Grooming For Chinese New Year

It’s interesting how some topics always repeat themselves year after year during the Chinese New Year festival. The first perennial topic is the one on relationships. For those who are still single, they will be asked where the elusive boyfriend/girlfriend is. And for those who are attached, they will be asked when they will be getting married.
The second most frequently discussed topic is the one on health, or should I say with more accuracy someone’s outward appearance. Regardless of whether we are brothers, sisters, cousins or just friends, it is inevitable that we start comparing ourselves. 
The weight lost gang will mention something along these lines “Wow…You lost weight…you look so much slimmer now. Been exercising in the gym regularly is it?”

The weight gain gang on the other hand will probably just smile and politely ignore or even evade the observations. For the more self-conscious ones, he/she will immediately almost give an excuse or reason to explain the weight gain. “My work requires me to sit at the desk from 9am to 5pm”… “My other half feeds me with all the good food, how not to put on weight I ask you?” … “Getting old means metabolism rate is lower…so (sigh) it’s natural to put on weight.”

We are human beings. And as human beings, it’s our innate behaviour to compare ourselves with others. Only by comparing ourselves with others do we feel superior or less. Do we not flip the pages of glossy magazines and find ourselves staring admiringly at that tight butt on the model or the beautifully sculpted six-pack abs? I remember Bo Derek used to be my inspiration during my younger days as she was the largely acclaimed perfect 10 female figure then.

As the unofficial health guru in my extended family, I always almost get asked questions every year on how to lose weight. Just today, my eldest uncle pointed to his tummy and said he still has a difficult time losing the beer belly despite using the treadmill regularly. At this juncture, my youngest uncle chipped in with self-deprecating resignation that we should all just accept whatever shape we are in as long as we are healthy. 

Big or small, large or petite, obese or stick-thin…it really doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s too late to lament as Chinese New Year is here. What we can do is to take stock of where we are now and take concrete actions to move towards where we want to go.

Taking stock of where we are now involves knowing ourselves, in particular our body shape and how we can use our clothes to hide our flaws and yet bring out the best in us. This is what I teach my participants during my grooming workshops. Big doesn’t necessarily mean you are not the flavor of the month. It’s how you project yourselves in the eyes of others that matter most. There are many celebrities who are plus-sized but they still look stunning. The same goes for the stick-thin. Once sniggered behind many a back as being the victim of malnutrition or lacking in certain vitamins during the growing up years, there is hope for you. I used to belong to this category. Have you heard of the concept of layering? Layering can and will help you add the necessary bulk on your frame in the short to middle term while you work on building up your muscles in the long term.

Despair not, my friends. 

I wish everyone a roaring Tiger year ahead. In the year of the Golden Tiger (which comes once every 60 years), let us learn how to appreciate ourselves better and how we can allow our inner beauty to radiate outwards through simple yet effective personal grooming