I am 5ft, 5inches tall. I used to be overweight at 150lbs. No joke.
I wasn’t always this way. In high school, I was a lean, mean athletic machine, keeping a consistent weight of 115-118lbs all four years. So what happened? America happened. I moved to New York for college, got a job that allowed me to afford expensive meals, became a foodie, ate all that American deep fried food, finished American portions, stress-ate, didn’t exercise, drank at least 2 venti-sized cups of coffee per day and voila! Fat Julienne. Please don’t laugh at the photos.
The funny thing is, I never thought I was fat because Americans were so much bigger. Despite all this weight gain, I remained a size Small to Medium. I thought I was fine. In hindsight, some of my body problems back then were probably because of my weight. I had a slight knee thing (not a sickness, not an injury but a “thing”) from years of high impact volleyball training but this “thing” became worse when I was in New York. I would have swollen knees and would feel pain when navigating New York’s famous city streets and subways. It never occurred to me that it was because my joints were creaking under the weight. Now it makes sense though because I don’t feel that pain anymore. Now it’s just a knee “thing” again. Thankfully.
Anyway, I moved home in August 2008 and was bombarded with “you’re fat” comments from family, friends and relatives. Filipinos really have nothing better to say sometimes but I guess they were right. Still, it hurt to hear. The worst though was shopping, I could never fit into any of the Asian sizes. The Asian Large is an American Small. It didn’t take long for me to move out of my house and into Gold’s Gym.
I know it doesn’t sound like much but coming from years of unhealthy living in America, going back into the Filipino lifestyle (portions, food, humidity, sweating, criticism, Asian sizes, etc) really helped the pounds shed off. I’m a walking example that America’s dietary system is really not good. All those huge portions and deep fried food are probably laden with additives and other unhealthy chemicals that lead to weight gain. No matter how bad our sisig is, their burgers are worse, I think. Our white rice is much healthier than their pizzas and pastas.
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