Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2nd Vacation Observation - How Europeans look

I've been to Croatia several times - 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2006 and now in 2012. We were at the beach in 1998, 2002 and now in 2012. So, it's been 10 years since I've been to a European beach.

The last times I went, I felt humongous (and well, I was - as the last time I went I was 275 pounds!), but it was more extreme than it would be in the United States. In the US you would find other heavy people out and about. In Croatia? None except for older people, and even then, they weren't HUGE.

So, I was surprised this time. While, in general, they were still thinner as a whole than Americans, it wasn't by a heck of a lot. Croatians are getting fatter too! And it's easy to see/evaluate at the beach as people are nearly naked. The only one pieces on the entire beach were typically Americans - and in Biograd that meant only me! In other stops, again, only bikinis, even the Americans. I'm way too 'ruined' from weight gain and loss to ever be able to don a bikini without cosmetic surgery. It became obvious that at least for NOW the travelers and Europeans hadn't done the weight gain and loss like I had- in middle age, especially.

In our first beach stop, Biograd, it's a touristy area, but not from other areas of the world - mostly it's a Croatian destination point for Croatians who want to get to the sea. It's not so far from major cities, easily connected by good highways and not as well known to outsiders. So, I wasn't seeing fat Germans, Italians, Americans, etc. These were Croats - and since I was on the beach with them, I could hear they were Croats.

Interestingly, more men had weight problems than women. I saw very, very few men over the age of 30 without some added fluff and even younger men were often 'fluffy'.

Single women, women before kids were more likely to be trim, but most moms in Biograd were a bit fluffy. Again, surprising. And still many younger women looked a bit too jiggly as well. And then kids - lots of chubby kids. Not as many in the US, but the last time I went, I didn't see any chubby children. Now the beach was full of them. Even if the parents were slim, their kids were not. It was shocking, actually, that I was about average on the beach. In previous trips I still would have been one of the biggest. Things are changing!

Then we went to Mljet. Mljet is an island, so it's not as easy to get too, it's more expensive, and it's known as a popular destination for tourists from other nations as well. While there, there were people from all over the place - Europe, the Americas and some Asian, though mostly Americans, Brits, Australians and Germans if they weren't Croatians. This island has a large national park and is good for swimming, hiking and biking. The Body Mass Index on this island was much lower. More fit tourists came here to not just laze on the beach, but to do things  - to be active. The couple of times we went to a public beach, I was definitely one of the biggest - and one of the most unfit, but not as much as I would have been in years past. Basically, I became more aware of the more work I need to do and that my loose skin is more noticeable than I care to admit. I will see people around me here in the US that are jiggly, or have loose skin, but the people at this beach were trim and fit and probably have been their entire lives. What it wanted me to do was not hide but to reevaluate where I wanted to be for an end goal for fitness and weight. I'm pushing for 155 again and for sure a 25% body fat or lower. We'll see as I get closer. Right now, with time off for vacation, injury and gardening/walking instead of the gym, I've softened up!

Last stop was Dubrovnik. A world destination stop. People were from all over the world. We heard languages from all over the world and again, the BMI went up. We saw thin people - gorgeous people and quite heavy people - and not just Americans - Finnish, Germans, Italians, Croatians, French, Americans, Australians, etc. The only non-heavy people I saw were the few from Asia - India and Japan. The world is changing! We are getting fat as soon as we modernize!

I'll talk more on fitness tomorrow, but it's sad, really to see young, dating people out in the evening and so many of them with a bit of flab. To see kids with flab. This didn't used to be this way and it's changing very quickly.

Highest weight - 275  Now - 179.4

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about the general population starting to look less fit than years before. In Asia, it used to be extremely hard to find heavy people but nowadays it's much more prevalent.

    Hope you enjoyed your vacation!