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Give yourself some love

The other day I was going swimming with a friend, and before we entered the pool, she said, I want to have abs, I have to lose my belly fat. And I said, you don’t have any belly fat! To me, she is already petite, quite fit, you can see the definition of muscles on her arms and legs, it is quite awesome already. Then she said: oh I have to hold my belly in, that’s why you don’t see it.

I am pretty radical in my mind, but kind of mild when i am with people. At that point, I thought to myself, if you have to hold your belly in, what shall I do? I have so much more fat and they are in places that I can’t even hide. And to me, nobody is watching. This is a problem to me.

I just realized the fact that it seems like everybody wants to lose some weight, everybody wants to have 6 pack abs, even my tiniest girlfriend. A roommate of mine in college is such a tiny girl, and she was struggling to put on weight back then, but recently I just saw a post from her with a picture of some kind of weight loss protein powder, I mean this is all wrong. You can drink that for several days, of course you will lose weight, coz all the glycogen in your muscles are depleted, and no water is retained, you lost weight because you are dehydrated. You can lose all the water you want, but is that healthy? Is that maintainable? Are you going to do this the rest of your life? I don’t think so.

Yet another time, when we are watching the rose bowl football game, Katy Perry was performing in between rounds. And a friend of mine just kept saying that she is so fat. I just couldn’t stand this. She looks healthy and vibrant, why is it so important to be skinny? One thing is the cultural background, in China, the big crowd still applause for skinny. Although I do see that this situation is changing towards fitness end. Still if you lose weight, everybody would praise you for that. But it just occured to me that, if you base your compliment on others’ weight loss, this is not going to do much good. It could cause potential stress when that person gains weight again, what would other people think of me? They must think that I am eating like a pig or I am so lazy and would not go to the gym. After that incident with Katy, I think to myself, oh my, what would that friend keep to herself how fat I am in her eyes.

And another time, we were celebrating a friends birthday at a Chinese Buffet, and a friend just said to me directly that with the food that I eat, all the miles that I run that day all goes to waste. I am not good with confrontations, but I was so mad inside. What do you mean by waste? How can the miles that I run go to waste? I might run to eat more, and often times and what’s the case now is that I eat to fuel my body for runs. It is just so obnoxious that people would think that you run to lose weight when you are really not. I started with the intention to lose weight, but along the line, I started to change my goals. I tried to lose fat, I didn’t see instant result, I just don’t want to bother anymore. I start to keep eyes on what my body can do. Now my goal is to run a marathon, and I can see myself doing that, and even beyond that, I would like to do ultra marathon when it is the time. I know that to some people, I am just a crazy girl that wants to lose fat so bad that I put myself on the treadmill for 3 hours. I don’t care. It is for my own pleasure.

And there goes the craze with abs. What’s up with that? Everyone wants that, 6min abs, 30 day shred. I mean, if you can get that and maintain it, then big round of applause for you. That would feel nice. But really you would have to lower your body fat to a really low level to see your abs. And that’s not healthy for many. For women, if your body fat is lower than 19%, it is not recommended, that’s just not how women body work, you might have period issues, or you might not be capable of carrying a baby. If you want abs just to show, that would work as a good motivation, but that’s only such a small muscle of the whole body, you do those crunches just to show off that piece of equipment you have? I understand that it takes a lot to have abs, and if that’s your goal, it is fine, but I just feel that it is wrong that so many people wants to have abs. Everybody is different, I have girlfriend that just eats a lot and wouldn’t put on weight, and they just are muscular. And there are friends who work out so hard, eat so little and still don’t get to their ideal weight. So I think it really all comes down to yourself. What your body is really comfortable with.

I have come from a point when I just worked out so mad, eat so little. I was trying to see instant results. But it doesn’t happen this way. I spent 23 years to get where I was and I want to shred all extra pounds in a few months? My body was complaining. I had irregular menstrual cycles. It has been a haunting issue. But I am getting better. I just keep telling myself to go easy sometimes, I am not competing in Olympic games or anything. I was just too eager to shed the fat to have others’ compliment. But my boyfriend and I met when I was kind of chubby, and he loves me. And through all the ups and downs of my weight, he always does. But the compliment from whom I was trying to get, some just don’t appreciate my body. I am fat to them and I might always will. When this becomes clear, I don’t care what others think of my body. I just start to take care of my body and learn to love it. Even with the bye bye fat, even with the muffin top. It is who I am.

Radical self love, that’s what we all need.

I was listening to “Fight song” for more than an hour during my last long run. That was unexpected. I never thought I could put a song on repeat and run for that long. I just think the song sings my heart. I do have a wrecking ball in my brain. I might have shout in my mind, but I try to keep it mild on the outside.

Recently I heard an athlete say that he wants to be a lighthouse, he doesn’t want to drag people to help them, he just has to be there, do his thing and that’s what a light house is. I have a friend in my life that is exactly like that. She doesn’t need to strive or push, she just does her thing and be herself. That’s enough motivation for me. Although we don’t talk much, we don’t share secrets, but I always admire her. She is the light house.

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Grow together and practice mindfulness with my partner

So, food pics first!

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Yeah I cut and bleed myself so much… the one on the ankle is from running, the shoes are so hard and if it hits a few times, it will bleed like this, it hurts! Ouch! The one on my finger is from peeling the apple, and then I decided to finish the apple first before I get to it.

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The plants are so gorgeous, comes in different colors and nature is just so marvelous. I really want to recommend the Rich Roll podcast again, it has planted good seeds in me to grow. I have been binge listening to them for a few days now.

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Whole wheat sourdough prune muffin. So good! popped one in my stomach every morning. Me drinking banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie after my run. Oh Soo Good! Remember not to add too much water though.

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Living in Florida is just a blessing, I got to see these every single day.

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morning smoothie is a 3 cup jar. yep! Take them all in!! I really want my smoothie to be greener! The stew on the right is recipe from my dad. I love it soo much, every time I go home to visit, my father makes this for me. Beef meat balls made from scratch, nappa cabbage, glass noodles, and lots lots of soup! It is my jam! Got to hydrate and put some salt in my system after long runs!!

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Let me just say this: NEVER going to buy almond milk again. So much cheaper and tastes so much better! without any weird ingredients. Made 4 jars of this during the weekend, drink 1 a day, then the last jar went bad, such a waste, next time I am going to do smaller batches. And I am thinking of freezing them in ice cubes, that would be real nice in smoothies too! The pic on the left is matcha almond milk latte. DIY everything please! Yeah let me just say this again, the almond milk is soo sooo good! I had to say OMG after a sip!

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Donuts from Krispy Kreme, not impressed with this one, their yeast dough doesn’t have yeast taste to it, bland. Avocado pesto! Finally gave it a try, the basil leaves are not as strong as I expect, but JB likes the flavor, not seeing myself make it again for a while.

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Weekend run around lake Ella, lately running has been good, last week a 15 miler, this week a half marathon. Feeling good.

Now some thoughts recently.

I feel like I have learned a lot recently. I have started meditation everyday, not a thing that I had expected would stay a habbit, but now I do see this one coming. I have also learned more about plant  based diet, which some people would call vegan. At first after I know what vegan means I had the impression that they would live on salad, and must be some snob. But as I learned more, I started to understand the reason behind why many people are doing that. I am just starting my journey, keep it simple, take it slow, more veggies, less meat, diary, egg. I do feel better, more clear minded. Since I am also meditating, so not sure which one is contributing, but altogether, I am satisfied with the place I am right now. One thing to keep my fingers crossed though, my period, I hope it will be regular during this transition.

My boyfriend likes to play games and read novels on phone. I am really pissed at this recently. Since I left early in the morning before he wakes up and after I come home, all we do is cook, eat, and because I went to bed earlier than him, I am already preparing to go to bed. So basically everyday only time we spend together is around dinner, and the job are kind of seperate like I cook, he washes dishes.  I suggested that we cook together and we clean together. Agreed. Also I find me upset when he eagerly turns on his phone to check emails or to read novels, or whenever he got a chance he would play games. I talked with him. I think if we surround ourselves with all these, we will eventually forget what is really important for us. For me eating, running, those are what I care. Then I asked him to think about what he really cares. Not what he should care, like work and stuff. NO, just what he really cares in life. I have the same issues too, at some point, I was hooked on social media and checking other peoples photos, food pics, workout routines, and their life. But that’s not life, that could be a entertainment. But that shouldn’t take the majority of our time when we are actually free. But we are just constantly trying to occupy ourselves with things. Everybody is on earphone when walking, so many are looking at phone at the traffic lights even while driving. This is unsettling. I think we really should slow down. Why hurry. Put some gaps in everyday life, and breathe. Take some time everyday to block any electronics for a while, even 5 min, and talk and share thoughts with people you love. Walk with them. It would be so much better. I think we don’t need vacation to escape, we just need a few minutes to breathe, that will change the game. Just relax.

JB just asked me whether I would like to walk in the woods tomorrow morning. I definitely would. With my legs still hurting from yesterday’s long run, I would still happily do that. We all could use some mindfulness in our life.

Peace.

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long dued May summary & Meditation update

My grandma used to tell me that Progress is always in a spiral shape. What she meant by that is that you can never expect your growth or progress to be straight upward. It doesn’t happen that way.

Since the incidents that I trained too hard and not enough rest and not enough fuel which lead to a delayed menstrual cycle, I have been treating myself good. I listen to my body. If I am tired, then skip the run. What’s the rush anyway, it is not like I am going for an Olympian championship. I want to make sure I can still run when I am 80 years old. Once I have changed the mindset, everything falls into place. I do enjoy the workout. I remembered telling a friend of mine, I never enjoyed running. That was still true maybe the beginning of this year. I suffered during runs. I thought I have spent enough time running, but still couldn’t enjoy the process, coz really, the whole time, it hurts. My lung, my leg. Now I start to experience the joy of running.

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Lately I have been having smoothies for my breakfast. It usually consists of: frozen banana, cashews, raw cacao nibs, chia seed, flax seed, old fashioned oats, bunch of greens, some kind of fresh fruit. It will end up in this lovely jar that JB bought for me. I like my smoothies to be real thick. And I just learned that I can get that by adding oats. The color are not exactly appetizing, but they are my jam! I love me my morning smoothie!
Watermelon has arrived! JB is the one who takes the time to cut them into smaller pieces, I would scoop them out directly. Best summer memory of sharing a half watermelon using one spoon, I always can eat faster.

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Had an awesome run on a horse trail, so many uphills. We both agreed that it seemed that there is no downhill on our way into the woods or back. Running in the woods are so much fun, you have all the trees for you. Especially on hot summer day, with all the shades going on, it is not hot and there is even breeze.

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On national donut day, we got our free donut at Krispy Kreme. Thumbs down and Shame on Dunkin Donut, where you have to purchase a drink to get a free donut. Boo! My first time to have KK, the yeast donut is not as good as the family owned donut shop in town. It doesn’t have any yeasty taste to it, very bland. It is very fluffy though, but still doesn’t make up for the lack of flavor. I could see why, It is mass produced by machines, you can get them rise high and spongy like this in a very short time, but nothing would compare the flavor of long yeast fermented dough. Thumbs up for providing the freebies though! After my 15 mile run, I could use some of these!!! Please!

Stacked up on all sorts of fruits!

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Papaya that I got from Indian store, Look at the seeds! they have sprouts coming out of them!! First time that I ever see this! After I scooped the seeds out, I couldn’t help but exclaiming: this is truly gift sent from heaven!! What compares to papaya in season! Nothing!

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JB surprised me on June 1st, which is children’s day in China by taking me to a fancy restaurant. He ordered “Trust me” chef’s pick, Just take a moment to admire the presentation of the sushi, OH so good! Best raw fish that I have on sushi, so tender, they melts in your mouth.

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Got a GRAZE box, first was edemame with almond butter kale chips, such exotic combinations and sooo good! Next was banana short cake, it is soooooo GOOD! I meant on the mouth, but I had a nap after eating these and it made my throat burn. But still thumbs up for the flavor!! I am never gonna order another box. I don’t think they are worth the money, I would rather spend on wholesome food than on prepacked processed snacks. Just for try, just for try.

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Awesome woods just backyard. Makes you feel so serene.

I just started meditation 2 weeks ago, at the beginning I told myself this probably not gonna stay as a habit, coz I really don’t see a person short-tempered and rush as I am do this as a ritual. I am surprised by the results. I am more clear-minded during the day. That’s for sure. Now I don’t want to ditch it. We shall see what this will lead me to. I recommend thehonestguys on youtube. They make awesome guided meditation videos. The first time I do their guided meditation about finding life’s purpose, I was so moved, I feel so emotional.

I did just about 10min a day, I feel that it is the time for myself. I could relax in that time, I watch my thoughts come and go and sometimes I drift away, it felt like I fell asleep. Later I learned that it is a sign of deep meditation.

What I have been doing also for a few weeks now is that I walk to school, 1 mile, takes 20-30min, I listed to richroll podcast, I hate to use the word:”it changed my life”, but I want to say it really helped with me living more mindful. And I am so inspired by the contents. Also, inspired by Rich Roll, I want to start exploring plant based diet. I want to take it slow, see how my body reacts.