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Picking Up Anchor

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ooops, just sparkmailed someone else, LOL!

    Listen, the USVI always seem to need more teachers - and it's a gorgeous place in the Caribbean, culturally somewhere between the USA and West Africa. Loved my 25 years there. And close enough to the US mainland to fly back and forth for vacations (to see the guy.......)

    Here's the website re job vacancies in the public schools:
    1651 days ago
    It's hard to put a time limit on weight loss. Just do it One Day At A Time.
    1651 days ago
    You can do this!!!!

    And I'm excited for you - new places to go! Things to do!!! People to meet!!!

    LAST - when in January??? We're meeting DH's brother and wife in Thailand in January - maybe you and I could manage to meet up? Not sure of our dates, but DH and I plan to island hop til January when we arrive in Bangkok, hang out with BIL/SIL for their two days there, maybe meet them in Chiang Mai. We have no plans other than exploring Thailand for January or maybe into Feb, too.

    Whatcha think? Meet up? Would love to!
    1651 days ago
    What an adventure. You can do this!
    1651 days ago
    I think of traveling but then again I would like to be home in a few days so hats off to you.

    God bless & you can do it!

    1652 days ago
  • MUFFIY831
    How exciting! You can certainly accomplish your goals - and no matter where you are you can weave into interviews and meetings how active you are and how many adventures you've already been on and how many more you look forward to in Bangkok!
    1652 days ago
    I know you can lose the weight you want by Christmas. You are an amazing woman! Good luck!
    1652 days ago
    First I want to say wow look at you go! I'll be praying you can accomplish everything you set your mind to! Just remember our bodies do need carbs for energy and for our brains to function correctly so be mindful of that. You CAN and WILL do this girl!
    1652 days ago
    Wow! I really admire your fearlessness and sense of adventure. Isn't the weight bias so completely unfair? One way you could approach the interview is to discuss the adventures you've already participated them that despite their preconceived notions about your fitness, you really are athletic and capable.

    Best of luck on the low carb plan!
    1652 days ago
    Wow, sounds exciting! I wish you the best on the journey that is set before you.

    1652 days ago
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