20/02/2016

My Lifelong Journey To Being A "Why Aren't You A Model Yet?" Level of Fitness/Hotness: Chapter 1- Being Semi-Fat and Doing Something About It Feels Better Than Just Being Semi-Fat


Disclaimer: Because I haven't gotten into the habit of having blog-ready photos (I have this notion that all the real bloggers just take photos in landscape, ready to be edited on VSCO or Photoshop, or whatever secret editing app they use that make their photos look like screen grabs from a Wes Anderson film), all the photos in this entry will be portraits and pretty shitty quality like the one above. Here at Sabeezknees, we have to make do with what we have.

I was supposed to write this about a week ago but I never found the time (read: I chose to watch binge-watch Youtube videos instead) to gather my thoughts about the subject. But today at work (update: I'm currently interning in Singapore!) curiosity got the best of me when I found a scale under the bathroom sink countertop and I decided to see all the progress I had been preaching about to people as well as in this blog. When I saw the numbers on the scale staring back at me from in between my feet, I felt that there was no better time to write this than today, when I found out that I'm back at the weight I started with when I began my fitness journey.

The only time I was ever considered skinny was when I had TB at about 6 years old; I was lanky and had a small appetite. But when I got better and had stopped taking medication, it was at around 3rd grade I started noticing weight gain. Even at the age of 9, I would grab my school uniform at the sides and wrap it around my back so I could see the shape of my tummy through the polo to check if it was too round. At that time, I had declared myself "safe" from being fat, but as I got older and transitioned into the perils of puberty, my tummy did get rounder, my waist became wider, and when I learnt about the significance of weight, I watched as my weight got heavier every time I stepped on the scale, and I had become the furthest from "safe" I had ever been.

Poorly cropped photo of me in 6th grade

I was the token chubby girl you knew in middle school: the pimples were at their prime, the braces were on, I was the only chubby bunny out of the 7 girls in 6th grade, and I was pathetically obsessed with this boy who wouldn't like me back, so I wrote about my sorrows in my Strawberry Shortcake diary and quoted a lot of Coldplay songs. I did 0 sports (except when I was dragged into water polo and track for a very brief period of time), ate a lot and hated myself for it... But somehow I didn't care enough to do anything about it. I mean, I still felt shitty about my fat body, but the concept of losing weight was beyond me. The furthest I had ever gotten to dieting at the time was when I would settle for 4 pieces of garlic bread instead of my regular Carbonara with garlic bread for post-Sunday brunch lunch (yes-- that is lunch after Sunday brunch).  Not once did I think to research on actual healthy eating and the only diet advice my parents gave me and still continue to give me is to peel the skin off Chicken McDo (meaning: peel the fun out of fried chicken) and to have ice cream only once a week.

But even though my braces were off and my face cleared out in high school, that feeling of being "too fat" never faded. Even when I was at my real prime when I was in the softball team in high school, perpetually tan, and took extra barre classes after practice in preparation for prom, I looked at my tagged photos on Facebook and the only thing I could see was what part of my body and face looked fat.


Me, being tan and thin in the very left in the second half of my prime in uni, the same time I drank regularly, ate like shit, and did little to no exercise... Also the calm before the storm and the beginning of my second round of weight gain 

I think the whole thing really started because people talked about how heavy I looked. There was one time in 10th grade when I found out (by invading someone's privacy on Facebook... it was very shitty of me to do) that two of my friends talked about how fat I was compared to my mom. I was hurt, and I cried about it a little bit, but it was ultimately my fault for being nosy, and I used that moment as a driving force when I needed that extra push in the gym and in practice. The times I was about to tap out at a barre class or when I was beat from softball, the words that I read that one time in 10th grade would repeat in my head on loop and would help me get me through that last stretch. It worked for the next two years of high school, but I think it also had became ingrained in my head that I was never good enough and made me ashamed that I didn't look like my mom (who was a runway model at one point until she got pregnant with my youngest brother yet still maintains more or less the same figure as when she was a model). 

So that feeling of being too fat lingered through my prime, but it really got to me when I put on what I consider to be "boyfriend weight," which is apparently the weight you put on when you're in a relationship. In the next year after I got a boyfriend, I started gaining the "it's OK if I put a little fluff because he'll love me anyway" weight by eating like shit and not exercising regularly... or at all. My parents told me up front that I had gotten bigger, which partly worried me into fitness but also fed that familiar feeling I knew so well. 

Fast forward to today, almost a year into my fitness journey, I was still riding the high of a new clean and jerk PR from earlier this morning, only to be shoved out of it and run over by the oncoming traffic of reality. Ever since I started this journey, I vowed not to step on the scale, as per Kayla Itsines' advice to not get discouraged. But today, after seeing a little progress in the mirror, in the fit of my clothes, and in the faint whisper of baby abs in the morning, I decided that it wouldn't hurt to see where I was relative to my goals. The number on the scale was a big smack on the face indeed and though I was pretty disheartened at first, I remembered that this morning, I lifted 37kg above my head. ME!!! Sabina!!! Weights!! Above my HEAD!!!! ...FITNESS?!?! I woke up at 7am today to fit in a workout before work! Who the hell am I?? In the lifting world, a 37kg clean and jerk for someone my size is chickenshit, but never in my life did I think I would be the type of person who could spend more than an hour in the gym, let alone lifting anything heavier than a puppy over my head.

Battle bruises from the gym! I love them

However, the same "too fat" feeling still lingers in my head from time to time, especially when I inevitably compare myself to girls much lighter and skinnier than me. But I just I think to myself, "can she lift heavier than me?" if the answer is probably not, then it stops bothering me. If the answer is yes holy shit look at that tiny girl go, then I've found my fitspiration, and that I need to add more kilos into my lifts because my thighs are probably 1/3 of her weight so I physically should be able to do more.

I like screen grabbing the part where I'm off the ground because it looks like I'm flying 

One of my main goals is to stop comparing myself all together, but for now, this will do. It's less on body weight and how "fat" I think I am compared to whoever, and focuses more on my performance in the gym, which I think is less self-deprecating and all in all makes me a happier person.

So this marks Chapter 1 of my fitness journey: the rise, the fall, the second rise, the second fall, and the eventual rise again of Sabina's #gainz. It's still ongoing as I'm in this long-standing experimental phase with the perfect diet that fits my love for food and love for my body, which I learnt were two different focuses when it comes to eating. But I learnt that this is ALL part of the process and I'm just at a bump on the road.

Ultimately, this is all one selfish ploy to share my fitness story with people on Instagram and become a famous enough fitsagrammer to attract sportswear sponsors who will send me free cute clothes. :P 

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