So this is really not ‘pagan’ related. Not a lot. But it’s still important for me. And I figure…it’s made me happy, so that tends to make me more interested in research, learning, and practicing. Therefore, in some weird, roundabout way, it actually is important to this whole topic in general. Well, interesting enough I suppose. But at least I can always fall back on that it’s my own personal blog and therefore I’m allowed to write whatever I want.
And that leads to the actual topic. Which needs some explanation, so here it is.
I’ve had a bit of issues with my health since I graduated high school. I gained a lot of weight between January 2009 and September 2011. Mostly due to stress, lack of exercise, generally just not eating quite as healthy as I possibly could. I should weigh around 135-140 given my height, body type and just general health standards. By September 2011 I was at 185 or so, so overweight. Not healthy and it was definitely not exactly a self-esteem booster either. I really dislike exercise, part of my problem, and I just was so stressed out that even if I’d tried exercising I doubt it would have done me too much good. So in 2.5 years I put on too much weight and so when I got to Germany I was definitely not healthy. The extra weight did not really help with self-esteem or in any energy to learn about myself, my practices, or my path.
I always intended to start working out and try to get back into shape, but I was not planning on trying any of that until I got back from Germany this August. I figured that I’d be far too busy studying and trying to pass classes in German to put the effort into a solid exercise regimen that would do me any good. So I didn’t really attempt to do anything. Well, I guess I’d never put thought into a few crucial details.
- At home I live 20 miles from my campus, so I drive. Here in Germany I walk a lot to get around.
- Fruits/veggies at home have pesticides/herbicides. Here they don’t have them, and I don’t have to pay extra for it.
- At home I eat junk food occasionally. Here – I haven’t found (haven’t really looked either) my favorite junk foods, so I don’t eat them.
See, I don’t have to pay for “organic” food here. It’s not extra cost/extremely expensive like it is at home. I can go to the store and get pesticide/herbicide free fruits and vegetables for normal cost, no problem. And shopping at the Münstermarkt isn’t exorbitantly expensive like “local farmer’s markets” can be back home. They aren’t all really expensive, but they can be. Shopping for food here is easy. It’s cheap, good, not sprayed to death with chemicals…and I can enjoy trying new things that I don’t have to constantly worry about being scrubbed clean of chemicals first. It’s healthier to eat things without the chemicals. Yes, they don’t last as long and you have to shop more often, but that’s actually not a bad thing at all. I can try all sorts of new things each week, because I don’t have to buy in American “bulk” sizes, which sometimes is all they sell at home. And as for junk food – I just don’t really eat it. I buy the occasional bag of pretzels or cookies, but 99% of the time I just have quit eating all junk food. Oh, and the occasional chocolate – but that’s just fine.
The walking/exercising. I live 10 minutes from the nearest Strassenbahn stop. So I have to do walking anyway. And the stop I get off at is about 5 minutes or so from my program’s building and the university center. So no matter what, I’m getting at least 30 minutes of walking a day, and that doesn’t include my wandering Freiburg and checking out things around me. Plus – I live right off the Dreisam, so I can go jogging/biking/walking along that as well. It’s actually quite nice here and exercise by walking and enjoying the warm weather is wonderful. Even winter wasn’t too bad. Not too much snow, cold yes, but not so bad that I couldn’t go out and about.
So suffice it that I started losing weight without meaning to. From say September to beginning of February I lost quite a bit of weight. I haven’t been on a scale, so I can’t say “specifically” how much weight I’ve lost, but I know a pretty good number. See, I brought one pair of jeans with me that I bought at the beginning of my senior year of high school, when I hadn’t gained all the weight. I don’t know why I brought them, since they didn’t fit me, but for some reason I did. They’re slightly too large on me now, so I know I’ve lost at least 45 pounds, probably putting me back at around 135-140ish. So I’m actually within healthy weight again, and I’m also a bit more fit than I used to be. I’m working on diversifying my exercising, since I’m actually motivated to do change right now. But for now, I’ve lost the weight and I’m managing to keep it off too, which is wonderful. I’m healthy again and actually doing pretty well. I feel better about myself and I look better too. The only downside is that all of my clothing is too big now, so I have to go shopping soon for clothing that actually fits me, but that’s not too bad in the scheme of things.
Tiny problem comes from the fact that now I’m having to eat more food. Not junk food. Just more food in general, because I’m at a point where losing too much more weight would be unhealthy. So I’ve upped my food intake and I get to eat more delicious foods. I’m also looking into traditional Baden-recipes and German recipes in general. I’ll have to modify them, since I’m vegetarian, but I’m having fun in looking. Plus – since I love cooking, I might as well have some fun with it. I thought about trying to work some witchcraft into the cooking, but since I live with 14 Mitbewohner that isn’t really advisable or quite feasible. I can however enjoy cooking and just accept that the more I cook and learn while I’m living here, the more experience I have when I get my own place back home and I’ll be a bit more comfortable with trying witchcraft in my kitchen (bonus – without worrying about setting anything on fire).
Now, since I feel better about myself and I’m happier…I have more energy. I’m more motivated to learn and research. I’m far more interested and I’m a lot more in tune with me. Being able to enjoy myself makes for a lighter-mood and that makes me more interested in learning. I’ve got a lot to do really, and I’m actually glad. See, I have the actual will to learn and research for the first time in almost 3 years, which is wonderful. So I’m hitting that more now, and I’m looking into books, websites, academic articles…whatever I can find about my chosen interests.
Having energy and motivation again is wonderful. I’m not used to it, but I like it. So over 5 months I lost 40-45 pounds and gained a whole lot of confidence. Always a good thing. And really, it’s the new confidence that gave me the courage to start blogging and working on my path again. Because even 6 months ago I would not have had the courage to put my thoughts out here and write about it. I wouldn’t have written anything at all, honestly. But since I feel better about myself, I’m happier and I’m looking forward to writing more and learning more, with a new perspective on me.∗