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Top 3 Ways To Lose Weight In the Land of Schnitzel

My New Year’s goal is to reach my healthy weight. I would like to fit in my current size pants and feel comfortable.

I want to run two miles and come home without feeling exhausted.

Most of all, I would love to find the perfect recipe book that gives me all the healthy, nutritious and delicious meals my children will eat every night without a fuss.

I am asking for reasonable things, most of which I can control and commit to. Now, I just need to reorganize my entire life, right?  To that end, I have come up with three ways that I will meet my New Year’s goal even though I live overseas:

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.As a military spouse living in Germany – a land of meat, potatoes and scrumptious desserts – I rely heavily on the Commissary for my source of food. I have noticed that the prices on fresh produce here are much higher than in the States and that it tends to go bad much faster. I understand why many families reach for frozen meals to feed their families and stay within a budget.

But I know that I need to cut my daily calorie intake in order to make an impact on my weight, so I am going to use more veggies when I cook for my family. I will finely chop or blend them since new foods are not enticing to my girls. I also plan to buy four different types of fruits on a weekly basis. My children know that they need a healthy snack (fruit or yogurt) before they can have a serving of chips.

2. Make time for physical activity. Most of my afternoons are spent transporting my girls to after-school programs and activities. Then, of course there is homework time until maybe 5 or 6 PM. Where is the time to work out?

I have decided to start my goals in small steps. Instead of working out five days a week, I have committed to work out three times a week. The gyms on post have good equipment, workout rooms with a children’s area, and are also offering classes at various hours during the day to accommodate the needs of military families.

3. Take advantage of military tools and resources for support.Within the past year, the Department of Defense created “Operation Live Well," an initiative that aims to support the entire defense community – including Service Members, retirees and their families – as they adopt or maintain healthy living habits. I have found several resources on their website helpful and very informative.

NavyFitness is a great website that offers a Nutrition section. This section can help you set weight goals and shows the number of food servings and examples of foods that enhance your health and provide the energy your body needs to function. There is also a section that offers recipes and workout programs to guide you on this new way of life.

I am running out of ideas and a bit stressed out about these changes. However, then I come to realize that every little change I am making is adding healthy habits to the life of my wonderful family.  What kind of healthy changes worked for you?

Maria Bishop is an Army wife,  living in Germany with her husband and two little girls. Presently, Maria is focused on searching for new adventures in Deutschland. A Speech Pathologist by training, Maria is always in search of new ways to communicate and interact with others.

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