Losing Weight in China:Spin Addiction Edition

My precious!!!!

My precious!!!!

This  is  the second installment  of  my weight loss in China series.  Getting healthy is a huge lifestyle change. I had to drastically revamp my old unhealthy habits and swap them out for healthier habits.  So basically I changed one addiction for another in a way.  However I would rather have  an exercise addiction to a food addiction any day of the week! I am more addicted to how amazing exercise makes me feel.  I feel like I am on top of the world! It is  like a natural high. I am definitely a happier person now than I was when I first came  to China two years.

Many people mistake my zest  for exercise as an obsession. “Obsession is the lazy person’s word for dedication.”(I stole that from someone) I post this because, I am excited about the changes that I am making to my body and mind. Of course I get people who chugged a barrel of Hatorade that make negative comments about my weight loss. I am going to state here publicly, that I am in no way anti fat. This is my personal weight loss and health journey and not a pulpit for people to spread their fat acceptance spiel. This is a new trend that is occurring in America and it is spreading some  division in the overweight community. One thing,  that I don’t like is the generalized belief in the fat acceptance community is that overweight people who choose to lose weight have low self esteem and don’t love and accept themselves. Yup, I hear this one a lot. Truth, I was not happy when I was fat because I was plagued with health problems and I was tired,depressed and had no zest for life.  My mom died directly related to her obesity and she was only 56. So my weight loss is a tribute to her and wanting to live a higher quality life.

Weight loss since beginning the gym

Weight loss since beginning the gym

My newest love is spin class. When I first  came  to the gym I couldn’t even last 10 minutes in a spin class. I worked  with my trainer Lucas and was able to complete a spin class. Still though I only took it occasionally. I was more of an elliptical trainer, belly dancing and Zumba girl. Well things changed, I am a spin convert! Spin is easier on my ankle, more fun and I burn more calories. I have noticed that since taking spin my weight loss got kicked up a notch. My legs, booty and stomach are firm and there is less fat. I take spin class about 5 days a week. I like the people in my spin class,  we are like a small community of hardcore enthusiast. They even saved a bike for me when I was running late.

IMG_3894I also took my walking up a notch and recently bought a Xiaomi fitness wristband. It calculates  your steps ,calories and sleep pattern. You can sync it with an app on the phone. The company also has a scale that I am going  to get!!! I have started to take Oreo out for longer walks now and it benefits me and her at the same time. Plus I have many friends who use the same product  so we can compete with each other  to see who has the most steps in a day. This motivates me  to be the best me that I can be.

As of a few days ago I have lost 67 pounds since coming to China!!! I am within spitting distance from my goal. I have about 33 more pounds to go. However this  is  the hardest part of the battle. This is when I have  to dig deep and remember why I am doing this. Jiayou Amber!. My goal is  to climb  that mountain.

My Brickhouse figure is coming back

My Brickhouse figure is coming back

Social Experiment: The Superficiality of the Chinese Culture

http://youtu.be/NRbtNxf7Cu8

This is part 1 of an ongoing social experiment that I have been conducting since coming to China.  Since my arrival in China I have noticed an ongoing obsession with appearance. It is worse than in The Western World. In the west at least we have a variety of standards that defines beautiful. Here in China not so much. 

  

Their ideal of beauty is so far fetched that not even the average Chinese woman can attain it. So it creates a system of woman going through any means to reach something that in unattainable unless you get plastic surgery. To them beauty is pale white smooth alabaster skin, big doe eyes , slim body( to the extreme) heart shaped face, pointy chin and long straight dark hair. I don’t know many women that look like that that aren’t anime characters.   

They also view Westerners as beautiful but you have to have white skin. Anything that is white is beautiful to them. They even consider white dogs to be cuter than brown and black dogs! So if you are white and slim you are a god or goddess.  It is their culture and it will not change. It is probably the hardest thing to have to face in an Asian country. I have to look in the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful and not a fat ugly monster.

  

  

It isn’t as bad as when I first came to China. With my Afro textured hair, chocolate complexion and full body, I was the antithesis of their ideal of beauty.  The Chinese didn’t know what to make of me. So I was not treated kindly. I was made fun of and laughed at. This really lowered my already low self esteem. So on the outside I was smiling on the inside I was dying.

Then I begin losing weight and I noticed how people changed. People smiled at me more. They approached me more. Then I began changing my hairstyles. When I wore a wig my coworkers told me I was so pretty and all I needed to do was to lose weight because a boy only looks at a good figure. (Cue eye rolls) 

  

After I hated the falseness of wigs I went back to natural hair. I notice that again my collegues distanced themselves. I had one student that was repelled by my natural hair. Oh and I got parents that complained about my hair. I also had a parent say I was too fat to teach her child. I have students call me fat Laoshi. 

  

I decided to get braids. Well this style was different than the Chinese norms. The kids were fascinated by my hair as were my Chinese friends. They thought it was amazing. This is when I had strangers touch my hair.  They thought my hair was cool and fashionable. It was eccentric. I was also losing a lot of weight at the same. So the Chinese people were very nice to me during this phase. 

  

I got another braided style that was curly and I had black and red braids. I loved it. The Chinese didn’t. This is when I was called Hei Gui on many occasions. One of my more verbal students said my hair was ugly. My coworkers just kept glaring at my hair. One had the gall to ask me if I actually like my hair that way.  That  hair was way too much from their  beauty zone. On a side note, Western men loved the big hair and I got some interest from them. So big sexy hair is a turn on for western men. 

  

Next I got a Brazilian Blowout and I will say this. Big humongous difference to how I am treated. This hair looks more like their hair. So I am more accepted. Not viewed as an oddity anymore. I have noticed more Chinese men checking me out. Also my OKCupid ad is getting way more responses by men of all cultures. Once I put up the straight hair pictures my stock level went up. I think the straight hair enhances my features more. I have two OKCupids profiles. One is an older one where I am heavier and with my natural tightly curled hair.  The other is more recent and I am smaller. My old one only gets an occasional response by African men. 

  

My experiment is not fully complete. I have to see how I am treated here once I hit goal weight . My budding  self esteem might have something to do with how I am getting treated as well. When I first came to China, I never took pictures. I hated looking in the mirror so that attitude may have influenced how others saw me. Now I am selfie goddess and like the me looking back at me in the mirror. That attitude maybe attracting people was well.  So this may actually skew the effects of my experiment. 

Even though China is a superficial society it did give me a swift kick up the arse and was the fuel that I needed to make a well needed change in myself.

http://youtu.be/WiMihRqjbcE

Please click on my YouTube videos, they pertain to the post. 

Losing Weight in China

  

Finally, I have time to write a post about my weightloss in China. It has been a long and ungoing process. I have had my ups , downs and stalls. Basically like life but I am always determined to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle. In the US, I gained weight due to stress and a less than hospitable working environment. In fact, I put on 60 pounds.  I was very sad and disliked myself immensely. The extra weight cause me a great deal of physical pain. My ankles were always swollen. My back was going out on me. I didn’t walk I wobbled. I was about 240 pounds and at 5’5 that is very heavy. My mom died at 56 due to obesity related issues.

  

So I decided, that I needed to start my life anew. This and other factors made me decide that I wanted to teach abroad. So I went to China as a fat girl. Honestly life in China as a fat person is not easy. Especially in Nanchang. I was made fun of  constantly and laughed at.  Since things are equipped for super tiny people it makes things extremely awkward. Like on the bus I basically took up two seats. It was embarrassing. I also had trouble stepping up on the bus. It took great effort.  The most embarrassing thing was when I got into a crowded elevator while I was teaching at the university. In China the elevator only holds a certain weight limit, this one was 1200 kg. if it is too much the elevator doesn’t move. Well I was the last one on and  I had a class on the 10th floor. So students had to get off. Not one, not two but three students.  so I weighed more than 3 Chinese students. They were laughing at the fat  Laoshi. I had to bite back the tears.

The original way I began losing weight was not healthy but it worked for me. I ate breakfast Baozi, steamed egg and douja  every morning. Then lunch with a little rice with meat bad veggies. I didn’t eat dinner or if I did. I had fruit.  I sometimes had a salad.  I walked every morning, I lost weight. My body adjusted to the msg level in the food. 

I then wanted to lose weight quicker so I opted for a liquid protein diet. I had a doctor prescribe that diet to me years ago when I gained even more weight due to my mom’s death. It worked so well.  Honestly , I was in a hurry. I just wanted to be accepted quicker. I was sick of being fat. I had one meal a day. It was lunch and shakes for breakfast and dinner. I also took L Carnitine and walked my little Baobao over campus.  That dog loved to walk for hours.  I went from  245 pounds to 218 pounds. Mind you still fat but more mobile.

This was around the time I met Jason the Jerk and he stressed me out so much I returned to my comfort eating. Basically he was so cruel saying I was fat and ugly like a man. If I didn’t lose weight he would leave me. I snuck in candy when he wasn’t around. I went back up to 230 pounds.

Then a miraculous thing happened I dumped the arsehole. I went on the happiness diet. I was dieting but so happy I actually ended up losing weight. I went back to 220 pounds. I stayed that weight for a few months. I partied I was a free woman.

  

I started Dukan diet, which basically is a low carb diet. I lost 12 pounds in 10 days. Then I got back to under 200 pounds. I started working out and my trainer Lucas put me on a more balanced diet. However my weightloss slowed down. So I stopped eating dinner and just had fruit and the weight came off but I had to do a lot of cardio and my knees hurt a bit but I I got down to 185 pounds!!! In China of course that is still fat but only kinda fat not really fat as before. Do I still had students call me fat teacher.  

  

Then I met Jonathan and I started dating and socializing and stopped going to the gym. I didn’t gain weight during the dating phase. I still ate relatively healthy and still walked Oreo.  I drank which for me is a no no while dieting. I maintained then  I got utterly and tragically dumped. It was so humiliating and we have friends in common. When your male friends apologize to you for the shitty behavior of another male you know it was bad. Anyway I continued to socialize but drank more than normal and turned to my comfort food. I was crying on the inside and wore a mask on the outside.

   

   

I was like a zombie and I finally woke up. I needed a change. So I decided to start the Dukan Diet again. In all my dieting experiences low carb  diets worked the best for my body in regards to weightloss. I tweaked the diet a bit. I have coffee everyday and I have moderate fat. I find a diet that is too low in fat slows down my weightloss. Once in awhile I have fruit but only on my Protein and Vegetable day. I am also incorporating the gym and low carb dieting. I am only going to the gym 4-5 days a week. This diet you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym. I just have to be more careful because low carb and working out  doesn’t go hand in hand sometimes. I also decided to take swing dancing lessons. I think during the heartbreak stage I gained 15 pounds. I just completed the Attack phase of Dukan. I am at 186.7, so now I am determined to get down to my goal weight of 140. My trainer was trying to get me to go to 125-130 but I told him I am not Chinese, I know what looks nice on me. So I will continue to updated everyone on my weightloss.

   

   

One thing I need to work on is changing how I deal with stress. If I don’t learn to have a positive relationship with food, I will never end this weight gain and weightloss lifestyle. This is more self reflected and I am going to start a seperate blog about my food addiction and the reasons why I eat. It really is a form of self abuse on my end.  I need to alter the way that I handle stress. It is a common theme in my weight gain and it isn’t healthy to be a yo yo dieter.