Following a Diet Plan

Have you ever tried following a diet plan?

I tried it recently and before starting the diet I always thought it would be an easy task but after following it for few weeks I realized how challenging it can be.

The thing is, when you are not following a diet you don’t really care what you are eating. Since you are allowed to eat everything you just gulp down whatever comes your way. Things are pretty easy and carefree.

But when you decide to follow a diet plan (mainly because of the added pounds and inches as a result of that carefree behavior), things become suddenly difficult. You now have a list of food items that you cannot eat, and a list of items that you have to eat over and over again.

So now every time you decide to grab a bite, it’s not as simple as picking up anything and putting it in your mouth. Now you have to make sure you are eating only what is allowed in your diet plan. That’s a bit of a challenge because what’s allowed is not always freely available and you have to make that extra effort to follow the rules. Trust me its not easy to do when you are having a busy day and eating whatever you come across is not an option. That’s when it gets very tempting to deviate. And that’s when your discipline and self control are really tested.

When you are dieting it’s you against the whole world because the whole world doesn’t know that you are dieting and neither do they care about it, rather they would make every effort for you to deviate from your plan. Oh come on one slice of cake won’t hurt, or Dude, you have been off sugar for a month, you can have this dessert now. You will get these comments every day but it is you and only you who have to be strong enough to stay focused and motivated and not get distracted by all the yummy cakes and candies and pizzas that you see other people eating.

So if you really want to see how disciplined you are try following a diet plan. Other than health benefits you will get to know a lot about yourself. You will learn how to control your temptations and stay motivated despite social pressure and mockery. Even if you are physically fit I suggest you try it just to see if you can do it.

Good luck with your diet. Let me know how it went.

Welcome to the new Umar Siddiqi dot com

If you haven’t already noticed it yet, my blog is wearing a new skin for last few days.

I have redesigned my blog interface to make it more visually appealing. And I hope it looks good to the readers. I am still fine tuning it so you might notice some minor changes here and there in coming weeks.

Secondly my blog is no longer called “Umar in Dubai”. Instead it’s now simply called “Umar Siddiqi dot com”.

I will continue writing about Dubai and related topics on this blog, as a matter of fact, there won’t be any major changes in the contents of this blog, other than the new theme and name.

In fact I am planning to make it better. Expect to see more posts, more topics, and opportunities for my readers to interact more with this blog.

So thanks for reading my blog for all these years and I hope will continue to be my loyal readers.

Any suggestions on making this blog better are most welcomed. The comments section is all yours.

Project Glass by Google – Are you in or are you out?

This video has gone viral in the last few days and I came across this just yesterday.

I was blown away when I first watched it and since then I have watched it several times and continue to be amazed and excited about the possibilities.

There have been many discussions and negative opinions about this technology (as it happens with every new concept), mainly revolving around points like invasion of privacy or technology overload or too much distraction and so on.

so here is my take on this.

First of all, as it is evident from my reaction, I love it. I love technology and the ways it integrates with our every day life.

Secondly, Internet is becoming ubiquitous with every passing day and if there is a product or technology to make sense of the plethora of information available on the internet or somehow process the information and presents to us what is relevant, then I am all for it.

Project Glass by Google seems to be aimed at doing exactly that. What you see in the video can already by done using existing Google products available on your mobile device. This is just a new interface to those products are services with some added intelligence and data processing magic. With this technology you no longer have to reach out for your phone and access the information or perform any action. It’s all just right there in front of your eyes. So basically this is an evolution of technology from handheld devices to wearable hands-free devices. It’s nothing revolutionary.

And finally, there can be countless uses for this around collaboration, remote assistance, and gaming. The possibilities, as they say, are limitless.

So I can’t wait for this to be available to general public and see how it is adapted. Count me in to be the first one to use it.

And to answer the naysayers, anyone who opts to use this technology will do it willingly so if you are that worried about privacy just don’t use it. Moreover, no one expects you to wear it when you need privacy so you can just remove it or turn it off when you need some unobtrusive moments. It’s that simple.

So are you in or are you out?

BlackBerry Super Fan!

BlackBerry doesn’t need any introduction. It’s a delicious fruit and the devices are playing a major role in keeping people connected. Today however I will mostly be talking about the device, and fruit maybe in a later post.

I am a BlackBerry user for over two years and use it for work and personal use both. Since I travel frequently, my BlackBerry helps me stay updated with my emails whenever I am on the road which increases my overall productivity, and it also gives me the peace of mind that I am easily reachable by my colleagues, customers, and friends.

Not only that, my BlackBerry also helps me with my blog. Since my blog is powered by wordpress, I have wordpress app installed on my BlackBerry which I use whenever I need to quickly scribble something worth blogging. In short I have become pretty much addicted to my BlackBerry and can’t imagine life without it.

So I was absolutely delighted when I was contacted by BlackBerry Middle East to be a part of their BlackBerry Super Fan Club. Needless to say, I didn’t give it a second thought.

I was already a BlackBerry fan and user and now I am BlackBerry Super Fan!

To kick-start the partnership I was invited to a video shoot where I was interviewed and then I was given a new BlackBerry Bold 9790 to use and share the experience with my readers.

So far I am loving my new BlackBerry and I will blog more about it soon.

Not only this, I will also announce a contest on my blog soon through which the readers of this blog could win a new BlackBerry device.

So stay tuned, subscribe if you haven’t already done so, and wait for the next announcement!

BangPae Safari – Phuket

One of the first activities we did in Phuket was BangPae Safari.

Elephant Safari

This post is brought to you by 2012 holidays

Riding on the elephant was something that not only Tabeer but all of us were excited about. So as soon as we reached Phuket we started looking for ways to fulfill this dream.
Luckily, the hotel had a brochure for Bang Pae Safari which offered not only elephant trekking but many other activities that looked very interesting and adventurous. So we booked the tour immediately.

On the day of the tour we were picked up by the tour operator from our hotel. The drive to Bang Pae took more than an hour. Since it was our first time on the road in Phuket (except for the drive from airport to the hotel), the time easily passed looking out from the window and enjoying the lush green landscapes of the island.

When we got there, we were greeted by the staff and briefed about what was included in the safari. The safari was composed of six parts.

Rubber Tapping

Image source: flickr

Thailand is one of the biggest producers of rubber. There are rubbers trees covering a huge area of Phuket. The rubber trees give out latex which is then processed to make rubber and related products.

We were demonstrated how latex is collected from the rubber tree and the process it goes through after that.

Baby Elephant Show

Baby Elephant

There was a very cute baby elephant who could do tricks like stand on two legs, play harmonica, and kiss with its trunk. It felt like a vacuum cleaner on my cheek.

Elephant Trekking

Elephant Trekking
View from elephant’s back.

The best part of the safari was when we sat on a (fully grown) elephant and rode on it up and down the track. It wasn’t really a roller coaster ride as the elephant was moving very slowly (not that we wanted it to run), however the track was very beautiful with rubber trees all around and beautiful weather. Below are some more pictures from the elephant’s back.

Rubber Trees Forest

The group of elephants

Gibbon Project

Gibbon Project

White handed gibbon is a kind of ape found in Thailand and neighboring countries. It is facing extinction and efforts are underway to save it. The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project is aimed at protecting and rescuing the white handed gibbons. We visited their center and saw the gibbons from the viewing platform.

Bang Pae Waterfall

Bangpae Waterfall

In the same area as Gibbon Project there is Bang pae waterfall, a natural waterfall which we were able to access after some hiking on a small hill. I can’t say its the most beautiful thing I have ever seen but it wasn’t too bad either.

The path to the waterfall

The Bangpae Waterfall

Nature Canoe in Mangroves Forest

Mangrove Forest

From the waterfall we boarded the bus again to the place of last activity of the day. We took a canoe ride through the Mangroves forest and explored nature such a walking fish, one handed crab, monkeys, and of course, mangrove trees. Below are some pictures taken from the canoe.

Walking Fish
This fish uses its fins to walk on land
The crab with one big hand
The crab with one big hand
Can you see the monkey between the trees?
Can you see the monkey between the trees?

We had a fun filled, adventurous and educational day at Bang Pae Sarari. The perfect way to start the vacations at Phuket.