Going to the gym for the first time is like wearing your new shoes, you’ll get blisters. Having blisters is no fun at all but you’ve paid for the item so you have no choice at all but wear them. As for me, I’m glad I conquered my first day.
So far, here are some of the things I’ve learned from being a gym virgin:
- Thou shall not let the heavy equipment intimidate you. Think of them as little objects, only that they’re heavier. I used to be a freelance writer and had the chance to write articles about exercise and gym equipment so I’m a bit familiar with the leg curl machines, elliptical trainers, and chest press machines. But seeing such equipment moved before my eyes made me feel intimidated. My first day was actually fun since I was with a childhood friend so we could help motivate each other. Well, I was heartbroken and thought that the best way to fight the heartache was to suffer physical pain – leg cramps and backaches. I was familiar with the names of the other gym equipment alright but I didn’t know how to use them. So we watched and spent the next thirty minutes of our lives talking about my heartaches.
- Thou shall not let those abs and muscles terrify you. Those six-pack abs might intimidate but remember these guys didn’t wake up one morning and got them without working hard in the gym. Once upon a time, these hot guys and girls were made of fats. God is fair, never fail to remember that. In my case, I let those abs provoke me. It was a constant battle between continuing the program and never coming back.
- Thou shall not expect a hardcore training on your first day. I expected too much. I thought I was going to lift heavy weights, do boxing or maybe do some bench press workout right away. We were too excited we wanted to burn the fats fast. But the trainer recommended some cardio first. The cardio exercise is your constant reminder about your bad smoking habit, how your company profits from your unhealthy work habit – being pinned down to your chair for hours and not having enough chance to do some basic stretches and how you can’t stop nagging about your weight on the social media yet not making an effort to burn those fats.
Your First Day Survival Guide
What to bring on your first day at the gym:
- Towel – because obviously, you’ll be sweating all over and taking a shower after your workout can be refreshing; bring an extra towel in case you need to lie down on those sweaty pads
- Alcohol – admit it, some equipment might be covered with sweat so you better learn to disinfect
- Water bottle – keep yourself hydrated in every physical activity that you do
- iPod or your iPhone – because listening to some really good music is a good motivation; my advice is to listen to some hip-hop workout music because doing exercises for the first time is all about rhythm
- Gym bag / your regular backpack
What to do on your first day at the gym:
- Enroll and have a physical evaluation
- Go to the locker room and change (check the gym’s dress code beforehand)
- Go get some warm-up exercises; if you don’t know how to use the equipment don’t hesitate to ask for assistance
- Meet your trainer
- Take a shower
For gym virgins like me: Thou shall not wear loose tank tops without sports bras especially if you’ve got big melons (unless if you’re there for another reason). I’m a girl and honestly, those big melons and big butts can be quite distracting. I love big butts though. Whoever invented yoga pants know so much about what women really want. Yoga pants are comfortable enough, better than wearing shorts. Shorts might be cute but wearing them might prevent you from doing bending exercises. I wear shorts though. You can wear your gym leggings, sports bras, gym tops or dri-fit shirts and sports shoes.
Here are some of my photos during my first few days of working out at the gym. My abs are there, they’re just invisible – oh well, only those people with good hearts can see them.
Also, another realization: dri-fit shirts can be the best shirts to wear at the gym. I wasn’t a big fan of dri-fit shirts back then. A dri-fit shirt’s polyester fabric helps keep your body dry and comfortable so perhaps it’s the second best thing ever created next to oyster sauce and mayonnaise.
Men can simply wear basketball shorts (or other sports shoes) and dri-fit shirts. Comfort is the key. I wore my skate shoes on my first day and sadly it was one of the worst decisions of my life.
I had my first gym experience in Metro Lifestyle, somewhere in Torres St. Paying 250php for a session wasn’t that bad since the lockers were clean and it offered unlimited classes. Now I’m enrolled in Smashville and so far, everything’s running smoothly. Strangely enough, I still feel like a gym virgin.
I’m no tree hugger but I love organic products, especially natural hair treatments. Also, no one (not even some Pinterest guru) can make me pour vinegar on my head.
Everyone’s going crazy over organic coconut oil. Maybe that’s the reason why in Japan (we all know Japanese people are into anything fresh, organic and natural) there’s a high demand for extra virgin coconut oil. Even Americans are willing to spend dollars to get that natural hair treatment, not to mention the other benefits of coconut oil. Well, I guess we’re lucky here in the Philippines. Coconut trees are everywhere.
So instead of apple cider vinegar on your hair, I suggest using organic coconut oil for hair. If you don’t like to buy coconut oil in supermarkets because you don’t trust companies enough when they say they sell everything organic, don’t worry, doing your own coconut milk hair treatment should be a cakewalk.
DIY Coconut Oil Treatment For Dry Hair
What you need:
Honey and Eucalyptus Oil
Heat the coconut milk
Add the oregano leaves, calamondin leaves, honey and eucalyptus oil
Heat them over low heat
Your coconut oil should look something like this:
How To Apply
Massage your hair and scalp. You can use it before you wash your hair. Use the oil as your regular hair conditioner.
My hair after applying oil (unwashed)
After washing my hair
Notice how my hair looks natural after washing my hair
What I Like About The DIY Coconut Oil Treatment
- My hair’s exposed to chemicals but it’s really not as damaged as I expected it to be, using coconut oil is really a big help. My hair is healthier now.
- It’s way too cheap as compared to expensive synthetic hair conditioners
- It’s organic, no chemicals
- I used to worry about my split ends back then but I stopped having them right after I started applying coconut oil on my hair
What I Don’t Like
- Though you can smell the cooling aroma of eucalyptus oil, the familiar coconut smell lingers
- It’s hot on the scalp if you put too much oil
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Your Hair
- Mixed with eucalyptus oil and honey, the oil is the best choice if you have dry scalp and terrible dandruff; remember that eucalyptus oil is a good anti-dandruff oil
- It prevents gray hair and minimizes split ends
- It nourishes dry hair and minimizes damages
- Good hair conditioner. Say goodbye to synthetic hair conditioners
- Not only is coconut oil good for your skin but it also moisturizes your hair, keeping it healthy
As a regular coconut oil user, I’ve proven this coconut oil hair treatment to be effective and yes, economical. An argan oil treatment would be nice too. The only problem is we don’t have argan trees here.
Goodbye synthetic hair products. We’re done with chemicals, adios.
Some movies are made to entertain or inspire you while others are meant to destroy you or blow your mind away.
The Outsiders (1983)
What the movie is all about
The film concentrated on the life of Ponyboy as an orphan and a Greaser and how he and the other young Greasers in his neighborhood were torn between two groups: the Greasers and Socs.
Greasers vs Socs
The movie is a reminder that groups or communities shouldn’t label and define us as individuals. The conflict between the Greasers and Socs was evident and could be influenced by class and social distinction.
If you’re a Greaser, you should be wearing black leather jackets, jeans with greasy hair and should be living in a poor neighborhood. You should be tough; and because you’re labeled as a poor guy who creates all the trouble in the neighborhood, then you’ll be the prime suspect in every crime in your town. If you’re a Socs, you’re supposed to be living in a nice neighborhood with nice cars, nice clothes and a bright future. And you don’t steal, you can do everything you want because it’s easy for you to get away from almost anything. That’s labeling.
The first scene of the movie showed Ponyboy getting out of the movie theater. He was just a regular guy who liked watching movies and reading books. But because he was born in a low- income working class family surrounded by a not a so nice neighborhood, he was labeled as a Greaser.
Before Johnny died, he told Ponyboy to stay gold, to stay young and innocent and not grow up fast. To stay young is to be passionate and ideal. To stay innocent is to see the goodness in everybody and being positive. But then, as the title of the Robert Frost’s poem goes, “nothing gold can stay.”
Johnny Cade: I think I like it better when the old man’s hittin’ me. At least he knows I’m there.
Ponyboy Curtis: Johnny’s dead. Told him about beating the socs, I don’t know. He just died. Told me to stay gold. Dally’s gone. He couldn’t take it, he’s going to blow!
What the movie is all about
The important part of the story started in the summer of 1967 when four boys Tommy, Michael, John and Shakes were sentenced to serve 12 to 18 months at the Wilkinson Home for Boys where they were sexually abused by the prison guards.
The film tells a story about justified revenge. The violent and rape scenes force the viewers to unconsciously justify the killing of the prison guard and the tricks they played during the court hearings.
What is disturbing is that we unconsciously agree and justify their actions because the characters have already earned our sympathy. Our ability to empathize and sympathize urge us to feel hungry for revenge.
Mike, are you sure you wanna go this way? I mean we buried this a long time ago.
You still sleep with the light on?
You read the Count of Monte Cristo lately?
I dunno, 10 years ago
I read a little bit every night. I read words like revenge, sweet, lasting revenge.
This Boy’s Life (1993)
What the story is about
It’s a story about the life of a boy and how he struggled through adolescence, being an emotional support of his single mom and dealing with his step father’s abuse.
Women as wallpapers
The movie talked about male domination. There was a power struggle between the boy and the step dad. The depressing part of the movie was the fact that in those times, women were merely wallpapers; they weren’t allowed to have voices and be freed.
Toby Wollf’s mother was portrayed as a desperate woman who could not survive without a man. The story was also focused on Toby and who struggled his way through adolescence – with a single mother who had failed relationships and constantly seeking the emotional support of a man and realizing that they needed to be free from his step dad’s abuse and insecurity.
Tobias ‘Toby’ Wolff: Sometimes I had to blame somebody; she was the only one there.
Tobias ‘Toby’ Wolff: Mom, you can leave too, I’m leaving, you don’t have to stay here for this shit.
Caroline Wolff Hansen: I don’t, do I?
Tobias ‘Toby’ Wolff: No, you don’t!
Caroline Wolff Hansen: I could leave with you right now, couldn’t I?
Tobias ‘Toby’ Wolff: Yes, you could.
Caroline Wolff Hansen: I could walk right out that door, couldn’t I?
Tobias ‘Toby’ Wolff: Yes!
Dwight Hansen: What?
Caroline Wolff Hansen: I’m leaving you, Dwight.
The Great Gatsby
What the movie is about
The movie was about the splendid and luxurious life of the mysterious guy named Gatsby as told by another main character and his efforts to win back his old girlfriend who already had a family of her own.
The Green Light
The movie could destroy you forever. Watching the movie can cause grief and misery for a couple of months.
The green light symbolized Daisy and Gatsby’s dream to be with her. Like the light, she seemed near yet so far. The movie didn’t really emphasize love, but madness and terrible longing and the story was told in the point of view of the narrator.
Daisy – The Beautiful Fool
Daisy was also portrayed as a beautiful woman who was able to get what she wanted merely because she was beautiful, that’s it. She had no character; she was hollow. Her lack of character and all those women in Gatsby’s parties could make you feel sick.
“They’re a rotten crowd. You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
Nick Carraway: Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning – So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Daisy Buchanan: I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
Nick Carraway: In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice. “Always try to see the best in people,” he would say. As a consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgements. But even I have a limit.
Other Life Changing Movies
Because it’s easy to watch free movies online, most of these old movies are accessible through the internet.
- A Clockwork Orange
- Forest Gump
- Perfume: Story of a Murderer
- The Shawshank Redemption
- Before Sunset
- City of God
A friend who is living in a first world country was a bit shocked when I told her I don’t have a credit card. Then she started telling me how weird it is for people to survive without credit cards. Maybe she just overreacted.
Years ago, it was difficult to buy things online without credit cards. Paypal is another best option and here in Philippines, you can’t have Paypal funds unless you’re working for a US based company or your employer is a foreigner. One of my employers was an American and I was lucky enough to have Paypal funds. However, some sites won’t allow Paypal transactions, especially sites selling Chinese or Korean products. Before Zalora, there was Multiply and other Philippine sites that let you pay through Globe Gcash or bank deposits. I don’t have enough patience when it comes to bank to bank transactions. I don’t like long lines with a bunch of strangers – I feel obliged to smile and engage in small talks.
I like buying cheap tickets online though I don’t travel much. Cebu Pacific offers really crazy ticket prices. It’s a tough competition actually. You have to be quick in booking tickets. The website is always down and you need to have extra patience. Cebu Pacific accepts Paypal and credit cards so it’s convenient for those who have one.
I’ve always wanted to have my own credit card because I shop online. My friends didn’t really have good experiences with credit cards. As for me, I don’t like buying things on credit. Also, I have issues with money management so I have to stick to debit cards.
Last month, I got excited when I got my ePrepaid MasterCard from BPI. It’s a prepaid card and it’s reloadable, no credits. It’s definitely for those people who love shopping online. You can even use it when you buy at department stores or even supermarkets. It’s also possible to connect your card to your Paypal account so you can make an online purchase to sites that require Paypal accounts. You can also check your balance online or through text, making it easier for you to keep track of your money from time to time. The best thing about it is it guarantees 100% application approval so it’s hassle-free.
I. At BPI Express Online
- Go to the Apply for products and services here
- Select Prepaid and Gift Cards
- Completely fill-out the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form.
- Nominate a branch where you want to pick-up your card by clicking the Branch Locator button
- Click Submit
- Print-out a copy of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form.
Bring the following to your nominated BPI/ BPI Family Savings Bank Branch, five (5) banking days for
GMMA branches or seven (7) banking days for branches outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao after submission of card application:
- Print-out of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form
- Payment for the card processing fee (P500 for GMMA, P600 for outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao)
Note: GMMA consists of NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.
II. At BPI Branches
- Visit any BPI Branch or BPI Express Banking Center nationwide.
- Fill-out a BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form
- Submit the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form, present one (1) valid ID, and pay the card processing fee (P500 for GMMA, P600 for outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao) at the branch teller.
- Claim your My ePrepaid MasterCard® at the same branch after five (5) banking days in GMMA or after seven (7) banking days outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao. Simply present your copy of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement, and bring one (1) valid ID.
1. You can’t get your money back once you’ve transferred funds from your debit card to your ePrepaid MasterCard through ATM. That means over the counter withdrawal is not possible. And you can’t send the funds back to your debit account through BPI express online.
2. Your ePrepaid MasterCard funds can be viewed online since it’s connected to your BPI express account and as stated in their website, you can transfer funds from your debit account to your ePrepaid MasterCard account online. This is so not true. I went to the bank a couple of times to check and complain but I still couldn’t transfer funds online so I finally gave up. I already enrolled my BPI ePrepaid account but it’s still not added in my enrolled accounts so each time I plan to buy something I have to go to the machine just to transfer funds.
3. You can only book and buy Philippine Airline tickets with your BPI ePrepaid MasterCard. Sadly, Cebu Pacific is not included in the list.
Overall, I’m satisfied with my ePrepaid MasterCard. It’s a debit card that works like a credit card so it’s highly recommended for online shoppers like me.
Attics do not house humans. Attics are wasted space. Women are considered half monsters, and they are wasted. She inhabits the attics, literally and metaphorically, she becomes a madwoman both as a writer and a character. The fact is, Nathaniel Hawthorne is male and men don’t glorify women.
Nathaniel Hawthorne did not directly say that Georgina is a monster. Only by the way she is presented in the story will it then becomes clear that literature had always been confined to male writers and characters. Georgina’s birthmark embodies the unforgivable flaws of the female body and her position as a woman. She doesn’t make any difference to Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. And the only way to kill the female monster is to destroy male literature.
Georgina is portrayed as a passive character overpowered by her own husband. Aylmer is a man of science who represents knowledge and inventions. Georgina is depicted as a woman who will do anything only to earn her husband’s love to fulfill her responsibility as a wife: to make her husband happy and be of service to him. Since a woman’s intellect is not for invention, she is merely placed in the house and practice domesticity. She even said to Aylmer, “I know not what may be the cost to both of us to get rid of this fatal birthmark. Perhaps its removal may cause cureless deformity; or it may be the stain goes as deep as life itself.”
And so, the reader is introduced to the fact that women are trained by the society, which is patriarchal, to become submissive wives and submit to the idea that men are in control, not the ones being controlled. And so, there is this concept of achieving the “arts of pleasing men”. Even when she was about to die, she still tried to be the sweet angel that she should be. “My poor Aylmer,” she repeated, with a more human tenderness, “you have aimed loftily; you have done nobly. Do not repent that with so high and pure a feeling, you have rejected the best the earth could offer. Aylmer, dearest Aylmer, I am dying!” And so, the idea of women being selfless is then highlighted in the story. The idea of women being submissive to their husbands is in fact very Christian. In literature, it is as if it must be a norm that the women characters are always the ones who must die and the protagonists must be the male characters.
Georgina’s birthmark signifies Aylmer’s insecurities. This reminds me of Freud’s castration complex in which the birthmark becomes the figure of a penis in the eyes of Aylmer and so he wants to remove the birthmark and have the power all by himself. In literature, male writers never considered writing as an act of women. It’s just that they are too afraid to let the women speak and inscribe power in sheets of paper. It is because of the fact that female authorship means female authority. And women, on the other hand, cannot get out of their shell considering the fact that she is a domesticated being and she has no right to invent and create a world that she can relate to. If she shows resistance, then she becomes a madwoman in her society. Only the men have the right to be a creator.
Georgina becomes Aylmer’s failure when she was born with the birthmark and when she died even if he was confident of his success. She remains to be Dr. Frankenstein’s monster that was created with stitches and flaws. She is an imperfect being.
Georgina is marked as unmarked. She continues to be a misunderstood being, like the other women, in her own society.
Georgina let herself be defined and is never aware that she is defined. A woman is marked as unmarked. The spectral of the woman’s marked body thus violates the fantasy of the woman as a blank page to be inscribed by man. The sign of the female body is cultural legibility and subordination, “staining” the female body, it literalizes the cultural marking of woman as the other. “It was the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions. The crimson hand expressed the ineludible gripe in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of earthly mould, degrading them into kindred with the lowest.”
Male writers only write for themselves. And so, women writers are the only ones who can write for women. To restate Audre Lorde, only the oppressed could understand oppression, not the oppressors. A female writer must get out of the glass coffin or sleep for a thousand years and wait for the prince to kiss her. We’ve been sleeping for more than a thousand years. Maybe its about to time to wake up and change the masculine literature.
It is clear how Gilbert and Gubar used the attic as a metaphor to emphasize how women writers are secluded and isolated from the world of literature. The attic is also a literal view of women who hide in such a space to write because writing is not a part of their domestic definition as women. They cannot even write the way they wanted to write themselves because of the fact that their husbands are always watching upon their shoulders. Most of them become mothers and they are meant to watch their children all her life, and so their desire to write gets lost along the way.
Georgina died. But then, the other women must not die too only because she is a flawed character and she is a WOMAN. I believe a woman must be dead for her to rise again. And this time, she will be immortal.