Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Expat 15

Okay, before I start this post can I just say, how in the f!@# do people blog every day of the week? I'm finding it hard enough to find time once a week! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love blogging so far, but anyway... I'm just going to go ahead & blame it on the fact that I'm working overtime to pay for a few setbacks to do with Ireland (more on that later). No worries I AM still on my way there in just under a month! Onto the post.

Pinot, just because

So as the move comes closer, I can't help but be the pessimist that I am & dread the one part of travelling I can't seem to escape - the weight gain. As a general disclaimer, I gained 15 pounds in Paris... & no I was never 'fat' (whatever that even means in today's ridiculous society), but it was a noticeable difference on my 5'2" frame. I was not leading a healthy lifestyle & did not feel good, looks aside. Of course, most of my weight gain came from drinking wine along the Seine, eating baguettes at the corner bakery on a daily basis with Juliette & making a ridiculous amount more of wonderful memories, which I would take over a few pounds anyday. Saying that, I feel as though I shouldn't even have to explain myself anyway, so disclaimer over.

Fast forward, my brother's reaction said it all. Upon coming home, 'Woah, you've gained weight!' were his literal first words to me, after not seeing his baby sister for six months. Feelin' the love Jessy. In that moment I probably could've strangled him, being traumatized & at the sensitive age of 19... But looking back on it now I find it quite hilarious, how I'm not sure.

My exact thoughts at that moment...

So enough with that probably unnecessarily long intro & onto my kind of semi-plan as to what I'll be doing during the next few years of travelling in order to stay healthy. Hopefully some of you will find this helpful or interesting, as I'm sure I'm not the only one with a love of foreign beer & ham & cheese crepes at 3am. Also, I'd of course love to hear any of your stories regarding the 'Expat 15'... Including advice, actions plans, etc. so please do share!

Taken just left I left for Paris


Since returning from Paris about two years ago now, I've actually taken up gluten-free & dairy-free eating. To be frank, it was absolute & utter hell in the beginning. I was moody, hungry & basically miserable. But the benefits have far outweighed the beginning. I have clearer skin, am lighter, more energized & am experiencing less migraines as a whole. Of course I am not going to picket this lifestyle to anyone; it is work... A lot of work. I'm also not going to lecture anyone on the benefits, as well, it would probably bore the hell out of you (if I haven't already) & if you're curious, there's always Google! But I will be keeping this up as best as I can during my travels! One piece of advice, read the book Skinny Bitch. It's written in a witty way to help get your ass in gear.

So what do I eat? A lot of spinach. Haha... But in all honesty mostly leafy greens, fresh fruit & veggies, fish & plenty of nuts, seeds, quinoa, black beans & tofu! It's not actually as disgusting & bland as it sounds. Also if anyone would like any detox or recipe recommendations I have plenty!

Side note: I am not perfect & I do enjoy the occasional cappuccino... & plenty of steak. Also, I will never, ever give up bacon. Sorry, not sorry.

I'm just going to be real & start off with saying I hate the gym, no despise it. I do not advocate it. But of course if it is your thing, by all means kudos to you! I just can think of a million other things I'd rather be doing than sweating my ass off indoors while wearing spandex, next to girls on the elliptical that can easily last an hour (how?!)... Especially when travelling. Most of my cardio is from sightseeing & taking public transit, chasing foreign men, etc. etc. (ha, not funny?) as well as plenty of late night dancing... & though I don't believe in the gym, I do believe in: Walking my dog, yoga, blogilates & just general living!

I wish I had a better photo illustrating the weight gain, but thanks to clothing choices & staying away from bikinis, this was the best photo I could find! I find you can see the difference in my face especially.


Not going to lie regarding this topic, I generally do drink quite a bit more when abroad because well, what better way to experience a country & meet locals?! But since coming home from wine country, I've taken quite the liking to the red stuff. I'm pretty sure a glass (or bottle) of Shiraz or a Cab-Merlot is the way to heart. Anyway where I'm trying to get with this is that since I've switched from Guinness to red wine I've both lost weight & experienced less severe hangovers. I actually have my hangover cure down pat, if anyone is even the slightest bit interested!

I do drink quite a bit less as well (maybe once or twice a month now, as opposed to 2-3X a week) which of course helps. During my last trip to Ireland I found it incredibly easy to order a Guinness or Bulmer's with literally every meal I ate & will NOT be doing this while living there, as I'm almost positive I'd end up a good 50 pounds heavier by the end of my two year visa.

I s'pose that's all I have for now! Not really sure I want to take my blog the lifestyle route, but I definitely can write more on these topics if anyone would like. I find that although talked about a small amount in the travel blogging community, it's definitely not a huge topic. Myself, I love reading posts like these, so let me know what you think! Constructive criticism greatly appreciated & I'll leave you with this beauty of a photo. Talk soon!

My love of 1L bottles of tequila beer lives on


  1. This is great. Actually, I was thinking about writing my own version of something like this. When I was 18 I lived in England for 7 months and then traveled after that for 3.5 months. I gained close to 20 pounds and my skin blew up into a field of acne. I/it was not pretty. I have gained a lot of insight on maintaining health since then from traveling more and learning by trial and error. Also, my brother said a similar kind comment to me when he saw me after 4 months. I was so mad at him. But maybe it was a nudge in the right direction. And when you see my pics, ha, you will see how much more obvious the weight shows on me. I was too poor to really buy good clothes, and actually the weight distribution made it impossible for me to know how to fit my body anyway! It was a nightmare. The jeans I had ended up wearing out in the thighs by the end of the year. Sigh, le chub rub. :(

    1. I'd love to hear it, please do write! :) That sounds exactly like my experience... I broke out like craaazy too?! Ugh brothers can be so cruel hahaha. I feel your pain though, definitely went through the exact same things. Hey at least we have the travel memories though right? ;) x

  2. I actually have not gained any weight abroad, but college took that title, so rather I've struggled to lose any of that college weight here. Such a rollercoaster and Germans just love love love their bread.

    1. Ahh you're so lucky! I think I lost weight in college, due to the whole being poor & spending my money on drinking instead hahaha, my bad. Mmmm' sounds like the Frenchies! x

  3. Oh man. This has totally happened to me here. I'm 15lbs heavier than when I got here a year and a half ago, and for some reason people on this island think it's totally okay to continually comment on it!! The current rumor is that I'm pregnant :) haha. I have no idea how I'm going to lose it - there's no WAY I'm exercising in the tropics, I think I'll die of heat stroke!

    1. Thank god I'm not the only one... & are you for real?! There'd be some serious smacking going on hahaha, although I constantly tell people I have a permanent food baby myself. I can't even imagine, I'm not even a fan of exercising when it's a decent temperature, you must be insane shape though already from diving?! x