Ryan and I have been in Phuket for a couple of weeks now and we’ve started to get more comfortable with our routine. By we, I mostly mean me, as a routine is not nearly as important to Ryan as it is to me. Since the new year we’ve both been working our butts off as part of our New Years resolutions to lose some weight and get in shape. We did very well during our two months in Kuala Lumpur. It helped that we had a gym in our apartment building and we took advantage of it. We got up early and worked out five days a week, lifting and doing cardio. Some days were more painful than others.
We recently found a new gym in Phuket that has a promotion going. Monthly memberships cost 990 THB per person, which comes out to around $33 USD each. We also found this great 4km bicycle track at a nearby park. Every morning (5 days a week) we get up at 6:30am and Ryan drives me there. On three of the five days I jog and the other two I ride a bike. I’m happy to report that I enjoy exercising this way much more than I enjoy lifting at the gym (which we do in the evenings now, after I teach). Being out in the fresh air and sunshine has made a world of difference! It also helps that when I run, I’m actually getting somewhere.
A few other habits that I’ve been working to implement include daily meditation, tracking my moods, and thinking of at least 5 things that I’m grateful for every day. This last one’s fairly easy. The items can be very broad: I’m grateful that I’m in Thailand. I’m grateful that my husband is an excellent scooter driver. They can be very specific: I’m grateful for that breeze and for those beautiful flowers. I’m grateful that I have two of my favorite students tonight. I’m grateful that I don’t have to take a cold shower again until tomorrow!
I’ve also been cutting back on the amount of food that I’m eating to help me lose some weight. With our ever-changing lifestyle, it’s been more difficult to control what I eat, since we don’t usually cook. We don’t even have a functional kitchen in our current location. (This was somewhat of a surprise, along with the very hard mattresses and cold showers–but I guess these are common characteristics of more traditional Thai housing.) The amount of food I’m eating is something that I can control, however, and I’ve been trying to decrease it. Asian portion sizes are generally on the smaller side, so this helps, and I’ve done a good job cutting out breakfast and snack foods. I also try to limit smoothies and sticky rice to my days off.
From this well of ambition, a new obstacle has arisen. I’ve been especially tired from getting up early and going to bed not as early as I should. I’ve been taking a lot of naps as a result and wasting the few hours of spare time I have in the afternoons before I start teaching. I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier, which seems to be the obvious answer. I even tried drinking coffee. Unfortunately, the only way I can drink the stuff is by adding a lot of sugar which is how it automatically comes in Thailand. I really don’t need or want the extra calories (or the coffee addiction, which I’ve been proud to have avoided up to this point), so this week I switched to Coke Zero and tried making sun tea. The trace amounts of caffeine have been enough to help me push past that afternoon nap to get the most out of my day. I already got in several good productive days of writing and I feel like I’m on a roll! Wish me luck!