As a full-time student, it’s sometimes pretty difficult to eat healthily and exercise regularly while the pile of texts on your desk you still have to read isn’t getting any smaller and the pizza you can get delivered just saves you some precious time to work some more. But, eventually, and I’ve experienced this myself in my first semester, at one point we get the feeling that things need to change – because we feel miserable with our bodies or simply tired, erratic, stressed 24/7. So, we watch YouTube workout videos, sign up for the gym and change or reduce our food intake drastically in the hope to become healthier and lose all that (freshman) weight again as soon as possible. After all, the next semester awaits us soon and the cycle of irregular schedules and crammed study sessions begins again. But where can students get an introduction on how to change their lifestyle, a sneak peek into what it would look and feel like?
Because rather than investing into short term remedies that will most likely result in giving up altogether it is more important to make long term changes to your lifestyle.
I talked about the multi-million-dollar (choose your currency) industry of body shaping, trimming, slimming down to Jonathan and Rick. Jonathan founded and organizes regular Crunch and Brunch events, at which people first work out for an hour, then share a meal and just hang out together. Rick hosted the last two and will host the next event at his Apartment 11.
Jonathan, who’s a personal trainer and goes under train simple (@train_simple), came up with the concept after not only offering workout sessions to his clients but also including cooking sessions at their homes in his programme. He sensed that people needed to become more aware that what they needed for a healthy lifestyle was the balance of the right nutrition (70%) and regular workouts (30%). Thus, he started collaborating with meraki soulfood, Lucie Kanehl and Julia Kamenzky, a team of creative cooks who mostly produce vegan food, and together they offer a combination of workout session and brunch session – so first you’re sweating it off and then you’re taking it in.
Currently the event takes place at Rick’s Apartment 11 (Rautenbergstrasse 11), but Jonathan hopes to find other locations soon (and even wishes to bring the event to other cities) so that people get to see a variety of different spots to work out at. In any case, his mantra is that to train you don’t need a gym, not even special equipment, and instead he focuses a lot on working with the body only – train simple, live happy.
What was absolutely convincing to me was Jonathan and Rick’s honesty about the business. They’re not magicians that can turn you into the dream version of yourself overnight – and they don’t want you to. For them it’s more important to change their client’s perspective on their lifestyle. It’s a long perhaps infinite process of changing your mind-set and daily habits, yet for the two it’s vital to teach the tools needed for a lasting change rather than quick fixes. Jonathan says that after 15-20 personal training sessions, clients usually feel confident enough to walk the path on their own. To have the right tools is the foundation of a healthier life
What struck me particularly was the duo’s sense of authenticity. Everyone thinks personal trainers abide by some sort of ultra-strict and clean diet, working out 24/7. The truth is they are still human beings (what a surprise?!) and crave ice-cream just as much as everybody else does (or rather should, in my humble opinion). The stereotype of the idle and vain, constantly calories and push ups counting, gym hogger is not doing any justice either. And not only is this media-blasted stereotype reducing the idea of a healthy lifestyle to a drill but it is also painting a wrong and dangerous version of life to aspire to.
Combining guided workout sessions by professional trainers Jonathan and Rick with a subsequent rich and just simply deliciously looking buffet, the Crunch and Brunch event wants to introduce people to a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t mean feeling miserable because you deny yourself anything – or worse everything – but instead highlight the need for a balance, after all you still want to have a life even if you are changing your lifestyle.
People at university struggle with their health and weight a lot but don’t feel comfortable sharing their stories or issues. I was one of these people who spent most of my time and energy at university and on uni-related tasks instead of taking care of myself in the first semester. Starting university is like a whole new world. Most of us have just moved out of home and now need to take care of themselves without someone to fill the fridge or pack lunch. But I too at one point felt the need to change my lifestyle. I felt more energized and simply more at peace with myself so that I could enjoy my studies too instead of thinking too much about media created body ideals while munching on cookies, reading Austen. But it took me a while to figure out what worked best for me in terms of nutrition and regular exercising.
What sells the Crunch and Brunch event to me is the fact that it is something you can try out, there’s no binding contract for future events (although you might just get the kick out of it and feel like becoming a regular), but it presents an outlet, an escape from the turmoil surrounding you once every couple of weeks. I also like that you can decide to just join the workout or the brunch, whatever you feel like doing. You can talk to Jonathan and Rick to get some helpful tips on nutrition or just talk to the other participants.
The event is about 35-40€, including the workout and brunch. You can contact Jonathan via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up for the event. The next event takes place on the 26th of August at 9am @ Apartment 11.
Maria was listening to “Solo” by Demi Lovato while writing this article.