Fit to Travel

Almost four years ago I moved to Madison, Wisconsin, a healthy, fit 135#, and started a full-time desk job. Each year of that job, I gained ten pounds, and so now, I’m officially That Fat American—a stereotype I definitely want to crush before returning to Europe.

https://d1aviatl7dpuhg.cloudfront.net/image/mode/crop/q/90/w/500/h/282/url/64/aHR0cDovL3BpeGNtc2FkbWluLnBpeGFibGUuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvdXBsb2Fkcy8yMDE1LzA2L2hpcHMuZ2lm
from the German segment of Watch People From All Over the World Describe How to Spot an American (click image to view)

Part of it is that I have a wardrobe of cute clothes that don’t fit me right now, and I’m too cheap to buy new ones in my new size. Part of is that I don’t want to confirm negative stereotypes of my own country. But most of it is just that I feel better when I’m a healthy weight, and that I love-love-love walking and biking when I’m in Europe, activities that I can’t see myself doing well if I’m in my current state of overweight. (Besides, you can fit more clothes in a suitcase when the clothes are smaller!)

My weight-gaining job was fairly stressful, and while I succeeded at it beyond my expectations, it was at the cost of several personal values. I couldn’t seem to motivate myself to go to the gym or plan meals when every workday used up my mental energies on work-related project planning and self-motivation. So I started to save up lots of money and eventually quit.

Today you find me unemployed and living on my savings, and resetting my brain and body to their old healthy patterns. This week, I felt ready to start planning meals again, and fortunately my new roommate in unemployment (aka my mom) enjoys trying new things, so we can adventure together. I also started consciously working out again. I hate running, and I’ve been so tired that all I can manage right now is a brisk walk, but that brisk walk has been truly good for me.

So far, I’ve lost one pound this week. One pound in a week! At this rate, I’ll be back to healthy and spry by Spring and can fit into all those cute clothes I want to pack up with me for my next trip to Europe.

What have I done?

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’ve gone for a ~30 min/2 mile walk each morning. That has gotten my metabolism moving early in the day, and it’s also gotten me done with my main exercise before the heat gets too bad.
  • At the start of the week, I’ve planned what every meal will be. I look at the servings and decide when each meal can be eaten as leftovers. And I planned a morning and an afternoon snack so I don’t start grazing between meals.

That’s it. Exercise more, eat less. It’s simple in theory, but hard in practice when you’re forming a new habit and breaking an old one.

Why have I told you all of this? Because I’m going to post some recipes here that I’ve used in case anyone else needs help motivating themselves to get physically ready for that dreamed-of trip abroad.

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