Have You Eaten?

My parents are Taiwanese immigrants and moved to the states in the late 70s. I am a first generation Taiwanese American. In fact, I just came back from a trip from Taiwan during my winter break from college. God the food was good!

I grew up in a house hold where we didn't have much.  2 floor house with 3 families (1 on each floor including the basement) Mom would come home tired after work and cook whatever she lugged home from Chinatown all the way back to Brooklyn. Your basic meat, veggies, and rice. I always ate the meat, veggies were for the napkin, and later the trash. No money mean small portions of anything. I would always run upstairs to my grandpa and he’d make me fried rice. I did this for 3 years until 3rd grade. I was now the fat kid in class. 

Fast forward to highschool. I took up weight lifting. Turned some of that fat into muscle and started attracting some girls (not many) and was somewhat happy about having a stable weight. I had a pretty girlfriend, nice friends, and wasn’t doing too bad in school. Then college struck.

I was going to school in the midwest. I suspected that mid-westerners would be more overweight but apparently not. I struggled with the lack of Asian food found near my campus and succumb to eating the American, all day everyday. The only way veggies are done here is either boiled or drenched in butter. Luckily I joined a club(martial arts) which gave me a chance to work out “cardiovascular-ly” instead of just hitting the weights. I could run, I could kick, i could do a split(not really, but kinda) and felt life. My friends around me saw it too when I went back home for my first year in college. Than I quit that club to focus on my studies and social obligations and figured i’d have time later to work on myself. 4 years later, I’ve gained weight and with that some depression on how people looked at me. You can feel that they don’t look at you as a person, not your personality but what your thick dumpling skins says.

My mom would call me:

“Have you eaten yet” would be the first thing she says

“You know if you just lost a couple of pounds, you’d look perfect”

I saw the people in taiwan, and realize how much i dislike skinny jeans. But I did realize when talking to the locals there, their dumpling skin was very thick too. Their “filling” was what was shallow.

I’m working out now, little by little. I have a full engineering course load and little time to myself BUT! I did the math! 

For all your nerds out there. If I included a 2 credit class that I make up called “Have you taken care of yourself?” Then that means homework and studying for that class should be 10 hours a week for 2 credits. That’s all I can invest right now but working out, meditating, and walking around enjoying my city is, like my education, essential to my future. 

There was no lesson to be learned (unless you learned something then good for you!) I just want this for me, turn off the facebook, turn off the netflix, if you have enough room in your tiny apartment do some planks, do some push ups, jog in place. Screw it if your roommate wants to sleep at 2am and you’re trying to do some jumping jacks!

I am an engineering student, I have poor grades, I am a horrible writer.


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Lisa Leesubmission, community