Animal Print Overload + Sweaty Gym Stories

On this dark and rainy morning, I woke up at 5 am for my first boot camp session with my equally crazy gym buddy Tia. After forty-five minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) consisting of burpees, push-ups, suicides, core, froggers, and other fun stuff, we were done today's workout before 7 am had even struck.

(Note of disclosure: If you don't like reading about working out and all that stuff, then you should probably skip the rest of this post until the very end...)

Moreover, this was the fourth day in a row that I had worked out this week and I plan to sweat it out for at least two more days... For the past two months since returning from Asia, I've been turning it up at the gym with an varied schedule of lifting and classes such as spin (and now bootcamp). The main motivation for this insanity? The awesome inspiration gained from my highly disciplined and extremely fit friend Tia! For instance, we started waking up at around 5:10 am on weekday mornings to go for two hour workouts consisting of weight-lifting (squats, deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, horsekicks, rows, step-ups, etc.). Then we started adding in weekly spin classes each Sunday morning with another fit friend. Most recently, we added boot camp to the list as we felt that a good dose of HIIT was needed for our weekly routine.

What exactly is HIIT? This high intensity training consists of intervals of mostly body weight exercises and sprints with only minimal breaks in between. Our boot camp instructor also would create little "sets" of three exercises that we would do over and over for three minute periods (ex. Russian twists, V-ups, leg raises). This type of training can greatly increase your overall strength and cardio endurance within the most efficient time span-- our tiring workout was over in forty-five minutes instead of our usual two hours.      

I've been working out for years in the gym but never before had a dedicated workout buddy to push me harder, further, and faster into exercises like this. Previously, I was used to working out solo and usually chose running as my main workout regime. While I reached pretty decent levels with my running (my best time for the annual 10 km Sun Run was 45:06), I felt like I had reached a plateau and needed something new to motivate myself.

So how do I motivate myself to keep on track? Here are some tips in no particular order:

  1. Sleep more. I now tuck myself into bed by 10:30-11 pm to ensure that I get my nightly minimum of 7 hours. If I accomplish a healthy sleeping schedule, I don't feel more fatigued during the day than I normally would (even after an early morning workout). 
  2. Drink more water. Everyday I make a point to guzzle down a ton of the good stuff; staying well hydrated means that you function better, flush toxins out faster, and can work out harder at the gym. This usually means that I carry a water bottle everywhere I go (and lose a lot of bottles due to my forgetfulness). 
  3. Work out earlier. While this may seem like the hardest thing to do, waking up earlier and working out first thing in the morning is actually easier than hitting the gym after a long day of work or school. 
  4. Eat better. I am a practical person (and am also a hardcore foodie) so I know that I can't eat completely healthy without going crazy! As a result, I try to stick with the 80/20 rule: eighty percent consists of healthy, unprocessed food and twenty percent is dedicated to delicious food (brunch, meat, carbs, etc.). 
  5.  Stay positive. No one ever became a champion weightlifter or Cross Fit maniac in one day. Stay humble, learn the correct form for your exercises, and work your way up steadily (don't jump up weights too fast and risk serious injury). 
  6. If possible, find a good workout partner. After years of working out alone and becoming jaded from many failed gym buddies, I was starting to think that I would be #foreveralone in the gym. However, I was proven wrong when I reconnected with my bestie and found that we were kindred souls in the killing-ourselves-working-out-everyday department. 

Coat // Ever New
Top, necklace, & headband // Forever 21
Leggings & shoes // H&M
Bag // Marc by Marc Jacobs 

If you actually read the above text, I want to thank you specially for being such a trooper and for putting up with my overly-enthusiastic self (I think I'm still pumped up on an endorphin rush after my workout).  

Back to the actual photographic content of this post, I wore my favourite animal print coat with a tiger-print turban/headband from a Forever 21 in Singapore. I also was able to wear this lovely blue necklace from the Forever 21 in Las Vegas (I like to Forever-21-hop). Also featured is my favourite phone case from Malaysia-- while I love its transparent Chanel-inspired design, I keep breaking the gold bits off and having to re-glue them back on... 

Well that's my spiel for today: what have the rest of you been up to lately?  


  1. nice coat!

  2. Beautiful coat and i loveeee your necklace!! Stunning look overall and you look gorgeous!
    I really like how you paired the skirt and the red belt - looks amazing! Very cute look :))
    Kisses Emina


    -> Would you like to follow each other? <3

  3. You look gorgeous dear! Love that case

  4. I need this coat!! Gorgeous!!

    xo, Shauna

  5. My love for brown though. I really love your handbad. The gold plated phone case drew my attention, its so lovely. You look beautiful dear.
    How are you and hope you're doing good.

  6. I admire your dedication to working out. There's no way I'd wake up at 5, no way. Maybe that's the problem. I've been going on afternoon walks/hikes with the boyfriend, which is better than nothing. Eventually, we will have to up the ante. I love your head band. Big cats are the best. :] // ☼ ☯

  7. shoes are lovely

  8. Nice:) xx
    Giveaway on my blog->

  9. I heart your animal print coat
    so chic!

  10. Oh, the coat is fabulous <3


  11. Love the boots and the coat.

  12. that headband is adorable! never enough animal print is my motto, haha. it sounds like you're training super hard! i have a hard time motivating myself to work out, so having a gym buddy sounds amazing. i play soccer a few times each week but would love to wake up early a few days a week and sneak in extra exercise.


  13. I love your coat - AGAIN. You have the greatest outerwear collection by far.

    - Sarah :)

  14. Debbie! wow you are super serious about working out! I mean two hours of lifting every morning or boot camp! wow my respects girl! haha I wake up early to but I do a half an hour to an hour of yoga and then I do zumba two to three times a week and that is pretty much it! lol I feel like such a slacker now! I completely agree with all your tips though, going to bed earlier def helps! and waking up early adds hours to your day and makes you more productive. My workout partner is my husband, we do not do the same workout though (I mean can you image him doing some serious zumba? lol) but we wake up early to work out together!

    Ok let's talk to your outfit! love your mix of prints and the touch of blue of the necklace but I have to say your boots STOLE my heart! those see through heels are so cool... I went to H&M's website looking for them but couldn't find! I want them so badly lol I will keep looking :)


  15. Wow Debbie! I am so proud of you girl! I have worked out all my life, I have done everything... Right now I cycle and do super slow weight training which I love. They key is to be consistent and vary your workouts. I love interval training, I thinks is a good cardio training. I used to do boot camp and I loved it but haven't been able to make it to the class anymore. Keep it up girl. So proud of you:-) Love the jacket and the boots very much! They both are super chic! You look amazing and beautiful as always. And, I want a phone case like that! Take care girl! XOXO, Jeannette

  16. Oh my, you are so impressive! I am complaining about getting tired from my 10 minute walk to classes and here you are, powering away with so much energy and enthusiasm! Kudos to you, kid! I also love your stay-on-track motivation list--I really need to work on no. 1 the most! I have been unfortunately staying up farr to late and being forced to wake up far too o early for classes!
    Also, your outfit is on point! You look great!

    <(') Hoda | JooJoo Azad

  17. Nice outfit! :D

    xx, Angelus |

  18. First of all, love the outfit. The head band is just to cute on you. Second, I want to start training soon with the HIIT method, and that is why I started getting up early to make myself get ready for that. It is hard, and I have to commend you for doing this, especially early in the morning. Great tips by the way on how to stay motivated.

    Kreyola Jounerys | Instagram

  19. Amazing shoes!

  20. There is nothing I don't love about that outfit! It is so cute and the headband is awesome!! Love the boots and the phone case (I want it!) I also love that you mixed in about gym routines. It's always good to keep that in mind and on schedule. You're so stylish.


  21. Wow you have great motivation! Thanks for the tips - I need to start working out more! I love doing Cassie's Blogilates on Youtube.

    You look amazing!


  22. beautiful coat

  23. Your coat is beautiful!
    - Deniz

  24. Woww I'm so impressed on how you really been sticking to this workout thing. Like seriously, I am! There's nothing about staying in track. And waking up at 5am ..I don't think I could ever do that myself unless I'm suppose to.
    Just for instance I've been getting up by 10am latest lately and I feel like I could still get some more sleep haha.
    But I think as soon as I get another work to do everythings gonna change.

    From your list/tips I can tick number 1,2 and 4 but refering to me they doesn't really have anything to do with
    But at least I try to eat clean and drink lots of water. About the sleeping point, well you already know.

    But lemme get back to your outfis that's how you said is was the main photographic content of this post. So I won't miss on that.
    I love the leo coat and you pulled it off great. When I saw the sneak peak pic on Instagram earlier I was so excited to see the whole outfit and post. And you came up to my expectations. I knew that this gonna be just another great outfit of yours. The Channel phone case is so stunning I love it and would also try my possible best to make it look great for a long time haha. And still having a crush on those boots. The heel is just so cool!

    Also I wanna thank you for giving me the advice to do a list with questions I want to ask the designer whom I'm gonna have a "date" with soon. Haven't seriously thought of this my own and I also had to laugh when I got the message the next day.

    But anyways wish you a good day Debs.

    xx Lori


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