Monday, September 26

Pohang's Biggest Loser

Biggest Loser is coming to Pohang! :) I don't want to make this a long drawn out post about how unhappy I am with my weight - but bottom line: I've gained weight in the year I've lived in Korea - and to be honest, I wasn't at my ideal weight before then.

My body doesn't handle white rice as well as a Korean woman's body does, I crave comfort, unhealthy foods more than I did when they were readily available in America, I haven't worked out in who knows when, and dating a guy who has the metabolism of a hummingbird and brings me McDonald's in bed hasn't helped.  :)

When I visited home, the first thing out of my great- grandmother's mouth, bless her, was "Well looks like you put on some weight" :) haha NOT music to my ears, my grandmother tried to come to my rescue, and said "Grandmother that's not what she wants to hear" and my Great-grandmother not missing a beat replied, "Well, that just means she likes the food".  Prime example of what I'd like to NOT have happen to me again.

So, one of the girls in Pohang is organizing a weight loss/fitness competition.  There are about 25 girls in Pohang participating all with different fitness goals. We each paid 20,000 won ($20) We took our initial BMI's and arms, thighs, hips, and waist measurements, and weekly we will input our stats. The contest started September 22nd, and will finish December 22nd, right before Christmas. There will be money prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place!

I'm really excited, and feel like having this accountability will be really helpful.  Even if I don't win, hopefully I'll drop some weight and start to get healthy.  My starting BMI is 26 - which means I am currently overweight.  My beginning weight is higher than 169 and lower than 171. :( No matter how much I dislike those #s now, I know come December they will be much lower! :) So, my goals are to eat healthier, I joined Biggest Loser Club online to track my calorie intake, and I joined a gym - so I'd like to make it there 3-4 times a week. I've never tried weight loss before, but I know with other goals in life, I'll need to focus not just on the # on the scale, but controllables - what goes in my mouth and how many times I go to the gym! :) Should be an interesting next few months.

Ready to get my fitness on! :)
xoxo Soon to be Skinny Em!

Monday, September 19

Leigh's Birthday

Happy Birthday Leigh :) So the handsome guy that's in a lot of my pictures had his birthday this weekend! He turned ahem 34!!! 34, yep that's right I'm 25 - he's now 9 years older than me! :) His birthday fell on a Sunday, but we celebrated Saturday. He loves to golf! Usually golfing is Korea is really expensive, but luckily there's a par 3, 9 hole golf course (you play the 9 holes 2x) that he found in Pohang.  We spent the day doing that with our friends Brad and Christie, went to Tilt for a Western style dinner, then went to their house to have a game night with close friends - there were about 10 of us there, we demolished lots of adult beverages, and decided to end the night in the Karoke room! :) Golfing, eating western food, games with great friends, and singing was the perfect way to celebrate his birthday! :) Great celebration for a great guy who lights up a lot of people's lives around him. 
Hope all his wishes come true :)  

Sunday, September 11


Family photo with the Homigot Hand :)
This past weekend, Leigh and I finally made it out to one of Pohang's popular sightseeing spots - Homigot, Sunrise Park. It's one of the easternmost points in Korea.  It's a popular place to celebrate New Year's Eve as people can see the First Sunrise of the New Year. So, Leigh and I strapped Sadie on in her carrier, and took a sightseeing afternoon. 

Traveling Sadie - she even scoots!

Leigh with the Homigot hand
The Korean kiddos were quite curious about Sadie
It was a beautiful scooter ride through windy roads up and down the coast, beautiful weather, and we saw the famous Hands of Harmony!Great day!
xoxo Emily

Monday, September 5

Adjusting back to Korea

I've been back in Korea for 2 weeks now!! I've gotten settled into my new apartment (I'll post pictures soon) and helped Sadie adjust to our new home :) She seems to be enjoying Korea so far! I flew in on a Thursday night - Leigh borrowed a car from some friends and picked me up which was nice because I flew in after the last bus to Pohang had stopped running, not to mention I'd missed him like crazy.  Sadie was pretty scared of him at first, but warmed up quickly! We got back to my apartment that he'd decorated with like 50 balloons and a Welcome Home sign for Sadie and I.  A warm welcome for sure! :) Friday I was determined that "jetlag" was simply a state of mind, and declared that I would not be affected by it.  WRONG! haha it hit me sometime that Saturday and I was pretty worthless the rest of the weekend.  Monday I started back to school - well rested - and very happy to see the students to give them their American souvenirs!

The first weekend of September (my 2nd week back in town) there was a Back to School Open Mic night at a popular bar in Pohang, Live Story.  Open Mic nights are always fun because it's a chance for all the foreigners to show off their talents.  I'm amazed at how talented some of the folks that live here are. Great company and awesome live music Always a fun time! :) It was a great chance to see a lot of people I hadn't seen in over a month.

Lovely ladies of Pohang - Heather, Jenn, Christie, Anna, and me
Feels nice to be unpacked and getting back into a routine! :)
xoxo Emily

Thursday, September 1

Traveling with a Dog Into South Korea

This is more of an informative post for others who try to get their dog to Korea- because for me there was a lot of grey area, and a lot of the posts were very dated. This is my experience traveling with my dog August 25th, 2011.

I flew Delta, because the other airlines I was checking into wouldn't allow Sadie in cabin for such a long flight.  It was an extra $200 dollars flat fee for international pet travel for an animal in cabin.  She was considered my carry on, but I also brought a back pack, with no problems.

Booking the flight - I called Delta and made sure which planes I could have an animal in cabin. Some they don't allow.  I booked my flights then called back to inform them I'd be traveling with a pet, because there is a 2 pet in cabin limit, they need to know if you're traveling with one so they can make a note.

Weeks leading up to the flight - I called back to double AND triple check that they knew my dog would be traveling with me.  I was terrified that I'd check in ready to go back to South Korea, and there would be some problem.  

Documentation I needed for Delta:
This was a little frustrating. When I spoke with Delta on the phone they said they required no documentation, that I only needed to check with the country I was flying into, but when I flew out that was not the case.  The Delta clerk checked
  • Rabies shot from my Veterinarian
  • Health Certificate issued no more than 10 days before flight - check with your airline though, sometimes it has to be no more than 7 days from your flight date
  • I also went to the State veterinarian department to get a Small Animal Travel Certificate.  I think it was about $40 - I'm glad I had it - but it proved to be unnecessary.
Something else you may want to be aware of is your connecting airports.  I flew out of Lousiville, into Minneapolis St. Paul, then to Narita Airport in Tokyo Japan, then onto Busan, South Korea.  The Delta counter clerk seemed very concerned about me flying into Japan, because they have VERY strict animal import regulations.  I hadn't though anything of it though, because I wasn't leaving the airport.

I ended up having to email the Animal Quarantine Service Narita Branch
Animal Quarantine Service Narita Branch

The Quarantine Service was extremely helpful, responded quickly, and granted approval stating that if I was only transitting through the airport, there would be no problems.  I printed this to show Delta.

Connecting Airports: I had no problems with any of the airports, or airport staff even stopping me.  I thought maybe I'd have to check in every time, but nothing.  I even was able to take my dog out for a potty break before our long flight in Minneapolis; however you do have to leave the secure area, so make sure you have time to make it back through the security check.  Once on the plane, the flight attendants were surprised to realize there was a dog in the carrier. 

Arriving in Busan, South Korea
Finally on arrival into Busan, South Korea - I'd flown in and out of the airport before so I knew where the Animal Importation check in desk was - I got in at around 9:30pm on a Thursday night - and there was NO one working the desk. I asked about animal check in and was waived through.  So, I think I got lucky. I showed all my paperwork when I dropped my luggage off in Louisville, and that was the ONLY time.

Bottom Line: I got as much paperwork as I could - both from my vet, and the State Veterinarian.  I know every case and every country is different. My advice do the research and double and triple check with both the airlines and country of importation.

To tranquilize or not to tranquilize? I was initially against this because I'd read some posts that vets didn't know the effects of the tranquilizers on the animals at high altitude.  However, knowing my dog is a rescue and sometimes has a barking and anxiety problem, AND the vet recommended it, in the end I did tranquilize Sadie.  It was a small dose and I only gave her 1 dose the entire 20+ hours of travel BUT I was impressed! :) For both mine and her anxiety levels it was a lifesaver! She was quiet, relaxed, and honestly didn't even sleep - I thought it'd knock her out, but it just mellowed her out! I'll definitely tranquilize her on the way home, just to relieve her anxiety.

Safe travels to you and your pet! :) If you have any questions, I'm happy to help if I can!

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