Expat Fat

Yes, it actually has a name. I'm a runner and usually in decent shape and don't have too much of a negative body image most of the time. However there's this really awesome phenomenon that occurs when you move abroad. Weight gain. Otherwise known as expat fat. Surrounded by all kinds of new strange foods, you want to try them all. You can't read labels so you have no idea what kind of junk and calories you're shoveling in. And that's what happened to me ... both times. Because I don't learn. Apparently.

Compounding factors this time include a back injury last fall and a harsh winter. I can take rain, snow and subzero temperatures but I loathe running in wind. And it's bracing as fuck here. The word for wind in Japanese is kaze. You know, as in kamikaze. Anyway, these are excuses I use to explain why it took months to get in any kind of running routine. Oh wait, I still don't have one. But now I'm trying. I even purchased a body fat scale in hopes that watching my stats will help. It has to mean something that I'm resorting to a blog post on it, right? ... RIGHT??

I also had the idiot notion that Japanese people aren't fat because they eat heaps of rice. News flash, rice is high in calories. Gluten or not, it went right on my ass. As did all the alcohol I've consumed trying to handle the stress and confusion of living here. Considering it's a nation of alcoholics, I have no idea how they're so thin. Well, maybe because there are government issued guidelines for waistlines in Japan. Huh.

It's time to fast again to jump-start my system. It always reminds me I don't need to eat quite so readily. I'd be happy to lose just five more pounds. Seven and I'd be in a rabid with joy.

Image via deviantart.com.


  1. Can't believe idiotic article from Global Post about how it's supposedly against the law to be fat in Japan. Full of half truths and possibly based on some shoddy Google translated version of the Japanese news articles from those years.
    There are government guidelines for weight but they are just guidelines. Some companies and government offices took it upon themselves to stick to those guidelines and decided to withhold the sacred yearly bonuses for those employees who were deemed too fat. So the employees, not wanting to miss that big chunk of money, went on diets and hit the gyms.
    But of course that's not shocking enough for some freelance wannabe journos, so they came up with a more exciting story, because hey, it's Japan. They're weird like shit already.
    Sorry, I had to vent.

    1. Church, yo. And don't be sorry. My bad, for using the word regulation instead of guideline ... hussy that I am. I changed the wording and link to the (hopefully more accurate) NY Times article on the subject. Cheers to you!