Losing weight in Senegal

Today’s post comes from guest writer Angie in Thies. You can read her first post on this topic here.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a diet in my 39 years of life. Sometimes I’ve been successful, sometimes I’ve thrown in the towel, but I’ve always had different strategies depending on my season or station in life. When I was in seminary, I lost 30 lbs. through regular exercise and healthy eating – which consisted of tons of Subway sandwiches and Starbucks coffee (a natural appetite suppressant for me). In Senegal, I’ve had to create a whole new strategy for success: Weight Watchers.


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I first learned about Weight Watchers (WW) through some friends who testified that it had worked great for them. WW assigns a points value to the foods you eat, as well as to the exercise you do. Other programs are available that help you track your food intake by counting calories, and I know plenty of people who have found that effective as well. I’m told My Fitness Pal is excellent. One thing I like about WW versus calorie counting is that fruits and veggies are “free” (zero points) on WW. That doesn’t mean you can eat a huge fruit salad in between every meal, but it does mean that points for other foods are calculated to take into account your consumption of free fruits and veggies. This is a smart way to encourage us to take a good portion of our carbs from healthier, whole food sources and not from refined, processed foods. And since I have a big appetite, it means I can grill, sautée, or toss a side of veggies with every meal and fill half my plate with yummy, healthy colours of the rainbow.


Either way, what matters is that you keep track of everything you eat. Everything. Because everything counts. Every bite I finish off my daughter’s plate. Every sip I sneak of my husbands bissap. All those “hidden” calories can spell the difference between success and failure. And for those of you who have tried and tried to lose weight without seeing results, this may very well be the source of the problem. This can be especially discouraging when you’re exercising consistently, because you may say to yourself, “I exercise so faithfully? Why am I not losing weight?” The sad truth is that we may be sabotaging all that hard work with the little bites we take here and there.


If you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t afford Weight Watchers,” well, you’re in luck. Becaues you can download an app that does everything WW did for me for $3! It’s not as if they have meetings out here anyways. And if enough people find this an interesting option, we can start a Senegal Weight Watchers group on Facebook and help each other out.

All that having been said, in the next posts I’ll be sharing some strategies that have worked for me, many tailored to our unique circumstances in Senegal.

Check out Angie’s blog: http://ambassadorofreconciliation.blogspot.com


4 thoughts on “Losing weight in Senegal

  1. Pingback: Focusing on your diet in Senegal | The Gazelle Skirt

  2. You’re such a star for sharing this story. I have been thinking about doing a blog for the past few months on my trials and tribulations of healthy living here in Senegal! I just never seem to get around to it. There is something about putting your story out there for everyone to see that make me feel more accountable! Even before I got here, I dreamed about opening up a health food store/cafe. I have a quasi business plan and everything.

    Totally agree about tracking calories or points. I have used MyFitnessPal in the past with success. It is always good to see how that extra mocha latte added 259 calories to your daily total! I would totally be up for setting up a online support group, wether weight watchers or not. In addition to tracking food… programmes like weight watcher work because of the community and sense of accountability!

    You have inspired me to get back on MFP… now if my elbow would just heal so I can get back to the gym next week.


    PS. This is even more impressive with you being in Thies… I am assuming there is nothing like Club Olympic & Shala Yoga there!

  3. Pingback: Exercising in Senegal | The Gazelle Skirt

  4. Pingback: The advantages to Senegal! | The Gazelle Skirt

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