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Losing Weight in Africa

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We are limited in convenience foods too. I was surprised to learn how much Italians cook from scratch every day! Although it's healthier, it takes some getting use to. Also, we have a housekeeper too. She's only part time, but it's very common here. There are a ton of Romanians and here it's considered selfish not to employ an immigrant who's looking for work. Sort of like Zambia!
    Why Zambia? I'd be very interested to hear how your kids are adjusting too. My son is half-italian, so it wasn't a huge adjustment for him. He had about a month of language problems when we got here but now it's all good.
    1845 days ago
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