Amazing Things Happen When You Work Out + Hard

30 November 2012 — A new cutting edge gym that specializes in movement and functional training just opened up in Kuching and I had the honor of attending their grand opening to check out what they had in store for fitness enthusiasts!

Working out gives me energy, strength and confidence. You gotta sweat a little to get what you want and to keep it!
Work out and work hard!
Ribbon cutting with Mrs. Ling, YB Tan Sri Mawan, and owner of Phoenix Gym, Dan Ling
Ribbon cutting with Mrs. Ling, YB Tan Sri Mawan, and Phoenix Gym’s proud owner, Dan Ling. Congrats Dan!
Grand opening of Phoenix Gym in Kuching.
Even the kids were there to get familiar with the gym! A few more years to go before they can become customers 😛
Signing the wall
Signing the wall at the gym and these flyers for my friendly fans!
Ronnie Coleman dropped a visit earlier in November to promote his latest supplements. I'm honored to have my signature on the wall too!
Ronnie Coleman dropped by earlier in November to promote his latest supplements. He also signed the wall at the gym… What an absolute honor to have my signature up on their wall too!
I had an amazing time meeting with all the fitness enthusiasts in Kuching!
I had an amazing time meeting with all my fit fans from Kuching and of course, the Phoenix Gym Dream Team!
phoenix gym equipments
Equipped with the most modern equipment, as well as friendly and passionate staff, it’s the place to be for anyone who wants to get fit and enjoy the experience in style.

Find out more about Phoenix Gym on their Facebook page!

Chaos Comes To Paradise

It’s Day 2 on Axe Anarchy Island and the Axe team had even more adventurous activities lined up for us. This time, we’re leaving the comfort of our resort and heading out to the jungle!

David and I signed up for zip-lining because we heard it's the longest in Belize...
David and I signed up for zip-lining because we heard it’s the longest in Belize…
Britt (Belgium), Fran (Chile and Angie (Colombia)! It's like Miss Universe :P
Britt (Belgium), Fran (Chile and Angie (Colombia) on our way to Bocawina for a zip-lining adventure. Looks like we were just missing our Miss Universe sashes, haha!

8 zip-line routes across half a mile (almost 1km!) through the dense Belizean forest. I was first in line and to be honest, I was a little nervous about making my first jump. But after the first zip-line course, I fell in love with the adrenaline!

I screamed random words like “Arrrribbaaa” and “I’m the king of the world” while zip-lining. I tried to scream at the top of my lungs throughout the entire course but it was way too long and I had to catch my breath a couple of times!

longest zipline in belize
So much fun to be tarzans for the day!

20 of us took turns to zip-line through the pristine canopy of the Mayflower Bocawina National Forest. This took up pretty much the whole day and we returned to the resort just in time for dinner. Then, our first night of partying commenced!

With DJ Freddy Jay from France
With DJ Freddy Jay from France

The Axe girls sure knew how to hype up a party. 2 giant Tron dancers also made an appearance and showed off their moves … It was pretty amazing if I should say so myself, considering they were dancing on stilts!

Chaos comes to paradise!
Chaos comes to paradise!
These girls have been busy workin' out all day!
These girls were busy workin’ out at the gym all day while we were away doing our activities. Look at dem bodies!

I had the leave a day earlier than everyone else but I made sure David was in good hands…

David was in good hands.
The Axe Effect. In FULL effect!

If you’re curious to see what a REAL party is about, check out what happened on Day 2 and Day 3!

An Introduction To Axe Anarchy Island (Psst, It’s Somewhere In The Caribbean…)

Earlier this year, sometime around summer, Axe held a a global Facebook contest where they selected 60 winners from 19 countries to come together to party on an exotic island they named the ‘Axe Anarchy Island‘.

It’s somewhere in the Caribbean sea, and yes, they’ve got the whole island.

The campaign was held quite differently in every country. I heard the guys from South America had to play a Facebook game and invite friends to win. For Axe Malaysia, contestants were asked to send in their best beach photo. That’s easy… but in order to win, you (and your photo) must really had to stand out . The winner gets to bring his best buddy to party on Axe Anarchy Island with me and 20 Axe girls! Everyone knows I’m fun to party with 😛

10 guys from Malaysia were shortlisted by Axe and I got to the final winner…

Axe Malaysia Winner - David Chau

David’s photo fit all the criteria – 1) he chose a photo of him on the beach, 2) he’s already rocking a tan, 3) he’s obviously spent some time in the gym too. He looks ALL SET for Axe Anarchy Island. Not to mention I think the Axe girls will love him too. The best part about winning is he gets to share a free vacation with his best buddy!

Nuffnang held a blogging contest for this campaign as well, check out who and why Sha won! Sha brought his lovely fiancé, Suwen, and I finally got to meet David and his homie, Shen (both originally from Malacca), at Kuala Lumpur airport just before we all embarked on this trip together.

It was a long flight to our final airport destination in Belize, but we made the most out of it and took the chance to get to know each other a little better. We shared a lot of laughs and silly jokes. They were a fun bunch to travel with!

We made it to Belize after more than 30 hours traveling from one airport to another. Phew! The last time I was in Central America was back in 2008 when I did my first backpacking trip to Guatemala. The weather was all the same – tropical and sunny. Just like how it is near the equator. I can’t wait to get my tan on!

From Belize airport, we boarded a smaller plane that took us to ‘Paradise Resort’ in Placencia Island where we spent the night so we could recharge before going to Axe Anarchy Island the following day. I was so glad to jump in the shower and sleep on a proper bed. Everyone was quite amazed that I could sleep throughout pretty much the entire flight, but my body was aching everywhere. Nothing beats proper sleep on a bed with fluffy pillows.

View from my hotel balcony. A preview of what’s to come…

The next day, Suwen and I explored a bit of Placencia before heading off to Axe Anarchy Island.

Wooden 'kampung' houses on Placencia island.
Wooden houses. Kampung style.
Carpenter's workshop.
Snuck a photo at this carpenter’s workshop. He didn’t seem to mind.
Suwen and I bumped into this local dude who generously offered us fresh coconut!
The locals were friendly. We bumped into this guy who generously offered us fresh coconut which he ‘happened’ to pick that day.
Soaking up the sun.
Soaking up the sun. Getting a pre-tan!
Tracy prepared everyone's breakfast and made sure we all stayed 'hydrated' ;)
Tracy was the owner of the Paradise Resort. She made sure everyone had their breakfast and stayed ‘hydrated’ 😉 She was so lovely and made everyone feel right at home.
Our ride to Axe Anarchy Island!
Now, the REAL chaos is about the begin. This was our ride to Axe Anarchy Island. A speed boat no less…

We were joined with other winners from all parts of the world from Thailand to Trinidad. Like I said, 60 guys and girls from 19 different countries! The guy to girl ratio? 5 : 1

This trip was a treat especially for the Axe men!

Joined with
Guys from Thailand and Ecuador. Fran was one of the few girls who also won the trip, she’s from Chile!
The excitement
20 Axe girls waited eagerly for our arrival.
We were welcomed on Axe Anarchy Island by the Axe girls, who had drinks prepared
To get the party started, we were welcomed with drinks and all the guys took this opportunity to take plenty with the Axe girls so they can show off to friends back home 😛
Our names were personalized on a board and tagged in every room.
We then settled in to our designated rooms. I love how the Axe team thoughtfully personalized each door with our names.
Our rooms
Axe Anarchy Island was set at Robert’s Grove, a beautiful private resort on one of the many islands in Belize. Everyone received a welcome pack containing a beach towel and a few essential Axe products that came in quite handy later…
Roll out the wet carpet and let's play slip and slide!
They weren’t kidding when they said this was going to be a wet and wild party!
Roll out the wet carpet and let's play slip and slide!
Always accompanied with an Axe girl. All the guys waited in line to get in on the action too!

Ever heard of blobbing? It has got to be one of the highlights that evening…

We had this huge air bag called the blob. Sit on one end of the blob and get someone to jump on the other end. The bigger the impact, the higher you’ll get launched up the air!

Here’s a video (taken by Sha) of me on the blob!

YOLO!
YOLO!

Jet lag started to creep in as the sun went down but most of us were having too much fun to care. After dinner, the chaos continued with a game of beer pong, initiated by one of the guys from the UK.

Beer pong 101. Nobody cared about the rules! But we were all into it!
It was a friendly game, I swear!

This video sums up the whole evening…

Our next venture on Axe Anarchy Island lurks around the corner. Stay tuned!

Good Food, Good Life: All About Keeping A Balance 3/3

Good food, good life. It’s all about keeping the right balance.

Being away from home makes it easy to lapse into habits, especially when you’re away from your usual routine. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that when you’re on the road, your goal should be to maintain your fitness level, not necessarily improve it. If you’re training hard and eating right, a little splurge is more than deserved.

Here are some tips that work for me when I travel (whether for work or vacation), helping me strike the right balance between fitness and fun:

– Make sure you pack a pair of super lightweight sneakers and gym attire.

– Use hotel amenities to your advantage. Use the pool, gym, sauna or steam room. While most hotel gyms usually only come with basic cardio machines, I’ve been to a few that were well-equipped with barbells, dumbbells and even a Smith Machine!

– Work out approximately half of the days you’re there.

– Best way to explore around town? By foot! Put on your trainers and go for a jog. Make sure you take a map with ya!

– Work out first thing in the morning so you have the whole day to yourself.

– Pack your protein powder and supplements in ziplock bags so you always have an inexpensive, quick meal ready!

– Drink plenty of SKY JUICE! Water, that is. Go for a glass red or light beer instead of frozen, sugar-packed drinks.

– Try to keep your same sleeping habits so your body clock isn’t extremely altered.

Now back to Switzerland. So I’ve indulged in some quality Swiss cheese and chocolate. What next? More food! This time, it’s strictly educational.

After a satisfying meal at Les Sifflets, we headed toward Lake Geneva to check out the Alimentarium food museum.
After a satisfying meal at Les Sifflets, we headed toward Lake Geneva to check out the Alimentarium food museum.

 As we walked along the Quai Perdonnet, off of Vevey’s charming old town, this giant fork came to view. It stands 8-meters in height and is made entirely from stainless steel. Swiss artist Jean-Pierre Zaugg designed this work of art in 1995, to commemorate the Alimentarium Food Museum’s 10th anniversary.

This controversial work of art was meant to be a temporary piece but apparently the people of Vevey had grown to love it so much that it practically became a public symbol. Following petitions, Vaud authorities finally signed papers in 2008 declaring the fork stays permanently.

Remember Ariel in ‘The Little Mermaid’? She used a fork to comb her hair 😛
Christine was our unofficial photographer. Thanks for being a sport! She helped the guys and I take photos from our cameras and our phones 😛
The fork stands right in front of the Alimentarium. The Alimetarium food museum is dedicated to various aspects of nutrition. The museum houses a permanent exhibition on the production, processing, effect and trading of food within the framework of the four topics of cooking, eating, buying and digesting.
A spoon to match the fork sculpture.
A spoon to match the fork sculpture.
From different methods of cooking to the different utensils and cookware, there was a lot to learn about the history of its origins!
An example of a typical Swiss diet. The ideal meal plan – Eat often and in moderation.
The average food consumption per week then and now.

As a food and wellness company, it was a fitting joint-venture for Nestle to support the Alimentarium since it opened in 1985. Some locals recognize it as the Nestle museum because you’ll also find the history of Nestle in one the exhibition rooms. It takes you through the development of Nestle products through the years including original Maggi noodles packaging from years ago. Funny how Singaporeans think of Maggi and Milo as local brands but it’s actually from Switzerland!

Check out the retro Nestle artwork used for advertising and promotional items!

Well worth a visit. Why? The better you understand food and how it is processed in your body, the better the choices you’ll make!

 —
After an educational journey about all things food (from the farm production to your digestive system), we took the bus to Avenue Nestle to visit the Nestle headquarters.
Nestle is the biggest food and wellness company in the world. They even have a road named after them!
At the Nestle store, you’ll be able to find most of the products under the brand, from confectionary to cosmetics. I was surprised to find that brands like Garnier, Maybelline and Lancome is partly owned by Nestle/L’Oreal.
Beautiful homes up the hill near the Nestle HQ. I could totally live/work here… Now if only there was a beach.nearby!
Office with a view.

Nestle is popularly known for its baby products. Their journey began in Switzerland in the mid 1860’s when founder Henri Nestle created one of the first baby formulas as an alternative for mothers who couldn’t breast feed.

Since then, Nestle has continued to develop nourishing food for the whole family – from infants, growing teens, adults, and the elderly to pets! I was surprised at how many brands were under Nestle. Even Powerbar!

I’m sure you’re all familiar with convenient Nespresso coffee machine and capsules. Did you know that they also have something similar for tea and baby’s milk? Very innovative!
Maggi products adapted to local consumers in India.
Millions of different people relate Nestle to thousands of different things. For me, it’s a hearty breakfast and enjoyable tea breaks.

I had the privilege of meeting a really international group of digital marketing professionals at the Nestle HQ on our last day. They literally were from all over the world, based in Vevey for 8 months at a time. Alvin, Brad and I each had a chance to stand up and share how social media has influenced our lives and enabled us to build an online community.

Representing our different countries! I took the Malaysian flag because that’s where I live now. Alvin is holding the Singapore flag, can you see it?

Digital marketing is a such fast-moving and often complicated industry, and while I felt a bit nervous giving a full-on powerpoint presentation about my life and social media in front of a corporate team of experienced people, they kindly made me feel welcome and we all learned a lot from each other.

It’s all about a healthy work-life environment at Nestle. The day starts early for Nestle employees as they punch in at 7/8am and leave the office by about 5/6pm. Most shops (with restaurants and bars as an exception) in Vevey close around 5pm. On my last night, I went out to get dinner and was surprised to find that all the shops were already closed! I can’t read French, which made it difficult to order at any restaurant. I was also being quite picky and refused any pizza or pasta. Luckily, there was a kebab shop near the hotel so I ended up getting a chicken kebab for 10Francs.

A scenic view of the lake from the Nestle cafeteria. I would eat here everyday!
Check out the dishes they offer at the Nestle canteen! Wouldn’t it be nice to know the nutrition facts before deciding what to eat?

That’s the end of my amazing journey with Nestle. An equally fun and educational trip where I learned a lot not just about the brand but also on food and nutrition.

Good Food, Good Life with Nestle. Thank you for this amazing journey!
Good Food, Good Life with Nestle.

Thank you for this unforgettable journey!