My One Way Ticket on the Struggle Bus

An odd name for a post, I know, but how many of you have felt like that before? You left for your journey(whatever it may be) with an amazing destination in mind, and instead you somehow accidentally purchased a ticket for the struggle bus.  A ticket that offers no refunds and you must complete the journey through to the end.

This might be a little over dramatic (I am a theatre girl, after all), but seriously, this is how I’ve been feeling about life lately.  Like I’m on this bus and I somehow can’t find that button that indicates to the driver that I want to get off at the next stop.

Everything with life just seems like a crazy whirlwind and it’s knocked me so far off track with things that there’s a downward spiral happening that I am not sure how to slow down.  I’m not sure what this post is going to be, and it might just end up being a ramble of a rant, but I just need to get my thoughts out in the open.  One of reasons I like blogging is that I can express things to the internet world, which gives me an accountability that has the ability to reach an incredible amount of people.  If I keep my struggles to myself, then they can just sit there and stew inside me, but if I let them out I feel like it gives me more motivation to want to do something about them.  So, here we go.



My weight is up and my motivation is way down.  My motivation for anything, if I’m being completely honest.

Let me paint a picture for you.  I’m probably going to sound a bit high maintenance, but this is how I’m feeling.

We’re in Japan, which should be great, but for so many reasons I am more than ready to come home.  The way we eat here is so unlike what our norm is in so many ways.  Rice, ramen, and spaghetti are all huge parts of every meal we have access to here.  Hello carbo-loading!  I figured it would be rather easy to balance this out with some lean protein and produce.  I was wrong.  Our apartment has one little gas burner that is so low on the counter it’s uncomfortable on my lower back to cook on.  We bought a cheap (we’re talking dollar store) pan to make eggs with and using it is actually kind of scary.  We bought a decent pot, which is great to make pasta in, and I have a few times..but it’s still pasta. We also have a microwave that triples as a toaster oven and regular oven.  It’s kind of scary to try and use, especially since all of the buttons are in Japanese.  I’ve got the microwave part down, but I’m not quite as ready to trust the oven.

In the store, we can’t find anything that is in english, therefore we aren’t entirely sure what we are buying.  Produce has a high price tag here, so after paying the money to buy the kitchenware necessary to prep and cook produce, and the produce itself, we wonder if it’s cheaper to eat out, but then we can’t find the options with the proper nutritional balance.  Sure, a bowl of hot ramen is delicious and filling, but severely lacking in the veggie and protein department. Greek yogurt isn’t around, and the yogurts I do find are teeny tiny.  Meats that are already cooked are far from lean here, and good sushi is harder to come by than originally anticipated, probably because we are in a university town.  We frequent 7-11 for pre-made sushi rolls and things of the like because it’s actually reasonably priced.  We have figured out how to stay fed, but we are still left feeling unsatisfied, which leads us (I say “we” because the Mister has the same problem) to munching more.  Sweets are plentiful here.. figures, but in pastries aren’t overly sweet, so they don’t satisfy the sweet tooth.


No access to a gym (without paying a ridiculous amount for it) and winter weather make getting activity in a difficult task as well.  I am not a cold weather person.  I love going for walks, but that’s when the weather is 60 or above.  Cold, and without proper sidewalks or a solid place to walk, deters me from going for a stroll unless I have to go to town to shop for something.  In the winter, as I’ve told my husband, I am outside long enough to get from the door to the car. From there I will go to the gym or wherever else, but I avoid cold as much as I can.  When I get cold, I actually lose the feeling from my knees down and in my fingers (thanks, CMT…).  I swear, it’s not just because I’m a baby.  We can hear every excited step of the children that live above us, which makes me hesitate to bust out some walking or high intensity workout dvd for fear of being a major disturbance to the apartment below us.  So the result is me sitting at the computer, usually doing blog stuff, but many times not being able to find the desire to do that either, so I’m poking at social media, watching YouTube, and not being as productive as I should be, which makes me more frustrated.

The Results

Bottom line: I’m far off track with diet and am definitely not making up for it in activity.  Not only does this have a negative impact on my body itself, but on my mind and mood as well.  I’m unhappy with what’s happening, but lacking the energy and desire to turn it around, which results in more of the same. The vicious cycle doesn’t end…and it NEEDS to.

January was the month of trying acclimate to this new (temporary, yes, but still new) way of living in our tiny Japan apartment.  With nearly a month of being here under my belt, knowing what the struggles are and will continue to be, February needs to be the month of getting my act together and turning things around. This really is non negotiable, otherwise I anticipate worse things will happen to my body and mind.

Maybe all of my ranting is just me making excuses and a lot of self pity.  Shame on me, look how off track I’ve gotten…blah blah blah.  Enough is enough.  Turning this around is going to force me to get out of my comfort zone and to be okay with it.  Go for walks in the cold, accept that I might have to take 45 minutes and be obnoxious to the person living below me, and try a little harder at the grocery store.  I have GOT to get back on track; mind, body, and spirit.

My last post was about my top 10 habits for weight loss, and I wrote them not only for my readers, but as a major reminder to myself on how to pick myself up and get going again.  February is going to be all about self care, balance, and getting myself together again.  Anything that feels remotely normal isn’t going to come around until late summer, anyway.  If I let this hinder me now, I can’t begin to imagine how many steps backwards I will have taken by the time we have a home again (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I wrote a whole post on the life changes going on). Time to get it together.

What kind of things would you do for yourself in a situation like this? How do you get yourself out of a funk or a rut, be it in diet, work, or just life in general?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for listening. Rant over.



4 thoughts on “My One Way Ticket on the Struggle Bus

  1. Romi Gråhed says:

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through and I can totally relate – I’m an aussie who moved to Sweden and life is very different! I think you need to just let yourself off the hook a little bit and accept that you’re just having a tough period right now, but know that it’s temporary – these things always pass and you have a lot of hope and optimism in there underneath it all. Actually, I think the only thing you really need is some social support 🙂 the rest, you’ve got it in the bag!

    So, some practical things that you could try..
    1. Make your own yoghurt (it’s simple, healthy and delicious)
    2. Buy the vegetables anyway, even if they’re expensive – if you eat nutrient-dense food, you’re less likely to fill up on nutrient-poor food – listen to your body, is it craving something in particular? Maybe try some vegetarian curries or a hearty vegetable soup?
    3. If your body is craving sugar then it could be part addiction (I was/am addicted to sugar myself, eek!) or part comfort (because it sounds like you’re completely out of your comfort zone over there). If it’s likely the former then perhaps try reading Sweet Poison (if you haven’t already) and if it’s the latter then maybe you can indulge in a massage or a home-pampering session, anything to help make you feel gorgeous again 🙂 I personally love having a bubble bath with candles.. though I don’t have a bathtub at the moment so have to settle for a hot shower.
    4. How about trying some gentle yoga for exercise? Nothing uncomfortable, just slow, gentle stretching to get your body moving and your mind relaxed. I love this DVD called Yoga: Gentle Practice by Zirka Landwijt ( You don’t have to buy it from there, I just googled and found a link to demonstrate which one it was. It’s the only one I can recommend (I’m not really a big yoga junkie) but it’s a great one – nice voice and really good if you haven’t been very active. Bonus – you won’t make a lot of noise for your neighbours to worry about and you only need enough room to be able to lay down on the floor.

    Just wanted to let you know that I was also inspired by your blog and by the recommendation to Leonie Dawson that you made, so I’ve started working on my own blog to transform my life too – it’s not quite ready yet, but it’s nice being able to follow yours as I do 🙂

    Anyway, hope something here helps! Good luck 🙂

    • divaandthedivine says:

      Thank you for this. Seriously. First, it makes me feel good that someone would take the time to write a comment this thoughtful. Second, it’s nice to hear from someone that can relate.

      I know this is only temporary, and I think of that every day. Being kind to one’s self is of utmost importance, so I am trying to cut myself some slack, but I also know that being so off track and out of whack is part of why I feel so poorly. Just have to pick myself up, brush myself off and get going again.

      Thank you for the bullet points of advice. I definitely think I’m going to start buying more produce despite the price. I started looking into yoga and will research further. I totally used the “take a hot shower” option just last night. Gave myself a facial, took a hot shower, and slipped into some silky and comfortable pjs to make myself feel a bit better. It helped.

      Thanks for your comment and support. It means a lot to know that I can inspire even just one person. You made my day 🙂

  2. Romi Gråhed says:

    You’re very welcome – I kinda had the feeling that you probably knew the kind of things I’d say anyway 🙂 I don’t normally do a lot of commenting on blogs, just browsing, but for some reason your post was just something that I could really relate to. I think I should really listen to my own advice 🙂

  3. Pingback: February Goals 2015 - Diva and the Divine

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