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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