Trip to Mexico teaches healthy lifestyle

By Gail Katherine Ziegler
April 6, 2006

As a female and a former ballerina, I pay close attention to my weight. It doesn’t matter if you are a 4 or a 14, most women are conscious of their number. However, recently I was introduced to a new diet; Stab 200. I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico with a class where I lost 10 pounds a learned a little about another culture’s take on weight.

The most memorable experience was somewhat of a tortuous experience. We climbed three-and-a-half miles to the top of a mountain to a temple. I could barely carry myself while Mexican people were carrying babies up. People were selling lemonade and water at the top and there was only one way to get that ice and supplies up there, to carry it. If the mountain had been in America, we would have built an elevator in the middle of it. There were 80-year-old women in sandals and dresses passing me. I thought to myself, while carefully watching the rocks under my feet, how are they doing this?

The culture of this place was very different from America. The suburbs are set up to make Americans fat. We can’t go anywhere without jumping into our cars. In Mexico, we walked everywhere, to school, to excursions, to churches, to palaces and anywhere else we wanted to go. However, being the American I am, I opted for a taxi whenever I could.

Our schedule did not allow for any Sunday walk in the park. We seemed to be walking at break-neck speed where ever we went in order to see everything we could while in Mexico. Walking through the streets of Mexico City, I couldn’t appreciate this, but now being back in the States with my car, I can.

Meals were a little different too. Portions were smaller and when I was done eating I didn’t feel like a fattened prize-winning piece of poultry. I was full but not too full. In America, I don’t even realize how much I am really eating. In Mexico, the meal is more about spending time with your family than shoving a meal down your throat before you take the kids to soccer practice. The strict schedule also prevented a million little snacks during the day. The great thing was, I didn’t miss all of those chips and cereal bars.

Because of the walking and the heat, water was like gold. At meals, I never wanted soda or lemonade; I craved water. There are so many calories and sugars in drinks that I don’t even realize that I’m taking in. By switching all of my beverages to water I felt healthier, stayed hydrated and lost weight.

The most important difference with weight in Mexico is that they are honest about what their shape is. The women who are curvy do not feel fat but they admit that they are not runway thin. They don’t want to be runway thin. I never heard one woman complain about their size while I was in Mexico. It was more about shape, not weight and they were happy with their shapes.

I think women of the States can take a lesson from our southern neighbors and concentrate on being happy and healthy. When we stop concentrating on our carbs and calories, we might find that we’re pretty close to perfect the way we are.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Gail Katherine Ziegler

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