Monthly Archives: December 2012

Why I’m not in Ohio

I had planned to visit Kyle (my fiance)  in Ohio for two weeks. I had spent months planning the trip. I was going to visit the Rock and Roll hall of fame, was going to try on wedding gowns and was going to eat pierogies for the first time ever. I was going to eat at Lolita (saving Lola for when Dad comes for the wedding).

I’m in Japan though. Japan is not Ohio. Japan is nothing like Ohio. Ear infections and flying don’t mix. So I’m here, and deciding what to do for the next few days. I plan on gapping it somewhere. Maybe a couple of nights as a backpacker in Kyoto, or take the train up to Tokyo and go to Disneyland?

We shall see…



Each year Kobe has a light event as a way of commemorating the great Hanshin earthquake of 1996. It is really beautiful.


(Sorry the picture isn’t the greatest. It was taken with my phone)

Surviving Winter in Japan

It’s that time of year; the time when Japan decides to freeze. The time of year when I must carefully plan how I sleep so I don’t wake up in the middle of the night shivering.

It’s winter. In the land of little insulation and no central heating.

During summer, I tend to forget just how cold winter is, and vice versa. Japan gives an extreme of both (for this kiwi anyway). To add insult to injury, the apartments here are freezing.

Here are a few of the ways I avoid freezing.

  1. My awesomly, amazing gas heater, bought for a bargain 5000 yen off a friend. It’s cheap to run, and tends to warm the room fast. 717
  2. My snuggie. Yes. I own a snuggie. A little social status was well worth sacrificing for the warmth, comfort and incredible style a snuggie brings. My fiance has one, too. Sadly, his one doesn’t involve a snazzy pink cat print.718
  3. These dinky heat pad things. You can stick them in your pocket, and stick them on yourself. It’s a little space aged, really. The future actually is now.
  4. Forget fashion and style. Forget it entirely. The ultimate goal is to resemble a pill bug. A pill bug in a turtleneck.
  5. Hot green tea from the vending machine (note the fact I’m wearing the stunning snuggie!).


There you have it. How I manage. Tune in later for surviving Japanese summer. I’m likely to write it in winter though, so I will be far too kind to summer.

Bringing fitness back

Firstly, forgive any typos, but I somehow decided painting my nails whilst writing this was the best idea ever. Not so sure I was right on that one.

So. I stepped on my scales the other week. Not so much my scales as the onsen scales. Nothing cusions the blow of finding out how big you truly are whilst standing in a public bathhouse. I went home and diligently plugged into the BMI chart. Obese.

I realised I can’t keep living like this. I want to have children in the not too distant future (but not too close, let’s not rush things), and to do that I must be healthy. Wobbly, jiggly obese me is not healthy.

So I decided to change. Here are the first things I did (pretty much a copy and paste from an email I sent my mother. Because I’m classy like that):

1. Swapped diet coke for green tea, except one small bottle on a Saturday.
2. Tried to eat generally healthy without obsessing, and learning to make substitutions to make things healthier (my tofu chocolate mousse was the hit of the thanksgiving party!)
3. Monitered my calories and exercise on my fitness pal. This has really helped, as I am more aware about which foods are calorie dense and which are light. I am doing this with a sensible amount of calories. I still make sure I have pleantly of protein, whole grain foods and good oils.
4. Snacked regularly to avoid hunger. I plan healthy snacks, with some protein (e.g. apple and a yoghurt or frozen berries and a small piece of parmesian cheese) so I don’t get hungry and eat junk in a reactionary way.
5. Exercised regularly. I have been doing a workout called T Tapp. It’s a short but intense workout, and I have seen huge results. I did it daily for 2 weeks, now I do it four times a week, and also dance, so exercise 5 days. I want to pick up Zumba, and maybe do 2X T Tapp, 2X Zumba and 1X dance.
6. Not deprived myself. If I want chocolate/ cake/ tempura/ steak/  Burger King (Yes, I did!) I eat it, I just adjust what I eat for the rest of the day, and don’t do it every day. Actually, with the closest glorious Burger King being 2 hours away I can’t do it every day. But one opens next week in my city. Drat.
7. Experimented with new, healthy recipes, and ways to make food healthier but still tasty (tofu mousse, new pasta sauces etc). I love cooking, and love challenging myself in the kitchen. I have  a weekly dinner club with friends that’s vegetarian, which is also fun.

Doing the above has enabled me to lose about 4 1/2 kg in the last month, and I feel really, really good. I am excited to exercise and push myself. And I am officially out of obese!

I have decided not to publish a before/ after shot until I get to 8 kg lost.