Weight and figure. Two topics of which it’s debate has never been settled, and in some weird way, there won’t really be a right answer to it. Being a chubby Asian can be ridiculously stressful. I don’t know how it is in other Western societies, but I feel that there’s a little sense of acceptance. Perhaps the pressure comes from magazines that criticize celebrities for gaining 10 pounds and have ridiculous close-up images of their cellulite.
It’s disgusting, and I would feel bad for the celebrity who’d have to encounter that picture on an ordinary day. Ladies, as much as you want to know how celebrities look perfect all the time, it’s partially a matter of having a big fat wallet. Can you afford to pay a personal trainer to get on your feet 6 days a week? Can you afford to go on weekly treatments to remove cellulite. Or even trim down their nose or remove their body fat and place it in their butt? I’m not saying that every successful person does this, but they live up to the pressure that society inflicts upon them, and also and more importantly..I think they’re just cheating their way to being beautiful.
Being beautiful shouldn’t start with this urge to look hot, but it should start with acceptance. The psychology of weight loss can be absolutely tricky and it differs with everyone based on their perception and background, but it should universally start with acceptance.
Many of us find it hard to accept that we have gained weight, or that there are some things in life that you would have to sacrifice to be healthy, but all it really takes is someone dear to us to say something that would make that impact. I know how it feels that being ridiculed does not do anything. Most Asians would feel that hinting or teasing someone because they’re huge would make them want to lose weight. Perhaps it would work for some people, but again, it would not work for the entire population.
A simple example of the Asian culture’s perception on what’s considered to be “beautiful”.
I started gaining weight after I reached puberty. Before puberty, I was neither fat or scrawny, but I knew I wasn’t thin because my thighs would rub together when I walked. But after I gradually got to a point where I was larger than the average girl my age, the teasing began. Most of the time, I would ignore it because I simply hated it when people would talk about me. Soon, every conversation my relatives had with me was about my weight. And whenever I would catch a cold, it would be my fault because I’m fat. Before I knew it, everything that I did or happened to be was simply because I was fat. Despite all the bullying, I somehow developed a shield against all the teasing. I never cared what anyone would think about me, and I had friends who accepted me for who I am.
“Beauty is being the best possible version of yourself on the inside and out”.
I have to admit that I was so stubborn about weight loss. I told myself that I did not care to be thin, but alas, I realized that I had to lose weight not because I wanted to look good or please anyone. But I should be doing it for my health.
My boyfriend truly inspired me. As ex-Marine and a physically-fit man, Kevin practiced Muay Thai, and was fit enough to run across towns daily for his training and still be energetic. He enjoys long walks, so a lot of our dates comprised of a lot of marathons around town. We managed to walk around on our feet for 6 hours, and that was fantastic. Not the blisters, but it was worth it. I remember our first date when he told me that he loved my body, and as any woman would feel, I felt that he had accepted my body, and in return, it made me accept mine too.
Kevin taught me how to be and feel beautiful. One day, I actually wondered if the long walks we had together were to build my stamina, and he sort of agreed. Despite it being a hint, I wasn’t mad or offended. It only made me love him more. Instead of just criticizing or giving me tips, he actually did something about it to help me realize it. Being an old-fashioned guy, he also taught me the art of being a lady, and in return he was a gentleman to me. It’s not a matter of favors, but it’s almost like the way a switch turns on in your head. If you act like a lady, you’ll see the difference in how your man would treat you. This is not training, but it’s a simple matter of good old manners.
The relationship I have with Kevin taught me a myriad of things. But more importantly, he helped me distinct the difference between beauty from health. Beautiful is healthy and healthy is beautiful. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Once we accept the way we are, change can begin.
Since then, I started doing squat thrusts on a daily basis, then Yoga and more recently, the gym. I told myself that it was time to be fit and healthy, and it would be a lifestyle until the day I die. The body I want can wait. As they say, nothing keeps more of an accurate journal than your body. So, ensuring that your body inside is healthy, it would certainly reflect on the outside.
“You’re damned if you’re too thin and you’re damned if you’re too heavy. According to the press, I’ve been both. It’s impossible to satisfy everyone and I suggest we stop trying”.
Confidence definitely plays an important role too. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you also inspire people to feel beautiful too. I am not biased against the skinny or the curvy. In fact, there shouldn’t even be a group to support or bash these groups. We’re all beautiful.
Freckles, cellulite, stretch-marks, acne, scars and wrinkles, your jeans size; these things do not measure your beauty. Your personality, determination, and confidence makes your beautiful.
So nurture what you have, and simply let it glow!
Stay beautiful, girls!