Saturday, May 30, 2009

Unhealthy or Healthy Americans?

When I moved to France, and even now, many of my friends would comment on how thin and beautiful all the French women were going to be. I can not tell a lie; they were right. Most of the people are rather thin there, but you rarely see joggers or people exercising. At least they were not as common where I lived in Lille as they are here in Houston. Just a general observation on my part is that the French live a more active lifestyle. I don't mean they exercise, I mean they have to walk everywhere. Typically a person walks to the market and carriestheir groceries home. They just move more. Add that to smaller portions and you get smaller people. Not rocket science.

The thing is, when I lived there I only moved when I had to. When I worked I had to walk at least 45 minutes every trip. When I went to the market or to meet friends I had to walk to the tram or the store. But only once in 15 months did I lace up my tennies and go for a jog. However, I did walk with my good friend Lillian. We would walk about twice a week just around our neighborhood. In regular shoes. I always thought it was funny knowing that if I did that in Houston I would have changed and looked sporty. But she always just had on normal clothes so I matched by wearing jeans. It was always cold or at least cool so it's not like we ever broke a sweat.

I actually lost weight once I started working because of the increased walking. Well that and it took my body so many calories to keep warm on the way to and from anywhere. But I never changed my eating habits and I never once had a "light" beer. Living so close to Belgium I would think it a sin to even ask for a Miller Light. Actually I think you can only get Amstel Light or Heineken Light, but I digress. So I drank wine and dark beer and lost weight. But I never felt really healthy (shocker).

Since I have been home I have joined a gym and started a simple run walk plan. I even tried to swim laps last week! Who knew my ass was made out of lead? That sucker sank after the second lap. Solution: breast stroke and act like you belong there. I felt like a fish out of water while in the water! Let's just say I am not a natural lap swimmer. My point is though that I feel more healthy here now and have lost 9 pounds while living in Unhealthy America! Plus I really think Americans are looking more towards a healthy lifestyle, although that could just be in my neck of the woods.

Looking back I know I could have joined a gym and worked out, but I felt guilty spending 65 euro a month when I wasn't working. Then when I finally got my papers to work I had been there for 10 months and felt I needed to contribute to the bills, although Cyr always told me I didn't have to and to buy shoes. I married a good one didn't I?! Plus it was so cold from October until March that exercising outside was just too painful to think of. I didn't even bike because I just knew I would get in a crash and not be able to tell the people in the hospital what was wrong or that I would get lost and have to call Cyr for help. :-)

Lesson I learned: Looking back I did not find things to do or ways to exercise and feel healthy when I lived in Lille. I think it took me too long to feel comfortable with the language and I let that intimidate me and I sat at home too much. Thank goodness I met Steph and Marie Jose or I would have become a hermit! I should have pushed through it and found places to ride my bike. I used to ride an average of at least 40 miles a week here and then I did nothing when I moved. It was my own fault really.

Next Time: I'm going to get out more. Plus the fact that now I speak a little more French helps. But if any of you move to a place where you feel like you don't fit in, I would say take advice from Nike, Just Do It. I wish I had, it would have made my stay even better.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back on Board

Or at least I feel that way!

We have unpacked boxes and have a fairly livable home now. I really love it and Duncan has settled in really well. I also found a job (yeah), lost 6 pounds and joined a gym! All good things really. :-)

I actually joined the gym after I lost the 6 pounds so I plan to be getting all kinds of healthy in the next few months.

I have to be someplace in 30 minutes but realized I have not blogged in weeks. I start my new job next week which will be good for me. I really need structure. When I am not working and I have a few things to do, I never do them. But pack in a work day with many things to do and somehow I get all of them done. Guess I work well under pressure. Guess that's a good thing since I'm a sales person!!

Thanks for all the emails from folks. I'm in a good place right now and even have pictures to post! (finally)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Swine flu and a new home

So first, neither of us have gotten the swine flu, but I was pretty worried Sunday.

We moved in our new house successfully over the last few days. I guess I consider "successful" having less that 12 boxes still lingering around the house, most of the furniture in place and only a few broken or missing items. On Sunday morning Cyr woke up and was not feeling well. He had 101 temp and was down all day with fever spiking as high as 102.8 and dropping to around 100. At one point I was sure he was going to grow a curly tail and start rummaging through the garbage (this is my lame attempt at swine flu humor). I had him drinking chilled fluids like Gatorade and water and had a cold cloth to wipe him down with. I was almost ready to sink him in a bathtub of cold water when it began to drop. I was also considering the possibility of an emergency room visit.

His fever started at 7am Sunday and didn't get better until about midnight that night. Monday he woke up with no fever but feeling exhausted. His work (wisely) told him to stay home so that he would not be contagious when he returned. I think I missed it (cross your fingers) and feel lucky. He was so sad on the couch, poor fella.

So with the move, hooking up all the electricity, phone and internet along with Cyr's two sick days I have been a little absent. Oh, a few really cool things; I spoke with Steph on the phone. I didn't realize how much I really miss her, but it's a lot. In reality we really didn't have a long time to hang out and be friends, but I know I will always feel a special kinship with her. She was my English speaking buoy in the sea of alien France. Plus she is just a great person. Shout out to you in Canada Steph!! I have also had a job interview that wants to see me again next week plus a few others that are talking to me. Good sales people are wanted in this economy thank goodness. Now all I have to do is convince everyone I'm a good sales person. To be honest...I can't wait to use my brain again. I am chomping at the bit to talk to a client or potential client about anything...

Sorry I have been gone so long, but now I'm hooked up in Houston. ;-)

Expect Egypt pictures withing the week. As soon as I locate the cable to download them...