Hello my name is Ryan and I’m a big guy! Especially in Japan.
But I wasn’t always.
I’m a proud Canadian and grew up in Edmonton and Vancouver.
I first came to Japan back in 1997 and I still wasn’t a big guy. I was tall but not big. I spent a year in Japan working, drinking and losing more weight.
I came back to Canada looking slimmer, less hair and with my future wife.
It was until I was about 25 that the curse hit me. It’s not that I eat more than regular people. Sure I had a desk job and I drank too much cola but I also put the blame on what I call the “Solberg Curse”. A lot of us Solbergs are thin when we are younger and gain weight in our adulthood. I think it’s something to do with genetics and a slow metabolism.
The handsome man above is my father. I’m proud to say that these days he has been losing weight too. He’s part of my inspiration.
I knew I was big but I still felt slim. I was still active and never seemed to run out of energy. This was until I moved back to Japan in 2005. First of all, Japanese tend to be naturally small people. Height and waistline. But a lot of Japanese have the idea that big equals eats too much. That isn’t always true. My wife usually finishes her dinner, finishes my dinner and then grabs snacks and she is a toothpick! Obviously if my wife finishes my dinner, I’m not a big eater. Sure I can eat a lot of my favorite foods but who can’t? I’ve even had health/blood checks done in Japan and the doctor was laughing because he said that I’m in better health than an average Japanese man. He found it shocking with my size.
Another thing I don’t like is that Japanese think it’s OK to talk about someone’s weight to their face. They’ll freely say “WOW, You’re a big guy! You must eat too much.” or I even had someone say “Poor motorcycle for carrying so much weight!”. This sentences in Canada would get you knocked out. The worst part is they don’t think comments about weight would hurt your feelings. I often get angry about this especially to my Father-In-Law who comments that I eat too much junk food and then offers me chips or ice cream. I always refuse him. It really pisses me off.
I’m always struggling with weight and I’ve tried different diets and exercises. This includes 90 day fruits/vegetables only diet, walking daily for years, jogging, Hiking, Billy’s Bootcamp, etc… Nothing really worked. Some things would get results but wouldn’t sustain, others would get little to no results except for a sore body.
And then a work friend started blogging about his health and fitness program he does including #YAYOG. I thought I would give it a try. I never expected quick and continuous results. It is very expiring to see that even a 100gram loss in a day. It makes you want to continue. The first week I was very sore but by mid second week I began to enjoy the exercises. I even started exercising twice a day and on my rest days.
Recently I’ve taken up hiking and I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m starting out by hiking up Mt. Kanuki almost every weekend but my goal is to do the whole Numazu Alps before the end of summer. At first it was tough and I was sore afterwards but now I like being up there and I’m not sore afterwards. I’ve even purchase trekking boots, gloves and poles.
I’ve also changed what I eat. I count calories constantly. People think I’m starving myself but that’s far from the truth.
Here’s my usually daily food intake before my change.
- Breakfast: Canned M Coffee. Occasional bowl of granola.
- Lunch: Some kind of sandwich or パン(Bread Product) that is high in calories. Usually 400kcal or more. Juice box.
- Snack: A desert style パン or some kind of nuts. Lemon Tea.
- Dinner: Whatever Kumi cooks. Zero Cola.
Since my change.
- Breakfast: Canned Coffee. Occasional bowl of All Bran to keep me regular.
- Lunch: Soup with Crackers. Zero Cola that cuts dietary fat absorption. Less than 200kcal total.
- Snack: Small container of Air Popped Popcorn.
- Dinner: Whatever Kumi cooks. Zero Cola that cuts dietary fat absorption.
So as you can see, I eat about the same amount but with a lot less calories. I rarely feel hungry.
You can read more about my exercises and eating in my blogs.
So I don’t plan to stop doing this change and my goal weight is not set. I just want to be fit! Nothing more, nothing less. I do this for my daughter.
Half children have a difficult time in Japan when in school. They get bullied out of jealousy or ignorance. As you can see above, even though my daughter is half, she really doesn’t look half. That will make it even more difficult for her. So I really don’t want to disadvantage her even more by have a デブ(Fat) father. This is also why I want her to do some kind of Martial Art. So she can protect herself if needed. But I don’t want to be one of those daddies who instructs but not participates.
I hope by mid 2015, I will belong to a Martial Arts gym and be tapping out regularly!