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Even Your Weight Can Be Happy

I know it’s not obvious but there was a time in my life when I treated weight loss as if it was my only mission on earth.

To give you a brief background: I gained so much weight during late high school and early college, and upon finding out how much I weighed during one PE class, I nearly fainted out of shock at the number I saw. At first, I dieted like a normal person and probably lost 10 pounds on the first two weeks or so. Still sane. Until it got out of hand and I did diet pills, starvation, and also occasional bingeing and purging. Already insane.

The truth is, this battle for me was more of a mind thing than it was a body thing. It consumed me more than anything at that time. It robbed me of peace and joy, and for a time, may have gotten me depressed. I cried once after eating a lot of peanuts. And one summer, I didn’t want to go out of the house because I gained a little weight. One to two pounds maybe. Looking back, though, it was probably the thinnest I had ever been!

Anyway, my point of writing this post isn’t really about what happened before anymore. It’s more of how I have found my happy weight quite recently, and how I’ve achieved a ‘healthy’ relationship with food, perhaps for the first time in years. And nope, this post isn’t for those aiming to lose weight, but more for those who have an exhausting love/hate relationship with food and who want to quit it, for those who want to maintain their weight while eating the food they love. And I’m writing this now (in the car) because for the first time in a while, I actually feel like something needs to be said and so here I am, with the things I’ve learned over the years about food, fitness, and body image:

1. If you’re terribly obsessed with your weight and it’s gone overboard, stop weighing! I know it’s easier said than done, but you will have to stop—at least for a short while. This is the first step. Take a break. Let the scales stop dictating your happiness.

For me, there were periods as long as a year or two when I didn’t step on the scales at all. There were times when the avoidance felt like cowardice, but looking back, I realize it was just about choosing your battles. And life is so much more than how skinny or fit you are, so if you have better battles to fight, it won’t hurt so bad to avoid it for a while. After all, you’ll know when you’re ready to step on it again. And you will. And it won’t be so bad, trust me.

2. When you’re not weighing, the least you can do for your body is to be conscious of how your flesh feels on you. I think most often, this can be a good enough guide to how well you’re doing body-wise. You can easily tell by how your jeans fit, or by how you feel when you wear tight-fitting tops.
 :P

3. The only way to be able to do #2, though, is to have a more realistic body goal. It’s actually really great that strong has become the new skinny. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older or if the society nowadays indeed promotes healthier body pegs.

Personally, I now like girl crushing on well-rounded women who have strong-looking physique. Example: Kaley Cuoco from Big Bang Theory.

4. Stop labeling food as good and bad. Paleo and other healthy eaters might kill me for saying that. But for me, doing that will prevent you from overeating in general. Because sometimes, you think something is good so you eat excessive amounts of it. Other times, the more you try to avoid the “bad,” the more you crave for it and when self-control fails, uh ohhh, red alert!

You’ll see that once you’ve stopped being so strict with labels, you will find that your body and tastebuds will be the first ones to reject “bad foods” because they make you feel gross afterwards. Take note, gross; not guilty. Guilty is more of a mind thing, and like I said, I suggest you focus more on how your body feels. 

5. This is one that I practice the most: Eat what you really want to eat when it’s mealtime, and make sure to have protein there. If you want fried chicken, go have fried chicken. With rice even. And gravy. Try not to eat all the skin but if you do, don’t kill yourself for it. 

I say eat whatever you want during mealtime, so you get full (hopefully not way too full) and also satisfied. Because usually when I settle for something I don’t really want (like salad, when what I really want is a big, juicy burger), I end up snacking on junk food later on. And that’s where people gain weight, I think. On empty calories, that even cause you to crave one thing after another. A vicious cycle!!!

6. And may I repeat, protein is a must! As much as possible, I never eat my meals without protein, in fear that it will cause a spike in my blood sugar and make my hormones go wild, which could easily result to eating and eating and eating. And so far, it has worked. Ever since I ate full meals with protein almost all the time, I rarely crave for sweets. Or if ever I do, I only eat very small portions of it, usually just to take out the remaining taste of what I just ate. Not because I’m trying to control my intake, really. But because I really can’t have more or else I’ll feel sick of it.

7. Walk around. After meals. When you’re bored at work. Fidget. Pretend you have ADHD and be unable to sit still. Dance along to good music in your bedroom. Clean. Help do house chores. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Window shop!

These are the least you can do if you don’t want to exercise regularly. Try “feeling” active. Somehow feeling like it will make you want to do more of it. And then there goes your cardio somehow. Hehe!

8. When you have really limited time and want to do a workout, do strength training instead of cardio. Disclaimer: I’m not sure if fitness gods support this but I have my reasons for it. Such as: Working out your muscles have a more lasting effect on your metabolic spike, so even with a short workout time, you can have an much extended calorie burn somehow. Also, when you build muscles, you get to burn more even when you’re not doing anything active. Lastly, and this may sound silly, the sore feeling after core workouts, let’s say, can be addictive that you’d want more of it. The sore feeling also makes you feel good, and reminds you you did something good, and it’ll continue to remind you even days after you did your exercise.

I don’t know about you, but for me, affirmation makes me want to do good and even inspire me to be better than good. :)
9. Sleep for at least seven hours a day. Now this is supported by science. Having little sleep causes you to crave more and eat more. Plus, it impairs your judgment so again, you end up eating more than you normally would.

10. Don’t reject that beach invite! Haha. This is one I used to be guilty of. Because I literally stopped being mindful of what I ate for a time, and may have gained more weight than I could tolerate, I didn’t like the idea of being almost naked in front of people. Most especially with my slim friends around!

But, sometimes booking that out-of-town trip helps you reconnect with your physique. Sometimes, just fitting swimsuits and getting surprised at the fact that you don’t look half as bad as you feared makes you want to do your body good. And sometimes, without you even realizing it, your eating habits change and become a little better than before because of it. :)

11. Drink lots of water! Teas, coffee and other drinks that either have little to no sugar or have natural sugars are okay, too. Why? Because liquids help prevent bloating! Ironic as it may sound, the more water you drink, the more liquids you flush away. So drink up to beat the bloat! And as a bonus, these liquids help you stay full, and also prevents overeating.

12. As you can see, one of the recurring points in this post is to avoid overeating as much as possible. Because overeating tends to be a habit. If it’s a one-time thing, then who cares? But when you’re always doing it—because overeating today usually makes you overeat the next day (promise, this is also backed by science),—you’ll end up feeling fat and bad. And the next thing you know, fat is no longer a feeling but an actual reality. And by ‘fat,’ I don’t mean the world’s standard definition of it. “Fat’ is when you’re past the size you’re happy and comfortable with.

In summary: Think good, feel good, do good, and then look good. In that specific order. :D

Friday Favorites

1. Wonder how it’ll be if we assign kids to write scripts for adults? Watch this and find out!

Original source: http://blog.petflow.com/this-is-the-cuteness-you-get-when-kids-write-scripts-for-grownups-im-obsessed/

"Umm, I need to sell, uh, a penguin." “A real penguin or a pet penguin?” “A pet penguin.” Aaah, I die of their cuteness!

2. A wine lover? Check out this list and tell me which one is your favorite.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christianz/12-items-to-improve-your-wineaholic-lifestyle-1pyg?bffb

 This one’s mine:

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Vino2Go Portable Wine Glass

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25 Layers of Kimukatsu Goodness

Almost every Sunday after church, my parents and I (with our strong, varied preferences towards food and restaurants) have to go into a 15-minute argument over where we should eat before finally deciding on a place. Luckily this last Sunday, we were spared by the unwanted stress of having to choose, argue and decide, as we were invited to try out a new Japanese restaurant around the block.

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Kimukatsu is conveniently located at the fifth floor of Shangrila Mall’s East Wing, and as you can see in the photo, it can be found right across Bratpack and Flight 001. While this local franchise opened a branch here just last December, Kimukatsu has had multiple locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Sendai for a while now, and is very well-known for their pork cutlet.

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Friday Favorites

I am starting a new section in my not-so-sectioned and not-so-updated blog, and it is called “Friday Favorites.” Picked up from the blog of my girl crush to end all girl crushes, Lauren Conrad, I am to compile random things that piqued my interest all throughout the week, and post them all on Fridays. To make things more consistent, I hereby commit to positing five (Another F!) every (other) week.

So here are my Five Friday Favorites at the moment:

1. 21 Things You Suddenly Start Wanting In Your Mid-20s by Chelsea Fagan

http://thoughtcatalog.com/chelsea-fagan/2014/03/21-things-you-suddenly-start-wanting-in-your-mid-20s/

Can’t be more relevant! Well, all except yoga. I still don’t think I am made to do it.

2. Olivia Palermo’s pleated skort.

My favorite ensemble is the one in the middle. It’s eye-catching from red to toe. (Hehe.)

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*This is taken from People’s Style Watch Magazine – June 2013 issue. :)

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If there is one thing I would ask of you today, it is to watch Stuck in Love. Here’s the trailer to lure you in. 

I know the title reeks of insane cheesiness but when you actually dive into it, you find out that the title doesn’t do the story justice. 

And because I fell in love with the movie so much—and this happens rarely these days, I will tolerate the urge to talk about it more than you’d like to hear about it. :D

Here’s a list of what I liked about the movie:

{WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!}

  • "I remember it hurt. Looking at her hurt." If that’s not a gripping intro, then I do not know what is.
  • You know how some movies attempt to do a Love Actually format, where it’s about intertwined lives and romances? Usually, by trying to fit so many stories in one movie, they fall short in the way their characters blossom and most times, their connectedness appears to be forced. But not this one. Somewhat like Crazy Stupid Love, this is a movie about family, too. Except that this is much more profound, and much more real. No photoshopped abs whatsoever. Haha.
  • I loved how they used “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as their music to the opening scene. Well, at first, it didn’t feel like a perfect fit but later on, when they used it again, it finally made sense. The kind of sense that words can’t really express. The kind that only your heart can understand once you see it for yourself.
  • Logan Lerman. Who says nice guys finish last? He seems very number 1 to me. Hehe. (Not as number 1 as my boyfriend, Josh, though, of course. HI LOVE!)
  • This scene. <3
  • How Jennifer Connelly and Lily Collins both have thick eyebrows. Like mother, like daughter indeed! Hehe!
  • How the movie was stringed along by two consecutive Thanksgivings and how it helped me see how far they’ve all come. 
  • The good lessons I learned from it. I know it sounds very elementary-like to ask what the moral lesson is in the story, but for me, that’s what good movies are about. You stay still for about two hours with no distractions (hopefully) and you open your heart to the possibility of it teaching you something new. If not, at least the possibility of it reminding you about something you already knew but just happened to forget about. 
  • Speaking of good lessons, it gave me a different perspective about marriage and what it means to be in one. Usually, when a person asks me what I would do if I found out my partner was cheating on me, I would say I’d leave him without even blinking an eye. But for the first time, I saw the value of what it means to lay down one’s pride, forgive, and even take back people who hurt you. Even if they did so for three long, excruciating years. I’d normally think the marriage was forever stained and messy and “What about their pride?” I ask. “Don’t they want to leave some for themselves?” But for the first time, I saw the potential of that kind of relationship and love being beautiful again. After all, there’s no beauty like grace and redemption.
  • "You make me feel less cynical." Because sometimes, a glimmer of hope is all you need. :)

What I didn’t like about the movie:

  • The title. 
  • Nothing more. 
Because I turned 24 in 2013, I have listed down 24 things I am grateful for in the past year:

Acquiring my first ever signature bag at the start of the year
Awesome workmates and all the fun we had! Special mention: The Junipers, The Circle, Chubbylandia citizens, BBB, DenTon Enterprise.. Haha! I apologize for these weird names!
A song collaboration with international Christian superstars Unka Glen (aka The Poolhouse Guru) and Jed Brewer for Bridge Box 
Crossfit Bootcamp with Shavonne, Isa and Being
A much-needed and much-awaited laptop upgrade
Hong Kong trip with both of my parents
Disneyland on my 24th birthday (!)
Post-birthday Tagaytay trip with TBSG
An exceptionally fun EK trip with friends and officemates
Watching The Croods with my parents haha
QH reunion and sleepover in early May
Wanderland 2013
Seeing Nick Vujicic live twice
Being chatted by Josh for the first time on May 19/20
July 7
Japan trip with Diane and Donna
Living on my own for almost two months at the Fort - who would have thought?
"Part 2" with Josh in August
Occasional Diane dates
Hitting my sales target early and exceeding it by end of year
Indonesia trip with Toni
Disney on Ice with Josh during the holidays
Unexpected Christmas gifts :)
That every breath is always a second chance - God’s grace &lt;3

Because I turned 24 in 2013, I have listed down 24 things I am grateful for in the past year:

  1. Acquiring my first ever signature bag at the start of the year
  2. Awesome workmates and all the fun we had! Special mention: The Junipers, The Circle, Chubbylandia citizens, BBB, DenTon Enterprise.. Haha! I apologize for these weird names!
  3. A song collaboration with international Christian superstars Unka Glen (aka The Poolhouse Guru) and Jed Brewer for Bridge Box 
  4. Crossfit Bootcamp with Shavonne, Isa and Being
  5. A much-needed and much-awaited laptop upgrade
  6. Hong Kong trip with both of my parents
  7. Disneyland on my 24th birthday (!)
  8. Post-birthday Tagaytay trip with TBSG
  9. An exceptionally fun EK trip with friends and officemates
  10. Watching The Croods with my parents haha
  11. QH reunion and sleepover in early May
  12. Wanderland 2013
  13. Seeing Nick Vujicic live twice
  14. Being chatted by Josh for the first time on May 19/20
  15. July 7
  16. Japan trip with Diane and Donna
  17. Living on my own for almost two months at the Fort - who would have thought?
  18. "Part 2" with Josh in August
  19. Occasional Diane dates
  20. Hitting my sales target early and exceeding it by end of year
  21. Indonesia trip with Toni
  22. Disney on Ice with Josh during the holidays
  23. Unexpected Christmas gifts :)
  24. That every breath is always a second chance - God’s grace <3