Day 4 in Vietnam: Beach Day + Body Image on Vacation

Rise and shine, sleeping bombshells! Well, just kidding. You can sleep for a few more hours before reading this post if you want to. Plus, if you are currently eyeing this article, then you’re probably already awake, or at least you have eyes that are half-open. 7:24 A.M. is considered late for me, but then again, I’m such an early bird that it shocks some people.

Speaking of which, I did wake up at a slightly earlier-than-usual 5:30 A.M. this morning and totally kicked butt with my bodyweight workout. It’s crazy how much pain you can feel with a few minutes of push-ups and a few minutes of burpees! This session was a bit more focused on the upper body and core since I killed my legs the last day. My entire body was stickily sweaty–it felt so amazing!

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Breakfast ended up being this amazing savory stir-fry of daikon radish, tofu, eggplant, green beans, and carrots lightly paddling in a mild brown soybean sauce. I became absolutely obsessed with it! The flavors and textures of each ingredient complemented each other so beautifully. I ended up finishing four bowls worth of this dish!

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Continuing the meal came some thin fried tofu pieces, which my family thought tasted like bacon! Creepy, right? To make the meal seem slightly healthier, I enjoyed each piece with some butter lettuce. I know that water and oil don’t mix, but hey, more nutrients will do the job for me!

How could I forget my favorite root vegetable of all time? Yep, I had more Japanese and purple sweet potatoes soon after my breakfast! Steamed fresh, they were absolutely aromatic and fluffy. I gobbled them up in a heartbeat!

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Driving to the beach house ate two hours of our day, so I spent that time napping in the middle of the back row to a few episodes of the Highest Self Podcast and the Be Sheroic Podcast. Both of them are incredibly inspiring in their sectors, and I highly recommend them to anybody interested in health, female empowerment, lifestyle, balance, fitness, nutrition, and spirituality!

In the middle of the ride, our family spotted a field of sheep that we wanted to observe! We ended up paying for some popcorn to feed to them. They were absolutely adorable, as if I were in an animal sanctuary!

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the end of the trip where I discovered that they were actually wool sheep. Deep down, I knew something was wrong, but I wanted to enjoy the presence of these beautiful creatures. Wool isn’t vegan–no question about it. But is it ethical to shave it off for the benefit of the sheep? I would believe that sheep’s wool grows accordingly to how they survive (more in the winter, less in the summer), but who knows? Either way, I’d never wear it, and I’m sad that they were kept in captivity. On top of that, I immediately thought about their inevitable and devastating fate.

Once we got to the beach house, it actually started drizzling! Even though I’m generally not the biggest fan of rain, I was pleasantly happy with it! Lunch ended up being room temperature leftovers of the vegetable stir-fry I had for breakfast! All of it was pretty much reserved for me–everyone else enjoyed stir-fried pork riblets and beef stew with rice–so I ate everything in the entire tub!

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Hammock time and badminton time…may or may not have fell asleep for a little bit…oh, and do you like how my ball matches my romper?

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Pre-beach snacks called for something sweet and tropical-flavored, so I snagged five pieces of these Fruit Choice tropical mix gummies! Yep, they’re completely vegan and are high in Vitamin C! My favorite flavor had to be the mango, surprisingly! However, all of them were deliciously soft, gooey, sticky, and naturally sweet and fruity!

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Shortly after, once we all collected our belongings and packed some more necessities, we headed off to the beach, which was around ten minutes away! At first, I wasn’t too thrilled about how dreary the weather was and the coldness of the shores, but after some time taking in the nature of the beach, I felt at peace. My bikini might have been a little too revealing for the norms of the locals, though!

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Meanwhile, my sister requested me to take photos of her in the ocean for her social media, and I politely asked her to do the same! As I scrolled past some images of myself, I felt a wave of cloudy thoughts about my self-esteem crashing down on me. Chubby arms. A lower belly that couldn’t look thin unless I sucked in. Thunder thighs. Name any negative “fat shaming” thought, and I probably experienced it.

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Looking back, I most certainly know that this isn’t the thinnest I can be, but I most certainly know that this is far from what I initially believed. But, it took me thirty minutes of reflection to shift my mindset towards another direction. No longer did I see a woman who “let herself fall off the bandwagon”. I saw someone who was simply enjoying her trip at the beach–essentially, living the present moment! Isn’t that what vacation is all about?

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My series of beach and bikini body photos are far from those of typical Instagram models. The sun is shining upon them, their muscle definition is so chiseled that they look like Greek mythology statues, and they are just as tan as the leather on a horse saddle. But then again, I literally hopped on the beach to take a few shots. How long does it usually take a model to find the perfect photo? Much, much, longer. The actual photoshoot probably doesn’t account for the weeks the model spent exercising and dieting down for photoshoots on a regular basis.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with being extra prepared for taking pictures, or even being more health-conscious on vacation. Realistically, I wouldn’t gorge on cakes and sticky rice every single day, either. Doing so is much more excessive than I’d desire. However, I tried to minimize as much of the “this will go straight to my thighs” thoughts as possible. It’s only wrong to abuse this restraint by limiting your ability to truly experience what is new, learn something different, and feel utterly free. To be honest, most people will inevitably go back to their regular diet and exercise routines right after they return.

What I want to emphasize is that I would personally much rather look back and laugh at the memories I’ve created rather than applaud myself for maintaining a flat stomach all vacation long. Not everybody has a body that just digests food and throws it out in waste. I have an ordinary body that bloats, holds onto water and salt, and has a combination of fat and muscle! I have an ordinary woman’s body that shows curves, possesses more body fat than a male’s, and has softer angles!

Due to less social media time and more family time, I’ve found that maintaining body positivity comes so much quicker. In certain parts of the city, it is actually more attractive to be chubbier and curvier, because the extra weight signifies that people have enough to eat, or even more! My loved ones didn’t care if I had a bloated belly or flabbier joints (well, at least I think they didn’t. You never know what they could be saying in Vietnamese!). And in a way, I didn’t care, either. I was still fit enough and had more than enough energy to run around and play in the sand and the shores. That’s all that matters to me. Which question would you rather be thinking about throughout your vacation: What adventure awaits? or, What will I eat next?

Whelp, that’s my little schpeel on body image throughout this trip! Here’s some more photos of me having fun at the beach! Soon after the bikini shots, I put my romper back on because I got wet and cold FAST and cover myself up a bit.

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Favorite part of the shot? My hair. Hands down. Or should I say…mustang mane?! HAHA! Maybe I should name my hair “Stallion” from now on!

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All of us ended up leaving the beach quite late, and I was so wiped out from the fun of bouncing around, flying a kite, running on the sand, and laughing until my mouth went dry that I flopped asleep on my grandmother’s lap in the car. Upon getting home, I didn’t get a proper dinner because I thought we’d eat once we got home! What ended up being my nearly-midnight snack was a packet of chocolate peanut butter from Little Buddy’s!

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Pretty much tasted like dessert for dinner! Not complaining at ALL. 😉

Ever visited a beach in the rain? What are your thoughts on health, diet, fitness, and body image during vacation?


2 thoughts on “Day 4 in Vietnam: Beach Day + Body Image on Vacation

  1. All I can say is SCREW Instagram “models”. Ugh. Comparing yourself to photo shop is insanely unhealthy. In fact, comparing yourself to anyone else is not smart – because we are all different and unique in our own ways! You just have to own what you’ve got!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, screw modeling in GENERAL. There’s criticism and pressure wherever you look in that industry. I’m definitely going to work on being more understanding with myself and just staying in my own lane rather than comparing myself to others’ journeys. Thank you so much for your kind words and honesty! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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