I hope you all had a great and productive Monday! This morning when I woke up I was reflecting on the past week and setting goals for this new week. I couldn’t help but to think of the negative criticism that I faced over the past week and I wanted to share it with you all. For those who follow me on IG, this post will go more in depth about how I really feel about it.
Situation #1: A Vietnamese man at Costco told me that I looked like a marathon runner. I came from the gym and was in my work out attire, I told him that I am not a runner and that I lifted weights. He replied “I didn’t know women could actually do that.” His reply to me bothered me but at the same time it did not surprise me because the people in my community are unfamiliar with the idea of a female lifting weights. Instead of getting upset at his comment, I chose to educate him about it. The more I talked to him, the more surprised he was about the whole concept. He even joked and said that I was stronger than him, I laughed and said yes. This incident wasn’t too much of a biggie.
Situation #2: I was at home in the kitchen with my Mom and I was stretching because my upper body was sore from my workouts. I caught my Mom looking at me stretching so I decided to hit her with a bicep flex. Her exact reaction: “Li (my Vietnamese house name) stop that. Your muscles look so gross. Why do you work out so much? It’s not ladylike.” I smiled at her and told her that it’s something that I love to do and it makes me happy. She went on to tell me that it’s good that I work out but she doesn’t understand why I need to do it so much and have muscles. I told her I was going to change the way Vietnamese people looked at women, strength and muscles. She didn’t look too pleased but I had to remind myself that’s she’s old fashioned. This situation stung a bit.
Situation #3: Similar situation to the number 2, my nephew knows I am into working out so he asked me to flex and I did. His reaction: “Your arms are manly.” I told him thank you and that he needed to catch up. The thing with kids is that they are honest which means that’s what he really thinks. At the same time, kids are young and do not know different forms of beauty yet. I can’t be mad at the kid, he’s only 10! Haha. This situation I just had to smile.
As positive as I was with every situation that happened, I would be lying if I told you that it did not hurt my feelings. We are all human and words do hurt especially if they are coming from a loved one. What all three of these situations had in common was the lack of knowledge and acceptance. I know that fitness is rather main stream now especially with IG, FB, etc but my Asian community especially the older generations do not understand it. They are not used to seeing women with muscles, women lifting heavy objects, women who are passionate about health and fitness. Instead of being upset with them, I know that I need to educate them on my lifestyle. Growing up I had the same views about women with muscles, I thought it was weird and did not see the beauty of it. I didn’t appreciate the hard work and dedication until I myself put in the time and effort to have this lifestyle. I didn’t have any Asian female role models to look up to regarding health and fitness. All I saw were skinny women and that was defined to me as what beautiful is and what I should be. The more educated I became about health, fitness, body types, etc, the more open minded and appreciate I became of people and their bodies. I am thankful that I no longer feel the need to fit anyone’s beauty standards, not even my Mom’s. She supports and loves me, that I do not doubt. She just rather me not have muscles, which will not happen. I will help her learn to love my muscles, just wait and see! I have high hopes for me and I know if I stay positive and work at it, it will happen! :)
When I look at the picture above, it makes me happy because I was able to share my love and passion to my community. Weightlifting is stereotyped as a masculine thing to do and I know I turned a lot of heads by doing it at my pageant. If I could go back, I would absolutely do it again! Whether I won the pageant or not, I wanted to leave a mark on this pageant and my community. I truly want to change the way Asian people look at health and fitness, I want young girls to have someone to look up to and go to for help. Be the change you want to see in the world right? Well I am on a mission to do that and leave my mark on this world!
With any journey that you go through in life, there will be obstacles and challenges. There will be people who support you and there will be those who will doubt you, what you need to remember is to stay true to yourself and never give up! This is your life, your body, your journey. <3
Hope you had a great Thursday and first day of May! After my workout I went to Costco to get some groceries. Costco is having a sale on the Magic Bullet! Only $34.99. I have wanted one for the longest time but they were always so expensive! When I saw them at Target/Walmart they were $69.99-$99.99. I am definitely glad I waited :)
My grocery list was simple: salad mix, romaine lettuce, chia seeds, eggs, bananas, chicken, cereal and milk. What I encourage you all to do while shopping for groceries is to learn to look/read/understand the nutritional labels. They are there for a reason! Two years ago you would never see me reading it or caring what the total grams of fat/sugars were. Nowadays I look at every single nutritional label for every product that I buy (minus fresh fruits of course.) Many times we are quick to grab items because they are “healthy” but fail to realize what’s inside. I buy items that are low in fat, sodium, sugar, cholesterol, and saturated fat. There is a picture above of two cheerio boxes. Even though the honey nut cheerios tastes better, I bought the original one because it was higher in potassium and protein and 8 grams less in sugar. Take that extra time to see what you are about to purchase to put inside your body. I am trying to do the best I can to live a long and healthy life, little things like reading nutritional labels helps.
I made some salads and snacks. I was short on time so I bought the rotisserie chicken and shredded it when I got home. The chicken was $5 and the bag of baby kale/chard/spinach mix was $4.97. I was able to make the above pictured and still have left overs. Eating healthier does not have to be expensive, do not get too crazy with it in the beginning and over shop. Buy the basics and start from there, see what’s best for you to start adjusting your eating habits. Sometimes people stop eating healthier because it adds up and it honestly can when you buy things that you don’t need. Or people do not make the time to meal prep so they buy healthy dishes which are overpriced. Fast food is quick, easy and cheap which is why people tend to eat it. Just remember, you cannot obtain your million dollar body by eating off of the dollar menu. You can make it work with your budget, make the effort to figure it all out. :)
Lastly, I got a new protein shaker thanks to my boyfriend! :) I have been needing a new one and he got it for me. Hehe. It is the newest design from Blender Ball. The first version was just the cup with the ball, the second one had two compartments but was too bulky. This third one is more compact and efficient, there is room for your protein powder and a smaller compartment in between for your vitamins. I absolutely love it! I have gone through a handful of protein shakers and Blender Ball is my favorite. It mixes my protein well.
Thank you all so much for your continuous support via Tumblr/IG! I am happy to share my love of fitness, health and wellness to you all! Take care and talk soon!
The past few months I have noticed that my stretch marks have been getting more visible to me and have even noticed that I have stretch marks in places that I never had before. I didn’t think too much about them because I’ve had stretch marks for years now but two weeks ago I was sitting in my car after the gym and literally looked at them for minutes. I even took pictures of it. Haha. I know that I got stretch marks from lifting heavy with my squats and leg exercises. With gaining mass in my ass, I am also gaining stretch marks along the way. I mean, my body is growing therefore causing my skin to stretch to make room for the new assets. (Pun intended. Haha) When I was younger I was definitely more self conscious about it, now that I am older and more knowledgeable about my body I understand that it is a part of the process. Whether you gain or lose weight, stretch marks are inevitable. I learned to take pride in these marks because I worked for them, I earned them.
I have stretch marks on my inner and upper thighs, on the side of my glutes, on the side of my knees where it bends, on my lower hips. In the picture above I took a measuring tape at home and measured it, 5 inches was the longest stretch mark I had. Learning to accept them made it easier for me to not be embarrassed by it. I even talk openly to Robby about it, it wasn’t easy and I hesitated at first but I knew that if I didn’t make a big deal about it then it wouldn’t be a big deal. Things are truly what you make of it.
Last night I was sitting with my twin nephews and one asked me “Who scratched you?” I replied “What are you talking about?” He then pointed at the stretch marks on my thighs. I told him they were my beauty marks. The reason why I chose to call them that is because I wanted him to see it as something beautiful and not something negative. He is only 5 years old, the age where children’s minds take in everything around them. If I instill in him at a young age the ability to see the beauty in things that are not socially viewed as beautiful, he will have the advantage of growing up with an open mind.
Whether you have stretch marks from gaining weight, losing weight, having a baby, and so forth..I hope you know that they are beautiful and that you are beautiful. Never let anyone make you feel ashamed of them, for these marks carry a story and are a part of your journey.