Originally published in commecishop.com.
Learning new skills, rediscovering things we’re passionate about - if there ever was a silver lining to this pandemic is that it gave us time to check-in with ourselves. Self-care was perhaps the word most highlighted in these times but it was essential not only in our personal well-being but in making sure that we provide a safe environment to our loved ones.
Recognizing what we need and taking actions to help create a better version of ourselves is ultimately what self-care is. For Theresa Leung, co-founder and creative director of Sexy Beast, beginning her wellness journey was a much needed self-care that helped her cope throughout the uncertainties that surround us. Listening to what her body needs has allowed her to create a sustainable and healthy diet for her lifestyle that doesn’t ultimately restrict her from eating sweets and carbs.
In this special wellness feature, she shares with us her full diet program, challenges she faced and how fashion has played a role in her wellness journey. Read the full interview below.
What inspired you to begin this wellness journey?
When the pandemic hit us, there were a lot of things that were beyond my control but I knew I could take charge of my overall wellness especially during a time like this. It's also a way of boosting my immunity!
Can you share with us the process of your wellness journey - what was the diet program that you followed and how strict did you follow it? Do you give yourself cheat days?
In 2017, I was working out 3-4 times a week with IF (intermittent fasting) while avoiding preservatives, fast food and junk food but without a proper diet and a regular juice cleanse, I was not getting the results I wanted. I shed some pounds but not enough to keep me motivated.
This time, my wellness journey was all about creating a sustainable and healthy diet for my lifestyle. The Sexy Beast Juice cleanse was essential to my weight loss because I would see and feel the results right away. I would lose up to 5 lbs. when I juice which gave me the motivation to power through and stay the course.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic for me was it allowed me to focus on myself and overall wellness. In 2020, I lost 10 lbs. in just 5 months with a sustainable diet and once a month Sexy Beast Juice cleanse. To date, I've lost a total of 18 lbs., surpassing my weight loss goal! I never thought I'd get back to my high school weight but my body is more efficient with processing food now. To a certain extent, I eat what I want, not following a strict diet but I still practice IF and avoid preservatives. I eat more vegetables without giving up other food groups like carbs, I love rice! I don't measure my food but I make sure it looks like a healthy plate with proper portions.
A sustainable diet will not need cheat days as it's something that fits your lifestyle. I don't give myself a regular cheat day but sure, I'll have a glass of wine or 2 (or 3 with cheese) when I'm at the beach! When I crave potato chips, we make them at home! In general, I try to eat whole foods.
And because it's a journey, it doesn't end here. I will always be a work in progress but now I've proven to myself that it's 80% nutrition (food) and 20% exercise! I still need to work on the 20% and incorporate a workout into my routine but I'm glad that I've learned to respect myself (and my body) more now to eat mindfully.
Are there any challenges that you faced as you went through your personal wellness journey?
I was not too hard on myself - it's a journey and a lifelong pursuit. There would be days when I'd want to eat a piece of chocolate, cake or a cookie and it's okay. Some days were better than others. When I crave sweets, I'd allow myself to have a piece while still trying to be mindful of the quality of chocolate, cake or cookie that I'd put in my body. It's not sustainable for me to cancel out sweets, I have a sweet tooth! It's also better to have a piece than to binge eat later on.
Rooted in the importance of self care, Comme Çi shares a style principle of #LookGoodFeelGood. Personally, how did fashion play a role in your wellness journey?
It was essential for me to update key wardrobe pieces because of my weight loss. I feel more confident in my own skin now making me love fashion more!
What is the importance of fashion or dressing up in your lifestyle?
Fashion is a form of self-expression and I value self-expression. It's about self-knowledge and self-confidence. It's how you present yourself to the world. I'm not a fashion expert, but I believe in sticking to silhouettes that suit you so you don't end up being a victim to fashion. Wear your clothes, don't let your clothes wear you!
If you are what you eat, you are what you wear too!
Who is your favorite designer at Comme Çi?
Yoya! She understands what women want! Her clothes have a relaxed fit but I always feel put together when I wear Yoya.
Looking prior to starting your wellness journey to where you are now, how do you feel?
I feel great! What the mind can conceive the body can truly achieve!
What is your advice to people who also want to start their own wellness journey?
Mindful eating is a sign of self-respect, you owe it to yourself. Listen to your body! Start small, think big! If you are not ready to commit to a 1-3 day juice cleanse, you can start with a Sexy Beast Juice half-day cleanse and work your way up. Each small decision when repeated overtime develops into a habit. Now that I've reached my weight loss goal, I maintain my weight with a once a month Sexy Beast Juice cleanse.