Starting a new life in Ecuador

How did we wind up in Ecuador?  That is a great question.  I’ve never been one to take risks.  Always playing it safe and by the rules.  Yet here we are are on another continent, and a whole world away from the United States, starting a whole new life, just as most folks our age are settling in to a cozy and secure life.

We have been living here in Cuenca, Ecuador for 9 months now.  Less than a year and a half ago, I had never even heard of Cuenca, Ecuador, much less thought of living here.But a series of events led to us being here.

I had quit my job with the phone company a couple of years before due to fear of losing my job.  I had seen most of my friends and coworkers laid off over the years due to downsizing and offshoring.  Waiting for the hammer to fall on me got too stressful, so I quit and found a job programming for a health insurance company.  It was a great company with great people, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  Starting a new career after 27 years at my old job just didn’t appeal to me.

At about the same time, my girlfriend’s (now wife) mother passed away.  Chrissy had spent the last couple of years caring for her and working as a trainer at a local restaurant chain, until the stress and time required to care for her mother had forced her to quit her job.  After her mother had passed away, she needed time to rest and recharge her batteries.

With both of us tired and stressed out, we said jokingly that it would be great to just run away.  And then one day we thought, seriously why don’t we run away?  With my kids grown and on their own and with Chrissy free of taking care of her mom, we really didn’t have anything holding us back.  I began to research places that we could live on the money that we had and Ecuador kept coming up at the top of the list.

As I continued to work, I left the research of how to actually make this happen in Chrissy’s hands.  She took the ball and ran.  Very soon, she had several new friends on Facebook that actually lived here and could give her practical advice. She found out what it would take to bring our dogs with us.  She got recommendations for a realtor that specialized in rentals.  After a certain point, there isn’t that much you can learn from the internet, Facebook and emails.  It was time to pull the trigger.  We set a date to go on an exploratory trip and I turned in my resignation.  It was very scary to be unemployed at 53 years old.

We came down for a week in September of 2015 and immediately fell in love with Cuenca.  Through the realtor, we found a house on the outskirts of town that would allow us to bring down our 4 dogs.  We came back to the states and began making arrangements to move down and in just a little over a month, we were in Cuenca to begin our new life.

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I’m back!!

It’s time to get back to work and start writing again. I think the best way to do that is just dive right in and start writing again. It will help me to get my thoughts down and organize what I’m really thinking and feeling.
A lot has been going on in my life since the last time I wrote anything. I am still separated from my wife but actively seeking a divorce right now. A trial date has been set but she has already canceled one time because she fired her lawyer. I guess she can’t get along with him either.
I have a new girlfriend right now and we are having a good time together. We get along very well. She is a lot more understanding than my past relationships.
I also have a new job. I got tired of waiting around to get fired at my old job and started looking for a new position. I got hired at the company where my sister works. Many people from my old company work there as well, so I see people every day that I’ve known for years. In fact, I know more people here than I did when I left my old company. I am starting to get stressed out about my job again though. I guess that’s just the danger of being an Aspie. We tend to focus on things and stress about them. Also, I am having a tough time making myself do every day task. I am hoping to start a To Do list and working it on a daily basis. I think that will help to reduce my stress.
I plan on writing more in the future. I think it will help to reduce my stress to put down my thoughts and fears. Plus I hope that it will help others to see what I am going through in my every day life.

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I’ve not been so good

I have not been very good for the past week. I guess I should blog when I’m having a week like that but it is so hard to make yourself sit down and write something when you are feeling down. I’ve sat at the computer many times and started to write but just didn’t feel like thinking.

I have not been eating like I should. I have not stuck to my diet at all. I’ve had a few drinks when I shoundn’t. I guess everyone back slides from time to time. This was my time but now I am ready to get serious again. Time to watch what I eat. Time to limit what I drink. Time to rededicate myself. Time to start blogging again!

At least I have been exercising. I’ve stuck with my running program and can feel my stamina increasing. I missed my first run yesterday because of a thunderstorm but other than that have not missed a single run. I went to the park for my run and it started to thunder as soon I got out of the truck so I canceled my run. I felt bad but I don’t mess around with lightning. I will run again tomorrow and move one day forward in the program. I feel like the exercise is the most important thing that I am doing right now so I really need to stick with it.

I was out of town this weekend to attend my daughter’s college graduation. That also makes it tough to stick to a diet. It is very hard to be good when you’re traveling and have a very limited selection of food. But it’s not every day your daughter graduates from college so I guess a little celebration isn’t a problem. I did weigh when I got home and found that I have not gained anything so I guess the exercise really is paying off. Results like that do make you feel good and that you’re making progress on the journey to being healthy.

Another reason that I don’t like to blog is the typing and spelling involved so I decided to give speech recognition a try. I don’t know that it is any faster than typing but I do like the novelty of it. I always like to try new things and tend to become obsessed with them for a short period of time until the newness wears off. There is a learning curve on using speech recognition and my southern accent tends to confuse it from time to time but talking to a computer makes me feel like I’m on Star Trek.

One thing that I forgot to mention is that I’ve lost two more pounds. That means I have lost 10 pounds total! That was as of a week ago and I have not regained any since! Now it’s time to get serious again and start losing even more weight!

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Hanging in there

Just got back from my run.  Week 3, day 1 of the Couch to 10K program.  I haven’t missed a run yet and don’t plan to.  I can already tell that my stamina is improving.  I certainly is motivating to see results.  My iPhone is the best piece of exercise equipment that I have.  It maps my runs, plays music and keeps my intervals on the running program.  If you have a smartphone and are looking into starting a running program, I can highly recommend the Couch to 10K app.

Grilled chicken breast and stir fried veggies for dinner tonight.  My orange was bad so I had a pack of peanut butter crackers.  Hopefully, that won’t set me back too much.  At least I didn’t eat a Snicker’s like I would have in the past.  Every little change helps.

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Sunday, Lazy Day

I slept in this morning.  That is very unusual for me, since the dogs usually don’t allow it.  I put them out in the yard and woke up an hour later.  I should have been suspicious since they had been so quiet.  The four smallest dogs had dug out of the fence and run away (again).  Fortunately, this time I found them quickly and got the hole filled in.  It definitely got my blood pumping first thing (works better than coffee).

I got my third run for the week in.  That completes week 2 of Couch to 10K.  I felt good while I was running too.  I know I am going to stick with this.  Also, doing good on my eating.  Two weeks down and going strong on all fronts.  I am feeling good.

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Just a little….but I’ll take it

I did my weekly weigh in this morning.  I had only dropped 1.6 pounds this week.  I ate bread several times and dessert at Mom’s on Wednesday, so I think that slowed my loss down.  Oh well, any loss is better than nothing or a gain, so I’ll take it.

I also made a homemade pizza last night.  I made a whole wheat crust and used my breadmaker to do the dough.  It turned out so good.  Topped with vidalia onion, green pepper and grilled chicken.  I ate 3 pieces and had only intended to eat 2.  I’ll work on that. Still no alcohol.  Really doing good on that front.  All-in-all, a good week.

Starting weight (April 10) – 223.0

Current weight – 215.2

Goal – 180.0

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It’s been a couple of days since my last blog. Thought about doing it a couple of times, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Writing is very hard for me, especially when I am tired.

Good news to report on the dogs. We picked Maddie up from the vet on Wednesday and she had made a full recovery from the tick paralysis. It was very scary to see her when she couldn’t walk. I know it really had my son worried. He, the other dogs and I, have all been much happier and relaxed since Maddie and Baxter are back. Now it we can just keep them from digging out again.

The situation with the dogs and rain showers kept me from my scheduled run on Tuesday; however, I just moved my schedule forward one day and ran on Wednesday. I was very proud of myself for not getting off track.

Also doing good with my eating. The only exception was dessert at my parent’s Wednesday evening. Oh well, you still have to live a little too. I haven’t had a drink since I began this experience April 10. I can’t wait to weigh in tomorrow and see how I am doing. I’ll report back then.

Starting weight (April 10) – 223 pounds
Current weight – 216.8 pounds

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