We’re living the dream, right? Who wouldn’t be happy living in the nature of this gorgeous island?
And everywhere you look, there are beautiful people; ﬁt, tanned and living the beach-island dream. But what happens when you’re brand new and nothing is as you know it?
Moving to a new country includes uprooting, leaving your old life, and ﬁnding a new norm for you and your family. 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 is the feeling that, ultimately, expat life will be what it appears to be on the surface.
What’s not to like about the prospect of a nice salary, having many living expenses paid for, and perhaps not needing to work at all? New experiences, new food, new people, and not to mention a 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 to 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 a 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. 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. Once you go oﬀ these “miracle weight loss diets”, you quickly gain back the weight you lost. Choose healthy, clean foods 80 percent 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 percent of the time.
Go to the closest gym
The prettiest gym or most popular gym is not always the right choice. Unless it has a speciality 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, and 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 water
Sadly, not sugary drinks or alcohol, but water – and lots of it. The human body is about 60-70 percent water. Muscles alone are 70 percent 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. It may not be as eﬃcient in some ways and the day-to-day interactions and deﬁnitely not home. But if they were, what fun would that be?!
Kara Wutzke is giving away her book for free to all our Indonesia Expat 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, Mum, 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.