I have had a very trying couple of weeks. It has been one of the more difficult stretches of time I’ve had in Korea in the two years that I’ve been here and that’s because, simply put, I can’t seem to shake feeling down and defeated. I feel, though, that it is necessary to discuss one of my lower weeks as I am a big proponent of honesty and being open about not only my successes, but my failures, too. But, it’s hard though. It’s hard to be forthcoming about shitty eating habits and fights with my partner and a lack of exercise. All of these things seemed to permeate my life in the past few days. But, after an excellent night at soccer on Monday and a so-so run last night, I am feeling a bit better, even I if I still feel de-motivated.
So, in my eyes, I have been a failure recently. I have failed in many ways, but the biggest way I’ve failed has been in what I have been eating and the lack of cooking in my home. I’ve been turning to convenient and expensive options to feed myself, knowing that it won’t make me feel good and won’t fuel me in the best way possible. I don’t cook for myself because I’ve been lazy. I haven’t been seeing the bigger picture, and in a way, I think I’m trying to sabotage myself because I’m really good at fucking up my own progress. I’ve been putting off running because I am scared I won’t be able to run as long as I need to be successful. I’ve been sleeping until 1 or 2 every day because I would much rather sleep than face the day sometimes. But, after what I deem to be an excellent weekend, and many necessary, fulfilling conversations, I finally feel like I’m moving back in the right direction.
This weekend, I spent a lot of time surrounded by excellent people and talking with them about the numerous problems bouncing around in my brain. I had an awesome dinner with two lovely women on Saturday night and wandered around with them downtown, beers in hand, just enjoy the nighttime and this random store we found ourselves in. It was a sunglasses shop, but it was full of random shit.
For example, this room of just blue leaves. Either way, it was fantastic.
The next day, I went to the city of Busan with Elvie and we had such a great time faffing around in different parts of the city. We went to the biggest mall in Busan, Shinsegae, and found a PF Changs, which was just amazing, honestly. Shinsegae is humongous and it was fun exploring and looking at all of the different and far too expensive shops housed inside the massive structure. They’re currently building one in Daegu, which is set to be the biggest mall in Korea! Yikes!
We also ate all of the food. I’m pretty sure we went on a food tour. I ate homemade sausages, sushi, a bacon ranch cheeseburger, drank a nutella marshmellow milkshake, and had dinner looking over the Gwangali beach, which is one of the most beautiful places in Korea, in my opinion.
I tried my hardest not to feel guilty about all the food I was eating as I was also walking an extensive amount. But, the reality of my lack of exercise throughout the previous week (except walking) and the added knowledge of two days of heavy drinking, made me feel huge and bloated. In reality, I know I didn’t gain any weight, and I enjoyed all the food I ate, but there is a certain relief that comes when you can recognize the difference in food choices and how they affect you both physically and mentally. I enjoyed my day of eating all of the food, yes, but it is a reminder that I cannot eat that way every day again. It all comes back to the idea of balance– balance between food tours and being responsible and respectful with what I put inside my stomach. There is a bigger picture here, so while I’m eating for daily benefits, I am also eating for future benefits. I’m thankful for the reminders that my food choices are important, even if in the moment, it seems like they aren’t.
I had a victory on Monday, though. I’ve been playing soccer with a bunch of ladies in Daegu since March and every week, it seems like it’s gotten progressively easier for me to play, run, and keep up with the other players who are, by far, more in shape than I am. When I started playing, it was so easy to get winded because I wasn’t used to running, and I was miserable, so I would count down the minutes until I could leave and go home. But on Monday, I was running up and down the field and it was over before I knew it.
I was feeling so good about myself and my progress. I felt like I was finally growing into my body love and appreciation. But, the next day, my partner disclosed his weight to me and I weigh a substantial amount more than he does, which sent me into a very real hate spiral. I was so upset.
I think, as women, we are taught that we should be thin and delicate and smaller than our partners. We should be able to be picked up and swung around and carried on his back and any number of bullshit ideas that contribute to our negative feelings about ourselves. I’ve found out that a number of my girlfriends weigh more, or have weighed more than their partners. Some of them say it doesn’t bother them and others professed that it did, indeed, mess with their heads, even if it was just a little bit. I spent the whole day obsessing over the idea that my partner weighed so much less than me. I used to to shit all over my self-worth. I used it to beat myself up, say negative things about myself, convince myself I didn’t deserve him because I weighed more than him. It was ridiculous the lengths I took this number on a scale and what kind of ideas rest on the concept of weight. I started getting angry about it, and I went out last night and ran a 5k. I ran and I sweat and I pushed and I achieved, and motherfucker, I am SO MUCH MORE than a FUCKING NUMBER. I am SO MUCH MORE than 108.5kgs. I am so much more than 239 pounds.
So, I put together a collage of my body from April, then July, and last month.
My body has changed and my body will continue to change, but my success in this life, and in the endeavor to be healthy does not rely solely on the amount of weight I have lost. Yes, it’s nice to see a physical number reflected on a scale, but it does not define me and the capabilities of my body. The inches I’ve lost is a nice reminder of the work I’ve put in, but what I can do now without feeling winded, without wanting to quit– those things matter so much more to me than numbers or some sort of other bullshit that seeks to qualify who I am as a person or what I’m worth.
Fuck the scale. Fuck numbers. Those things aren’t me. Those things aren’t my heart, my determination, my drive, my intelligence. Those numbers don’t represent my close friendships, my relationship with my very loving partner, and my future successes. FUCK THE SCALE.
Don’t ever let a fucking number tell you who you are.