On Trying to Be Healthy (and Fit)

Since the beginning of the year, Joel and I have mutually agreed to start making healthier choices to better our lives. It was an honest and conscious effort that however, didn’t actually come into fruition until about halfway through the year, the beginning of June, and we didn’t really stick to until about August.

We made baby steps that ultimately revolved around these resolutions: veering away from unhealthy chips and snacks, avoiding soft drinks, hydrating hardcore, trying to lessen fast food consumption, cooking healthier food, making an effort to actually understand nutrition labels, shopping smart at the grocery store, and two of the hardest adaptations we’ve had to do: counting calories and running fives times a week.

As for me, the decision to be healthy and the changes I’ve been making to reinforce that decision, if I’m being completely honest, wasn’t primarily intended for me to lose weight. Granted, I’ve always been overweight (my height and age dictate that I am not in the “normal” recommended weight bracket), and me not wanting to shed the pounds, per se, back then didn’t mean I didn’t have any insecurities about my weight. But I’ve always loved food so much that decreasing my food intake AKA “going on a diet” had always been the stuff of nightmares. I live for rice (hello, I’m Asian!) and noodles and pasta too much to know that taking carbs out of my diet was out of the question.

Fortunately, I found the happy, middle ground: proper portion control. There are days when I indulge: during special occasions and when I eat out and stuff, but for the most part, I’d like to think that I’ve been keeping at it with a disciplined approach.

I use a an app that helps me monitor my calories. I even got a kitchen scale to adequately weigh my food. It was hard at first, and it especially took a toll on me. I enjoy cooking, and I didn’t want to be policing my every move in the kitchen.  It’s still a bit unnerving sometimes to always have to count and measure and look up information on what a good amount of a certain type of food is recommended, but it gets easier each day. And I’m glad to have found useful resources on the internet on cooking and preparing healthy meals.

With running, oh my god was it hard at first. I’ve never really been into any activity that would require me to exert any physical effort, so getting into running was an absolute challenge. I was weak at the beginning, to say the least; I couldn’t even hold a pace of 4 mph for two freaking minutes without gasping for breath and feeling like death. It was so frustrating, and I mistook Joel’s cheering and motivation for criticism and condemnation. There were even a few times that it stirred arguments between us.

We’re almost three months into this whole fitness journey, and I’m happy to be seeing progress within myself and positive results. From being a self-proclaimed carb-loving couch potato, there are days when I actually look forward to our runs. It’s also quite empowering to know what I’m putting in my body, learning about nutrients from food, and controlling my portions. It’s liberating to know that I am in charge of my self.

Fast forward to today, running five times a week (it’s still a struggle every single day, and I still have my off days – not going to lie) and watching my calories make me feel better about myself – as a whole. It also 100% helps that Joel’s in this with me. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

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