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Staying on track in Africa...Peace Corps dilemma



 
 
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DGYOUNG1
Posts: 120
10/12/12 5:36 P

Everyone here has had great ideas. One thing I would add, talk about what you are doing. A lot. You don't have to make excuses if people know that your routine is to be up in time to workout early. They will start wrapping things up on their own. Same with eating out. Everyone I work with knows that i will probably not eat if we go to a restaurant. Usually I just get a soda and chat with everyone.



LITTLE1DER
Posts: 934
10/12/12 5:19 P

Serah,
I'm not sure what country in Africa you are in but I am a wee bit jealous just hearing you are on my continent away from continent. I was in Ghana a few years ago for a vacation and my sister-in-law's wedding while trying to maintain a healthy diet so I understand completely.
I think the dinner party is a great idea, a "taste" (all puns intended) of American dining. I was lucky my in laws had visited us in the state and knew I was a very healthful eater, lost of salad (light dressings), fruits, and fresh veggies. When I came to them they took me to the most western grocery store they had because they wanted me to make them pasta salad and green salad while I was visiting because they had enjoyed my lighter menu so much.
I tried everything I could but very small portions of the local food and we did drink a lot but carry bottled water with you and just have water between drinks.
I ope to hear about your dinner party soon what a great idea!!



ARCHIMEDESII
SparkPoints: (135,654)
Fitness Minutes: (204,285)
Posts: 20,172
10/12/12 12:34 P

HI, Serah !!

You don't have to give up your social life in order to lose weight and be healthy. If you'd like to have an occasional glass of wine, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Spark People isn't about deprivation, it's all about moderation and portion control. Have a glass of wine, but if people keep pushing more drinks on you, ask for some mineral water with a twist of lime or lemon. No one says you have to have more than one drink.

Pizza, I eat pizza. Same thing, have a slice or two. but pair it with a BIG leafy green salad. As long as you don't eat and drink like this every single day, doing it once in a while won't harm your efforts at long term health.

What do you eat the rest of the time ? If you were to eat right 5 out of 7 days this week, you'd still be doing better than the average American. So, what types of foods do you eat during the week ? Do you get 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies ? If not, try increasing the number of servings you eat. Do you drink plenty of water ? try to drink more water.

What do you do for exercise ? Is their a safe place to walk, hike or take a run ? If you don't have a safe place, get a jump rope and jump some rope for exercise. I'm sure the Peace Corps must keep you busy with lots of different activities to help whatever you are placed.

Mostly, be mindful of your portions. that's not easy. learning portion control took me a long time, but once you learn... you'll never have to worry about your weight again.

So, why not have an occasional glass of wine or beer, BUT the rest of the time.... drink water or diet soda with a twist of lime/lemon.




ASHAIXIM
Posts: 2,611
10/12/12 11:35 A

If you have a dinner party (which sounds great) I would start it at like 6. No one is going to hang out for 6 hours! Serve wine with dinner if you want but don't have any other alcohol available for them to drink. I don't drink but maybe once or twice a year (and I'm talking a glass of wine or a couple of mixed drinks at a friends house) so it is CERTAINLY not a necessity to have it available for people!

One thing I've done when I've had guests or visitors at work from out of town is make up a "hostess" kit with menus, directions, etc. If you did this with some local restaurants, bars, etc. then if they want to go out you can simply say, I'm sorry I have to be up really early, but here's a packet with all sorts of info for you! and let them have at it!



MICHELLEXXXX
SparkPoints: (6,026)
Fitness Minutes: (5,730)
Posts: 1,734
10/12/12 11:27 A

I encourage you to definitely put yourself and your health first, it will draw like-minded people into your life. Do you talk to the 5:30am gym crowd when you're there? Many of my closest friends are those I met at the gym.
I order salads with protein or just a drink at most pizza places.
As for the chef tasting, I would enlist a boyfriend/friend hang out and taste while I cook.I would also post a start and end time on the invitations.
Personally, I respect people more when they treat themselves with respect by making their needs known.



SERAH_MOZ
SparkPoints: (2,805)
Fitness Minutes: (3,699)
Posts: 21
10/12/12 3:28 A

Hi there fellow Sparkers, I have a situation and need some help and ideas:

1) I'm a Peace Corps volunteer living in my host country's prime vacation destination. Lot's of volunteers come through to visit and when they do, without fail, they want to go out to eat (pizza usually, a rarity in other parts of the country) and then go out drinking. And when I say drinking, I mean, post college, early 20s style all-night partying (I'm in my 30s and quite a bit slower to recover these days). Participating in this is one of the reasons I find myself where I am right now, overweight, unhealthy and working to get back in shape. Part of my program has been to quit smoking, stop the partying (to eliminate the beer calories, aid in the quitting smoking, be able to get up at 5:30am for morning workouts and nix impulsive alcohol related eating) and not participate in dinners out (there are no internet menus for restaurants here and oil is a major ingredient in every dish, even salads!). Because of this, I find that I am losing out on wonderful opportunities to spend time with my colleagues in what can be a lonely life in an unfamiliar culture. I also do not want to be perceived by my site mates and visiting colleagues as anti-social or inhospitable just because I am putting my health first these days and avoiding the parties.

I am committed to my healthy lifestyle but don't want to miss everything in the next 10 months, so I need some general strategies and ideas for how to participate in some of these events without smoking, caving to the urge to order that pizza and eat the whole thing, drinking too much, getting hungover, missing workouts and risking a hard fall off the health wagon.

2) Immediate Concern: One way I have addressed this "Fear of Missing Out" (FOMO) is by inviting a large group to my house for a dinner party. This way I control the food. I have a very healthy spread planned...an assemble your own fish taco dinner. I have a few concerns that I need help with...one is that I need strategies for avoiding and/or accurately tracking the inevitable hostess/chef continual munching and tasting in the kitchen....one is how to avoid getting into that party spirit and eating and drinking more than planned....and the last is how do I get everyone to leave at a reasonable hour, make my excuses not to go out on the town partying on a Saturday night and get to bed on time so I can get up well rested for my 5:30am workout?

Help!!!!!

Serah



 
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