For some expats, the appropriate Christmas Carol might better be “The 12 Pounds of Christmas” because that is what they put on with all the holiday food and drink.
So as the year begins they look into the mirror and make resolutions to lose the weight, give up alcohol, reject cigarettes and become better persons.
About now, some 15 days into January, the resolutions are getting a little shaky.
But there are options.
Everyone knows about Weight Watchers, and there are similar programs in Costa Rica. Some will even make house calls for those who are shy about attending meetings for the overweight.
Those not ready to declare their weight-loss goals can go online to at least a dozen calorie-counting programs. A good list is HERE! Some, like My Fitness Pal, have Costa Rican members and the food menu contains plenty of local products found at Mas x Menos. The Mayo Clinic also maintains a nutritional site.
Nearly all such sites promote exercise, too. And the eternal spring of Costa Rica is a great place to get in shape. Parque la Sabana is perfect for a daily run, but many persons just do it on their own streets.
The country has formal races and fun runs, most as fundraisers, every month. There is the Tamarindo Marathon, the Christmas Run, the Carrera Playas del Coco and the famous Fundación Anna Ross walk and run against Cancer in October.
The organizer Evolution Marketing maintains a list of events on its Web page, and not all are in the Central Valley.
Most expats are not going to challenge a full marathon. They can enjoy a lesser distance or jogging and the socializing that follows.
Naturally before running someone seeking to lose weight should see a physician, and the doctor might have another option. The
private hospitals have nutritionists on their staffs.
Medical officials at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social always are railing about the population being overweight, and that institution also provides nutritional services. There also are programs to quit smoking.
There are plenty of commercial establishments, too, offering pills and supplements for weight loss. In fact, the Ministerio de Salud from time to time orders that some of these products be withdrawn from sale.
Another option are the many gyms and private clubs in Costa Rica. In addition to exercise facilities, many offer organized sports even for older expats. This is a more expensive option that also includes socializing opportunities. Some who use the gym facilities say they do so because of the greater security that does not involve running outdoors.
Of course, all the weight loss methods involve a lifestyle change. And this not always is bad.
One woman expat took off more than 60 pounds simply by dancing salsa every morning in the privacy of her home.
Plus she stopped engaging in the favorite expat exercise of aerobic beer drinking. She noted correctly that exercise must be coupled with eating fewer and more healthy calories.
The most drastic method that a few expats may elect would be surgery, and the private hospitals and even the Caja offer such bariatric procedures.