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ANRU7695's Photo ANRU7695 SparkPoints: (15,634)
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3/22/13 9:00 A

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I am Anna Ruth from Arkansas and South Dakota, USA, but I'm living in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. I basically want to be fitter - eating healthier and exercising more. But that's a challenge because of the "dress code" here for outside, and my small indoor space. Diet can be a challenge too, because it's hot season and there's a whole fridge of cold sodas downstairs.... Mmmm. Wish me luck, and look forward to getting to know you guys!

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TRACIE-C's Photo TRACIE-C Posts: 60
1/9/13 2:36 A

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finally getting around to introducing myself...
hi, i'm tracie.
originally from michigan, usa. expating in helsinki, finland since 2010. and yes... it's cold way up here.
looking forward to getting to know and support other expats in our journey abroad and in health. xx

emoticon emoticon

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AQUIETPLACE SparkPoints: (10,162)
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11/1/12 9:46 A

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Just wanted to drop in and say hi. I'm Cynthia. I am from Ohio but currently living in Lusaka, Zambia. I have been exercising for years but find that I really need to watch my calories in order to lose anything. That is why I joined Sparkpeople and it has really helped. I didn't know there were any other ex-pats on here, so was excited to find this team. I am fortunate that Lusaka is very safe so I can run once a week in my suburb as much as my plantar fasciitis allows. On other days, I am thankful that I have moved into a larger house with a big enough living room to do aerobics. I aim for 4 or 5 days of excercise per week. Have lost about 13 pounds in the last two months, ever since I became very serious about tracking my calories. I hope to keep it up as I have a lot more to go.

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MOLO14's Photo MOLO14 SparkPoints: (10,637)
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5/21/12 2:03 P

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Hi! I'm an Israeli, living in Prague, Czech Republic for the past 18 months, working as an English teacher. I was excited to find an expat team here - since it's been really hard for me to find a team I can really relate to - no geographical teams even exist for the Czech Republic...
I've been on SparkPeople for a year now, with mixed results. I haven't lost any weight, but that's my own fault. On the other hand, over the past year I ran a 5k race, 2 10k races and a half marathon, which was an incredible experience! I've read many blogs and articles, and been inspired to make a lot of nutritional changes, but haven't quite mastered myself in that area...
The main challenges for me of being an expat include severe limitations on fitness classes, etc that I can join due to the language barrier, and of course - being far away from my family and support network.
On the other hand, I am absolutely in love with some of Prague's gorgeous parks which are so lovely to run in, and it's nowhere near as hot as back home so - far more conducive to running :) Also, I am extremely excited and happy to have run my first half marathon in this beautiful city.

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BEXALTED SparkPoints: (121)
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5/11/12 9:35 A

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Hi my name is Sally and I live in Kenya, East Africa. We are moving soon from the interior near a large city. We are excited! A private compound as they say here. Our own home to rent with a double lot! I can work outdoors, plant my husbands flowers or whatever, lots of room on our compound! The two previous places we have lived were very nice but shared compounds, so not too much privacy except indoors kinda. Have been exercising more since joining which is my goal. We travel lots and lots, but I am excited about getting the new house in shape! We have no furniture or almost no furniture for our new home. Our other places have all been furnished! We are missionaries teaching agriculture and organic gardening, drip irrigation for families. Very poor mostly here. So, not sure I will ever get used to people asking for things or should I say begging for money, jobs etc,. etc. Anybody out there live in Kenya???

MOLLYCORSO SparkPoints: (13,127)
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4/30/12 7:47 A

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Hi, I live in Tbilisi. Joined Sparks last week to help me stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan. Running is not very popular here, and gyms are too expensive, so I need all the help I can get! Plus, Georgian food is delicious, and deliciously fattening. If anyone else is in the former Soviet Union, get in touch!

LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
4/11/12 12:27 A

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I'm back. My name is Kelly and I am now in Saudi Arabia. It is quite different from Thailand. I'm in the midst of changing employers, so I've been in the states waiting for my visa.

I'm looking forward to going back to work.






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SUEKKY's Photo SUEKKY SparkPoints: (21,871)
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3/20/12 8:44 A

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Hi Jen! Welcome! I was apart of the team but recently joined again... not very active here but maybe we can change that.

I love reading your blogs! So great and the lifestyle you are living right now,, all I can say is WOW! I am impressed at how you can be so consistent!

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JENSFITJOURNEY's Photo JENSFITJOURNEY SparkPoints: (26,986)
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3/20/12 4:00 A

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I am Jen and we are in Norway........some of you may remember be from when I was JeninRussia and we were living in Siberia for 3 years........now we are onto another journey!



"But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.Ē Isaiah 40:31

www.jensjourney.com


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CARMENELLA Posts: 53
3/16/12 7:39 A

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Hi all, I'm a Canadian, married to an Italian, and have been living in Malawi for eight years after moving from Thailand where I lived for four years. I'm just joining SparkPeople again after having a baby three months ago - I know - I should still be using BabyFit while I'm breastfeeding, but I like SP's set up better. Not dying to take weight off as I'm already back under my pre-pregnancy weight, but would like to fit my trousers a little easier!

Is this team still active???

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SUEKKY's Photo SUEKKY SparkPoints: (21,871)
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6/16/11 8:09 A

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Hello all! I am Susan, I am located in Italy.. well actually sicily at the moment. Have been here 8 years, moved for love =) I am a SAHM with 2 children ages 4 and 6.

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CARINAREADS's Photo CARINAREADS SparkPoints: (26,670)
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6/14/11 11:21 A

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Hello! Right now, I'm living in Canada, but I'll be moving to the UAE in August and becoming an expat for the first time in my life! I've only ever lived in two places - my parents' hometown, and Toronto, which is less than 100km from where I grew up. I'm really excited for the move - not only have I never lived anywhere else before, but I've never crossed the ocean even for holidays! I've been to a few Caribbean/Latin American countries (including the Dominican Republic and Mexico in recent years), but that's it. So this'll be a whole new experience.

I'm moving for a job teaching English in the public school system in Abu Dhabi. My boyfriend lives in Dubai, and he grew up there so he's used to the culture and the environment - but I'm not! So hopefully he'll be able to help with that.

Edited by: CARINAREADS at: 6/16/2011 (09:26)

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LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
5/25/11 12:07 P

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Smoothsailing where are you at?

Edited by: LUV2DIVE at: 5/25/2011 (12:08)



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SMOOTHSAILING's Photo SMOOTHSAILING Posts: 11
5/25/11 4:52 A

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I've been living in Thailand for 8 months. While I love the food here, I know I'm not eating a balanced diet. I can't wait to explore this group and find suggestions for finding healthy foods in a foreign place!

I also find exercising here pretty difficult. During the "cold" season I loved going on morning runs around my neighborhood. But then I was chased by dogs one morning, and it ruined the experience for me. Not to mention the hot season means anything more than a leisurely walk or bike ride is nearly impossible. I do strength training almost everyday in my home, but I'd love ideas for quick and "cool" cardio. And no, there's no pool around here.

Edited by: SMOOTHSAILING at: 5/25/2011 (04:56)
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LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
5/1/11 10:58 P

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I've been living in Thailand for 2 years and have gone from eating Thai food to only eating my own again. I feel much better and can only deduce that by dropping all of the fat, sugar, mystery meats, and MSG that it has made an impact upon my diet.

I'm so glad to have found this group, I sure wish I had found it earlier! I look forward to meeting the other members as posting time permits.




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MSOASIS's Photo MSOASIS SparkPoints: (8,815)
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4/12/11 7:25 P

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Welcome to our team, Songs of Love! emoticon How exciting to go to Spain for a year and teach English. I am doing the same thing here in Puerto Rico. It's a great experience- I've been here for 16 years! I'm sure I speak for the whole team when I say welcome!!! We are still growing and learning about how to best support each other. emoticon

What we believe tends to become our reality...be positive!

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
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@MSOASIS Twitter

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann



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CANCIONESDEAMOR's Photo CANCIONESDEAMOR SparkPoints: (3,003)
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4/11/11 11:22 P

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Hi all,

It looks like you have a great community here. I am still living in the US and about to graduate, but I am leaving in September to spend a year (possibly two) in Spain teaching English as a second language! So I thought I would join this group and see what kinds of support you have for each other and you might have for me when I go abroad again.

Thanks! emoticon

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ROSALINDAW's Photo ROSALINDAW SparkPoints: (8,567)
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3/8/11 8:47 A

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Hi! My name is Rosalinda, and I have been an expat, on and off, since I was 5... Almost 25 years of my life, I've been away from the land of my parents!

Ages 5 to 10: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ages 23 to 25: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ages 29 to 45: Botswana, Africa
Ages 53 to 55: Montevideo, Uruguay

I just joined Spark People in January, so I'm still finding my way around. It would be lovely to communicate with others who share the same struggles! I do hope there are some people on here who are still active!

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QUIETGRRL's Photo QUIETGRRL SparkPoints: (0)
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1/6/11 12:40 A

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Hello, my name is Jennifer and I have been living in Tokyo, Japan for three years. I am learning Japanese but it is still difficult to find nutritional information and to track calories. Luckily it is easier to eat healthy portions and I recently joined a gym. I have always been overweight but surprisingly active so I have not had any health problems. I really want to try and change though because it is very difficult to fit in clothes here and be fashionable. One of my downfalls is that when I go home to America, I eat and drink like crazy. I think I set a world record for gaining weight in a two week period which was very depressing. The good news is that I managed to lose weight in December because I put off going home for Christmas to wait until my brother's new baby is born. I just joined SparkPeople last month but I was very busy last month so I didn't do that much tracking.


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MSOASIS's Photo MSOASIS SparkPoints: (8,815)
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10/31/10 3:56 P

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Hi Valerie,
Welcome to the Expat Team! I can relate to your situation because I think loneliness is connected with the language you speak. For a long time, I hesitated to speak Spanish because of curious and unexpected reactions from others so I became an observer in many social situation...including grocery stores and other types of shopping. When I broke that resistance down, I started to speak Spanish in all outside communication or was silent. It did make me feel isolated. Now I alternate between Spanish and English; and it feels more natural. The communication feel authentic, and I feel as though people here in Puerto Rico actually know me. Still I know this is not your situation because you are fully bilingual, but I started to realize that we feel stronger in the language our parents spoke...and confidence helps me to reach out to people and share. I think life in Ecuador could be satisfying but you would need to find a community to connect with and have enough money to return to the states a couple of times a year. These are just my first thoughts on your questions...not a final word. This kind of adventurous move is always related to the person, don't you think? I have a friend who left the states (US), moved to work and live PR, and then retired in Chili. She has friends there in Chili who felt closer than her family. Good luck on your decision...and if you travel so much you are an ExPat in spirit and sometimes in actuality...so welcome again to our team! emoticon

What we believe tends to become our reality...be positive!

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
oasiswritinglink.blogspot.com

@MSOASIS Twitter

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann



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VALERIEMAHA's Photo VALERIEMAHA SparkPoints: (50,181)
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10/31/10 3:35 P

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Hey!

Though I'm not an ex-pat, I'm considering the possibility. I've been hanging out part time in Ecuador since 1997, some months each year (from 3-6 typically). I'll be heading back next summer to scope things out with relocation in mind. I'm single, fluent in Spanish, have only social security income and some savings and an attraction to the Latin American culture.

I've also found, however, during my longer stays, that I sometimes get very lonely since I speak Spanish 100% of the time (other than phone calls to English-speaking friends) and find the cultural limitations difficult at times.

What have any of you who are reading this and have a minute to respond found in your experience living abroad? I'm thinking about coming back for 3 months each year as one solution to this...?

Blessed be!
Maha


Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from an indomitable will.
-- Mahatma Gandhi

Never eat more than you can lift.
-- Miss Piggy

www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=3026


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MSOASIS's Photo MSOASIS SparkPoints: (8,815)
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10/26/10 1:38 A

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Welcome to the team, Kelly. I find your location in the world fascinating. I guess you can eat lots of vegetables. Let me know what you figure it out. emoticon emoticon

What we believe tends to become our reality...be positive!

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
oasiswritinglink.blogspot.com

@MSOASIS Twitter

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann



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LOVE2TRAVEL17's Photo LOVE2TRAVEL17 Posts: 157
10/26/10 1:08 A

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Hi, I'm Kelly and I have ben living in Seoul, Korea for 14 months now. I'm so glad to have found this team page. It's very difficult to eat healthy in Asia due to the different foods. Half of the time, i don't even know what I am eating and I can't read the food nutrition labels.

I try my best to eat smaller portions and exercise, but even going to the gym can be a challenge in Korea!

MSOASIS's Photo MSOASIS SparkPoints: (8,815)
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10/22/10 9:29 A

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Welcome to the Expat team! You are doing great in your health and fitness plan. Love to see some pics of Switzerland posted on your sparkpage! emoticon emoticon emoticon

What we believe tends to become our reality...be positive!

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
oasiswritinglink.blogspot.com

@MSOASIS Twitter

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann



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TRIING2GETFIT's Photo TRIING2GETFIT Posts: 383
10/16/10 12:41 P

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HI Im orignally from the uk but now live in Switzerland. So I am surrounded by swiss cheese and chocolate yummy .erm i mean yuk. It's tough being in a country were the majority and fit and healthy and it leave me feeling a little more self consious than i would like.

I begin my weight loss journey in 2008 at 217 lbs and im now 174 ish but still have some ways to go to hit my goal of 140lbs.
Wish me luck

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MSOASIS's Photo MSOASIS SparkPoints: (8,815)
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9/28/10 12:19 A

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Welcome to our team, Jo. And I wish you great success on your SparkPeople journey! emoticon emoticon emoticon

What we believe tends to become our reality...be positive!

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
oasiswritinglink.blogspot.com

@MSOASIS Twitter

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann



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J0ANNAJ's Photo J0ANNAJ Posts: 1,007
9/4/10 1:45 A

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Hi,

My name is Jo and we live in Nairobi Kenya where we work with an NGO that is involved in language development,literacy and bible translation of minority languages. We have 3 kids the eldest of which is taking his GCSEs this year so after 16 years of mostly living overseas - France, Uganda and Kenya we will be heading "home" to UK to finish of his and his younger brother's education.

I joined spark people about 6 weeks ago because after a period of illness (Typhoid) and 2 or 3 years of gradually putting on weight I decided that it stopped now. I was delighted to find a site that supported my lifestyle and a group of others that understand the joys and stresses of living in a culture that is not your own. I am thrilled by the support I've found and the success I've seen. emoticon

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MSOASIS's Photo MSOASIS SparkPoints: (8,815)
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7/18/10 8:32 A

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I moved to Puerto Rico fifteen years ago and have experienced so many changes. I have been fit most of my life, but with the combination of moving to Puerto Rico, adapting the children to a new life, and studying for my PhD, I've gotten entirely off track.The stress of grad school and writing a thesis has influenced my diet, exercise and consequently, overall weight far more than anything else.

Now that I'm participating in Spark People, I find that I'm doing much better, I'm far more self-aware, active and energetic. emoticon

What we believe tends to become our reality...be positive!

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
oasiswritinglink.blogspot.com

@MSOASIS Twitter

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann



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JMDROEGE's Photo JMDROEGE Posts: 21
4/18/10 2:16 A

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Welcome all new members! Sorry that I could not welcome you sooner (I apparently checked out for everyone's spring break). I hope that you find what you need from the ExPats team. It has truly helped me with the difficulties that I have faced living overseas.

Good luck in your journeys - in all sense of the word!
J

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GARDYLOO's Photo GARDYLOO Posts: 113
3/23/10 1:55 P

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Hello! I hope this group is still active!

I'm originally from the US but haven't lived there for 10 years - was living in the UK for 5 years and now I'm living in Belgium. I'm married to a Belgian so I'm here for good!

I'm a vegan and I eat very healthily but I think my big downfalls as far as the extra weight are a lack of exercise and my love of wine! Since the beginning of this year I've started running 5 days a week and I'm giving serious thought to cutting back on the wine a bit.....lol.....I speak Dutch so I have no problems with reading food labels or anything but I do think there's a cultural difference in my eating habits. People in Belgium seem to have a much different attitude towards food than what I have. I'm trying to learn from them!

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YONDERWAYS's Photo YONDERWAYS Posts: 35
3/11/10 5:11 P

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Hi,
I am an American trailing spouse living in Shanghai, China. My husband and I have lived in Shanghai for a year now. We love expat life, but we've also fallen into eating and drinking too much for comfort and because eating is something we're really good at emoticon . Anyway - time to start eating for our health - not boredom, comfort or expat hobby! Looking forward to getting to you all.



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WORKING10's Photo WORKING10 Posts: 16
3/8/10 8:22 P

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Hello,
I am from the US, but live in Thailand. If anyone knows where I can get information on some of the fruits and other regular foods that I consume here, that would be great. Using the nutrition tracker with all the strange things that I eat is a little difficult - especially since I can't read the labels - yet. :)

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KRISETH's Photo KRISETH Posts: 16
12/31/09 6:57 A

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Hi, I am from the US (I'm an AF brat, so from all over, but have spent the most time in Texas), but have been living in Macedonia for the last year serving in the Peace Corps. I have put on a lot of weight in my first year of service and hope to take it off before I go back to the states in December 2010!

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JMDROEGE's Photo JMDROEGE Posts: 21
12/30/09 1:19 A

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Hi! In October, I became an expat for the first time when my family moved from Texas to Saudi Arabia. I am a 33 yr old mother with 3 boys (7, 5, & 8 months). Looking to return to a healthier me.

There are definitely more difficulties to being healthy when living in a foreign land. Decided to join this group for motivation and venting.

Hope you all are ready for a great 2010!

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IZZIGIRL's Photo IZZIGIRL Posts: 139
8/19/09 7:12 A

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Hi everyone,

I'm an expat living in Sarajevo, Bosnia. This is my second stint in Bosnia, only this time I'm without a job while I accompany my DH who works at the local Embassy. I lived here for about a year in 2007-2008 and taught at the local university, and also spent time living in Amsterdam and Edinburgh. In my spare time, I'm working on research on healthcare, teaching an online course, and adopting lots of stray dogs and cats.

Nice to meet you all!



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SISTERKRISTA's Photo SISTERKRISTA Posts: 86
8/7/09 3:09 P

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Hi, I have been living in Mexico for almost a year now, and joined spark people a few months ago, but actually didn't start using it until now.

I read that someone is living in Thailand - my dh and I spent a year in Thailand and loved it - we have decided it is where we will retire.

Well as you all know there are many obstacles to losing weight and eating healthy living in place where you can't go to the grocery store and get everything you need or want, and changing lifestyle can be very difficult. I am hoping that we can motivate each other together.



Dance in His Grace,
Krista


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KRAKATOA21's Photo KRAKATOA21 Posts: 439
6/30/09 8:51 P

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Expat, working in Seoul since '96 (with every summer off to travel back home!).

I'm fortunate, I guess, because I work on a large US militray base and have access to the commissary where I can get pretty much any food item - along with a lot of choices from around Korea and Asia in general. If I had to ONLY eat Korean, it would be much more difficult to eat clean (though I love Korean food)!

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GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 184
5/29/09 10:50 P

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HI Alana! Welcome to Spark and to the Ex-pat lifestyle! I'm glad you could join us here. I'm in Peru teaching Grade 2, but probably not for long. I'm looking at Japan next, though I really miss home.

How'd you end up in Bermuda and how do you like it there? Are you able to find healthy food, etc. etc? I had friends who lived in the Bahamas and all they could get to eat was chicken and rice! I hope that's not the case for you. I myself have to cook just about every, single meal at home, up here in the mountains of Peru. But I've found TVP (sometimes), so that's awesome!

Good luck and keep in touch. We're here for ya!

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
5/29/09 9:25 P

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HI, Alana! I wish you the best. So glad to hear you're on board.

TIRED_MAMA's Photo TIRED_MAMA Posts: 3
5/29/09 9:16 P

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Hi All,

My name is Alana and I've been an expat for about 18 months now. Currently living in Bermuda having moved from Ontario, Canada. Definitely NOT missing the snowy winters (yet anyway). I have a very active 3 year old son and my hubbie is a stay-at-home dad. Hoping by being a sparky I can get this baby gain finally under control and off for good!

Cheers all!


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GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 184
5/24/09 5:43 P

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Hi, Bee. Thanks for checking in! I've been down with a bad cold for two weeks, and just now my head is starting to clear. On with the challenge!

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GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 184
5/24/09 5:42 P

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Go Jane Go! And welcome to the group :)

Perhaps you'd like to do our last week of May challenge with Bee and I? I think we'll start again in June, as well.

Eight kids... it's amazing you have time to eat at all!

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
3/1/09 7:15 P

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I haven't been on for a while. How's everything with all of you?

DONANDMARY77's Photo DONANDMARY77 SparkPoints: (26,977)
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2/11/09 3:36 A

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Great to see newbies here. Please feel free to add to any of the discussions. I know how hard it is to stay on course in as an expat, but I also know the advantage of not having fast food drive throughs on every corner.
Mary

"Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you." Charles Spurgeon


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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
2/10/09 5:04 A

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Welcome to the ExPat group, Jane-anne! I admire your tenacity and willingness to do do something good for yourself, you have lots of little ones who depend on you to stay well. I am also fighting the last 10 lbs. This is actually my second go-round in Spark People. I re-gained about half of what I'd lost the first time, and now am living in Thailand, where the food is great. I've found it difficult to stay on the eating plan here, but I'm getting used to it. I hope you let us know your progress, we're cheering for you!

YASSIN1's Photo YASSIN1 Posts: 1
2/10/09 2:10 A

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Hi everyone, My name is Jane-anne.
I am British born, but have lived in Sudan for the past 20 yrs with my Sudanese husband and 8 kids.
My last child (a totall surprise pregnancy) was born 3 months ago by c section. I had a very high blood pressure durin my pregnancy, and was told to rest, I think thats why I put on the wieght.
I have only got another 10lbs to go. But in a country were it is not a problem to be fat, i am finding the last couple of pounds the hardest!!!!
Anyone want to incourage me?

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/28/09 7:08 A

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Welcome to the Expat Group! I also moved out of the States last fall, September to be specific. I live in Thailand. I just appreciate all the support Spark People gives, just yesterday I found out I can make "air popped" popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave! It worked! and it was delicious, too. So, Sloducky, take heart,and hang in there! Spark People recipes are a great resource, and they have great alternatives to high fat foods.

SLODUCKY's Photo SLODUCKY Posts: 45
1/28/09 6:19 A

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Hi Team Expats,

I just wanted to introduce myself to this small team! I recently became an expat in November moving from Southern California to Geneva Switzerland. This is my second "round" on sparkpeople having lost about 10 lbs my first round and taking 9 months "off". I maintained and am back on in for the new year to lose 10 more. I am finding it really challenging not to be able to find the low calorie foods I am used too. Especially since this is the land of fresh white breads, cheese, and chocolate!

JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/26/09 3:54 A

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Yeah good point I need to start re-thinking how I "reward" myself and make them non-food treats....massages sounds lovely! It's a bit of a hard one that, as here in Congo the town I am based in was pretty much destroyed in the civil wars and has nothing in the way of services on offer. I'm going to have to be creative on this one!!

Mary what do you do in Tanz for non-food related rewards???? And I'd have to agree, if I have something yummy in the house I WILL eat it, so to just plain not have anything too tempting in the house is the only way to go for me as well......

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DONANDMARY77's Photo DONANDMARY77 SparkPoints: (26,977)
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1/24/09 8:56 A

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Jane, you are better than I am. I love sweets. It is easier to resist if it isn't around.
Mary

"Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you." Charles Spurgeon


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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/24/09 8:45 A

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We often forget to reward ourselves with non-food goodies when we stick to the diet. Hubbie and I love weekly massages, lucky for us they're cheap here. We're totally addicted! It makes it easier to exercise all week when I know I'll get the soreness out with an oil massage. By the way, you can't beat wine for an occasional treat.

JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/24/09 5:54 A

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Hahahahah glad to hear you walked there!!!! ONe thing our cook does fabulously well at our guesthouse is flambe bananas, fried up in brandy and butter, and I actually said NO last night, so feeling quite pleased with myself today for resisting. OK didn't resist the two small glasses of red wine, but would normally drink more, so moving in the right direction.........have a good "Spark" weekend!!

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/21/09 8:58 A

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They're yummy, aren't they? My daughter's college made them for us when we visited during Parent's Weekend, they were fresh out the oven...Mmmmh. Oh, we're supposed to be helping each other to eat right! Every once in while, it's OK. My husband and I walk to the "Roti Man", who makes these yummy Indian crepes with bananas. He puts sweetened condensed milk on top, and powdered sugar! Notice I said we walk there.

JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/21/09 7:10 A

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The one decent yummy thing I CAN find here is pain au chocolat - dark chocolate inside a fresh croissant - I can't even begin to imagine how many gabillions of calories are in one, and so am resisting the urge to drive down into town to grab one.......

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/19/09 5:08 A

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I've been happily chowing down on "whole wheat" bread since I moved here. Last week I looked up the ingredients (lucky they're written in western alphabet) and it contains palm oil and corn syrup. Oh well!

JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/19/09 2:59 A

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Hi BEELEAN2, Is that the bright red palm oil made fresh? If it is, that is one of the worst fats in the world you can eat apparently - we used to get it a lot in Ghana and I was happily chowing down on it until I read up a bit more on it.

Enjoy the new oven!!

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/18/09 7:37 P

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Hi, there! This is the second time I live outside the US. Previously, I had a three year stint in Latin America. We left the US three months ago, so I'm still in the adjustment stage, having just received our shipment about a month ago. I also just got an American style oven! Lucky me, no more excuses for not cooking! Hopefully, eating nutritionally won't be so challenging in the future.

DONANDMARY77's Photo DONANDMARY77 SparkPoints: (26,977)
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1/18/09 11:33 A

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Hello BeeLean! Also, it is so cool to see Jane added as a leader! Maybe the team will take off. I think this is a very unusual team with needs that most people don't even know about.
Mary

"Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you." Charles Spurgeon


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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/15/09 10:06 P

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Here's the Center for Science in the Public Interest's website opinion on palm oil:

http://209.85.175.132/u/CSPI?q=cache:Uwa
sOb1T6CsJ:www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/palm
_oil_final_5-27-05.pdf+palm+oil&hl=en&
ct=clnk&cd=1&ie=UTF-8

The environmental impact is huge.

BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/15/09 8:40 A

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I saw coconut shortening(?) or something like that when we lived in the States, in the baking aisle. I'd like to read up on it. I drink fresh coconut milk (no rum, ha ha!) every once in a while. The problem in the food here is palm oil. It's in a lot of things here, crackers and breads have it, and the vendors cook with it. I even found it in Carnation evaporated milk. It is a saturated fat, I think. I visited the Harvard School of Public Health website today, and it looks like it's not a great thing to eat.

NOWSTHETIME3 Posts: 7
1/15/09 7:52 A

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Greetings to Beelean2 (cute name),
I had a chance to visit Thailand a long time ago and thought it would be a wonderful place to spend some time. Beautiful handicrafts, etc. Also the colors!!! The fabrics!!!

In case you are interested, I have some information about coconut oil from a new cookbook I just received. It says that coconut oil/butter is the best fat for all purposes, including cooking the baking and very stable because of high levels of natural anti-oxidants... with antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-protozoal properties. Apparently it improves cholesterol levels and does a whole lot of other good. I can't tell you much about coconut fruit/milk, whether they also convey the benefits of the oils.

We have coconuts here in Cape Verde, in our front yard, but we don't have access to coconut oils on the local market.


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JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/15/09 2:06 A

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Hi Beelean2,

Welcome to the Expat team, glad to see someone else joining in as it's been pretty quiet on here since I joined up!!

I was on hols in Thailand last March and just LOVED the food, I'd find it really hard actually living there I think and not piling the weight on wtih all those lovely deep-fried entrees and coconut-milk based curries....but at least as you say the fruit selection is great, you'll be able to eat loads of lovely salads as well. I'm jealous!!!!



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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/15/09 1:28 A

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Hi, everyone! I'm an American living in Thailand. I lived in Austin, TX just prior to moving here. I've found living here to be exciting but it's challenging to stay nutritionally on track. I don't speak or read Thai, so reading labels is close to impossible. Also, I've found prepared foods have added sugar and palm oil. On the positive side, there's lots of great fruit here! I love the support SP provides; I can't imagine going one day without logging on!

JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/13/09 6:59 A

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Cape Verde is sounding very civilised! Dakar has some lovely beaches and surfing spots, as well as the added attraction of Youssou N'Dour occasionally singing live at his nightclub there.

I agree with you regarding recommendations eating less processed and more fresh foods - my mother followed the Pritikin diet years ago which was primarily made up of pulses and fresh fruit/vegies, apparently very much like what our ancestor's would have eaten in hunter/gatherer days. Makes sense to me, as this is what our bodies have been designed to process!! Not strange chemicals and sugar products.

Would enjoy a read about the carbo/fat cell info you have, please let me know.

Have a good Spark day!!

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NOWSTHETIME3 Posts: 7
1/12/09 9:45 A

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Thanks for your quick reply! You asked about Cape Verde. Here the rainy season is from Aug to almost November, if it rains. And when it rains, it can be short and/or spotty over the 9 inhabited islands, drought is one of CV's biggest vulnerabilities. Luckily this year there were good rains.

CV is doing pretty well now economically. It has "graduated" to low middle-income country category (lost some foreign assistance when it left the poorest category). The government is good, a real democracy, and it has a special relationship with the European Union, has joined the World Trade Organization, etc. It's such a small place, small population. There are a lot of aid organizations here and it is easy to feel something is being done. There are more Cape Verdeans in the New England part of the US than live here.

I have never been to Dakar but would like to visit it at least. I understand there is nice handicraft available there - hardly anything here in CV. My husband has commented quite a lot on the Dakar airport, although I understand it is improving a bit now.

I think in general, nutritionally, we are being urged to avoid highly processed foods and to get our food as fresh as possible - not always possible. We do wash our fresh produce in a chlorine-based solution, but now we are getting some hydroponic lettuce. Relief. CV also produces its own yogurt now, but I was considering the home variety - have done that in the past. There is a nice recipe of thickened yogurt, sliced cucumbers and garlic (Greek-Middle Eastern) that I make frequently. Yummy and healthy.

There is some interesting research on the relationship between fat cells and carbohydrates that I have felt very helpful in promoting my recent 30 lb weight loss. If you're interested, I can give you some references.



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JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/12/09 3:11 A

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Hi there NOWSTHETIME3, yeah isn't Spark great?? I found it by accident a year or two ago but have never seriously used it on a daily basis until now. Probably coz I don't get to sit in an office all day very regularly, but luckily for me it is rainy season here so I will be pretty much office-bound for the next two months.

How do you find Cape Verde? I've never been there but passed through Dakar plenty of times on my way in/out of Mali for 4 yrs. Dakar airport at 2am was always "interesting"!!

I think we need to change our mentality somewhat working away from home, as you do get so used to products you would regularly use at home etc, and of course can't find once you work overseas, so have to re-think how we actually eat.

I've found a great yoghurt maker for example, instead of buying those small tubs of outrageously expensive French yoghurts avail. in West Africa, I can make a kg of low-fat Greek yoghurt at home myself.

Since I started logging my daily intake, I've noticed an interesting trend I am trying to rectify at the moment, I was always at the high end of my carbs and low end of my protein intake - no big suprise as I do love my pasta and bread and they are readily available here and quick/easy to cook etc - so am now trying to think protein before anything else....be interesting to see what effect it has on my weightloss.

Can you get a good variety of fruit and vegies there?? We don't get huge variety here in the Congo and I am struggling a little with that....

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NOWSTHETIME3 Posts: 7
1/11/09 8:10 P

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New Year's greetings. I hope there are new friends out there... I am really new to this aspect of Spark People, chats and interaction. I've used some menu tracking and have enjoyed some of the motivational stories. Somebody really cares, works very hard to keep this web site going.

Anyway, I live in Cape Verde, an island group off in the Atlantic off the coast of Senegal. We've been here for 2 1/2 years and expect to stay another 2 1/2 years. It's a really interesting country and different in many respects from other countries of SubSaharan Africa. I'm an American public health person but here with my husband's work in a development contract. We lived in Brazil many years ago and have really felt ourselves to be a part of the global scene more than belonging to any particular area.

I've used some of this time to reduce my weight and was recently in my target zone, finally after years and years - mostly through a low carb diet, but have let myself indulge some with the nice sweets, etc. of the season and have now gained back about 10 lbs. So I'm now attempting to lose the recent pounds and then plan to go another 15 pounds - 7-8 kilos, to a new goal for me. Then I'll have to work very hard to keep it off. Maintenance has always been the problem.

Of course, here in Cape Verde, like many of the countries of the developing world, most things are imported, and many of the foods are not available or are very expensive. I've brought a good number of specialty things, now in my freezer, but a lot of the food items mentioned in my recipe books are not around. Mostly its chicken and fish dishes and fresh vegetables and salads. While we don't have McDonalds or Pizza Hut here yet (and CV is healthier for it), there are plenty of snack foods available in the stores.

Weight loss and health maintenance should not be hard, should it, but they have been a major concern for years. Does this ring any bells?

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JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/7/09 3:13 A

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I think I intro'd myself in the wrong spot yesterday, so am going to re-do it here. I'm a female Aussie geo working and living in the Congo in Central Africa, been here 18 mths and been an expat geo in Africa for 12 yrs now - something about this continent just keeps drawing me back here and it's not just the money!! I work 9 weeks on 3 weeks off, so at least get home to Perth on a regular basis and come back wtih my bags full of stuff I can't get here. Everything is outrageously expensive here in the Congo, I don't honestly know how the locals survive on their small salaries!! Good luck everyone

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OPCHOEY's Photo OPCHOEY Posts: 4
12/7/08 6:31 A

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Hi everyone, I'm Rachel and I'm from England. I've been living in Thailand for 3 years and recently married Nung who is Thai. I have found it easier to lose weight here than in England as everytime I go home on holiday I put on at least half a stone. I've got kind of stuck, though, and was hoping this website would help motivate me to push it to my goal.

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GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 184
10/22/08 11:12 P

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HI Debbie! Welcome! It's great to hear your story! I have moved around so much in the last two years, and I find that every time I move, I gain weight and have to start all over again! I am finally settling in a bit now in Peru, but worried about the upcoming almost two months of holidays in the States. So, I also have a goal to be around 140 by the time I go home for Christmas. Think we can do it???

I agree that it's easier to eat healthy in third-world countries that don't have all of the convenience foods, but I also find mind self eating emotionally a lot, and missing going to the Y or walking or bike riding (all things I can't do here). So... it's definitely a tough road!

Let's keep in touch! I think we have very similar problems and goals that people that aren't expats may not be able to relate to.

Keep on!

JuJu

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AMANI* Posts: 7
10/4/08 11:29 P

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Hi I am Debbie and I live in Nairobi, Kenya. My family has lived here for almost 9 years. I joined Spark over a year ago, but was not active and instead of losing 15 pounds gained 15 pounds. I've been diligent the past month in logging what I eat and only eating healthy foods and have been losing about 2 pounds a week. But I weigh daily and get very discouraged with the constant fluctuations.
I find it a bit easier in some ways to eat healthy here since I have to cook from scratch far more than in the States. However there is not the choice of fat-free and sugar-free foods. Not having the temptation of cheap fast food is nice.
I'm feeling hopeful that this attempt at removing the extra pounds will be successful. My goal is to be below 140 by the end of the year.


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GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 184
9/25/08 9:14 P

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Hi, Everyone! Wow, how great that we can all be here together! I'm going to have to check in more often!

But it's depressing to see that I'm exactly where I was weight-wise over one year ago, when I created this group!

Well, I had a major accident almost two years ago that set me back with a broken leg and screws in my knee, etc, and also got me smoking again.

I kicked the smoking habit forever on January 1st, 2008, and will never go back! But that was also another big weight gain.

So... I just spent half my paycheck on a new elliptical trainer and a weight bench with weights. The gym here in the mountains of Peru is unbearable and way too macho!

How are we all doing in our quest??? Keep on truckin'!

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THINMINTMOMMY's Photo THINMINTMOMMY SparkPoints: (12,523)
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6/26/08 2:55 A

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How did I miss this team. I was looking for SparkTeam which dealt with similar issues we're dealing with. I ended up having to start my own team because when I searched on Expat there wasn't one out there. OH well, I totally missed this board and now there is a completely useless expat board out there with only me as a member.

OH well, I've lived in Tokyo for 2 years. When we moved here our oldest was 7 and this was her 6th move. And no we are not a military family. Get that question all the time.

We are dealing with a family leaving Tokyo who has become good friends with our whole family. Between our two families there are friendships with our two 9 year olds, the moms, and the dads. It's not often that a woman can make friends with another mom who then ends up having good friends across all the family connections. We will so miss them and my 9 year old is suffering.

I hate that these things happen but it's part of the Expat Lifestyle. I just have to make sure it doesn't make us all turn to food.

Also we are dealing with the fact that many families have left Tokyo for the summer. We tend to stay (I can't stand to be away from hubby for any length of time) where we are rather than live out of a suit case for the summer.

We've always moved so quickly from each location that we've always been the family who was moving, not being left. But now we're here 2 years + and now our close friends are starting to move.

OH well, I'll get over the tears. But now I realize my best friend's tears when we left US 2 1/2 years ago. It is harder on the ones being left because their life has to go on as normal but the one who is moving has the excitement of the new house/apt, the new country, the new food, the interim vacation (sometimes) between leaving your former home and getting to the new home. It's a totally different world between the two and the one moving barely has time to feel the depression.

We have lived here for 2 years and 3 months. In 9 months this will be the longest we've ever lived anywhere. emoticon

You can be the hammer, making things happen, or you can be the nail that sits there and gets pummeled over and over.

If youíre starting to feel like a nail, itís up to you to keep your program moving forward.

Mike Kramer, Spark People


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DONANDMARY77's Photo DONANDMARY77 SparkPoints: (26,977)
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1/25/08 11:19 P

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Hello fellow expats,
Never liked the term expat. It makes me sound unpatriotic, but I love America. I am new to Spark People, not to losing weight.
I had lost 133 pounds in 3 years. Now I am at 231 pounds which is a 77 pound total weight loss. That means I gained 62 pounds back. That hurts. It was such hard work too.

The problem started when I had to stop exercising because of my severe arthritis in my knee. 2 years ago I had to start having steroid injections in it to help stop the degeneration. Then 1 year ago I had surgery to help me be able to walk again.

I am a missionary in Tanzania Africa and I go to the USA in 10 days. I will be there for 11 weeks.

I really enjoy the diversity of all the people I meet.
God bless,
Mary

"Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you." Charles Spurgeon


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RODHUB's Photo RODHUB Posts: 1,568
1/22/08 8:59 A

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Kimberly, I understand where you are. J just recently moved from Asia (Thailand)and joined SP while I was living there. At first I had a hard time logging my food as lots of the food are different but you can eat very well. The fresh fruits were a godsend. Don't shy away from them because they are different they are full of all the good stuff. You're right eating at the hawkers is easy but as nutritional as the food can be sometimes it all get lost because of the oil and they type of oil used. Choose foods carefully when you eat at hawkers, stick the the soups and steamed items and limit the rice and noodles. Ask them to throw in extra bean sprouts, and green veggies when eating the soups and limit the peanuts that are sometimes added. I still read the labels of all the food and look for key words and learn how to convert kjal to calories. I lost lots of weight on Spark when I was in Asia is just learning what to eat and not going overboard with eating some of the really good food.

***Yvonne***
Changing My Story
It always seems impossible until it's done. Nelson Mandela
8/1 168


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AREYOUKIDDING Posts: 10
1/22/08 12:51 A

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Hi, I live in Singapore and have for over a year. I needed to lose weight before I moved but since I have lived here I have gained even more weight. I have most of the same problems with finding food. It is difficult to find food that I know, with calories posted and it is almost impossible to find anything low calorie. Everything is full fat etc. With the heat here most everyone eats out every night at hawker stands instead of heating up the house with cooking. Believe it or not it is actually way cheaper to eat out than at home here. So that makes it very difficult to figure out calories. I a so glad to find sparks as it gives me a way to try to keep track of the food and I feel much more connected to others with similar concerns. Kimberley

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AREYOUKIDDING Posts: 10
1/22/08 12:49 A

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Hi, I live in Singapore and have for over a year. I needed to lose weight before I moved but since I have lived here I have gained even more weight. I have most of the same problems with finding food. It is difficult to find food that I know, with calories posted and it is almost impossible to find anything low calorie. Everything is full fat etc. With the heat here most everyone eats out every night at hawker stands instead of heating up the house with cooking. Believe it or not it is actually way cheaper to eat out than at home here. So that makes it very difficult to figure out calories. I a so glad to find sparks as it gives me a way to try to keep track of the food and I feel much more connected to others with similar concerns. Kimberley

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RODHUB's Photo RODHUB Posts: 1,568
10/12/07 7:57 A

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Hi all. I'm new to this group but not to Spark. I've been with Spark over a year and have done very well. I currently live in Guyana having moved here four weeks ago. Most of you know how difficult it is to move to a new place, learn the foods, try to determine calories, not being able to read lables or the lack of so that's the stage I'm in now. I'm determine to spend next week, finding an appropriate walking route, look into gyms and establish a routine. I do know that there are several foods not available here that I will have to learn to make, for instance, I'm buying a yogurt making machine as most of the yogurt is sugar laden and full of other stuff so the machine is what I'm giving myself for Christmas. The challenges of working with spark in different countries is a challenge but it can be done.

***Yvonne***
Changing My Story
It always seems impossible until it's done. Nelson Mandela
8/1 168


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ZLADY1965 SparkPoints: (109)
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10/10/07 2:15 A

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Hello to you all. I'm Diane from Austin, Texas. I just joined SP today. My husband and I are living in Tianjin, China. We have been here a year and are planning to stay 2 more years. I find I am having the same struggles as you. Mostly with the lack of labels on some items as well as converting Kjoules to calories. I gained 20 pounds in the last year and do not want to hang on to it. Some other expat friends and I are looking for ideas and suggestions on how to cope with being able to eat healthy using the available food in the markets. The hard part for us is eating out. It is hard to judge the calorie content in all this yummy Chinese food we get here. I am glad to have someone who shares the same challenges.

SNAZDM07 Posts: 39
8/2/07 7:43 A

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Hi JuJu,

I have joined SP in May 07 and I am an expat living in Saudi Arabia where my husband is presently working.

I am originally from the island of Mauritius but moved to the US when I got married and lived in Chicago, Illinois. I have been living for quite a while on and off in the Middle East.

I think it is a good idea to form this team as I am sure there are others like us.

Shahnaz
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GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 184
4/5/07 12:30 P

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Hi!

emoticon 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.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing fom you!

juju

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