Friday, September 28, 2012
There are quite a few things that make trying to lose weight in Zambia different than doing it in the U.S. Now I know these are going to sound weird to anyone out there who might read this but they are true.
First, most people who have a job in Africa also have a maid, househelp, housekeeper, or cook, and a gardener. It is a way of helping the economy by providing a job, and you are considered stingy if you do not employ someone. However, it is embarrassing for me to exercise in front of my maid or gardener. My friend here says I should get over it. I try. Today the maid came early and I had to finish my workout after she arrived, but I did not quit. I finished, and it was bearable. I do, however, refuse to do Dance Central when she is here. I would switch to something else. That is just too embarrassing.
Second - there are virtually no diet foods in the stores here. I can buy diet coke, which I don't like much, and I can buy artificial sweetener which is usually aspartame. That is it! Convenience foods in general are too expensive here so on the upside, I have a lot of control of what goes into my dinner, and veggies here are generally cheap although there is not a huge variety.
Third- and finally- the power here can go out randomly, though it doesn't usually happen during the morning when I am exercising, it occasionally has. Since I am limited in how much running/walking I can do, I rely on aerobics via the xbox or videos. When the power goes I am pretty much stuck. Fortunately, this one is rare.
On the positive side, the pace of life here is slow, so I have the ability to set my schedule how I want it, thus usually don't have a problem finding time to exercise. I am also the cook, and so can adjust the menu how I see fit to accommodate my diet. Nice.
So those are some of the challenges of losing weight in Africa.