Growing up, I wasn’t raised on “healthy food”. My parents let us eat ice cream, soda, and chocolate freely. Growing up with a Vietnamese dad and a Filipina mom, we ate everything from Pho to Adobo (and a lot of white rice) with staples like Hamburger Helper and Mac & Cheese in between. I remember eating fast food often. We also weren’t encouraged to play or be active. I spent my childhood in front of the TV and played a lot of Nintendo. Lucky for my genetics, I always maintained a small frame. In college, I was addicted to Del Taco and White Chocolate Mochas. In my 20s, I worked in a restaurant and would eat greasy food daily and chocolate cake almost every night. Plus my boyfriend (who’s now my husband) would always take me out to eat. By the time I was in my mid-20s, my metabolism had slowed down, I had a career (well paying job=eating more food), and was sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day, and I now had what I considered a “skinny-fat” body. I was still a small frame and people probably considered me skinny but under the clothes, I was soft and jiggly and just not happy at all. I would eat and then feel so guilty about it. I tried to work out but I never played any sports my whole life so I was really unfamiliar and overwhelmed with all the equipment in the gym. I would do hours of cardio but still ate crappy food and then become frustrated that nothing was changing, so I’d crash-diet-starve myself, become more frustrated and binge again, vicious cycle. I’ll admit, I even tried Hydroxycut (ugh, what was I thinking?).
So what changed everything? My wedding! I was so unhappy with my body that I decided, out of desperation, to hire a personal trainer to get ready for the big day. I didn’t think it was going to work because people always say trainers don’t really do anything except stand there and talk but it was a last ditch effort. At the same time, I began reading the book “Skinny Bitch” which opened up my eyes to the concept of Clean Eating. And then I watched documentaries like “Food, INC.”. When I first started, I just wanted to lose weight and be skinny. In 7 months, I lost 15 lbs and dropped 10% body fat. Although I no longer use a trainer, she helped me to become comfortable in the weight room with the equipment and I learned proper lifting form. Once I reached my goal of being skinny, I wanted more! Now, I’ve taken fitness & healthy living into my life and it’s changed the way I live.