Summertime Beach Bodies Part 2

Has it really been two weeks already since I made my declaration to get in shape?


The Fourth of July weekend pretty much derailed my fitness plan.

Here’s something I realized – having Independence Day on a Saturday is amazing. It pretty much stretches out the holiday into a two-day debauchery-fest. Well, at least that was the case for Emily and me. Two days of sun bathing and barbecuing by day and forcing my liver to put in overtime by night set my fitness goals back a bit.

But that’s the price I have to pay. I knew that going in. We all have dietary vices: fried foods, chocolate, ice cream, etc. Mine happens to be alcohol. Not that I’m an alcoholic – I’m incapable anyway since I have the tolerance of a 100-pound girl.

Come to think of it, Emily is like 100 pounds but she has the tolerance of a 300-pound Irishman. Guess we know who does the driving home.

Fear not, all is not lost.

I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 162 pounds.

So I managed to have a great weekend and still lose weight. That’s what we call winning.

In all honesty, apart from this past weekend, I have been eating well and exercising. This new diet is making me feel much better, and by much better I mean constantly hungry.

All jokes aside, my body feels cleaner and I feel less sluggish. I am getting closer to entering a greater state of Ketosis. For those that aren’t in the know, that’s when the body burns fat for fuel.

I admit, this weight loss goal is kind of stupid. People want to get in shape all the time and as a result they tell their friends that they want to lose weight. In reality, what they mean is they want to lose the fat while keeping the muscle. I mean, that’s what we’re all going for, isn’t it?

What I’m saying is that the important thing is body composition, not weight. I’m going to keep monitoring the weight weekly, but it’s not going to be the end-all-be-all of my fitness progression.

Simply put, my plan is to minimize my carbohydrate intake while upping my fat and protein intake, all portion-controlled, of course. While at the gym, I’m going to spend less time doing cardio and more time weight training.

I feel a little bad for Emily since my diet affects her diet. This low-carb approach can be a rough deal at times. Try telling two Asians not to eat rice.

Asians without rice = unhappy people.

Asians without rice = unhappy people.

I set a goal for myself and I will continue pursuing it. This is a good challenge for me, and overall I am enjoying the process. I feel better already and I’m looking forward to seeing more positive gains.

But let’s see if I can make it through this weekend without falling off the wagon again.

– Chris

Are You Living Up to Your Full Potential?

As you already know, Chris and I ventured to Phoenix, Arizona this past weekend. We decided to travel by car instead of by plane, which meant we had a lot of time to talk about anything and everything (12 hours round-trip, to be exact). For Chris, it was torture; for me, it was Christmas.


family roadtrip! phx bound! #pearls #roadtrip #phoenix #lhasaapso #shihtzu #summer #dogsofinstagram #instadog #family

On Saturday night we were sitting at the dinner table with my friends, some whom I have known for over a decade. I couldn’t help but notice the various life stages we are all in. My friends run the gamut: parents, students, professionals, entrepreneurs, starving artists. Despite the busy lives they lead, I was happy we were able to group together for a few hours.

I left feeling particularly impressed with one friend, a successful 40 year-old consultant turned entrepreneur, who in his personal life manages to compete in Iron Mans and still party like a Coachella rockstar.

I’m pretty sure I have been saying for 2 years now that I am going to complete a 10K…


It got me thinking, how much of our potential are we using? I asked Chris to evaluate himself with a percentage.

At first Chris answered, 40%. My response was, “Really? I read somewhere that the average human uses 10%. 40% is quite high unless your first name is Elon, last name Musk.” After thinking about it further, Chris replied, “Okay. Maybe 20%.”

20%. I do this reactionary and obnoxious thing in my head as I ask Chris a question. I like to predict what he is going to say next and also answer my own question for myself. 20% is the exact number I would have said if someone asked me. But is it really 20%? If I think back at the past 24 hours, my day looked something like this:

7am – Woke up.
730am – Finished checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Missed calls, Text messages, Gchat messages, The Skimm, NY Times’ top stories. Got ready to seize the day!
8am – Walked Kang Kang. Picked up Kang Kang’s poop. Watered the two (dying) rose bushes in our ‘backyard’. Fed Kang Kang.
830am – Made breakfast and coffee. Began work.
6pm – Wrapped up work to make dinner. Walked Kang Kang. Picked up Kang Kang’s poop. Fed Kang Kang.
7pm – Depending on the day, it can vary with activities: exercise, yoga, practice piano, read, write, veg on guilty pleasures (damn Netflix and The Bachelorette). Today was a rare one – I jalked (jogged + walked) 2 miles, swept floors, unpacked, washed one load of laundry, wrote this article.
1130pm – Sleep and repeat.

My weekdays have become quite routine, which is fine. But if I honestly critique myself, I will admit I do not focus the entire 9 hour workday. What I do in the 9 hours I set for myself I could probably accomplish in 4 really focused hours. My 7pm-11pm activities (as of late) have been filled with vegging on guilty pleasures more often than exercise. When I do find the time to read or write, it’s typically been mindless status updates over published works.

I am betting most days I am closer to 10%. 

The Rabbit zodiac in me strives to be above average in everything that I do. Starting today, my new life goals consist of: limiting TV to a maximum of one hour a day; picking up more books; writing more articles; networking and volunteering more frequently… finally completing that 10K.

I was going to write this post on Monday and hashtag it: #MotivationalMonday. But since I procrastinated and it is now Tuesday, I will just hashtag this: #TuesdayTruth.

Don’t expect me to give 20% overnight,

100 Girls

I’ve been out of The Game for about two years now, but I still know a few things.

As I mentioned previously, I went out with a few friends the other night and witnessed firsthand the effects of approach anxiety. This is when a man sees a woman he wants to approach but gets caught in his own head, thinking of all the reasons why he shouldn’t go up to her.

It’s like a below-average Major League baseball player coming up to the plate and seeing Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Instead of thinking homerun, he thinks about his devastating curveball, fastball, and slider, and how he’s a multiple Cy Young Award winner. He’s going to strikeout.

Or a contestant on The Bachelor. She’s looking around and seeing nothing but tens, accomplished professionally (at least some of them) and with fun personalities to boot (maybe some of them?). Instead of showing her charm, she cries in front of the Bachelor because she can’t handle being around so many other beautiful women. You ain’t gettin’ that rose, honey.

Today, Millennials have the option to try online dating. While this is a good thing, I can’t help but notice some negative effects. People are treating online dating as a solution as opposed to an option. I don’t think it should be the end-all-be-all to solve the plight of today’s singles.

So what’s happening to men in particular? No longer are we required to approach women we’ve never met in person. Instead, we can just swipe right or send a message in our comfortable homes to initiate interaction. We are feeding our approach anxiety, one profile at a time.

Emily and I have never written the details of how we met. I can go on and on about that, and I’m sure we’ll eventually write a post about it, but I’ll say this – we met in person as strangers. That seems to be a weird thing now.

Yesterday I suggested to my friends a challenge: approach 100 girls by the end of the year. It sounds a little strange and cheesy, perhaps even a bit douchey, but what’s wrong with it?

In fact, if you’re a single man looking to meet the right woman for you, I give you the same challenge. Put the Tinder and OKCupid down for a while and go out there into the real world. I’m not even talking about getting a phone number, let alone a date; this is just about approaching. I think that as you approach more women, you’ll become more comfortable in your own skin, you’ll begin to not try so hard to impress, and you’ll begin to realize that a girl’s reaction usually says nothing about you, so you’ll be less affected by it.

I think it’s a good challenge, and who knows, maybe you’ll actually have some fun.

Oh yeah, but don’t be creepy, weird, awkward, over-aggressive, or needy. Don’t invade anyone’s personal space, try to smell nice, smile, make sure your breath doesn’t stink, don’t linger around her for too long, and don’t catch a girl off guard by approaching from behind.

Okay, good luck!


– Chris

A Letter to My Seventeen Year Old Self

Dear Chris,

This may be a bit confusing, but this is you, fifteen years into the future. I imagine your days are mostly filled with having fun in school with your friends and getting ready for prom. Sorry to bring up prom; asking that girl out was pretty embarrassing, wasn’t it? It’s okay, I was there, and you’ll get better at that sort of thing, eventually. Even though you desperately need it, I’m not here to discuss girls.

So why am I writing you this letter? It’s about your future. Don’t get startled – nothing traumatic happens. You’ll manage to graduate from U.C.L.A. and get a job right out of college. This job will keep you employed, and you’ll even manage to earn a few promotions along the way. Okay fine, I know you want to know about your love life – it’s all good. There’s a few bad moments here and there, but that comes with the territory. You’ll eventually gain the confidence you need to talk to women and be yourself, highlight your attributes, that sort of thing. Shit, why am I writing about girls again? I’m not here for this. Damn you, me.

Back on track – like I said, nothing bad happens to you. In fact, everything is smooth sailing for the next fifteen years. But that’s exactly the problem. Allow me to give you some criticism – you’re lazy, and you’re kind of a pussy. Now don’t take offense, I say this with peace and love, peace and love. Let me put it more tastefully – you value safety and security a bit too much, and you don’t take the time to question things in life. Do you even know why you’re going to college? Really, think about it. Aren’t you sick of school by now?

I know what you’re thinking – getting a degree is the next step in life. You have this image in your head of working in an office, wearing a shirt and tie to work, and making money, being out in the world on your own. Trust me, this office life is not what it’s cracked up to be. I’m here to tell you that the possibilities are endless for you. You can be anything you want. You don’t have to limit yourself to being in a cubicle, working some corporate 9-5. There is a creative side to you, which you probably aren’t aware of at this point. I know that buried deep inside your mind you have these thoughts and feelings but you just don’t know how to express them right now. Start writing. Keep a journal. Use this as an outlet for your frustrations, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. There is a writer inside of you.

Also, there is a world outside of Southern California. Explore. Travel. Expose yourself to different cultures, languages, customs, and cuisines. You’re actually going to love Mediterranean food, and you’ll have this desire to learn French. You’ll learn so much about yourself through traveling, this is really the time for you to discover who you are and what you value in life.

I know you don’t really like these suggestions. Staying in Los Angeles and working in an office is what you always imagined you’d be doing, and anything outside of that makes you feel uncomfortable. But this is exactly my message to you – be uncomfortable. Challenge yourself. Take risks. Put yourself in situations that will force you to expand your horizons. Find passion. I know you want the American dream – a good job, a nice family, and a nice house. But there is a greater human dream – to love your life and feel the full spectrum of emotions on a regular basis.

That is my hope for you, for us.

– Chris.