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harissa Enget
When I moved to Thailand, weight dropped off of me.


I’ve always had to struggle to maintain my weight, but for the first time in my life, I became thin without trying. When I arrived in Thailand, I was a bit heavier at the time due to having my arm in a cast and being unable to exercise. I dropped 35 pounds in 6 months.


I went from this:


To this:


Now, I’m absolutely certain it’s infinitely harder to be thin in America than it is anywhere else.

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Thais are not incredibly healthy people. In fact, all their food is fried. I’ve never seen a culture eat more fried noodles, fried chicken, or put more sugar in their drinks. Also, a tiny percentage of them exercise. If I decide to walk instead of take my moped somewhere, people yell at me, “Are you crazy? It’s hot!!! Why are you walking!” People don’t just take strolls in Thailand, in fact, they’re almost averse to exercise from what I’ve seen. Americans are much more active than Thais.


Yet, the majority of the Thai population is much thinner than Americans.


In America, there is food literally EVERYWHERE you go. Going to church? There’s donuts there. Going to a work meeting? Someone brought cookies. Going to the break room? It’s someone’s birthday and they brought cake in there. Going to book club? Chips and salsa. Going shopping for groceries? Free samples around every corner. If you want to eat healthily, you have to refuse food everywhere you go. That’s HARD.


In Thailand, there’s never free food anywhere. My mechanic does not have coffee and donuts in his shop. If you want food in church, you bring it yourself. There definitely are not free samples at the grocery store. No free coffee anywhere! (Actually, I miss the free coffee everywhere in America)

原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.cn 转载请注明出处

Next, advertising is everywhere in America. They make their burgers and fries look HOT and STEAMY. I’ll be driving to school and suddenly thinking about a burger when I’m not even hungry because I saw a picture of it on a billboard. When I watch TV, I’m bombarded with food commercials. Spotify commercials, Youtube commercials, Facebook ads all have food!!!!! If you don’t want to think about food in America, too bad, you have no choice.


In Thailand, the shops I pass don’t put up pictures of their food. In fact, most of their menus have pictures taken with what looks like a phone camera. If I wasn’t hungry, their phone pictures weren’t going to make me any hungrier unlike the perfectly photoshopped food in American advertisements. Facebook ads are all centered on skincare products instead of food. My cravings all went away.


Last, ease of access to food. Drive-thrus make it so you don’t have to leave your car to pick up a burger and fries. Pizza and take out is delivered to your door. If you’re hungry, you don’t even have to walk or get out of your car to get it. Your craving is an order away.


In rural Thailand, if I want food, I have to leave my house. There is no takeout here. Drive thrus don’t exist. You still have access to unhealthy food but it takes a lot more effort. I have to go to a restaurant and wait for 20 minutes to have it freshly made. I have to get off my motorcycle and go inside a restaurant if I want food from them. It takes a lot more effort to be fat in Thailand.


Last of all, there’s hardly any cheese, bread, or chocolate in Thailand. Thais eat rice, fried meats, noodles, and soups. The fried food isn’t great for you, but I don’t think it’s addictive. I craved cheese and bread for months after I left America, and without access to those, those cravings stopped. I’ve heard cheese is more addictive than cocaine and I believe it. It’s a lot easier to stay thin when you don’t have access to it and it’s not put in every single dish like it is in America.

原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.cn 转载请注明出处

In conclusion, I think it’s way easier to be thin in Southeast Asia than it is in the United States. Though, with Western food making its way into Thailand, obesity levels have been rising.