In the Famous Words of RuPaul…My Favorite Drag Queen
In the Famous Words of RuPaul…My Favorite Drag Queen – “If you can’t love yourself then how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen?” The lyrics of her fabulous song Can I Get An Amen featuring Martha Washington sums it all up for me! I must take care of me, love me and nourish me before I can do it for anyone else.
“Success is nothing more than moving from failure to failure enthusiastically” – Winston Churchill
I’ve failed and failed but I keep trying
I’ve been overweight my entire life and for a few short stints in my life I was at a normal weight range but for the most part – I’ve struggled and battled the bulge in belly fat. It seems my body type is B&B (boobs and belly) and the rest of me is normal size! I will be totally honest in saying that I am ultra jealous and envious of anyone who can eat anything they want and never have to worry about their waistline expanding! I have to carefully monitor my intake or I continue to pack on the pounds.
I have never seriously tried changing my eating habits until this past year. I did Weight Watchers a year ago and I quit after 6 months because I felt so restricted. I want to continue to eat good tasting food because I am passionate about cooking and eating. But I am taking steps to slowly make changes that will stick and I am hoping that the formula I am using this time around will be the winning combination.
No yo-yo dieting for me!
I refuse to take pills or find some miracle instant weight dropping method because those always never work for me. I end up packing on more pounds than I lost and then I feel defeated and the cycle of negativity starts all over again. This time around I decided that I would spend a little more time learning a few basic things and making smaller changes so I don’t feel like everything is changing so fast. I’ve been doing the same bad habits and making the same bad choices about nutrition and exercise for years and years so creating new and healthy eating and exercise habits will take time to change.
No more fast food
No more fast food was easy to change and stick to since Hunny Bunny and I discussed and committed to meeting some financial goals this year and we tightened our budget so dining out was the first to go. We have a small jar that we toss loose coins into and once we save up enough for our favorite Panda Express Family Feast we will spend it and enjoy it. But it takes a few months to save $40.49 (the cost of feeding our family of 5 the family feast) so our kids are motivated to scan the floors of grocery stores, sidewalks and anywhere they go to find any loose coins to add to the jar.
I do most of the cooking at home for the family except when it comes to grilling. Hunny Bunny is the master of the grill and he gets a little bit irked when I try to jump in and offer my help. Since I do almost all of the meal planning making changes was fairly easy. The first thing I did was to stop buying processed convenience foods. You know the type – it comes in a bag, disguised as a way to help make life easier when it’s really nothing more than a way to cut your life short. I used to buy these bagged meals all the time. Popcorn chicken, breaded chicken patties, frozen meals but no more.
Better meal planning
Convenience food is so expensive and we were always hungry after eating it so I decided to spend more of our budget on fresh meats and bulk up with fresh fruits and vegetables. I grew up eating Korean cuisine since my mother is full-blooded Korean and I found that I kept craving the fresh and flavorful dishes that I ate as a child growing up in a Korean home. I also knew that most of what we ate was not processed and the fermented dishes were especially good for gut health so I decided to overhaul our diet.
The deep desire to learn to make my own homemade kimchi really propelled me forward with this change. I was used to eating a bowl of rice with pungent and tangy kimchi and I realized I had deprived myself of this nutrient rich condiment because I was used to eating junk foods. My husband bought me a new fridge this year so our old one is in the garage and all of my stinky fermented concoctions can be housed out there and hubby’s nose isn’t assaulted every time he opens the fridge so I really have no excuses as to why I can’t make it and eat it.
The great thing about making my own homemade kimchi is that I know exactly what I put in the recipe and it’s completely fresh and clean. Every vegetable is raw and I add apple for sweetness and the only thing that is cooked is the kimchi porridge which is made of sweet rice flour and water. The starch in the rice flour feeds the bacteria that ferments the kimchi so this step is very important.
Meal prep is the most important part of it all
I had read once that taking the time to prep your meal, to chop each vegetable and to enjoy the process of cooking your meal is as satisfying as eating it. I find that I am actually eating less in portions now that meal prep is so extensive. The time savers that we think are doing us favors are really sucking the very life out of us in a big fat lie! I bought into for years but no more! Much like learning to coupon, I will master this in my life, no matter how many times I might try and fail. I am only a failure if I refuse to keep trying until I succeed!
Have you ever noticed that you feel like you are starving when you start cooking a big meal, like Thanksgiving dinner or a family feast for many guests? When you start out, your tummy is growling and you’re ravished with hunger but by the time you finish preparing the meal you are not the least bit hungry or interested in eating? Why is that???
Because handling the food, smelling the food, tasting the food to make sure it’s seasoned properly is enough to satisfy our desire to devour everything in sight! Isn’t that crazy??? My mind was blown away by this fact but the more I am in the kitchen, preparing this delicious and tasty food, the more I find it to be true on a consistent basis! I can’t currently find the specific article that I read to link for you but I can say that I do agree that smelling and handling the food is very satisfying for me. I also have to take small tastes to make sure the food is seasoned properly and I learned that just a taste or two is very satisfying.
Why I flunked out of Weight Watchers
When I did follow the Weight Watchers (WW) diet plan I would still miss fried foods and taking just a bite or two was enough to give the satisfaction of knowing I got to have a little and I didn’t waste all of my points on non-nutritious foods. The reason that Weight Watchers was so difficult for me to follow is because they assign you a points value to follow and the more weight you lose, the more your points value decreases and you are suppose to eat less. The only problem is that everyone I watched on YouTube who talked about doing WW kept trying to find ways to eat more without feeling hungry with food that tasted like cardboard. I tried to make egg white omelets and fill up on salads at lunch but I kept feeling hungry and tired so I decided to break up with WW and move on to the low carb high fat diet but I found that I only lasted about a week because it’s impossible for me to give up rice and substituting mashed cauliflower made me very gassy.
Recipes coming soon!
I have never written down any of my recipes when cooking korean cuisine because anyone who knows a Korean mom will know that we don’t measure with utensils. It’s finger and palm measurements and the same is true for cooking rice in a rice cooker. You fill the rice to the line your mom points to and you wash the rice, then you fill the water and measure if it’s right by using your hand. If the water reaches your knuckle then it’s the right amount, anything more or less has to be adjusted. The same is true for seasoning the food, you measure with your hands or “eyeballing” it.
I am taking the time to actually measure and adjust the seasonings in my recipes before posting them. I use a little less salt and sodium because I have hypertension and my goal is to resolve it with weight loss and eventually get off my medication. I am also not a big fan of fish sauce and raw seafood and I’ve had to modify my recipes to suit my taste. I am also working with my husband to create more YouTube videos of my Korean recipes! Subscribe to my channel The Korean Couponer to see the latest videos when I upload them to the channel!
Exercise is a 4-letter word to me
Exercise…..sigh…..it’s a four-letter word in my opinion. I’ve always hated to hear it and I hate doing it. But not anymore because I’ve learned a thing or two to change my mindset about it! I never found anything that I actually enjoyed doing – until now! My husband was a runner in his younger years and I would tag along to cheer him on when he did 5K and 10K races but I would never participate because I find running to be so boring. As stupid as this sounds – I didn’t realize I needed to find something I enjoy doing that doesn’t feel like exercise but gets my heart rate up. Pretty obvious, right? Ironically it just wasn’t that obvious to me for so many years!
I will just be completely candid and say that sex is an awesome cardio workout! I found that I really enjoyed this type of cardio and I told Hunny Bunny that I would be willing to commit to it 3 times a week. I make sure to glance at the clock every so often to make sure that I do 15-20 minutes of heart pumping cardio. The endorphin rush is incredible because when you “climax” after getting your heart rate up the endorphins flood your body in literally one second and I don’t feel sore or tired because endorphins are the “feel good” hormones and I feel energized because of the surge of estrogen that is released during intercourse.
Ladies – I hate to state the obvious, but if you want to use sex as your cardio, make sure you are the one working out in this department because it’s your heart rate that has to increase!! Getting good and sweaty is good for you too because the sweat flushes out some of the toxins in your body and we store toxins in the fat in our bodies so work to melt that fat!!
I also found that I enjoy doing the Cupid Shuffle and Merengue in my living room with my kids. My daughter especially loves to dance so it’s easy to get a dance partner and we laugh and sing while dancing. We also spend a few times a week stretching with a video I found on Amazon’s Fire TV. I have also started planking but I am in the early baby stages and can barely hold myself up for more than a minute. But each time I do it, I can hold out just a little longer and I know that having a strong core will help bust this belly gut!
The key is find what you enjoy doing. I have committed to walk my kids to and from school this year. The school is less than a 1/4 mile from my house and I really can’t justify wasting the gas when our feet work just fine. It also gives me time to talk to my kids about their day while walking and it gets me and the toddler out of the house. I get a little bit of strengthening since I am pushing/pulling my 22lb toddler in his wagon uphill. My toddler loves to take a stroll in the wagon so not walking is not an option because there’s no good reason to justify it. I would feel so guilty for depriving my 1.5 year old of a daily ride and my health benefits tremendously from a daily walk or two.
Small shifts instead of major changes worked for me
I had to find a new way to think about exercise and nutrition and equating it to my struggle with learning to coupon was the best way for me to approach it. When I followed the advice of others in the past and tried to stick to their tight exercise and diet regiments I felt overwhelmed, defeated and deprived. This time around I feel empowered, in total control and I am enjoying the process. I also realized that the more changes I make, the better I feel about myself and the more confidence and self-esteem I gain over time.
I was a size 2 and weighed in at only 121 lbs when I was 26 years old and the sad thing is that I didn’t enjoy my new body because I still felt like a fat girl in my skinny body. I was also anorexic and struggling with my health at the time. I battled depression and a slue of health issues and I might open up and share my story about it one day, but not today. I ended up winning battle in my mind but I gained all of the weight back after I started eating again because I never learned how to properly take care of my body. I went right back into my old bad habits and I looked like my old fat self again, only this time I was caught in a cycle of self-defeat.
Prioritize what needs to change and start with the most pressing issue
I took a serious interest in my overall health 7 years ago when I my daughter was born. I decided to quit smoking since I got a job at the hospital and I thought it would be insane to continue smoking while working in the ICU. It was not easy to quit and I succeeded with just one attempt. I used nicotine patches to wean myself off of cigarettes and I can honestly say that those 12 weeks was more or less a blur in my life. Thank goodness I worked in healthcare because my nurses and doctors really encouraged me and supported me through that difficult transition.
I had plenty of motivation to quit and overcome the addiction because I literally saw patients dying from COPD and one patient had a lung removed because she refused to quit smoking after having lung cancer. I was literally scared straight and seeing the effects of smoking on the body was the best exposure for me and my life.
I also worked with plenty of doctors and nurses who took their own health seriously and being saturated by “health fanatics” and their constant information overload rubbed off on me. I’ve been struggling for the last 7 years to find what works for me as far as lifestyle changes. Ironically nutrition and exercise are very personal much like career choices so it’s something that will take time to figure out if you’re struggling like me. But you owe it to yourself to figure out what works for you.
What’s your winning combination?
Money sure can buy a lot of happiness but it won’t be able to purchase 2 things in life – more time and more health. I used to lie to myself and think that I didn’t have the time to take proper care of myself but I am finding that I was really abusing myself by neglecting my health. I have one more really big motivating reason to get healthy and stay healthy and that’s my family. I got some devastating news this earlier this year and it made me take a long hard look at myself and think long and hard about the example I was setting for my children.
Hunny Bunny and I wanted to try and have one more baby because I am soon approaching 40 and we always wanted one more girl to complete our family. My OB/GYN recommended that we really think it over because I developed severe pre-eclampsia with our youngest son and I had to deliver him 6 weeks early. Luckily he only spent 11 days in the NICU and he has been healthy and developing without a hitch ever since. I have a 40% chance or greater of developing it again in a subsequent pregnancy and my high blood pressure doesn’t help along with my obesity.
Losing weight, getting healthy and off of my hypertension medication won’t change our minds about having another baby because it’s too risky for us. Realizing that this door in my life had to close because of my past poor choices hit me hard. I kept wondering how many other doors will close because I keep making dumb choices about what I put in my body and how I failed to maintain my health. I decided that I’ve made way too many excuses and it was painful enough to make a change. I also decided to take full responsibility and accountability for my actions. No held a gun to my head or force fed me pizza, hamburgers, french fries and chocolate and admitting that to myself was not easy.
You’re not alone! You’re never alone!!
If you are struggling, if you are tired and frustrated then please know that you are not alone because I am right there with you! Let’s encourage each other to keep trying, to keep going, to keep seeking the things that will work for us and to hang in there because there is a winning combination out there for each and every one of us.
For me, it’s getting back to my roots in eating healthy Korean cuisine and finding ways to exercise that are fun and easy to do. One day I hope to work up to intensive exercise regimens like P90X or Insanity but for today, for right now, it’s cardio with hubby in the bedroom, Cupid Shuffle with my daughter, walking to and from school five days a week with my kids, planking for 1 minute and stretching with the insanely flexible Korean guy on Fire TV.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this combination works for me this time around! And even if it doesn’t, it’s just one more method that I can cross off my list and will get me one step closer to the one that works! If you need some inspiration then please watch listen to RuPaul cheering us on to love ourselves!
Are we in the same boat? Have you made a decision to take charge of your health and make better choices? Or are you struggling and need some motivation, inspiration and encouragement? Comment below and share your story with me so we can encourage one another and connect!