The people who I’ve become close friends with in Belgium or Paris might recall that my one year in Belgium was marked by various illnesses; I’ve never been so ill in my life save that one year.

Basically most of the pillars that made up life weren’t going well at that time; some were going straight downhill and I was so stressed out that the aftermath of it all, plus that one nerve/health-wrecking year in MC France, and my love for going out and Belgian beer, erupted on my body. The result of it was that I was sick basically every 2 weeks for one whole year. Developped random seasonal allergies, bruises and cuts (which I can’t remember how I got them), sleeping 12+ hours, perpetual colds, potential liver failure (according to a chinese med doc) and the worst of all was the blocked nerve on my left shoulder (which I got one morning waking up from bed) which is still affecting my daily life until today. At that end of that year in Belgium I was sick of being sick all the time and decided to sort out this health mess and treat myself with a bit more respect.

I did not come to Brazil with the right reasons as I left for another internship because the thought of staying in canada at the time was unbearable- the winter, above all. 3 years living in Europe have reminded me how it’s like to be able to walk around in January without snow boots and I couldn’t stand the thought of being in Toronto for longer than a few months at that time. So off I went again. And left my parents behind. Again. Horrid child.

Brazil was a rough, slow start- 4 years after that first encounter in Curitiba put me in an anxious mode- same place, different people- would I fit in? Having been on the road for 3 years I thought I’m ready to be anywhere but real life isn’t as easy. It takes a while to get used to any daily rhythm of metro-boulot-dodo in any part of the world (commute-work-sleep, a la francaise).

Many think I over-react with awe about Capeoira but few knew that I was once a Martial Arts fanatic and at one point used to train the whole summer practicing almost 6 hours a day. Not that I’m good, but I was practicing. Sports was always a well-liked past time but I am much too lazy for my own good. I am also really shy when it comes to practicing sports with a group of people I don’t know. So thanks to Julia Kuzmits who got me out of my shell I went to Capoeira in March and fell in love instantly (even though that first trial lesson almost gave me a heart attack- that’s how horrid my health was at that time).

4 months after that first lesson and really horrified at the sight of seeing how fat I’ve become – thanks to a lot of facebook photo tags, I am proud to say that today I’ve reached my goal. Now fat not being an exaggerated word because I’ve always been very very skinny- and this has nothing to do with beauty standards- when your pants don’t fit and you need to buy new ones, when you need to constantly wear long shirts to cover a pre-beer belly and you are only 25, when you are sick constantly and don’t know why, you know it’s not just about being “fat”, it’s about being “unhealthy” and something’s gotta be done.

Anyway- 4 months after I first started my capoeira lessons and going for 2 weeks strictly without ANY carbs – which was tough as I am a huge fan of rice and noodles- I’ve managed to control my apetite and moved my eating habits into one that requires more meals in less quantity. Most importantly I’ve managed to shed around 11 pounds in the last 4 months, and honestly without much effort. Just went to capoeira, and after that 2-3 weeks of no carbs I went back to eating normally. Not much cut in the size of my lunch plate either. I actually eat more sometimes because it’s cold in Curitiba now and Capoeira requires a lot of energy. That’s it. Now I feel much healthier and can actually run to catch a bus.

I was once so sick in Belgium that one time I ran for the metro (a short run of around 40 meters), I almost fainted on the platform after and had to call in work because I could not make it to the proceeding train, as I was recovering on the stairs.

So the point is- friends, stay healthy. Take it from me. Stress kills.

Sebas, I never forgot about that message you sent me and now looking back- stress is really insane and make your body react weirdly. I hope you are totally free from it all now as well and doing well in Barca 🙂


About ritapang

Twenty-something waiting for the next big thing. While waiting for money to grow on trees, I consume coffee/tea/alcoholic beverages, complain about the weather, blog about travel or think about travelling, talk about food and stare at good-looking men.
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