About

25yo
Currently residing in Beverly Hills, California
.. but my heart will always reside in the SF Bay Area <3
Future lawyer
~ WELCOME to the new EUNIVERSE, formerly known as 32-23-33!

SUPER - LONG PERSONAL POST ABOUT ME

For the last decade I have been struggling with my weight.
I have been at many highs and many lows.
Epic weightloss saga count: #109283018
Hmm. Getting fitter, more toned, and changing my perspectives on weight loss through self-growth and this wonderfully supportive fitblr/WL community.
Follow me as I try to finally get lean, fit and MAINTAIN IT FOREVER :)

PS: I don't starve, I don't restrict my diet to only healthful foods, and I fight the urge to exercise obsessively (yoga = only exception). It's no way (for me) to live, and from my past experiences, this is not how you set yourself up to maintain.

Official Start Date: 4.25.11
(Last year around this time I was 112 lb.. a weight I had maintained for about a year and was truly happy at)

Height: 5'4.5" (164 cm)
Frame: Small


HW: 165 lb (2005)
LW: 98 lb (2003) <-- ignore this, I was in high school, lol!
SW: 123 (Down 15 lb from October '10)
CW: 117 (6/22/11)
I would like to look good and fit comfortably into my clothes while also being a lean badass. OVERALL GOAL: REDUCE BODY FAT PERCENTAGE.
*new* Become very, very, very flexible.

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(via thebadyogi)

bunnychic:

Working on adding a few more pounds of muscle at my core, back and shoulders. My arms and legs are pretty strong, but without more core/back strength, it’s utterly useless during yoga practice. I’d love to reach the point where I spend at least 10% of my practice flying/inverted ^^ Then I could finally go to an infamous Yogi’s Anonymous Flight Club class…

Somebody needs to come along and kick my ass and make me lift heavy things. When it’s up to me I cop out… ^^;;

Wondering if I should invest in a pullup bar… I definitely want one. I am able to do 5-10 at a time (thanks to yoga). But the problem is that my apartment was built in the 50’s and there is asbestos insulation in the walls -_- I can’t risk puncturing anything… unless I want lung cancer…

Poses/progressions I have been working on lately/just enjoy doing!!

Piking -> handstand

The ever-wonderful “wild thing” (yummy backbends <3)

Crow! Working on side crow and flying pigeon :)

Also: no pictures, but working on deepening my twists and backbends. I started experimenting with full binds, and I can achieve them in certain poses when properly warmed up but my shoulder rotation is still fairly rigid so I need to work on that. I dropped down into wheel pose successfully twice, but once was when I was drunk and the other was under the supervision of a very good instructor in class… to be honest, I have been too scared to try again since then… ^^; (I don’t have health insurance)

@nearlymorning and I have been fitblr (+beyond!) friends for nearly a year, and sometimes we share brain waves (esp. when it comes to food + stretchy pants). And sometimes she totally makes my life by sending me pictures like these. Teehee. #yogatwinsies (Me: left, her: right)

She’s freaking awesome. @nearlymorning

Progression towards my ultimate goal, King of Dancers pose, nataraja asana :) I haven&#8217;t taken a recent picture but I believe I am closer to the full pose, which looks like this. 

Progression towards my ultimate goal, King of Dancers pose, nataraja asana :) I haven’t taken a recent picture but I believe I am closer to the full pose, which looks like this

FYI

For those who NEED to know

I am nearly 5’5” (yoga stretched me out so I am nearly a centimeter taller)

I fluctuate between 115-118lb (weight hasn’t changed much- but trust me, I have a lot more muscle and a lot less cellulite flab)

I was 15% body fat the last time I checked

I can do 10 pullups (discovered this randomly while at a friend’s house)

I can do 50-100 pushups at once

My mile time is 6:45

I can kick ass.

I am happy.

(psst- all of the above is thanks to yoga + brisk dog walking)

Yoga Progress (3)

Yoga Log 6.28.11

This post will likely be the beginning of many posts about yoga.. done in a studio. ^.^ (EVEN MORE YOGA POSTS!) I don’t particularly want to churn out a huge essay right now. I’ll try to keep it simple!

I pre-Yelped all the studios in the area before the move. I was so excited to try them all (still am), but I knew where I was going to head first. YogaWorks. It’s a nation-wide (haha um, just north/southern California and NYC actually) chain of studios but their home base is here, West Los Angeles (Santa Monica). Awesome. There were YogaWorks locations close to me in the Bay Area, but I never paid much attention to the multiple Groupons + occasional Facebook posts I would see floating around mentioning the studio. Not until I got hooked. Ari, the owner (and very helpful, cool soul) of http://arilumiere.tumblr.com/ AND also um… completer-of-YogaWorks-Teacher-Training piqued my attention towards the chain once again after I read her testimonial on why she wanted to become an instructor

I had multiple locations to choose from but I chose YogaWorks Westwood (RIGHT across from UCLA/Westwood Village and also 300 feet from my old apartment 3 years ago) because it was in a comfortable, familiar area. Before I went in for my first class, I did a lot of research. I scanned the reviews on Yelp and thoroughly went through the website. There were negative reviews (from very elite, “hardcore” yogis/yoginis) but I ignored them as most of the casual reviews were positive. Snobby yogi/yogini’s seem counterintuitive. I scoured the teaching schedules and input my email address for a free, unlimited week of yoga. Surprisingly, a very nice lady, “L” emailed me within a few hours and offered a phone/in-person yoga consultation. I took her up on her offer, and called her.

She was super nice (even nicer in person). She listened to me give her the Cliffnotes version of my yoga story and said some.. really flattering things. She urged me to come in the next day for any of the 1 (beginner’s) classes. I told her I would, and mentally prepared for my first class.

My past experiences with yoga classes traumatized me, LOL. Not really (only inside my own head, the actual effect of these experiences on anyone else around me was nil).

1) Hearing terminology I didn’t understand.

2) Attempting to furiously shift my body into something like what everybody else was doing.

3) Constantly being confused. Never not-confused. (I like double negatives #lsat)

4) Pretending to laugh it off and take my mistakes/falls cooly. Talking to my friend a little -_-; (I was 20 that time.. back then I expressed my nervous-awkwardness with overeager animated douchiness.. and I didn’t smoke as much weed)

5) Getting (many) verbal/physical adjustments in a strange new situation I was already uncomfortable in.

6) Being self-conscious. All three times I went, I was looking out at everybody else instead of focusing on myself.

7) Dying (trying Bikram for the first time as an unhealthy, skinny-fat person, June 2010)

———————-

Oh, lol. This is already an essay. Wrapping it up!

Vinyasa Flow 2/3 - WAY OUTSIDE MY LEVEL. I for some reason had thought it was a 1/2… there IS NO VINYASA FLOW 1/2, AND FOR GOOD REASON. It is difficult. Still a little too difficult for me (hence all my strength-oriented practices at home). I think I need to write a separate post on exactly what happened during the 2 VF classes I took… quite a few embarrassing moments… -_-; I am humbled and inspired at the same time.

Iyengar 1 - Really enjoyable. I loved using the straps and blocks to perfect my form. Once you get used to how a pose is “supposed” to feel and how to align your body… yoga becomes more fun! ^^ If I started my entire yoga journey with this class, I don’t know if I would have the patience to do it. I feel like I loved it because I was willing to learn it.. I knew what the class was supposed to do and how it was going to help me <3 (Also: a slow introduction to the proper names for all the poses… very helpful since I started with Tara’s non-yoga-jargon)

Yogaworks 1/2 - I hear this class (all classes really) varies with the instructor. BUT I LOVED MINE! My instructor (we will call him Mr. Bananas, because he kept making references to various body parts curving like “a banana”) IT WAS AWESOME OH MY LORDY! The guy teaches like Tara does… he was very beginner-friendly, helped describe poses/transitions in layman’s terms, and was not TOO hands-on (… I WILL write that post on one of my VF classes… the touching was borderline inappropriate because I just SUCKED that badly). His style of teaching was more athletic and fluid and his taste in music was AWESOME ( heard some light electro mixed in with the typical new-age stuff). 

All in all - I love studio classes, but I am most comfortable at home. It has helped me realize what I need to focus on before I attempt vinyasa flow again (which I am determined to conquer) and finally broken my irrational fear of ever entering a yoga class again. I no longer focus much attention on my fellow practicers next to me (there are some incredible superstars in VF 2/3) or how they are so much better/fitter than me… my practice at studios feels so focused and… personal now, despite the public setting. And thank goodness I did some preliminary practice at home! That little bit of knowledge/practice did me some good… even in the VF classes I managed to hold modified poses while the rest of the class was off doing crazy things on their arms ^^;

This post is too long already.. but here’s a few specific things I’m working on!

Modified Crow’s pose. Getting used to building strength while maintaining the 90 degree angle of my arms (haha, not pictured) and positioning my legs in the proper place behind my upper arms. This modification is awesome- you’re on the very tips of your toes so you can figure out exactly how much weight your arms can handle and how much your core can support your back form. I’m a long way from being able to do it.. but every day I get closer :)

My modified dolphins are… um… well for now, I can at least keep my arms on the floor and create a 45 90 degree bend… I inch my feet up a little more, a little flatter every day… the strain in my arms isn’t too bad anymore either. I’m getting used to doing more stuff on my forearms thanks to all the planking I’ve been doing.

Dancer’s pose… mine isn’t too impressive yet but I am happy to report that I can smoothly move through a sequence of Warrior 3 -> Tree -> Dancer’s pose!! ^^

Whoever told me that yoga wouldn’t build the strength and muscle I could get in a gym was right. This muscle is different, this strength is different.
I feel functionally efficient, strong in movement.. flexible. My mind is connected to my arms, my core and my legs. I no longer stare at muscles built on various gym apparatuses and wonder how they all go together (sometimes I felt “piece-y” .. like my muscles didn’t flow in harmony) or what they are capable of. I have no idea how much I can bench press at the moment, but I can tell you that I can hold 2-minute forearm planks, do 40 perfect-form pushups in a row and FREAKING PUT MY LEG BEHIND MY HEAD. I can make my body move into a pose while seeing/feeling exactly how my muscles are working in my head. I have the best abs I’ve ever managed to build in my entire life of impact sports/fitness/weight loss.. and it’s still only the beginning.
Why even pay money for psychotherapy? When downward-dogging can synchronize the neural pathways between the physical body and the endless, open mind? NATURALLY.
Thank you yoga. You are quite possibly one of the greatest gifts mankind has ever nurtured, propagated and shared. &lt;3
postyogaclassglow
&lt;edit&gt; I offended someone, and I must apologize. I do know that clinical depression requires much more than simply working out. There are more layers to psychological disorders than describable in a post about yoga. HOWEVER, I would like to also point out that the number of people in this country currently getting/seeking chemical treatment or behavioral therapy for mild/minor depression/anxiety/emotional issues is severely inconsistent with the actual number of people who require intense clinical care. I believe the power of the mind is vast- and I believe many of us are capable of making small, independent steps towards fixing our issues. And I believe for some, maybe for some like me, yoga can help.

Whoever told me that yoga wouldn’t build the strength and muscle I could get in a gym was right. This muscle is different, this strength is different.

I feel functionally efficient, strong in movement.. flexible. My mind is connected to my arms, my core and my legs. I no longer stare at muscles built on various gym apparatuses and wonder how they all go together (sometimes I felt “piece-y” .. like my muscles didn’t flow in harmony) or what they are capable of. I have no idea how much I can bench press at the moment, but I can tell you that I can hold 2-minute forearm planks, do 40 perfect-form pushups in a row and FREAKING PUT MY LEG BEHIND MY HEAD. I can make my body move into a pose while seeing/feeling exactly how my muscles are working in my head. I have the best abs I’ve ever managed to build in my entire life of impact sports/fitness/weight loss.. and it’s still only the beginning.

Why even pay money for psychotherapy? When downward-dogging can synchronize the neural pathways between the physical body and the endless, open mind? NATURALLY.

Thank you yoga. You are quite possibly one of the greatest gifts mankind has ever nurtured, propagated and shared. <3

postyogaclassglow

<edit> I offended someone, and I must apologize. I do know that clinical depression requires much more than simply working out. There are more layers to psychological disorders than describable in a post about yoga. HOWEVER, I would like to also point out that the number of people in this country currently getting/seeking chemical treatment or behavioral therapy for mild/minor depression/anxiety/emotional issues is severely inconsistent with the actual number of people who require intense clinical care. I believe the power of the mind is vast- and I believe many of us are capable of making small, independent steps towards fixing our issues. And I believe for some, maybe for some like me, yoga can help.

Yoga Progress (2.5)

(I’m going to post about the yoga studio classes I’ve taken this week next time! This post sums up my practice at home!)

Yoga Log 6.24.11

I didn’t post Progress/Routine stuff on Monday for multiple reasons. Mostly laziness, but also lack of material ^^; As I’ve encountered more challenging poses, I’ve also slowed my pace of progression. The more difficult poses take longer to feel comfortable doing- more patience, more time, more strength. For me, and the way I do my practice, yoga isn’t just about getting through whatever routine I’m following… I want to be good at it. Of course initially, I pat myself on the back and swell with pride if I can even manage a variation of a difficult pose… but as I improve, I expect my ability with that particular pose to grow even more finely-tuned, second-nature, or even “effortless.” It took over a week for me to transition into and hold tree pose calmly for 30 seconds.. it took 3 more weeks for that 30 seconds to grow into 5 minutes. I had read somewhere (research is somewhat hard as there are so many variations with yoga) that “ease” was a key part in the physicality of yoga.. hence why I’ve been focusing on just improving the things I’ve learned so far.

Long story short, for that reason, I’ve been sweating buckets during recent practices (outside of doing routines) involving very little active movement.. just a lot of pose-holding. Simple pose holding. It sounds easy but a 2-minute plank on my forearms kills me! Most of the stuff I’ve been working on independently is directly from this video that I featured in my last published set of chained Tara Stiles routines. This might sound sad to accomplished practicers, but that video was pretty difficult for me. Most of what I’ve been doing lately has been to increase my range of movement and strength so this video, like this once-was-a-killer-beginning-video, eventually becomes a piece of cake.

So lots of long minutes holding these planks:

I noticed that a lot of advanced poses, such as handstands, require forearms on the floor. I thought it wasn’t a bad idea to start building strength this way (REALLY hard for me at first.. my forearms weren’t used to being in this kind of position at all)

Lifting one leg for a couple of seconds makes me feel something awesome-funky in my abs and also gives me something to shake me out of a literally arm-shaking moment.

And a lot of these:

A mere 5 reps of these = leg burn. At least for me ^^; Trying to get that number up to 10.

Also trying to get into half-moon pose for more than 10-seconds without falling over (I wasn’t quite in it when this picture was snapped ^^;;). I actually really enjoy one-legged standing poses!

I also should note that I have not gotten a new (Manduka) mat yet. :) :( I want one oh-so-badly but at this point… I really love my cheapo $27 synthetic mat.. huge potholes and all. I said I wouldn’t get a new mat until I NEEDED one (probably very soon), and despite the occasional self-consciousness I feel laying down my mat in a room full of Jades/Mandukas… this is the mat on which my love for yoga began :) My 2nd YogaWorks instructor even commented on the state of my good ol’ Pinkie after I told him that I was a beginner. He said “you’ve obviously been practicing at home, which is awesome!” ^^v 

That being said, I expect to get a new mat in the next 10 days. =X ^_______^ (But I’m still keeping this one forevers!)

On a last, random note, I just wanted to say that I have never, ever had any more definition in my back than the little canal my spine resides in. My friend took a picture of my back while I was crouching in chair pose and she told me that new lines were appearing!!

Muhahaha! I used to be the girl who had jiggly back fat no matter what weight she was at… >=) #millionsofreasonswhyyogaisthebestfitnessthingthateverhappenedtome

What you see here isn’t the big picture.

I get anon. questions like this at least a few times a week.

Many of my post-high school friends have never seen this picture. And honestly, do you know how absolutely pointless it is telling anyone “I used to be fat” if they’re just going to say “no, no you haven’t, I can’t imagine.. blah blah blah”. But I’m posting it up here because no, I wasn’t a skinny girl EVER. In fact, from grade 7-12, I was the 2nd largest girl in my class (300 mostly East-Asian students) My face disappeared under layers of fat during middle school and only occasionally re-emerged in adulthood whenever my diet/exercise at the time actually got me to a lower weight.  Lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, and slowly inched my way down over time. After the picture on the right was taken? 6 months later I was 30+ pounds heavier. Hence why I came to Tumblr.

We’re all just on different stages of the same journey. I don’t care if you’re 100 lb or 1000 lb. We can (and do) all help each other.. there’s no reason to pass judgment on those that do not share your current weight/fitness goals. The “unfollow” button is ample enough, no? 

Weigh In Wednesday 6.8.11 + Progress

Okay, gotta get this out of the way. After THIS WEEK I will not be weighing myself every Wednesday. It’s time for me to let go of my scale. I’ve been wading into these waters slowly and now I’m ready to take the plunge. I WILL post monthly weigh ins for reference but I hardly see why anyone (much less me) needs to know the numerical value of my body mass when there are other visible changes going on. After this week, I’m going to use Wednesdays to note differences in tone/body fat but no longer NUMB3RS. :) 

That being said, it’s only been 5 days since my last weigh-in, so the # wasn’t surprising.

119.0, which to the obsessive dieter, might indicate a .4 overall gain, but I think I know better. ;) I never did write my post about standardizing weigh-in routines to eliminate possible external factors (large dinners, bloat, etc) but I guess that post would be rather pointless now.

Upper body this week. Flab over the abs is slowly disappearing. I checked this by shifting my torso to the side (left pic) and was pleasantly surprised to see my AB MUSCLES move, as opposed to a chunk of fat over my abs. When I stand up straight in proper posture, my stomach is pretty much flat, and growing closer to firm. I looked “more jacked” in last week’s photo but that was directly after shark-week debloating. There’s less jiggle than there was last week, so I’m thinking this is closer to my “true” body at the moment.

—— Warning, Gratuitous Butt Picture Coming ——

I want to talk about my lower body for a second. I’ve made it pretty clear that I have a not-so-positive relationship with my proportionally-bigger thighs. This is changing. My muscles are strengthening and aligning differently this time around. I normally just did a lot of high-impact cardio and muscle-isolating weight routines. I would create bulk/strength/tone but no flexibility. My muscles are gaining functional strength now, strength that makes all movement (including running) easier. The shape of my thighs are very different. They’re lengthening while gaining curves in areas I never had before.

And my butt.

I never really had a butt. I have always had large thighs but like most EAST Asian girls I know, barely any butt to speak of. In fact, sometime back in January, I remember looking in a mirror and being shocked to discover that not only was my ass deflated/flat, it was uneven. One cheek was clearly more inflated than the other (friends confirmed this, and couldn’t stop laughing at me), which gave me the resolve to immediately begin walking the next day.  I kind of forgot about my butt since then (kinda happens with things you don’t have), but when I took this picture of my back thighs to see how the cellulite was doing, I was kind of surprised

Not only has the cellulite NOTICEABLY reduced since this time, I have what appears to be the beginnings of a decent ass. AND (sorry, so nitpicky) the area where my thigh meets my knee, which usually creates a bump of fat in my leg silhouette, is slowly getting straighter, and smoother.

Verdict: I’ve been slacking on my cardio lately, so I’m going to give all the credit to yoga.

NEXT WEEK -» No more weigh-ins! And perhaps no more of these standard torso shots unless I have something there to show you ^^; I feel less of a difference in my torso this week but more in my legs. Looking forward to recording gains in muscle/tone!!! But I’m also toying with the idea of just posting photos of whichever pose(s) I conquered during the week, because that seems to be my most important fitness goal at the moment :) I’ll wait till Yoga Progress Monday !