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Chili, Coconuts, Mexico

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hola, Sparkfriends!

So here I am for a week in Mexico. We had a one week conference in Guadalajara, then now I have two days free.
In short, food is excellent, the weather is superb, and the people are very friendly - I enjoy it so much!

As for the healthy life, with all these excellent food here, it's not easy, but I still find my way around. I managed to put in a 30 or 45 min swim every day, circling in the small swimming pool of the hotel.
And not full in the "Sparkpeople compliant" way, but I went for healthy choices and controlled portions about 80% of the time.

Today, I am at the beach with a friend from here. I had 30 minutes swimming (haha, not moving ahead due to the waves), and 60 minutes "fighting with the waves". It was just great. The waves of the pacific are very strong, the sand is fine, and the sun is very hot.

I eat a lof of fresh tropical fruits, a lot of fresh vegetables, and excellent vegetable soups. I mostly enjoy fresh coconuts and papaya, which I never had in Austria/Hungary, and are a lifetime first for me! I try to limit the excellent tortillas and tacos, and mostly go for seafood. But I taste a bite from everything anyway.

In the morning, I made a 30 min walk in the sand.

Anyone been to Mexico before?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARGYLE-RUNNER 11/21/2011 9:55AM

    growing up in Southern Colorado, I ate a lot of Mexican food, but since we were landlocked, it was more tortillas (flour and corn) and beans and rice and cheese and amazing pork green chilie - you are quite lucky to have the access to the fresh freggies and seafood - have you tried ceviche? (sp) - it is the raw seafood in lime juice to "cook" it - it is very good, and I'm sure amazing fresh :)

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KAUAI-CAROLANN 11/20/2011 3:10AM

    Papaya and coconut! So, so good & are my favorites! ...add mango in there, too!

Look across the Pacific and give me an "aloha wave" if you think about it. Glad you are having fun.

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KIMBERTA99 11/18/2011 8:21PM

    Oh....too bad you didnt come to Cancun!! I could of met my first spark friend!! Gald you are enjoying Mexico....that is why I like living here..the people are really friendly and lots of seafood!!

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    I used to live in Guadalajara! If you're near Puerto Vallarta right now, try to get to Sayulita. It's about thirty or forty minutes away and you can take public transit to get there. It's a super-cute little fishing village with lots of cool boutiques and yummy restaurants. It's also a great place for surfing, or learning to surf! It's an easy day trip, or you can overnight at the adorable Petit Hotel d'Hafa (which is very affordable but it's been in all the major style magazines because it's so hip!).

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LISAINMS 11/18/2011 3:46PM

    I've been to both coasts of Mexico. Love the people, the food, the environment... it's a great place to visit.

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CHANGINGMORGAN 11/18/2011 3:37PM

    Love love love all of this and am so glad you're experiencing new things!

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RRP546 11/18/2011 3:33PM

  i just got off a disney cruise and the food was incredible

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Clothes on the fast track AKA Oliver's charity warehouse

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2 week ago I made a major inventory of my clothing department. Every single peace had gone trough Salamon's sword: the ones that still had fit me were the keepers, those fitting some other person 25% heavier than me - with heartbreaking tears - had to hit the fast track.

There are two destinations for the poor fast track Oliver's clothes:
Garderobe, a fantastic second hand shop in Graz
Charitas, for charity distribution

Today, I visited with a huge bag Garderobe, and left a few pieces there. One of my jackets can make a revisit to the shop in February, for the spring collection. The majority however came back.

Here's the full pack, 104 pieces together, plus not on the picture are 3 other trousers I sold already, and 6 summer trousers already packed for February. This is 113 pieces, with some items not discarded yet, because then I really have nothing left to wear.
Especially my underwear series needs a quick overhaul.

Trousers: 38 (uncomfortable) to 32 (comfortable)
Shirts: 43 to 40.5 (in centimeters)
T-shirt: XXL/XL to M/S.
Shoes: EU 46.5 E (US 12 1/2) to EU 45 (11 1/2).

As for exercise, I had 50 min swim today (mostly backstroke), and 65 min running (5:30 min/K, 12K).

Some peopel tell me I should save some of the clothes for later, if I get fat again.
Before, I was really kind with these people, and politely said, "I am decided to keep on the healthy lifestyle, but thanks for your comment."
These days, I am getting angrier hearing all these nonsense comments (one after the other), and just tell, please, do me a favour, and save your comments for yourself. I feel like they really haven't listened to me, and are just projecting on me their ideas.

Next step is to save up some funds for new clothes, because now I have exactly 5 shirts, and 5 jeans, which means I have to wash every 3-4 days.

I gave a goodie for myself (as per Fall 5% challenge), because I really did awesome today, with the exercise, fresh fruits and vegetables, food tracking, discarding old clothes, reading SP articles, spreading the spark, and so on. In fact, most of these are just on autopilot, because they are part of my daily life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARGYLE-RUNNER 11/21/2011 9:50AM

    I totally understand the feeling when people say to keep the old clothes - I've been getting rid of them pretty much as I shrink out of them - I also realized that as I started to fit into some "goal" clothes that I've had for a long time, that they didn't look good on me (wrong style, cut, fabric, etc) - so those went as well - now i just buy things as I tend to need them - I currently have 5 sizes of jeans all bought since I've started losing weight (I only buy one pair per size at this point) - and I need to get rid of the two biggest sizes - they are way to big - the smallest pair that I just bought don't quite fit, but I also tried them on after a big meal of Chinese food, so I may be closer than I think :)

is there a place there where you could "trade" your larger clothes for smaller ones? I suppose the consignments shops don't do that sort of thing, it would be perfect if they did though :)

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MUEHLBBO 11/16/2011 9:07PM

    I say get rid of the clothes. I did such a backslide this summer and not having my big clothes around definitely made me really knuckle down and get a start at this again. My clothes selections are limited right now, but already today I was able to wear one pair of slacks that I couldn't 2 weeks ago. Keep up your great work.

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BEATLETOT 11/13/2011 10:04AM

    Oliver, your mindset is one I really look up to. I think you should giggle a little at those comments, because in addition to being negative and impolite, they're also SO SILLY. I've never met you IRL, and it would never occur to me that you might want to keep some of your bigger clothes! You think fit now!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/12/2011 9:56PM

    Great job Oliver and what a great problem to have....buying new clothes that fit because you've lost so much weight.

You're right about the negative thinkers....they're stuck in the past...keep doing what you're doing, you're an inspiration with your dedication!

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KMICHA 11/12/2011 7:48PM

    How fun! It's so nice to see how far you have traveled in your journey! You are doing terrific!

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FVHORVATH 11/12/2011 7:43PM

    It is so wonderful to be able to clean out the closets and rid yourself of all the big clothes! Time to buy new ones!

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KKINNEA 11/12/2011 7:00PM

    I agree with you - just get rid of those clothes that don't fit - anything else is like permission to allow yourself to fall into old, bad habits.

I hear you on the reduced wardrobe - I only have 2 pairs of blue jeans that fit right now! People always think it's great that you have an excuse to go out shopping except it can cost so much!

Thanks for the reminder on the Fall 5% goodie since we do have to do that daily. Sounds like you are doing great!

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LISAINMS 11/12/2011 6:09PM

    Great day of being good to yourself! I am with you... I have been getting rid of clothes as soon as they don't fit. I will never go back to that old life. This is my life now.

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MIIMA-ME-MY 11/12/2011 3:53PM

    emoticon emoticon I would like to dare doing that (again) but I am a little nervous because last time I got rid of my big size clothes after losing 50 lbs (and swearing I will never got the weight back on) I ended up wearing my husband sweat pants and T-shirts when I actually *did* re-gained the pounds...

I keep a cloth rack with XL, L, M and S size clothes, just in case, and it sure feels good to pick my clothes from the M section right now! ☺

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ZELLAZM 11/12/2011 3:22PM

    I'm so behind on your blogs - you've been so busy! I'm always inspired by your PLANNING talents. And I agree about the comments concerning keeping "fat" clothes around. You don't need those them remind you of your pre-Spark life and lifestyle.

Don't be too hard on your friends who make those remarks, though. When the people say such things, I don't think they are are revealing more about themselves and not criticizing you. They may just not have the faith to believe that someone can really make such a change and keep at it forever. But you do! WTG!

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KIMBERTA99 11/12/2011 2:24PM

    Wow that is great that you are getting rid of all your "fat" clothes!! That is alot! You certainly have every right to tell them to keep their comments to themselves. You have worked your tail off and lost the weight the right way. You have changed your eating and workout like a crazy man!! emoticon You are an inspiration to all that know you!!

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CHANGINGMORGAN 11/12/2011 2:13PM

    I go through my closet twice a year, mainly because I own WAY too many clothes. The one nice thing is I won't have to shop too soon, because for way too long of a time I wore my clothes waaaaaaaaay too tight (the implications of why can be discussed some other time :P), so they'll still fit now that I'm not into said implications haha.

I'm proud of you for taking the time and effort. We feel better when we look great. You're rocking it man! Keep it up.

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SHOOPETTE 11/12/2011 1:54PM

    I was doing the same today! but you are luckier than me, I have 4 pants (ok and a gazillion tops) but in between sizes which is awefull.

You are right though, it's a lifestyle and there is no going back, how could one want to feel poorly because of bad diet and a sedentary lifestyle?

Keep it up!

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Hamburg ahead - let's plan (with update)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I have a 1.5 day trip ahead to Hamburg, Germany.
I was doing well lately on trips, but my experience is that it still works better if I plan ahead.

So my goals:

1. Eat at office before leaving. This way I am not hungry at the airport and avoid avoid the fast food.

2. Plain water to drink on the plane.
This is hard to resist with all the wine and nice drinks on offer. Before, I used to ask for cola light, but then the caffeine has effect for the night's sleep. So, I came back to plain old good transparent water. At least, no brainwork to choose.

On the plane, I eat the sandwich/candy offered, but track it beforehand.
This is to ease things, and not to be too hard on myself. When everybody is eating around, and the smell there, I don't want to expend to much energy for little effect. I invest it for healthy choice later, when I have more control, and bigger effect.

3. Take the stairs, go on foot when possible (vs. elevator).

4. Buy fruits and salads for dinner in a supermarket at the airport, or if not possible, before swimming.

5. Look up a swimming pool instead of dining out.
This will be a new way to explore the city, and learn something about Germany, and life in the North.
And my exercise for the day will taken care of.

6. Five goals is enough! ;-)

This is on my office wall.
I inherited from the colleague who was sitting here before me. I just become aware how nice heritage it is.
Makes me look at healthy food each time I turn my head to the right.

Update on Tuesday night:
1. I left the office with a healthy meal. So I was safe at the airports.

2. I asked for water on both flights, on the first one we got some small cake with macadamia nuts. I was already prepared for it, and as it was already budgeted in my nutrition tracker, there were no side feelings, just enjoyment.

3. My step counter is at 7766. I did my best, with 60 minutes power-walking, but it looks like without running it will stay below 10000 steps today.

4. At the airport, I bought 1kg of banana, cabbage salad, melon, and tomatoes, good for this week challenge.

5. I had a good swim in Alster Hallendbad in Hamburg.
50m, open until 23:00 in the evening. Lots of sporty people still at 21:30, almost full. German precision and organisation, separate area for "Tempo" swimmers (faster), also the swimming direction was indicated.
They also have free-to-show up triathlon training in the pool. There are fixed times when the rainers are there, and who ever wants, can join in. That is awesome! Here's the timetable: www.baederland.de/angebot/sch

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUJAJI67 11/19/2011 1:29PM

    you inspired me a lot tonight! beeing a new menber its nice to read about the successes of others who have made the way before! thanx for sharing!

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KKINNEA 11/12/2011 7:01PM

    Awesome, great goals and great job!

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LISAINMS 11/12/2011 6:04PM

    The pools you have access to are amazing! Obviously swimming is more popular in Europe than the US. I would love to swim in this pool!

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CHANGINGMORGAN 11/12/2011 2:15PM

    Love love love that you found a healthier way to travel!

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STRIVER57 11/11/2011 3:32AM

    no wonder my friend from Germany is always complaining about French pools!!
great planning ... and execution.

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SHOOPETTE 11/10/2011 1:58PM

    volonté de fer...bravo!

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AMYNYNJ 11/9/2011 7:52AM

    Ich liebe Hamburg! I wish the US had Public pools like the ones in Germany.

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FVHORVATH 11/8/2011 10:38AM

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Germany!

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BEATLETOT 11/8/2011 8:59AM

    Sooo jealous that of your life. I so wish I were back in Europe!

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ASHL_84 11/8/2011 6:48AM

    Great goals! Finding a pool instead of eating out is a wonderful idea. Hope your trip goes well!!

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KMICHA 11/8/2011 6:27AM

    Great plan! I know you will stick to it! You are an inspiration! Keep up the good work!

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It's not perfect, but it's IN.

Monday, November 07, 2011

I discovered today, that if I go with the bike to work, although I shorten my daily step count, I can easily fit in some extra exercise.

I love biking.

Today was a super busy day at work. I'm on a trip for two days tomorrow, so had to squeeze in everything today before I leave. Result: check out at 19:50.

No swimming - too far away.
No running - too dark and cold.
No biking - too cold and dark.
Too bad.

So what to do.

The deal is 10min every day.

As I was already on the bike, I thought, let's make it the daily 10 min, so I steered away from home.
It was quite cold, but I thought I can do it for another 10 minutes.
Then it became fun, as I found the entrance of a path I never went before, but was interested what's there. And it wasn't that cold anymore.

So, from the no go, it became a 30 minutes cardio.

It's not perfect, but it's IN.

This from running last Friday.
I love Autumn, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOOPETTE 11/9/2011 9:39AM

    perseverance in the eye of adversity...

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KMICHA 11/8/2011 9:24PM

    The Picture is beautiful. Way to get the exercise in!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/7/2011 8:51PM

    Great job and enjoy this time of year. Something about the fall makes us all enjoy these days and nights!

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KIMBERTA99 11/7/2011 8:28PM

    Way to go on getting in your 10 minutes....sometimes we just have to do it and you did...30 minutes later you were done!! I will have a late workout once the boys are asleep!!

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    Love love love autumn. And if 10 mins daily is the goal, then 30 mins rocked it! It may not be what you generally do, but you reached your goal. Proud of you! Now I've got to go do mine... You've inspired me.

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Why do I wash fruits? (pictures)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

We have freggies week in the 5% challenge.

Some grapes, imported from Italy to Austria presented in a bowl made in China - we live in this global society -, not looking particularly dirty.

This water is an opaque misticanza, with all the leftover pesticides, dust, and particles. Some grape-wax (actually this is not bad) and plant-parts also in the water. One can say, "Come on, this is not so dirty...".
Well, I would not drink this as part of my daily 8 cups!

This is the clean fruit, and obviously the water is sharp-transparent see trough.
So now, bon appetit!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMICHA 11/8/2011 9:33PM

    Amazing isn't it? yuck!!!

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NTSOHLTHNT 11/7/2011 5:45PM

    That's exactly why you have to wash all fruit. Just think of the stuff you washed off that you can't see. Ugh!

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CONFIDO999 11/7/2011 11:36AM

    Bravo! Very good and healthy step!

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SHOOPETTE 11/7/2011 10:59AM

    it happened to me last friday actually, with grapes too. definitely wash carefully now

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KIMBERTA99 11/7/2011 2:17AM

    I always wash my fruit and vegis with water then use a disinfectant that they sell here in Mexico....I always cringe when I see someone nibbling on fruit..grapes, etc while walking through the store. And you proved that we HAVE to wash, then eat!!

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GLEORIA 11/6/2011 7:57PM

    Seeing this means it must not be a good idea to sample grapes in the store to see if they are sweet.

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ARINDANA 11/6/2011 7:30PM

    what's more is that people handle the fruit and veggies at the supermarket and get all kinds of germs and bacteria on them. so ya... for sure it's necessary to wash everything!

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SUPER3800 11/6/2011 7:09PM

  Thanks for posting this, it was an eye opener!

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ASHL_84 11/6/2011 7:03PM

    The proof is definitely in the pictures! Thanks for sharing. I know I've found small insects stuck in lettuce and celery which makes me very conscious of washing!

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BEATLETOT 11/6/2011 6:25PM

    Gross. =)

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AUNTFANNYJANE 11/6/2011 6:19PM

    I always wash fruit and veggies too.

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