(If you’re wondering) Bikini: Top – Aerie, Bottom – Victoria’s Secret
I’ve missed you all 5 of you who read my blog. (just kidding) It’s honestly been over a year since I’ve had the time to write a new blog post, but I felt inspired today to write about my fitness journey so far, and to be as authentic as possible in the Sea of Staged Perfection on instagram.
I’ve always been aware of my body even as a young girl, and wondered why I had fatter arms and bigger thighs than all the other girls. I was never overweight or obese, but never skinny.
On top of that, I am a clumsy wreck most of the time, have no hand-eye coordination, and can’t even run properly. (I have come to terms with the clumsiness part because my bf think’s I’m cute)
As I steadily gained weight throughout puberty into middle school and high school, I had the mindset that I am doomed to be really fat one day, because I have no talent for exercise, running, and sports. I had uniforms in my high school, and my pants began to become too tight to breathe, and my skinny jeans too tight to button up. Out of fear, I decided to make a change.
In grade 12, I discovered Blogilates and the Instagram world of people’s oatmeal photos and fitness progress pics. I finally became convinced that I have the power to change myself. At a max weight of 132 pounds at 5’5 after a well-fed cruise the previous summer, I started running on the treadmill and doing Youtube workout videos, as well as adopting a super-healthy diet.
As much as I love eating healthy and have a passion for vegetables (and I still do now), it took a toll on my family, friends and my boyfriend, because I became scared to not “eat clean”. I did not want to eat the same home-cooked Chinese dinners my mom made because I couldn’t input that into MyFitnessPal, felt contempt towards my boyfriend who always wanted to eat out, and brought lunch while my friends ate out on the weekends. These things threatened my weight loss, but also it alienated me. I checked the scale every day, and finally I was at 122 pounds, and my jeans fit once more. I really felt like I was in control, but I was not truly happy. In retrospect, my friends, it is indeed VERY difficult to maintain a positive mindset rather than a self-deprecating mindset in a weight loss journey.
In the summer after 2nd year in Uni, my family moved quite North of the city, physically alienating me from my friends. I did not find an internship either, so to make myself feel accomplished and productive, I started going to the local gym. This was an intimidating experience at first as until that point I have only really done Blogilates and have used the gym at school periodically, never daring to try heavy weights.
That summer, I finally had the courage to ask someone to set up the bar for me to squat, something I’ve always wanted to do. The first week, I managed with much difficulty, squatting with the bar. The second week, I tried adding 5 pound plates. Then it increased to 10 pounds, and 25 pounds. My max was maybe 30 but I couldn’t quite get it right. On top of that, I enjoyed working out my shoulders and triceps (not really any reasoning behind that). I felt strong and happy because of the progress I made.
Fast forward to 3rd year uni, school was even more stressful than the year before and due to lack of sleep and eating crappy outside food often, I had no motivation and energy to go to the gym. I lost weight – and a lot of my muscle, and went down to around 115 pounds. I knew I was losing muscle and looked more ‘fat’, but at the same time I didn’t feel horrible as I am light for my height I suppose. Inside, though, I felt guilty every week I did not go to the gym.
In May of this year, I finally have an internship near my university, and what more reason to pick up a gym routine after work? It was disappointing at first that I could not even squat 25 without failing. I did not beat myself up, and next week I tried again. Then I tried to squat 30. 35. Maybe 40? I had a routine at first of Lower body (aka BOOTY day), a day for all upper body, cardio, and a day of whatever as long as I go to the gym. I’ve gotten lazier now and sometimes more occupied with meeting up with friends after work so I try to maintain twice a week – at least completing an Upper and Lower body work out.
Writing this post to you in July, I am still in my fitness journey. But I am no longer as guilty as the girl in grade 12 who feared Chinese food and white carbs. I don’t blame myself for not going to the gym every day that I can; some days I don’t feel like it, but then next week I just go harder. I don’t blame myself that I didn’t increase by the same amount of weight that I lifted the week before, and aim for small victories. I still hate doing abs, but my love for growing my booty and doing leg workouts seems to help with maintaining a somewhat flat stomach.
If you get anything out of what I wrote in this blog post (which got pretty long, my apologies!), then it is that you have the power to inspire your own changes. It is never too late to take care of your body, eat better, and lift weights for the body you’ve always wanted. My friends, it is so satisfying to see your muscles grow, because that is evidence of your hard work! Nobody can give or take it away, which is what makes it beautiful.
Comment below and share with me about your personal fitness/health journey! I would love to read about it ❤