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Peace Corps Volunteer Staying Healthy!



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STHAX10
SparkPoints: (38,640)
Fitness Minutes: (17,960)
Posts: 3,072
11/19/12 9:13 P

Welcome to the message boards!!! I hope that we as a group can help you, in some way, to meet your goals!!! Never give up!!!



LKEITHO
SparkPoints: (237,574)
Fitness Minutes: (201,250)
Posts: 12,867
11/19/12 8:47 P

Welcome to SparkPeople! You'll find lots of support, information and inspiration here. All the best on achieving your goals!



GLASSART43
SparkPoints: (112,790)
Fitness Minutes: (57,721)
Posts: 5,645
11/18/12 9:12 P

emoticon and best wishes on your efforts. You do have a unique challenge, but there is lots of support here.
emoticon

Edited by: GLASSART43 at: 11/18/2012 (21:12)


BIGSKYCHERIE
SparkPoints: (48,751)
Fitness Minutes: (7,040)
Posts: 856
11/18/12 5:30 P

Welcome to SP--you're off to a great start here. Keep posting and tracking daily. Setting up your own Spark page so we can get to know you is a great help. Join a few teams of people with something in common with yourself--age, location, amount to lose, etc. And once you've worked through the "Getting Started" list, you'll know your way around the site quite well.
http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/get_s
tarted.asp
And remember, we're all in this together. We help one another to get to the goal of a healthy weight and lifestyle. Together WE CAN DO IT!!
emoticon emoticon
While I think it may be difficult for you, remember that it's not impossible. I'm sure the starchy diet of fried foods has helped them over generations. They walk (as you mentioned) a lot more than we do, and they do physical labor more than we do. Also, carrying a little extra weight can be a hedge against the times when illness strikes the community--thin people don't have anything to lose and so go downhill faster. You do have a job on your hands, but I think it will be possible to eat the starchy fried foods with them, while keeping the portion size down and filling up with lots of fresh fruit and veggies, which sounds possible too. They may think you're a bit strange for eating so much vegetation, but as long as you join them in eating the fried starchy staples of their diet, you're not setting yourself too much apart from them. And you can always get support here on SP. I wish you the best as you begin your PC experience. Remember to keep the focus on being healthy, regardless of the weight. Any excess pounds will come back off when you return to the states and our less starchy diet.
emoticon emoticon



MILLIE-MILOU
Posts: 567
11/18/12 5:20 P

Hi
Welcome to Spark People. You sound like you have a job on your hands with your volunteer work and having to be sensitive to your hosts cooking. I don't envy you that one. I am sure though, that you are super resourceful and that you will find that time to exercise and to get the pounds that have crept on, off for good.



KCMCCART
SparkPoints: (14)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 3
11/18/12 4:28 P

My name is Katie! Starting around middle school in became evident that I was going to have to watch my weight for the rest of my life...which I should have seen coming since both of my parents watch their weight! I just wasn't blessed with that high metabolism and tiny frame! I am 5'8 and pretty big boned and my weight is pretty evenly distrubuted so it has never been a very big deal. At my highest weight in college I was up to 180 and you could tell I had some weight I could lose but I didn't appear as overweight as 180 sounds! After college I got a job teaching first grade which kept me SUPER busy and active and I didn't have to watch my weight as closely.

In August I left the states and moved to South America where I will be serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer until November of 2014 (27 month service). Before I left I had to have all of my favorite foods one last time. When I got here (I live with a host family) I found that the staples of the diet here are starches (rice, yucca, potato), sugar (mainly in juice), and EVERYTHING IS FRIED! Living with a host family I have very little say in what I eat. We are required to be very "culturally sensitive' as we are trying to integrate into the community. As a result of the poor diet and HUGE portion sizes...I would estimate I have gained between 10 and 15 pounds since coming here. I don't know for sure (I only get weighed at my medical exams...I don't have a scale) but I am guessing I weigh an all time high of around 215. This is a huge problem for a number of reasons. One is that it is VERY hot here and I walk almost everywhere. This is very uncomfortable at this weight. Also, the clothes I brought need to last me for two more years and they are already becoming tight.

In one week I move to my permanent site within the country and move in with my new host family. I plan on being very upfront with them (in a culturally sensitive way of course) and explaining that I need to be healthy in order to to my job here and that means eating healthy foods and having time to exercise. While my food choices are limited (I will be living in a rural community) there is plenty of fruits and I can focus on portion sizes. I also plan to start running (I have always been a hiker...never a runner) and doing insanity/yoga/jillian DVDs on my computer.

It is going to be extra challanging since there are limited food choices, I do not prepare my own food, I do not have any exercise equiptment, etc. I also see this as the perfect opportunity to get in the best shape of my life so I can make the most of my service here.

I am happy to be a part of this community and look forward to learning all the ins and outs!

Katie



 
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