THURSDAY MORNING COFFEE – replicating European lifestyle


Travel has meant weight gain for me. Airport or car junk food, special treats, visits punctuated by open-face sandwiches and wine and cake. Not this time, though. A week in Prague and London left me five (5!!!) pounds lighter than when I left. The reason?

I didn’t have a car.

Walking to the metro was a quick mile or so. Switching lines required more walking, plus stairs (nobody just stands on the escalators in Prague.). Getting to my appointments, then getting back. Shopping. Sight-seeing. Getting lost, and getting found again. Airports. That adds up to an average of 2-3 hours a day of walking.

But how do I do it in the suburbs? I have to drive everywhere!

It’s hard, people. Very hard. I walked the dog the long way on my first two days back, thinking, “Wow, this is just like going to the Metro station.” On day three, I faltered. I didn’t really feel like pretending and there was email to sort and a story to write. I walked a little, I did some barn chores while my daughter was riding. I used to consider that “an active day,” but it pales in comparison with having to be somewhere and rushing up the street and three blocks over four times a day.

Then there’s the food issue. Prague isn’t too expensive, but London was pricey. My buying power was severely curtailed by the fact that my bank froze my card while I was abroad. It took days for my husband to sort it out stateside, and during that time, I skipped buying all kinds of unnecessary, yummy junk that used to be the rule rather than the exception.

European portion sizes are smaller, too. Even coffee! Imagine my shock when I ordered a double cappuccino, and received a drink half the size of a tall coffee at Starbucks. This applies to everything over there. That’s to say, people eat reasonably.

At this time, half a bagel is enough for breakfast. An apple and a slice of cheese is enough for lunch. I’m not really craving sweets – yet.

But Halloween is coming, and with it, candy in the house. Then Thanksgiving with its annual food extravaganza, and then the worst weight-gain event of the year: baking Christmas cookies! I don’t know how I’m going to handle all that and continue my plan of losing a total of 40 pounds by next fall equinox. I really don’t.

Come on, people. Share your tricks with me! How do you cope?

For now, however, I’ll just grab the leash every so often and pretend the dog and I are rushing around the neighborhood in an effort to catch the next train on the London Underground.

(Photo copyright of Visit London Images)


This entry was posted in health, personal experience, Thursday Morning Coffee Blog, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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