Saturday, February 15, 2014
I'm heading back to the US for a short visit so I'll only get to visit Spark People sporadically. This month has been busy with preparations for this trip, with me and my hubby's vacation in Japan, and preparing for the new school year (starts in March). While I'm in the US I'm going to have some job interviews; I'm looking to either move back to the US or to another East Asian country so as always I could use some prayers.
Can't wait to catch up with family and friends back home!
Sunday, January 19, 2014
This winter break I opted not to go home (to the USA) after the holidays but to stay in Seoul to get back on the road to health. It was working well while losing weight but when my weight started to fluctuate it was a bit of a downer. Did I give up seeing my family to only lose X much? I soon shook myself of that negative way of thinking, and started asking different questions:
"Well I can tell I'm not my 20 year old self anymore and this weight isn't going to come off as easy. If I'm not going to put my emphasis on how quickly I lose the weight, then what should I emphasize? How can I make getting there half the fun?"
Before the winter break began one of my goals was to walk all the way from my house to the Han River, the huge river that runs through the middle of Seoul, which is about 8 miles from my apartment, so I decided...
"Why not make more goals like these? I'm not sure how much longer I'll live in this country, and I definitely want to see as much of it as possible, so why not get healthy while exploring Seoul?"
After a bit of Googling I found out:
There are 42 mountains in Seoul! - I've only climbed one small one near my house. It doesn't matter if I make it to the top, just exploring the area would be more than enough! Koreans are REALLY into hiking like you wouldn't believe - why not get a glimpse of this part of the culture and see some beautiful scenery?!
There are miles worth of rivers and streams! - On top of that, each river/stream has walking and biking trails, free exercise equipment every so many miles, in addition to fields for just about every sport imaginable. I've walked/jogged around a fair amount of these, but there's so much more!
There are hundreds of parks in Seoul, ranging from small playgrounds to famous ones like the Olympic Park (where the 1988 Olympics was held), Children's Grand Park, and Yangje's Citizens Forest. - Each can teach me a bit about the culture, why not make an effort to walk or jog around some of them?!
There are 38 universities in Seoul! - Each campus has it's own unique feel, and is home to beautiful architecture, parks, and other places of interest. Higher education is very important in South Korea, why not walk around a few and explore this aspect of the culture?!
There are also lots of outdoor attractions, like Seoul Fortress, which stretches over 11 miles, and some of the hanok (traditional Korean house) areas. I've been around a few places like this, but again, I've only scratched the surface! Why not find and explore more?!
In addition there are 25 districts of Seoul! From my district, Nowon, to Gangnam, to Yongsan, where the big US military base is located (I've been privileged to get on base twice, God bless our soldiers!) there are a lot of areas I haven't even taken the subway through - why not make sure I walk around each of them? Each district has it's own attractions, like the French area of Seoul my husband and I walked around the other day. Why not visit more places like this?!
I'm pretty psyched now!
Then I started to think, well this isn't fair. What if someone reading this thinks, "Well that's fine for you but I'm from [insert city, state] and don't have access to so many places. I started looking more into my hometown, Jefferson City, Missouri (population 40,000) and realized that there are so many parks, natural places, streets, and areas I haven't really explored. Maybe I drove through them, but there's so much more you notice when you walk, jog or bike your way through a given area. The next time I go home I'm going to have to jog down the whole Greenway Trail, take a stroll around Binder Lake (haven't been there since I was a kid), take the new bike route across the Missouri River that connects to the KATY trail (240 mile trail that goes through a good part of Missouri), and maybe even one day bike to a different city via the trail. There are so many other cities, towns, State parks, and other areas around Mid-MO I haven't seen. Getting excited to get back home and get on it!
I'll be sporadically posting pictures of the places I go, as well as cultural commentary on my blog www.jeanneabeck.wordpress.com. Feel free to check it out!
Sunday, January 12, 2014
A few pros and cons of doing the Daniel Plan abroad:
The biggest plus is that most of the foods I miss are 6,000+ miles away from me, and not having a car means that even if my husband and I want to go eat something less than healthy we have to walk, take the subway, and walk some more, then turn around and do the same to go home. I lost over 10 pounds my first semester in Korea just from these two things!
What's also great about South Korea foodwise, is that a traditional meal (usually some kind of beef, pork or seafood dish) is served with anywhere from 3-7+ side dishes, which mostly consist of kimchi and vegetables, and for no extra charge! It's great going out to lunch with my husband and seeing that most everything in front of me is Daniel Fast friendly.
On the downside, I can't always read what's on labels, and can't always ask (because of language) what's in food, but if I exercise common sense I do pretty well. Also most recipes in the Daniel Plan are impossible for me to do. I only have a range and a rice cooker. Ovens aren't common; they look like huge microwaves but since I'm not sure how long I'll stay in South Korea I don't want to invest the money in it.
Another downside is that I'm in Seoul, where there are tons of fastfood joints. Just recently a Dunkin Donuts opened up next to my apartment and I was like, "You're kidding me. I have to walk past THAT every day!!!" My biggest temptation, Baskin Robbins, is only a few doors down from that! Gotta stay strong!
Monday, January 06, 2014
Today my husband and I walked to a nearby outdoor market in Northeastern Seoul, and then over to a restaurant we'd heard about. The food was great and all told we spent a hour walking. My knee has been bothering me a bit today - not sure what I did to it yesterday - but I still wanted to get as close to two hours of exercise as possible. I finally worked up the motivation around 7pm to get out and walk again. Putting on my coat to leave, my husband told me to wait up, that he'd join me for an evening walk as well! This is coming from a guy who's not the fittest and prefers to spend his days indoors. We decided to walk to a department store and back, taking it slow and with the ice still on the sidewalks near the river, it took us about 50 minutes round trip.
I'm stoked to have gotten 1 hour and 50 minutes of walking accomplished today, and even more excited that my husband got just as much fitness time as me! I hope I'm rubbing off on him and we'll both see health improvements, not to mention, it's great to explore Seoul with a friend!
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