So it all started with the Pantanal trip -- the weight gain, that is.
The Ranch-Hotel (pousada) where we stayed had amazingly delicious all-you-can-eat meals, with whole milk fresh from the cow, and fatty barbecued beef, and candied fruits. Couple that with a week of lounging and drinking alcohol at night, and you've -- well I'd -- got myself the beginnings of disaster.
Soon after I got home from the Pantanal, I contracted a terrible case of pink eye that I got from Alexandre, who brought it home from the hospital. It's highly contagious, so almost none of my students wanted classes (a few accepted having classes temporarily over Skype, but most just preferred to wait for me to get better, including my money-making groups! Ugghhh). I spent almost 3 weeks bored out of my mind, quarantined at home. I didn't go to the gym, because I felt guilty at the thought of passing pink eye on to people. The particular virus I got was exceptionally harsh -- it damaged my corneas and now I have this thing called "infiltração". That's a medical term for when the pink eye virus lingers in the damaged parts of your corneas and messes up your vision. (I couldn't find it in English.) It's going to take a couple of months for things to clear up completely. In the meantime, I can't drive because I can't see well enough, but at least I'm not in literally blinding pain anymore.
Well, like I said, I spent the pink eye time at home, wearing sunglasses indoors and with ghetto-style blankets covering my windows. The flashing lights of the TV were too painful, and the Kindle was too blurry. So I just listened to a lot of Florence and the Machine, and I cooked a lot and whined and complained even more. I went on a "copycat recipe" kick -- I made Pizza-Hut-Style Breadstick/Pizza and Applebee's-Style Blondies (I just used chocolate and honey in the sauce instead of maple syrup). Everything was delicious, but it was a recipe for weight gain!
When I went back to work and to the gym, things were tough! I was getting tired easily. It's amazing what a month of sloth can do. My barometer jeans were also way beyond fitting. (You've got some of those too, right?)
So I decided to make a change. I live across the street from the gym. I started to go more regularly. I stopped making yummy unhealthy things, and I've been trying to make slightly-less-yummy healthy things. I downloaded some helpful exercise apps on my phone. (If you're interested, they're called "Daily Ab workout," "Daily Arm Workout," etc. They have video!)
But the extra super exciting thing about my new weight loss kick is my new personal trainer! You may remember this trainer from my post about my new aerobics class at the gym. She started having English classes with me, and I've continued attending her gym classes. I'd been wanting to suggest an English class - personal trainer trade, but I figured she wouldn't want to, since unfortunately personal trainers at this gym make more than English teachers. But then, in the last class of the month (and therefore the end of her contract), she shyly asked me if I'd be interested in being her student, with an exchange for English classes if I was up for it. She explained that she has more time than money these days, and said that she would "ficar contente" (be pleased) if I accepted. I was so relieved! We worked out the details, and my first session with her is on Monday!
The training will be here at my house, so we can both avoid paying the gym as the middle man. This is possible because Alexandre and I own a bunch of well-intentioned exercise equipment, and because we also have a pool in the complex (along with well-intentioned swimming equipment that will finally be put to use!). I'm going to continue going to the gym, since I'll only be doing 2 hours a week with her and since I have a contract there, but I think it's going to be really nice to have her support. (She's also going to write up a more personalized training set for me to use at the gym, since the set they give out to everyone is helpful but pretty generic.)
So yay! Trading things for English classes is awesome. (I'm currently also trading Portuguese classes for English classes with a really good teacher.) I hope I keep this health stuff up. Do share if you're in the same boat. I'd especially love to know your ideas for healthy snacks, which is an issue that still eludes me in this country.