Going to Japan, and need to lose weight. Please help?
Hi... I'm new here, and as the title of this thread might suggest, I could really use some advice and help.
I'm supposed to go to Japan in about six months in a study abroad program. I'm already going to stand out because I'm quite tall and, you know, a white girl with a terrible, terrible accent in Japanese. I don't want to also stand out because I'm extremely overweight.
I would guess that I'm about 250 pounds. I say guess because I've been too embarrassed to actually get on a scale. I've never had the motivation to try to lose weight and I've never believed I could.
With me, if I have a good reason to do something and I believe I can, I can do whatever it takes to get it done. I finally have the motivation in the form of another person that I will be seeing when I go. I want him to see a beautiful, self-confident girl instead of what I am now, which is decidedly neither.
Is there any advice anybody could give me on how to lose weight as fast as possible? I realize it's not a good idea to do so too fast, and I know if it's done quickly it won't stay off, but I just want to get myself to a point where I can feel confident when I go. And after that I'll slow down, and continue, because I can't imagine not wanting to keep a body I would be comfortable at that time.
I could dole out all sorts of advice that would get you to lose 'weight' as fast as possible. None of it would be healthy, nor would it actually stick permanently. In fact, all of the ways I can imagine to drop weight super fast would act like a rubberband... Stressful to the point where when it snaps back it practically stings. Also, I said 'weight' not just excess fat. Losing too fast can actually mean dropping a ton of muscle, too. And that's not good at all. Muscle is healthy to have, and actually burns more calories resting. We want to lose excess fat while retaining & building as much muscle as we can.
You can, however, choose to change a few habits that will stick with you while you're studying abroad. Habits that will help you drop some weight before and continue to drop weight at a healthy rate if you keep at it.
Watch your food intake. Does calorie counting appeal to you? Or counting carbs? Maybe points? Something down on paper (or the computer) that you can be mindful of what you eat. Ever vigilant.
Move more. Make time for an extra walk around your neighborhood. Do you belong to a gym? Make time to actually go to the gym and use a machine you like. Do you have an outdoor activity you enjoy? Do it more often.
Change your environment. What around your house or space is "keeping you fat"? Are there foods around that you'll graze on? Cookies on the counter? Chips laying around waiting to be eaten? Get rid of the things that you don't need to eat on a daily basis. Treats in moderation are normal and part of living, but tempting yourself with them daily is just asking for trouble.
Water? Do you drink it? Start now. Fruits and veggies? Do you use them for snacks and as parts of meals? Start now.
If you're feeling up to the challenge, change a few things in this first week. Then choose a couple more things to change in the upcoming weeks.
I don't usually suggest starting full tilt for most people, because it's easy to get overwhelmed and "burnt out".
Start with things you know you can do, and then build. You'll be healthier by the time you study abroad and you can take the new habits you'll have been working on wherever you go.
I'd go ahead and start implementing the good advice Lovely gave right this second. Like seriously, anything you can do that's conducive to weight loss right now, do it. If that means getting rid of a binge trigger food, going and buying healthier food, doing a few pushups right now, whatever.
Then I would take a look around 3FC for ideas. What's worked for other people? What plans are available?
3FC has been invaluable to me over the past year. If you're willing to take the time to look around, and implement some of the suggestions and stick to them, it can be a great resource for you, too.
ETA: I would also recommend that you go ahead and get a scale as soon as you can. I didn't have one when I first started, but after connecting with 3FC last May, within 3 days or so, I went ahead and bought one. I'm glad I did! It turns out I was 27 pounds heavier than I'd thought! It was a tough pill to swallow, but knowing where I truly was also allowed me to monitor my progress in a way that gave me a lot of satisfaction as the numbers got smaller and smaller. Now I'm able to look back and know almost exactly where I started from, and it's a really good feeling seeing my progress.
But definitely, right now, I'd search around 3FC, and anything that you think sounds reasonable to you, make a note of it/cut-paste it/write it down/whatever, and from there, develop your personal plan. You can do it!
Last edited by fivestone : 05-19-2011 at 05:11 AM.
I'm just starting out myself, and I know how overwhelming it is. So far 3fc is a great source of motivation and advice. Often I just read other people's threads for inspiration.
Also, I'm a North American living in Asia, and I would say that being thinner would make things a little easier especially as far as clothing is concerned. I can't buy shoes or pants my size in any normal store here - and the few (3 here!) "big size" stores are expensive and slim pickings. Now, I will say that the time I spent in Japan I noticed how respectful everyone was of difference and I noticed that I was never stared at. It was a refreshing break from where I'm living now. Japan has a reputation of being xenophobic, but that was not my experience as five foot nine, 230 pound white girl who spoke from a phrase book. I have not encountered a more respectful culture.
Not that it can't be a motivator, because losing weight will make travel more enjoyable in more ways than helping you blend in. All the best to you, and happy travels!
I understand your motives for wanting to lose weight as quickly as possible. It takes time to break habits, but here are a few things you can do starting NOW:
1.) Don't drink a single calorie. From now on you will drink only water, coffee, and tea. Caffeinated drinks can be dehydrated so make sure there's a lot of water to counter it if you're a heavy coffee/tea drinker.
2.) Don't let yourself shower or bathe unless you have just exercised. This sounds extreme but feeling greasy will be a good motivation to get moving! Exercise can be anything - going for a walk, jogging in place, lifting weights, whatever. Build it into your schedule and make it a habit. Stronger bodies look and feel better. Practice squatting, you'll need it once you get here for older bathrooms!
3.) Only eat at meal times. No snacks. You can change this up later if you hate it, but it's a good way to control your intake - a lot of people mindlessly eat between meals/while dinner is cooking and take in a lot of extra calories that way.
4.) Get selfish and put your beauty rest first. More sleep = more alert and less likely to eat. I know if I haven't been sleeping enough, I tend to overeat.
5.) Pick one daily meal and consciously reduce its size. This will create a guaranteed calorie deficit and is a great starting point for eventually compacting your portion sizes and changing up food.
I wish you all the best! If you have any questions about Japan, please feel free to ask me - I've been living here for almost 3 years and have done my fair share of partying and exploring in most of the major cities.
Pick a diet program you can follow. There are many and it is OK to experiment until you find one that fits. For me I found calorie counting works best. That and exercise, start out by walking and increase the lengths of your walks. These are two programs that will not cost you a cent. Get a pair of good walking shoes. You have to buy groceries anyway, get health, low calorie foods. Stay away from fried foods and forget about sugary deserts. Lean meats, chicken or fish and fresh vegies and fruits are the way to cut calories get a good calorie counting book or you can do it online.
All the ladies here are giving really great advice. I would say weight yourself ASAP - it is time to face the music. The number might get you down but as most of us on 3fc have found, the number on the scale is arbitrary compared to all the other improvements we have experienced with healthy lifestyle changes.
Six months may not be enough to knock your weight down to an "ideal" number, but it will be enough for you to figure out an exercise and diet regime that works for you, and to feel your body tighten up, and to see your face slim down a little.
I grew up in Okinawa, and I can tell you that foreigners tend to stick out no matter what - white, black, or Filipino (like me). Size is just another variable. The Japanese/Okinawan people were nice about all of them, bad accent and all (even though I think mine is pretty good) ^_^
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