Slow and Steady Wins The Race.

I know I am hard on myself. I am always angry at myself for some or other reason and I just can’t find it in me to relax and enjoy… whatever.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve been trying to do something about my weight. At most, I had lost 16 kilograms. At present, I am 12 kilograms lighter. If you’ve been following my rants about my perfectly average life, you will notice I’ve been struggling since LITERALLY January, 2nd. And here I thought 2013 would be my best year yet given how happy and successful I was at the end of 2012. Well, life surprises you and gives you curve balls. I am more than six months into the year, but it’s definitely not too late to make it count.

My greatest goals in life are to find a boyfriend/husband and to lose weight. I can’t decide which one is in the lead and because of this, it makes it hard. I have tried to pursue both at the same time, and it was a disaster. I am the girl that puts her whole heart and soul into someone. I would say that I am a good friend, but when it comes to men – I will go to the ends of the earth for you. I do this because I care but mostly because I want you to want me and I want you to stay with me. This leads to me neglecting myself – the worst thing when you’re trying to lose weight and or change your life.

I feel a sense of relief today. As I’ve thought about how I am, how hard I am on myself and how I tend to hate myself when I fail – I’ve decided it’s time to take a different approach. For the past year, it’s been all or nothing. I’ve put so so so much pressure on myself to be the perfect person. I decided that when I would change my life, it would be all or nothing and at 100%. I wanted to eat well, exercise but also wanted to be the model Christian, not sleep around, not go on dates, not smoke or drink. When I would stray, well that would be it – I’d feel gross. It also made it that much more appealing to just binge out on everything – food, sex, alcohol etc because I was lacking in it all.

My new approach is to be less hard on myself and to do anything and everything – in moderation. I’m not going to try and reach these perfect ideals any more. I want to live a healthy life and have fun at the same time – and that means going to the gym often, eating my fruit and vegetables, lean meat, low fat dairy and drinking lots of water, but also going on dates, having that packet of chips if I want it, drinking once a week and smoking if I want to. If I don’t condemn myself when I slip up, I am not under all that much pressure. This week has been good, I’ve eaten well and exercised and had the occasional cigarette. I went to gym, and after 30 minutes I was feeling shattered, so I went home. I was angry at myself that I didn’t finish that last 5 minutes on the bike, but as I left, I started to feel good. The point was – that I was working hard and I was there. I am almost starting at scratch fitness wise, and my effort was commendable. Last night, I had a packet of chips and a tub of ramen noodles. But the most important thing is that I did not over do it, as I usually do. And every day I am showing up less and less on the scale.

It’s important for me to remember, that no matter which approach I take – the Nazi girl or the liberal girl who does things in moderation – I am still changing my life and I am still losing. Slow and steady wins the race.

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The Respect I Deserve.

I am going home in just over five months. This month has flown by, but that’s what happens. This is my third year in Korea and after the first six months of your twelve month contract, the time just flies. I’m thankful and, of course, cannot wait to go home because I haven’t been in more than a year and a half. But, as the time draws near, so does the stress. Yes, I have loose ends to start tying up but I have made myself a plan for when I go home in March. It all seems pretty organized. I do, however, feel not only excited to go home, but anxious. When I started losing weight, my family had shown such pride and respect for me. It was, of course, a good thing. Now, as I am struggling with all of it – I think about that moment when I get off the airplane. I had been looking forward to that moment for a while. Now, I fear I will still be that fat girl. My brother is my worst critic. He would probably snicker or make a face behind my back if I got off that plane still overweight and it’s just making me so worried and stressed to go home. I don’t get the respect I deserve, being at my size.

At this point, it’s easy to tell myself or for others to tell me to just do it. I have a goal and I want to lose the weight, I am just stuck in such a bad place right now.

Lost Faith in Myself.

When you become responsible and accountable for your life and your own actions, life seems to be a lot harder. It was easy for me to act recklessly and suffer the brunt of it weeks or months later. It was like a down pour of me hating myself and the things that I’d done but it was easy to get back on that destructive path. I have been so hard on myself. I’ve tried (and successfully) changed my life – some aspects, drastically and others, not so drastically, but when it comes down to the night or activity where I act in an old manner, I immediately hate myself.

I’ve just reached the end of a 5 day long weekend. It has been Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). Last Friday, I had an urge to do things the old me would of done. Drank at home, alone and found someone to sleep with. And I did. It was the start of a 1 week period that I like to call ~insanity~.  After 1 week, I managed to get drunk four times and end up in bed with a guy three out of the four nights. I have not cooked a single meal in over 1 week. I have survived on take out, alcohol, sleeping and partying for 1 week.

At the end of each encounter with a guy, I walk away feeling desired – which is not a rare occasion. Sleeping with someone has always given me the feeling that I was sexy or desirable with the opposite sex. I was finding confirmation in sex. But, in a different way, I walked away hoping this time would be different and he would want to see me again. This did not happen.

Today – Sunday, I fear the scale, I feel like I am inside a trapped body full of poison, I feel less than good enough and all of it makes me think that there is no one out there for me. I came home 3 nights ago, and cried. I am not the person I was before, and I am thankful to say that. I can’t just ~sleep around~ anymore without it affecting me.

I don’t feel optimistic for the upcoming week, no. I do feel exciting to change my eating and other habits, yes – but I feel the repeated behaviour of messing myself up one week and then trying to pick up the pieces the next, is just to the point where I’ve lost faith in myself.

Self Sabotage.

There are a few things on my mind recently. Everyday, I become more ~human~ than I was the day before. That is not to say I never felt emotions – I did, and very strongly. I still do. But everyday I am figuring myself out.

I feel ashamed to admit that I have spent half my life abusing alcohol and cigarettes. (That which makes you  seem so cool when you’re younger). That, I spent more than half my life abusing my body with terrible food and thinking that I could do it without consequence. I never stepped on a scale, I never thought about what I was eating and how it would affect my body. I always hated the fact that I was overweight but never took responsibility for what I was doing to myself.

I not only abused myself with food but with sex, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. I could sleep with someone and not feel a thing for them. And I was doing it on a weekly basis. I learned how to build my emotional wall because of the experiences I had had in the past. I hated living that way. I was desensitized by love or the wanting thereof. I did not love myself either.

The last year has brought about the best in me. It’s like I can finally be accountable for, take responsibility for and understand that there are consequences to my actions. I’ve started drinking a lot less, stopped smoking (as much), no drugs in a year and a half. I am conscious about what I eat and although I am still prone to binge eating for a day or more, I can look at that experience not thinking I was invincible, but rather that that was not a good decision.

Regardless of all the progress I can be proud of, I still face the same demons as others. I feel like a failure when I can’t stick to things. I went out on Saturday night and got drunk and bratty with my friends, apparently embarrassing myself, too. Slip ups such as those make me angry at myself. Eating that McDonalds yesterday and putting on 1.5 kg of the 4 kg I’d recently lost makes me hate myself.

Maybe I still have a self sabotaging attitude.

Day 8 – Energized But Sad.

I’ve successfully completed my first week back on my path to a healthy life. I have been drinking Herbalife 2x a day and eating vegetables, low fat dairy, nuts, lean protein and fruit. I’ve been drinking water like it’s my job and I am down 9 pounds.

This journey is not only about weight loss. I felt it was my time to make myself happy again. I started blogging more, keeping healthy with diet and exercise, reading and sharing things that inspire me, getting great sleep, setting aside ‘me’ time and doing nice things for people. I am doing everything right, and although I am feeling so much more energetic, I still feel sad. I have no reason to, but I do.

On a positive note, though – I am really starting to enjoy my job. I used to strive for free time so I could just sit and veg out or use Facebook.

I’ve got a dress that does not fit me hanging on my wall, and that is my motivation. I will fly home in 6 months time and will wear that dress when I get off the plane.

I am already witnessing changes and hope to see more results as the weeks go by.

Let Me Tell You What Is Wrong With Online Dating.

I’d never attempt an online dating site until I got to South Korea. Before then, online dating was something old people did to find love. I also had never considered online dating because I was such a mess and having too much fun doing things that were unhealthy for me. I didn’t realize there was such a massive market for it.

In South Korea, these sites are slathered with American military, some English teachers and then, of course, Koreans. OKCupid, which is more profile based, extensive and I suppose more of a media to have meaningful conversations, if you will. Skout, on the other hand, is a cell phone app with men’s photographs displayed as “online”. Most of the profile are not filled in, and it’s great for small talk.

Yes, I have met many men from the internet. And with sincere honestly, 95% of them, I was not attracted to whatsoever. I did, however, meet my last two boyfriends online. (One of which turned out to be a giant psycho, but never mind).

In a world saturated with technology, everything is online. We spend our lives on our computers, laptops and cell phones and it makes the youth feel that it’s impossible to meet someone in a regular situation. I’ll agree. I don’t want to meet someone in a bar (what a fantastic story that would make for the kids), but other than that – when are we ever relaxed (or sassy) enough to meet someone? So, off we go to online dating.

Choosing a guy whose profile you want to visit, like lambs to the slaughter or treating men like they’re a bunch of handbags on a rack. I can tell within less than a second who I have potential to be attracted to and who I don’t, just by their tiny profile photo in a list. So, after finding someone decent looking, we view their profile. Send them a message, perhaps they reply and you have some kind of connection. Or perhaps, you get the same story as everyone else “Hello, where are you from?” “What are you doing in Korea?” “I am in the military and have a curfew like a little school boy” “How long have you been in Korea?” which, at this point, is driving me crazy to the point where I deleted my accounts.

Regardless – what is wrong with online dating websites? It’s just a giant website of comparison. You are not that pretty girl he met at a friends’ party or the girl in his class. You are one of 50 000 other girls that, in a second or more, may be more interesting than you, prettier than you, funnier or sluttier than you. Just like that, you are replaced. And then there is the awkward situation where you can see the guy you had a “great” first date with, online.

I’ll admit, I don’t treat men on those websites as if they were people. I don’t realize they have feelings, a personality or a life. They are merely a face that can be replaced within a second.