Weight Loss Support - Some random challenges in my weight loss journey

03-06-2007, 10:56 AM
I just moved to Peru a couple of weeks ago and let me tell you, losing weight here is easy. All I have to do is drink the water. Five years ago I lost 25 pounds on the amoebic dysentery plan, Iím sure I looked fabulous. Other than this method, losing weight the healthy way is incredibly difficult:

There is no spinach. The Peruvian version of salad consists of finely chopped lettuce, doused in mayonnaise with avocado and tomato. Occasionally a slice of cucumber. I went to a restaurant yesterday and asked for a salad sans mayo, the waiter looked at me as if I was crazy. ďIím trying to change my life here!Ē I let him know. I only got a drop of mayo on the salad.

There is no broccoli or cauliflower. I can find 20 different types of potatoes, but no broccoli or cauliflower. I canít stand sweet potatoes, but I think I will have to start eating it because of my limited choices. There is no brown rice or whole wheat pasta. The oatmeal is the Quaker kind. I live about 70 miles as the crow flies from endless fields of quinoa. In the Andes, thatís a 10 hour trip. Iím on the coast, no quinoa.

Iím having a serious good carb problem out here. Maybe I should just get it all from fruits, at least there is plenty of those out here.

Is it healthy to eat 4 bananas, an orange, an apple, and a handful of grapes a day? I hope so, because thatís been the last week for me.

I must be drinking more than 2 gallons of water a day. Since walking outside or running is out of the question (Iíd likely get robbed) I bought some FIRM aerobic workouts. Now, even without the Thigh/fanny/fat-rolls buster/getter/blaster whatever they call it, I sweat like a pig. After like 5 minutes. Iím glad I bought a HRM, because based on sweat, getting up and going to the bathroom in the morning is equivalent to a 10 minute jog in Chicago.

My fan needs electricity to work. Thus far, not once when Iíve wanted to exercise has there been electricity. Can the electric company be an enabler?

Peruvian serving sizes are funny. At my SOís family I get my deck of cards of meat, 2 cups of white rice, potatoes, and my ďsaladĒ which consists of scrambled eggs with red onion and some corn (with mayo). A burger out here is some anonymous meat, fried egg, tiny greasy fries, finely chopped lettuce dipped in mayo between two big buns. Cravings, anyone?

BUT, Iíve been losing inches. My clothes feel loser. I would tell you my weight, but I honestly donít know. The only scale Iíve seen out here is in the pharmacy, and itís on the wrong tile. Anyway, it would give me a reading in kilos so I would spend 10 minutes doing math in my head before I would know whether to be excited or disappointed.

So, weíve all had weird/funny challenges in our weight loss journey. Please share them, and how you fixed it. My challenge this week is to resolve my diet problem, Iíll let you guys know. If we have electricity.

03-06-2007, 11:43 AM
Hey archy, man o man the challenges of a different culture! Wow... Another whole battle entirely!

I've never had to face anything like that. My biggest problem has been saying "No thanks" when my roommate offers me something that's not on my plan. And the electricity challenges... good grief, we take so much for granted in the U.S.

All I can say is... you have to find a way to figure out portions of foods and deal with the fat content. But you know that already.

You may have to eat the less-good carbs and just find a way to fit them in. Personally, I eat Quaker oats from time to time--and non-whole-wheat bread and sometimes white rice. I'm no purist about these things. I can't be or I'd be constantly on the search for food, and I don't have the patience.

Good luck in the adaptation! It can probably be done, but wow, what a hero you are for trying!


03-06-2007, 06:06 PM
Congratulations on the funniest post I've read in ages :D I can't believe that you've managed to stay on plan through all of it and if you can do it I sure as heck don't have any excuses.

03-06-2007, 06:21 PM
What a great post. It sure put a smile on my face, and I laughed out loud when you said you couldn't weigh on the pharmacy scale because it wasn't on the right tile. Too funny. You should write a book, or at least an article, about your Peruvian weight loss journey.
thanks for making my day.

03-06-2007, 07:32 PM
Oh my gosh. You really are too funny. I too liked the scale/tile comment.

Well you certainly are up against some obstacles there. Tough going, no doubt. But just think how much more rewarding this will be for you when you do get to your goal weight (if you can find a scale and actually KNOW when you've reached it, that is) You might wanna pick a dress size as your goal instead of a number on the scale just in case you have no luck.

And what's up with all the mayo? Yuck. Vinagrette not a word in the Peruvian dictionary I'm taking it?

Good luck to you, and by all means hang on to that terrific sense of humor of yours, something tells me it might come in handy. Keep posting, we'd love to hear how you're adapting.

03-08-2007, 04:50 PM

There is cauliflower! I let out a giant whoop when I saw it. People stared. Another day in the market for me. And I may be able to get quinoa, there`s this lady going to the highlands this weekend and she promised that if she saw some, that she would buy it for me.

Guayaquil is only a 5 hour bus ride from here, so i may just go to buy brown rice and whole wheat pasta in bulk.

Thanks for your comments everyone. I`m losing weight with a friend in the US and I sent her a similar (but a lot longer) email and she told me to cut it down and send it around. I also sent her a picture of the scale. Not only is it on a cracked tile, not only is it in a very public place, but I saw someone get it and a little red dot under "obese" started flashing. Let`s just say weighing myself will not happen anytime soon.

And I broke down today and went to a bakery. I`ll spare you the details. It was bad. But tomorrow will be better. there are reports that todays blackout was the last. I may be able to exercise without worrying about sudden mummification through dehydration.

Good luck to all of you!

03-08-2007, 07:10 PM
What a strange and ridiculous struggle! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm so impressed that with all those things working against you, you're still doing great! :woohoo: for you and your cauliflower!!!!! :high:

This is inspirational in the strangest way possible :p

03-08-2007, 07:40 PM
The only scale Iíve seen out here is in the pharmacy, and itís on the wrong tile.

You really know how to make me laugh! Do you blog? I'd love to subscribe!

03-08-2007, 08:37 PM
:rofl: Yay for cauliflower! I second the request for a "Peruvian Weightloss Blog" :D You sound so determined that I'm sure you'll find a way to make this work for you, have fun doing it, and make others smile along with you!

And what's with the mayo? Potato and fruit I understand, but mayo????


03-08-2007, 09:30 PM
Cauliflower is my very favorite vegetable. I give it lots and lots of credit for helping me with my weightloss. I eat it 5 or 6 times a week. At a mere 28 calories a cup it is great stuff. And very filling. Things are starting to look up afterall!

03-08-2007, 10:16 PM
:rofl: This is one of the most hilarious posts I have ever seen on a site. I third the vote for the blog, you're great. Keep the sense of humour! Sounds like you're going to need it well past the weight loss!

03-08-2007, 11:11 PM
I vote for best post in a while. can't wait to hear what happens next. You definitely need to blog.:carrot:

03-08-2007, 11:17 PM
definately think you should blog this. I was in tears with the dysentery diet. Loved your view on wt loss via Peru. Definately makes me rethink my whining about being unable to find whole wheat pizza crust in my local shop. Wow. But you know what..it sounds like you are trying. good luck...and keep us laughing.

03-09-2007, 10:37 AM
I'm sitting here in my office at work and almost fell off my chair laughing. Thank you for making my day! And congratulations for your tenacity! Please please continue to keep us posted (and entertained) on your successes.

Question for you: What brings you to Peru?

03-12-2007, 05:59 PM
Hi again. No electricity for the weekend makes answering a bit difficult.

I may make a blog based on my diary which I currently have on my computer. I don`t know. Maybe just every now and then just put up a quick "I can`t believe I´m attempting to lose weight here" post with some of the highlights.

What´s really keeping me going is that (1) I´m one of the five fattest women in town. The other day I saw this lady that was bigger than me and I almost thanked her. And I think of my self as a nice person. (2) well, it makes my attempts at home kinda, well, boring. This is kinda fun. And exhausting.

AuntieCici (I can`t find the underscore or anything, it`s an adventure just typing this stuff!) I´m an archaeologist. I here for the year to finish up some dissertation work. Unfortunately, that involves sitting on my bum for 8 hours rather than my usual 7 hours of backbreaking work in the hot tropical sun. I´d lose easily 30 pounds (sans dysentery diet) in a two month season. Now, I have to concentrate on my weightloss.

I´ll keep you guys updated! Thanks for all the great comments.

03-12-2007, 06:43 PM
archy it's great to read your continuing saga. Thanks for posting your tales for us! What a challenge! Your work sounds very interesting--I hope you find a way to work in some activity. I have a sedentary job, too, and getting exercise is really important for me.

But don't walk until you find the quinoa... :lol: Gosh, I can't stand quinoa! :lol3:


03-12-2007, 06:52 PM
archy it's great to read your continuing saga. Thanks for posting your tales for us! What a challenge! Your work sounds very interesting--I hope you find a way to work in some activity. I have a sedentary job, too, and getting exercise is really important for me.

But don't walk until you find the quinoa... :lol: Gosh, I can't stand quinoa! :lol3:


Oh, boy, quinoa! Don't go too far from your potty if you've eaten quinoa! I fixed some several weeks ago, DS thought he was sick the next day! He was relieved to hear that DH and I suffered the same, ummmm, relief! LOL Gotta love fiber?

03-13-2007, 12:44 AM
Archy - what a cool job! Are we going to be seeing you on a Discovery Channel special sometime soon? (I love watching that stuff - better than most of what you find on TV these days!).

I agree with the rest of the group - I admire you for keeping up the great work under the less than idea conditions. You have all of our support and kind words. Please continue to let us know how things are going. We all know you can do it!