The food back home does not make me fat. But every time I travel, I gain weight. The struggle is real. I have been away from Uganda for so long and the pounds have definitely piled on. Yes, yes, I know what my friends are thinking. Every time I say I need to lose weight, people tell me ‘no you don’t need to. You look just fine.’ Thank you for those kind words, friends. But I wish it were that simple. It’s not about what everyone thinks I look like. It’s about how I feel in my own skin.
Tell me more about these weight-gain during travel woes of yours
It’s actually a real thing. When you travel, a lot of your usual rhythms and practices are off. You eat at different times, sleep at different times, eat different things, and so on.
Interestingly, I instantly lose weight every time I return to Uganda. Within a week, pretty much. In many respects it’s true what they say, a fish thrives best in the water. My skin magically takes on new life too, every time I return home to Uganda. Of course my skincare regimen helps too, but there’s just something about home.
So what do you think is the cause of your weight-gain during travel?
I have a theory that is more than just a theory. Western food is more calorigenic than African food. I’m born and bred in the tropics. I will snack a hundred times in Uganda and stay at my usual weight, but once in Norway or Malta, or anywhere away from UG, I gotta eat less. I do not want to eat less! Haha. No, truly. I do not want to eat less, I love eating!
My barometer for weight gain is 2 things: do my clothes still fit and 2) am I sluggish or am I still agile? If the answers are no my clothes are tighter and yes I ‘m more sluggish and less agile, then I know it’s time to get back to my old size.
Also, I was a certain dress size for so long and suddenly I can feel I’m moving toward another. This causes me to panic because regardless how great anyone else might think I look, my body is not feeling like my body. I feel like I am wading around in a borrowed body. It helps that I am so tall because then my height disguises my weight gain.
My face disguises nothing though, haha, and my family is quick to remind me how round my cheeks have gotten, and how I look just like I looked as a child. These comments amuse me more than anything else. The real motivation for me is when my very lovely dresses that cost me quite a sum start not to fit. And the other big motivator is when I start to get breathless just going up a few flights of stairs. If that happens, I know I am not fit and need to fix things asap.
Yes. I like running. I was also very into yoga. I taught myself off of a DVD, the internet and Instagram. There are many good DVDs out there. You get a lot more than you paid for it in the end. It also comes in handy if you would rather work out at home, or if you don’t have many yoga studios in the neighbourhood. Which was my situation in Uganda.
Do you ever experience weight gain during travel? How do you stay fit when you travel?