Today, just somehow, I decided to put on a pair of jeans that I have not touched, what more looked at, for the longest time—and it fitted perfectly. You have no idea how overjoyed I was. Being able to button up without having to suck in your layers of fats was, to put simply, bliss at its best.
I was in the middle of some packing but this rare occasion obviously hit me harder than expected. So, I paused for a good half an hour, slouched in my desk chair, and thought of what exactly I’ve done the past couple of months to arrive at this point.
It wasn’t the easiest half an hour.
This would be the entry where I’m opening up about how much I have been beating myself up for my body for reasons not unheard of. They can all go under an umbrella labelled “Insecurities”. [Clarification: I do not have any eating disorders] 2016 was the year that I decided to start dealing with them by going back to the gym and running on Saturday or Sunday mornings for a short few months (and completely gave up after that because it was messing up my sleep schedule). Running for 2km straight was such an achievement (good lord #SMH) and the rewards were major[ly calorific] (tbh, it didn’t really help that much). 2016 was also the year that I sinfully, truly glorified the idea of brunch and at some points, work was also in the way. Hence, so many breakfasts were skipped just to accommodate whatever feasts I would be indulging later in the day—or at least I thought it was the right thing to do.
I was a mess who didn’t know where to start.
I used to be so certain that I would rather be a happy glutton than an unhappy person with a strict diet. “Diet” was a forbidden word in my vocabulary and I was so compelled by the idea of food therapy just because eating makes me feel so much better. Being single was also the perfect excuse. I couldn’t give a damn about getting the whole “ideal body type” with hopes of finding the man of my dreams. Sorry, fried chicken >>> men.
That was such a toxic phase, I admit. I was in so much denial at first but after much thought, I can safely say that I was unhappy. Something had to be done.
November was month I took off to travel to Seoul, Hanoi and Penang, and to get myself back together. By the end of the month, it was as if I was given a new set of lungs that allowed me to breathe so much better. I have never been happier reconnecting with some friends and making new ones, some whom I’m very grateful for today.
In December, I found myself surrounded by a more positive and motivating environment—and I’m very glad that I chose that path. Work was different and at a more productive pace. There was this drive to look after my body better by watching what and how much I eat. I had no issues with having salads and proteins for lunch(!). Skipping breakfast meant suffering till lunch time because of how much more energy was required. I am very thankful for this change not just for a better job, but also for the people around me who never fail to inspire.
2017 came at the perfect time because this meant starting afresh. The first thing wanted to do was to try to not skip breakfast throughout the year. So far, I’ve missed seven. Those were the days where I needed (and could afford) to sleep in from all the late nights.
I never knew the importance of breakfast until lately. I regretfully, shamefully admit that I was one of those people who would skip them all the time because “I had more important things to do”. I find myself enjoying toast with peanut butter, or sometimes some of mom’s cooking in the morning. For the more pampering-worthy days, I would get up earlier to make a trip to a regular cafe for coffee and American-style scrambled eggs on toast with a side of avocado. Breakfast is also when I can afford a few precious minutes of reading books that I have bought way too long ago to the point where the layers of dust have become the new book covers. But above all, the most meaningful mornings are when my parents would join in for breakfast.
I have not set foot into gym in months, I’ve been eating so much better, and yet I have lost 3kgs since November. This change has made me so much happier to the point where breakouts are more rare and have saved many facial trips. I have been shopping for clothes a little more (I used to despise it because I would rarely find clothes that I would like and could fit into = demotivation) and have been putting more effort into how I dress every day. This is just me taking on what I have learnt when I was traveling in Japan—that dressing well meant that you know how to take care of yourself.
Fitting into those old pair of jeans meant so much, you have no idea. At the end of the day, this is a continuous journey of self-development and I’m still a work in progress.