Hello I’m Shelly Chiang, the creator of Stay Classy and Fit – The sophistication of a healthier lifestyle. I started this blog to share my tips and continuing journey to a healthy and happy lifestyle.
I believe the key to staying classy and fit is balance – exercise, healthy diet, and most importantly listening to your body. By achieving the classy approach to fitness – being true to yourself and letting go of all the negativity around you – you will find balance. I struggled with that most of my life. I grew up around very petite women, so the pressures of being slim were inevitable. Although I’m considered small as an Asian American, I’m perceived big in countries my relatives are from. It was very common to hear the word “fat” or “skinny” when being described. Believe me – older Asian women can be ruthless when it comes to body image. On the flip side, after being criticized they will constantly feed you and if you don’t eat it’s rude. This is part of the reason why I take this as a grain of salt. Hell I’m born in the US at a different time and I’m eating American food. I’m taller, fuller, and healthier, yet I’m considered “fat”.
During my adolescence my body was changing. I started filling in and getting hips. As an incredibly ignorant 13 year old I didn’t realize I was becoming a woman, so I tried to control it by not eating which turned into an eating disorder. It became so dangerous that doctors actually told me I was dying. This was completely foreign to my family because they never heard anyone choosing not to eat. Where they came from it was hard to have a full plate let alone a meal. Not eating was utterly preposterous. My road to recovery started when I saw how sad my family was, when doctors had to administer IV, and when I listened to how weak my body was. I didn’t know any better as a girl, but when I realize how damaging this was to me and people who love me I became a young adult. Some days I want to go back to tell myself how beautiful my body can be if I just listened to it.
After the recovery, I went through extreme stages of gaining and losing. There was no balance. I began to discover self-worth when I started to run a few years ago. I was not a runner, in fact I could barely go more than 5 minutes, but one day I just wanted to run. I took this methodically and ran to clear my mind and to find peace with my body, not to lose weight. “Train the mind to heal your body” – my sophisticated approach that started the healing process. Everything came into place. I found myself actually cooking, researching healthy recipes and restaurants, and experimenting with different exercises. I felt fabulous! Let me emphasize the word “felt” and not “look”. It’s a domino effect from there – I loved myself and it showed. Sooner or later I have family and friends asking for advice on fitness and health. I now feel safe to share my story and embrace the struggles through this blog. My journey doesn’t stop here. I hope this inspires you to love yourself and to live a “classy and fit” lifestyle.