I wasn't asking for advice about losing weight, and I certainly don't think I'm 'putting myself down' by calling myself fat, just like I wouldn't be putting myself down by saying that I'm brunette, or by saying that I've got brown eyes or short fingernails. Fat is an adjective, and I really don't think my body image is any of your concern. I think it's bordering on rude and definitely inappropriate to claim that I'm overweight because I'm unhappy, because I can guarantee you that that isn't at all true. While I appreciate your obvious effort to help me 'find myself', I think I should point out that I've already found myself, so to speak, and I'm perfectly content with who I am, right down to my brown hair and eyes, short fingernails, and the fat that hangs over my belt when I sit down. I am not in denial about the adverse health effects of obesity. I also realize that most people don't find obesity attractive. However, I feel that if I can come to terms with that, other people should be able to accept it, too.
I did not come to this forum asking for advice about how to trim my waistline in Japan. I came to this forum to ask about social implications of obesity. I wanted to know how people are going to react to me so that I can understand how I need to present myself, and I intend to present myself exactly how I feel; Like a strong, confident person with a mind, a soul, and a personality.
If I drop a few pounds on my trip, fine. If not, that's also fine. If I wanted to solicit weightloss advice, I think there are forums better suited for such a venture, don't you?
I'm insulted that anyone could find the audacity to imply that all fat people stuff their faces out of pure emotional duress, and I really think that it's unnecessary to imply that I view myself in a negative light just because I say that I'm fat.
I like to think of myself as a very body positive person. All bodies can be beautiful. Fat, thin, pale, dark, scarred, burned, freckled, whatever, and I think it's really disappointing that people have trouble believing that people who aren't conventionally beautiful can still consider themselves beautiful.
Perhaps I'm being far too agressive. Perhaps I didn't make it entirely clear that I don't hate myself, or that I'm happy the way I am. Well, I'm doing that now. I /am/ happy. I /don't/ hate myself. I'm enjoying my life very much, and I've never, ever felt at a disadvantage because of my weight except for times like this, when well-meaning (?) strangers decide that I must be unhappy, and that they know what's best for me. If this is the sort of atmosphere I can expect in Japan, then I'm certainly going to have to learn to tone down my incredulity because I can't do this every day. I like to think, though, that most people can believe someone when they say they're happy.
I'd like to thank everyone who posted legitimate advice and an answer to my questions. It's the reason I came here, after all.