How I learned to be skinny in Ireland
I moved to Dublin for a summer without knowing a soul and barely having a plan. My plan was to stay in a hostel, find some kind of awesome Irish job, and then laugh all the way to the bank. So shortly after that I am stacking kegs and carrying pint glasses for a living in an Irish pub. Not the sweet job I had hoped for, but working was much better than staying in my hostel room with 20 Europeans who did not frequent the co-ed showers. Yeah, the co-ed shower part was not in the brochure. Quite the jolt early in the morning.So besides all the crazy things I got to do and see, I learned a few things about why you don't see many overweight Irish people. I hear things have changed since I was there, but in 1998 here is what I observed. 1. They walk everywhere I don't blame them, everyone drives on the wrong side of the road! Plus, Dublin is a very walker friendly city. Want a weight loss secret? Move more than you sit. 2. They eat slow Not that they chew slow, but they are usually busy actually conversing. Laughing, telling stories, singing, etc... Meals take a lot longer and are a whole lot more fun. 3. A lot of the food is terrible Seriously. Hard to eat to much when you don't enjoy the food. I made the mistake of wandering into McCary's (thinking it was a McDonald's). Had the golden arches and everything, but I think the burger was made of ground leprechaun. Yuck... The thing I started doing is just using food as fuel, not a way to make myself happy. 4. They drink Guinness Guinness used to be given to pregnant women, nursing mothers, and post op patients because they it was high in iron. An old Irish dude told me "There's eating and drinking going on in this pint." Not too sure about all that, but Guinness has been proven to reduce heart attack risk by preventing heart clots. Also, it is lower in calorie than you think. 5. Fast food not as often Whenever I went into a fast food place (I was desperate! Have you ever seen blood pudding?) it would be 95% tourists. The locals were immune to the horrendous, boiled things being served so they didn't need to escape from that nastiness. 6. Access to affordable, fresh produce I was making the equivalent to about 4 dollars an hour. Not much in a big city like Dublin, but I could still afford to get fresh fruits and vegetables from the Farmer's Markets they would have every few blocks. What's the take away? You have to bloom where you are planted. Look for a way to live a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are. No excuses, if you want it bad enough you can figure it out.
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