Thursday, July 26, 2007


Last year, after Ly and I had the heart-to-heart about me needing to lose weight, he gave me his support through and through. Unfortunately, that meant policing what I ate and telling me how to go about my losing the weight. Being a naturally defiant person, I rebelled and we had another heart-to-heart.

It’s impossible to lose weight without support, but what happens when the support you get is not working? When Ly and I sat down for heart-to-heart part 2, I outlined to him how he can help me, and you know what? He disregarded it. Well not exactly. He said he would try, and the policing died down but did not totally disappear. He still occasionally tells me not to eat so-and-so and when I can treat myself. So annoying, but I’m learning to ignore him and others like him. Before I tried desperately to control my environment to ensure my success, and when I failed I would get angry with everyone around me. I too am a controlling person and get irritated when my environment is sabotaging my efforts. Now, I think I’ve changed. I decided a while ago that I would stop trying to control everything and work on controlling myself. It’s a struggle, but I think I’m getting pretty good at it.

One thing I use to do was force low-fat food on the family, now I buy food for myself and food for them. On a recent trip to the grocery store, Hunter asked for me to buy Cheetos, which I have a tendency to binge on when it’s around. I thought, “Here we go again.” I didn’t even think that I wouldn’t get the Cheetos that is how much I have changed in mentality. If it were me last year, I would have said “no” right away, because I knew it was a “trigger” food. Then I thought, why struggle? So I did ended up saying “no”. He can get Cheetos another time. Controlling the situation when I can is also a good idea.

Monday, July 23, 2007


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I use my blog as a tool to help me lose weight. I like to post everything that I think would help me come to understand myself, and sometimes it helps me re-think my thoughts. Regarding my mother post. I don’t actually believe that! I’m a highly edumacated adult soaking in all the media images of the modern world. All the ladies in the parenting magazine posing as mothers are thin, and so are the mother’s portrayed on T.V. In addition, my mother was thin when I was Hunter’s age. So was my mother-in-law. But sometimes my thoughts contradict my beliefs and even flies at the face of logic. It is my feelings that confuse everything. I have this tremendous guilt regarding my mother-ness, and a lot of the time my guilt creates illogical thoughts. Let me explain…

I am an inherently selfish person, which is a big no-no among Asians. When Ly and I first met and during the first year of our marriage, Ly wasn’t bothered by it, because he was an inherently giving person and didn’t expect others to return his generosity. It was when I had Hunter that my selfishness became an issue. I prioritized myself, and Ly was disgusted by my behavior. His favorite phrases at the time were “What kind of mother would do that?” and “What kind of mother are you?” He also constantly compared me to his perfect mother, whom has sacrificed so much for her family. Those days were so overwhelming that I toyed with the idea of running away, changing my identity, and starting a new childless life. Luckily, I decided to stick to it and discovered how to "appear” selfless, but inside I was still the same. Today I still believe that I should take care of myself before I take care of others, but at the same time I secretly wish that Ly would regard my mothering as highly as his own mother's. This causes me to get these bizarre thoughts every once in a while.

The good news is that blogging does help counter sabotaging thoughts. Today, Ly worked at home because he was sore from going on a 17-mile hike with his buddies over the weekend. He was irritable because of this and because the house was such a mess. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed when Ly’s out of town. Not only because I’m on my own with taking care of house and kids, but also because I spent most of my time at my parents’ house and out with my sisters. I had planned to have the house clean before he returned home, but I ended up shopping with Jen and he ended up returning home early. I felt tremendously guilty and contemplated decreasing my exercise routine from 5 days a week to 3. With the insights I have gained through blogging, I reasoned that I still had Ly’s full support in me exercising and that I had no reason to change anything. I should, however, cut back on things that he doesn’t approve of like, ummm… being on the Internet.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Then and Now

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When I became overweight, I was in a state of denial. I perceived myself as still pretty. I think my sister Kiki’s hand-me-downs helped a lot. I didn’t like to spend money on clothes, so I bought solid, neutral separates that I can mix and match and get by with as little clothing as possible. When I was gaining weight, so was Kiki, so she gave me her clothes that she had outgrown and it worked out fine. Kiki favored feminine clothing with bright colors and floral patterns. Her clothing also tended to be tailored or fitted. As a result I felt feminine. I also had boobage to show off my femininity (which is slowly disappearing as I lose the weight). It was looking at photos of myself that I realized I was fooling myself. That and my deteriorating health: The acid reflux, plantar fasciitis, snoring, poor sleep, and lethargy. Each time I see my nurse practitioner regarding a condition, she always said, “You have so and so, which is common when you’re overweight.” What?! I am? The good thing about my nurse practitioner is that she never said that I should lose weight. She just mentioned it as if it was something we would have to work around. But I did get the drift. When I lose weight all these problems will go away. Well, some went away and some have only decreased in intensity. It’s kind of disappointing that they didn’t all magically disappear when I reached a healthy weight (albeit, at the upper edge of the spectrum). Maybe when a get closer to my goal I will be rid of these health problems once and for all.

A strange thing that’s happening is that I am becoming more and more self-conscious of my imperfections as I lose the weight. I think before I thought I was pretty as a way to protect my ego, but now that I’m thinner my psyche can handle the awareness of how I really look. In addition, I only bought new bottoms since I’ve lost the weight, because they were literally falling off. With my tops, I have put some away that just look odd on me now, but some can still pass as looking decent. The problem is, nothing will show off my new figure, so I no longer feel feminine. That and my shrinking boobs. It was during a picnic when my shirt got wet and my cousin’s girlfriend lend me her spare that I realized that I can feel feminine again if I just wore more fitted clothing. I just can’t justify spending the money. I’ll rather take my chances that Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear will someday surprise me with a shopping spree.

Monday, July 16, 2007

“Less” of a Mother

There’s this wonderful pre-K program that First 5 is providing, and Hunter was invited to use it! Along with Hunter attending a preschool-like setting, there are two parenting classes. I went to the first one and it was very lame, targeting overly burdened or traumatized mothers whom failed to develop an attachment to their children. And from what I noticed none of the mothers whom attended qualified. I would have to say that they were at the opposite of the spectrum, towards super mom qualities. They were all low income and a majority of them were monolingual Spanish speakers, but in terms of parenting skills they needed no help, especially from a riff-raff social worker set on pushing her values. Ugh! If I ever become like her, consider me resigned!

I don’t think I will be attending the second class, but I don’t regret attending the first. It was wonderful meeting such dedicated mothers! What other mother would take the time to attend a lame class as that when they already have the skills anyways?

But I also noticed another thing. I was the thinnest mother in the room! You would think I would be oozing with pride because of this, but in actuality I felt tremendously self-conscious and ashamed. Because the typical and most shared reason that a mother is fat is because she has prioritizing her family over herself. I suddenly felt less of a mother, and guilty of the time that I didn’t devote to them.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Memory of Me

I’m participating in a forum where the co-leader started a summer challenge. One of the tasks was to find an old article of clothing that I would like to fit into at the end of the challenge. I told her that I didn’t have an item that fit this description. I’ve been keeping clothes from before the turn of the millennium, and slowly I’ve been letting each one go to donation. Coincidently, I think I had just donated the last of these clothes earlier this year and wished I didn’t since I now had a chance of wearing them, keeping me from having to buy new clothes at my new size. Then a few days ago, my mother-in-law asked for the long dress that I wore to my wedding reception, since my cousin-in-law will be marrying in December and she had wanted me to give it to her. Then it dawned on me. I did still have clothes from the past. For my wedding day I wore three dresses and all three are secure in storage. I had forgotten about these clothes, because I was keeping them for “impractical” reasons.

I wasn’t sure how much I weighed when I got married. Probably around 115-120? Well, I definitely know I’m more buff now at 127. I tried on the long dress just out of curiosity. No cigar. It was still too small. And it got me thinking…

Do I really want to be that small again? A part of me does, and a part doesn’t. More has changed than just my weight. I have stretch marks all over and my breasts are sagging. I totally don’t feel attractive, and returning to my old size will just remind me that it can never be the way it was back then.

At the same time, Ly totally has the hots for me now that I’m small again, and it’s making me feel uncomfortable. Did he love me less when I was fat? This idea makes me not want to have sex with him. I asked him about this and he says that his love is unconditional. I had difficulty believing him. Then I realized that I was asking the wrong question. It was lust that was conditional and for him they’re probably two separate things. I think about this some more, and I’m fine with it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Trails

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Several things I have read that helped me bring a new perspective of why I’ve been a researching maniac lately. First there was Diet Girl’s observation regarding diet books and how she buys them when she’s disillusioned and have lost faith in herself. That post came just at the right time; because I think these are the reasons why I’ve been on this researching craze, trying to find the right book to give me all the answers. I really can’t trust myself, which is why intuitive eating had failed me in the past, and at the same time this researching craze was borne out of a moment of despair, when dieting had become a drag. Then there was TrixieBelden’s comment on my last post. She was totally right. I wasn’t enjoying my weight loss journey. Time to remind myself that I do.

I enjoy the exercise that I “have to do” to lose weight. I’ve always been an outdoorsy/athletic type of girl but with responsibilities that come with adulthood, things that you enjoy become once in a while kind of things. Ever since I started this journey, exercise has become a permanent fixture in my life. Although I would occasionally feel guilty that it has taken so much of my time, I love how everyone I know will buy into it as a viable reason why it’s okay for the kids to be watched by someone else or why I don’t get as much stuff done during the day. Ly and I have had arguments of how my TV-watching, Internet-obsessing activities would take away from the house, but he never says, “You exercise too much!”

The second part of this journey, of course, involves the dieting. Hmmmm… Still trying to come to grips with that one. Just as I love to be physically active, I also love sweets. And not the low-fat/low-calorie sweets. Chocolate! And it has to be milk chocolate. Chocolate-covered nuts, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate cake are what I enjoy the most. And there really is no substituting them (if there is I don’t know about it). I just have to figure out this moderation thing, which is going to take some more time.

What I do like about this dieting thing is that I feel it really is contributing to this feeing of well-being. I feel healthy. Even when I was playing sports in high school, I didn’t feel healthy, because I was shoveling junk in my mouth. Now, as a busy adult, I feel healthier than I ever did before. I also love how my family can benefit from all the healthy options in the house. Fruit has become the snack of choice. Sitting around, eating cherries is what we like to do. Before this journey, the produce section of the supermarket was unknown territory.

And the wonderful side effect of this journey is the weight loss! I love feeling lighter. Sports become easier (although I can no longer blame my slowness on my weight). And I love the way I look.

I have good news! According to Asian BMI standards, I am no longer overweight! I’ve been dreaming of this day for so long that when it happened I was in a state of denial. I told my cousin David about it and he said, “impossible”. And I thought that he was right. It must be some fluctuation of water and hormones. It must be that my scale is finally broken. So I checked my scale’s accuracy with two 5 lb weights, and it was not broken. So I checked my weight a couple of days after and it was still the same. I can now think of myself as a “healthy person” through and through.

I told Ly about the good news and said, “Can you believe I’ve been overweight (and obese) for 6 plus years?!” He turned to me and said, “I can.” We had a good laugh about it, because he was the one who have repeatedly stuck his neck out to tell me what no one else would, that I needed to lose weight. Each time ended with me in tears. It was July 18th last year when he finally confronted me and it didn’t end with tears. When I decided to stop crying and start getting busy. Now, close to a year later, I did it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Paradigm is a Shifting

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I don’t want to deprive myself and I don’t want to starve, but I also want to lose weight. How do I do this? I’ve decided to look into diet and weight loss books again. I’ve had a run of not so good experiences from these books, but I can’t say that I didn’t learn anything from them. I just have to learn to not follow them to a T. I mean, a lot of these books are written by experts, right? But they don’t know me personally, so there’s no way they can modify their program to tailor to my personality and lifestyle. That’s up to me.

These are books on my wish list:
“The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan” by Barbara Rolls and Robert A. Barnett
“Breaking Free from Emotional Eating” by Geneen Roth
“The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person” by Judith S. Beck

I will probably buy them as a way to reward myself (if I ever earn any anymore). For the month of June I only earned $1 and that was from turning down a tempting offer. I didn’t have a good run of with-in calorie range eating for the whole month! It could be because of my lack of motivation in the beginning of the month or it could be because of my little paradigm shift. Nonetheless, I’ve been doing poorly.

Yesterday, I had a baby shower to go to, and the food was all so good. It was at an odd time (2pm) and I ate poorly beforehand (chocolate covered almonds and a banana), so I was definitely hungry before the party. I went over 2,000 calories, and I felt guilty. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that chicken when I was already full. Maybe I shouldn’t have had 4 servings of tortilla chips. Maybe I should have eaten something less calorie dense before the party. This guilt is another thing I don’t want to live with, but what else will keep me on track?

On a good note, I found an older version of “Breaking Free from Emotional Eating” on BookMooch. That should arrive shortly. I’m feeling confident that intuitive eating will help me accomplish my goals. I did some more researching, and I found a study that demonstrated its superiority over traditional methods (AKA behavior modification). It was only one study and I was only able to get the abstract, but it demonstrated its effectiveness after 2 years. Very promising.

I also did a little researching on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) towards weight loss, and I found a lot of studies demonstrating its ineffectiveness. One study even demonstrated behavioral modification to be more effective in the short term and no difference between the two in the long term. However, there was one article that talked about a modified CBT approach that was effective. I was able to get the full article, and I’ll look into it later.
I fear no one’s opinion! I am knowledgeable, focused, and efficient. I make this priority and build from experience. I do this for my children and myself. Supported by love, I will persevere.