Friday, November 16, 2012

Falling back into old bad habits

I've figured out why I am so displeased with myself. The Japan experience resembles my old life when I was a research assistant in Taiwan just after I finished my BSc. I was really ambitious at the time and I thought going to the government's top research institute would get me somewhere. I was sitting long hours in front of the computer every day, stressing myself out unnecessarily, eating unhealthily, not exercising, snacking on yummy sweet snacks that were too readily available at all the convenient stores at every corner in the city.

Now I'm at Japan's government research institute, whose buildings look extremely similar to Taiwan's research institute buildings. With the availability of yummy unhealthy junk food around every corner, I'm again choosing to snack on candies and chocolates instead of granola bars and carrots like I've been doing in Canada. Ever since I started yoga, I've been cutting way down on meat consumption and ramping up veggie consumption; but here in Japan the food selection is heavily meat-based. In Vancouver, despite me being the lazy girl who lived on sushi, pizza, and take out food (still lots of low meat high veggie options), my yoga buddies would hold parties which served quinoa salads, hummus, super nutritious salads and other veggie delights (ie. good influence on me), here my colleagues are heavy ramen (high in calories) and deep fried pork chop eaters (ie. eating the mainstream diet of Japan and many of today's modern societies). As the push-over girl, I conformed to the mainstream life style here and have thrown the carefully built-up habit of regular exercises and healthy diet out the window. So that's why I'm upset with myself.

The OECD Better Life Index scores Japan's health at 5 and work-life balance at 3, while Canada's Health scores a whopping 9 for health and a work-life balance score of 6.5. Sweden gets a health score of 8.5 and a work-life balance score of 8.2 (see why I chose to get a job there?) . Taiwan is not an OECD country but probably scores similar to Japan in these two areas. When I returned to Canada to pursue grad school, I vowed to not place myself in the same position again (I really didn't take good care of myself at the time), and here I am back to a super similar situation where I had been nearly 10 years ago. Life can be quite unexpected sometimes.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so obsessed about maintaining a pristine diet and exercise schedule, but this time around I should really try to eat better and take better care of myself. I need to try to take better control of my life rather than let my job position decide 100% of my life style. I also need to kill my college kid eating habit, which is quite difficult because bad food are just so conveniently available EVERYWHERE, but it's necessary for my health to snap out of it.


  1. i think you should get back to your regular yoga routine.. that might control your urge to have the junk food :)

    1. I'll try to get back into it once I'm back Europe. I hope my jetlag doesn't suck too bad and I'm so happy I'll be able to stay at a somewhat permanent residence for awhile.