Author Topic: Healthier Since Leaving the US?  (Read 3309 times)

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Offline Str8upJerzy

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Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« on: October 26, 2012, 09:06:43 PM »
Just curious if anyone else is the same? I moved to Derry, Northern Ireland back in 2009. I was at my heaviest then and getting heavier by the year. I always had frequent fast food stops in a busy lifestyle of lots of work and even more play. I never had "time" to cook and ALWAYS drove just around the corner...literally...to do my grocery shopping. Since moving here my whole life has changed. I was three months pregnant when moving here and lost 12 lbs just in my first month here. I started walking everywhere and ate only good, wholesome, home cooked meals. These are things that were very rare in my American life. Seeing packages of food with no additives, preservatives, etc. were new to me.

Anyway, fast forward nearly three years later. After my second baby, I am officially 45 lbs lighter and still losing. I find it so EASY to be healthy here. I am now a seasoned cook whereas back home I didn't know very much about cooking. I'm a Zumba addict and switch that out with weight lifting and loads of walking with my two girls. I've been back home once since the big move and most of the food I ate at home made me physically sick. I literally spent three weeks in bathrooms. I'm just so happy with who I've become since moving here. I've never felt so entirely GOOD. In all my short 23 years of life, I've never had more energy before now.

So...has anyone else found the move abroad has changed their view on food and healthy living? I look back on how I was living and if I had never met my husband...it scares me to think how bad I would have gotten!
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Offline Andee

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 09:54:20 PM »
Well, I had a pretty healthy lifestyle in the US.  I lived in Philadelphia, walked everywhere, and worked in a natural food market (also I'm vegetarian).  I was married to a baker though and up until we separated I ate too many of the things he brought home.  But my work had an awesome bakery so that sort of continued!

I'm probably a bit slimmer now but walk less as my work is only 10 minutes walk away but I'm more physically active at my job so that evens things out.  I don't eat as many sweets since I don't have the easy access to them anymore and I won't keep loads of them in the house though.
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Offline LaraMascara

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 10:03:26 PM »
I have totally lost weight here, which was not a goal at all. I think I eat a lot better here because I eat out a lot less than I did!

In NYC I ate most meals out, (NYC = GO, GO, GO!) and here we normally cook at home.

Eating out, even in nice places, is general less healthy, because they are focused much more on flavour rather then health. They tend to use a lot of salt and butter in NYC, unless it is a 'healthy' place! I did not go to 'healthy' places, unless sushi counts. I ate a lot of sushi in NYC. (It was cheap, fast, and yummy!) I also went out for Chinese, and Mexican, and Greek... All highly caloric.

I was thin in NYC, but now I am even thinner. I lost about 15 pounds in the first 6 months! And, I was already thin, so I thought I might be sick! But, I got checked out, and I was fine.

I would say that, for whatever reason, I have maybe put back on about 4 of it, in the last year. Actually, I totally know the 'reason' I have put 4 pounds on: I have developed a Haribo Tangtastics addiction.  :P

I'm glad you are feeling good about your body! After all, feeling good is important, and health matters, it matters even more than size!!!

For the record, bigger people can be healthy too! Being 'thin' does not always mean fit, or healthy.

Health and happiness are so much more important that jean size!!!
“It was when I realised I had a new nationality: I was in exile. I am an adulterous resident: when I am in one city, I am dreaming of the other. I am an exile; citizen of the country of longing.” ― Suketu Mehta.

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Offline Fallgal

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 11:22:16 AM »
I definitely get more exercise here, as I didn't walk anywhere in the states, but walk everywhere here.

However, I definitely ate more healthier in the States then here. My ex and I had a huge veggie garden, and we ate many vegetarian meals, and homecooked meals in general, because he hated to go out to eat.

My husband now isn't a big fan of veggies or fruit. We have a lot of junk food in the house at all times due to his 20-year old son's unbelievably limited food preferences. (And yes, I am frequently tempted to snack on said junk food.)  Hubby also likes to go out to eat a couple times a week. I have lost a little weight since being here, but not as much as I thought I would with all the added exercise.
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Offline PlainPearl

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 02:08:19 PM »
I've lost 5 pounds since I've been here despite being less active, but I think that's because I'm no longer living the student lifestyle.

Offline dels

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 10:09:45 PM »
Being 'thin' does not always mean fit, or healthy.

This. Before I moved over, I was unhealthily thin for my height and age. I blame stress: my work schedule was insane - sometimes up to 18 hrs a day, so sleep was a luxury. I didn't even know what the inside of my fridge looked like. Work fed me, so it was a bite of this and that when I had time, usually salads because they don't taste bad when eaten cold. I lived off caffeine.

Moving to the UK definitely slowed me down. I had a proper job with normal hours and for the first time in years I had (and made time) for cooking - and enjoyed it! I also started running again, cycling 6 miles each way to work and of course walking everywhere helped. Also - when I moved over in 2004 the big push to go organic, local and sustainable was gaining serious momentum, and all of a sudden I was aware of where my food came from, and really started supporting local businesses instead of Tesco. We lived in Richmond, sw London, and we'd cycle down the tow path to Twickenham and go to the butchers and greengrocers. Food shopping was actually fun. Who knew!?

I'm back in the US at the moment, and definitely don't walk or cycle as much as I should (after all, no one walks in LA  ::)), and now have a ridiculously expensive gym membership to counteract it. But I definitely attribute my change to a healthy lifestyle to living in the UK.

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 08:49:05 AM »
I have always eaten and loved vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, etc.  I cook from scratch 95% of the time.  I have not had fast food in a million years. This was from either side of the pond.  I do have a great affinity for alcohol though  :P
 
But I ended up gaining a lot of weight when I moved here.  First, it was all the tasty new foods (heheheh scotch pie, haggis, sausages, bakewell tarts, flapjacks...) and beer to try.  Then about 8 months in, I got quite ill and in pain and not able to move and was in and out of hospital and I did a lot of wallowing in food and comfort. Coupled with a at that time getting a new boyfriend, going out all the time and drinking, etc - Two years into my move, I ended up really heavy. Heavier than I had ever been in my life. 

It's taken me 3 years and I am finally weighing about a stone less than I did when moved, but I still want much more.  Still, its not a race and I'm quite happy to keep plugging along.  I've cut down on drinking hugely, I limit sweets (but don't band) and if I gain, say a work trip away (which I do often)  -then I get right back on track. I also cycle and work in the allotment which helps. Digging, digging, digging is hard work.
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Offline chary

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 09:37:16 AM »
I'm fatter but probably healthier. I'm far more active and walk a lot more than I ever did in the US. However, the food is so much better here ... so
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Offline LaraMascara

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 09:41:43 AM »
dels - Sounds a lot like my life in NYC!!! Go, go, go ,go GO, GO, GOGOGOGOGO... Blah. Too much. My fridge was on super low, and I kept only a very small half and half in it, for my morning coffee, and other than that, I kept film, lipsticks, and nail polish in it!  ::)

I have NEVER eaten at a Burger King. Never. Or a McDonalds. Or a Pizza Hut. Or any of the other fast food chains! And, I do not like heavily fried foods. Like, fish and chips. It makes me sick. And I do not drink beer because it puts me to sleep - I drink wine or vodka or gin, and champagne when I can get it, which is... Never... LOL!

I think my general food fussiness keeps me healthy by default.

But, I am MUCH LESS ACTIVE HERE than I was in NYC!

“It was when I realised I had a new nationality: I was in exile. I am an adulterous resident: when I am in one city, I am dreaming of the other. I am an exile; citizen of the country of longing.” ― Suketu Mehta.

Married 04/13/11, in NYC.
Applied for Spouse Visa the following week, with express service, and I was approved 4 days later!
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I took the stupid LIUK Test Oct. 2012.
We were granted ILR In Person in Croydon on 04/23/13.
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Offline LaraMascara

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 09:50:45 AM »
And... "Thin" is not always the same as 'Healthy' - Many drug addicts are "Thin', right?!

“It was when I realised I had a new nationality: I was in exile. I am an adulterous resident: when I am in one city, I am dreaming of the other. I am an exile; citizen of the country of longing.” ― Suketu Mehta.

Married 04/13/11, in NYC.
Applied for Spouse Visa the following week, with express service, and I was approved 4 days later!
Arrived in the UK 05/20/11.
I took the stupid LIUK Test Oct. 2012.
We were granted ILR In Person in Croydon on 04/23/13.
Got BRP 2 days later, in mail box - it just appeared.

NEXT: The lil' red passpo

Offline Amberelle11

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 03:55:18 PM »
I'm the opposite! Since I've moved here I've gained 20lbs!  :\\\'(

I was EXTREMELY active and outdoorsy in Idaho with a boat load of friends who were the same. I spent 3 nights a week belly dancing with a performance troupe and the other times hanging with friends usually involved a lot of hiking, white water rafting, snowboarding, etc. But here, because of all the rain and gloom, I have become a lot more lethargic. I don't have any active friends (or even one's that go to the same gym as me) and when I do see them, it's over food. I used to move and walk a lot with my last job in the U.S. whereas here I'm behind a desk in front of a computer screen all day.

Though I do have to say as of this year I eat MUCH better and have learned to cook much better for myself! I am working on losing the weight and it seems to be successful! (My scale broke a few weeks back, so I haven't been able to measure...And I keep forgetting to check at the gym at night. I have tried to remind myself to get up and walk around more and I spend most of the afternoons on my own, so I can usually pop on some yoga or something to get me moving a bit.

I'm working on it! I think being hear has forced me to learn HOW to be healthier with food, whereas in the US, I ate like a college student all the time because I was active...Never learned to be healthier...Like Laura said "Thins is not always the same as healthy!" I was sick a LOT in the US and this year have done much better and I think it's because I've finally gotten it through my head I need to be better to myself! I take vitamins and eat a lot more fruits and veggies now!
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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2012, 04:23:58 PM »
Nope, unhealthier!  I've gained 20lbs since last year.  Mind you, I gained them in about a month.  In the spring I went to my bro's in the US for a month and lost 12lbs, came back and put it right back on minus maybe 4lbs. I've joined a gym now and have lost 3 pounds the last week and a half since starting.  I've gotten so fat that my pants don't fit, so I wear leggings with shorts this winter so far  :\\\'( I guess freezing is a good motivator for getting smaller. 

I don't do hardly the amount of walking I did back home. (course it was sunny/nice a lot so no excuses)  What is everyone doing for walking this time of year? Treadmill? How do you get yourself to go walking (I want to walk 4miles a day) how do you keep from slipping on the ice/snow? Do you wear cleat type shoes? How do those feel to walk long distances with?

Offline chary

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2012, 04:28:02 PM »
how do you keep from slipping on the ice/snow?

Where are you that you have that much ice and snow?
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Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2012, 04:33:57 PM »
What is everyone doing for walking this time of year? Treadmill? How do you get yourself to go walking (I want to walk 4miles a day) how do you keep from slipping on the ice/snow? Do you wear cleat type shoes? How do those feel to walk long distances with?

yaxtrak!!!! - Amazing. We've had nice snowy-icy pavements the last few days and they're lovely things!
I've never gotten food on my underpants!
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Offline Mrs Robinson

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Re: Healthier Since Leaving the US?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2012, 04:34:53 PM »
Just curious if anyone else is the same ...I always had frequent fast food stops in a busy lifestyle of lots of work... I never had "time" to cook and ALWAYS drove just around the corner...literally...to do my grocery shopping. Since moving here my whole life has changed... I started walking everywhere and ate only good, wholesome, home cooked meals...

Yes, here too!  Since I met my husband (in 2003), I have lost 71 pounds & most of that since my move over here in 2004.  I am trying to lose +-30 more now & I'll be happy with that!  :)

What is everyone doing for walking this time of year? Treadmill? How do you get yourself to go walking (I want to walk 4miles a day) how do you keep from slipping on the ice/snow? Do you wear cleat type shoes? How do those feel to walk long distances with?

I belong to a cheap, pay month-to-month (no contract!) gym - The Gym, which is a franchise. There might be one where you live. However, I pay extra for some personal training sessions.

Outside - layer up!  I have walking boots & if it's slippery out - Yak Trax. They are easy to slip on & off my shoes - even when I'm on the go. If I don't need them, I slip them into a bag & stick it in my rucksack. But I've not needed them yet this year.  PB - snap!
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