Thursday, April 28, 2011

The long trek to skinny-dom continues

I'm like a stinkin' Jenny Craig commercial. Since adolescence, my weight has yo-yo'd and I've gone through so many healthy phases, I'm sure my body just laughs when I declare that I've made a change in my lifestyle and I'm going to stay thin. For example, I dropped 20 pounds my freshman year of college (a nice anomaly in comparison to the usual reality), and by senior year I'd put the 20 back on and then some. Like every bride, I slimmed down for my wedding, and three years later I've put the inches back on and more.

Part of my motivation for starting this latest health kick is my location. At home, if a lady puts on a little weight, most people say nothing. They just sit in silent judgement as she helps herself to another round at the food table at the company Christmas party . There is always the uncouth co-worker who asks the newlywed if she's pregnant, but that often just causes your best friends to tell you what an idiot she is as they help you with your latest Ben and Jerry's therapy session.

But NOT in Saudi! H'oh boy! My co-workers are frank! Here's a for-instance: I was in the accounting office a few weeks ago, looking at the wall calendar and talking to the ladies about the holidays. The Mister and I will be arriving back just after Ramadan ends and I was lamenting the fact that I wouldn't get the chance to experience the yummy food at a real Saudi iftar.

"Well, that's probably a good thing. You don't need to go to an iftar, you're getting fat. I'm sorry to say it, but it's true," one of the accountants said as the other ladies in the office nodded in agreement.

Wow. She really put it out there. I've also had other Saudi co-workers mention that I'm getting a little hefty. This isn't news to me, I own a mirror, but the fact that so many people are pointing it out now definitely serves as motivation to get off the couch!!

I've decided to do the SELF Drop 10 challenge as my weight loss plan. It's really handy because they send you your workout and meal plans, and you don't have to be a member of a gym to get it done. I've only been on this ride for a week, but I've already lost a few pounds. The challenge isn't the getting up at 4:30 to work out before work--a personal decision, not a recommendation of the program. The challenge is the meals!

Because SELF is an American magazine, they've partnered with American food companies and have added things like Panera Bread and Dunkin' Donuts to their meal plans. There are also American-specific grocery brands, and those aren't easily found in the stores in Saudi Arabia. Add to that the fact that carbs are the Arabs' best friend and you can imagine my struggle to stay on the wagon. No problem. I'll just use a calorie calculator on the internet and tally up the calories myself...

Have you ever tried to look up the calorie count for an Indian dish you can't even spell!? It's really difficult, trust me.

I didn't think losing weight would ever be harder than it was in the States, but the obstacles have certainly found me! I'm getting to flex my culinary muscles and be creative with some of the SELF recipes, but I'm getting it done.

In the meantime, I'm just sticking with my workouts with my personal trainer (Kinect + Your Shape: Fitness Evolved), doing the SELF workouts, and trying to be a good girl.

MUCH easier said than done.

Vicariously yours,

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