* yes, there should be FIVE sets of boots but Allen ignored my advice to get adequate rain gear...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Dublin Diet


How to lose 14 pounds without really trying (I hope) and also some ships and snails since the pictures are cute but not really enough to do a whole post on.

In addition to changing countries, we also changed from must have a car living to no car at all.  In the US, we live in Blacksburg, VA which, in the way of many southern towns, doesn't really lend itself to carless living.  It is mountainous and closer to rural than suburban.  The mass transit system is effective for student use, making frequent stops at all the apartment complexes and townhome clusters but is woefully lacking for any other regular use.  The sidewalks outside the center of town can be sparse.  In fact, we live within theoretical walking distance of a park, full size grocery store, shopping center, restraunts, and post office as well as Allen's office.  But, there is a notable stretch of road lacking a sidewalk or even much in the way of a shoulder.  It's curvy and bordered with ditch and frequently enough traveled to make it quite undesirable to traverse with young children and/or a stroller.  So, minivan living it is.

 Dublin has monster snails (and slugs)
Dublin is quite the walkable city.  The city is broken into many quite small neighborhoods, each with their own play spaces, grocery stores, pharmacies, and assorted other shops.  We are about a mile walk (complete with sidewalks!) from essentials and a touch further from the embassy row playground (a slightly closer one features broken glass in the mulch and many under supervised children).  Most places more than 1.5 miles or so away are readily reachable by bus or train.  All this combined means that more often than not, we take a daily walk of about 2 miles.  When school starts, I will be walking about 2-3 miles a day for drop offs and pick-ups and then a bit more if we go anywhere else.

This snail will later appear on the wall above the dryer.
Mothers of several, may be asking how exactly I'm working the groceries thing.  If nothing else, my family goes through about 8-10 liters (2-3 gallons) of milk a week.  While the traditional thing would be to get a biweekly milk delivery and then trot off to the store every day or so, Dublin has gone all wild and has lovely grocery delivery servies.  For a mere 4 euros a week the nice grocery man goes hither and yon to get milk, yogurt, chicken breasts and what not and then brings it all to my house during a 2 hour slot of my choosing.  Lovely on a stick dipped in chocolate!  Even better, you don't risk any of those impulse buys.  You know how you write your grocery list and it's full of fresh produce and the sale pork chops and somehow you come home with a sleeve of cookies, a pound of bacon and snarf a candybar on the way home?  That doesn't happen when someone else is shopping for you.

Charlie as Christopher Columbus
at library program related to Tall Ships
So, surely to your shock, walking 2 miles a day and cutting out junkfood leads to you losing some weight.  The Dublin diet thus far seems far more pleasant than the "I have 2 children under 2, one of whom insists on being worn at all time, neither of whom sleep and I have no time to eat" while perhaps being less effective than my friend's "And twins make 5 under 7" diet (she has breastfed them for 2 years and counting!).  I have a goal to lose a stone (14 pounds) without too much effort or sacrifice.  So far, I'm down somewhere between 2 and 4 pounds- the scale was the cheapest on offer by Ikea and shows it.
Megan as Grace O'Malley
I have my fingers firmly crossed.  I would really like it if my BMI was a solid 22/23 rather than it's current high 24 on a good day.  I'm also an apple shape so I mostly gain belly fat.  That puts me at higher risk of diabetes and heart problems so a little weight loss will be good for my long term health as well.  I tend to do fairly well at maintaining my weight and if I lose a a full stone, I can even afford to gain a bit back and still be at a healthy BMI.

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