Thursday, September 12, 2013
This is my third school year in west Africa. It is also my last. I have enjoyed much about living here--the culture, the friends I've made, the cool travel I have been able to do--but part of the reason international teachers do what we do is the adventure, and I know that there are hundreds of interesting places out there that I would love to explore. So I've spoken to my head of school and let him know of my plans; he was wonderfully supportive, after all, he's been doing this for 30 odd years; he knows the feeling of wanderlust as well.
So this means a new resume, new cover letters, new on-line profile, and a job fair, in January, in Bangkok. I am trying to sort out how much weight I can realistically lose by then, assuming that I am very diligent and am able to navigate the Christmas season without backsliding. Going into a job fair at this weight would be a huge handicap, and although there is no way that I can be done with my weight loss by then, I feel like I can make a significant difference in these four months.
I hate to admit that weight is a factor in hiring decisions, but we all know it is, and I think in this type of job there is a particular bias. The expectation of most schools is that I will participate in some sort of "week without walls" or discovery trip. In the past I have gone on a ropes course, led a Habitat for Humanity build, jungle hiked, kayaked. I am certainly not the most athletic person on the planet, but for the most part, I can keep up. However, I am not sure that that is the impression you get looking at me. I think that given the choice between a teacher who is near a normal weight, and me, that the school would chose the thinner teacher. So I am going to give them a thinner teacher.
Four Months. 40 pounds? That would put me in a size 14/16, which at 5'9 is not thin, but is certainly less obviously fat than a size 20. I've started back on the 4 Hour Body, which is a modified low-carb diet that helped me lose 30 pounds a few years ago. I don't love low carb, but it's faster than a lot of other plans, and as long as there is a time limit on it, I think I can live with it until January.
I'm excited. Both by the prospect of a cool new job, and by the challenge of being hardcore about my eating for four months. I think I do better with a challenge. I did well on my month of being a vegan because it was one month; I am hoping that four months of low carb will be a similar sort of challenge.