Writing this article while I have been thinking of my time in Crete (Greece). You may find it of interest that a British man living abroad would still try to lose weight.
So there I was in Crete thinking about easy weight loss and maybe dieting or burning the fat through exercise, how did this happen.
I was lucky to be living on the sunshine Greek island of Crete in 2005, where I had actually found and joined part of an ex-pat community, this is while living in the Rethymnon area.
Based in Platanes a village just outside Rethymnon city, I was living in a hotel during my second year and had just found a flat to rent only a mile inland from the coast. We the slimming group are all looking for easy weight loss, we originally met through the Cretan International Community(CIC) Club, the Rethymnon branch who held meetings monthly in Rethymnon town. Mostly the members were English-speaking ex-pats, but a large variety of nationalities were represented in the CIC Club. The meetings were held in Rethymnon, usually in a Scandinavian coffee and snack bar. The idea for a weight loss group came from a husband and wife team Roger and Debbie, they had been involved with weight loss while living in the UK. Coming up with a set of guides, a handbook and lots of advice for good healthy dieting and weight loss and that was the start of the slimming group.
The group met at Roger & Debbie’s house once a week for a chat and a weight check. We did sometimes meet at another members house, Juta who is a great German single lady also trying to keep the weight down. This is the first time I did anything like this but as my weight had now reached nearly 19 stone (266 pounds), my common sense told me that of the need to do something drastic. With a group of friends from the CIC club we thought we would all have the advantage of comradery and maybe that would help to get me enthused enough to shift the weight. An admission! I did not have a lot of willpower at that time in my life.
Debbie or Juta would provide a recipe each week also cooking something for us to try which was great. I was on my own mostly I did not cook much, but I did eat out most evenings. My diet plan was to stop the chips and substituted them with salad and even a small quantity of rice, but only sometimes. I did stop the white bread which comes with every meal in all Greek snack bars and restaurants as you probably have experienced yourself. I did buy brown bread from a supermarket for having at home, but only as toast in the mornings.
The weekly meetings only lasted between one and two hours. I found that after a few weeks I was really planning my life around the meetings and with achieving some weight loss I was gaining confidence in shedding the weight. Different exercise had often been discussed and as I had always been a take the car drive everywhere person, I decided that I really needed to walk a bit to get some exercise.
I also found that if I was good at keeping the food and drink intake to a minimum the night before the meeting and if I was especially careful with breakfast and no lunch on a meeting day. Then this seemed to help with getting the weight down for the weigh-in. We actually met at around midday so if I was good my weight did come down most weeks. For exercise the walking worked, I found that the weight was coming off more quickly with the exercise. I had decided the easiest way for me would be to leave the car somewhere, then I could walk about, visiting the same areas that I would have visited normally but in the car. This included keeping my social life going as I was seeing people that I would normally visit on certain days but without the car. Other days I would leave the car in a village car park and walk so far towards the coast and then walk back via a different route covering two or three kilometers. I found that I came up with some good routes which passed a bar or cafe, where I could stop and have a cup of coffee even chatting with friends. Then I would set off again continuing my walk. You do need other people to succeed with this health regime. But of course with the summer sun in Crete, it did get very hot, so I had to start carrying a bottle of water with me otherwise I would overheat which can be really dangerous.
Eventually, after about three months I was walking to the coast and back doing sometimes five or six kilometers a day and I had very good weight loss. I was even walking to the meeting weekly and leaving the car somewhere in another village. I really felt so much better about myself with the weight loss and strength gained.
Yes, I felt great!
Easy Weight Loss even on a Greek Island