Living alone for the first time is an often overlooked but important milestone for many young people. Up until this point, you’ve most likely shared a home or apartment with family members, roommates, or even a significant other. If you went to college, even if you were lucky enough to have a private dorm room, there were still plenty of people on your floor with their doors wide open looking to make new friends. But now you find yourself in a house or apartment all to yourself—no boyfriend or girlfriend, no siblings or parents, and no housemates. Now what?
It’s no secret that the people of Japan live longer and healthier lives than the citizens of many other developed nations, and there are reasons for this that go beyond genetics. If you’ve ever wanted to change your lifestyle or shed a few pounds, moving to Japan is the perfect opportunity to focus on self improvement. Since coming here, I have lost around 6.5 kilos in three months. The best part is, I’ve accomplished this without going on a traditional diet or severely restricting my calories. I’ve simply altered my lifestyle and resumed intermittent fasting. (I’ve included a link that explains what this is if you’re interested.) However, even if you aren’t living in the Land of the Rising Sun, you can still adopt and use these ten simple tricks to your benefit.
During one of two long weekends in September, I visited Hakuba (白馬) a popular ski resort area nestled in the Northern Alps of Nagano Prefecture. If the name sounds familiar, you may remember the town received international recognition for hosting several events during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Although famous for its pristine, snowy landscapes, Hakuba offers an undeniable charm even in the offseason.
Wow, I can’t believe you’re glancing through or even possibly reading my blog. Thank you! It means quite a lot to me, actually. My name is Margaret, as you probably inferred, and I work and live in Niigata City, Japan. I am employed by my local Board of Education through the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program. My home away from home is the capital of Niigata Prefecture (think the capital of a state in the U.S.) Niigata is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it’s only 2 hours away from Tokyo by bullet train and there are lots of places to shop, so I’m not complaining at all. It’s honestly great.
To answer this question, I’ll start with the most cliche quote that comes to mind.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” — Fred DeVito.
I know we’ve all heard this saying before. But hey, at least I’m not quoting Ghandi. In all seriousness though, these words have stuck with me and helped me get through a lot of tough times. Whenever a challenge seems impossible to overcome, I ground myself in this quote. Sure, it’s hard and downright frustrating when you’re gasping for breath on the treadmill sandwiched between a five-star athlete and an Instagram model or struggling to bench just the bar with no added weight at the gym, but if you don’t push your limits, you’ll never see progress. You won’t change. It’s true, to become stronger, we have to break down our muscles. It’s hard and painful, but that’s the point.