Life Update!

Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so let’s chat shall we?

Job? I finally got a job and received a job offer in Charlotte, NC. I, unfortunately, have to decline the NC job due to making a much more financially sound decision. Working closer to where I live.

If I would have lived closer to Charlotte, I might’ve taken the gamble but metropolitan traffic is unpredictable and I didn’t want to risk being late to work. I’m taking a lower pay for safety that I can be home in 30 minutes versus 1-2 hours on the road every day after working 12 hours.

I’ve accepted a job helping people with their insurance. I’m about to embark on a journey to obtain my insurance license for all 50 states. Another credential to add to my resume which is an amazing thing.

What else? A good friend that I met in China is starting her own business and I’m helping her with it! I’m also looking at starting my own business soon. I want to become my own boss one day but it’s going to take money to start it and I’ll have to work.

Gym? I’ve added doing a HIIT class on Saturday’s and it’s been fun. I’m starting to define more of my arm and leg muscles. Hopefully my stomach and thighs follow soon.

Moving out? I plan to move out of my parents house by the end of the year. I would like to start the process of purchasing my own home. I’ve been working steadily for over two years but because I went to China, it may be difficult to prove I paid taxes (which is what one bank told me I needed it for).

My word for this year was: growth.

It took awhile for the cog to start to turn but growth is happening.

Minimalism update!!

I stopped buying plastic bottles. I now take the water from the tap, boil it, and “package it” in stainless steel and glass containers. I looked at how much I was wasting. I was doing terribly. It was actually a WASTE. I’ve juggled with becoming more eco-friendly but once I got tired of myself, I made the change, much like my weight-loss. I also don’t use plastic bags at the grocery store. I always have my reusable ones. When I get fruits and vegetables, I don’t grab the plastic to put them in. There’s no harm in my taters rolling around a bit.

Coming up?

I hope that everything goes well with the job and I can move somewhere soon. I want to start my own things. I want to be happy. And I’m reaching for happiness.

3 week fitness update

So around 3 weeks ago, I had the urge to change my life. I knew it’d be difficult to join a gym and pay the monthly cost since I am still partially unemployed and what I do make can’t cover the cost of it monthly. I talked with my mom and she agreed to cover the cost until I get a full-time job. So on January 27, 2020, I signed up for the gym. I’ve been almost every day since I started (mostly due to PMS time). And I am starting to feel great.

I don’t think I’ve lost any weight in almost the month I’ve been going but I’ve been learning about myself. I know that I can absolutely do whatever I put my mind to. When I did weigh myself, I had gained a few pounds and I think that was mostly because I was trying to control my eating entirely too much and it backfired. I was actually under-eating according to MyFitnessPal. And then I realized that I…didn’t need to try to control my eating too much or I would become obsessed with the number and making sure the number almost put me under so I could burn more calories and lose weight faster.

And I get it. Numbers are obsessive. They can start to control your life if you let them but I refuse to. I have to stay strong and do this process right or it won’t work. The number one thing I’ve been trying to do is incorporate more vegetables/fruits into my diet. I’m experimenting with new recipes and still trying to learn what my body really likes.

I have to say, this beginning journey has taught me that I am stronger than what I think I am and I will always overcome whatever obstacle may be in my way.

This journey isn’t going to be easy and I know I won’t really make a dent into my weight loss until I speak to someone who knows more about eating ‘right’ and ‘for my body’ than I do. I went for an interview and I should be hearing from them soon. Hopefully, I get the job and then soon after, I’ll have insurance and the ability to go see a nutritionist and mainly, a therapist.

After a few months, I’ll be able to finally move from my small town and closer to the big city. If I do get this job, and I’m hoping and praying that I do, I’ll also be able to continue my craft of writing and become more environmentally friendly.

Here’s to hoping and praying! If you have any recipes or additional information for losing weight (not anything too dramatic), please leave some comments below!

Is Health a Privilege?

Today, I posed a question to myself: how am I going to be healthier? I thought about changing the food that I buy, swapping out fries for greens but then I really started to ask myself, how could I afford it?

I shop very cheap. My favorite grocery store is Aldi, I go there several times a week buying random odds and ends but what if I was going for my health? How would I change everything then? So, I decided to do just that. Yesterday morning, I went to Aldi at 9:30am on the dot! (I know because I’d previously checked to see if they were open). I walked up and down the aisles until I got an idea of what I wanted that day: air-fried thin chicken breast and roasted veggies. I got ecstatic! I went over to the produce section and picked up green bell peppers, onions, asparagus, and a bag of baby potatoes. I did pick up some other things that they had like: a collapsible tote (use for heavy shopping), chicken (I mean, they do have good chicken! I prefer no rib meat but I usually cut that off), butter, eggs, powdered sugar (I bake) and that’s all I remember. My total was under $40 for a days meal.

Now, most Americans can’t spend $40 on one person for one days meals, that is ridiculous. So, what would I have bought if I didn’t have that money, I wouldn’t have picked up the butter, eggs, and powered sugar (even though it’s still fairly cheap), I would’ve left the fresh asparagus for the frozen (they were the same price but freezing would mean I could use them much later too) and maybe bought a bag of frozen veggies.

That’s the reality for most Americans, they simply cannot afford a healthy lifestyle, they can’t afford to make the changes that people who have money seem to think is so easy. I also shop discounted, I don’t usually go to big stores unless there’s a specific product I need (like dairy free cheesecake) especially since I haven’t been working. It’s hard to make those changes.

Since we talked about food, let’s talk about working out. Gyms can be expensive depending on where you live. Planet Fitness’s basic plan is $10/month. The gyms in my hometown start at $19/month. Some people will say exercise at home but sometimes, you don’t want to spend your entire day in the house. Yes, you can go outside and do exercises but inclement weather does happen and no one wants to be soaked from a run.

Realistically, being healthy and having these options are a privilege that a lot of people think about. In China, there’s a free fitness group called “FitFam” (follow the hyperlink to learn more about them), and that’s where my fitness journey started. Even though it has ebbed over these last few months, this is where I got excited about fitness. I wish that we had this program in America because going to something for free can be the difference between a ‘healthy’ life and a life filled with obesity and medications.

My motivation seems to go back and forth when it comes to fitness. I actually love working out and when I did have a free gym membership, I would wake up at 9am and work out for an hour. It was amazing and I loved the way it made me feel. But reality does set in and I could no longer afford the membership 😦

Since I’ll be moving to Texas soon, I want to start my ‘new’ life with a new mindset. Keeping myself healthy is important, mentally, physically, emotionally. It all adds up to me taking care of the body that I was given.

If you have any tips please feel free to share them below! If you know of any communities similar to FitFam, drop them! If you’re in the Dallas area and know all the ins and outs of fitness there, please let me know!

2020 is a New Year, let’s make some new goals together!

De-calm-pressing

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted and I’ll be honest…it was definitely because I was playing Sims again. Terrible. I know but I love Sims and have been playing it for about 15 years now.

I want to talk about Sims and how I use it to help me destress. I love playing this game, it detaches me from reality and gives me the chance to play lives I wish about. There’s so much to do in Sims that the game itself is a dark whole, one that a lot of users find to be a whole that we love. But also, it gives me the chance to destress and get away from everyday reality. Sometimes, it negativity is too much for us to handle and we find an outlet. That’s what Sims does for me.

I also like to do yoga, I picked up the practice again when I was in China. I faithfully when almost twice a week whenever my body allowed me to and I felt so much better. But to be honest, yoga can be stressful. I had to learn to not judge myself against the thin-framed ladies beside me who seemed so limber. I realized that we were there for the same reason, to become one with our minds. The point of yoga is to focus, or at least that’s what I want to think. Yoga makes me feel like the stress I put on my shoulders just melts away. The worries that I had yesterday seem to fade into the downward facing dog of today.

There are many ways to destress. One of those is physical activities, working out and keeping our bodies active seems to promote our minds to do the same. Another is to figure out what our triggers are…are there circumstances that come up that make us want to take a break? What’s causing those triggers? Maybe it’s us that makes this happen? Are we overthinking simple things? Are we relying too much on others for our oneness?

Here are some ways to help you destress: https://chopra.com/articles/10-ways-to-de-stress-your-mind-and-body

We have too much going on in our lives to not take a moment to take care of ourselves. Take care of yourself. Log off of social media, turn off your phone, take a walk outside. Find minutes for yourself. Those minutes could change your life.

Exer-Soul

A week ago, I decided to get a reign on my health and I signed up for a free trial at a gym. The feels were there…being overweight and going to the gym has such a negative association that I often avoided it like the plague. When I lived in Shanghai, I joined a group called FitFam (this group can be found in major cities in China) and I started doing yoga. At least a few times a week. I remember my first class, it was 6:30am and I was scared and excited. I almost didn’t make it on time because China! And if you’ve lived in a monstrous city like Shanghai, you know it’s easy to get lost when biking or walking but not so much if you hail a taxi or call a driver.

I couldn’t believe I had gotten up at around 5:00am, got dressed and took the first train of the day to the inner city. I lived in Yangpu, a district south of Jing’an (city center), so it often times took me 30 minutes to an hour to commute, and this often meant a line transfer as well. But I made it! I did it! Every Monday and Tuesday for more than a month before I left, I went to yoga classes. I practiced and Joyberry studios (if you have a chance, please show your support for such an amazing space!), we practiced outside in Fuxing Park and at WeWork on West Nanjing. One day, I definitely added too much to my plate. I did 2 hours of dancing took a train to my 1 hour yoga class. That was the first time I’d ever put in so much effort to exercise.

What I’m saying is…find something you like to do. If you like to dance, go to a dance class. No matter what size you are! If you like yoga, go to a class. There are other people who have been in the same position. Shoot, I was in that position. I was scared of being judged because…here’s this fat chick trying to exercise. But I realized after watching a few YouTube videos, that it’s not about that. It’s about me! Everyone at the gym is there for almost the same reason. To get fit, lose weight, or promote a healthier lifestyle. But we all have our reason. Find out yours.

I’m not going to lie and say “oh, this is easy” or “oh, I just did it” because that’s not enough. Find your reason. If you need strength find it. Motivation can come from anyone and anywhere. If you even that the people closest to you won’t help you, look for an online community. Sometimes, they hold you more accountable than the people who you see everyday. My community is YouTube. My community is my best friend who went the same route. My strength comes from a promise I made to myself.

And talk to someone about it! I plan to see a dietitian, nutritionist, and a therapist because I know I am weak at points. I know that I’m not always self-motivated or enjoy the judgment that I believe working out can conjure inside my mind. My problem has never been eating, but it’s how I eat. What I eat. It’s always best to talk to people who are not on your side. That’s what important about therapy and speaking to someone. They’re unbiased. They’re trying to help you with a problem. They haven’t known you since you were born and see your countless “failures” (I write with quotations because every experience makes us who we are).

I hope that my words resonate with someone out there. If you need motivation, I’m here. You can message me on IG, YouTube, and basically anywhere. Let’s form a community. Let’s inspire.

Here is a wonderful YouTube video I found while at the gym. You’ll have to get past her workout routine if you want to hear her talk but she’s amazing and her words found a place in my exercise soul.