In 2016, I launched a post: ‘The Wong Diet‘ & received incredible messages on my Instagram.

I called BS on fad diets and revealed the lifestyle secrets derived from East Asian culture. If you want to know how to manage food guilt & healthy fitness mentality, read it here and let me know what you think.

I’ve wanted to chat about how we should communicate with each other about weight, diets & fitness for a while. I know it’s a sensitive subject, and I may get a backlash, but I want to encourage open dialogue in this post.

The-Wong-Blog-How-we-should-communicate-about-weight-diets-fitness

 

 

My objective is for us to understand each other, so here are my tips:

Don’t comment on weight

Don’t comment on a person’s lost or gained weight. If you like the way they look, say these instead:

1. ‘You look amazing.’

2. ‘You’re glowing’.

3. ‘I love how happy you are.’

Unless asked for, none of this unsolicited ‘you’re looking too skinny’ or ‘I’ve noticed you’ve gained weight’.

In the instance that you’re worried that friend may be suffering from anorexia, bulimia or obesity, encourage them to seek medical help and do not comment on appearance.

Talk about kindness towards others, but also compassion towards yourself.

Please, please never talk about how much you hate your body, how ‘fat’ you are, or about your new diet. Share your recipes: discuss how to cook healthy food, but also how to bake a cake made with lots of butter. Don’t say things like, ‘I’m not eating fats right now’. Don’t make out that fats are evil because shame over what you eat will lead to degradation about how you feel about yourself.

Encourage your loved ones to be active because it makes them feel less stressed.

I wrote about how I unwind here. Pass on your love of being outside. Go for long walks with your mates. Encourage adventure. Discuss taking up scary physical activities like abseiling, or rock climbing, because this helps them deal with fear. Inspire those to take up a sport that they can fall in love with, at the same time, understand that not everyone wants to discover the benefits of fitness, so don’t overwhelm your not-so-active friends, encourage & support, but do not gloat.

When discussing the body, present facts (science) and not opinions (how you think a person looks).

Talk about how the body works. Legs are for running, and a ribcage is a carrying case for lungs.

Don’t compare yourself.

I wrote a whole post about why we shouldn’t compare ourselves here. Remember that weight isn’t up for comparison, your body is incredible and it’s all yours.

The Interview

To be unbiased, I’ve asked bloggers from slim, athletic to plus-sized, to give me their discouraging statements they’ve received about their bodies.

How not to talk to the ‘slim’ lady

“You’re just skin and bones” – Olivia: Olivia Mulhearn.

“I find it’s so rude, and disrespectful. People have no idea how comments like that can affect you; they have no idea if you have any health issues before making flippant statements. And for ‘you barely eat’, you must have seen me eat a handful of times how you would know how much I eat in a day? I don’t comment on how much you eat?!”.

“Your body type is unrealistic” – Emily: Ace and Boogie.

“I hate the fact that it’s socially acceptable to pass comment and judgement on women’s bodies. I’m slim, very petite but I relate to everyone else’s comments in this thread. People close to me, family, friends and strangers have always critiqued my body. I’ve struggled with disordered eating in the past, and now, despite the fact that I’m comfortable with my size and I love my body, I find it upsetting when people shame me for being slim. It’s so hard for women and girls to like and even accept their bodies – thanks Monica for starting this thread!”.

“You’re not allowed to complain about being skinny-shamed because it’s not the same as being fat-shamed” – Rachel: Word of Rachel.

“Said by a girl who skinny shamed me daily. I was suffering from bad depression & anxiety at the time and was critically underweight. I never compared it to fat shaming or suggest it was worse, both are awful!”.

“Eat a cheeseburger” – Sky – Sky Phoenix Rayne.

“People all through my life have shamed me for being slim, told me that I’d look so much better if I just put on a couple of pounds, called me anorexic, told me I need to eat a cheeseburger and that guys don’t like bones. Aside from the fact that I’m healthy, I’ve beaten several people in food eating comps, and I don’t give a damn what guys like… It’s insulting, thoughtless, hurtful and cruel.”

“Were you anorexic?” Janeen: Janeen Harding.

“The most common comments I get from everybody. I’m petite, and I’m slim, I’ve never had an eating disorder. To be told these things doesn’t make me feel good about myself at all! Shaming thinner people like myself is quite a big deal, and it does happen, it’s annoying that when we do speak up, we just get shot down or told that we shouldn’t complain about anything because we’re slim.”

“Real women have curves” – Elisha: Elisha Blogs.

“It’s funny that people think it’s acceptable to comment on other people’s weight when everybody has their self-confidence issues. As much as being naturally slim is easy, it comes with its prejudices all the same.”

“Skinny Minnie” or “Beanpole” – Alice Soule: Living with a Jude.

“I can’t help my body shape and hate it a lot of the time. This comment drives me mad as people assume they’re complimenting me. I’d rather no-one commented on my body and rather ME as a person”.

“Everyone wants to be skinny” – Anonymous.

“Do they?! Last time I checked, I was anorexic, and it was the last thing I wanted to be. Personally, I don’t think being called skinny is a compliment”.

How not to talk to the ‘plus size’ lady

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

“But you have such a pretty face” – Lauren: Dilian and Me.

“This one always stings, and I think most ‘bigger girls’ have heard it in one way or another. It’s like ‘well your body is disgusting, but at least your face is ok!’. Kind of like ‘if you were slimmer, you’d be the full package’, guess what; I’m the full package whatever weight. And there are far more important things about me than my weight OR my face. Like how kind, strong and intelligent I am, or what a brilliant mother, partner and person I am”.

“I like you, but can we date in secret? My friends will give me stick about like a big girl” – Kirsty: The Bus Girl Belfast.

“Pass thanks, but I’m looking for a man who would be proud to date me!”

“You’re fit for a bigger girl.” Amber: Amber Nicole Writes.

“Backhanded compliments are gross. It’s very insulting/demeaning because it suggests fat girls aren’t beautiful and treating me like an exception isn’t a compliment”.

“I did 50 hours at the gym and you should too” – Sophie: 

“One thing I hate is when people make a comment about exercise, and just because they’ve done 50 hours at the gym, it means you should have done it too. I felt so attacked by my sporty peers – it gets to you, especially in today’s airbrushed & photoshopped world. Everyone expects you to be skinny & to have the perfect body with zero fat or stretch-marks – surprise, we all have them!”.

“You carry the extra weight because you’re tall & it must be nice to be confident enough not to worry about how you look” – Pamela: Pams Bake And Baby Blog.

“Eh, thanks. Backhanded compliments are the pits”.

“If you weren’t so big you would probably make it” – Saffron Baker: Pixie Bow UK.

I keep being told recently to “stop promoting obesity” I never mention my weight on posts. The worst is when people say stuff like I bet you loved all the food over Christmas. Also when other people are eating, and you don’t want to, they say “oh you not hungry Saff?”, like they expect me to eat everything in sight.

“Oh, you had an eating disorder?” – Francesca: Francesca Sophia

My personal favourite: *a quick check of my figure* – ‘oh, you mean you used to be obese!’.

“You did a 5k run?” – Emma.

“One that happened to me last year was and said in a tone of disbelief. Ummm yes, just cause I’m big doesn’t mean I don’t exercise or can’t take part in fun runs”.

“She’s fat” – Stephanie: Stephanie Djl.

“Hate when people are slagging off fat people to my face & then go ‘oh not you, you’re not fat you’re tall”.

How not to talk to the ‘athletic’ ladies

‘You’re only fit & skinny because you were born with good genes’ – (me): The Wong Blog.

Look, I am aware that genes do play a role, but eurgh, this is not the way not to talk to the person who does sport. It’s not supportive or encouraging. I know this statement is not intended to be malicious but is more of a case of ignorance. The reality is that I train; I probably did push-ups & planks the night before you decided to say that. Mate, do you think I just woke up one day & could do the splits? Get out of here!

“You’re like one of that gym **** s; all you do is spend your life in there” – Hannah.

‘For me, fitness is about taking responsibility for yourself, having that independence to explore your incredible body & what it can do. Pushing your limits. It’s about developing a strong mind. You set goals, and you achieve them. I’ve met incredibly ambitious & like-minded people from the fitness industry”.

“How do you stay so slim when you eat out so much?” – Seetal from Savla Faire.

“What people don’t want to hear is how much time I spend working out as reality is less sexy than saying something about genetics”.

“Big legs” – Sophie: Sophies Choice.

“I’ve always had big legs from being a dancer and trained hard when I was younger. I’ve learned to love my legs, and I work hard to keep them muscly and toned. It does make me feel awful because other girls legs don’t touch when mine do, taking photos of myself can be a challenge for my self-esteem. I have to think to myself, it’s not that bad, I’m a strong, curvy woman and if I ever had to lift a car off anyone I probably could!”.

“How do you stay so slim when you eat like that!” – Chloe Martin: Pretty Magpie.

“Makes you feel ridiculously uncomfortable if you eat around others and you feel bad if you want to eat something naughty! I don’t think people understand that you have to exercise to counterbalance the naughty stuff!”

*Shows before & after photo from fitness transformation* “you looked better before, now you look unhealthy” – Anonymous.

“This comment completely disregards the hard work that I’ve put into my body, which is my choice. There are only two options with the body: fall in love with the way it is or through goals & seeing the beauty of your progression. I would recommend the latter because it gives much more than physical benefits regarding confidence & motivation”.

“If I ate like you, I’d be a horse” – Jo.

“This comment came from someone who is fully able-bodied, yet chooses not to exercise but tries to make a statement from what they think they know. Those who exercise regularly can eat more than those who do not. Believe it or not, if we ate what we wanted and didn’t work out, we’d be a horse too”.

Closing

I’ve written this post because I’m seeing too many of us put each other down. I want us to encourage each other. We’re all wonderfully different, and some of us find it challenging to relate to others. A BIG thank you to all that contributed to this post. I had so much fun to put it together because of you lot. I hope that we can communicate with each other in a healthy & encouraging way.

The-Wong-Blog-How-we-should-communicate-about-weight-diets-fitness-health

Location: Dalloway Terrace

Photographer (last pic): Simon Richardson  Calvin Klein Bralette | Calvin Klein Shorts | Nike Running Tights | Nars Concealer | Naked 3 Palette using Ecotools Brushes | Clinique Waterproof Mascara | Shop Holidolls Swimwear Here

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‘Blogging isn’t a real job.’

A brave statement from an old colleague. They proceeded to tell me that they ‘work’, whereas I, ‘just blog.’ Coincidently, I’ve heard a lot of this ‘get a real job’ malarky recently.

Okay, so, from the face of it, it probably looks like: I wake up when I want, lounge in my pants, take pictures of myself, fly to endless holidays and then write an article whenever it takes my fancy. I report to no one but myself, and I’m probably vain, loving myself too much as I took it upon myself to choose this path.

To be transparent with you, growing up, I never aspired to become a ‘social media person.’. I grew up in traditional Asian culture; which means that unless you want to be ostracised, your career options are restricted to medicine, law or finance. Blogging has become a commercially viable business, and I have fallen head over heels in love with my uplifting little community. I wake up every morning doing what I love, so isn’t my choice a no-brainer?

This post is dedicated to my fellow bloggers, who I wholeheartedly support.

You ready?

Many successful bloggers were in senior roles before blogging

I was in a so-called ‘real job’ in Digital Marketing for five years before taking the plunge to start my own business. To blow my own trumpet, by the age of 22, I was managing eleven clients. By the age of 26, I managed multi-million pound budgets. At present, I’m so fortunate to be able to do this three months a year, part-time, as a consultant. Stating on her Instagram that that blogging ‘fulfils her even more’, Pilot Madeleine trained as a pilot but couldn’t find a job so her ridiculously dreamy travel blog was born. Margaret Zhang juggled blogging with her law degree before becoming one of the most successful Australian style bloggers today. British babe InTheFrow studied for her PhD and was a university lecturer before becoming one of the top lifestyle YouTubers. I met Cyran, from Corporate Style Story, who is a lawyer by day and a blogging bad-ass with the wardrobe to match. She’s smart, so lovely & I’m always so thrilled to meet powerful women who are passionate about what they do. Karla Itsines and The Body Coach were personal trainers, and now they’re worth millions, thanks to their fitness apps & snappy viral videos.

Freelancing is very time-consuming.

Want to see my average day when I’m not in my consultant job?

Here’s an example of a loose chicken running around:

8-9am: eat breakfast (usually tea, orange juice, scrambled egg sandwich or avocado toast or crumpets). Open PR mail. Answer flagged emails. Check Twitter.

10am: Print & pack for eBay (usually 10+ parcels depending on trade). Leave for Post Office once complete.

10-11am: Respond to Instagram comments on the bus/tube (usually 30+ I try & respond to everyone).

11:30am: Arrive at the coffee shop. Answer brand collab emails, write up & send invoices, update my calendar & continue current blog post.

2pm: Eat lunch (usually burrito, pasta or Pho but I don’t discriminate, I love all food).

3pm: If I have a Model casting, leave for central London, otherwise, I stay in the coffee shop.

4pm: Leave an hour slot open for a phone call with a PR agency, Model Agency, pitch or brand.

6pm: Coffee Shop kicks me out or I leave my audition.

7.15pm: Cheerleading, Barre, Yoga or Gym (I become so stressed without at least one fitness related session a week).

9.15pm: Grab dinner & head home.

10.30pm: Eat dinner & edit images, rehearse lines for any commercial auditions or watch TV.

1am: Sleep

A modelling job or press event can take a full or half day and throws this schedule off.

You don’t just wake up and make money from a business

Blogging has the reputation that it’s easy because you don’t have to go through a lengthy interview process to become a blogger; everyone can start a blog. In reality, these are the skills you need to form a successful, profit-making blog:

– Writing
– Website Management
– HTML
– Photography
– Photoshop
– Design
– Innovation
– Sales Negotiation
– Marketing
– Social Media
– Research
– Data Analysis
– SEO
– Networking
– Budget Management

I didn’t make any money during my first two years; this is the standard. I had to purchase, set-up and manage my domain, find a cracking web-template, liaise with clients & PR agencies and look after my lovely followers. Regardless of whether it’s working from home, in an office or opening a physical store, there is no way that you can create a successful business if you don’t graft. This applies to ALL businesses. The majority of blogs don’t make any income because it takes so long to earn a penny. If you want to be taken seriously and make a full-time salary from blogging, you have to work damn hard.

Bloggers pay taxes & Influencers have made millions

Blogging is a self-employed job. Self-Assesment tax returns are a tedious and lengthy process. As Bloggers can earn a decent salary, it makes sense that the government has made it mandatory to make us pay tax on it. It’s isn’t impossible to make millions from a blog. I mean, if you could quit your ‘real job’ with an average salary to become financially comfortable, you just would, wouldn’t you?!

Change is happening

I genuinely think that there are many inspirational blogs out there who don’t get the credit that they deserve.

The comments I’ve seen are that we’re living in a generation of narcissistic, entitled, ego-centric & social-media-addicted youths. While that may be true of some people, you cannot paint everyone with the same brush.

There will be so many people who have the potential to be doing what they love but instead, are working in a job that they hate because society tells us that we should be working for a corporation. Let’s face facts here; print is dying & digital is on the up (this is why big advertisers have budgets dedicated to influencers), sadly, not everyone has decided to accept this change, so the insecure online trolls criticise people who are making money out of non-traditional careers.

Not everyone is suited to this lifestyle because there’s no stability. You have to be smart.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Are you a Blogger and your friends keep dismissing your job? I want to hear from you.

P.S these images are from an old shoot whereby I didn’t have a relevant blog post, but I felt this set was well suited. I love the vintage imagery, don’t you agree?

Location: Sheffield, UK

MAC Prep and Prime | M·A·C FOUNDATION | M.A.C Powder | MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters, Bronze, Brule and Copper | Plate | M.A.C Liquid Liner | Lancome Mascara | M.A.C EYE BROWS | MAC Blush in Animal Instincts | MAC Lip Pencil | MAC Lipstick in Crosswires and Dark Side |

Credits:
Styling and props: Natalie Armin
Photographer: Craig Flemming
Make Up: Laura Gingell

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Okay, so, first of all, I’m very sorry. My 2017 Christmas gift guide is so Wong-ly & fashionably late (hehe). But, in all honesty, this pretty much suits my personality.

Last year, you would have found me panicking in the middle of London’s Oxford Circus with the rest of London screaming, “what do they f*cking want…?!”.

In the hope that you’ll find it useful, I’ve designed this post to give you inspiration on what to gift your loved ones. With the help of my friends & family, I’ve tried to cover the very best.

Merry Christmas! Eat lots of yummy foods, spend and relish time with loved ones & enjoy the festivities. xxx

The Tech-Savvy

The Foodie

The Homeowner

The Traveller

The Fitness Addict

The Fashionista

The Beauty Babes

The Mini’s

Mummy Wong’s Favourites

Sister Wong’s Favourites

Brother Wong’s Favourites

Daddy Wong’s Favourites

Don’t forget, many of us are fortunate to be able to give and receive gifts. Why not give back this Christmas? It’s been a cold winter for everyone but frightful for those with nowhere to go. Here’s how you can do your bit:

  • Donate to Shelter, as they help our homeless find somewhere to live and get back on their feet.
  • You can buy a gift at Save The Children who will give food, shelter & love to refugee children in Syria.
  • Why not support your local Present Appeal and donate new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children. Click here to find your nearest Salvation Army Centre.
  • Donate/buy dry food at your local food bank at your local supermarket.
  • Age UK needs volunteers to talk our elderly. Call in Time is a free telephone befriending service for matching volunteers with older people.

Thanks for reading, let me know what you thought of my last-minute Christmas Gift Guide! Did I miss anything?

Location: North Pole

Photographer: Brendan Donnelly (Insta here)

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It’s nearly that time of year.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING! *Ahem*, yes as you can tell, I cannot nearly contain my excitement.

As a kid, one of my favourite things about Christmas was counting down the days with a daily sweet treat. But, as an adult, who can resist opening doors to gifts from your favourite brands which are relevant to your interests like luxury beauty, alcohol, and fitness?

Lounge by the fire in your cosiest knitwear, with mince pies & hot chocolate at arms’ reach, I’ve got a cracking advent calendar roundup for you.

Loccitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar

Spoil a loved one, or *ahem* treat yourself to a sumptuous pre-Christmas gift with the L’OCCITANE Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar which is filled with shampoos, soaps & eau de toilette. Illustrated by the renowned French artist Kanako, this set is a beautiful way to get excited about Christmas. Also check out their full range of Christmas gifts for women.

Look Fantastic Advent Calendar 2017

Housed in a decadent and decorated case complete with a mirror inside, I love this because you can reuse as vanity unit to store your beloved beauty treats and essentials.

Charlotte Tilbury Advent Calendar 

Calling all beauty babes, if you haven’t indulged in a Charlotte Tilbury goodie yet, then you’re missing out. A mix of full-sized and mini’s this one houses the best sellers wrapped up in a glamorous, gorgeous box.

The Mankind Advent Calendar

The only male grooming calendar that’s got you covered. Packed with 25 full-size products, this luxury men’s advent calendar will leave you feeling fresh for the festive season.

CIATÉ Mini Month 2017 

A must-have gift for any manicure-addict, 19 carefully packaged mini nail polish paint pots and one full-size beauty.

The Beer Hawk Advent Calendar

You have to get this for your beer fan friend. The Beer Hawk Advent Calendar is filled with Belgian classics, crafty cans, German brilliance and British beauties.

Carluccio’s Advent Calendar

This one is for my fellow foodies. Discover the flavours of Italy with this limited edition advent calendar.

BlueBird Tea Advent Calendar 

Tea lovers! Open the doors to festive limited edition tea bags like ‘Mrs Claus’ Raspberry Prosecco,’ Mince Pie + Spiced Clementine.

Drinks by the Dram

Proudly crafted and distributed by Maverick Drinks, Drinks By The Dram explores various alcoholic spirits from around the globe, all in dram size containers.

That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar

I’m laughing at the thought of drinking gin every day. Developed by some of the finest distillers, this gin is housed within a charming box.

My Protein Advent Calendar

This one is for the gym fanatics, enjoy Christmas & retain your fitness game. Get your protein fix with cocoa butter and whey protein. It’s suitable for vegetarians.

Holland and Barret Advent

Brands included in this beauty bonanza are Dr Organic, Dead Sea Spa Magik, Pure Potions, Naturint, Weleda, Faith In Nature, Facetox, Sukin, Yes To, Trilogy and Beauty Kitchen.

Make your own

Hate surprises? Buy a real advent calendar and fill them up with goodies that you know you will love. I’ve picked the best ones at my funky widget below.

 

Do keep checking this page as I will be adding more over the weekend and let me know if you recommend any others!

Happy shopping from The Wong Blog x

Location: Christmas Calendar Central

Photo: Big thank you to Not On The High Street for lovely your Christmas press day invite.

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Is it just me or does Black Friday start earlier & earlier, each year?

To mark this joyous occasion, I’m wearing all black err-thang coat and boots. Well, it’s my excuse for being fashionably late for this blog post, (hehe get it?).

Last year, I gave you a roundup of the best deals here. The sales are similar this year; Selfridges is using the same code.

Avoid the Olly Murs scrum party, stick the kettle on and get comfy. We’re going to bag to best deals in our PJ’s (if you need some new ones, use code FLASH20UK at Victoria Secret, you also get a free pair of fluffy slippers!).

The big all-rounders

Amazon | eBay (worth checking out the big brand outlets on these sites too)

Selfridges up to 20% off with code: SELFCCE

ASOS up to 20% off. Code: WIN20

Debenhams up to 20% off

John Lewis Price Match

Very (up to 50% off!)

Currys Black Tag Event

Argos Black Friday

Fashion

Topshop | Topman

Mark’s & Spencer (3 for 2 offers)

New Look (up to 25% off)

French Connection

Whistles

Urban Outfitters

TM Lewin (20% off)

Office (Code: SHINE)

Clarks (BLACK20)

Dune

Aldo

Beauty

Look Fantastic – save 20% on code LFCW20

Boots (best fragrance deals)

Superdrug (up to 60% off)

The Body Shop (40% off code: 19806)

Sephora (gift & receive)

Cult Beauty (25% off Huda)

Travel, Home & Experience Days

Heals (for 10% off use code: BLACK10)

Anthropologie (use code: itsyours for 20% off!)

Homebase (price match)

Etsy (I got a great chunky yarn from here)

Paperchase (20% off)

WHSmith (use code BLACK17 for 10% off)

Kikki K (20% off)

Groupon

EasyHotel (3000 rooms for £9.99) | RyanAir Black Friday Sale

TUI Holidays (various deals)

Thomas Cook (use code BF200)

Virgin Trains Seat Sale & get £5 off RailCard (code: BFDAY711)

I need to roam around Old Bond Street more often. #London

A post shared by Monica Wong (@thewongblog) on

I know you’re desperate to run away from all this Black Friday madness, luckily there’s up to 25% off flights from British Airways.

I’ll be posting and updating this page throughout the rest of the Cyber weekend.

If you’ve got any deals to share, please comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Location: Black Friday Madness Land

Photographer: Brendan Donnelly (Insta here)

Dungarees| Top | Shoes | Bracelet | Nars Foundation in Ceylan | Nars Concealer in Ginger | Urban Decay 3 | Loreal Liquid EyelinerLancome Mascara |

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