In Peace Corps Morocco

A weighted issue

For the first time in my life I have had to deal with the issue of my weight. Yes, I can feel you rolling your eyes at me now. Yes I get it, I know I am thin, but it just that I’m not as thin as I once was. The way I feel comfortable.

Most people may not even notice my weight issue and Moroccans think big is beautiful. So this issue is just within me and believe me, it has been a tough one.

I never gained the freshmen 15 in college. But I did gain the Peace Corps 15. I was told right away that male volunteers in Morocco lose weight while female ones gain. This is very true. Women gain because of the huge spike in carbs we are eating. White pasta, white bread, white potatoes. You name it, white, white, white. Men lose weight because of the decrease in meat we are eating. I’ve seen many of my male friends slim down and heard many of my female friends complain about their weight. Including me.

My peak gain here was 15 pounds. And I very slowly have been coming down from that since I first figured out about the gain last March. I was out of town at a fellow volunteers house and was presented with a scale for the first time. Until then I hadn’t really thought about my weight. I was jogging regularly and eating whatever. But when I stepped on it and realize how my body had changed, in numbers, I was shocked. Never in my life had I experienced such a quick gain and never did I have to worry about this.

Since that time I’ve gone through many crises when I see myself in a full length mirror every so often.

My trip to Paris jump started my “diet”. I don’t like the word diet because I believe there should be no diets, just all the time good eating. But in Paris I was exposed to different foods than I am here and was able to add variety to what I was eating. And I was eating things I knew were good for me. Plus I was walking a ton, being a lot more active than I am here in Morocco.

Ever since I’ve been here, aside from a few very lazy points, I’ve tried to do some form of working out. I’ve been doing it since I was 17 so it’s pretty much a huge part of my life. My options for working out here are somewhat limited. There is no gym I can go to and jogging outside makes me uncomfortable as people stare at me.

So most of my working out has been inside my home. I am able to get lots of workout DVDs from the Internet so I have tried a whole bunch of different programs. P90X, P90, Zumba, Cardio Bellydance, I’ve tried them all. For the past several months I have been very into yoga, which has truly helped my body and my mind.

So the update is that since I left Paris and I realize I had lost two pounds I am going to do everything I can to keep it off and to keep going. I still have seven more to go to be completely comfortable. And I know weight is just a number but I am talking about my overall feeling. The extra pounds feel terribly uncomfortable on me.

I am actually trying to lose the weight to also fit into some shorts that once fit me when I first brought them here to Morocco. I want to wear them on my vacation to the UK this July and I really need to fit into them because I don’t have much else to wear there!

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