SparkPeople ExPats Team Messageboard A team that addresses the challenges of weight loss and maintaining health in foreign cultural environments. We seek to thrive by becoming aware of and sharing our own uniqueness. SparkPeople ExPats Team Messageboard Greetings from Switzerland I have joined multiple teams so here is my intro for them all: <BR> <BR> My name is Carmen, I am 51 and live just outside of Zurich in Switzerland. I am married and have two sons ages 16 and 20. <BR> <BR> Over the past couple of years I have managed to gain more than 10 kilos / 22 pounds... I do not recognize myself. <BR> <BR> I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis (after I fell and broke my wrist 1.5 years ago) and struggle with anxiety and depression (life long). I have been vegetarian ... Fri, 16 Oct 2015 04:36:41 EST Introducing myself Hi There, <BR> <BR> I'm not sure how active this group is but I'm glad I found it. I'm an expat in Ethiopia, which definitely brings it's challenges for weight loss (oily food!), but is a great place to live. <BR> <BR> Hope to find some mutual encouragement here. :) <BR> <BR> Cheers/Mel Thu, 15 Jan 2015 11:29:11 EST Who's still active here? Hi - I just reactivated my Spark membership and I'm just getting started on a 50 pound weight loss. <BR> <BR> I'm finding it a lot harder to be active since moving overseas, and also harder to get motivated to do something about all the weight I've gained since having a kid (not that I was ever thin, but I've recently hit new highs on the scale). <BR> <BR> I'd love to meet some other people who are motivated to improve their fitness and health, and who also understand some of the emotiona... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 15:39:54 EST Lowering Cholesterol Hi teammates! I did not realize that gaining weight would have such a profound influence on my cholesterol. I haven't been as dedicated to losing as I should, i.e. my cholesterol number is approaching 400! Today, is the day that I'm changing my habits. <BR> 1) walk more (60 minutes a day) <BR> 2) eat oatmeal for breakfast <BR> 3) drink black tea (Earl Grey) <BR> 4) drink more water (up to 8 glasses) <BR> 5) avoid fats (except the good ones, i.e., avocado, nuts, olive oil etc. !) <BR> <BR> I... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:03:31 EST challenged to get enough protein My biggest challenge is, that I don't want to eat each day chicken breast (which is the only meat cut you can get cleaned and frozen) there is only canned fish i oil or greasy sauce available and even if I eat 2 eggs plus yogurt (3.5% they call here low fatt!!!) plus some smoked beef (leanest version of meat I can get) I don't reach my minimum protein goal but already used more than 3/4 of the fett I am allowed per day, so I shouldn't add some cheese (no lowfat version available).... <BR> The... Sat, 8 Mar 2014 00:16:22 EST Life Challenges and Changes What do you do when you experienced too many life challenges? I find myself focusing on the smaller picture and what's immediately important; however, I wonder if it's better to look at the big picture? <BR> For example, recently a friend who was battling cancer passed on and I continue to look at our small shared memories...and so many people talk about the bigger picture- his pain is gone... and he's in a better place. Thu, 6 Feb 2014 13:46:15 EST Remembering Dreams I had my first painting class last Saturday at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico. <BR> <BR> It was a class on color theory. I arrived for the first class two weeks ago and the start date was postponed until the next Saturday. I arrived on the next Saturday and discovered that the professor was absent. By the third class, I expected that we might not have class or maybe some other changes could occur. Perhaps the room location would be changed? (Ah, life in Puerto Rico!) It's oka... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 13:09:22 EST Stress and Eating It's almost a given that when people feel stressed they eat more. I know it's true for me, too. Lately, I've been observing my own reactions to stress. I notice that I feel tired after a great deal of stress and then I crave something like pasta, forget to drink water and cut back on my exercise because I feel tired. I'm hoping that noticing will improve my errors! haha. It kind of works. I noticed that I did drink some water and go for a quick walk during my break at work. What are your reac... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 12:33:08 EST Desire for Good I'm inspired by this optimistic quote: <BR> <BR> You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it however. ~Richard Bach <BR> <BR> Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you to do your best? Thu, 20 Jun 2013 08:22:28 EST Healthy Lifestyle vs Crash Dieting I think the best idea that Sparkpeople encourages is the idea of holistic change. It's about remembering to exercise everyday, eating healthy and maintaining balance in your life. This equilibrium is achieved without judgment when you overdo it one day and exceed your number of allotted calories. Learning to stay in a state of self-acceptance is important. I encourage you as I encourage myself to gently stay on track with your goals. If you fall off of your nutrition and health plan just not... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 09:53:08 EST Hello from Italy Hi everyone, I am an American married to an Italian. I've been over here for 4 years. Anyone else in Italy? <BR> I joined SparkPeople last month and, although I like it, I'm finding it hard to track because a) we have different products, and b) calorie counts of foods are not always listed on what we do have. I find myself estimating. A lot. <BR> Anyway it'll be nice to swap stories and ideas with other expats. Where's everyone living? Sun, 7 Oct 2012 12:07:39 EST Staying on track What do you do to keep yourself motivated when life pushes you away from your goals? I try to make my exercise automatic, get up earlier, sleep more on weekends and laugh a lot. That is what helps me. Sun, 9 Sep 2012 23:30:21 EST Hello Everyone! I'm not sure how many are still active here but I am new to this board. I am an expat currently living in China. I've been a member of SparkPeople for awhile but now that I've moved aboard I am trying to become active again in both my own life an on the board. Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:42:06 EST New & Actually excited about the Expat page Hi...okay, here's the thing. I am a US citizen living in the States. I know what you're thinking. But I'll explain. Most of my life I have been an ExPat. I was born in Venezuela to American parents. I lived in Libya for 12 years, Iran for 5, and Malaysia for another 5. Basically, I grew up in foreign countries. I have permanently been in the US for the past 30 years. But, you know, living overseas is life-changing. Here I am, with a Mom from New York and a Dad from Ohio, having spent over 1/2... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 09:37:15 EST Fear or love? <BR> <BR> Choose love or fear..."There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and o... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 12:31:10 EST I've been away! Dear Team members, <BR> I hope that your fitness goals have been going well. I have been away because of moving and many other changes in my lifestyle. I want to get back on track here because I've regained much of the weight that I lost. This time I'm better equipped to lose the weight because I remember the Spark program and I caught the weight gaining pattern in time. I've been eating too many simple carbohydrates and too few vegetables. I'm going back to walking every day for 40-60 minute... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:41:36 EST What have you been doing lately? Hello expat members! Idk how many of you are still involved but I wanted to catch you up on my own setbacks and progress. I moved to the city and started to eat out often! Its been difficult to keep off the weight so I've increased exercise. Also my Internet service was cutback and many other inconvenient obstacles (emotional, physical and mental) have been getting in the way but I feel strong now and more firmly on track. I hope you continue to have success! Thu, 8 Mar 2012 23:21:09 EST Hello I'm not sure how active this board is, but hello! <BR> <BR> I've been living in the Caribbean for nearly a year now, and long hours at work have added up to less focus on my health: the clothes I brought with me from the states are getting mighty tight. I'm hoping Sparkpeople will help me get into even better shape than when I got here. <BR> <BR> I enjoy walking and vegetarian cooking, both of which are a bit of a challenge on this particular island, where we have few sidewalks and like ou... Sat, 10 Sep 2011 20:15:43 EST Newbie with questions Hi Expats! I've been a member of this team for a month or two and thought it was about time I introduced myself especially as I need a bit of guidance. I'm a single Kiwi gal living the tropical lifestyle in the Caribbean. Island life is great however, my bosses, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to send me to Bangalore in India for three months. <BR> <BR> I've been doing really well on SparkPeople, I have improved the eating and the exercise is going well but I'm really concerned ... Mon, 5 Sep 2011 23:55:22 EST Strategies? The more I exercise the more I eat! I have been faithful to my exercise routine, but for some reason - I'm not leaning toward weight loss because I find that the more I exercise, the hungrier I am and the more I eat. Does anyone have any strategies to deal with this challenge? The main food here is rice and I eat a lot of it! Fri, 8 Jul 2011 00:40:15 EST Decisions you have made in your new country. Living in another country often causes stressful decisions. Should I drive in this country? Where should my children go to school? Should I admit to dietary restrictions if it causes discomfort to my hosts? <BR> <BR> Tell the team about any decisions you've had to make (and how you feel about them) because of living in a unique country. Mon, 20 Jun 2011 10:58:29 EST Meeting New Members I am enjoying getting to know all of the new members. Please feel free to send me mail if you prefer not to post but I hope that you all introduce yourselves. It's fun to share and learn about life in new places. <BR> You can also connect with me through my blog: <link> </link> <BR> I hope to hear from you and you Spark success and/or challenges! <em>67</em> Thu, 17 Mar 2011 16:12:17 EST Fact about where you live Hello. Post an interesting fact or facts about the country you live in or any country you've ever lived in. I'll start: <BR> <BR> Mali, West Africa: Home of Timbucktu. A land-locked country in the horn of West Africa. It is bordered by Senegal, Ivory Coast, Niger, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mauritania. It was colonized by the French and is mostly Muslim with a Christian/Catholic presence. <BR> <BR> Can't wait to read information about the countries in which you currently live... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 03:42:33 EST What do you love about the country you're in? I am going to try to answer this question a lot, because there are tons of things I love about Cyprus! <BR> <BR> Today it's the amazing bread, specifically the Village Loaf. It's supposed to be just a plain bread, but it is the most delicious bread on the planet. I like it with a bit of houmous or taramasalata... mmmmmmmmmmm. Mon, 10 Jan 2011 01:59:26 EST What small changes have you made producing results So I try to make small changes in my workouts or my eating occasionally to see results. What changes have you made during your time with SP that have produced results? <BR> <BR> Sat, 13 Nov 2010 05:57:31 EST Books which have influenced you I am currently reading Leadership and the One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and am visualizing myself as a leader and also visualizing where I fit in the charts for being led. I think it is a great book and am getting a lot out of it. <BR> <BR> I'd love to hear about good books each of you have read that made a difference to you or just good books that were relaxing getaways from daily life. Sat, 2 Oct 2010 10:38:58 EST Challenges you're facing right now! What challenges are you facing right now? I'll start. Right now I'm having a problem getting motivated to run in the hot weather. My eating is okay, but could be tweaked just a bit to stay comfortably within range. I hope you're all doing well and keep up the great work! Wed, 22 Sep 2010 09:37:05 EST Things you enjoy about the country where you live! What are some of the favorite things about your life in the country in which you are located. I'll start. For me, I love the mangos, papayas and exotic fruits I can't get back home for decent prices. I like that people are normally friendly and that I can get the bumper of my car reattached for about $2.00 (USD). Mon, 6 Sep 2010 14:49:59 EST A new one in Mali Hi, <BR> <BR> I have been looking for the expat group. I was desperately hoping there would be someone in Mali who is following the program. I'll settle with people in similar backgrounds. <BR> <BR> I can't wait to meet all of you and share experiences and tips for eating well in places with limited resources. <BR> <BR> CNiane Fri, 28 May 2010 09:57:42 EST Another newbie, trying to get motivated! Hi folks, <BR> I joined sparkpeople back in July, and have yet to really get going. Well I think that time has come! I'm living in Malawi with my husband and 2-year old, and I'm ready to shed baby weight and then some. I would love to connect with others who live in resource-limited areas, as sometimes its not as easy to meal plan here. Looking forward to chatting with people! Tue, 2 Mar 2010 05:32:19 EST Travel I've once again gone back to my starting weight.. I seem to basically keep losing then gaining 2 pounds. I've noticed that one of the difficulties I have is traveling. I have the opportunity to travel in-country a lot and take out-of-country vacations as well, and I've noticed a pattern of getting off track when I am out of town then taking a long time to get back on track when I return home. It can be as simple as a weekend trip to see a friend that will put me in the mind set of not cari... Sat, 6 Feb 2010 16:35:00 EST Motivation It seems like we all have been taking a break from posting for a while, so I thought I would create a new discussion to get us going again: <BR> <BR> What do you do to keep you/get you motivated? <BR> <BR> I have music which I only listen to when working out. I read the blogs and Sparkpages of friends back home who are much more motivated than me. I try to think of every day as a blank slate. Mon, 18 Jan 2010 01:29:19 EST Benefits to being an ex-pat I figured since there is a place to express our challenges, we should also talk about the benefits to being in a new country as it relates to living healthy. <BR> <BR> Walking, riding my bike, and public transportation are my only ways of getting around. In the US, I wanted to ride my bike to work, but the roads and traffic would not allow for it. <BR> <BR> All of the fresh fruits and vegetables are local and organic..and you can taste the difference! <BR> <BR> I've learned to cook a lot ... Thu, 31 Dec 2009 04:13:06 EST Newbie Here We Go... Hi Everyone! I am a newbie to Sparkpeople and a little nervous, so if I make any goofs on the board, please forgive me. I am starting once again to lose all this "baby weight" that I have been carrying around for 17 years. Our oldest son will be 17 in a couple of weeks and I decided it was time I lose it. I am 45 years old, a married, stay-at-home mother of two teeenage boys, returning to college fulltime and I am an expat living outside of the US. I am excited about using this site as a... Sun, 1 Nov 2009 20:52:07 EST I'm a newbie My name is Deanne and I'm living in Hong Kong with my husband and four children. We are originally from the northeastern part of the US. <BR> <BR> I joined Sparkpeople a little while ago, but am just now starting to explore the site. I'm hoping that being on a team will help me accomplish my goals. I'd love some tips and pointers on how to get the most out of this website. Fri, 21 Aug 2009 02:42:05 EST Good On Ya's As my Australian friend always tells me anytime I do something halfway noteworthy, "Good on ya!" I think we need a place where we can celebrate our achievements for the day... a bragging wall... I know they're very popular in those big groups, but there are so many people posting that you usually get lost in the crowd. So maybe here we can get some real "good on ya!" I hope we come here frequently with lots of things to feel good about! Sun, 24 May 2009 23:31:51 EST Last Two Weeks of May Challenge Welll, it's Sunday again. My most optimistic day. I'm ready to start anew. We have exactly two weeks left in May, and I, personally, want to reach 70 kilo by the end of it, the 31st, the last Sunday in May. That would set me up beautifully for June, the beginning of summer. <BR> <BR> Anyone want to take a challenge with me? I need to do 45 minutes of cardio every, single, day, and a mere 15 minutes of weight training, every single day, all while staying within my calorie range. Sounds easy, ... Sun, 17 May 2009 09:51:15 EST How was everyone's weekend?? Hi everyone, <BR> <BR> I don't know about the rest of you, but one thing I struggle constantly with is weekends - I get Sunday's off, and there's not much to do here apart from go to a bar and drink beers, or laze around the house bored and have been trying really hard these past couple of weeks to just stick to my Spark plan and this weekend for the first time ever I actually did it!!!!!!! Stayed wtihin my calorie limits AND exercised both days!!!!! YAY!!!! Just trying to sti... Mon, 19 Jan 2009 03:03:41 EST Expressing ourselves with an emoticon! This is just a way to express our selves and how we feel using the emoticons. <BR> <em>43</em> <em>4</em> <em>91</em> <em>216</em> Sun, 18 Jan 2009 11:40:06 EST What do you miss the most?? Apart from friends and family (gotta say that, they might read this, hehehehe!!!), I miss access to a variety of FRESH fruit and vegies!!!! <BR> <BR> We can get the usual spuds, onions, tomatos here, and oranges and apples, but trying to get others can be a just gets so boring trying to come up wtih low fat meal ideas out of limited fresh food and the usual canned supplies. <BR> <BR> How does everyone else cope? Any ideas/suggestions/recipes??? <BR> <BR> Have a good day.... Thu, 8 Jan 2009 07:38:09 EST Hi there from the Congo Hi everyone, <BR> <BR> I'm a geo working in the DRC and having packed on some additional weight over the Silly Season back home in Australia on top of my already overweight bod (!!) am now getting back on board the Spark train and getting started for a New Year of health and fitness. Tue, 6 Jan 2009 03:03:59 EST Foods that you can cook and log abroad HI, All! I have started a cookbook of things that are made mostly from scratch with ingredients that I can usually find in whatever country I'm living in. Is anyone interested in creating a group cook book? I think it would be really helpful! <BR> <BR> Thanks, and keep at it! <BR> <BR> juju Thu, 25 Sep 2008 21:17:18 EST New to group Hi. I live in Mexico. Many diet challenges here but lots of good fruits and vegetables. Only problem here is the beer is good. Sat, 28 Jun 2008 14:11:11 EST Introduce Yourself Hi! <BR> <BR> <em>235</em> Welcome to ExPats! As an international person, you have a different story that most of the other SP members. Please tell us your story here! This will help us to better understand the challenges we face as expats. <BR> <BR> Thanks and looking forward to hearing fom you! <BR> <BR> juju Thu, 5 Apr 2007 12:30:30 EST