Easter is a national holiday in Denmark. This means everyone gets around five days off, and for the majority of people these five days mean a few things: Family time (puzzles, cards, chit chat) Easter traditions (påskeæg, gækkebrev, påskebryg, påskesnaps, påskefrokost) Grocery shopping for 5 […]
Reality today is a lot of things. It is routine, work, training, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, friends, family, kids and lots more to balance. On social media we are constantly bombed with images that portray “the perfect life”. The perfect life where anyone has all the time in the world to train, and dedicate full days to cooking using super foods and other products I cannot even pronounce.
My life and my balance
Personally, I have spent about 3 years now finding my reality and where I feel comfortable. A balance between all the things reality contain. Some would still brand me as the person who trains all the time, and if you asked me 3 year ago I could see their point. I trained 6 – 7 times every week:
- Monday: Crossfit
- Tueday: Crossfit
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Cardio (60 min)
- Friday: Crossfit
- Saturday: Rest or train with my husband
- Sunday: Weight lifting
Now… that is a lot. I get tired just looking at it today! Admitting I was strong, and I felt good plus I could eat a lot and not worry about it. I just would never go back to this knowing the “other side”.
Today my life is quite different. I am married (yay!), I live further from a gym, I have entirely different fitness goals, and I have found peace with my body. I like being active and breaking a sweat, but I dislike being so sore that I can barely walk. My typical week now looks like this:
- Monday: Functional training or crossfit
- Tuesday: Rest
- Wednesday: 7k run
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Weight lifting or functional
- Sunday: Rest
Other than above, I bike 14k every day to and from work. I always take the stairs (our office is on the 6th floor), and I stand up for most of my working day. I feel awesome. My muscle mass has decreased, but feeling strong is not an issue. Furthermore, I am no longer a captive of my training. Previously training was a must, and omitting a session resulted in feelings of being lazy and fat. This is ridiculous. Honestly, I cannot stress this point enough! Training does not make you a better or happier person. What training does for me today is just that – training – for me. It is my ‘me’ time, and endorphins float everywhere when I go. Using and pushing my body is my ultimate goal, as it makes me the best version of me: Happy, healthy and in balance.
“But do you eat enough? Are you too focused on what you eat?”
When it comes to food I am a pervert. I love eating, cooking and baking, because honestly what is not to like? It is very rare that I do not eat something, and I refuse to exclude food-groups in my diet. My mom taught me a valuable lesson growing up: “Never go on a diet, just consider what you put in your mouth“. Oh boy she was right.
In our home we try to eat a lot of vegetables with our meals, some solid protein and of course some carb. I have chocolate almost every day, and when it comes to weekend I often bake bread and/or cake. Almost all of our meals are home-cooked. Cooking your food at home increases awareness about ingredients and vitamins: What you put in your mouth. Long story short is that we eat anything and everything, but weigh heavier on vegetables (greens, lettuce, fats), lean meats (fish, chicken, turkey) and wholegrain or starch (potatoes, wholegrain rice or pasta/bulgur). We are increasingly having 1 day per week where we do not eat meat. This is mostly because we have discovered a love for falafels, and not because og the vegan-vegetarian trend that is up and coming.
This, along with training, is my balance.
Tips and tricks that do not require meal prepping or a fitness membership
- Download the Nike Training Club app (and use it). NTC has training sessions in-app with great descriptions and videos you can train along with. There are varying lengths, levels of toughness and intensity. I use this a lot in my living room and it kicks ass! It is honestly and app for all levels of fitness.
- Download the Nike Running Club app (and use it). NRC helps you track your running and your personal records. Running only requires shoes and yourself so go go go! Just the other day I ran my best 1k in 3’31”, and that is motivating.
- Take the active short cuts: Walk or drive? Walk. Bike or drive to work? Bike. Stairs or elevator? Stairs.
- Create realistic goals! How many times can you train every week? 2? 5? What suits your lifestyle? Personally, 3 times suits me. It leaves me with plenty of time for my other priorities: My husband, friends and family, work and all the other busy-bee-life stuff. It is no shame training X amount of time(s) every week as long as you feel comfortable with it.
- Make a meal plan (Meal Plan Example for your downloading) for the week and grocery shop twice every week. We meal plan on Sunday, but grocery shop Sunday and Wednesday (ok not this strict but you get the point), because just like with everything else in real life… what we thought we wanted to eat Thursday might not align with what we planned: Flexibility is key.
- Eat the rainbow.
- Limit take-out/junk/candy to the weekends. It is just easier if you have a tough time restraining yourself. We have cake at work every Friday, and almost every week someone brings cake or something else. My rule of thumb is: No cake or sweets at work. This is not to punish myself, but because at the end of the day it rarely results in “hygge” or having a good time when indulging there. I prefer eating this stuff while watching a good film, reading a book, chatting at a café with a friend, or something entirely different. Work is work and I perform best if I snack on 2 carrots (sorry I sound lame).
A typical Monday for me:
- 6.40 am wake-up.
- 7.10 am bike 7k to work: No matter the weather I bike.
- 8.00 am breakfast: 3 dl skyr with 1 apple, a handful of almonds and a mix of flaxseed, sunflower seeds and coconut flakes.
- 12.15 pm lunch: Salat is key. I luckily have a salat buffet at work and so I have the most delicious options every day.
- 15.00 pm carrot-snack-time.
- 17.00 pm crossfit
- 18.30 pm cook with my hubby 🙂
- 19.30 pm dinner: E.g. Chicken thai soup.
- 20.00 pm CHOCOLATE (1-2 pieces)!
- 22.30 pm zzzz-time.
I love my life. All aspects of it, and yes we all have dreams, wishes and things we want. We just must remember to slow down and enjoy the now and work for our goals. I am incredibly lucky, and I have found that being positive takes me the furthest. Every day is not perfect, but since when was perfect the best way. Bumps along the road is what teaches us values in life, and so I hope my life will never be picture perfect.
Therefore, to my friends, family and my husband. Thank you. Every single one of you keep up with my nutty-ness and I am so happy you do!
At the end of the day there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ balance – balance is what fits in your routine, priorities and life at this moment in time
I have written a lot and way too much now. Sunday thoughts from my couch in Vanløse. If any of you feel like sharing your tips and tricks on balance, please leave a comment.
♡ NDK *yes new name post-marriage
Are you happy? I am. Life is busy, and staying in the present and being happy is hard. It is something I practice every day such that I learn to cherish all the little things in life. Sometimes I force myself to put my “everything-is-good-and-great-and-sunny-and-filled-with-flowers-and-unicorns” […]