Last year, I was spending some time in China and Taiwan, where I was living unhealthy, enjoyed myself and gained some weight. And who could blame me.. all the night markets, delicious food, night outs and cheap delivery service – I had no chance 😀
So when I came back, I promised myself to live healthier and lose the weight I gained in Asia (over 5 Kilos) and get in shape, even though my daily life was really stressful and busy. I worked 3 student jobs while graduating and applying for my Masters in Beijing. For me being ambitious and working a lot is no excuse to let oneself go. After all, you should always aim to be the best version of yourself: starting from self-care and self-love to a healthy mind but also your own body.
Don’t be too strict:
So first of all, I didn’t eat completely healthy and clean every day and I wasn’t on a strict diet.
I tried intermittent fasting and liked it but because of my late night study schedule, I stopped it during my final exams. I am planning to start it again now that I graduated and have a different schedule. Also, on most days, I prepped my meals and paid attention to balance my diet and if I have enough nutrition. Other days, I ate two huge cakes in one sitting. Honestly, living healthier worked for me because I cut myself some slack on days where I finished a bag of chips during a movie or ate burgers with friends. You should enjoy the small things in life but you shouldn’t deviate from the bigger picture, which is loving yourself, being healthier and taking care of your body. For me, it is a part of self-care.
My ways to eat healthier
I keep talking about eating and living healthy but how did I start? I made lots of smaller changes in my daily life in Copenhagen. And unlike in Taiwan, I actually had to cook for myself and not head down to the next restaurant and get some cheap dinner. These are my little ways to slowly be healthier:
- I used next to no oil when I cooked and I also cut off as much saturated sugar as possible out of my diet.
- Never used salt. This is just storing excess water in the body. Also, I avoided carbs like bread and white rice. Instead, I used bulgur or brown rice
- Trying new recipes. Sometimes I just bought some veggies that I didn’t know how to prepare, so I had to look up new recipes for that vegetable or ingredients. It was quite fun 🙂
- Most important: I prepared my meals for the next days and rarely ate out. I always brought lunch to work or university and since I cooked it myself, I could be sure that a) it’s healthy and b) the nutrition I need is in there. I had fun preparing my meals and sometimes bringing it to my friends when we had a study session (who doesn’t like to get food 😉 ).
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How to stay motivated and persistent to eat clean and head to the gym
For me, it was a matter of the mindset. Even if I couldn’t clear my head and stop stressing, I had to force myself to not end up watching Netflix to distract myself. Before or after work/studies, I would head to the gym, even if it is just for an hour. Sometimes I would wear (parts) of my gym clothes already, so I felt less lazy to go workout after my tasks were done. It was a bit of a mental thing.
See it like that; you can watch a few episodes of your favourite series and have a good time but on the other hand, you can also use the same amount of time and invest in yourself. I also went to the gym with my friend who was a personal trainer, so he helped me to work out the right exercises and intensity. Ask for help if you start going to the gym,. no one will judge you and you will find the right workout routine for yourself.
Working out once or intensively for a short time won’t show lots of results and also won’t build up a stronger body, but persistently investing time and effort in your body will definitely pay off. Do something good for your mind and body. With that mindset, I didn’t watch any series and went to the gym at least 3 times a week and did yoga the other days. However, when I handed in my thesis in May and after over 4 months of no Netflix, I gave myself a break and binge-watched Brooklyn nine-nine 🙂 As I said before, consistency is great but you have to cut yourself some slack somedays.
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My ways of living healthier and more fit
Besides hitting the gym, what else did I do to feel healthier and happier with myself? I barely slept during the stressful months and I powered through the day with around 4 to 5 hours of sleep max. That was definitely not healthy but I didn’t have much of a choice because a lot of tasks piled up. In order to keep being energized enough to go through the day, I had to make sure to be healthy and stay fit in other aspects of my life.
In the beginning, I made smaller changes and tried to keep doing them throughout my daily life. Here is what I did:
- As soon as the weather was warmer, I biked..of course, I am living in Denmark. So 12 km both ways to the main office and then to my second workplace or to the gym afterward or to meet my study group. In a day, I had my fair share of cardio 🙂
- Doing Yoga every morning. On very stressful days, I still took 10 minutes each morning to do some stretches and yoga to start the day off. If I would have the energy, I would add some abs workout or squats before tackling the day.
- Start every morning with a warm glass of water with lemon. I swear this is the magic potion to debloat and wakes you up (without caffeine).
- Track your calories, nutrition, water intake, and steps. I had apps recording all these and after a few months, I had an idea of how active I am, if I eat balanced and drink enough. In the beginning, it was annoying to put all these details into the app but after a while, I got used to it and it was quite helpful to see.
- You can read about how I organized my life in this blog post: How to stay organized and achieve goals[av_sidebar widget_area=’fblike’ av_uid=’av-3nkvsz’]
So as you can see, these changes weren’t major and it doesn’t take much. After half a year, I am happy that I not only lost the weight I gained in Taiwan but also got more in shape and be fit. Soon I moved and settled in Asia, so I have even more time to take care of myself 🙂 After all, putting yourself first and being happy with yourself are the most important aspects.
And .. How I ate while being on vacation
A few weeks ago I went back to Taipei for a month and I ate everything I craved for, at any point of the day, regardless of fasting or carbs or calories, whatsoever. I lived healthy and cautious the all the months before. So when on vacation, just enjoy it, eat and be unhealthy and deal with it as soon as you are back in your normal life 😉
But why do I share this?
Lately, I talked to a lot of friends and followers on Social Media about my transformation and the balance between being an ambitious and driven person who also embraces the feminine looks of oneself. One gets put into a box quite easy, especially online and people judge so fast. You either are hardworking and represent that in a more conservative way in your Social Media, or you are “just a pretty face” that shares pictures of oneself and gets limited for just the look.
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But I decided to embrace both sides and combine it in my Social media profiles. First, with some critics and creepy comments but I stand to it. I got inspired to publish more pictures of myself but also share the days where I work through the night to achieve my goals or to save up enough for my next project or life chapter.
It’s all in the starting phase, both my shop and the change of my profile but I hope you will keep following along, whilst I find the balance to share both Girlpower and a Career Woman who also embraces her looks and body 🙂 I got asked about my clothes and lingerie, so I share them now in my webshop, adding new pieces and items 🙂 Metropolife.Looks Webshop
Thank you so much for reading – Lots of love, Tuni ❤
German-born Vietnamese girl📍 in Taipei
#TaipeiTuni #BeijingTuni #TuniTravel #CPHTuni