(and how I’m dealing with weight-related issues.)
Yes, I gave in. I’ve asked my boyfriend that question and all because my nasty eating habit (all binge, no exercise) has finally caught up with me. Five years ago, I was borderline underweight, but now I’m a few decimal points away from being overweight.
Perhaps some of you may feel the same. Weight, for me, has become a sensitive issue, especially since Filipino culture allows people to be offensively frank when it comes to commenting about other people’s weight. In fact, for some of us, instead of greeting someone “hello,” we start conversations by saying “Tumaba ka! (You’ve become fat!)”
Simple comments like this, although said in jest and done in good faith, can be hurtful. I knew it was serious when I cried after someone commented that I became fatter on one my Facebook photos. Yes, it sounds superficial, but it’s a good wakeup call. I knew I had to do something not just for the sake of vanity, but also because I wanted to be healthier and live longer. So, here’s how I have decided to deal with weight – related issues:
- Accept the reality is the first step. Let’s face it, I am heavier than I was 2 or 3 years ago. My mirror, clothes, and weighing scale confirm this fact. So what do I do? Rationalize is definitely not one of those things, although I often fall into that trap. My favorite excuse – “Oh, I’m just bloated because it’s that time of the month.” Except that, I’ve been bloated every day of the month.
- Do some small changes in my lifestyle. I know myself; I hate change, so I’m easing myself slowly into living a healthier life. For example, instead of going on a full-blown diet, I try to choose healthier options while managing my portions. One app that worked for me is “My Fitness Pal” by Under Armour. It sets your calorie goal per day and lets you track it easily while taking into account any physical activity that you do. Another thing is I make an effort to do some physical activity like walking or biking home from work (around 2.5 KM). It’s not enough, I know, but it’s a start.
- Wear clothes that fit me better. For a few years after I’ve gained weight, I have insisted on wearing the same size of clothes that I wore before (XS, size 2) because I felt like moving up a size equaled to accepting that I indeed gained weight. This, however, only made me feel worse because the clothes were too tight and unflattering. Recently, however, I finally came to realize that there’s no shame in wearing a bigger size. Doing so made me feel and look better!
- Learn to be confident about who I am now while striving to be healthier. There’s no point in beating myself up about my weight and feeding my insecurities. By accepting my reality and resolving to do something about it, I’ve learned how not to take comments about my weight to heart. Instead, I try to be confident, while at the same time not being complacent about my current situation. We all have to strive to be better versions of ourselves.
- Be consistent. Perhaps the most challenging part of this process is being consistent. In the beginning, we always have this roaring fire to do something – eat healthier, exercise – but as time goes, this fire eventually fizzles out until we’re back to square one. This cycle happens to me a lot! But to become healthy, it’s not enough to diet and exercise one week every three months. It has to become a habit. That is something I’m still struggling with.
Whether we like it or not, weight, these days, have become a means by which we judge other people. Sometimes, the judgments we make about others and ourselves are pretty harsh! That’s why I think some of you may know where I am coming from.
If you have some other ways of dealing with this issue, please feel free to share. I do need some advice! 🙂