2014 is well on its way and like many others I am in high gear trying to live up to my New Year’s resolutions. Today is the 12th day and so far so good on all fronts except for a little diversion on the 8th involving a Junior Whopper, a slice of carrot cake, french fries and a Coca Cola. On the day itself I felt a little dirty and disappointed but the good news is that I continued with my efforts. What, you may ask, are these resolutions I hold so dear? To be honest I prefer to think of it as trying to build systems that will lead to the best possible Natalie. The laundry list is long so to avoid boring you let me share only a few.

1. Be systematic and consistent with my gym workout. I do not have a weight loss goal but instead would like to get into a rhythm and form the habit of working out a minimum of three days per week. My routine now involves cardio (treadmill and Zumba), yoga, Body Balance and weights.

2. Learn to swim. This is the point where I must remind some of you that it is impolite to laugh at others. My being from an island and now having a pool at home does not give you the right to laugh or make fun of me. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!

3. Learn Spanish. Arabic I think would be better for me career-wise but would be more difficult to learn and I have no one with whom I could practise.

4. Increase my spoken vocabulary and recheck all social media postings. My vocabulary is quite wide but I tend to use less than 30% of all the words I know. (I checked so I know). Having children does not help as I have now found myself using words such as ‘thingy’, ‘like’ and many others way too often. We have now instituted speak properly days at home when we are all expected to speak without the use of slangs and with proper grammar. I would suggest you not try this at home unless you are ready for a permanent fight with your kids. There have been times when I reread some of my posts on Twitter and Facebook and I am embarrassed – my spelling is off and at times my grammar is crap. This is the situation not because of ignorance but due to the fact that I do not spend the requisite time to recheck what I have written. Do I want my great-grandchildren in years to come to think my use of the English language was less than stellar? Nopes.

5. Focus on wealth creation. Consume less, earn more. Push to create life experiences instead of owning a new bag, shoe or piece of furniture.

6. Be consistent with my blogging.

Why am I sharing this? I am doing so because that is the world in which we now live. We share more than any other previous  generations. In addition, it is my hope that sharing this information will provide me with support from you to keep going strong with what I need to accomplish for 2014. Thanks to everyone who spared time in 2013 to read ExpatOnTheGo and to comment at different times. I appreciate your support and look forward to even more interaction in 2014 and beyond. All the best….


Am I destined to a life of belly fat?

It’s Boxing Day (day after Christmas) and once again I have overeaten, drank too much and am already trying to convince myself that the new year will be the time to get disciplined and start having salads for lunch (instead of steak and potatoes or that creamy spinach with seafood pasta, served at Toscano here in Jakarta. Not to mention the mojito at Koi or the Irish Stew at Murphy’s Pub). Here I am all distracted and wondering if Monday is too early to call Emma and suggest that we do lunch. This is the problem with weight loss or as a friend of mine likes to say, “keeping your weight in check.”

If I am to be  honest, I know that my level of discipline is minimal, I am a foodie: I love foods of all kinds and  sorts. Does this mean that I am destined to be heavier than my cute weight? (weight at which I think I am quite cute, belly fat at a minimum and flabs on arms not as obvious, ) It is hard to accept that my choices are:

(a) to be at my cute weight and unhappy (given that I would be having tofu salad  with water for lunch and sautéed vegetables with one ounce of rice for dinner).

(b) to eat whatever I like and be happy but struggle with being too big.

No!!!!!!!!!! The solution is (and I know this from an academic point of view but cannot move it pass the theory stage) to eat wisely (not sure what that truly means) and exercise regularly. Maybe if I write that down 20 times per day I could make it happen. How many of you have read the book, The Secret? If I follow the principle in the book then I should be able to will myself to exercise at least 4 times per week. “Yeah right,” says me with a smirk on my face while wondering if I could eat leftovers for breakfast this morning.

While we are discussing this issue of the best way to maintain a sensible weight, let me share with you a tried and proven weight loss program that can be found in Indonesia (and I have been told several other Asian countries). Getting sick by a parasite infesting your stomach. Within a day of arriving here in August I got sick, then I got better, then I got sick, then I got better, and this went on for at least two months. One of the welcoming Indonesian parasites found in foods had decided to set up home (with a large family in tow) in my body. I will spare you all the details but let us just say I lost a good 15 lbs. While this weight loss method has been tested and proven by many an expat here in Jakarta, it is hard on the body and may not be the best strategy.

So what am I left with as options for my conundrum since not only  am I too lazy and undisciplined to keep up an exercise program,  but I love food too much to eat less and absolutely cannot manage another bout of parasite? (though I thank them for their  contribution to my weight loss management project)) The answer is still floating somewhere out there but by the powers vested in me by God, Allah, Buddha and every other Supreme Being ( I will even include Haile Selassie on this one), I commit to finding a way to keep  fitting into that red dress I wore to Christmas dinner yesterday. I commit to getting into an exercise rhythm but I will not foolishly lie and say that I will eat less. We have one life to live: why spend it eating tofu?

Until next time…..One Love

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