Tools for Weight Loss

Celebrating the fourth year of my weight loss journey, I’ve finally gotten the hang of it. From 86kg, I’m about 75kg now (with many ups and downs). I’m on track to hit 72kg by the end of the year (which will be my lightest since I’m 16).

Withings smart scale – has recorded my weight for 4 years. Every morning, it tells me the truth about my weight. I learn the relationship between the food I eat and my weight, daily. I can’t stress enough about this important feedback loop. An aside, in 2016, the company was sold to Nokia and it suffered poorly. The founder had since brought it back.

Tim Ferriss’ Slow-Carb diet was my first introduction to weight loss. I lost 11kg (from 86kg to 75kg in 12 months). There were others that lost 100 pounds from it. The diet works. But sometimes, I eat emotionally.

The Broccoli test taught me physically hunger from emotional hunger.

Jerzy and Anelia taught me that losing weight has almost nothing related to excise. Exercise is for posture, flexible, power, speed, and almost never about losing weight.

I use large Mason jars to prepare delicious salads every weekend, 6 jars a week. The fridge is always stock with delicious and healthy food when hunger strikes.

James Clear builds on the cult-classic The Power of Habit and wrote Atomic Habits with actionable strategies. A big-picture view of how to build and keep habits.

Get buy-in from friends and family. It can be as easy as “hey, I’m trying to get to the best shape of my life and I need your help. This is my plan.” Or as formal as a contract to show that you are serious. (editable version)

Airtable can be hacked to track food intake (uploading photo of meals). I use to stay accountable for my goal’s contract. It is the best of it’s kind (and mostly free).

Sometimes, I travel to a new country and “need” to try every single restaurant. I gain a lot of weight. I use intermittent fasting as a reset. An 8 hours eating window (from noon – 8 pm). Zero is a beautiful app to manage intermittent fasting. Thanks for the gift, Kevin.

Finally, there a trend of online weight-loss coaches. They are expensive but it might be worth it to have a guide on the journey, someone who has been through it. Just know that if you work with one, you need to like and trust them for it to work. Let them go if you don’t like them.

Here’s to the lifetime of eating good, looking good and feeling good.


If you’re having trouble “finding yourself” so that you can succeed in the world, it’s not your fault. Because the only authentic version of “who you are” is a few days old, naked and afraid, pooping in your pants.

Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promised, not “being who you are”.

That’s because ‘being’ is too elusive and we are notoriously bad at judging that. Doing, on the other hand, is an act that can be seen by all.

If it acts like a cat, it’s a cat. Doesn’t matter if the cat thinks it’s a dog, it’s still a cat.

You could spend your day wondering if what you say you are is really you. Or you could just act like that all the time.

The question, then, is what do you want to be special about, and who do you want to be special to? How can you keep that promise, again and again?

That’s good enough. Save the identity crisis for later.

(HT Seth Godin)

The Meaning of Life

The rationale for finding the meaning of life is that it would unknot the existential angst, give direction to a good life, which will ultimately allow us to be happy.

But what happens after everyone found the ONE meaning of life?

It’s interesting to note that we would be trapped. We would all have to live to that one answer and be like robots, each one competing with each other to fulfil that singular meaning more than the others.

And for the rest of us that don’t think that it is worth it, well that’s the end of that.

It might sound gloomy but the insight is to realise that the question is more important than the answer. And to bring peace to the existential angst, consider the Agrippa’s Trilemma.

When you try to answer this big question, it helps to keep in mind 3 types of answers.

1. The answers end up in an axiom and everything falls on the one thing being true.
Because math.
Because universe.
Because nature.
Because god.
Because the Big Bang.
Because simulation theory.

2. There is no answer you could give to that question that wouldn’t have another why. The why’s just keep accumulating, and as Richard Feynman said, it would be turtles all the way down. There would be an infinite regress.
If I say the meaning of life is to please God.
Then you asked, which god? Well, Hindu God.
Why that god?
Then why, why, why, why and why?

3. One answer hinges on the other answer being true. Then we start going in circles causing circular reasoning.

“Wellington is in New Zealand. Therefore, Wellington is in New Zealand.”

“There is no god because there is no such thing as a god.”

Well, A.
Why A? Because of B.
Well, why B? Because of A.

So, what is the meaning of life?

What it boils down to is that you have to choose your own meaning.

You get to decide if this a play that I’m going to or that I’m just watching?
You get to decide if there is a self-actualisation dance that you’re doing.
You get to decide if there is a specific thing that you desire just for the heck of it.

It can be about generosity, connection, and possibilities. It can be about did you open the door for someone else. Or if you have inspire someone today. Or if you have made things better. The opportunity lies in knowing that if the meaning we choose is actually helping us achieve the things we seek.

[HT to Naval].

How to Find Your Values

A series of fortunate event, I have achieved everything on my bucket list. It was disorientating.

I looked up at an old list of ‘fun-to-do’ projects, not knowing how to choose what’s next. I was paralysed. Then bored. Then, agitated by my boredom.

Inspired by my friend, JR Hinds, I took a month off in Taiwan and went searching for my values. In hopes that it will be the compass for the next chapter of my life (and it did). It helped me get unstuck and excited for life.

First things first, definition are important as we are building the truth. And this is how I define values:

A set of ideas, rules and principles that I’ve looked at very carefully about myself and have deliberately chosen. This is a habit. This is a way of life. I’m going to stay this way forever. I’m not going to compromise on it. I don’t want to live life any other way. I don’t need to prove it to others. It shouldn’t change much over time. It shouldn’t be profitable or easy. If they were, then no one would write books on it.

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“What other people think of you is none of your business. But isn’t it important to get business.”

Almost the opposite. We must care and even obsess about the people you want to help.

But… Who are these people? And what kind of business are you building?

To own a thriving business, you don’t need everyone. Just someone.

The goal is not to pander to the masses and undo the very things that made you special. The goal is to be special to the right someone.

Who are these people and how you are special is entirely up to you.

Trying to make everyone happy is a sure path to unhappiness and bankruptcy.

Shun the non-believer and make things better for the people to miss you when you were gone.


The photo was taken in a funky little Airbnb in Kaohsiung, Taiwan while travelling with Paul.