My Last Dessert… Weight Loss Challenge to Ensue

That ice cream was so fricken delicious. I savored it as Kit Kat attempted to nudge her way in under my spoon arm to get a lick of my delectable dessert. But her annoying persistence did not take away from my enjoyment.

So I finished about half the pint. I’m not going to let myself feel guilty because after this weekend… Yes, starting Monday, July 5th, 2017, I will be embarking on a personal journey towards a healthier me.

And I will be documenting for all to see. On my blog.

How frightening!

Because what better way is there to keep myself accountable than public scrutiny and humiliation… But really, no shame. Unless you’re a hater. But without hate there is no love, is there?

I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I’ve won battles, but still have not won the war.

But at my ‘healthiest’ weight I looked like this:

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And I say ‘healthiest’ because I was at the lowest I had ever been and was actually within a healthy BMI range, BUT I had also just been diagnosed with depression not too long ago when I took this photo and was trying out anti-depressants to see which would work best for me. Meaning, the weight loss could have just been partly attributed to a medication side effect. And look how happy I am in the photo. Ha.

But I was never able to find a happy, comfortable medium. I gained some back, and lost it again in time for my wedding, but ballooned back up again. This is me today:

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Haha, and yes, I am standing next to giant Smurfs.

BTW, I am absolutely terrified about creating this post and posting these pictures, but hence the name of my blog… I have to get out of my comfort zone to learn and grow, even if it’s horribly mortifying. But gotta go all in, right?

I am giving myself a timeline of a little over a year to do this. My best friend’s wedding is the finish line. And then I plan to maintain my weight… That will be another challenge in itself, but we will cross that bridge when it comes.

So, how will this go, you ask?

 

Health Challenge Rules (or shall we say guidelines?) 

Start date: Monday, July 5, 2017

Hiatus: September 1 to September 20th (vacation)

Approximate End Date: TBD but approximately September of 2018.

  • Focus on a low glycemic index meal plan. Low sugar, low carbohydrates, and no alcohol. (Will disclose, though, that I am going on vacation to Bangkok and Hong Kong in 3 months, and I do plan to allow myself to drink then, but then cutting it out again when I get home.)
  • Strength training 3x/week
  • Cardio at least 2x/week
  • If I cannot fit in a work out, I have to at least go for a 30 minute walk.
  • If I fall short, I will confess and document it here!
  • Progress or hiccups, I will post weekly. I aim to do 1 post a week.
  • I will allow myself room to make necessary changes to achieve sustainable weight loss. In other words, this isn’t set in stone, and I won’t beat myself up over mistakes.
  • Having said that, I CAN do this and I WILL do it. My goal is to achieve a healthy lifestyle with this challenge, but also to prove to myself I can do anything I want if I just commit to it.

So here it is.

Will it be done? We shall see…

Wish me luck! Cheers!

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Since I’ve turned 30…

Turning 30 was a huge personal milestone for me. To me, it signifies true adulthood. No more crazy shenanigans and no more excuses. Time to be mature and responsible without bitching about it.

When I was in my 20s, I was in that between stage of child and adult. I guess I was a grown up child. I could still be a little reckless, take risks, be immature and still get away with it. There was also a lot about myself I still didn’t know… Now that I’m 30… it just seems like such a grown up number!

Since turning 30, I’ve noticed many things that seem to suggest I am indeed, dare I say, turning into an adult. So for fun, here is a list of 30 things I’ve noticed and learned about myself since I’ve hit the big 3 0 in no particular order.

  1. I love it when plans are cancelled. I can stay home and do nothing! Don’t get me wrong… I love spending time with my friends, but as a bonafide introvert, socializing is an exhausting experience, especially if I am also meeting new people.
  2. I shop more now for comfort than fashion. I still like to wear cute things, but they definitely have to be comfortable.
  3. Heels are out. Flats are SO in. Wedges are acceptable heel alternatives.
  4. Plans after 10 pm are unacceptable. I’m not 21 anymore! I need to go to bed at a reasonable hour. If that makes me lame, so be it. I’ll be lame and sleep peacefully.
  5. I actually enjoy shopping for furniture and appliances now. I LOVE Ikea.
  6. I also enjoy ‘shopping’ for houses. I periodically check the Zillow app on my phone, even though we’re not getting a house just yet.
  7. Saving money has become a game to see how much I can save in a certain amount of time.
  8. I enjoy grocery shopping. I love Trader Joe’s. It’s like my toy store. Yay to frozen cauliflower rice!
  9. It is unacceptable to have guests over without at least having attempted to tidy up and make the place somewhat presentable. Where as before, I didn’t give a shit. And the bathroom has to be cleaned! This includes the kitty litter…
  10. I am too old now for stupid shit. Not wasting my time.
  11. My kindle consists of mostly self-help books to help me become a ‘better’ person. Basically, if I haven’t figured my shit out, I better figure it out soon.
  12. I am starting to worry about my ‘eggs’. I’m still not ‘mentally’ ready for kids, but I know I better hop on that train soon.. I mean, who will take care of me when I’m old?!
  13. Good bye beer and cocktails, hello wine. Also, sweet wine is evil. I love sauvignon blancs and pretty much any dry white.
  14. This is so cliché but I can’t drink like I used to. Ha.
  15. I already think about retirement… When I don’t have to work anymore. That’s the dream.
  16. I’ve been on this earth for 30 years. A majority of those years were filled with anxiety, uncertainty, fear, inadequacy and depression. Will it ever end?
  17. All clothes from Forever 21, Express, and Guess now look slutty to me. Everything just seems too tight, too fitted, too short, or showing off too much skin.
  18. Gap and Banana Republic used to look like old people clothes to me. Now I love shopping at these stores!
  19. I am too old for sleepovers with friends. This seems like an obvious one, but having friends that live an hour away, this is a situation that does come up. I want to sleep in my own bed. But if I am sleeping over, I better have a bed!
  20. I am also too old to wear t-shirts with graphics and logos on them. Unless I’m participating in a fundraiser or running a 5K. Or sleeping.
  21. I always check the weather before I leave the house. I adjust my outfit accordingly if needed.
  22. I admit that I hate going to music festivals now. I can no longer stand or tolerate the crowds, heat, and stinky, festering porta potties.
  23. I also don’t enjoy clubbing anymore. Overly-sweet cheap cocktails and disgusting restrooms, along with creepy guys dancing up on me … Um, no thanks. Point me to the nearest wine bar please.
  24. College kids these days now seem to look like middle schoolers. Like, how many grades did they skip?! Are they all geniuses or something?
  25. Why do all the ‘trendy’ clothes have studs and/or holes?! It almost looks cute until I turn it over…
  26. Thongs are only for special occasions. I consider panties just as sexy as thongs, and also more comfortable. And I don’t mean granny panties…
  27. If you don’t know me and you start off the conversation by asking “So what do you do?”, I know myself well enough to assume that we will most likely never be friends. People who tend to start off conversations this way don’t seem to mesh well with me…
  28. On the contrary, if things get really weird and awkward but you just laugh at yourself… Then we will probably become best friends! =P
  29. I am more of a white wine person than red wine. But if it is some type of wine, I will probably drink it.
  30. I used to think there was something wrong with being so overly sensitive. Now I’m starting to believe it’s not such a bad thing. It allows me to have great empathy and compassion.

 

So there’s my list. Obviously, this list wasn’t just about turning 30, but things I’ve noticed about myself personally over the years and some random (and hopefully funny) observations.

I joke about getting ‘old’ and not wanting to do this or that, but I am truly grateful for the life I have and what I have been able to achieve.

Do you relate to anything on my list? I’d love to hear about it!

Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult. – C.S. Lewis

My Body Hates Carbs

I’ve been on many diets in my life. I’ve tried the South Beach Diet, juicing, Paleo, Primal, juice cleanses, low carb, and many others. The pounds always come back. After turning thirty, I’ve also noticed an even slower metabolism than when I was in my twenties.

What have I learned from my experiences?

Preparation is extremely important and that it’s the type of food I eat that causes me to want to eat more. But furthermore, I have to stick to low carb (some version or variety of Paleo but that also allows beans and dairy). Also, no matter how much you exercise, you can’t outdo a bad diet…

Unfortunately, I am not genetically blessed and I gain weight very easily. The more carbs I eat, the more I crave, and the more I want. But growing up in a Chinese household, rice and noodles were major food staples. I didn’t learn to cook and really experiment with low carb until after I moved out of the house. And that’s when I learned that I didn’t always need to feel hungry…

When I eat low carb, my blood sugar level is steady and I can definitely feel the difference. I also don’t crash. When I do crash, I crash hard.

Now, the question is how do I eat low carb that is sustainable for life? I want to make it a lifestyle.

I am making a commitment to myself to focus on eating well and improving my health. I hope to be my own success story!

Will you join me on my health journey? =)

 

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Crisis to Creativity

This is my first post, and all I can say is I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’m not just referring to this whole blogging thing, but about my own life.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for everything I have and I know there are people way less fortunate, but do you ever get the feeling that you’re not sure why you’re here?

You get up everyday, do what you’re supposed to do, go to work, come home, cook dinner, wash the dishes, do the laundry, go to bed, and do it all over again with a feeling of indifference to it all? What’s the point?

I sound like I’m having an existential crisis, don’t I? Maybe I am…

But to provide a little background about myself: I’m a second generation Asian-American. I grew up, in a way, in two worlds. One world of trying to stay in touch with my heritage and roots, and one where I’m trying to fit in as an American, but always being reminded that I am a minority. To this day, I still have issues with my identity.

I am still trying to figure out who I am as a person, as myself – not as an Asian, not as a minority, not as somebody trying to get her parents’ approval.

And of course, it doesn’t help that I’m super sensitive, and very easily influenced. Feeling this way and growing up with my parents was difficult, to say the least. I needed acknowledgment and validation. I grew up to be extremely uncertain about yourself. It’s like, shut up brain! And shut up feelings! I hate that I can’t let things just roll off my back; I’m just not wired that way. I was taught to obey and not to question. I was taught to be quiet.

And then I go to public school, and I’m deemed too quiet, and lacking in critical thinking skills. My self-esteem just constantly kept at bay and never allowed to grow. And this continues on into high school.

Hmm.. it’s a wonder why I keep to myself and think so much, and have mental health issues. Where’s that glass of wine?!

So that’s how I grew up, always trying to fit into two worlds. Still trying, still sinking.

So I grab my wine and I think. A lot. And I read a lot of self help books. Ha. How do I learn to love myself? How do I become a better person? How do I become successful? Etc., etc., etc.

I usually keep my thoughts to myself, but why? So here my brain vomits all thoughts and feelings, hopefully in a somewhat comical, amusing way. But, also cathartic.

My head is like a crowded, cluttered drawer. Everything is stuck in there, but there’s no rhyme or reason. It takes a lot of organizing to make sense of things.

And I figured, why not have a little fun with it and get creative? =)