f Shine Koh


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Ideal body shape? I am more than my body.

December 10, 2015 / ,

When will enough ever be enough?

"Just few more kgs, just few more centrimetres, and I'll be at my ideal shape."
"Just gotta skip some meals and stick to veggies/fruits, and I'll be able to fit into my old pair of jeans."
"Just need a sharper face and I'll be able to look better in photos and on screen."
"Do I look fat in this outfit?"
"If only I don't have those flabs on my arms, those folds on my tummy,
a more defined jawline, thigh gaps, a smaller waist, etc etc."
"Argh. Fats"
"Sigh. I'm no longer as skinny as before."
"Damn. My face looks chubby!"

Do these thoughts appear in your mind frequently? Let me be honest with you, such thoughts occur to me occasionally too.
As much as I advocate a healthy lifestyle with frequent exercise sessions and balanced diets in order to feel good and look good,
there are still days when I struggle to accept my own body, and when I don't feel good about my body at all. 

Those are the days when I feel absolutely unattractive.
Those are the days when I will be angry at myself for not being able to achieve my 'ideal body shape'
no matter how regularly I exercise and eat healthily.
Those are the days when I pinch the areas where I deem as 'fats' and give myself a disgusted look in the mirror.
Those are the days when I'll pick out the flaws on my body and shame myself for the 'imperfections'.
Those are the days when I'll simply put the blame on these body 'imperfections' for making me feel lousy,
instead of realising that the root of the problem is my own insecurities.
Those are the days when I feel terrible for not being able to fit into some old clothes, and refuse to throw them away
and then impose the idea on myself that I must be able to fit into them again. 

When I came back from my 1.5 months trip to Europe, I lost weight. People around me were telling me how skinny I became,
but I thought they were just exaggerating because I didn't go on any diet intentionally.
I probably just lost weight from walking alot in the cold weather.
Then one day when I finally stepped onto the weighing scale and found out that I lost 3kg,
I took a long look at myself in the mirror and that was when I realized that I really lost weight.
At that moment, I truly felt that I didn't look good and healthy, so I told myself that it was time for me to bulk up and build back those muscles. From then on, I have gradually gained back the weight which I lost.

No matter how many people around me told me that I was in good shape and I looked better at the current state,
I never felt satisfied because I always believed that I was far from my 'ideal body shape'. But somehow, along the way,
instead of being happy that I finally gained back the weight, I started feeling that I became a little 'meatier' than I should be
because I was not gymming as regularly for a certain period of time,
I felt that I was becoming 'chubbier' instead of being toned. Given my job nature, the differences can be seen clearly on screen.
So that was when I started having a lot more of those 'I-feel-terribly-unattractive' days.
I started being really conscious about the food I ate, and I went back to those calories-counting days.
Oh, that switch from feeling that I was too skinny to feeling that I was gaining too much 'flabs'.

And then one day, I finally started to realize that it's time to stop allowing my physical changes
to affect me day in and day out. It's time to respect my body and appreciate how every bit of it functions to keep me alive.
It's time to stop thrashing my own body and wallow in misery just because I could not achieve the body shape that I want.
It's time to stop being mean and so hard on myself. I may not be at my 'ideal body shape'
and I will never achieve the 'Kendall Jenner' body, but really,
when will enough ever be enough? Instead of disliking my body for the imperfections,
for how it looks - too skinny or 'fats at the wrong areas'; it's time to accept it at its current state
while I put in the effort to improve it bit by bit constantly. 

My face may seem rounder on screen now, my arms may not be of the nicely toned shape that I deemed as ideal,
but are my loved ones going to stop loving me just because I am not at my ideal shape? No.
Do my personal development stop just because my body is imperfect? No. Unless I allow myself to degenerate.
Does my body image dictate my character/personality? No. So why am I letting it affect me so much? 

This post is a reminder for myself that I am more than my body.
It's time to get over my body, and on with my life because there are so much to life than my body shape.
If anyone tries to tell me what beauty is, and how an ideal woman/man should look,
I will shut them out. I do not need to listen to their definition of what 'beauty' is.
As cliche as it sounds, beauty is truly what shines from within, and self-love is an important factor.
Slowly but surely, I'll learn to appreciate my body, I will learn to value and respect my body more;
and I will work on developing a stronger sense of self-worth.
One day, I will be able to accept my body fully.
I will focus on achieving the optimum health and fitness state instead of the 'ideal body shape'.
I will remember that my aim to have a balanced diet and exercise regularly is for health and fitness,
not just because of achieving the 'ideal body shape'.
Although my job nature requires me to be disciplined enough to keep myself 'in shape',
it does not mean that I should feel less of myself just because I have not achieved my 'ideal body shape'.
I am more than my body. 

Ending this post off with one of my favourite reads:

'The thing is, looking at someone, you have no idea what struggle they're going through or what they've experienced. You don't know which thin girl is sad, which fat girl thinks she's fucking awesome, which person is wrestling a devil or kicking ass in ways they never dreamed of. You don't know who fights depression or social anxiety, who has cuts all up their thighs, or who is going home to another inescapable black eye. Everyone is fighting a fight you can't see, and most of us are hiding it behind a smile.
The only way I know how to escape these feelings is to get the hell away from the mirror. I may never look at my body and feel pure love and appreciation for what I see there, but I can take a flying trapeze class or swim with sharks or paint or ride my horse and forget, for a while, that what my body looks like matters at all. Those are the moments that my heart is happy and my well is refilled--when I forget that I'm a soul in a weird, lumpy, breakable body. When I simply am. 
So where do we go from here? I'm not going to impel you to go write down five things you love about your cellulite or tell you to make love with the lights on or eat a steak. I'm just going to remind you that the prettiest person you've ever met has probably considered suicide and the thinnest person you know still has one patch of fat that she can't eradicate. If you can love your body, honestly love it, then you're already ahead of the pack. No matter how you feel about it, just remember to treat it well. It's imperfect, but it's the only one you get. Good food, deep sleep, and lots of hugs feel good no matter what you look like. Find the thing that makes you forget what makes you sad and do that thing regularly. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

As for me, I'm going to bake brownies and snuggle my kids, because they think I'm perfect, big squashy belly and all.
One day, I hope I can learn how to believe them.'
 -- Source 

Vietnam: Sapa, Halong Bay, Hanoi.

October 19, 2015 /

Dear neglected space,
I'm back to leave you with some happy memories from my recent trip to Vietnam.
This impromptu trip gave me one of the best memories.
I loved the trip to Sapa especially. It was nothing glamorous.
I went without make-up, flat & oily/sweaty hair,
dirty bottoms from falling onto the muddy ground, stayed in homestays, etc,
yet it nourished my soul
and left me with so many beautiful and warm memories.
Simple travels are the best kind to truly relax and replenish.
Traveling is undoubtedly therapeutic.
It allows you to escape from your problems and leave them aside completely (temporarily of course);
by the time you return, you are usually able to look at them from a different perspective,
and somehow, they do not seem as big or as terrible as you initially made them out to be.
You find a new form of energy to deal with these problems, and move on with life.

'Why do you go away? So that you can come back.
So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours.
And the people there see you differently, too.
Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.'
--Terry Pratchett

In a week, I visited Sapa, Halong Bay and Hanoi.
Let me begin with the pictures, followed by some descriptions/details of the places I went.

My skin condition.

August 4, 2015 / , ,

If you have been following me on Instagram and  Dayre,
you would have known of an issue which has been bothering me for months.
And by saying 'bothering me', I actually meant how it made me feel so terrible, self-conscious, insecure, low self-esteem,
low confidence, or in a crude but short description: shitty.

My nightmare
For the past 25 years, I have never experienced such terrible outbreaks like the ones 
I had been dealing with for the past few months.
While my skin condition was not exactly one of the best (uneven skin tone and dull skin were my main concerns),
it was never this terrible. Never.
Towards the second half of last year,
I started experiencing a few outbreaks here and there,
but it was nowhere near what you would see in the pictures below.
Concealer became my ultimate best friend,
but even that could not save me totally because even make-up could not cover the bumps, those pop-out ones.
The major outbreaks affected me alot, especially on days when I had filming.
I can edit away the bumps easily using photoshop/phone apps for my photos,
but I could not do so for filming.
And you know how High-Definition means that everything can be seen clearly on the TV screen nowadays..
It affected me so much, that I started avoiding eye-contacts with people
whom I talk to, because I hated catching the sight of them staring at my face.
I knew that the best way to not worsen the condition, 
was to avoid makeup. But I could not, due to work.
I do not know how I survived filming when the condition was at the worst (April - May, especially)
To be frank, I barely survived.
I was filming for 絕對保險 Accidental Agents (which will air in September by the way!),
and I think my make-up artists had such a tough time doing their best to help me conceal the bumps,
& I just kept apologising to them, and went home each day feeling terrible.
I also had another makeup artist on another set of show I was filming for,
who asked me, 'What happened to your skin?! Not just the acnes, but your skin tone is very patchy!'
I cancelled several meet-ups with my friends because after all the makeup from work,
all I wanted to do was to hide at home, and allow my skin to breathe.
My close friends knew how affected I was.
I even resorted to wearing masks.
That period of time was one of my worst nightmares, happening in real life.

And my breaking point?

5 things I did in Hong Kong in 3 days + Hotel Sáv.

June 30, 2015 / , ,

5 things I did in Hong Kong in 3 days

Frankly, 3 days were a lil' too short for me.
If I could, I would have stayed longer, just to go for more hikes in Hong Kong.
We skipped the touristy spots such as Disneyland, Ocean Park, Victoria Peak, Tian Tan Buddha,
Avenue of Stars, and I did not even get to visit Lan Kwai Fong!

1. Eat & eat & eat

Love is..

May 14, 2015 / ,

It has been exactly 8 months into this LDR.
(technically 6.5 months because I went over to find him for 1.5 months).
I have been asked 'How is it going?' for so many times..
& I would always reply 'Okay ah!', because it really is!

In fact, for the past 4 months since my return from the visit,
our relationship has been even stronger than before :)
I just decided to skip all the details because I believe that as much as I am quite open about this relationship,
there are still some things that are meant to be kept between us two
i.e. the ups and downs that we experienced, like any other couples.
Nevertheless, there are some general thoughts which I thought I could share,
from my own experiences and mainly from the love stories which I have heard from others lately.
This is just a random post that I'm typing away at 1am,
so yea, just bits and pieces of my thoughts. 

Dear 19 year-old me

April 15, 2015 / ,

I was just looking through my very first few blog posts on this blog
(some of which are already kept as drafts), and all those memories came flooding back.
So I decided to write a letter to 19 year-old me
(instead of writing to 16/17 year-old me like what many did),
because that was a tough year for me.

Dear 19 year-old me,

You are not experiencing the worst stage of your life.
Whatever shit you are dealing with now, are just chapters of your life that you will look back and laugh at.
Stop hurting yourself; because when you do so, you are not just hurting yourself, you are also hurting your loved ones. 
And those physical pains are not going to solve your problems.
Deal with them, not escape. 
You feel that all is lost. I know you are having thoughts to call it quits. 
Thank you, thank you for not being so silly and selfish. 
Otherwise, there wouldn't be a me now to tell you all these.
Thank you, for holding on.

(19 year old me)

Le Buddies Europe Journey: Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice)

April 1, 2015 /

Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice)

After much procrastination, I'm finally done with the set of pictures for Italy!
(Still have Switzerland, Paris and London untouched.....)
Italy was totally a culture exploration for me.
Although it was a lil' tiring to stay alert and having to hold on to my bag tight all the time,
I truly enjoyed observing the Italian culture (and loved the food of course!)
I will try my best to make this post less wordy;
so I'll just list the names of the places that we visited, 
followed by the photos of these beautiful sights.
Most of the breathtaking landscape photos were taken by le buddy
(You can find him on his Instagram!)

we walked to Garbatella station and took the train to Ottaviano Station (changed line at Termini),
and walked to Vatican City.
After lunch, we explored Piazza Navona and Pantheon.
In the evening, we visited Trevi Fountain, only to find out that it was under renovation.......
(Not too sure when will it be fully done, so it's better for you to check
if you are heading there anytime soon!)
The next day, we visited San Paolo Church,
and visited the Ancient Rome (Colosseum, Roman Forum),
and Altare Della Patria (Vittorio Emanuele II).
Headed to Castle Sant Angelo with the intention to catch sunset,
but arrived too late because the queue was way too long.
(So head there early if you intend to catch sunset there. I think the view will be magnificent!)