Next month officially marks one year into my health and fitness journey which made me think about how my approach with health and fitness has developed during this time.
One year ago, I was looking at myself in the mirror and for the first time in my life I didn’t recognize the person I was seeing. That reflection was not the person I felt I was inside, so I decided to do something about it and embarked in a journey which turned out to be not only about health but one of self discovery too.
ON BODY IMAGE
I never had a good relationship with my body or food since I was in middle school. I developed quite quickly starting getting curves where there weren’t any just some months before, I was never skinny but such a quick change took a toll on me. The body shaming at school didn’t really help with the whole situation and my self-esteem would get lower and lower. To feel pretty I would force myself in clothes that didn’t represent me, I would stress-eat to feel good but I was left feeling guilty and ashamed moments after. Binge eating was cyclically swapped with absurd diets keeping the circle of low self-esteem going.
Last year when I was feeling lost on every level, the moment I looked at myself in the mirror is when something clicked. I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. I didn’t want to hate the person that I was looking at in the mirror and I didn’t want to feel guilty whenever I’d eat something.
Now, one year later and 10kg lighter I feel I no longer hate the person I see in the mirror but she is not always my friend. I thought that loosing weight was all I needed to do to finally be at peace with myself. Realty is, no matter how much I weigh, how much I train or how much people around me tell me I’m beautiful, the brain is the hardest muscle to train.
I realize that the journey to MY personal best it’s more about getting a healthy mindset TOGETHER with a healthy body. It’s a work in progress and it’s not an easy one. I still struggle with having people taking a picture of me and I struggle with taking pictures of my self too. I’m sure you’d notice on my Instagram I don’t post a lot of selfies and I believe is the same mechanism as wearing those baggy clothes and refuse any type of makeup or doing my eyebrows to “hide” myself from the rest of the world. I’m yet to feel carefree when going shopping because of years of going back home crying because of the number written on my clothes or with no clothes at all because I couldn’t fit in them. But as I say, it’s a work in progress and I can see that I’ve come a long way from where I once were.
My nutritionist Gianluca played a great role in my journey. I’ve been working with him for almost a year now and I am so happy I took the courage to open up to him. When I was younger I had been to other nutritionists but I never felt really cared for, I was always a number to them which I hated. With Gianluca I can say I developed a personal relationship and never felt judged even when I ate more ‘unhealthy’ food than I should have. That’s the thing, he shares my belief that food shouldn’t be a chore or something to be scared or guilty for, but a pleasure. The key is moderation. Boring but true. The pictures you see here are all things that I am allowed to eat as part of a healthy and balanced diet. I no longer deprive myself or feel guilty if I have pizza on a Sunday, a glass of wine when out with friends or dessert on Fridays because I know I’m taking care of myself by being more healthy the other days of the week and by exercising.
Not gonna lie, some times keeping the balance is hard, especially when I’m being too social – i.e. burgers, wine and truffle fries aplenty. But as long as I exercise and balance those ‘cheat days’ with going back on track the days I’m not being so social I’m fine. Mental health plays a great deal in this too. It’s important not to give up and feeling an absolute failure when I haven’t been to the gym or been healthier in my choice as this just feeds the vicious circle that is low-self esteem.
I cannot stress enough how this is a journey and not a marathon which I’m happy to have been embarked in. Let me know if you are curious about some aspects, or if you too share a similar experience to mine, would love to hear your stories!