Post # 1
Anybody else struggling with their weight/body image issues in the E. Asian community?
I’m trying to lose weight, but at the same time, sometimes I just don’t care. 5 years ago, I was so skinny. I wore size 00. I like the way I looked, but I was pretty unhappy in life. When I started dating FI, my weight would go up and down. Every time we were together, I would gain weight. Every time we were apart for break, I would lose it.
I stopped exercising entirely, and gained about 40 pounds my senior year. Since FI and I have been together (he worked and lived with me over the summer), I’ve been struggling to lose the weight. I’m more content as a person, but I don’t like how heavy I look and feel. I can’t fit into my clothes anymore since I’m a size 8 now. I feel like the pressure to be skinny is always there because I’m Asian, and I’m 5′ 1″. Sometimes I feel like I don’t care enough to do something about it because FI still finds me attractive so I’m not motivated. But if I really feel badly about myself, then I should be self motivated right?
I hate going to Asian places because I’m always afraid that I’m going to run into Chinese family friends who will make comments about how I’ve let myself go (I was a chubby teenager). If I weren’t immersed in the Asian community, or comparing myself to my Asian friends, would I have this big of a problem with the way I look? Because when I’m away from it all, I don’t feel as bad, and I think that I still look good.
Anybody else having this issue?
Post # 3
I’m from a Russian family, and we’re pretty similar. Much of the conversation at dinner/parties is about weight: who has losed and who has gained. Russian women are really petite and skinny (and annoying). I’ve removed myself from having Russian friends and being around that environment as much as I can.
But I have American friends, two of my BM’s for that matter, who are both a zero! It is tough sometimes, but I try to keep healthy and not compare myself to others. It can be REALLY hard. But I really have no right to complain if I don’t work out or watch what I eat when they are pretty delibrate about their choices.
I’m with you girl. It’s tough when thinness is valued in some cultures as part of one’s beauty. As long as you are in a healthy BMI, I think you are ok. If you feel too uncomfortable, maybe start slow and work out when you can at home.
Post # 4
It’s definitely tough not to compare myself to others. I have started working out and did lose some weight, but it’s hard not to feel envious of my friends sometimes. I guess what I envy is their metabolisms. They never work out, and they can eat whatever they want. They pig out at late hours in the night.
I was chubby in high school and started exercising and watching what I ate. I lost the weight before I went to college, and watched myself like a hawk until I started dating FI. (I also had an eating disorder). And I think that’s the biggest problem is that I am so afraid that this is something that will always affect my relationship with my image and food. That in order to lose weight and be happy with the way I look, I will always have an unhappy relationship with food. But to have a happy relationship with food, I have to be unhappy with the way I look. That’s the part I envy the most sometimes is that my friends don’t have to constantly be looking over their shoulders, paranoid that last night’s pizza is going to catch up with them in their thighs if they don’t hit the gym and work it off. I’m always afraid I’m going to jump off the deep end back into my eating disorder.
Post # 5
If you are happy with you, that’s all that matters. Your fiance clearly loves you as you are so I wouldn’t worry about it. My weight as an Asian female of the same height (5ft even) has always been a topic of debate among my parents as I’ve fluctuated between 86-118 lbs. My weight never bothered me and while the criticism may be hard to take, that is part of our culture and they will always talk about our weight, whether we are too small or too big. A few weeks ago, I visited my family and they all had something to say about my weight (106) until I told them I was 4 months pregnant. Then suddenly I needed to eat more! Asian people….
Post # 6
i’ve never really been a super skinny girl in the eyes of my family. at my thinnest, i wore size 25 jeans (i think that’s a 0 when you convert it). outside of the asian community (my family), i’ve always been considered skinny (even at my heaviest). i too gained quite a bit of weight (about where you’re currently at) and was uncomfortable with it. i have lost a good amount of weight in the last few months and now down to a 27 (or 4). i know that my family will say, “good job but you still have some more to go” while all my coworkers have told me that i’m getting too skinny. my doctor felt that i reached my goal weight a while ago but i’m continuing to diet because the standard for a short asian girl is a size 00.
my sister is a few inches taller than me and she is about a size 4. when she was studying abroad in thailand, she traveled into china to visit the family. she said that many of our aunts said, “oh wow, people from the big country are big like this?” it gets even worse when you try to buy clothes in china. i probably wear size xxl. when i got my asian dress made, there were several premade standard sizes. i had to special order it to fit my bust!
right now i feel good about myself. i know that when i was this size seven years ago, i was not happy with my weight. i always felt fat. i think all that matters is how you feel. your perception of yourself is what matters most.
Post # 7
Ahhh I guess I can’t decide whether or not I am happy with the way I am. I’m fine when I’m at home by myself. And I think I look good up until that moment where I have to walk out the door. And when I’m out the door, I’m suddenly hyper aware of the way I look.
It’s more than just the being Asian, or having to be skinny thing. Like I said, I’m always afraid I’m going to jump off the deep end back into my eating disorder. When I was in HS, I was molested on the train. I was harassed constantly on the street by men. As a result, I didn’t care about the way I looked. I hid behind big clothes, and I gained a lot of weight, and I thought that this must make men stop looking at me right? Wrong. I was molested again. After that I went to counseling sessions at school. The counselor helped me realize that being molested and harassed by men made me hid myself behind layers of fat and big clothes. I had been letting them control my life.
Then I jumped into the deep end the other way around. I went to college and felt like I had no control over my life. I wanted to prove that I was past this having been molested thing. I didn’t want to let men affect me. So I had lost all this weight, and I just kept losing more. I was in control of my body, or so I thought. It ultimately didn’t really matter because I just got the same kind of sexualized attention. And then it just made me feel like ultimately this had been controlling/affecting my life in the opposite direction.
I’m pretty much at a loss on what to do to feel happy about the way I look. I gained 40 pounds, and I’m still getting harassed by men everyday on the street. I want to be happy with the way I look for myself, but I hate that no matter what weight I’m at, I’m always subjected to the male gaze. I hate that my body is sexualized, and that I’m objectified. And I hate that no matter what I’ve done, I couldn’t stop it from happening and that it seems like I can’t ever be free from it’s influence.
I’ve been in and out of counseling since HS, and I’m always coming up against the same problems again and again. Is this really something I have to deal with, with no solution, for the rest of my life? Am I always going to be swinging in and out of eating disorders, from anorexia nervosa, to bulimia, to binging, to obesity? Will I ever be able to have a good, normal relationship with food that isn’t affected by my issues and experiences? I’m so afraid that this is something I have to be afraid about for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to be living my life in caution waiting for the next time I dive into whichever eating disorder is next. I want to live my life freely.