By Kara Wutzke, Founder of K2Fit
We’re living the dream, right? Who wouldn’t be happy living in the nature of this gorgeous island? And everywhere you look, there’s beautiful people, fit, tanned and living the beach-island dream. But what happens when you’re brand new and everything is nothing as you know it?
Moving to a new country includes uprooting, living a new life, finding a new norm for you and your family. For you and everyone back home, this is a huge change for all.
Let’s cut to the chase; expat life isn’t as easy as most people think it is. Am I right?
Perhaps you jumped right on board with the idea of living in a new country, or maybe you needed a little bit more convincing, but what draws many in is the feeling that, ultimately, expat life will be what it appears to be on the surface.
What’s not to like about living beachside, working online, or perhaps not needing to work at all? New experiences, new food, new people, and not to mention the great learning opportunity for you and your kids! Plus, there is bound to be plenty to keep you busy, right? Surely this and everything else will mean happy relationships, happy kids, and a happy expat life, right?
Unfortunately, a few important things are innocently overlooked, and many of them take a toll on your health and body.
The novelty and holiday feeling consistently spills over into your lifestyle choices. Invitations to events, sunset drinks, and business dinners seem never ending. Homesickness impacts your diet as comfort food becomes a way to reconnect with what you miss. Different flavours and eating times result in snacking on tasty and familiar treats a little bit too regularly. Eating and drinking to reduce feelings of boredom and isolation? … that was an unexpected one!!
Many people think it’s just a case of making a few adjustments, but we know it’s not that simple. It’s scary enough being an expat, but undertaking that journey in an unfamiliar country takes an extreme level of bravery and courage.
Plus, as the years go by, we get busier; we work more, have families and try and see friends. It’s easy for exercise to get put on the back burner. Being an adult with all these responsibilities is hard. Being too busy has sadly become the norm. Especially jumping to another country where everything is different and you’re adjusting to new culture, food and uncertainties.
So how do we take care of all our responsibilities of adapting to our new home and our physical health at the same time?
Well, that’s the key right there. Understanding that your health is one of your responsibilities and making sure it’s a priority and getting into a healthy routine is important for your lifestyle no matter where you are.
Below is a list of easy habits you can make in order to start seeing the changes you want and make sure looking after yourself stays top of the list.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
No more yo-yo dieting. We are meant to enjoy. Within reason! And Bali has it all. How can you enjoy and still hit your goals? Say goodbye to restrictive diets. These diets are limiting and not sustainable … and once you go off these ‘miracle weight loss diets’ you quickly gain back the weight you lost. Choose healthy, clean foods 80% of the time. They are in abundance here! Enjoy the fresh foods in markets all over the island! Then, you can indulge in a few “not-so-great” choices 20% of the time.
Go to the Closest Gym
The prettiest gym or most popular gym is not always the right choice. Heck, unless it has a specialty that no one else offers, it’s definitely not the right choice. So where do you go? The absolute closest gym to you! Having your gym next door helps with avoidance and creating excuses during those rainy Bali days when you don’t want to get in a car and travel in traffic 20-30 minutes just to even arrive! No excuses. Keep your gym close and you’ll get there way more often.
Dumbbells At Home
Not a gym person but want to live a long, fit life? I hope so! The easiest way to get in a great workout day to day without the stress of traffic or time crunches, is having a set (ideally two sets) of dumbbells and then you can smash out a workout in 20-30 minutes.
Find Your Peeps
Community is essential for life and your fitness. We crave human connection and the best friends you could have are those with similar interests to you and your lifestyle. There are online groups all over the island supporting people in fitness, charity, foodies, the works. Find your tribe and give your soul the much-needed love and care that we miss from back home. Yes, we need this!
Relax, take it easy! We all need time-outs. No, you don’t have to sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done. Use the surroundings you have. Go for a long walk on the beach, in the jungle … sit in the sand and admire the views around you. Meditate or just do some light breath work outside, in nature and relax into yourself. It’s cool to be chill. Get your Bali zen on!
Drink Up Buttercup!
Sadly, not sugary drinks and alcohol, but water and lots of it. The human body is about 60-70% water. Muscles alone are 70% water. Your body’s ability to digest, transport and absorb nutrients relies on proper fluid intake. It’s important to stay hydrated especially in the tropics.
Embrace Your New Country
Go loco. Oh sorry, I mean go local. Try new things, embrace the culture and live on island time. Yep, it may not be as efficient in some ways and the day-to-day interactions are definitely not home. But if they were, what fun would that be?!
Article by Kara Wutzke, who is giving away her book for free to all our IndonesiaExpat readers! Head to the website to get yours now.
Who is Kara Wutzke?
Kara Wutzke is a TEDx Speaker, Body Transformation Expert, Podcaster, Physique Champion, Mom, Philanthropist, Cancer-beater, Beer Lover and an Expat living abroad for over 22 years.
She launched the Ultimate YOU 10-week Challenge in 2012 to help people transform bodies, minds and lives.
After helping over 6,000 people worldwide she has come up with the easiest way to get YOU in the best shape of your life. Her coaching program is designed specifically for the ‘everyday’ real person that wants the key to fitness results.
For more coaching from Wutzke, check out www.k2fit365.com or feel free to add her directly on Instagram: kara.wutzke