of jogging, it only takes me maximum of 30 minutes. On the other hand, it takes me maximum of 55 minutes to do 8.4 kilometers of jogging. Not bad ay? Not bad at all!

As an early morning routine, jogging on the road taught me three things – time management, which side of the road that I run on and the type of shoes that I should wear.

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

What is it about jogging on the road and time management? Well, if you happened to live or visit Jakarta, you would understand’s Jakarta traffic. It is insane and I don’t want to deal with it!

I don’t want to do jogging when Jakartans are going to work, which means that many motorist and kopaja (Jakarta public bus) would be racing and speeding recklessly because they don’t want to be late. They, then, would get their way no matter what…. some of them would drive on the sidewalk!  On the top of that, the air would be highly polluted, which then cause me difficulty of breathing. In order to avoid all of those, I must leave my apartment at least by 5:30 or 6: 15 a.m the latest. However sometimes I do it later than 7 a.m sometimes.

The fact that I am working as a jurno, I also have an obligation to submit stories first thing in the morning. Indeed time management become very important for me. Since then, I have been learning and trying to be discipline in managing my time so I am able to submit stories before I do my jogging and still be able to go to gym (sometimes) and followed by meeting some sources or attending events or discussion at the same time. It’s not perfect tho but I am getting there.

Believe me or not, I usually start my day by 3 or 4 a.m. I would brew coffee, prepare fruit salad, wash my face or shower, write story while having coffee and fruit salad and go for jogging, continue write another story and go to work. I would reach home by 5 or 6 or 7 p.m and I would immediately sleep so I could have minimum of 6 hours sleep.

I must say that it is not easy. It is not easy at all to be discipline and manage time properly. If I failed, my mind would not be at peace and I would be cranky for the rest of the day.

For me, jogging is very important. It is because I have been taking strong medication, which has nausea and anxiety as side effect. In order to get rid of those side effects, I must do some cardio exercise.

As a bonus, I also leant that  if there is no adequate jogging path or sidewalk for jogging, I MUST  jog on the left shoulder facing on-coming traffic  and I should not wear training shoes for jogging on the road. Training shoes are fine to run on the treadmill or jogging track but they are uncomfortable yet painful for long distance jogging in rough surface.  Unfortunately  3 out of 4 my sport shoes are training shoes! So does it mean that I need to get new pair of running shoes? Well, perhaps! Ha ha ha!

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

Recently, many people often questioned me whether or not I have participated in the running event or runner club in Jakarta. Even one guy suggested me that I should be a running athlete. O.M.G! What? That is actually not bad idea at all. But I must say that I actually do jogging just because I want to be healthy and get rid of side effect of my medication. That is all matter to me.

Having said that I have never participated to any  running event or join to runner club. One of the reason is because  I don’t really have much time to do such a thing right now. Perhaps when I have been able to be discipline in managing my time properly, I would do it one day.

In the end of the day, health is the most important thing. I should not force myself to do all kind of activities -work, sport, hobby, socializing- as I am not a robot. I am just another person who wanna be healthy. Cheers!

Jakarta 140315

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