Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Life in South Korea

I arrived in S. Korea on Jan 23, 2013. I am sorry for taking so long to update the blog my friends, but I tell you, I did not expect my life to radically change so fast again! These 2 months have been a whirlwind of activity. The way of life here is so completely different from America. It is not for everyone that is for sure, but I have embraced it and am enjoying living here immensely!

A lot has changed and happened within my personal life since getting here. My wife came ahead of me and by the time I arrived, she had radically changed and grown as a person. It has not been easy, but we are closer now than ever before, and we are moving forward in life again. The turmoil of my personal life has effected my goals and progress greatly, however it has not stopped them!

Calorie counting here is close to impossible. Eating out is much more prevalent so you have no idea what is what and sometimes do not even know what it is your eating all together! Not being able to read labels also does not bode well for the calorie cautious. This being the case I have had to rely heavily on portion control and common sense.  I also have not been working out regularly since I arrived. This is due to whatever excuse you want to insert here.

On the flip side though; My diet has drastically changed for the better! I can actually tell a difference in how I feel after being here a few weeks and not eating American food. I actually feel better. I immediately fell in love with Korean cuisine and took to exploring different restaurants to find new and exciting things to eat that are healthy for me.  The next step would be to recreate the dish I had at home. This has proved a challenge due to the language barrier, but I have been fairly successful in teaching myself to make quite a few dishes. Learning to make the different soups and sauces has been something I am fairly proud of.

Diet Change:
We do not eat bread almost ever. Rice and noodles, both rice and buckwheat noodles, have replaced most of the traditional American starches in our diet. Seafood is plentiful and fresh here as are many vegetables like cabbage, onions, and many different varieties of mushrooms. We used to be mainly meat and bread or potato kind of eaters. Now we limit our startches, eat lots of vegetables and hearty soups.  Chili sauces have also become a big part of my cooking. Koreans freaken love thier food spicy. Not, mexican kinda spicy, but holyshitwtfdidijustputinmymouthiamgoingtodieneedwaterasap, kinda spicy.

A nice surprise for me was that there is also a large Turkish culinary presence here as well.  I have fallen in love with Turkish kabobs and food. Kabobs come in three varieties, chicken, lamb, or a mix. There is this giant vertical spit of meat rotating in front of a infrared heater. They slice off a few pieces as they heat up a tortilla or gyro. A traditional kabob has, you guessed it, a spicy chili sauce spread on first, then the meat, then a healthy portion of shredded lettuce, sliced onion that is marinated somehow, tomatoes, and thin sliced pickles. This monster of a sandwich is only 4000 WAN (less than $4us) and is simply scrumptious!

The night life here is crazy. It seems every major metro area has something similar to Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Soju is cheap, and in my opinion, better than anything you can get state wise as a mixer. If you stick to 20 to 24% soju, you can literally mix it into anything and never taste it. Soju also has this reputation of sneaking up on even the most seasoned drinkers and putting them squarely on their face. A night out wont break the bank and there are an endless number of clubs, bars and cafes to explore.

So by now you have to be wondering: how has the last two months of chaos effected my goal?
I have actually LOST five more pounds landing me at 250lbs. More impressive to me though is that I am now 6 to 8 inches slimmer!! Down from a 44/46 waist pant to a 38! I never thought I would see myself in pants less than 44 ever again.

So what now?
 Knowing that I have not boned myself these last two months has given me a boost of confidence and I am getting back into the swing of things in regards to moving myself forward and loosing the next 50 pounds. I will continue to make healthy choices in regards to what I eat, when I eat and how much I eat. I am restarting my workout regiment but I want to add in laps in the pool as well.

Summer is fast approaching. While I do not think this summer will see my shirtless, my goal is to be shirtless by next summer. Staying active, making healthy eating choices, and continuing to exercise will get my there. I am happier than I have been in many years and I look better than I have in many years as well.

Never give up hope! Remember; small, accomplishable, goals lead to larger goals being completed. Focus on what you CAN do, and get out there and do it!

As always, I love hearing from you guys. Feel free to PM me, leave comments, visit me on google+ or Facebook, and help support Healthy Vets on Facebook!

1 comment:

  1. Congrat's! What a wonderful insight to your goals. I'm impressed and love the honesty and humor that lies within truth. Keep up the good work, it was great to hear from you!