There's a decent possibility that I, who recently ate an entire pizza in one sitting, am not great with the self control. Possibly.
So imagine my (not even a little bit of) surprise when I hopped on the scale yesterday and found out I now weigh almost 160 lbs...after four months of eating out for every.single.meal. Seriously, I can count on one hand the number of times I cooked for myself. And you know what? There are zero fucks to be given about all this new weight. I could tell three months ago that there was some pudge that didn't used to be there, and there were so many ways to prevent it from getting bigger. I could have eaten better, exercised more, stopped drinking four nights a week. Being healthy is incredibly easy on paper, even in a foreign country.
But here's the thing, doing the exact opposite of all those things is part of what made my semester so amazing. Those beers were shared with some of the best and most interesting people I've ever met. Turkish food is delicious and cheap, I'm not about to trade that for eating spinach and lettuce every meal instead of durum and rice that I'm fairly sure was cooked with a stick of butter in every pot. Seriously, that rice was fucking amazing. I'd go back in a second just to eat some of that rice again. There was lamacun, menemen, dolma made with peppers, and fuck I have to stop; I'm so hungry right now. My point is, there's no way a flat stomach is more important that fully enjoying cuisine, something that makes up a huge part of a country's culture. And as for exercising, I lived at the bottom of a hill and had to make my way up that sucker every.single.day. It was horrifying, but it gave me calves of steel while the rest of me got squishy, and it gave me some modicum of cardio, which is all I wanted.
Turkey, and the people in it, gave me a confidence in my body I didn't have before (which is saying something because I was pretty damn confident with my body). I think something changed in my brain when I made the conscious decision to be okay with all the weight I was gaining, truly okay with it. I've been so self-assured because I was always either in decent shape or fucking amazing shape. It's another thing entirely now that I can feel confident in myself with my little pudge of a belly and arms that don't have visible muscle tone. And in those moments that all of us have, when insecurity pulls a tricksy little hobbit move and sneaks its way in, I was lucky enough to have a friend by my side who answered my question of "do you mind that I've gained weight?" in the best possible way: he laughed at me. Friends who can laugh at you in your silly moments come highly recommended in my book.
Eventually I'll start working out again. I'll lift weights, go for long runs, eat healthy meals. I'll lose this belly (and these fantastic boobs that came with it) and tighten up my ass. My thighs, well they'll always be big, but they'll be big with some solid muscle. I'll play rugby and get some hella nice arm definition. And after all that I'll eventually gain the weight back. Either way I know I'm beautiful, and more importantly, I know it makes no impact on how good (or sometimes shitty depending on the day) of a person I am. So suck on that and enjoy this picture of me destroying a durum :)