Monday, July 27, 2009

More thoughts on weight

The thoughts on weight and body image I am having these days, all came from a conversation I had with two colleagues last week. We were talking about our boss (who loves to take pics) who was going to come back from vacation the next day.

It went something like this:

P -Boss is coming back tomorrow - he'll have a lot of pictures to show us. Now he's even a photoshop expert!
G - I know: he even showed me the "before and after" pics of his girlfriend!

me: - What do you mean "before and after" pics?

P - He has slimmed down her hips, hasn't he?

G - Yes

me - I'd be furious if my boyfriend did something like that!

G - Indeed, he said she got mad at him

me - Of course!

G - ...and he said:"she knows she has to lose these 2-3 Kg"...

She has what?

She doesn't have to do anything, unless she wants to!

As far as I know, she is at a perfectly healthy weight, so any "refinements" she'd want to do to her figure, are totally for vanity reasons. So, she should be the only one to decide whether she "has to" or not.

I know I'd be mad if my boyfriend would say something like this to me. I think there is more to love in one person, than these 2 or 3 Kg on or off her hips!

Would you be together with a guy who'd tell you something like this?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I have always been very careful to limit waste - whether it is closing the water when I am taking a shower and I don't really need it running, or limiting the amount of paper tissues I use, or trying to avoid at once the use of plastic plates/glasses. I think this "eco-consciousnes" comes from my literature teacher during the first year of high school: every time she'd see one of us wasting paper, she'd remind us of the trees that needed to be cut in order to make that paper.
And, at the university, in the Industrial Organic Chem class, I learned how harsh for the environment is the process of extracting cellulose from wood.

A couple of months ago I decided paper napkins are an unnecessary waste and expense, and I bought six cloth napkins in three different colors. This way, bf and I could have always two different colored napkins, re-use them for some days, then throw them in the washing machine. I know that washing uses electricity and soap, andthis not very good for the environment either, but we have a very energy efficient machine, plus cloth napkins don't really add much volume, so it's not like we are doing more washes than before.
When my mom heard I was doing this, she gave me a lot of old napkins she didn't need, some of which are white with a nice trim. So we have been using these too.

The best part of this, is that when we have guests for dinner, the first thing they say when we sit at the table is: "wow, you even pulled out the "real" napkins for us! How chic!" And then I explain the whole eco-thinking behind this choice, and they usually comment they should do something like this too (the more, the better, I say!)
And I find the use of cloth napkins so very old fashioned and chic, even a simple, everyday dinner becomes an affair to be taken seriously. The food needs to be adequate, and I find myself cooking slightly more engaging things because of this. I try to present vegetables in a nice fashion in their bowl, and I put a particular care in setting the table.
I know it sound a bit stupid, but it brings such a happyness to the eyes than I don't mind the little extra effort.

Next in line: I'd like to start using handkerchiefs instead of paper tissue - I find them so elegant and ladylike - and good for the trees, too!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weight ramblings - part I

When I was sixteen, something happened - actually, it was more like a series of small things which I am not going to list now - and slowly but steadily I begun eating less and less. In about 4 months, I was very skinny (I wasn't fat to start with), and not the "you're skinny, you can wear that" kind of skinny, it was more like the "OMG, are you sick?" kind of skinny.

My mom first tried to force me to eat, then understood there was an underlying problem in my behavior, and sent me to a specialist. Actually, even her and dad had to endure several sessione, so kudos to her for doing this for me, especially since in a small town, going to a psychologist/psychiatrist, is still a social stigma. I have another relative who didn't want to ask for help for her daughter because it wouldn't look good to show that this girl had a problem!

It wasn't an easy fix.
It took me several years to overcome my food problems. I was going from overeating to undereating for long periods, and I wasn't happy of this, but I really was feeling powerless. There was something bigger than me I couldn't beat!

Funny thing is, I started eating better and having a stable weight when I started not to care about this anymore.
It was so hard to realize I could eat anything I wanted, only, if I listened to my body, who had become silent for so many years, I could realize when it was enough. I understood that it is not a shame to eat in public. That the day didn't have necessarily to rotate around what/when I'd eat.
I found life is so much more interesting than my weight.
I found people are so much more than their weight.

This is very personal, and I don't often talk about it, but it was an introduction for what I am going to write next.

First, this commercial:

For the non-italian speakers, the brunette girl refuses to go take a swim (this part is not shown in this video) because she says she feels bloated. The blonde suggests the advertised yougurt, and the happy ending is shown in the last scene, where the brunette has lost that ugly caftan and is wearing a bikini.

Now, the first question than comes to my mind is - do I have to be perfect to wear a bikini? Thinking back, there are about 5 days a year when I am feeling "perfect". Which means - I am not concentrating on the softness on my hips, or a lack of tone on my arms, or my round belly, and so on.

So, on the remaining 360 days of the year - should I cover myself up with a caftan?
When I start having these doubts, the way out is to look around. At all those beautiful woman bodies that surrond us. On the beach, I could count on my finger the women that respond to the definition of "perfect". But the others are not less beautiful. Especially the ones who inhabit their body with confidence, showing their force and their personality. It's in the attitude, not in the clothing!

Really, it took me so many years to realize this - but just looking at other women I realize how beautiful they all are - and I feel beautiful myself!

Friday, July 10, 2009


There is this colleague, at work, with whom I talk a lot.
We have pretty different ways to look at life: he thinks, somehow like Shopenhauer, that happiness is just a short episode between two painful moments... I, on the other side, think that your life is what you make of it. That you should try to follow your dreams (as trite as this may seem), see and appreciate the beauty in the most unexpected places, and if something is wrong, just go and change it!
I couldn't live thinking I am here to suffer...
And I don't think it depends on life experiences either: I know he has been through some hard times, but I have too, and if I think about it all, I realize I am a pretty strong person.
Besides, I find more and more women to be stronger than men. Much stronger...

Just some birthday ramblings to try to put some order in my thoughts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday love!

Yesterday, because of an accident, the street I take to go home was blocked, so it took me 3 hours and 10 minutes to get home. I am exausted today, but still have stuff to be grateful for!

  • First, bf who makes me dinner and takes me out to have gelato, because I had such a hard day (and commute)!
  • Then, I got home late but I found a parking spot under the building - I am never so lucky!
  • Tomorrow is my birthday! I want to make a cake tonight to take to work tomorrow - it'll be a nice surprise for my coworkers, I hope.
  • And on sunday, beach! It'll be my fist time this year, so I can't wait.
  • Connected to the previous one: my very nice new swimsuit - also, can't wait to use it.

Other stuff: gelati, being able to wait for months for a bag to go on sale, the new hat I bought for little niece, and having her (and family) for dinner on sat, cooking, peaches! books and magazines, and the smell of summer in the air!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Lovely A from The Glamourous Grad Student just published my first guest post on Rome's city chic! Check it out (and check her lovely post).

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's 5 am...

...and the birds outside are chirping like crazy.

Bird chirping always made me happy.

It's not so loud to wake me up, but it's loud enough that I can hear it and enjoy it while getting ready. It makes me smile.

It's like adding a little color to a monochromatic outfit, a painting on a white wall, the secret ingredient that makes a dish special!


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