China. Land of veggies and lean meats. Land of small people. Land of stores in which they do NOT carry my size.
This is the land I am moving to next year. My husband and I are going to teach English through an organization. We are hoping to leave in March, if we are able to afford the trip by December. If we don’t get the funds by then, we will be leaving next September. While I am insanely excited about the opportunity, I also have many fears. One big one has to do with my weight. Being a bigger girl here in the states is embarrassing enough; I can’t shop at my favorite stores anymore. Sometimes when I stand up, I take plastic chairs with me. When I stand straight, my arms stick out a bit because of the flesh under them. I even own a few maternity shirts because they “look cuter”. Only I got called out on it one time when someone said “That is such a cute shirt!” And then someone else said “Wait, isn’t that from the maternity section at Target? DO YOU HAVE NEWS?!”
No, I didn’t have news. I just couldn’t find an empire waisted shirt that fit me correctly with my new found roundness.
Anyway, we’re shipping off to China. And there are positives and negatives to this. One positive is that I will almost SURELY lose weight. We will be walking a lot, biking, and eating very healthy. We will nto be watching TV. We will not be eating popcorn and ice cream all the time. But with this comes my many fears.
Clothes. If I lose weight, I’ll need new clothes. But its extremely hard to find plus sized clothes in China. And I only have so much space to pack my “hopeful” smaller sizes in.
Stares. From what I hear, we’ll be stared at. Especially if we are in a smaller town or city. And with my husband having ice blue eyes and a shaved head, we’ll get more looks. And with me looking like a female version of the Pillsbury dough boy, we’ll get even more.
I have no energy. Will I be strong enough to do all the things we want to do? We want to travel, climb mountains. Right now I am NOT in shape for that.
So now what? I have to lose weight before leaving. My goal is to lose 30 lbs in 5 months. Should be perfectly doable. That will get me back into the 100’s. Eventually, my goal is 145 lbs. I am 5’7, and it’s within my healthy weight range. In high school, during my sophomore year, I weighed 145 and loved it; my clothes fit perfect, I could run an 8 minute mile, and I could play tennis for 2 hours without feeling ready to pass out. I would really like to reach that weight by the time I return from China, but I don’t really know how to set goals for when I’m there. I may not have a scale, and I have no idea what food will be available.
Why China? Good question. My husband is halfway through his bachelors degree. I have a little over a year under my belt. We both eventually want to continue school, but neither of us really know what we want to do with our lives. Do I want to be a stay at home mom? A writer? A lawyer? An editor? Does he want to teach, or work in a museum? We decided it was time to take ourselves out of our comfort zones and away from our “things”, and the stress of life. When else will we have the chance to move across the world? We have no debt, no house, no kids. It’s time for an adventure!
You may be wondering how we can do this without a college degree. I thought the same thing myself! Actually, China has a huge need for English teachers. Many provinces require at least a bachelors degree in order to teach in public schools. In the western or northern parts of the country however, this isn’t always the case. Private language schools will hire high school graduates with a good grasp of the English language. We will be taking a training program online to teach us techniques for teaching English as a foreign language. We’re not sure where we’ll be placed, it all depends on what jobs are available, and when we get our paperwork and money all in.
So, basically… I’m asking for bunches of prayers on that front, as well as for endurance in weight loss. I need to get healthy. I need to get fit. I need to WANT it enough to just do it.