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Thursday, May 18, 2017

How to Stop the Blame Game

I used to love McDonald's. I'd eat their Chicken Mcnuggets, their grilled chicken burgers and their soft serve ice cream. I didn't have time to cook and was on a budget. I also loved their Happy Meals since they have smaller portions and comes with a toy. Depending on what toy they have, I'd sometimes buy the Meal just for the toy. I also ate Healthy Choice T.V. dinners. I'd pop them in the microwave & presto -dinner! Then, I'd watch my favorite shows on T.V while I ate. Little did I know that eating processed foods regularly was so bad for my health and weight.

I blamed myself for "being fat", I felt ashamed of my body and hated my tummy. Beautiful women have "flat abs" and I didn't. So, I went on a diet and joined a running group. When I first started to run, I hated it. I was slow and got winded easily. I wanted to give up so many times, but I kept pushing myself. I stuck to it, I ate less and I lost weight! I was so proud of myself. I ran more, ate less and got the natural high from being "healthy". I went lost over 45 pounds in less than a year. At one point, I weighed around 100 pounds and I felt "great". At 5 foot 9, I felt like a "big fat pig" before my transformation and didn't like to wear a swimsuit. After my weight lost, I wore my new swim suit with pride. I got rid of my tummy. Little did I know that I was anorexic and harming my health.

Luckily, my mom got concerned enough to intervene and dragged me to see a doctor. I was so mad at her then. I blamed her for telling me that I needed to lose weight in the first place. In fact, I was a chubby kid and growing up in Hong Kong where almost everyone is smaller and skinnier than I was got me the nickname "Fat Girl". My family was the first to call me "Fat" and made me think there was something wrong with me. I had low self-esteem and felt bad about my body. When I finally took control of my body and my weight, I felt good about myself. Yet my mom was trying to take it away. We argued and fought, but I finally gave in because she made me feel guilty. The doctor warned me about the harm that I was doing to myself. She pointed out that I was too thin - my body did not have enough nutrients to menstruate, my teeth and my bones will go bad if I continue. She persuaded me to add healthy, plant-based and whole food to my diet and to stop running. She asked me why I like to run, I told her that I felt free and happy when I ran. She suggested other low-impact exercises that I could try to see which ones I liked. She literally saved my life. I wish more doctors are like her.

I found that I like yoga and walking. I've been doing both since then. Yoga teaches compassion and non-judgement. It's a mind-body exercise that helps me tune in to my breathe and listen to my body. It helps quiet my inner critic as I focus on the present moment. I grew aware of the Blame Game that most of us are playing. I started to be more accountable for my own thoughts and actions. I still feel "fat" and "unattractive", but I catch myself and remind myself that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. As women, we are bombarded by the media on how we should look. We compare ourselves to other "beautiful" women and feel lacking. We get sucked in to the lie that if we buy this or that, we'd look and feel better. It's a vicious cycle that is bad for our health and well-being. So, stop the Blame Game and join me on The Kindness Revolution. Be kind to yourself and others in thoughts, words and deeds. Set the intention to be kind each day. Let's take back control of our health and our lives.

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