OK so I am being a little dramatic in the title there. I will never in a million years call myself queen.
One big change I have realized in myself is that I finally start to be able to talk myself out of anxiety, anger and stress. The thread for this begins with my trip back to China. I was gaining a few pounds, and I fell really stressed out after coming back to the states. Not only because of the weight, but also because of some visa issues which had delayed my trip for 3 weeks. I was thinking in my head, I am going to lose the weight so fast coz I will be eating clean as I want to be. But then it just didn’t happen.
And I start to think about this weight issues. It seems to me that many people, if not all people are struggling with weight issues. I have friends who want to put on weight but can never manage to do it and would brag about it. I have friends who are looking so good to me complains to have put on weight and really want to lose it. I always assure them that they are looking great, because they do. But they told me that other people have told them so. Some are very skinny and tiny, but they are being very harsh with comments on other people’s body. Even Katy Perry didn’t escape the critics. There are friends who would say that they will go to the gym with me, but it never happens. We are in a culture that we are programmed to accept that we should all be like the models that we see in instagram pictures.
I actually have a lot to say about weight issues. But I found myself not so convincing when I say them, because you know, I am not the ideal body type. But is it reasonable to let the models talk about body image, self love? It just doesn’t help, does it?
At the beginning of my vegan lifestyle, at the point where I am still deciding when to let my friends know that I am vegan, I was a little stressed out. I kept thinking to myself, what would they think about my decision. Will they think it is because I want to lose weight so badly that I decide to go “extreme”? Will they secretly think to themselves: ‘but she doesn’t even look like a vegan, vegans are skinny, aren’t they?’ It almost seems to me that I should be all the best to be a good representation of this lifestyle. I was putting too much on myself.
Around fall 2015, I was really starting to stuff myself with knowledge about vegan lifestyle, watching documentaries, finding youtubers, watching recipe videos. To one point, I was having my morning oatmeal, and thinking to myself, why are they having so many delicious food, but not me. But NO! I was having oatmeal, exactly the same as so many of vegans do for their breakfast, and it is perfect! I was just caught in the pattern that I would watch what other people are doing, but failed to pay attention to what I have. It all seem so glamorous on videos what those trendy youtubers have. But when I am having my oatmeal, I wasn’t even enjoying it, the whole time I was thinking to myself, oh my life sucks, I would want to be like them youtubers too.
I realize how bad and wrong this thought is. And I decide to go without youtube in December. It turns out pretty good. One thing it did is that it reminds me to be mindful in my own life and not get caught in other people’s life. And about the weight issues, I was still having that few pounds on my body, but I start to look at my body in a different way. I was thinking through out the years that I was struggling about my weight issues, I always come back to this weight, and actually it is not overweight or anything like that. It means that my body is just good with maintaining this. And I am happy with it. I can feel the muscles in my legs and my arms. I am capable of doing long runs like half marathon, I can do long rides of 3h. I am happy where I am.
A friend of mine once told me, your legs would be better if they are trimmed half. Of course vertically, he added. I don’t want to cause any fight, so I just laughed it off. But seriously I was thinking to myself, who are you to judge. It is my legs. I work to have those muscles on there, who are you to say that they are to be trimmed off.
Along my journey, sometimes people comment, oh you lost so much weight. But let’s be honest, who cares after that one comment. Everybody goes to live their own life. Everybody has their own business to worry about. And if I am doing all sorts of bad things to my body, like working out too long, eating too little, just to get one compliment like that, is it even worth it. NO! And of all those years of my weight gain and loss, my parents don’t love me less or more, my fiancee doesn’t love me less or more. They love me because of the person I am, not because I look like a model.
This is all a process, I understand. I have listened to other people preach about positive body image over the years, but the change has to come from within. I was so happy when I looked at my old pictures and say to myself, oh this is too skinny I don’t want that! Because that’s my true feelings and I am proud of this kind of thought. Not “OH see I look so much better when I am 10 pounds smaller”. I was proud that I have this idea popping out when I look at those pictures. And this would lead to better self image thinking patterns.
We just need to have a grownup in our mind. Telling ourselves, It is gonna be OK.
All are going to pass. This will only be a blink of an eye in my life time. I am going to feel better even my talk isn’t selected to be presented. I am not going to be annoyed by other people’s decisions. I am just taking it slow and be compassionate with myself. Good for her, not for me!
All is going to get better and better. I have faith.