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.