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  • Writer's pictureGiulia M.

wit#1 | Learning how to love yourself: my experience (plus some advice)



With this post I would like to start wit - an acronym for what I think - a column on, let me say, more sensitive topics. It is not easy to deal with such personal discourses, so I hope that this sharing can be of help to someone.

It all started about two years ago, shortly after I moved from Bologna to Milan. At that time I was living alone in a two-room apartment outside the centre and spent a lot of time in the company of my thoughts.

The change of job, city and friendships, despite the fact that I was used to various relocations, represented a complex transition for me - but I will talk about this in another post.

 

At that time I did not do sports and my diet was definitely not the best. I had begun to perceive my body differently, more aware. Never as an 'enemy', mind you, but certainly not as a companion with whom I wanted to spend my whole life. I had therefore started to feel the need to do something to feel better, with myself and for myself.

I didn't know it yet, but at that moment my only aim was to 'see' myself well. After all, this is what a society whose foundations, unfortunately, rest on appearance teaches us. A society in which a journalist appearing live on national television with tousled hair creates a media fuss; a society in which it is social media that dictates the (non-existent and unattainable - and fortunately, I might add!) beauty standards of us women.

Only months later, I would discover that the biggest change - the one that really makes me feel good - comes from within and then spills outwards.

 

So I had started practising poledance (which I had to give up because of a back problem but which I hope to resume soon) and, after a few months, I had also turned to a very good friend of mine, and very good personal trainer, Teresa.

For the first time in my life, I was setting foot in a weight room. A place that was, before that moment, completely unknown to me. Needless to say, the first few days I was terrified and embarrassed to even pick up a 1 kg dumbbell.


My journey was officially begun.

 

The improvement curve at the beginning, as I know, is much faster, and this undoubtedly helped me, giving me the right charge.

After the first few months - and also after my move to a much nicer and more central area of Milan, together with a very dear friend of mine - I was finally beginning to notice the first improvements, both physically and mentally. Correction, more on a physical level than a mental one.


In fact, in spite of this, I continued to be dissatisfied on some (for me) critical points

of my body, always going to investigate what was 'wrong', instead of appreciating the small steps forward I was taking.

At the time I was still very focused on an unattainable stereotype (mentioned earlier), and I tended to feel very guilty about skipping a gym session or eating some 'crap' every now and then.


There was a moment, however, that was the turning point; a moment when I started to listen more to my body and mind, both in terms of training and nutrition, and in my personal life. I don't remember exactly what triggered the change, but I was finally starting to enjoy the journey - fall in love with the process and enjoy the journey, the British people would say, instead of focusing on long-term results.

It took me some time to find a balance. It certainly wasn't easy and I am still working on it today.


Clearly putting this into practice is not something you do in a week. I have done - and am continuing to do - a lot of work on myself and I am proud of that.

I believe that real change, the biggest change of all, comes through the ability to appreciate one's body and accept it, in all its facets. For me, this does not mean surrendering to my flaws, but rather deciding to always want to improve myself, keeping myself constantly active and, above all, doing what makes me feel good (which sometimes is also stuffing myself with pizza and ice cream, like tonight!).

 

This journey is teaching me that well-being and serenity always come first from our head, until - as the crowning glory of it all - our wonderful body.

What is helping me?

Talking, talking. You always have to talk about these things, even if they seem like futile paranoia. They are not. Talk about it with your friends, with your companions, the important thing is to talk about it

Enjoy the journey

Start following on social (especially Instagram) profiles of normal girls/influencers who celebrate the real body. I'll leave you with a few: @danaemercer, @mikzazon and @saggysara

If, on the other hand, you want to follow genuine fitness gurus, I'll leave you with some of my favourites. Real, no-nonsense and down-to-earth. My absolute favourite for content is @charleeatkins (an expert, in the industry for years!), @natacha.oceane for her super intense HiiTs, @whitneyysimmons and last but not least @madfit.ig (who does a lot of video workouts on YouTube) - they all eat intuitively and profess the same philosophy of physical and mental wellbeing as I do

Delete all those unreal profiles that make me feel unfit. Behind a 'spontaneous' photo there are almost always a thousand attempts that end up in the bin and it is wrong to think that those seemingly perfect photos correspond to reality

Stop elaborating too much on things that are out of my control and focus more on the present (unless it is planning a trip, of course!)

Stop comparing myself to people who are following a different path from mine


Cosa mi sta aiutando?

  1. Talking, talking. You always have to talk about these things, even if they seem like futile paranoia. They are not. Talk about it with your friends, with your companions, the important thing is to talk about it

  2. Enjoying the journey

  3. Start following on social (especially Instagram) profiles of normal girls/influencers who celebrate the real body. I'll leave you with a few: @danaemercer, @mikzazon e @saggysara

  4. If, on the other hand, you want to follow genuine fitness gurus, I'll leave you with some of my favourites. Real, no-nonsense and down-to-earth. My absolute favourite for content is @charleeatkins (an expert, in the industry for years!), @natacha.oceane for her super intense HiiTs, @whitneyysimmons and last but not least @madfit.ig (who does a lot of video workouts on YouTube) - they all eat intuitively and profess the same philosophy of physical and mental wellbeing as I do

  5. Delete all those unreal profiles that make me feel unfit. Behind a 'spontaneous' photo there are almost always a thousand attempts that end up in the bin and it is wrong to think that those seemingly perfect photos correspond to reality

  6. Stop elaborating too much on things that are out of my control and focus more on the present (unless it is planning a trip, of course!)

  7. Stop comparing myself to people who are following a different path from mine


Please note: what I have told you is solely and exclusively the result of my own journey and therefore related to my personal experience. I am not a doctor, nor a nutritionist, nor a personal trainer. Always consult specialists, who will certainly be able to show you the best path for you.


I hope this post is of some help to you. Would you like to talk to me? Write to me, I would be very happy to talk.


Xx


Giulia



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