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  How to Get Your Shit Together: 7 Ways to Incorporate Fitness in a Busy Schedule

Hello beautiful people! Its January again, a time for resolutions, breaking bad habits and trying to set realistic goals you can achieve. For a lot of people, this means trying to be healthier, myself included HAHA. I've been into "fitness" since I was 16, so its been about 5 years now. Note the quotation marks, this is important because I wasn't always on the good side of fitness. I've been low-key (or high-key?) anorexic before, I've gone months without working out, I've struggled and still am struggling with binge-eating and unnecessary snacking behaviours. Needless to say, my fitness journey/program has never been a smooth-sailing one. However, one thing I'm proud of in 2018 is my time management skills and how I managed to improve my fitness levels.


Background: I'm a third year university student who gets homework weekly, have classes almost everyday, have to study for exams on a daily basis most of the time, and have a part-time job where I work 2 half-days a week. I also go to church on Sundays, chill with friends on the weekends and undoubtedly spend a lot of time on my laptop/phone where I watch Netflix and stalk people on social media. Amidst it all, I do my own laundry and try to cook my own meals like a responsible university student, read the news online (FT.com my lifesaver), try to read books here and there, and find time to do the things I like such as baking, painting.. and going to the gym.
I work out on an average of 3-4 times per week. I generally try to eat as healthily as I can but let's just say this is something I really need to work on in 2019. 
Subtle brag but my friends would refer to me as "the girl who always has her shit together", or "the person who pretends not to know anything about exams but is secretly studying". HAHA. People on Instagram (and Ask.fm in the past) also tend to ask me stuff like "how do you maintain your work-life balance?" and "how do you incorporate working out into your schedule?", hence why I'm writing this post.

As usual, a disclaimer; I don't claim to be some health expert, as said above - I too, struggle with health and fitness, but here are some of the habits I keep up with in order to maintain my weight. This may vary from person to person so I don't guarantee 100% effectiveness.

  1. Choose a gym close to you.
    Putting this on the very top of the list because it's something you should really think about. Trust me, if my gym wasn't within 10 minutes walking distance from my house, I would go there way less than 3-4 times per week. This is truly truly the most important factor because as humans, we WILL lose motivation, and if your gym is more than a mile away, will you really drag your ass there at 7am in the morning or 5pm after uni? When your gym is close to you, you literally have no excuse to be lazy, and what's even better is if the gym's open 24/7. There are tons of gyms out there with affordable memberships, so start off your 2019 right.

  2. Choose workouts you enjoy doing.
    Again, so important! To some, working out is euphoria, a sense of stress-relief. To others, its a chore, a drag, something you're sort of forced to do. For me, its a tad bit of both, depending on what sort of workouts I'm doing or how I'm feeling for the day. However, I do realise that when I do workouts I genuinely like, I tend to get excited before going and have more motivation to keep doing the same workouts as a routine. Working out doesn't necessarily have to happen in the gym, you can go for a swim, cycle in a park, go wall-climbing, go for yoga etc. Find ways to make yourself enjoy the process of exercising. Experiment with all the different workouts and find something you enjoy to stick with. For example, I'm afraid of heights, and when I go wall-climbing with friends I have loads of fun, but I also know its something I won't do alone, because I'm scared. HAHA. In contrary, I go to all my boxing classes alone, and I don't mind doing so, because I love it. Another example, I'm always intimidated of the weights room in the gym because there's too much testosterone in there, and I'll only go when I have guy friends with me. I know I do want to do lifting as well, so I go for classes organised by the gym, where loads of girls attend and we all lift weights and do squats together. My point is, if you don't like certain types of workouts, there are always alternatives! Realising what sort of exercises you like will lead you to be in a more neutral position with working out instead of it being a chore.


  3. Pre-plan your groceries.
    I don't want to say "pre-plan your meals" because that's really hard to stick with if you're busy. I completely understand the life of walking home knowing you can't be bothered to cook/eat the same thing you prepped again, and just downright craving some McDonald's at that moment. Therefore, pre-plan your groceries instead. Write down a list of healthy food you actually like and fill your fridge with those foods. If you hate salads like me, don't buy salads! Instead, substitute it with some other vegetable that you like. That way, you still get your nutrition and you get to eat stuff you actually enjoy. When you have all that fresh food in your fridge, you're compelled to cook them because if you don't, fresh food goes bad. Cooking your own food also gives you a whole picture on what goes into your food, so you can be careful not to add too much oil/salt/sugar etc. Of course, you don't always have to meal-prep and eat the same thing everyday, as long as what you're feeding your body is generally healthy. Also, don't buy any unhealthy snacks if you love snacking, because you're bound to eat them if you know they're just sitting in your cupboard. (This is the biggest challenge for me because I honestly love chocolate so much and always have a stash.) So again, plan what groceries to get depending on what you like, cook when you can, and avoid unhealthy snacks!


  4. Drink water.
    Drink so much water you'd want to pee every 10 minutes. Not even lying that's me sometimes. I know too many people who don't remember to drink enough water, and drinking water is one of the most important dietary habits. Buy yourself a cute water bottle this 2019, fill it up and bring it with you wherever you go. This always helps me because when I go out and I'm carrying a bottle, I want to lessen the weight I carry around, and am therefore forced to drink the water HAHA. When you're at home, pour yourself glasses of water no matter what you're doing. Studying? Put a cup of water next to you. Watching Netflix? Put your bottle on your bed with you. When you see that cup/bottle, DRINK SOME WATER. If you struggle with this, put reminders around your room/in your phone to remind yourself to drink water, or add fruit/tea bags to your water for that extra sweet taste. Everyone already knows the benefits of drinking water, but again - water helps your body cleanse waste, reduce bloating, decreases constipation, suppresses appetite and so on.


  5. Wake up early!
    This is something I strongly recommend, although I know not a lot of people can stick to it. I religiously stuck to waking up early in 2018 and really got so much more done. This is probably because as the day goes by, I become lazier and lazier, and by dinnertime I can't be bothered to do anything else except chill in bed with my laptop. Therefore, for me its much more productive to get up early, and even if you procrastinate halfway through, don't worry, you still have so much time! People may call you boring for sleeping at 10/11pm, but waking up at 6/7am gives you so much more time in the day to do all your tasks, and this means more time to workout/cook healthy meals too. I like doing my workouts in the morning because not only does it wake you up, but you also get that morning shower where you're fresh and ready for the day. A typical day for me would be: wake up at 6.30am, hit the gym for a 7am class, go to uni from 9am-12pm, work part-time from 3pm-10pm, go home and sleep. How do I get myself out of bed to workout? I wear my sports bra to sleep. Its weird but it works because the minute I get out of bed, I can brush my teeth and head straight to the gym. If there is no uni, my gym hours tend to be more flexible, but nonetheless, I try to wake up by 10am every day to make sure I maximise my time and do everything I need to do.


  6. Remember its mind over matter.
    Saw this quote somewhere: "Getting healthy is 90% mindset, 8% diet and 2% exercise". I couldn't agree more. Most of the time, if you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want. In a more specific level, this quote always helps me through whenever I'm about to go on a binge-eating rampage/when I'm struggling to hit that final set at the gym. Remember that you're not always hungry, sometimes you're just bored, and remember that your body is stronger than you think it is. If you tell yourself you can, then you ultimately can. It's all in your head, so the next time you're about to order an extra large soda and fries or you feel like sleeping in instead of going to your scheduled workout, think about it: which do you want more? To get healthy or stay the same?


  7. Make health and fitness a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
    If you workout just for the summer, or want to go on a diet just to look good for that one event, your habits most likely won't last. The hardest but most long-lasting way to incorporate fitness into your life its actually sticking to all the healthy habits you built up. Like I said, you don't always have to meal-prep, eat clean and have an embargo on McDonald's. What's important is that you GENERALLY eat healthy, say 80% of the time. You don't have to go to the gym 7 days a week, but you should go an appropriate amount of times according to your goals. Of course, this point is really really hard even for me, which is why if you're planning to make health and fitness a long-lasting goal for yourself, its important to stick to your habits and go back to tip #8. Just remember what you're aiming for in the long run, and if it's important enough to you, you can and you will stick through it.
For 2019, my fitness goals would be to stop binge-eating (terrible, honestly), cut down on sugar intake (I eat dessert after every meal) and workout as much as possible. You guys can follow my fitness journey on @wanchieats on Instagram, I keep track of most of the workouts I do and all the food I eat. Hopefully I'll achieve my goals haha. What's yours? 

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  Iceland - November 2018

Hi friends! I'm back with another travel blog post, and I just realised I've been doing a lot of travel vlogs lately, and a lot less of these comprehensive travel blogs with events in chronological orders. *whispers* must be because I'm so lazy... Speaking of lazy, didn't even bother to edit any of the photos here HAHA so everything is raw from my camera.

Anyway, this is the first year in all three of my university years where I have a reading week!! Was so so stoked when I heard this because all the quantitative-based students NEVER have a reading week. For those of you who don't understand, reading week is basically a week off mid-term for students to catch up on their readings. Since quant-based students never really have any readings, we were always exempted from this vacation week. Now for the first time ever, I get a week off!!! Planned a trip super spontaneously with my friends (literally 2 weeks before we flew off), and I'm so so glad at how our last minute-ness managed to work in the end! We booked a 5-day, 4-night trip to Iceland, and we even rented a car to get around the country, so it was a perfect roadtrip for our first time in a Nordic country. 




Our first stop after collecting our rental car was one of the many Bonus supermarkets! 

We did our research pre-holiday and found that this chain of supermarkets are more budget-friendly than others. Went to stock up on groceries so we could cook in our Airbnb and also stocked up on Icelandic yogurt. SO SO GOOD, by the way. Loved their berry-flavoured Skyr! 

Next we headed towards Reyjkavik city center to see some of the sights there.






Love how you can see the snow-capped mountains even in the city centre! Reyjkavik is a fairly small town so it was easy to walk around from location to location. 


Hallgrimskirkja church



Brauð & Co. Bakery in the middle of town! They're famous for their cinnamon rolls but they ran out when we were there so we settled for a vanilla roll and cinnamon croissant instead. Still pretty good tho!


Something nobody warned us about Iceland: IT'S WINDY AS HECK. You literally feel as though you can fly off the road. Here's Kai hiding behind a wall for shelter hahah.

Snow-capped mountains and windy seas.



Harpa Concert Hall 

On day 2 it snowed... which made driving really hard and we errr... got into an accident. Thank God we bought premium insurance though, saved us so much trouble.

All smiles after the chaotic and traumatics car accident in the snow LOL. And Kai singing High School Musical in the background.

First waterfall of the trip: Seljalandfoss. The rocks were icy near the waterfall which made it really slippery to walk on! Nonetheless, a beautiful start to our waterfall trip.


Second waterfall: Skogafoss. On the way there we took a wrong turn and managed to see a rainbow reflected on the falls! Unfortunately, as we got closer, the rainbow disappeared :(



Visited the famous Sólheimasandur plane crash next, and had to walk for around 70 minutes to and fro, thank goodness for all the times I trained on the treadmill at the gym tbh hahaha.



Our final stop for day 2 was Black Sand Beach, but we barely spent more than 10 minutes there because the winds were so so strong that day and we couldn't bare the cold. Guess that's what happens when you're born and raised in a country with a constant 30 degree Celcius weather.


Day 3 was definitely the most tiring day out of the entire trip. We had to drive 4 hours to our destination, then 4 hours back again that evening. Much thanks to my fellow driver Aishen, couldn't have done it alone!
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. We were supposed to hike up for a better view but unfortunately our shoes were not meant for ice and we were not allowed to :( still a very pretty view from down here though.


Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, aka the main reason why we had to drive 4 hours.


We were ahead of time for our glacier/cave tour so we just explored the icy beach for a little while.

Soon after, we boarded a monster truck lol and began driving up glaciers. I didn't even think it was possible to get a car up to a glacier before this!

Ice cave tour where we had to wear spikes and helmets... but even then, it was super slippery in the cave because of all the melted ice. There was even running streams in the cave we had to cross without any proper pathways. Needless to say, our shoes were ruined that day :(

The opening of the ice cave! According to our tour guide, the ice cave changes constantly due to rocks breaking apart/falling. 


Next, we headed towards a different ice cave, this one with less mud and a lot more ice and snow.


So so beautiful and surreal tbh T____T feeling so so blessed by God as I type this, all good things come from Him and I cannot be able to express how thankful I am to have the privilege to visit places like this. 

KO-ed that day cos the car ride down the glacier was even more bumpy than it was going up, and at that point we already lost all our energy from traversing the caves. Surprised we even made it home with that 5 hour car ride!

Day 4 was very relaxed because we all needed a good night's sleep, and for the first time, we left our Airbnb after the sun rose.

Views from our Airbnb as the sun rose over the mountains. 




First stop, the Kerid crater! A small entrance fee for a walk around this really huge and deep crater was worth it, and I was so surprised to find that its a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Was feeling pretty hungry since it was around lunchtime so we decided to have a proper lunch for once (on other days we just kept eating snacks from petrol stations/supermarkets because we wanted to save time and travel more).

Found this place called Fridheimar from TripAdvisor, which is a tomato farm offering farm-to-table food, and it was the best decision ever.


£15 for endless soup and bread?? SIGN ME UP FIVE TIMES. Of course, the soup was tomato flavoured HAHA.


Also tried their homemade ravioli with pesto and tomatoes! Really really good and tasted super fresh too.

I'm not a mussels type of girl but my friends had this and they said it was really yums as well! 

Visit Gullfoss next and it was honestly the most picture-perfect waterfall we had visited the entire trip. It looked so perfect it felt more like a painting than real life. 




Geysir Hot Spring! Spent the longest time waiting for a bubbling eruption and timing our cameras perfectly HAHA. Catchphrase of this trip: 5 idiots. 

Finally! On the last day we headed to the famous Blue Lagoon, since it was really close to the airport.



Biggest struggle here was ensuring our phones/cameras were dry!! After taking a couple of shots, we decided to keep our tech devices in the locker, take a dip in the lagoon and enjoy the mud masks and smoothies it came with. Super relaxing end to our trip. 

Overall, really really happy I got to go to Iceland with these amazing people. All the pics here are from my camera because I'm too lazy to transfer those from my phone... so for more photos of my experience in Iceland, check out my Instagram highlights/photos! Thank you guys so so much for keeping up with me and I'll see you in the next post :')

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