For most of us non-Japanese women, moving to Japan and transitioning to life here can be a huge weight. So what to do when you find your body suddenly changing without warning? How do you cope in a foreign country when you become foreign to yourself? And where the heck can a gal find brown bread in this country?
Know that change is gonna come
So you’ve acquired an unwelcome muffin top. Or your skin has exploded. Or your hair has taken on an electrocuted frizz and… you. Loathe. It.
Guess what? It’s completely okay to feel that way but just remember that it is expected. It’s what our bodies do. They change. Especially when our lives have taken a 360-degree turn. I came to Japan on JET (the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program) where I was randomly placed in the most inaka (countryside) location ever.
I mean, this place didn’t even have a 7-Eleven.
Which meant the health foods I was used to back home—whole wheat crackers, brown bread, quinoa, nuts and seeds to name a beautiful few—were as alien to my environment as I was myself. Plus, the nearest sports facility was an hour’s drive away and I felt uncomfortable exercising outside because everyone stared.
Spot the 7-Eleven.
Accept that living in an unaccustomed place, breathing in different air, eating exotic foods, working an unfamiliar job and engaging in new daily habits instinctively have a big impact on our health.
See your body for what it is: a miracle in motion
Turns out Japanese food isn’t as healthy as I had expected. During my first months here, eating the school lunch (white rice and white bread) every day, dining out and eating over at my …continue reading