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Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Food, Health/Fitness, Moving to Costa Rica, Uncategorized | 23 comments

3 Months – A Quarter – Change

3 Months – A Quarter – Change

What kind of change can happen in 3 months? During my working life, plans were made and results were tallied in 3-month increments – in quarter years. It was a good time measurement for goals and enough time to see results from those goals.

We have been in Costa Rica for 3 months now and have traveled back to the US in order to renew our visa stamp and to see family and friends. This is a good time to review some of the positive impact the move from working and living in the US to living in Costa Rica has had.

Weight loss

I am a big guy. Standing 6’3” my weight has fluctuated throughout the years between 220 and 252, what I weighed when we left for CR in June. Our lifestyle in the States was one of long working hours; because of this, we ate out…a lot. I am not very good at denying myself, especially if I am in a restaurant. I would combat the huge amount of calories I ate by running. I would usually train for a 10K or half marathon and that would keep my weight down a bit – then directly succeeding the event I was training for I would stop running and the weight would come back.

 

Feb 2013

Feb 2013

Sept 2013

Sept 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we left for Costa Rica in mid-June I weighed 252 – this is the most I have ever weighed. I knew I wanted to lose weight but really did not move to Costa Rica with a plan. I wanted to see how living there naturally effected my weight.

Upon arriving in our new home in Grecia I began hiking and eating more healthy by eating the foods that fit our budget – the typical Costa Rican diet; rice, beans, chicken, fruits and vegetables. The hike has slowly graduated from me barely being able to make it through a 1.5 mile hike (which took me about an hour) to doing the same hike in about 30 minutes and then adding another hour to an hour and a half to it – hiking between 4 and 6 miles a day.

I have lost 25 pounds in the 3 months we have been in CR. Technically 2.5 months as 3 days after moving my father died and we went back to Dallas for 2 weeks. So, 25 pounds lost in 2.5 months through diet and exercise.

Blood pressure

Over the past couple of years I have had an ever-increasing prescribed dose of blood pressure medication. Once again, I tried to control my blood pressure through running – running only did not work. My diet and work related stress offset any health benefits achieved by running. I ran out of medication our first month here.

Don’t preach – I did not attempt to get the prescription refilled. Instead, As a result of my diet change, exercise and reduction of stress my blood pressure has slowly normalized. I take it most mornings and have found that it is always better than it was while I was taking medication and it is almost always in the normal range.

Pinch Between the Cheek and Gum

I started dipping Copenhagen when I was about 16 years old. What started out as a dip when I was out fishing or working in the yard turned into a fulltime habit. By the time I became an adult I was using at least a can of tobacco a day sometimes more. As of today, the typical cost of a can of Copenhagen snuff in Dallas is about $6. So for me, it was a $150 a month habit.

When we moved to Costa Rica, I moved with the thought that this habit was not an option. Not only was it unlikely that I could purchase it in CR the bigger factor was it was not in the budget. It turned out that it was not even a factor. Surprisingly, there were no withdrawal symptoms, nor did I even miss it.

So, I have seen some great positive change in a relatively short period of time. Could I have achieved the same results in the States? That is the million dollar question – for me, it took a change of venue and lifestyle and a removal of the stress and pressure of a 60 hour a week job. I am sure I will have more positive benefits to share as our time in country continues – stay tuned.

Hasta Pronto,

Greg

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Gregorio

Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
Greg Seymour Amazon Author Page

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23 Comments

  1. Great News for you. I know you will continue to get healthier every 3 months you are here. I have bad knees, one replaced about 8 years ago. Our roads in the development are frat for hikers, very hilly, but rock roads which is hard on my knees. I could probably get up to a 5 mile hike on asphalt, but the terrain here is rough, so I do what I can to keep the bones strong. You are both so young and full of Vitality, it is great to read your blogs!! Have a good time at home with your family, and then hurry back to your new lifestyle!~!
    Marlene

    • I am sure you can find places to walk/hike…In Costa Rica you are never too far from a soccer field which would probably be OK on your knees. Thanks for the encouragement. I am having a blast here but am ready to get back to my new lifestyle.

  2. You can clearly see that you’ve added several years onto your life through this move! And, you get to live in Costa Rica! Incredible! Good job on shedding the weight, meds, and tobacco. You’ll be in perfect shape in no time!

    • Thanks Emily, the great thing is that these health benefits are not “work”. I naturally enjoy the hiking and I am actually enjoying the food of our new home.

  3. All great news!! Congratulations! It sure seems to be agreeing with you to be living in Costa Rica!!

    • Thanks Debbie! CR is definitely agreeing with us.

  4. good job GS. can’t wait to start, it’ll take a while to catch up……..looking foreward to seeing you both after the first of the year….Pura Vida

    • Thanks JB. Looking forward to seeing you as well – just around the corner. We can do some hiking together.

  5. looking foreward to it mi amigo……..Love to your better half….Pura Vida

  6. Keep winning brother.

  7. Hola! Just a note to say we have also been in CR now, in Atenas, for almost 3 months. About 3 weeks shy. We have had very similar experience in our time here – Tom has lost 17 pounds, and I’ve lost 25 lbs. We are eating a lot healthier and proud to say our appetites are not at big as they used to be. I’m convinced it’s because we are consuming a lot less processed sugars, etc., that helped contribute to weight gain in the first place. Plus….Tom was pre-diabetic when we left the States, and his sugar levels are not well within normal range. So….we are tracking right along and wish you well! Maybe we could get together and compare more notes when we make it to Grecia. Pura Vida!

    • Good to hear from you. Congrats on your success. Definitely if you guys visit Grecia we would love to meet you. Likewise, if we head to Atenas we will let you know.

  8. Way to go Gregorio! So proud of you! Keep up the good work.

  9. Nice job, Greg. Good to see you the other day. Look forward to reading more of your entries. Take care, and happy that everything is going well!

    • Thanks for reading and the comment Zach. It was great to seeing you and everyone at the office.

  10. Great stuff Greg. I noticed how thin you looked in that picture with your mom when it was posted on FB a few days ago. So glad to hear of how great things are. Keep on keeping on!

    • Thanks Corby, good to hear from you…although by the time this trip is over I will have gained some of that back. Oh well – Pura Vida.

  11. Hello. Thank you for taking the time to write about your move to Costa Rica. I’m moving to Costa Rica, in a
    few weeks. I have an advantage over a lot of people considering such a move. My mother is from Costa
    Rica, I was born in Texas, to an American father. I’ve decided to also simplify my life. I love the Costa
    Rican food and the culture and naturally the people. Ironically, I have been looking online for rental
    property north of San Jose. Perhaps, you all could steer me in the direction of a rental. I love the
    mountains. I will be following your blog, and would appreciate any helpful advice before my move.
    Genny

    • Hi Genny,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I can tell you from experience “feet on the street” is the best way to find a rental. Visit the town you think you want to move – spend some time there and make yourself known, make some connections. We started our adventure in a VERY SMALL temporary apartment. We stayed there almost 3 months and we used that time to network and find a rental that worked for us. I am happy to help any way I can. I will shoot you an email to get a little more information. Unfortunately, most of my help will be in the Grecia area.

  12. Im visiting CR for a couple months, is there anywhere to buy a can so i can slowly stop by terrible habit? Thanks an advance, Jerry!

    • Hi Jerry,

      The only place I have seen smokeless tobacco was in a tourist shop in Sierpe. I imagine it is available sporadically, mostly in areas that rely on tourism. I would look up the import rule for tobacco and just bring it in with you.

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