Friday, August 24, 2012

Losing..... Good and Bad

It's nice to finally have time to sit down and go over some of my reflections back on the last few years. Today I'm addressing a common victory and concern of expats that  relocate to India. This could happen to expats in other countries but I'm not sure. Those of you who follow me that moved to any country other than India, I would love for you to share your thoughts, experiences and opinions.

In my first 6 months in India I lost 70 lbs/32Kg. Part of this was fat loss but it was also muscle loss. You can't always see that when you're losing but I did notice my shape changed.

There's limited space for walking in Amritsar and going to the park every night didn't always happen. I needed an escort and there wasn't always someone to take me nor was the weather always cooperative, etc.

Before leaving the US  I walked a lot. I walked at work during my breaks and I walked while I was at work (it was 7 steps to pace my cubicle lol) and I walked around the building over lunch. I walked on the treadmill, etc. I love to walk. I remember walking about 45 minutes on the treadmill each night while I listened to my iPod.

In Amritsar I'm lucky if I walked any other time besides when I went to Alpha One Mall. That's a big part of what I looked forward to about going. Hubby took me to Company Park many times but not on a regular basis so I could maintain an exercise schedule. Between family obligations and work it just wasn't always possible. I noticed before I left that my muscle tone was deteriorating. I had begun pacing the terrace to try and fight it off as much as I could and it helped but not much.

When I came back home I started exercising again. OMG. That first night back on the treadmill was rough! I made it through about 15 minutes and I could feel the toll it had taken on my back. Yes, my back. My legs apparently weren't completely out of shape, though I couldn't walk as much as I used to. But my back, wow. I could feel it popping and cracking every time I moved after that 15 minute walk.

Yoga is nice here. I haven't remembered to purchase a yoga mat at the store yet but we have carpet so that's not a huge issue. I still find it relaxing and motivational. It works muscles I'm not used to working and I have an indoor location to do it - besides my bed lol. In India I did it in my bed because I didn't want to be on the floor with the mice. I don't care how cute little furry white/tan mice are I don't want to get too acquainted with them.

But I must say, the most disheartening thing - besides the excess skin from losing so much weight - is the way my back looks. Ugh. I have full length mirrors at my moms and I can see the difference in muscle tone in my back and I don't like it. It's chubby looking and that's just gonna drive me nuts. So I will work out as much as it takes to get that back. Push ups, sit ups, yoga twists, whatever it takes lol. Thank goodness there's no muscles in your butt cheeks otherwise I may just cry lol. I've always had a fantastic ass - without needing specific jeans to make it look that way - and I intend to keep it that way.

What fitness challenges did you face or notice after moving from one country to another? Did repatriation pose fitness challenges for you?


  1. Yup I made the same realisations a couple of years back, many people think the legs are teh one who need exercise...WRONG, it all begin with the core muscles (abs and back), years of not doing much but sitting, not minding your posture while sitting, and bending over way too low for comfort Indian kitchen counter can have really bad effects on your back.
    One thing I found that helped was pilates, I have a DVD with exercise designed to be done as an add-on to regular exercise for weight loss. I don't do them as often as I should, but they all have for main focus to strengthen your core muscles so that other workout activities like dancing, running and whatnot becomes easier and healthier. A few months ago i was doing them daily and I noticed my back muscles were gently reminding me that welll...they existed. I wasn't totally out of shape so that's probably why they didn't kill me, because I have been making a serious effort at being active for a few years.

  2. Lol, yeah my back muscles are letting me know just how out of shape I am at the moment. I'll get through it though. I really enjoy exercising and it's super easy when I have my iPod on. I also enjoy using the pedometer on my iPod to track how much I've walked and such. It gives me that extra boost to work out again the next day.