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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • Tangent: I’ve shed fifty pounds (23 kgs) since April 2011

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on October 3rd, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

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    Hi Blog.  As a complete tangent for today, I just wanted to share what I consider to be very happy news.

    I’ve been dieting with guidance since April 1, 2011.  Back then, I tipped the scales at a massive 265.3 pounds (120.6 kgs).  It was the product of a steady upcline of maybe 1-2 kgs a year, slow enough over the decades to be barely noticeable save for magically-shrinking belts and the occasional sore back.  After all, life was too short (and stressful) to forgo good meals (the norm in Japan just about anytime, anywhere).

    But I had to draw a line somewhere.  People simply can’t keep gaining weight until they pop.  So from April 1, I went on a supervised diet of 1800 kcal per day (no more or else I won’t lose weight at a decent clip, no less because at my height and body type I will go into starvation mode, meaning my metabolism will drop and I won’t lose weight again).  A “decent clip” defined as about two pounds per week, I have manage to lose weight every week since then (except for a month I was travelling, and successfully managed to keep my net weight steady (as in, no gain) for that full month despite all the booze and culinary temptations of eating out).

    So over time this has been a mathematical process.  And as of this week I’ve reached one milestone I’m very proud of.

    I’ve shed a total of fifty pounds (22.7 kgs).  Actually, as of this morning I weighed in at 213.4 lbs (96.8 kgs), so more than that.

    It’s uncanny how much better I feel.  I can get out of cars without feeling extra gravity.  I can sleep on my stomach (my preferred pose, thanks to months of outdoor Boy Scout camping in high altitudes) without getting a sore back.  I psychologically feel more empowered and in control of my life.  And I look significantly different:

    BEFORE:  April 2011:

    AFTER: September 2011:

    I’m not going to say how I did it (since people will think I’m promoting a weight loss program), but the crux is that calorie counting with the assistance of a nutritionist worked for me.

    I’m not done yet.  I still want to drop down to 190 lbs (86.4 kgs), meaning I still have more than 20 lbs to go (my high school weight was 183 lbs, but that’s overambitious), and then comes the unenviable task of KEEPING the weight off, of course.

    But we’ll worry about that a bit later.  I’m just happy to know that someone with my decades of (former) dietary practices of meat and potatoes (and despite decent amounts of exercise) can reform and change himself to this degree.  It’s been one big shedding, both physically and mentally, and I think it shows.  I feel a lot happier about myself and life in general.  Arudou Debito

    18 Responses to “Tangent: I’ve shed fifty pounds (23 kgs) since April 2011”

    1. Al Says:

      Awesome. I’ve always wondered how people measure calories though.

    2. Maxabillion Slartibartfast Says:

      Nice going, Debito.

    3. Ryan the fifth Says:


      I know how hard calorie counting can be. It also helps to have an encouraging voice. Great Work.

    4. beneaththewheel Says:

      Good work!

      I’ve lost 10 kilos so far this year, and I have a goal of losing 5 more by the new year. It’s hard work, but it makes me feel much better physically and mentally. Lethargy is the enemy.

    5. John Harris Says:


      The new you is a sex god!

      — Er… thanks!

    6. James Forsyth Says:

      Hi Arudou,

      It’s good to read some good news! Of course the face is the first place most people lose weight.

      During my stay in Japan earlier this year I ate at Denny’s quite a lot. They list the calories on their menu, as well as the price. Their avocado hamburger was cheap, tasty and only about 700 calories.

      beneaththewheel (above) has also done very well!

      James Forsyth

      — “Only about 700 calories”?! That’s a lot! One sandwich later and you can eat nothing else that meal (i.e., no sides), and that’s if you just want to maintain your weight if you’re a larger-build guy!

      I only eat at places where they list the calories. That should be encouraged with our business.

    7. jim Says:

      good job, i hope you write a book on it because i really need to lose some pounds myself and it would be great if you could share your secrets to success

    8. Kane Says:


      — Argh! It’s already started! :)

    9. Charuzu Says:


      What was the diet?

      Simple caloric restriction + exercise?

      A high ketogenic diet?

      — No, not much exercise (I gain weight if I do, because I get ravenous and eat more). Just watched the calories for a main course and filled up on vegetables (and had a nutritionist help me with the balance). And ate five times a day at around 300 kcal per time, to keep my blood sugar constant. But your results may vary, so consult a dietician. There’s too much noise in the equation to find one definitive plan that works for everyone!

    10. chantal moulin Says:

      I feel very happy for you. But let us know how you did it without been exhausted.
      I know a new method as well I’d like you to write about: see what the french painter Guillaume Bottazzi is doing on the street wall of Miyanomori Museum in Sapporo. Night and day, alone, even under the storm, he creates a huge wall painting as a performance. I’m afraid he’s going to loose weight untill he’s finished (I joke). You can also see his solo show in the Museum : oils on canvas, drawings. He also talk about art with school children coming to see his exhibition.
      Thanks to have a look at the museum website and share this information.

    11. Nancy Bailey Says:

      I had to follow your link in your newsletter to see your amazing accomplishment. Great work! You do look like your high school self :-).

      Best wishes.

    12. boon Says:

      Good for you. I was diagnosed with high sugar, and it scared me so I been doing the same. No more sodas (the caf and sugar got me through the morning) but I just drink coffee black now. Your right, it does make a difference in your life. Its usually how these things work, what your body/mind is telling you is usually whats good for you (that voice in your head, you got to listen to it sometimes) and just go for it.

      — Unfortunately, that voice in my head kept telling me to eat those potato chips or enjoy that second onigiri. That’s why I needed guidance to get my weight down.

    13. ML Says:

      I was about 260 pounds in 2005,but i am 143 pounds now.I was simply counting the calories and thats it.
      By now I am shifting my goal from weight loosing to six packs!!
      I am doing so called Paleo Diet way,but its kinda costy in Japan.

    14. bob Says:

      Congratulations Debito! Now let’s get to work on shedding that ponytail..

    15. snowman Says:

      well done sir! Here’s to the next 20lbs!

    16. mike mullins Says:

      Look’en good man! And I like your ponytail!!
      Ganbaresugi naide ne!

    17. Troy Says:


      I lost 50 lbs in 2004 but put them all back 2006-2008 due to being an idiot. I’ve lost ~30 lbs this year doing something similar to you, eating less and exercising a little.

      Looking back on 2004, I think I lost the weight too fast (2lbs/week). Losing weight need not be a race, you need to do it for your health, and slowing the pace down towards the end is good for your health I think.

      The 2lb/week pace is just about right to get the momentum going, but now that you are in the end game you can think about maintenance and shifting to a more gradual pace. Time to start developing the habits you will need to maintain your health!

      They say losing weight is just a matter of muscle control — controlling your arm muscles from stuffing your face with food!

      Don’t be afraid of adding more exercise now. To really get the full benefits of being lighter you need to get your muscles working again. Just walking more adds a lot of core strength that doubles the health benefit of losing the weight.

      Good luck getting to 33.5 inches! That’s the goal you should be shooting for, not weight per se.

    18. Luke Says:

      Yo Arudou San, have you read Good Calories Bad Calories, or Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes? My family and I have all been able to slim down and improve our heart disease risk factors using the knowledge we learned about fat metabolism in these and other books(The Primal Blueprint also comes to mind). The basic point is that humans evolved eating meat, carbohydrates are unhealthy and fattening, and that calories counting is a joke. I highly recommend it Arudou San~~

      — Thanks. I still lost 50 pounds (now closing in on 55) by counting calories, so I’ll swear by it. It’s hard to argue against results like that.

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