Since coming back to America in August, I’ve gained 15 pounds.
And I am just not down with that.
When people move to Japan, or abroad general, quite a few of them either lose weight or gain weight. For me, I lost 90 pounds within the first three years of living in Japan. I ended up gaining about 20 of it back before I left, but still, that’s pretty good. Truth be told, a lot of it happened without me even trying. I would notice my pants becoming loose on me, and I would be happy but also frustrated because now I had to buy new pants.
I mean, it made sense. I can’t really say my diet was terribly healthy. It turns out, Japanese people love meat and fried food and, surprisingly, lots of bread. And it just so happens that I love meat and fried food and lots of bread. Japan and I get each other.
The key difference, I’m sure, is the smaller portions. I remember my first time coming back to America after one year in Japan and feeling overwhelmed by the mammoth portion sizes in restaurants. How could one person eat all that? It’s impossible. They’d explode.
But I know that can’t be the only reason I lost weight. After all, Japanese people do like to get together for parties(they will use any excuse to have a party. I am perfectly ok with this), and they eat. A lot. I had some massive meals in Japan, in restaurants that seem geared to get you to order as much as you can.
And these meals are usually accompanied by alcohol, which, I am told, is not good for my metabolism. Or anything.
But the main reason I lost so much weight, I’m sure, is because I walked. Everywhere.
When I arrived in Japan, I made the decision to not get a car, since I didn’t think I needed one. I lived in a small-ish city, and everything was within walking distance. My apartment was close to the station and to most of my schools, the streets were clean and there was a severe lack of monsters, so why not walk everywhere?
I walked to my schools, I walked to work, I walked to get groceries, I walked to the restaurants, I walked to my friends apartments, I walked to the bars, I would take the train to Sapporo and then walk around there. I walked.
I just…I just walked.
You know those 10,000 steps you’re supposed to try to walk each day? I set my phone to keep track of my steps and found out I walked way more than that on a daily basis, just doing what I did. I got so used to walking everywhere, my idea of what was ‘walking distance’ and what wasn’t depended on the length of time it took for me to get there. 30 minutes? Pssh, easy. One hour? Tough, but doable. Depends on how early I need to get up to get there. Two hours? Eh, I didn’t really want to go there anyway.
After a certain point, I did start working out and jogging, and that definitely helped, but I’m positive most of the weight came off because I was, like, moving around, and stuff.
And that has become even more obvious now that I’m back in the US. Because even though I did things yesterday, according to my phone I took a grand total of 3000 steps. You never really realize how much or how little you move until you’re phone tells you what a lazy ass you are.
So, I’ve put on weight since being back in America. Part of it is due to the delicious, delicious American food(turns out, one person CAN eat it all, as long as they believe in themselves).
But a large portion is due to the fact that I am, according to my phone, ‘sedentary’.
And, you know, I’m mad at myself. I live in Colorado, one of the healthiest states in America! I can’t be ‘sedentary’ in a state that prides itself on being so active. I’m pretty sure that means I’ll lose my Colorado card, and get kicked out to Wyoming, or something. And neither I, nor the people of Wyoming, would want that.
I’ve started making more of an effort to work out and go on long walks, as well as eat better and tell myself that just because I can eat the whole chimichanga doesn’t mean I should.
So, I’m going to try to move around more and work in those elusive 10,000 steps every day. Because, quite frankly, I hate having to buy new pants.