Confessions Of A Glutton In Denial

Just like Goldilocks, I’ve had enough of porridge. Time to walk out in the woods. © Life.com

I have a confession to make: I am a glutton. Yeah, you heard that right. According to my colleague Dictionary, I eat and drink (but more of eat) excessively and voraciously. When you see me, I bet you’re going to say what everyone tells me when I tell them of my bulges: “You’re NOT FAT!” Okay, maybe I’m not (but I did gain 10 pounds last year! @_@). I’m not saying I’m fat; I’m saying that my love for food has taken a wrong turn–I gradually idolized food. In other words, I loved food more than I loved God.

At about this time last year, I was a health chick–disciplined and in perfect shape. I faithfully and accurately monitored every single calorie-filled bite that entered my mouth and utilized the energy it gave me through exercise. Actually, all my other habits were in line–studying, sleeping, meditating and writing. Discipline was my middle name. My planner dictated my actions and not the other way around. I was the adamant member of the family who rejected the white bread served at breakfast on a Saturday after I consumed all the wheat bread during school days. Even while watching TV when I’m supposed to relax, I lifted weights and performed a hundred or more crunches. For about five months I sustained this healthy, disciplined and self-controlled lifestyle (with God’s help, of course). Actually, all the power I had to fulfill these “hard things” came from God. I read and meditated on verses everyday and would even skip some TV shows just to have my quiet time with Him.

Then college came. As much as I would like to blame college per se for my degradation, I wouldn’t and couldn’t because I’m sick of playing the blame game. It’s my fault. I failed. I let my guard down. I thought I can easily say “NO” to the second temptation of buying that delicious, chocolate-filled bread from a favorite bakery of mine in Shang (a mall near my school) after trying it once. (NOTE: I am not against eating so-called “unhealthy” foods, but I do believe that I should limit my intake of such meals because they contain ingredients that may prove detrimental to my health in the long run) Some thoughts are just plain wrong and should be thrown out of the window. I found myself indulging in the delicious pastries almost every week. Soon, my other habits followed suit. I slept late, missed out on daily quiet times, watched more TV and movie premieres, exercised less and ditched writing. It was a slow, painful (emotionally, spiritually and even physically) and devastating ride downhill. Not a good picture. Far from my dream destination of toned muscles, a flat, chiseled stomach, fair skin tone under my eyes (not black) and DISCIPLINE.

Over the past few months, I’ve cried a lot over this issue of mine. Usually I asked forgiveness from my Father, vowed to never overeat and not exercise again, then perform the whole cycle all over again. Again and again I sin and gain more weight, baggage and awful consequences. I realized that I’ve been dwelling cozily in the place I thought I escaped: my comfort zone. All along I thought I was already stepping outside my comfort zone by loving others when I didn’t feel like it or holding my temper when I wanted to shout at people. Of course they were all done outside my comfort zones; but once I finished them and saw the chocolate cookies smirking at me from the table, I stepped back in the zone. (I became so intimate with food I imagined them performing human actions. Weird.)

This morning, God spoke to me through these verses:

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Since I did not have much time to write my thoughts on paper, I just memorized them.  I did not realize until now (well actually fifteen minutes ago) that God was telling me to GET OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE THIS INSTANT! The thing about God is that He does not like working in comfort zones. These places limit the dreams and visions He has for His kids. Comfort zones produce the world’s greatest losers. Where does God work then? Ever heard of a battlefield? He wants His authentic children-slash-warriors to bear arms, fill themselves with His Spirit and fight with His power, grace and love. The reason people lose their battles is that they fight them unarmed and unauthorized by the General i.e., Christ. I’m actually speaking to myself here and slapping my cheeks hard. Okay the last clause, not really. As the verses above said, whoever does not produce good fruit will be cut down and incinerated. I don’t find burning very appealing, do you?

I already asked God for forgiveness–for the nth time–but this time, I have to partner it with action. True repentance is evidenced by actions spurned out of love. As our senior pastor, Peter Tan-chi, said at the afternoon service last Sunday,

“If you really love Jesus, you would not have a hard time obeying Him.”

Amen.

Please do pray for me. The battle rages. The enemy shudders at my sudden dependence on God and resolution to combat his attacks with God’s Spirit, power and Sword (the Bible), but resolutions have to be backed up by correct A-C-T-I-O-N-S.

I want to end with this song by Toby Mac entitled “Get Back Up.”

I may be knocked down, but not out forever!

Are You Smarter Than a Butterfly?

“He makes everything beautiful in His time….”


Next to childbirth, a butterfly’s metamorphosis is my most favorite natural process. It is a clear and factual example of ugly duckling-turned-swan–from a fat, ugly caterpillar to a fragile, attractive butterfly. I still cannot comprehend how such a fat creature can turn into something big. It encourages me with two things. First, thinning down is possible. The butterfly “exercised”; so must I. Second, something bad can turn into something good. A problem is a blessing in disguise. An enemy can be your best friend.

The most difficult stage of a butterfly’s life is the third stage–the stage where it has to fit itself–its former, stocky caterpillar self–into a 2-3 inch cocoon.Imagine the struggle it suffers day in and day out. What must the poor creature be thinking? Could it have thought about getting out of the cocoon in order to breathe and live normally again as a caterpillar? What if, halfway through the metamorphosis, it chose to give in to the struggle and give up the challenge? Would it ever emerge so beautifully as an intricate piece of gold embellished with various stones and gems?

Ponder on the last two questions for a while. Relate a butterfly’s metamorphosis to your own life. Notice how struggle applies to both situations. It’s a fact: life is a daily struggle. Life, as you grow older, gets less “spacious” and more difficult to live in. Just like a butterfly, you push side to side and wait. For a looooonnng time. Hoping. Imagining what life must be outside. In a spacious paradise. Where I could fly freely without being decapitated by a cocoon.

Another question: does the caterpillar know that one day, it would become a butterfly? I don’t think so. Actually, I can’t be so sure, but either way, it does not matter because insects cannot think. But we can. That’s what makes humans exceptional and spiritual. We have a soul. If you’re a child of God, you know the promise that awaits you in Paradise. You long for it so much–you wish you could break free from your earthly cocoon and fly freely in your Heavenly Home. Let’s emulate the butterfly’s ‘attitude’. Without knowing the beauty that it would soon possess after undergoing severe lock-up in a cocoon, it waited and suffered a little suffocation and loneliness. But hey, if God cares about a negligible butterfly, won’t He care much for you? You whom He created and loved. You whom He saved from the depths of hell. You whom He thought about since the beginning of time. “Will He not graciously give you all things for your enjoyment?”

So brother or sister, worry not when life seems to trap you in its suffocating cocoon. The Creator has not neglected nor forgotten you. Wait. Patiently suffer affliction. Persevere. Be hopeful for that promise. Because if you don’t, you would be outsmarted by an insect. And you wouldn’t want that, would you? :>

Hair Click: A Click Salon

Girls, agree with me: Next to pimples, oily skin, dry skin, blackheads, dark eye bags and dark underarms, DRY, FRIZZY, UNRULY hair is one part of our body that we hate the most. No wonder most of us, if not all of us, resort to quite expensive but lasting treatments, namely, rebonding and relaxing. I’m one of those girls. I was dying to have my hair rebonded, but I wanted one that would yield a voluminous shape. The “straight as a broomstick” treatment was too obvious and common.

Thankfully, my mom knew a salon that offered a VOLUME rebond at a discounted price. It wasn’t very far either! I fell in love with the salon immediately.

Hair Click Salon is a Korean salon located at Polaris St., Bel-Air along Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City. It faces a Spanish restaurant called Alba. Although its location is not as exposed as another Korean salon located along Jupiter Avenue, Hair Click is renowned for its quality service at an affordable price. In fact, local TV personalities underwent services in the salons themselves and advertised the  salon on their respective shows. Among them are Kuya Kim, weatherman of ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol”, Donita Rose, Sam Oh of QTV and Susan Enriquez, host of GMA7’s “Kay Susan Tayo.”

Allow me to share with you my personal experience. Upon entering their gorgeous infrastructure, friendly Filipino employees greeted me and my mom. We told the receptionist our respective choice of service. Treatment began immediately. I started ahead of time since rebonding takes more than 2 hours. The interior design was very modern, bright, appealing and adds a “relaxation” ambiance that most local salons fail to give. (Most salons have posters of strangers with colored hair and weird hairstyles.) After several minutes of medicine application and color application to me and my mom respectively, we sat on comfy chairs and read the latest issues of OK! and YES! magazines. While reading, we were offered iced tea. When I sipped my just-the-right-sweet iced tea, I decided I adored this salon. But that was just the appetizer. After a few minutes, we were given a plate of soft bread sticks with chocolate sauce. YUMM. 🙂

The volume rebond was a success! Here are some photos of the process and the results:

It had a very natural and soft finish. The senior stylist, Rain Choi, did a superb job. Although he doesn’t understand much English, he understood what I wanted and after 2 hours and several minutes–Voila! The hair of my dreams.

So if you’re like me and you are dying to get rid of your dry, unruly and frizzy hair, drop by at Hair Click. Right now, almost all their services are on a 30% discount, so you better hurry! Prepare PhP 3,000-5,000, but prices depend on the length of hair. It’s super fun and worth the pay!

Hair Click

TEL: 896.7000

EMAIL: info@hairclick.co.kr (though I think it would be in Korean!)

PS! I also want to thank my mom for treating me to this amazing salon. She discovered it and shared the news that brings tidings of great joy. I’ll pay you soon, mom! When I get a job at a prestigious company. 😀 That’s 4 years away! I love you!