It didn’t take long into my five weeks in Europe to start to feel like I had been losing weight. I was able to confirm my suspicions upon a few people’s scales and loved measuring my weight using kilograms! So much so, I think I should just change my scale right now because cutting my weight more than half sure makes my eyes happy when I see much lower numbers.
But my weight loss made sense. After all, I had taken up a lifestyle change from driving everywhere to now using my own body power to get me around. I embraced abandoning my American ways behind a wheel and eagerly used my Oyster card on the London Tube to get me everywhere that was “far” that I needed to go. Using the subway system of London was great… It was efficient, it provided my eyes with tons of British eye candy, and also forced me into climbing many sets of stairs a day.
I spent ten days in London, in between adventures out to Ireland and Wales along with the English Countryside near Worcestershire. With each day that passed, I started to develop a strange affair with stairs. What began as a cruel relationship that I would greet each stair case with a quiet “I hate you, stairs of doom”, eventually declined down to a quick sigh before I grabbed onto my backpack straps and set forth.
Another factor in my weight loss was that I was trying to not spend so much money just on meals. With a low budget, it made eating light quite easy. My cousin Anna and I dined many times with the simplicity of a loaf of fresh bread, a hunk of fine cheese, and a few pieces of fruit or vegetables.
Of course I was indulging on a lot of white flour and fat from the cheese, but I justified that with the amount of exercise I was getting, I needed those precious and delicious calories!
Through Paris my cousin Anna and I would joke about all the stairs we had been taking and to poke fun at our own fluff, we would race each other up staircases only to laugh at ourselves when we would reach the top, huffing and puffing after our quick burst of endurance. Once we got to Amsterdam, I told Anna we would no longer have to deal with stairs as everything was so close that our only form of exercise would be our typical walking for miles a day.
Anna left back to her hometown of Chicago and I left Amsterdam, ready to get warm for the rest of my trip in Madrid and Lisbon. Since I was utilizing subway systems again, the stairs were back but this time around, I was grateful for them. By week four of my trip I was noticing some differences on how my clothes were fitting and just my overall energy level. Both cities had escalators but for some strange reason, I grew a desire to take the stairs anyway. I gained a new feeling of happiness as I would jog up the the staircase and imagine the people on the escalator in shock when I would reach the top many, many seconds before they set foot on the next level.
I’m hoping that I can continue this fitness level but I know that I don’t really deal with too many stairs in my life, other than the ones that lead up to my bedroom. I should fill my backpack with books and just start walking up and down there for twenty minutes a day… I bet I wouldn’t lose my stair power then!
I shall leave you with two more pictures of foreign stair cases that helped me burn some calories and firm up my thighs… along with a picture of what the Eiffel Tower looked like as Anna and I ate our picnic.
PS – I finally joined Twitter! You can become one of my first tweeting friends at MonkeyApril83 as I explore a whole new level of the SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD.