Hi everybody! I can't work out which is the latest thread...so have decided to start my own! Maybe some of you will join me...or else let me know which thread to go to. (I suspect it's over #26 by now, but can't find it...)
Everything is going really well up here in the Andes. The weather has been perfectly settled & glorious for the last two weeks. Two days ago we climbed the mountains behind El Bolson - right up past the snow-line. Walked through the most amazing carved forest...all sorts of animals & figures lurking there in the snow! Took lots of photos. Wish I could post them here, but...?
We are continuing to fast as usual. No harder to do than anywhere else. Probably eating more on non-fast days but then I think I have reached 'goal weight' (probably under 60kg but no scales available to check) so that's OK. I am walking everywhere and feel full of energy.
I am loving my 'new' body. Things like putting my hands in the pockets of my jeans and finding my hip-bones! Now, when I see my shadow in front of me, it looks good. (Before 5:2 I would see my shadow alongside people I was walking with, who looked normal, and decide that wasn't really what I looked like at all - but how we fool ourselves...)
People here are really interested in 5:2. Everybody has noticed the difference in my size from 7 years ago! Our host is fasting along with us, and he says he already feels much better.
LL and I are still looking around for a piece of land to build our house on. The piece we were thinking about fell through, but I am pleased about that as it was outside the village. I want to be able to walk into town rather than have to catch the bus. Fun to look around, and have the choice.
hi TIP! Good to hear from you. The answer is: I don't know! I did hear LL say that a friend's teeth were ruined by chewing too much coca, so I guess it's around. haven't come across it yet though...watch this space.
I love the positive reaction you are getting towards fasting, and that your host is now fasting too! The people around me here in the UK are much more cynical about it, but perhaps because they keep reading about it so it sounds faddy to them. What's the Argentinian food culture like (I imagine meat!) and is there a lot of junk/snacking now?
Hi wildwater glad it's all going well. Know what you mean about the hip bones! Tmi but most noticeable when me and DH are having a little fun his hip bones dig into me now!! Good luck on your bit of land.
Thanks BsshBossh. I'm sitting here on my fast day eating some cold broccoli, a raw carrot and a couple of hard boiled eggs, with a hunk of dry bread. Just finished a two-inch piece of cold black pudding, as well.
Although there is a lot of 'junk' in the supermercados, nobody we know seems to eat it. You don't see people wandering the streets gobbling chips. Not much evidence of lollies either - apart from the ever-present dulce de leche, which is unutterably divine ( even though I don't have much of a sweet tooth).
Big emphasis of course on meat, which I am not crazy about (gets stuck in my teeth!) but getting more used to. Plenty of good basic veges...have been making lots of soup.
As time goes on I will be cooking much more of our own food. We have been eating out quite a bit, and buying locally made ravioli to go with our home-made sauces. This must stop! (Well, not altogether, but mostly.)
Will also do my best to change our evening meal to an earlier time: folk here tend to eat very late - after 9 or so - then go to bed on a full stomach. Muy mal!
Thanks for being there. You are one of my 'rocks'.
Hi again TIP. Thanks for the help with photos. I have made my profile etc public...managed to up-load one photo ( which came out upside down!) but now the Mumsnet server doesn't want to accept any more, for some reason. I'm looking at how to reduce size of pics on my iPad...these things never seem to be straightforward.
On another note, I have found the perfect site to translate English/Spanish easily. Not a substitute for actual learning, but wonderful when I really need to communicate something and don't have enough words...
Fast yesterday went well. Never felt hungry for a second. I'm now sitting at breakfast table with pot of black coffee and three sesame crackers with vegemite and soft cheese.
I'm off to the artisans' market in El Bolson today. Might even treat myself to one of the best ice creams ever - all locally made with fresh produce. NZ prides itself on its ice cream but has a thing or three to learn from here!
Will pick up some stock bones and veges later to make a big pot of soup.
A very weird day indeed. LL left two days ago to put son on plane in Chile (much closer than backtracking to Buenos Aires). Had neglected to book bus across Andes, so they had to stay extra day in Bariloche. Finally making it to the border: big problem. Son had neither visa nor parental permission from his mother in NZ...apparently he should never even have been let in to Argentina without this! Plus LL had refused to contact airline to let them know ahead that son was now going to board at second stop (not BA). A great big fine for all the bother...I don't know just how much, yet. Also LL had not taken credit card or much extra cash; was freaking out when he phoned me as to how to pay for everything. What a lesson, and what a story for son to tell when he eventually gets home. I still don't know if he's on the plane now as he should be. Just hoping that LL keeps his temper- doesn't get slung into some horrible prison or similar - and manages to find his way back across the Andes to me. (At this point I think it would be quite a good idea for him to walk.)
Today I planned to buy pumpkin & potatoes to make a soup, with the spinach we already have. But the vege shop was shut when I went down the road. Everything closes between around 2pm to 5.30 or so, which makes life interesting.
Our host and I ended up eating the same corn & spinach tart we bought for lunch. I also made a loaf of whole-wheat bread with sunflower & sesame seeds, which turned out very nicely. (Thinking of you Breadandwine.)
I'm really looking forward to finding some scales and weighing myself, as I haven't since leaving NZ nearly a month ago.
Cheers to all (Smiley buttons etc not working via iPad for some strange reason.)
Oh, and TIP - I have been trying to upload more photos but I think I really do have to re-size them...it's taking too long and they're zoning out. Hate all this fiddle-fiddling around with technology, don't you?
Son is 15 and in fact practically able to look after himself - not a little kid anymore. But it would have been awful for him to get stranded in a foreign country (even though he was born here). Since I heard nothing further last night I am assuming LL managed to talk his way through it all - embassies & all. And yes, I expect that son, his mother and myself will indeed dine out on this one for many years to come! (Although mother, who co-ordinates foreign/South American students in NZ, really should have foreseen this and taken steps herself...so LL is not entirely to blame...) Anyway, I'm waiting for LL to getting touch.
Today: soup-making and clothes-sorting. I do seem to be spending quite a bit of time hanging out on my iPad.
Will be great to get on top of uploading photos to Mumsnet. Your help is much appreciated.
Hi there Peplum41! Thanks for your message. Re my hair...yes it's all 100% natural at long last. Originally my hair was dark brown and I had thick dark eyebrows. It began to go grey when I was in my thirties. I spent many years covering up with dye...sometimes bright red! In my fifties I started to go 'lighter' with colour, and tried hard to go natural, but kept being confronted by the sight of this 'poodle' on top of my head. Even cut all my long hair off to start again (have always kept it longish) but got sucked back into dyeing. Finally, a couple of years ago, I decided to just go cold turkey. To my amazement, when it all grew out it looked just how I wanted it! There is a little dark still underneath at the back. I am very fortunate that it's a good texture - soft & well-behaved. So there you are! Despite all the anguish, it's possible to get there on the end. Are you somewhere along this track yourself?
And hello again! Time to catch up after all the drama of the last week. Such a relief to have LL safely home. (Of course he has no idea how concerned everybody was!)
The weather has turned to rain so it's not as freezing cold as it was. We are now spending time walking around the village looking at land for sale. No rush, really, but it will be good when we can focus on an actual site.
Yesterday I went to a yoga class in El Bolson with my 23 yr-old friend from here (we got to know each other back in NZ). Great to stretch properly. I have enrolled for the rest of the month, though might change after that to another class here in Lago Puelo. LL wants to do it too, so that will be good.
Fast day yesterday: slice whole meal bread ( by itself, no spread), small bowl of vegetable soup ( pumpkin, potato, onion, spinach, all boiled together then puréed) with portion of chicken breast (no fat).
I have never actually counted calories - way too fussy for me! - but trust my knowledge of what good eating is, and so far this has worked
Yesterday LL gave me a hug and said I was 'demasiado flacita' which means 'too thin' (I think). At the time I wearing two pairs of trousers and four woollen tops. In fact I am NOT too thin at all. It's just the contrast between before and after. (LL's main problem with my new body is that my GGs have become DDs!)
The men have gone to the market to buy food. Here, you don't stock up...but get what you need each day. I like that. Was the same when I lived in Melbourne in the 90s: go visit your local shops and buy fresh produce. Much better than having your pantry bursting with stuff you may or may not get around to cooking...
The chickens here are fabulous by the way - taste just like the ones we raised at home when I was a kid in the 50s. (NZ chickens these days are raised too quickly and have little flavour.)
I am still trying to figure out how to load more photos to this site. Mumsnet was OK with my first pic, but after that it spat the dummy!
Oh dear - gave away LL's name there without realising! And there's no way of deleting, is there? Oh well...
Ended up eating more than usual yesterday.
My food day: piece of toast with vegemite & cheese at around 10am. Handful of peanuts around 4.30pm. Extended family dinner from 8pm...several chicken Milanesa (like schnitzel), salads, bread, wine, followed by lemon meringue pie. Doesn't sound that excessive now I write it down, however I was unusually stuffed full.
It's difficult trying to eat earlier than folk here are accustomed to. I am encouraging meals before 8pm, but with limited success. Me, I don't like eating late then going to bed without exercise. Must change this!
Today I will bake bread again. Am enjoying this return to my roots. (When I was young my mother used to bake bread nearly every day.)
Thanks again TIP. Have just done so...and will be more careful in future!
Eating times. Because the house gets up so late, breakfast is just a 'nod', if we have anything at all.
Lunch is supposed to be the main meal of the day, which follows my 5:2 WOT - although we don't always manage it. This meal is eaten somewhere around 2-3pm. This is when we might eat pasta or rice or similar...or maybe a platter of tapas-style food.
Dinner, if not eaten earlier, is often presented around 8 or even 9pm. Although there might be a little bread, or crackers, with this meal, carbohydrates are not featured. Meat or chicken with salad of some sort is the norm.
Not sure about 'sleeping off' calories although I guess this is what bears do in winter! I am more inclined to want to move around a bit...
One of the things we have been making, that we learned whilst staying on Ibiza in 2007, is 'escalebada' (unsure of correct Spanish spelling) which is oven-roasted red peppers and aubergines, de-seeded & de-pipped, then sliced/mashed and mixed with olive oil, garlic & salt. You can make heaps and store it for ages in a jar in the fridge. A great side-dish.
Raining hard here all day. Temperature rising; wearing fewer layers. Looking forward to seeing the first flower of Spring. A big difference between here and back home - where flowers bloom all year round - is that there is not one single flower to be seen, anywhere.
Hola again to anybody checking in here. Things are going well, if slowly...we are still deciding exactly where we want to buy land to build our house. The village, or a little further out? There are some lovely places close to the lake with amazing views of the mountains. If we went there it would be a bus trip to the village (easy) and more land. If we buy in the village we are close to everything, and can easily get to the lake. Decisions!
Still haven't managed to weigh myself. No idea if I'm the same as I was, or less. My body is changing. Since I've been walking even more than usual - up mountains etc - and started doing yoga again, my abdomen is becoming much flatter. I can't believe the amount of energy I have. The other day we were late for the bus so I RAN flat out down the street to see if it was coming...arrived not puffed at all...felt great.
I retain a (hopefully) irrational fear that all the fat I have lost will somehow reappear overnight. In fact this could only happen if I dedicated myself to over-eating on a grand scale, which I have no intention of.
However I realise I need to be extremely strong in the face of this different food culture, which has little sense of what is healthy or unhealthy...overloads of sugar abound, and nobody wants to eat at sensible times.
I am having some success at re-training this household, though. My ideal eating schedule is: a very small breakfast around 10am, eg piece of wholemeal toast and an egg. Main meal of the day around 2-3pm, protein and complex carbs. Another light meal around 8pm, protein and veges.
I try to not eat sugary stuff, but on non-fast days I am often tempted by some version of dulce de leche, which is far too good to completely ignore. I am also thoroughly enjoying the magnificent Argentine Malbec wines.
The promised dog story. Last week I was walking with a friend up a steep mountain road behind El Bolson. (We'd had to leave the house-bus at the bottom because we'd stuffed the brakes coming down from the snow the week before.)
Suddenly a large dog materialised right beside me, greeting me by putting his head against my hip and looking right into my eyes.
This dog was, astonishingly, the image of my beloved old mongrel Wolf, who died in 1981. (Wolf was an unusual looking dog: the size of a German Shepherd but lighter, with a long strawberry-blonde coat, black 'kohl' round his eyes and on the tips of his standing-up ears, and a beautiful flag of a tail.)
It was as if my old dog had walked out of my dreams to come say hello to me again. Of course I could not help but give him a cuddle! He walked with us for about five minutes, then melted back into the forest. Magic.
Have just found your post on the 5/2 diet area of MN and it has made me more determined to lose this pesky extra two stone in weight . I am the same age as you ..... don't know how tall you are but I am 5 ft 4 ins ( that's height , not my waist measurement although that isn't getting any smaller ) . The fact that you have gone from about 80 kg to 60 kg has cheered me up no end , so thanks for posting . I have only lost about 5 lbs since the beginning of May ( although have only fasted for two days on about half those weeks , due to holidays etc .) .Couple of years ago DH and I crossed the Andes by coach ...... not sure what we were expecting ( apart from a lot of snow ,which there was ! ) ...... but certainly not what we had.... a luxury service coach with reclining leather seats and tea and biscuits being served ! Anyway , I shall continue with my 5/2 and hope to match your weight loss eventually .
Hello WPIAN. So pleased to hear I have inspired somebody. I am just 5'2" - don't think I've started to shrink yet!
I do want to drop a few more kilos; go below 60kg. But more than that I want to stabilise...stay fairly much the same size for a year or two, then I will know I have REALLY 'done it'.
The relief from feeling compelled to over-eat continuously is indeed extraordinary, after a lifetime (well, much of it) of yo-yoing. But I do have to watch out for 'triggers' if I don't want to go overboard on non-fasting days.
Good luck to you. I like your name by the way...we fall into the same category. Nothing like doing your 'retirement' on the smell of an oily rag, is there?
Hi again. A good fast day today. Had heaps of energy from the moment I got out of bed (LL reported the same).
As planned, none of us three fasting had anything to eat until dinner time - 7.30pm. Which made it a 23 hr fast.
I went to yoga today, by myself on the bus there & back, and it was wonderful. Have never done such a good stretch workout before. The woman taking the class was having a relationship drama (yes, my Spanish is sufficient to understand theses things, plus she speaks some English) and worked through a lot of stuff with us in class...we even went half an hour over the time!
Doing yoga on an empty stomach was a revelation. Maybe it's just that I'm getting fitter, but it felt like I had an entirely different body.
I'm also speaking the language much better, every day. Almost like a radio being tuned properly; now I can hear what's being said around me rather than it sounding like gibberish. So pleased this is happening because at one point I was reaching a state of despair over not understanding.
I still have an alarming lack of words, and my tenses are extremely lacking, but progress is definitely being made.
Made a rather insipid vege soup for our meal, which we had with some home-made wholemeal bread and no protein. Don't think anybody ate their quota. Doesn't matter.
Lesson of the day: don't assume the seeds on the unlabelled jar on the window ledge above the stove are sesame seeds, even though they look exactly like them.
And don't also assume that, when the seeds are not browning as usual, it's the gas in this country somehow behaving differently. (Well, it does seem to!)
When asked what are these seeds, I didn't understand...what seeds?
Oh - those. Sesame, no?
Well, they tasted pretty weird to me, even though the men bravely ate them and said they were fine.
But neither of them could tell me what they actually were.
Making bread. Yes! Lovely locally stone-ground wholemeal plus a little white flour. Lots of linseed, sesame, some whole oats and walnuts I cracked myself. Twice-kneaded (I didn't grow up on an island with my Mum baking bread for a family of six, every day, for nothing!) now rising at the back of the stove.
I decided to make a bread heart the other day...formed a somewhat exaggerated shape, then pressed a knife in lengthways. It worked out perfectly. Laughter at the table when we literally had to break hearts to eat our lunch. I will bake a entire batch of small hearts one day soon...
Back to basics. I re-read some of my older posts and see I have been all over the place. Sometimes I seem to say what I think I should, not what I really feel. For instance, a few posts ago I was complaining about eating meals too late, then said my 'ideal' included one of those times, which didn't make sense.
Because I'm often eating rather extended meals - a meal can go on for hours - I am trialling eating just twice a day on eating days. That means either breakfast or lunch but not both. I am trying to eat our evening meal earlier, but am practically resigned to it being late. Go with the flow etc.
I AM feeling hungry right now, but ignoring it and looking forward to eating the beans with pancetta & tomato that I cooked this morning, which we'll have tonight with rice and chopped fresh rocket.
I haven't been writing here as much lately as things have been getting busier (as I knew they would) and we have been all over the place.
Good news is that we have finally settled on our little plot (700 square metres) which in fact is the piece we first heard about being for sale when back in NZ, and the one I always wanted! So I am extremely happy & relieved.
We continue to fast on Mondays & Fridays. It's a bit of a pain for me to have to be in control of two other people's fasts as well as my own, which is what has been put onto me.
I have explained that everybody needs to figure out their own way of doing it, but that didn't work!
What I have been doing is roasting some root vegetables in the oven, throwing them onto cooked polenta and tossing some chopped rocket on top. Like a polenta pizza.
I think the two men are eating more than their 600 calories - an insistence on helping themselves to multiple portions being the Argentine 'way' - but at least they are fasting for 22 hours twice a week.
I am taking care to not overeat. In fact I am practising the way I observe thin people eating...putting on my plate about half of what I would have prior to starting 5:2 nine months ago.
I still haven't managed to find a pair of scales to weigh myself on. The fact that I can now pull my jeans down without opening the zip doesn't mean too much. They are stretch after all, and maybe after a few washes these kinds of pants stretch a bit more, so I'm not thinking I'm suddenly thinner.
The best thing will be to find that I am just the same - maybe a kilo or so lighter. I have been going to yoga classes twice a week now for the last month and this is beginning to have a good effect. My stomach and abdomen have never felt like this before!
Our life here is starting to move forward. I am in love with the mountains and the stones that are everywhere. These stones will become the basis of my income, as I am about to start painting them to sell in the market. I have an idea that I hope will 'fly'.
What an interesting set of posts. Good luck with it all. There is bit of a myth people comfort themselves with in middle age that it is too late ever to lose weight but this thread shows that it is possible.
Here in the mountains of Patagonia 5:2 rules. We continue our two days a week fasting for 24 hours then having our 500 or 600 calories. This works really well for us.
I have not weighed myself since the beginning of July but my jeans tell the story: they are now extremely loose, thanks to walking everywhere and yoga twice a week.
Slowly. I am coming to grips with the reality of my 'new' body. It is not suddenly going to revert overnight, which is my greatest (irrational) fear.
What I love most is how I can now run fast - better than when I was young. Yesterday I took a four year-old to the lake. He want to run, so we did...and it was he who got puffed, not the old lady!
In fact. I am not feeling old at all. The wrinkles and long white hair might say one thing, but the strength & energy from within is something else. I feel like I am growing younger.
Every day I am more in love with this place and it's people. I am learning to speak the language, slowly but surely. My week is filling up with interesting things to do and people to interact with.
I have learned to make willow baskets - something I have wanted to do for years. Had one lesson, then just went for it, like a duck to water (well, I have lots of previous weaving experience, which helped).
The season for gathering cane is nearly over (budding leaves not good) but I have enough to make several more baskets (canastas as they are called in Argentina). I am really proud of my third & latest. It's a good size, strong enough to carry stones and tools, and comfortable to carry. Wish I could post a photo to share but the Mumsnet site doesn't upload my photos.
No breakfast today. Home-made pizza for lunch. Vegetable soup (made with beef bones) for dinner. Fasting tomorrow.
Not much has changed since my last post. Still haven't stood on scales...but am sure I am the same, or less, than when I left NZ, despite quite a lot of dedicated eating. Doing 5:2 with 24hr fasts really seems to keep everything under control.
I am realising that old habits die hard, though. I am the original Cookie Monster given half a chance (even though I say I don't have a sweet tooth). The same with nuts of any description. The only answer for me is to just not have anything like that in the house. I can resist the temptation of going out to buy 'naughty' food, but not if it's already here
We went to a big Argentine Mothers' Day fiesta yesterday. Huge asado with beef, pork, chicken, chorizo & black pudding with Russian salad and crusty bread, followed by three gigantic cakes.
The saving grace of all this is that people do not serve themselves a heaped plate. You get given a small portion to eat, then wait for the next mouthful. Quite different to the NZ/English way of having everything at once. You might think this encourages over-eating but I don't see that at all. There are very few overweight people in these parts. (Quite different to what I noticed in Chile, where most of the women, at least, seemed large.)
My life here is beginning to fill up. I am doing a lot of my own creative work. Wonderful to have the space & opportunity after five years' hard labour in the fish & chip shop, when there was little time for anything else. I am painting rocks, sewing, writing, drawing, weaving baskets and making mobiles...as well as being the bread-baker for the household and cooking most of the meals for five people.
Fasting has become a cherished habit. I love the break from thinking about food (never have trouble deciding what to eat on FDs) and my body certainly appreciates it.
Just to skite: yesterday I went for a walk with a friend and all of the children at the fiesta. Two of the children (about 7 or 9) started to run, and so I did too. Was delighted to find I could easily keep up with and actually outrun them! That would never have happened a year ago.
I do think about our Mumsnet group quite often and wonder how you are all doing. Good to have time to catch up with these threads.
Greetings from one of the most beautiful ends of the earth, in the mountains of Patagonia.
It has been a while since I checked in here. In the meantime LL & I were married (after 12 years together) and our new house is taking shape across the road - the roof beams are going on as I write, which is very exciting as now we can see the profile of the finished house.
We continue to follow 5:2 , although we both took our wedding day off! My weight is where I want it (just under 60kg) and I am enjoying yoga three times a week. I often do some yoga on the other days too. My midriff loves me for it
Am hopelessly 'up' at the moment, enjoying the full flight of Spring and having a wonderfully clear space for my self for the first time in ages.
Wishing you all the very best for the coming silly season. (Thankfully fairly muted where I am.) My best gift this year will be knowing how simple it is to get back on track weight-wise even if I end up eating a little too much on the day.
I would happily post a photo...but this site just won't upload for me! (I have tried many times.) Blogging is impossible too, as I am not using a sim-card for this area, which apparently makes all the difference. When I manage to get someplace where iPads are supported (nowhere in Chubut!) hopefully I'll get the issue sorted and be able to share on a wider platform.