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CYNTHIAPITTMANN's Photo CYNTHIAPITTMANN Posts: 268
9/17/14 10:52 A

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I know what you mean about feeling illiterate because of not knowing the country's language.
We often must resort to childlike ways of communicating. It certainly adds to the challenge. I found myself reading more and enjoying being alone for many years. Now I interact more. I also have the issue of being a vegetarian in a country that loves meat! Best of luck!

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

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CYNTHIAPITTMANN's Photo CYNTHIAPITTMANN Posts: 268
9/16/14 5:35 P

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I mentioned that too! I love to create new food ideas with local ingredients! emoticon

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
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@CynthiaPittmann on Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram

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~Puerto Rico





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CYNTHIAPITTMANN's Photo CYNTHIAPITTMANN Posts: 268
9/16/14 5:34 P

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I'm so sorry you are facing such challenges in your new country. Where are your living now? It's also hot and humid in Puerto Rico. I've had to learn to exercise early or late instead of during the day. Also, finding food that is not too difficult to cook but nutritious. I've invented many new Puerto Rican influenced foods that are suitable for a vegetarian. I look at it as a challenge and try to be upbeat about it. Hang in there! emoticon

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
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@CynthiaPittmann on Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann

~Puerto Rico





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GINGERALECA's Photo GINGERALECA SparkPoints: (2,045)
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7/31/14 6:39 P

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I have so many challenges here. The pollution is a big one, the staring is another that is just so difficult for me. The temperature is also very difficult. It is so hot and humide. In terms of food, eating fresh vegetable is not recommended where I am. I also need to clean them with chlorine and then soak them in water for 1hr to 2hrs. I rarely do it. I have been an expat for 2 years now and I know I am using the fact that I have a hard time adapting as an excuse for not being healthy.

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LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
5/15/14 11:42 P

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The fun and joys of living in another country. It pushes me further to learn how to cook local foods with my own required list of ingredients. emoticon




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KTOTHET's Photo KTOTHET Posts: 537
5/15/14 9:27 A

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I live in mainland China and have been on a LCHF diet for the last year. I've seen, felt, and had great results with it. (My blood pressure has gone down substantially) But... I get a lot of weird looks from the locals and insistence that I eat rice with my meals. It's also really hard not knowing what ingredients are in all of the sauces they use here. I cant read any of the Chinese characters on anything. Being illiterate sucks.

What I can, I will.

"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."
-Lance Armstrong

"To prepare for the past we must be ready in the present to prepare for the future. For the only way to affect our past is to change what we do from this day on."


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TRISHKA317's Photo TRISHKA317 Posts: 9
5/26/11 5:04 A

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Thanks for the message. I hadn't really been using my spark page, but I've just updated it. Last week we had really bad power outages, so I wasn't on this site much.

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LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
5/13/11 6:02 A

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Good idea JoannaJ, we've been having more storms with connectivity and power issues too. I hadn't thought about manually tracking, Sometimes it takes too much time if I'm busy. I keep to the program but don't always track.




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J0ANNAJ's Photo J0ANNAJ Posts: 1,007
5/10/11 8:01 A

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Just thought to add not only are the frequent power outages and all that means to keeping food fresh really frustrating but poor internet connectivity had led me to more or less stop tracking my food. I really this wasn't a great call so now I write everything in a book so that I have an accurate note of what I've eaten and drunk for next time I can go on line. Not perfect as I can't check before I eat but better than giving up completely.

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LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
5/9/11 7:58 P

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Bummer! Hope you figure out what to do with the yogurt problem. I love yogurt and can't imagine my life without it.

I couldn't find your Spark page but wanted to say "hi" and welcome to the ExPats team. It's nice to find others who are living this exciting and perplexing reality too.




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TRISHKA317's Photo TRISHKA317 Posts: 9
5/9/11 6:43 A

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My recent challenge is that with the frequent power outages, my fat-free yogurt has started spoiling. The regular yogurt seems to last better. As I can't eat sour yogurt... I'm trying to figure something else out. Any thoughts?

Blessings,
Trish

Edited by: TRISHKA317 at: 5/9/2011 (06:44)
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LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
5/5/11 12:52 A

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I confess that I brought several different exercise videos with me but didn't use them at first since I was teaching, I was a student, and had a family here too.

I've been looking at more to collect like Zumba and belly dancing. Hmmmm, I might have to see if one of my family members can help send me some of those.

I really appreciate SP though, I love being able to find short videos on days that it is just too hot to go outside.

Oh additional challenges in the rainy season are the lizards and snakes that are beginning to inhabit the side walks and road sides now. They do give me a scare when I come upon them suddenly.




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J0ANNAJ's Photo J0ANNAJ Posts: 1,007
5/2/11 10:45 A

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Hey ladies - isn't it encouraging to find others struggling with and winning (sometimes) the same issues we face. Thanks for sharing. I find that doing exercise DVDs helps when the power is on! I am also planning to look into the possibility of using the gym at the school where my kids are - I am sure that its just a matter of being more creative and accepting that sometimes your first choice just isn't possible. Thanks for replying. Jo

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ROSALINDAW's Photo ROSALINDAW SparkPoints: (8,567)
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5/2/11 9:02 A

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Joanna and Luv2Dive, I can also relate to your problems! There is a lot of pollution and traffic here in downtown Montevideo, and for the first two and a half years, I didn't exercise at all. Finally, in January, I was able to locate a gym within walking distance, and that has made all the difference! I hope you can find something like that nearby...
~Rosalinda

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LUV2DIVE's Photo LUV2DIVE Posts: 872
5/2/11 8:19 A

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JoannaJ I can relate to your outdoor exercise problem. I have a 4 mile route that involves a lot of major highway traffic, pollution, car and motorcycle dodging, and a lot of irregular sidewalks when they are present. Today the humidity was awful! I had to stop at the 7-11 just to buy water so I could make it home. My second outing was better but it is always the same dodge game. Oh, I forgot the road signs on the tiny sidewalks. A month ago, I was looking down at my feet to ensure my footing and ran head on into a sign. I had a bruise on my forehead, tender nose, and fat lip...man was I embarrassed!

I'm really encouraged to see your posts. I see a lot of my own struggles reflected here. I've been in Thailand for 2 years and am going to be moving on, location unknown, sometime this summer. I really want to get a handle on my diet and exercise before I move though.

Edited by: LUV2DIVE at: 5/2/2011 (08:19)



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J0ANNAJ's Photo J0ANNAJ Posts: 1,007
4/16/11 1:02 A

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The heavy traffic here affects my ability to workout in so many ways - I can spend hours sitting in jams which is really tiring and the pollution means walking/running outside is really unpleasant and when I had bronchitis recently it definitely slowed down my recovery. There are often no sidewalks here so you have to play dodge the traffic. I also find that a bad day in traffic zaps any desire to work out at home or get in the car again to go to the gym. I have just moved to a different part of the city and so I'm still working on my options are but at least being further out of the centre means that there is a little less traffic and a lot less pollution.

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ROSALINDAW's Photo ROSALINDAW SparkPoints: (8,567)
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4/6/11 7:51 P

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Hi, Moonstormer! Where do you live in South Africa? As I said, I lived for 15 years in Botswana, and had the opportunity to travel a bit in South Africa...

Hi, Cynthia! Hope Puerto Rico is treating you right! : ) Did I tell you that I spent one unforgettable summer there, and WISH I could return someday, just to visit? I don't remember the food at all, though, except for one soft drink that was absolutely disgusting. Sorry!
: )

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CYNTHIAPITTMANN's Photo CYNTHIAPITTMANN Posts: 268
4/6/11 3:36 P

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Hi RL!
We Expats do share a lot in common as you pointed out! I think your environment is more similar to Puerto Rico though because it's Spanish speaking. Food is a big deal here and prepared with a lot of attention with many ingredients used for flavor- but since I'm a vegetarian it doesn't tempt me. Meat is a big deal here. Still I've learned to get similar flavor results by paying attention to how herbs are combined. I'm so happy you joined our team! Good luck on the SparkPeople program and thanks for all of the Sparkmail!
Cynthia emoticon

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
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~Puerto Rico





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CYNTHIAPITTMANN's Photo CYNTHIAPITTMANN Posts: 268
4/6/11 3:28 P

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Hi MStroomer,
I appreciated your input here. Where you live is related to your exercise and food options.
When I was in the mountains of Puerto RIco, I couldn't walk outside-safely but my lifestyle caused me to buy (or grow) large quantities of vegetables. I used an exercise DVD to get the 30 minutes in. Now that I've moved closer to the beach, I can walk outside and go to an exercise studio- but I don't have the food issue resolved. I never seem to have enough healthy food on hand! This causes me to snack on sweets instead of fruit! (for example) I might need to track my calories again to continue losing weight- at least be more aware of what I'm eating.
It must have been fun biking around the Netherlands! I imagine fields of brightly colored tulips while the wind cools your face. I want to bike here in Puerto Rico but the traffic is discouragingly dangerous! It doesn't stop some people. I've seen large groups riding while several bikers blow whistles to let the cars know they are on the road!
I read a blog from a painter in South Africa. She seems to love it there, I hope you do too.
Cynthia



"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
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@CynthiaPittmann on Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann

~Puerto Rico





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ROSALINDAW's Photo ROSALINDAW SparkPoints: (8,567)
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4/2/11 9:17 P

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Okay, I finally got the time to read ALL of the messages on this thread. This sure was encouraging! Can't believe how similar our struggles are, as women "overseas." It is hard to be a woman anyway (vulnerability, in most cultures), but to be a FOREIGN woman just draws unwanted attention! Finding the things we need to eat in a healthy way, and opportunities to get the exercise we need certainly is a challenge. I'm doing better since joining SparkPeople in January. The food here in Uruguay is delicious... and I'm finally learning to say no to my own cravings. Keep on learning, everyone! And thanks to all of you for sharing, and for being so encouraging...

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ROSALINDAW's Photo ROSALINDAW SparkPoints: (8,567)
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4/2/11 7:51 P

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Hi, Mary! I lived in Botswana, Africa for 15 years, and I know JUST what you mean... Have you found some solutions to these obstacles yet? Hope to hear from you...

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MOONSTORMER's Photo MOONSTORMER Posts: 317
1/14/11 2:01 P

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i have lived in the netherlands, and now in south africa. it was much easier in the netherlands - i could walk and bike everywhere, and once i got used to the names for things it was easy to find what i needed in the supermarket. there was even a bi-weekly farmer's market, so i could always get fresh (and cheap, which is important for a student!) produce and even chicken and fish.

now, i live in south africa and it's much more tricky. i also cannot walk anywhere. it is actually risky that i choose to walk out my complex gate and go the .5km to the super market. everyone drives, and if you don't drive you are putting yourself at risk. the general foods people eat are much more rich - for the first 9 months i lived here, i lived with my boyfriend's parents, and that was very rough because the food choices were not healthy. things improved when we moved out, but the food culture is not healthy. at my fiance is willing to eat anything i cook/put in front of him.

i joined the gym with a friend, which has been great, but it's still tricky because if she isn't in the mood to go to the gym, i have no other way to get there (until my fiance gets home from work). but i've learned to just throw a dvd in and work out with that, as long as the power is on........ emoticon

i do enjoy living overseas, though. and while i have my issues here, i have come to really love south africa. but that doesn't mean i won't be ready to move to the next place in 3-5 years. emoticon

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CYNTHIAPITTMANN's Photo CYNTHIAPITTMANN Posts: 268
9/23/10 2:45 P

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It's true that cultural differences about gender specific behavior are an obstacle. The main reason I can't go for a walk down the street near my home is that women don't walk alone in Puerto Rico. Some may argue with me on this assertion, however, I have learned through trial and error that you need a walking buddy or you have to forgo your exercise plan. It's too dangerous.

Do I see Puerto Rican women walking alone around here? No, they always have a little group. I asked an acquaintance if I could walk down the road for exercise and he said no. Is the road bad, I asked. He said no, it's just too far. You wouldn't want to walk it. The mysterious unsaid words?

Women don't walk alone.

If you do, it means you want something to happen. What is the something? You want a man to approach you. Also, it points out that you're not from around here-that knowledge causes unwelcome attention too. emoticon However, it's just another cultural aspect to adapt to and a small price to pay for living in a beautiful place.

I'm thinking of joining a health club. emoticon

Edited by: CYNTHIAPITTMANN at: 9/23/2010 (14:47)
"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

~Click and follow Oasis Writing Link (TM) blog
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CBACH71's Photo CBACH71 Posts: 943
9/18/10 4:31 P

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One of the challenges I've noticed lately is people (mainly young people) trying to yell at me, make fun of me or ridicule me for running. It is ridiculous that these kids have no education. Oh and the men asking me if I'm married while I'm running? What? These thing annoy me because they interrupt my time. I'd like to relax and enjoy my time running without these stupid little distractions from young boys and girls trying to impress their friends.

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YICHE12's Photo YICHE12 Posts: 29,342
8/29/10 7:27 P

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My biggest challenge is being away from my family. Of course I have my husband here, but being away from my siblings, my girls and grand-children really takes a toll on me.

Apart from that, I adapt pretty easily to different environments.

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CBACH71's Photo CBACH71 Posts: 943
8/16/10 5:32 P

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Hi I'm Cathy,

The biggest difficulty is exercising. I can find enough substitutes for the food and we get everything fresh, but finding the time and energy to exercise as much as I should is a big challenge. I work a lot and find that answering the partners in the US is hard because they are 4 to 5 hours behind. I feel like I don't balance my life well because of this.

This is going well for me so far. I've stayed within my calories ranges pretty easily. So far so good. Now if I can just get the exercise part worked out I'll be doing better.

Have a great day.

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CYNTHIAPITTMANN's Photo CYNTHIAPITTMANN Posts: 268
7/15/10 10:40 P

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Hi all! I'm living in Puerto Rico, and have been here for fifteen years. My greatest challenge is adapting to different cultural norms. I'm accustomed to PR now, but sometimes I think I am misunderstood.

I would love to hike around and really explore the area around my house, but I discovered that it's not safe to go around alone. It's something that I continue to resist. I can walk/run on organized walking paths in town but I can't just go out my door and walk down the winding country road. I find that so frustrating. I have been chased and exposed to several times, until finally I decided I had to change my independent ways. I work out with a video, walk with 5 pound hand weights in my driveway, and walk in town with a friend.

I do walk in tourist areas alone, especially in the Old City/El Viejo San Juan. Being followed and nearly assaulted has made me realize that I have to change one of my core ways of being alone and connected with nature.

It's very difficult because I am a walker! However, I do appreciate and love the views even if I must be a cautious spectator. I wonder if any of you know a a solution to this problem? I'm a bit shell-shocked about the routine dangerous encounters.

Spark People has helped me to stop pouting and hiding indoors and start walking when and where I can. emoticon

Edited by: CYNTHIAPITTMANN at: 7/15/2010 (22:47)
"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

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

@CynthiaPittmann on Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram

Find me on Facebook: Cynthia Pittmann

~Puerto Rico





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KRISETH's Photo KRISETH Posts: 16
12/31/09 4:04 A

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Hi Izzigirl -

I got your message on my blog - thanks.

I'm with you on that whole first paragraph. After being here a year, I've decided it's just not my favorite place. The mountains are beautiful, but smelling the burning garbage can take away from that. And I think the attitudes definitely feel like people have given up (in general, of course, this doesn't apply to everyone). From my impression, it has to do with the whole transition from communism.

Yeah, I've met some fulbright scholars here briefly, but they know the volunteers in Skopje better. Is that the program you're with? Luckily, it's a small country so I can travel and see other volunteers pretty frequently - it certainly helps to have people who understand what you're going through. How much longer will you be there?

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IZZIGIRL's Photo IZZIGIRL Posts: 140
12/31/09 3:51 A

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Glad to see people are back on these boards! I live in Bosnia, and the challenges here surprised me. I lived here two years ago, and while it was tough, I got through it. When I moved back this summer, I was shocked that it was hard all over again. This time, though, I wasn't working and that killed my self-esteem. Plus, after two years here, I think I'm allowed to say that this just isn't my favorite country without being insensitive or close-minded. The pollution, the terrible bureaucracy, the insane drivers, the rudeness, the "screw-it" attitude of the people who live here and have to deal with this all the time...it's just too much to balance out the positives here, (the beautiful countryside, the hospitality, the thrill of living overseas). And you know you can't talk about this sort of thing with people back home, they just don't get it.

Things have definitely gotten better, but it's funny how the challenges can smack you upside the head, even when you're an experienced traveler/expat.

Kriseth, how's Macedonia? I've known several fulbrighters from that neck of the woods. Go southeast Europe!



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KRISETH's Photo KRISETH Posts: 16
12/31/09 3:41 A

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Hi JMD -

I am living in the Republic of Macedonia serving in the Peace Corps. I've been here a year and have another year to go. It seems though that no matter where you go outside of the US, there are usually some kind of similar challenges.

I'm not able to drive either, but luckily I can walk to the grocery store or market, so that is probably an advantage to getting healthy.

I agree with you on number 4 for sure...being home a lot is a huge challenge for me. I have some work, but nothing close to the 40+ hours a week I am used to.

One of the benefits of living here though is the fruits and vegetables...well, the Winter is mostly cabbage and potatoes, but once Spring comes, the flavors here can't be beat.

Good luck! We can do this!

Edited by: KRISETH at: 12/31/2009 (03:54)
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JMDROEGE's Photo JMDROEGE Posts: 21
12/31/09 12:41 A

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Kriseth:
I don't know if anyone uses this page either, but I am all for resurrecting it. I am with you on the snack options available here in the Middle East. And a turkey sandwich sounds heaven. Can't get them here either.

My other challenges are:
1. French fries are served with everything here. Even a salad. I have to just learn to look at them, not eat them.
2. Since I am in Saudi Arabia, I am not able to drive. Therefore, I am dependent on either my husband shopping for healthy foods (not likely), wait until I can get a ride to the grocery, or settle with what they have in the compound shop.
3. Since I am taking care of my 8 month old & the gym here doesn't provide childcare, I have to hit the gym at 5 am (assuming he isn't awake).
4. Before being a trailing spouse, I was a working mother. Now that I am home all of the time, it is very difficult for me not to snack. I think I am going to try to learn another language to give me an activity besides eating!

Good luck! Hope we can get this started again. Where are you in Eastern Europe?

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KRISETH's Photo KRISETH Posts: 16
12/16/09 3:30 P

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I don't know if anyone still uses this page since it says it's been inactive for 60 days, but I'll add my 2 cents anyway. I think one of the most difficult things is convenience and lack of healthy snacks. I'm in Eastern Europe and it seems like the snack options are chips and cookies or pastries. I also really miss turkey meat...turkey sandwiches were a staple for my healthy lunches, and if I want one now I have to buy a turkey (imported from the US) and cook an entire one, which is a little too much for one person.

Besides food, the relaxed work culture gives me a lot more time on my hands, which means a lot more time to stuff my face from boredom.

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IZZIGIRL's Photo IZZIGIRL Posts: 140
8/29/09 9:49 A

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post book recommendations: "A Broad Abroad," "A Moveable Marriage," and "A Portable Identity." I got these books of Amazon when I was in a crisis of "what the heck am I doing here overseas?!" The first book, "A Broad Abroad" made me laugh so hard I cried. Totally validated the challenges and stresses of the trailing spouse! The final book, "A Portable Identity," is actually a workbook, and it's been nice having something to sit down and think about as I figure out what to do over here. All three books are highly recommended to anyone who's overseas or about to go overseas as a trailing spouse!



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IZZIGIRL's Photo IZZIGIRL Posts: 140
8/19/09 7:05 A

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Oh wow, what a topic. I lived overseas a number of times, and I'm only 24, and for some reason, this time is especially hard. I lived in Bosnia for a year, went back to the US, and now I'm back in Bosnia to be with my better half. The last time I was here, it was challenging due to the nature of my work and the strain of the new culture. This time, however, the strain is mainly coming from the loss of identity associated with being a stay-at-home...wife? We're not even married yet. All the other wives here are SO thin, put-together, attractive, and perky. I'm only 154lbs, and I'm always the biggest girl in the room...and I'm supposed to be my boyfriend's hot, young bad decision!

At least this time around, I know how to get the ingredients I need and I don't have to go through that cultural adjustment period again. We live pretty far from the closest grocery store this time, though, so we end up making a lot of our own staples. Which sounds good in theory. Well, it IS delicious, but home-made ice cream and bread and bagels and risotto and cakes probably shouldn't be on my "staples" list.

Glad to find this group!



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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
5/15/09 11:04 P

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I teach as a volunteer. I am doing lots of volunteer work, at church and in the community. In addition to volunteering, I've also recently picked up a tennis addiction! and quilting! I'm quite busy, but I think I might think about subbing.

GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 187
5/14/09 8:21 A

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Hey, bee! I have friends who live in Bangkok! Do you teach there?

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
4/22/09 10:37 P

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HI, Globaljuju! I live in Bangkok! and it is hot!

GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 187
4/22/09 10:24 P

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Beelean,

I'm sorry that you had to get rid of your maid, but it sounds like you did the right thing. Congratulations! Where are you located again? My maid can't cook an egg (wouldn't the people back home be irate if they read that????), and sometimes I get really tired of cooking for myself nd packing lunches, but that's just what needs to be done. I know that when I stray from my plan, I lose it!

Once I'm done with my Master's I hope to get into more creative and healthy cooking, using a lot more fresh veggies! You can't go wrong with that! Have a great day!

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BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
4/22/09 6:10 A

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I got rid of a troublesome maid (how's that for a diet strategy?), and, voila, no more indulgence! I can't say I'm enjoying being in the kitchen in this hellish weather, but at least, I'm not tempted! I'm making my favorite SP foods and having more success at calorie watching, too. And I'm drinking lots of water! Cheers to all!

SLODUCKY's Photo SLODUCKY Posts: 45
4/22/09 5:35 A

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Since I know I am only an expat for one year.... I feel like I am depriving myself of partaking in the local cuisine more. Switzerland is the land of cheese and chocolate, butter and bread! All no no's to indulge in. My challenge is not availability, its holding back and not "experiencing" too much.

BEELEAN2 Posts: 31
1/15/09 2:21 A

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Finding decent, reasonably priced ingredients is a big challenge here. There are many foreigners here, but the procuring of the staples can be exhausting. I'm trying to keep my family well fed with SP friendly foods, but the process of finding, translating (with help!), and cooking is a long one. Restaurant food is great, which is hard on the waistline. Thai food is tasty, so no gripes here!

JANEDUCONGO's Photo JANEDUCONGO Posts: 50
1/6/09 3:33 A

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Sheesh, where to start??!!

The main one for me is getting decent meals - when I am in town I stay at our company guesthouse where we have a cook who just knows Belgian-style meals (As Congo was a Belgian colony), so he will revert to serving up chicken and chips, or steak and fried potatoes if not asked to prepare anything else.

When I am out doing field work I live in a field camp, so we have one cook feeding around 25 of us, usually 20+ Africans and 2-3 expats. The cook has no idea of healthy meal plans, and the locals refuse to eat anything else apart from fufu and fried meat in oily sauce, so it's also a challenge getting anything even remotely low-fat. The poor cook is also doing all this over two small charcoal burners, so you have to feel for the guy!!!

In my experience, African culture generally dictates a "good" meal to be a large chunk of meat, in some oily sauce, served up with a big helping of some sort of carbs, which are generally aimed to serve as Spakfilla as it can be the only decent meal they get every day. So when you come along as an expat and ask for a tuna salad for lunch in camp for example, the cook is amazed that you consider that "real" food!!!

Availability of products is also a huge challenge - fruit and vegies are quite limited without much variety, and in general groceries are 3-4 times more expensive than what I would pay back home in Australia.

Having a full-time job doesn't leave much time for planning/organising meals either, but I am just gonna have to make time or I will be eating chicken and chips every night for the next 9 weeks!!!

ANyway, that's the tip of the iceberg but the main challenges for me, it's been interesting ready everyone elses comments and seeing some common threads running through there.

Good luck with it all

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RODHUB's Photo RODHUB Posts: 1,569
4/5/08 6:53 P

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Since scales may be a problem and they are not always a good measure of what's happening use a tape measure and track the inches or use your clothes and how they fit which are the best measure. Sometimes being a slave to the scale is more depressing than it's worth. I've lived in developing countries and know some of the obstacles faced in doing and obtaining simple things but on the other hand there are things that can be done simpler than at home. It just takes time to get into a routine. You may also want to look into getting a solar power CD player/radio or get you a MP3 /cd player that uses batteries. to combat the power outages.

***Yvonne***
Changing My Story
It always seems impossible until it's done. Nelson Mandela
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DONANDMARY77's Photo DONANDMARY77 SparkPoints: (27,005)
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2/29/08 8:57 A

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We live in Tanzania. Sorry it took me so long to reply. It is East Africa. Here is my gripe today:
Stepped on the scale at our friend's home and am not happy. I am not losing weight. Looks like I gained, but I am having trouble believing that. It is like a major bummer, because I have been good most of the time. I just have to take a deep breath and not freak out. I refuse to give up, but I sure can use a boost today.

It would be great to have one scale to use while we are in the USA. I guess the reality will be seen once we are in Africa. I want to be able to see progress. I wish I would have figured out the scale last week. It would give me a better look at what is happening.
Mary

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


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AREYOUKIDDING Posts: 10
1/29/08 11:13 P

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hi, it sounds like you do have some hurtles in Africa for your weight loss. Where in Africa are you? I live in Singapore and have some difficulties as well but not the same at all. In Singapore most everyone is tiny like 12 year old small so they do not gear much of anything toward heavy people. I am 5 foot 10 and clothes are an impossibility as are shoes unless I want mens shoes (I wear us 9.5 shoe). Exercise is easy in the access as each condo has a workout center but my motivation is low when I see the people there all tiny and healthy. emoticon Kimberley

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DONANDMARY77's Photo DONANDMARY77 SparkPoints: (27,005)
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1/25/08 11:32 P

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Challenges to getting and staying fit:
1. All the prep time it takes to have salads....You have to soak everything in bleach first and then rinse with water that has been boiled and cooled off. Then chop and bag.
2. The really good stuff for salads is very expensive and only available seasonally.
3. Getting to a gym??? We only have 2 here and one is exclusive. The other is 40 minutes away. Both are out of our budget.
4. Electriciy outages. Just when I am ready to do a workout the power goes out and I am stuck doing a boring exercise routine without music or DVDs.
5. The culture of Africa frowns on me getting skinny. They think my husband is abusing me if I am not fat.
Mary

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


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GLOBALJUJU's Photo GLOBALJUJU Posts: 187
4/5/07 12:32 P

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Hi!

What is the biggest (or some of the biggest) challenges that you face as an expat when it comes to getting and staying fit?

Edited by: GLOBALJUJU at: 4/6/2009 (23:00)
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