The advantages to Senegal!

photo (13)Today’s post comes from guest writer Angie in Thies. You can read her first posts on this topic here and here.

We have plenty of challenges to losing weight while living overseas. We don’t have access to all the convenience foods that make it easy to throw together a healthy meals in a flash. But I’d like to point out some of the advantages we have.

  • Remember the song by Dione Warwick, “That’s What Friends are For”? Whenever I think of our maid Germaine and all she’s done to help me get in shape, I break out in my own rendition, called “That’s What Maids are For”! Whether it’s babysitting, doing food prep, or mopping our sandy floors so we have a clean surface to work out on, our wonderful house helpers are an indispensable part of our life here, and I’m so thankful for them. In addition, if you want to hire a cook with years of experience and a growing collection of lowfat, healthy, Weight Watchers approved recipes, I’ve got just the one. Let me know if you’d like her number.
  • We may not have access to flax seeds, hemp seeds, maca, chia seeds, and all the other super foods that are trendy right now. Not to mention fresh blueberries, broccoli, hass avocadoes, salmon, etc., etc. But we’ve got access to fresh coconut (with which we can make our own milk and oil, with a little work). We’ve got fresh moringa all around us (a.k.a. nebeday). It’s the latest rage in the West, as it contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein. To our friends in N. America, it’s only available in capsule form. We can get it raw and throw it in the blender for a breakfast that beats any kale smoothie, nutritionally speaking, hands down. And have you ever used fresh red bissap? From what I understand, it has many of the nutritional properties of cranberries, and it’s also delicious in smoothies. Hunt some down when the season comes and store a bunch in the freezer for later use. If you know of other obscure fruits, veggies, and foods that are a secret source of super nutrition, let us know!
  • We may not have Target, Walmart, or discount outlets around the corner to buy cheap, temporary clothes to wear when we’re in between sizes, but we do have the beloved fëgg jaay (swap meets). If you have a lot of weight to lose, like I did, you may not want to walk around in baggy, unflattering clothes while you reach your goal weight. Where else in the world can you buy a whole wardrobe for $20? And the best part is that because you paid so little, once the clothes is too big for you, you can give it away, instead of holding onto it in case you ever need it again. Don’t think that way. Let’s not give ourselves the opportunity to fit back into our old clothes, ladies. 🙂
  • Again, we may not be able to reward ourselves by going to the mall when we reach our goal weight, but we’ve got HLM fabric market and some of the best tailors in the world, who will make us custom made outfits to flatter our new figure and make us feel fantatic. You gotta love it here!
  • A final word to those of you who are discouraged about the seemingly insurmountable obstacle ahead of you: You can do it! I rememer the first week I weighed in, and only lost 2 lbs. I thought to myself, “How am I ever going to do this? I have 45 lbs. more to go!” But, by the grace of God, I’ve made it this far, and you will, too. (I have 10 lbs. more to reach my goal weight). I’m here to help you, and so are lots of other friends, so don’t be afraid to take that first step towards becoming the healthy, strong woman you want to be.

For those with more questions, comments, or tips to share, let me know if you’re interested in starting a Facebook group.

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