And here we are, 74 days later, 44 pounds lighter in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala.
44 pounds, you say? What happened to the 44 pounds? Well, we finally found a weigh scale here in Xela, so here's the breakdown:
- 20 pounds of fat were lost by Mike
- 23 pounds of fat were lost by Ashley
- 1 digital camera-shaped pound was lost by both of us, thanks to a clever pickpocket at the Independence Fair here in Xela. Therefore, we have no pictures for this post... though we're currently working to remedy that situation. Note: The only pictures we actually lost were the ones of the fair... everything else was backed up.
Now, it's probably worth noting that our goal for this trip was not necessarily to lose weight. It was to live healthier, happier, and more active lives than we were before. The weight loss is just a happy side effect.
Despite cake lady's
best efforts, we've been eating almost exclusively healthy, fresh, and local food. We cook about 2/3 of our meals and most of our ingredients come from local mercados, or markets. We don't stock up on food, either. We prefer to buy fresh produce, bread, and tortillas the day we plan to eat them. We've been joking with each other about how we've practically become vegetarians... we only eat meat about 3 or 4 meals a week. Otherwise, it's fresh vegetables, rice, beans, tortillas, pasta, and fruit for us. And Mike loves his cashews (even though they cost twice the price of meat). Despite the title of this section we are not actually on a diet... we still regularly indulge in banana bread, Texas BBQ, tacos, tostadas, and pretty much anything else that looks or smells good to us.
The Active Lifestyle
Our favourite way to get oriented in a new place is to go for a walk. We spend a lot of time each day just walking... to the market in the morning, to the bakery in the evening, to the museums, the parks, or really anywhere else we want to go. The only time we pay for public transit (taxis, buses, or tuk tuks) is if our safety would be in jeopardy, or if the distance is really just too far to go on foot (10k+).
We're not just losing weight, either, we're building muscle and developing our cardiovascular systems. For example, when we first got to San Pedro, we were ready to collapse at the school after carrying our backpacks up the hill. By the end of that first day, it was all I could do to lay in bed after all the hills and stairs (of the dozen hotels we checked out with rooms on the top floor). I honestly wasn't sure if I could even climb the volcano, I felt so out of shape.
Six weeks later, we have climbed the Indian Nose (1800m) and the Volcan San Pedro (3020m), gone on kayaking excursions, and don't even break a sweat climbing the hill to the market.
I have also started doing pilates most mornings and Mike practices karate now and again.
In general, we feel better, have more energy, and are enjoying life. Our clothes, which were on the tight side when we left, are way too big for us... wearing a belt is not optional anymore. In fact, I had to cut three inches off my belt just to make it a reasonable length. Currently, we are looking forward to climbing one or more of the volcanoes here in Xela... we might even have another camera by then to take some pictures 🙂
I guess it´s true, travel is good for the waist line.
When we set out on this RTW trip, we wanted to travel light.