Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finding The NEW Me.

Oh hello, faithful followers & readers,
I've been meaning to update you and you've been on my mind for the longest time but had no idea one month has flew by so quickly and there's a reason for this. To make a long story short, when I turned 31 in December, I was hit with a reality check, or shall I say, a wake up call. One day, I took a look at myself in the mirror and saw the mother of a beautiful child & a wife to a wonderfully faithful husband, but could not see me. Esther.
IMG_0051Yeap, this is how much I D
ON'T like taking pictures after the baby arrived! Covering my face w/ the Iron Man mask at the WI Spa in LA :P
The woman I used to be in the past was gone. Somewhere in between the diaper changes, playdates and my career, I had lost myself. With the business thriving, I devoted all my energy, time and creativity to each of my clients and felt quite proud of all the accomplishments I had achieved. Each wedding was so special and near to my heart as I developed attachments with all the wonderful brides, but deep inside, I was not loving the way I looked or felt.

You see, ever since high school, I have been battling with my weight. Unlike the 80% of Asian women who are petite, I always struggled with being 20 pounds heavier some years, and 20 pounds lighter other years. I know I should always watch what I eat for my health, but after the baby arrived, I lost complete control of what I was eating. I had gained 40 pounds throughout my pregnancy(definitely took advantage of all the cravings) and was expecting the weight to come off in a year or so. As the business grew and I got busier, I found myself eating as a way to relieve stress. I consumed junk food in between house chores, meetings, emailing & watching Grant, and started taking care of meals with takeouts more and more. I barely exercised and sat on my butt for hours on end, sometimes all day, as I responded to emails. As other moms and friends encouraged me by telling me that the postpartum weight will come off after a year & that women need to eat more when breast feeding, I learned to convince myself of the BIG FAT LIE that it is ok for me not to take care of my body and make excuses. Sure, I was conscious of what I was feeding my kid (especially with the whole fruit/veggie bar we created) but that was far from what I was eating on a daily basis. I didn't mind eating veggies and fruits as long as I got my daily dose of Starbucks Frapp or Iced Caramel Macchiato. Oh...and can't leave out a side of Chipotle burrito bowl... :P Ironic, isn't it?

2006 in New Zealand looking healthy & fit ;)
2009: 25 pounds heavier me & my son on his 1st birthday
But please don't get me wrong, I love motherhood.. ;)

Sometime after New Year's Eve, I weighed myself & realized that I was the heaviest I had been in my entire life. I felt quite depressed. It wasn't so much the weight gain but the fact that I had let myself go was far more painful for me to swallow. The confidence I had way back when was gone, as putting on clothes became so discouraging that shopping was no longer fun. Some people say that weight doesn't effect your self esteem as long as you're happy with yourself, but I don't think that's entirely true. Although my husband loves me regardless of the changes in my body and constantly reminds me of how beautiful I am, it was evident that my weight gain was affecting my mood swings, attitude, and loss of confidence.
So on January 3rd, I finally decided to make a change. Oh yeah! Jennifer Hudson, you sold me! ;) A change for the better & healthy living style that would impact not only my health, but my family's health as well. To help me get started, I joined Weight Watchers (my first time ever joining a program!) to lose the 25 pounds I still needed to take off after the baby arrived. So far, the program has been a break through for me both mentally and emotionally. I'm learning about food in a different way and can definitely choose healthier & filling food options without consuming too much high calorie foods. It's only been two weeks but so far, but I've already shed a few pounds. One of the most dramatic differences that my husband noticed is how I cook at home much more often, and no longer dine at restaurants or eat late at night.

I still have a long way to go in this journey, but I really hope that some of you can relate with me in regards to this topic and encourage me from time to time. I also hope that you all readers can keep me accountable as I strive to develop a healthier style of living & gain myself back. As I am being vulnerable and sharing my weakness, it would help me tremendously if you can also share with me the journey of finding yourself.
As we all know, a happy mom = a happy & health family! Here's to the NEW me in 2011!

I NOW LEAVE YOU WITH A SHOCKING BEFORE & AFTER PHOTO.. Hopefully it will be the other way around by end of this year. :)
BEFORE picture of me was back in 2008 after I finished a half marathon.. It's probably one of the biggest accomplishments of my life!! And AFTER.. well you get the picture. I could have used a better photo but this is pretty dramatic that I'm going to print it out and post it on our bathroom mirror. lol!

Once lost, but now found (hopefully soon! :)), Esther

P.S Any brides who would like to shed some pounds before their big day, maybe we can check our progress together~ :)


eunA said...

in the after pic: that's where grant gets that's from YOU~~<3

unni, you still are beautiful inside and out~ but making healthier choices, that's definitely an important choice to make. i was letting myself go tooooo but this post def challenged me to watch my weight as well~:-)


Girl Resilient said...

I sooooo understand! I'm not a mom, or a wife, but I am half Korean. I grew up thin and fit and pretty, but when I hit 20 I started to slowly gain weight. Now at 33 I am the largest I've ever been. Shopping hasn't been fun in a very long time, and my self esteem is rock bottom- not good when you are dating and trying to find Mr. Right! lol. My Korean side of the family is mostly small and petite, and some family members had no mercy in their comments about how fat I was getting. And when I would lose 20 or 30 lbs that's all my mother would talk about, well that and how if I wasn't careful I was going to get as fat as my sister. Yeah, it's a healthy environment. Anyway, this New Year I felt very much like you- finally ready to make some real changes. I've considered Weight Watchers but am going to start by changing some eating habits and exercising. I've lost 4 lbs in a week and a half already, which is huge for me! :D In the past I've hit a plateau around 20-30 lbs so I'm planning on visiting WW then- I have about 50-60 lbs to lose in all and I'm determined 2011 will be the year I do it!! Good luck to you! I'll be rooting you on! ;D

joann said...

You can do it esther!! I'm actually trying to lose some pounds as well. We got this!

Esther said...

thanks for your encouragements! i've been getting lots of emails & texts after posting this entry! feel so much better that i have your support! :) i can do this!!!

jyang said...

i hear you on everything you said. i was right there and still are. honestly though, i don't think you look overweight at all. that after pic is NOTHING compared to some of mine. i wish i was one of those girls that just lose it after having a baby but not so. even after h, it took me a year. i think that's just how my body is. i'm sure my love for food doesn't help either ;). i was determined to lose weight asap (before i get preggers again) only because i don't have the luxury of time so i've been trying to exercise and cut down on some of the junk. i don't think i can ever deprive myself (simple joys of life) but i want to balance it out w/ a healthy lifestyle. i'm with you and hope i can shed a few more pounds too.

Rowaida said...

Beautiful post Esther! it is so grateful to have a wonderful family and wonderful talent. Wish you a blessed and wonderful 2011. Keep inspiring us.
Best Wishes
Rowaida Flayhan

Jasmine said...

you just inspired me to get back in shape! thanks for sharing your life!

Unknown said...

I'm a believer that everything happens for a reason (as I chuckle) within the last few weeks I have found myself looking for the "Extratordinary" in my "daily" walk (when I say looking, that is just a inner knock at my soul). Recently after contemplating many of Lifes Greatest Gifts sent to me I too have found myself looking in the mirror and trying to find that self. I too have a Beautiful 2 1/2 yr old (daughter). Through "Layla Grayce and Plush" I was guided to your WONDERFUL Talent. Just looking a your ART I forgot what I was looking for hehe. Then came the knock, your blog entry and your personal experience! We have joined a "Exclusive yet not so Private club" Motherood its selflessness :)as I read your food entry I could whole heartedly raise my hand and say PICK ME PICK ME as my daughter says. I have been very athletic my entire life and even continued doing Yoga during my entire pregnancy which I loved. Then reality set in and I'm a stay home mom with all the time in the world for her, key word "Her" my jewel. This last week the knock happened with "Myself" after weighing myself even more then my pregnancy weight :/ and awaiting a DVD to startup my Yoga. If you need a acccountability friend, I'm here! haha You look Beuatiful but if you want to feel better I'm here.
Nancy Norris, Tustin Ca.

Esther said...

Hi Nancy!
Thank you so much for your encouraging comment & sharing your story! Wish you lived near Fullerton so we can be workout buddies! :)