Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Well, that was unexpected.

As many of you know on here, I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I lost a lot of weight when I started running but then I just got stuck at a number and couldn't seem to push past it. I sat at that weight for over a year, still running and eating somewhat healthy. While we were moving I managed to put on a few more pounds and by a few I mean, nine freaking pounds!

I arrived in Germany on February 7th feeling like a cow, my pants were tight, my face looked bloated and I genuinely felt like crap. In the month and a half since I've managed to lose 17 pounds and the crazy thing is I wasn't even trying. I didn't have a scale because it was being shipped with our stuff so I decided that I would just enjoy the German food and worry about losing the weight later, after the novelty wore off. The first week we were here I ate a pastry every day, once we got our house I started buying milk...whole milk. I also bought full fat yogurt and a box of Kinder chocolates so I could have chocolate whenever the mood struck me. I tried German ice cream and gelato, I ate doner sandwiches and schnitzel, I thought for sure I would pack on some (more) pounds. 

I'm guessing the walking has saved me, before we got our car it was normal for me to walk between 5 and ten miles in one day. Now that we have a car I walk a lot less, I still walk my son to the bus stop and back everyday and I still walk to the grocery every (or every other) day but that alone puts me walking 2 miles a day. That doesn't include when I actually get out to run (which is difficult right now since hubby is in the field) or play volleyball. 

I'm just amazed at how effortless this has been, I wish we walked this much in the US, I know we wouldn't have the obesity issues we do if people just got off their butts. I see old people here, very old people, walking around, they use their walker, they hop on the bus and walk to the market. They're much more active in their old age than Americans and they seem to live long lives because of it. 

It helps that there are sidewalks and bike paths everywhere, I think Americans would be more inclined to walk or bike if they felt they had a safe designated area to do so. We could definitely learn a thing or two from the Germans and I hope all this walking is something I take back with me to the US.

13 comments:

Lindsey said...

What a nice surprise! :) I agree - Americans drive everywhere, even if it's just a mile or two, or even a half! The Africans here actually think that Americans *physically aren't able* to walk hardly 50 yards - because they only see them driving, never walking!

Teamarcia said...

Fantastic!
I think the advent of suburbia and needing to drive everywhere is much to blame here in the US.
My grandparents lived in Chicago and walked everywhere for their shopping and errands. And of course were never fat. I'm seeing newer towns going back to the old designs and that is great.

GeorgiaSnail said...

I miss the walking culture of Germany. As a kid, stationed in Germany, we walked everywhere, as did the local population. my favorite was a walk downtown on Sunday to do window shopping.

Pam said...

In 2004 I went to Germany and stayed 10 days with a friend of mine that lived over there. I was terrified of gaining weight while I was there because, girl, I ATE while I was there. And drank every beer I could get my grubby little hands on. But we did walk a lot. That was before I started running, so I didn't do any of that. Nothing but walking for transportation. When I got home after those 10 days of gluttony, I found that I'd lost three pounds during the trip.

Yeah, I'm sure the walking has a lot to do with it, but you will NEVER convince me that part of our obesity problem doesn't lie in our food system in the US. I fully believe, and will until the day I die, that our overprocessed food and all its additives and such are keeping Americans fat. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you will, but I believe it's intentionally done. Make 'em fat, make 'em sick, sell 'em pills.

giraffy said...

That's awesome! I agree with the above - the abundance of processed junk, the suburban lifestyle that's become almost unavoidable - these are the things making us unhealthy in America. Eat whole, eat in moderation, and move - you've got it covered :D

I love hearing about the whole European lifestyle, it's fastinating to me... thanks for sharing!

to dream the KIMpossible dream said...

Wow, good for you! I've been to Europe several times and just love the walking culture. I think it would be so lovely to adapt to that lifestyle.

I have so been struggling with my weight lately- emotional eating and all that jazz. blah.

FruitFly said...

Unexpected, yet very cool!!

I agree on the walking. I love walking. I never mind going out during breaks at work to walk - even if it is raining. It just feels so good to get out and move around!

Wells L said...

Girl - I'm soooo super proud of you!! Way to be amazing! That's fantastic!!! Can I say I'm jealous? Keep up the great work!

Her Name Is Rio said...

It's amazing how much our environment affects us in so many unexpected ways. Glad to hear that it is working in your favor!

chris mcpeake said...

Congrats on the lost pounds.

Adam said...

NICE!!! that is awesome. Now, unfortunately, I have to go get in my car and drive 20 miles home. Hrmph. :(

TX Runner Mom said...

I wish we lived in the city so we could walk more! Where I live, the grocery store is only 3 miles from my house, but the roads are so darn busy that I'm afraid that I'd be hit by a car if I walked. Sad!

Wells L said...

Missing your posts - hope you are well. No matter which blog you write on, I hope you'll share more of your new life in Germany. You get that we are all jealous, right! Take care of yourself.