Saturday, April 21, 2012
This week I did a unit about food with my ESL students. These are intermediate students, so it wasn't just vocabulary like apple, beef, chicken, etc. It was about the way we eat. We read about several different popular weight loss programs. After we read, I asked them what they thought about each program and their response was the same each time. "This is crazy!"
We also discussed how eating habits in the U.S. are different from eating habits where they come from. Honestly, this isn't the first time it's been on my mind. It's been on my mind since I came home from Legnano.
For some reason, we truly believe that we will starve to death unless we eat every few hours. Most of us eat 6 meals instead of 3! I call it eating like a hobbit. Breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and an evening snack. I think eating like this is reasonable if each of your 6 meals are 300 calories are less. But let's face it, who is satisfied even for just a few hours on 300 calories? Most of us reach for a little snack in between those meals. And this is especially true if we are eating fat free, sugar free, low carb.
Eating that way made it so the eating habits in Italy shocked me! I didn't have anything fat free, sugar free, or low carb over there. Hello! It's Italy! What's Italy famous for? Cheese, pizza, pasta, and wine. Right? I enjoyed large portions of each and ,despite my fear that I would gain, I lost weight! How on earth did that happen? I was stumped until I thought about it later.
There were 3 meals a day. Breakfast was usually a cake of some sort or some biscotti. And if either of those was dry my host mother handed me a jar of Nutella. Lunch wasn't until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. And it was a big meal! Usually meat, followed by some pasta or rice or polenta, then the vegetables. And after that they pulled out some cheese, fruit, and bread. Dinner was the same and not until 8 or 9 at night. Sometimes between breakfast and lunch I would go out for a coffee with the other teachers. Most of the time it was just coffee (espresso). Sometimes for an extra treat we grabbed a brioche. A couple of hours after lunch my host mother would make some coffee (still espresso). Sometimes there would be a treat too. Those snacks were rare. Most often we were too full from meals to have snacks.
I felt better when I ate like that! I didn't have the constant munchies that I do at home. Lately, even though I haven't gained weight, I feel bloated and gross. Most of what I eat here is fat free or low fat, there's very little sugar (I like Splenda), and very few white, refined carbs (I prefer whole grain!). So what on earth is going on?
Here's what I intend to try this week. It's time for me to go back to the way I ate in Italy! I'm going to try it this week and see how I feel. I will have 3 balanced, more calorie dense meals a day. This will be easy on work days because I teach for about 5 hours straight. And on those days I walk a lot too. I walk to the bus stop in the morning and I walk from the bus to the school.
Anyway, there's my challenge for the week. Focus on 3 balanced, dense meals a day. Walk whenever I can, and go to the gym on my days off.
Saturday, April 07, 2012
I met with my favorite accompanist yesterday so we could practice the songs I've been learning. Despite my voice being somewhat out of shape it went pretty well! And the reason she's my favorite accompanist is that she knows what I need to hear. She asked what I've been up to in my free time (which is like...all of my time). I told her that when I'm not job searching or going to the gym I'm playing computer games. She asked me what on earth I was doing that for. So she helped me come up with a plan to get myself moving in a good direction, rather that being stagnant until a job comes. Here's what we came up with:
Step 1: Make some business cards!
Step 2: Start building up a client list. Do this by leaving some business cards and flyers at local churches, grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats...etc.
Step 3: Find a place to teach! It doesn't have to be my house. Her idea was a local church, maybe one would let me rent the space in exchange for my musical services. If the church doesn't work out, maybe the local library? I'm supposed to be helping them develop an ESL program anyway.
Step 4: Find a free class somewhere and get my mind working again! Also, I need to be doing something musical. So maybe a music theory class or learning some of the music that I have. (It's a pile of music she gave to me that she believes is a good fit for me, and I trust her!)
So hopefully I'll be feeling like myself again soon. Sitting around looking for jobs and getting rejected is driving me nuts. Time to make it work!
Monday, January 09, 2012
Ok. Today I started getting my space organized. Here's what I did:
1. Threw away unnecessary things. For example old papers, empty boxes, shoes I don't wear anymore.
2. Put the dirty laundry through the wash. Put the clean laundry away.
3. Made room for indoor exercise. Can't do the exercise if there's no room!
That being said, I'm trying yoga. I'm starting with a simple daily stretching routine, then when I'm consistent with that I'll add another sequence to it. My goal is to get the exercise without focusing on the calories I'm burning. I want to be focused on my breathing and movements.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
My Short Term Goals:
Get my TEFL certificate (4 week process, I start it January 30)
Find a job teaching/tutoring ESL
Get my space organized
My Long Term Goals:
Learn to drive and get my license
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
My life has changed a lot in the past few months. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Music. I applied to (and got rejected from) a couple of grad school programs. I also applied (and got accepted to!) an internship program in northern Italy.
Originally the internship had me teaching English in one school from the end of September until the end of December. A week after I got accepted they offered me a second school that would extend my time there until the first week in June. So now I'll be at a middle school for the first 3 months, come home for Christmas, and then go back from January til the first week in June.
Now, I have never been that far from home before. I have never even left the country, so the thought of 3 months away, while nerve wracking, was exciting. The thought of 8 months away is terrifying but no way is that going to stop me.
Aside from that, I am at the smallest size I can remember being since I was a teenager. I started my weight loss journey wearing a size 22 pants and a 2x top. Now I am in size 12 pants and a medium top. I bought my first pair of skinny jeans back in November and my first bikini top this summer. I chicken out and use boyshort bottoms, but still I'm rather proud of myself!
So in less than a month my new body and I will be getting on a plane to Italy. Although I do speak Italian I am not even close to fluent but soon that will change too! I will go from student to teacher (although my mentor argues that I have always been a teacher after watching me tutor). Hopefully I will come home at the end of my adventure a braver, stronger woman with lots of job opportunities at her fingertips.
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