Jul 6, 2011

Republished: "in love" weight.

I originally published this post 2 days ago then took it down after some family comments hurt me unintentionally. I realized, however, that this is just part of the story and I want it to be documented, because I view this blog as my diary.

So, without further emo discussion...the deleted blog post:

I haven't really been talking about this on the blog because it's such a complicated issue for me...but I really want to document the work I've been doing the past few months. And I think it's helpful for other foreigners trying to be healthy in this land devoid of nutritional facts/healthy snacks/calorie counts. (there's no nutrition facts on foods here).

I want to talk about weight.

I joined the gym a week after my ex-love announced his quickie marriage. It was stress relief to keep me from attacking every Asian I saw. My chants of, "6 feet under, 6 feet under," while on the elliptical/treadmill soon changed into, "the healthiest me I can be, the healthiest me I can be." My goal of relieving stress quickly changed into a personal goal of being healthy and more fit.

I was (and still am) nervous to call what I'm doing "losing weight." The mental ramifications of being "on a diet" for me are tough. Instead I'm focusing on "intuitive eating and excercising."
I eat what I want - there are no "off-limits" foods. I eat when I'm hungry. I don't decide what excercise I'm doing until day-of. If it's not a group exercise class day, I'll wait til I get to the gym, look out over the gym floor and ask my body, "what it wants to do today." Then I honor that. No game plans, no schedules.
Allowing myself not to feel trapped inside guidelines has been a breakthrough.

After 4 months...I have hit my first goal weight! I'm doing this in increments...this weight has been dubbed my, "in love" weight. I am now at the weight I was my first year in Ch.ina when I felt sexy, loveable, and womanly - a time when I liked pictures taken of me and was comfortable in my clothes.

I think I look awesome, powerful, capable:

So how did I do it?

1. Cut back drastically on Chin.ese food. (crap is loaded in oil/salt/MSG).
2. Become bff's with the veggie market lady and start eating raw carrots at night instead of your fave, "bacon vegetable" crackers.
3. Taxis = just say no. bike. bike. bike. walk. walk. walk. 1am 4 mile walk home? Just do it. 4. Go to the gym 6 days a week - no matter how many times the gym cleaner ladies say, "look the fat girl is back." Soon you won't be fat and they'll still be the gym cleaner lady. You win. 5. Don't be afraid to be the flabby white girl in every class the gym offers: step aerobics/yoga/belly dancing/hip hop/spinning - try it all and stick with the ones you like.
6. No more soda. (ok, just a little bit).
7. Eat. Eat a lot. Never be hungry for longer than an hour. This will make you crazy and obsessive and binge eat.
8. Find protein sources. Tofu/peanut butter/nuts are your friend.
9. Carbs are also your friend, but that loaf of bread that you purchase and then eat in 2 days is not. Single or 2 day serving purchases only.
10. NO FAT TALK. If you are mean to your body, it will be mean to you. Be nice to your body. When I get on the elliptical I thank my body for working hard, during step class I tell my legs how strong they are. In yoga, I tell my core that if it works hard, it will be easier next time. As I lift weights, I sometimes look in the mirrors and smile. (This one has been hard - but important, can't say I haven't slapped my belly and told it to, "go away.")

According to the whatevers of whateverdom, I am still 14 pounds overweight for my height. I'm not sure what my next goal weight will be. I haven't decided what is best for me yet. I'm thinking maybe 10 more by October, 15 by Christmas. That will make 30 pounds in 10 months - which is right about the pace I'm going now (.5 - .75 pounds a week).

But I don't like numbers. All of that is just an estimate.

It's hard around here with all the fat talk from the natives.

Last week I went to get my bike seat fixed and was told my seat broke because I am, "sooooo fat." My dad called very soon after that interaction and was privy to the anger and emotions that these comments cause. I feel like it's the freakin' devil attacking my sanity.

But then things like this happen:
I went to the blind masage place alone before the HSK. When I layed on the table, the massager felt my back and asked who I was again. "It's Xiao Mei (my chin.ese name)," I said.
"No, you can't be Xiao Mei, you are smaller than Xiao Mei," she said as she touched my shoulders and back.

YESSSSSSSS. That comment deleted a bunch of the negative ones from strangers on the street.

Anyways, this has been a large part of my life this semester that has gone quiet on the bloggaroo...It may seem like a simple subjec to some, but to other people (like me) mentioning weight is a very vulnerable act.

But it's part of the story. So it belongs here,too.

I guess I can only hope that someone reads this and knows that they aren't alone - emotional eating/binging is not uncommon and entirely misunderstood. This is just my story.

Addition: *I have never lost weight healhfully. In the past it has always been a starve/binge pattern. So this time around, I am determined to do it the right way (and the slowness of the weight loss is killllinngggg meeeeee, but worth it in the long run). That's why these past few months have been so special, I really feel like I'm "doing it right" this time.

I don't know why I binge. But I do know that being yelled at for binging as a teen/young adult made me do it more. I don't know why it happens when I'm in good places in life, as well as in bad. I don't know why a random comment from a family member about, "coming to realization," and losing weight makes me want to eat everything in the fridge. Maybe I'll never understand. But I do know that I am on a path towards a heathier, stronger me. A me that binges sometimes. But then forgives herself.

walk slow. xoxo


agapelife said...

this is inspiring Jessica! Thanks for sharing. Kevin and I have recently taken a similar approach to eating and exercise, or at least we're trying, it's not easy!

I love yoga because it's so much about aligning your body, mind and soul. So often I've hated my body for deteriorating at such a young age (arthritis) but yoga has given me the ability to embrace my body rather than not accepting my body as part of me.

love the post, thanks!

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE AMAZING! STRONG! FEIRCE! YOU LOOK SOOOOO SKINNY in that photo! Weight that comes off easy comes back on easy, and vice versa when it's difficult. You have inspired me to re-commit to my own weight loss journey.

love you forever, whether it's at 90 pounds or 900 (but lets shoot for somewhere in between.)

--- elle belle