Well, I’m back in the “yo” part of yo-yo dieting. After not seeing a vegetable for 10 days in Japan, I’m making an effort to eat better. I’m also aiming to hit up the gym at least three times a week, doing both cardio and weight training.
Let’s see how it goes this time.
As someone who has constantly struggled with weight issues, I’ve been through this a million times before. I work out and count my calories. I obsess over trying to figure out how much of a bagel I just ate, and if its 200 calories or 500 (WHY IS THERE SUCH A RANGE?) I get hangry and hunger headaches and munch on carrot sticks and weigh myself every day and hit up the elliptical until I get too fed up with the process and throw the scale out the window and burn the bathroom down.
I’m taking a different approach this time. I’m only going to weigh myself once a week. I’m not going to count my calories; I’m just going to focus on eating mostly fresh food (and eating colors!) I download an app called Zombies Run that makes running a little more interesting and added all the angry screamo/punk music I loved in high school to my gym playlist on Spotify. The boyfriend and I went through our many cookbooks and picked out a few healthy recipes to try, and he’s going to be my trainer and gym buddy (props to this guy for being the only dude in a Latina Flava dance class last night).
I feel a little awkward going about this. As a feminist, I’m all about body positivity. I believe that everyone has the right to be happy with their bodies and to not have to bend to rules from society about how a woman should look. However, I look at the mirror and am not totally happy with my own body. My stomach sticks out too much. I have bat wings that stick out over my forearms. There is exactly one store in Hong Kong – ONE! – that sells size 14-16 pants and they are crazy expensive, so I can only buy new ones when I go home. I have had people tell me that my face is nice, and that I would be pretty if only I lost some weight. For example, I had a conversation with a former trainer that went like this:
“I will help you work out and then you will be pretty!”
“I’m already pretty.”
“Yes, but then you will get a boyfriend!”
“Uh, I already have a boyfriend.”
The dude made a LOT of mean assumptions just by looking at me. This same guy later said that Hong Kong is safer than America because here we don’t have any guns OR BLACK PEOPLE.
I am a middle school teacher, and while I try not to let what teenagers say affect me, it does hang out in the back of my mind. Yesterday, I caught some of my 8th graders passing around a piece of paper. I took it and found a drawing of me, with exaggerated elephant legs. My first thought was, “Excuse me, that’s not accurate at all. I climb five flights of stairs every time I want to get to my house! My legs are the one part of my body that’s actually in shape!”
But throughout the day I kept staring down at my legs, finally not covered by tights cause it suddenly jumped to 26 degrees and 1 million percent humidity and wondered, “What the fuck is wrong with my legs?”
I was bullied a lot in middle school and I understand that most kids are complete dicks at that age, so I’m trying not to take it too seriously, but it’s hard not to feel shitty.
I’ve decided that I’m going to try not to focus too much on the number on the scale and to care more about being active and eating well, cause I figured that other stuff should sort itself out if I have those two goals in mind. I also figured that blogging about the process would be more encouragement to stick to my goals as well, as I will have something to hold me more accountable. I also want to find something that doesn’t feel like a workout to me; I love Zumba, so I’ve been looking at the dance classes at my gym. I also really love punching stuff, so I’ve been looking at boxing gyms in Hong Kong for prices and free trial classes.
I know getting healthy isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work. I get it. And I don’t think there’s anything necessarily WRONG with me right now. It’s not wrong, it’s just not the way I want it to be. So I’m going to try to stick with it this time.
Now, who wants to come over for some Crunchy Thai Salad? It has a fuckload of cabbage. It’s healthy as shit.