What to do in Bali - 11/04/2019

How Functional Training workouts changed my everyday life

By Aki Votrubova - Canggu Nest Member

Sometimes we appreciate things after we lose them. Maybe this is why it’s taken me so long to write this. I’ve been meaning to for quite a long time now – to tell everyone everything about HOW and WHY I started with workouts. How they became my everyday routine as I got little addicted to them, then finding my balance and how I am constantly dealing with my “functional training UPs & DOWNs”.

        Right now I am sitting in a Harbour in Flores Komodo, an island not far from Bali.                                                         I came here on my diving trip which almost didn’t happen for many reasons, mostly because of a bike accident I had, it made me feel a little sad because I lost money and time that could’ve been spent in a different way (read: in the gym! :D)

So I decided to write down everything about my journey I’ve been on for the past few months, because I feel it’s about the time… And I also decided to be super honest. Like really. So here we go and a big thanks to Teru Menclova for these amazing pics from beach workout.

Running wasn’t enough

Late December, I came to Bali and had already lost some weight since autumn in Prague. How? Mostly running and (stupid stupid stupid) no eating. Of course you lose some weight after you stop eating, but I did not just DECIDE not to eat because I wanna be skinny, I simply couldn’t eat because of a sh*t load of stress, I just lost my appetite completely.

For a while this “works”. In few days you see the “results”.  And how do you feel? Terrible. To be honest, I knew very well I’m on a way to hell but there was simply nothing I could do about it.

The more I forced myself to eat, the less I ate. This was also me my first two weeks in Bali, in the evening I had a few cocktails, I was weaker and weaker and my friends were becoming more and more angry with me (thx for that guys, btw!). 

FIRST WAKE UP call came in early January when I joined my squad for a dinner in an amazing fish restaurant here in Canggu. I ordered a smoothie. People around me were looking at me like I went mental anorectic bitch, they were angry with me and I ran to the toilet crying because I knew they were so damn right.

I was mostly annoyed with myself, because I really wanted to enjoy the amazing tuna sashimi or mahi-mahi steak, because deeply I knew the food is not my enemy. You can read a thousand fitness blogs telling you that a healthy meal is your friend and if you really wanna see results and be healthy on a longterm basis do this. But I guess I needed more time to really understand something like that.

Then I experienced WAKE CALL NUMBER two. I met Gabi alias @sexykecky On Sunday evening at a concert, she was drinking soda and when I asked her why she wasn’t drinking alcohol she just smiled and said: “Oh, I have a training tomorrow morning. You wanna come?”. And well since I consider myself a yesman, I decided I wanted to try it.                                                                                    

I told her I’m a bit of a runner but at the moment I don’t feel like I’m moving forward lately, no progress, no changes. She told me to come into the gym and well see what the problem is.

My first workout was… a living HELL!

Monday morning  9:30  Cardio conditioning at Canggu Nest gym. I was really nervous going to a “Functional Training gym” where I’d never been before.

I knew I would be sooo lame, all the fit people with training experience and then me – a weak stupid girl. And I was so right. 

But Gabi was an incredible coach, She supported me and motivated me during every round, helped me with exercise technics that I’d never tried before.

I was trying really hard but you know what? After a few minutes I just completely ran out of energy, my body just hit the bottom. “Aki, what did you eat yesterday?” – “Well, ehm, a smoothie and some cherry tomatoes,” I shook my had and looked down cuz I knew that is sooo wrong. “Alright babe this is not the way, we need to kick start your body, you need to eat if you wanna work out!”. And I wanted that sooo bad.

The next few day I remember almost nothing because it was a hell of a ride. We had first consultation the very next day and I told her everything. You know, to be honest with your coach is step one to your success, I know this now. Gabi prepared a fitness plan for me – workouts and an everyday eating plan which I also believe is super important because everyone is different and that is why those online diets don’t work at all, we all have different needs. 


I don’t know WHAT exactly changed in me those days, Maybe I just wanted to prove not only to myself but to everyone else I can do this. That I can change my life, my body and that I can be stronger. Maybe this isn’t the best reason in the world, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

My huge motivation was Gabi who trusted me, supported me on a daily basis, mentored me about every meal I ate and showed an incredible amount of empathy towards me. She became my friend.

First two weeks in Canggu Nest with Gabi were… intense. I felt pain in every single part of my body and my soul. I wanted to see progress even though I was flooded with endorphins after every training session I felt bad for being so weak. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, they say.

When you see the strong and fit people around the gym it just messes with your head. But as Gabi says – the first three workouts are the hardest and then you are slowly getting used to it, where can I sign that? After two weeks of consistent workouts in the gym (5-6 times a week) something changed in me. It just clicked and I became addicted. I started to enjoy the food I was eating (omg!) and what more – my body started to change! And that I believe was not only because of the workouts but also the food Gabi planned for me. She knew the places where I go to eat in Canggu and she chose meals from their menus so it is as easy for me as possible. 

After my 4th workout vs. After my 10th workout.

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities…

Maybe you know this from your life – you find a new hobby, new passion and you have a tendency to go extreme. Well this happened to me, I started to love training so much that my coach had to stop me so I didn’t over-train and burn myself out. And that’s also the reason you should have a PT to set boundaries on both sides.

Anyway I started to love the trainings so much that they became my everyday priority, everything else was in second place and I guess in the beginning of doing something really serious that this is completely okay. I started to leave parties first because I’d have to wake up for a workout. No I’m a “Skinny bitch” please just water, I have a workout tomorrow. I will skip the trip or join you later, I have a workout. 


Many coaches on Instagram write the same – their clients complain they have no time for working out because of a work or family, I understand someone can feel that way but it is about your priorities. You don’t need to stop feeding your babies because you are going to the gym and I know Gabi’s clients still workout even WITH babies, Gabi prepares her exercises personally so she can continue to train.                                                                                                                            

I know people who wake up 90 minutes earlier every day to go to the gym. I understand that my digital nomad life makes this easier for me, my office hours are flexible, but I believe that people with regular job can also do this, you can see it all over the internet, right? 


One day in Bali vs. One month in Bali.

Not only my body changed

Aki 2.0 is different. That is something I didn’t realise myself but people around me (and my Instagram community) noticed that. “Aki, you are simply shining!”. When they tell you for the 20th time, you start to think about it. I guess it’s the Bali vibes, the sun, the people, the amazing healthy food and of course – working out.

You know I have never ever imagined myself as the girl with flat belly (and I’m still working on that), but there are some abs already and just you wait for more. The gym routine changed me, active life in Bali changed me. I suddenly started to try new things.

I am learning how to surf and I see progress already thanks to stronger arms and core which is so important if you wanna paddle and stand up properly. I’ve had fun in skateparks thanks to stronger legs, I go running sometimes and I feel even in doing this I’m better thanks to a stronger core. But paradoxically I’m calmer than before (well as much as an intense person like me can use a word “calmer”, haha). I am learning how to relax, enjoy the moment, be with myself. 


To lose 17 kilos in 3 months?

This was the biggest surprise for everyone (me included), I guess in last two years my weight was constantly changing I was running and not eating and after few weeks I got sick. Start again. Gain, lose, gain, lose, I never did it properly.

To be honest I didn’t like my body, I had more issues than Vogue about a million parts of my body. I was trying to see the good things, but I always knew I would be happier in a crop-top than an oversized dress. Medium-large was my size but I always felt like I wanted to be an Small.

In October 2018 I was 74 kilos (163 pounds) and I felt the worst I’d felt. I left for Bali when I was 69 kilos (152 pounds) and my goal was 63 kilos (138 pounds). Well, your life isn’t always about weight that is the only advice I have for you guys. After two weeks with Gabi I was 57 kilos (125 pounds) and thats the last number I know.

Since then working out is not about kilos anymore. I know I’m the best when I feel good – when my legs and arms are stronger, when I have the “flat-belly feeling” (mostly in the mornings haha), when I take 12kg kettlebell instead of 8kg ones. When I do 50 cal on the assault bike instead of 10 like I used to do. When I can finish the round faster, when Gabi tells me I can do the exercises correctly. I guess that’s all it’s about, to feel progress, not to see it on a pair of scales. To do it for yourself, not for other people, to admire you. To work out with people that are supportive, welcome you into their community and become your second family.


What’s next, Aki…? #beactivebali

To be honest I planned to only stay in Bali for 2 months and my new lifestyle is the reason I decided to stay longer. I simply cannot imagine leaving now. Well, it’s a paradise, right? Beaches, people, coconuts, sun… – but my biggest motivation was Gabi, the workouts and me.

I feel like this is the time I need to focus on myself because I am not there yet! Every day, every hour in the gym I remind myself “this is the reason you changed your life completely, came out of your comfort zone and stay in Bali. Push harder!”. I feel a huge gratitude I can stay here.

I needed to leave my flat (not an easy long-distance operation), re-create my work flow and become full-time digital nomad. My amazing friends and clients were such a big help with that and I want to tell you something – from now on I will work harden than ever. I just spent 3 days away from Bali and after a failed diving trip I feel an even bigger motivation now.

What else, there is the BE ACTIVE BALI project Gabi invented a while ago which we’re moving forward with together. Workouts, diet plans, photography, traveling, marketing that is what we’re good at and that is what we want to do.

When we saw all the messages in our Instagram inboxes about our active Bali life, we decided to help others to experience that as well. Write us an e-mail and come to Bali.

A real vacation is an active vacation. 

If there is anything you want to tell me or ask me, write me an e-mail or send a direct message on my Instagram, I wish that everyone in the world would experience what I am going through right now.

There’s no gain without pain but you also need supportive people around you and I want to thank Gabi so much for being such an incredible person, I learn from her every day and she changed my life as well as all the people from the epic Canggu Nest community. 

Luv ya, Aki