No Food Rules and the Stress of Moving Overseas

(c) Claudia. Flying over Greenland

In a little over two weeks, I’m moving to another country. It hit me today.  I no longer need to be prophesying about the glories of European weight loss or eating real food. The fat lady has sung and she’s had her cake.

The planning, the airfare, and the relentless search for a decent apartment in a central location is complete. Family and friends have been warned and invited to come visit.  I’ve done a little research on the area and have looked at the dates of the food and Christmas markets.  The dog is ready; an extra suitcase was purchased for my shoes. All that is left is to wait and pack my clothes a day before the flight.

I feel like a series of cogs being blocked by a piece of wood.  Once the wood is removed—one-by-one—the cogs will spin slowly setting in motion a series of events which cannot be reversed. The phrase “you can never go home again” pops in my head from time-to-time and, until now, I never really knew what it meant to feel this.

I am moving to Germany to lose weight.  But it is much more than to gain the aesthetic praise of others by changing the outer proportions of my body.  I can do that here in Washington State. No, I want much more than instant weight loss.

I want to re-wire my brain.

From Time magazine. Illustration by David Plunkert

It’s funny that I find myself justifying any reasoning behind my decision. I chose to move. I chose to publicly write about it. And by doing so, I will choose any future issues which may arise by my actions. All of the what-ifs that are unanswerable such as: What if this move affects my marriage?  What if I don’t lose weight? What if I get culture shock? What if people don’t agree with what I do? What if I can’t support myself? What if I hate it? These questions are a drop in the bucket of doubt that is both unanswerable and self-deprecating.

Good Eating Habits – Temporarily Gone

Not knowing exactly what to expect when I arrive in Germany; every night feels like a last meal. I feel myself aligning with the people around me—driving everywhere for convenience, quick unhealthy eating, and eating when I’m not particularly hungry just because it is time for dinner. You can forget any portion control as well. All of my food values and lifestyle viewpoints have, mostly, gone the way of the dodo. I have been drinking soda, ate some fast food, and feel rather out of sorts. It’s like I’m in a holding pattern waiting for life to start. Like a familiar diet pattern, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow.”

Perhaps this is good. Perhaps it is good to see this side of the coin.


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