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Month 6 - Made it through my challenges!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Well, I am back in the Netherlands and am still adjusting to the time change. The weather here has been great so far which helps, lots of sun. It was hard leaving my family and granddaughters, but we had such a good time together, many memories were made.

My challenge was to stick to my food plan, not binge or eat alot of fattening favorite foods that I have missed and hopefully not gain any weight. Secretively, I hoped to lose a bit. Well, I did. I lost 7.5 kilo, which is over 16 pounds, and went down in jean sizes again. It really made me happy and relieved to see that you can go on vacation and still stick to your plan.

What I learned was that it isn't so much the food that I missed, but the experiences. And I was able to have alot of fun with family and friends and still stay within my calories most days. There were a few foods that I absolutely avoided, as I knew that they would send me down the rabbit hole of mindless binging, but I also ate some of my favorite SF foods and had a wine or two...

My granddaughters helped me to move more as they are very active girls and we played tourist in the city and walked some days over 20,000 steps. My fitbit was so happy with me! We also did Just Dance on their Wii, walked the dog twice a day and swam many laps. It felt good to move my body so much!

Lessons learned:

Move, move, move! I was amazed at how easily the weight came off, much easier than when I am back in NL. And that was because of all the activities. So I have been trying to walk much more and am going to start exercising with weights. Today going to the beach by myself was a change, but everyone is either working or on holiday, so I just decided to go by myself. And I really enjoyed the fresh air and holiday atmosphere with all the people vacationing.

There are some foods that you just don't need to eat. Ok, that's seems pretty obvious, but before I left for the states, I was convinced I would succumb to temptation of certain American treats I miss. But I didn't and believe me, this is the first time EVER I did not indulge. And do I regret not eating those foods? No! Because I came home thinner, healthier and in better shape than before I left!

When you are happy, you don't need to fill yourself with food to fill the emptiness inside. While I love my DH, moving here some 35 years ago has made me experience many moments of loneliness and homesickness. When you are young, it seems like such an adventure to move to another country. And I have experienced so many things and learned another language and seen so many different places and worked in dutch hospitals, etc. But missing your family and missing your country are things that don't go away that easily. I know very few expats who do not struggle with this. Even if you are totally integrated into a society, which I think I am. And the way I have dealt with those emotions, was to eat and isolate. And in the end, it doesn't work, as we all know. A hunger for food can be fed, a hunger for family and old friends can not be fulfilled with food. And so, I am determined to get out more, not isolate and not overeat because of this. And practice gratitude because I have alot to be grateful for. When I first moved here, there wasn't even email! You mailed a letter and waited a few weeks for a reply. And now we text, email, face time, skype, etc.

My other goal is to get back to working for myself. A few years ago, my contract at the hospital was ended as the grant money ran out. Money became tight in the health care industry here, and I was not able to find another position in my field. With all my friends and DH still working, it has been challenging to fill my days on my own. And so, I intend to get back to working as well.

This month's challenge is to continue moving like I did in the states and to add weight lifting exercises to my routine. While walking is the perfect exercise for me, it isn't doing much for the arms or abdomen. Time to work on tightening up and building some muscles!

I am so grateful for SP! I tracked my food and activity all 7 weeks I was gone and weighed myself. I also read lots of blogs and updates of spark friends. It made all the difference in the world to stay focused and not go into 'vacation mode' eating.

Now on to month 6!
Can't believe how quickly the time is going and how much better I feel than the very unmotivated, 'ready to give up' woman of February.
Just going to keep on going and get my health and my life back!

Thanks for listening! emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a wonderful visit!
    1750 days ago
    You are doing grrrrrreat!
    I rarely gain weight on vacation as I am intentionally much more active and aware of my foods...never deprive myself, though.
    It was interesting to read about your experience of living in NL.
    I have never thought of it that way but, of course, it would be true...I was lonely and missed my family whenever I lived far from home.
    It has always been one of my dreams to live in another country for at least a few years...long enough to really experience it.
    I have sort of given up that dream as now I am 64 and have three small grandkids I am so involved with.
    Keep up the good work!

    1751 days ago
    So sad I missed this blog! I was feeling so sick the week you wrote this!

    Congratulations on all your successes! The weight loss, the smaller jeans, and the great lessons learned!

    I love your goals. Keep up the great work!
    1756 days ago
    1771 days ago
    You are doing emoticon Keep up the moving!
    1774 days ago
    Yep - our experiences are much the same - only I took longer to get back on track. I restarted at the end of May and am still going strong. I've just started the bmSMARTs 30 days to victory challenge today and hope that will inspire me to continue. I can understand the homesickness too. When I married 40 odd years ago I couldn't even phone my Mum the other side of the country as I had no telephone then. How things have changed. My daughter is the other side of the world in Australia and we talk regularly either by phone or skype or facetime. You have done fantistically well - a real inspiration to us all.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1775 days ago
    Excellent realization that it's the experiences you miss NOT the food! Proud of you.
    1775 days ago
    What an emoticon blog!!!!! emoticon on losing over 16# and getting even more exercise in than when you're NOT on vacation. You are an inspiration. I am assuming that your back is also feeling much better and wonder if the weight loss has a lot to do with that.

    I am so proud of you. emoticon
    1775 days ago
    So very proud of you for making it through your challenges!

    1775 days ago
    Sounds like you are doing great!

    I understand the homesickness. We moved to Yakima 6 years ago and I am sill home sick for
    Missouri. We are closer to the kids here but still 5 hours and a mountain range away from the closest.

    I hope you are able to find work soon.
    1775 days ago
    It sounds like you had a wonderful visit with family. Congrats on not succumbing to those tempting foods.

    It sounds like you you have made a plan to keep yourself on track..... you are doing great!
    1775 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1775 days ago
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