Fitness Health Lifestyle

Learning to take it “chill”: A new approach to health & fitness

When I got to Australia, I had no idea what direction my health & fitness journey was going to take. For the 6 months prior, I was following a strict weightlifting regimen, with 5 intensive heavy lifting sessions a week, coupled with a 2, 000 cal diet. I tracked absolutely everything; from how much I lifted each and every session, to how many grams of protein, fat and carbs I’d eat daily.

I knew once I got to Australia things were going to change. Was I gonna get a gym membership? I dunno. Was I gonna discover my hidden surfing talent and sacrifice the rest of my life to catching waves? Probs. Was I going to become a mango-avo-tarian and only live off the two best foods in the world for the next 6 months? Most definitely. 

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Discovering balance

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while know that balance is not my forte. I’ll be honest and say there were even times where I was slightly worried. Worried that I would never be able to include flexibility or spontaneity into my wildly passionate yet kiiinda stupidly strict health & fitness routine.

What I found being in Australia however was a lifestyle complete different from one I had ever lived. One where health & fitness is so naturally engrained in absolutely everything, that I’ve managed to live my healthiest life yet, while completely letting lose. Doing things like spending at least 1 hour walking in the fresh air every day, living off fresh local produce bought from the Sunday farmer’s market and discovering the amazing views the Sunshine Coast has to offer by going for sunrise climbs. There is such a naturally healthy feel in this place. Everyone running along the beach, grabbing smoothies to-go, being positive and spreading good vibes, it’s almost difficult to live any other way.

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For the past 2 and a half months, I’ve been challenging myself to live my fitness journey without any goals. I’m not training for a race, I don’t have a goal weight, nor do I have a goal PR, I’m just enjoying the ride. We sometimes forget that living a healthy & fit life is supposed to be enjoyable. In the end, we chose to live this way don’t we?

I’ve changed my thought process from “I must workout to reach my goals” to “I will workout because it makes me happy.”

And that change of mentality alone changed EVERYTHING (I’m not being over dramatic I promise).

Current fitness routine

I’ll be honest and say I was a little lost when I first moved here. So there’s no gym near by…I don’t have a car so I’d have to bike on the highway for 30 minutes to reach the nearest one…It’s bloody expensive and I’m on an intern’s salary…. hmmm.

For the first month or so, I lived off outdoor workouts. I went for runs along the port, did circuits on the beach, hit up the local outdoor fitness stations, but I was feeling slightly uninspired. Although I loved doing my workouts outdoors, I was missing a little structure. That’s when I discovered a boxing gym near by. I now hit up 4 Box-Fit classes a week with a big group of my friends on Mondays, Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays. They’re hella intense and all kinds of sweaty but fun AF. Who knew punching the shit out of a bag was such a good workout?!

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Tuesday mornings I go for a long 10km run, Saturdays I go to yoga and Sundays I usually go for a hike. Although this is a pretty heavy exercise schedule, it really doesn’t feel like I’m pushing myself too hard. If I feel like I need a break, I take a day off. But weirdly enough, I feel like I sleep so well, I’m so inertly healthy and well, that my body recovers faster than ever.

Current diet regimen

I wanted to try a new approach to food during my time here in Australia. An approach where I don’t track everything I eat and I don’t follow a certain macro breakdown. Some may say I’m trying out a new diet called “eating like a normal person” or “intuitively”. It’s this new magical world where I eat what I know makes me feel good (still sticking to a plant-based diet), I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m not. It’s amazing how smart your body is. It actually tells you what you needs. The hard part is that most people don’t actually know how good they’re supposed to feel.

That being said, I’ve been paying special attention to the time of day where I eat my food. I’ve found that I feel so much better in the morning when I’ve had a light dinner. I’ll usually have a small soup or salad, wake up hungry and have a small protein shake (only protein & fats) before my morning workout. After my workout I’ll have my real breakfast, which is another protein shake (my roommate constantly makes fun of me saying that I don’t actually eat, I only drink things). My real breakfast is hefty as hell with lots of banana, pumpkin & protein powder to restore my body post-workout. This has been working so well for me and I feel even more freakin fabulous than ever. *enter sassy girl emoji*

All in all…

I’m always astonished at how quickly you can get used to things. We tend to think “oh I could never do that”, “I just can’t eat before 10am”, “I could never eat salad daily”, well why don’t you actually try it out first. The human can get used to anything. Hey 20 years ago we didn’t even have smartphones and now we “cannot” live without them.

I always thought I could never live such a carefree approach to health & fitness, but here we are. I definitely think the environment plays a big role. When I’m in Switzerland, the lifestyle isn’t one I particularly resonate with, so I’d rather invest myself entirely into living a goal-oriented, hard-core fitness routine. But when living in such a healthy and carefree environment as I do here, why not dip into that chill Aussie vibe? You know what they say; when in Rome…

 

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