After many years of on again-off again, ups and downs, love and hate, fights and struggles, I have once again rekindled an old romance. And I am determined to make it work this time, once and for all......
......Yes, that's right, I have rekindled my relationship with the treadmill. (and the elliptical trainer) and I am also getting to know free weights and kettlebells a bit better, so far so good, but we still need a little more time to develop our relationship. But I have to say it feels pretty good. I guess its one of those things that I didn't really know I missed until I rediscovered it. I have been saying for months that I was going to join the gym right around the corner from my apartment but never actually got around to it. But when I was home in California during the holidays I was given the little push that I needed.
I was inspired really. By two amazing women; my mother and my sister, who have collectively lost over 100 pounds (about 45 kilos) in the past year. I noticed a difference in them not only physically, but more importantly mentally and emotionally. My mother at almost 65 years old has 10x's more energy then she did a year ago and my sister at 41 is in the best shape of her life. And while I am thankful for the new wardrobe my sister handed down to me, it is a constant reminder every time I put something of hers on, another little push in the right direction.
I began going to the gym while I was there and realized how silly it would be to loose what I had started, so the day after we returned I purchased a membership. It's no L.A Fitness, and some of the machines are about 20 years old, but it has everything I need. So now 4-5 days per week I set my alarm and my workout is the first thing I do.
I'm almost afraid to talk about it for fear that I will somehow loose my affection and go back to square one. It's been a lifetime pattern for me. I will be completely and totally determined to get myself back in shape, I find a workout plan and stick to it for several months and reach a goal, and then, I stop. Why? I don't know. Boredom possibly, unawareness of what it is I am really working towards. But this time I believe that it will be different. I am looking at it from a different perspective this time around. I am not necessarily working towards a said goal to be accomplished by a specific date, but rather to change the way I observe myself. To be more conscience of how I feel and how my body is effected by my actions, or lack there of.
Living in Florence, being healthy is really not that difficult. I realized many years ago that I am certainly healthier here with minimal effort than I was living in the U.S. For one I walk just about everywhere I go, or I ride my bike. I don't eat processed foods and I live 2 minutes away from Mercato Sant'Ambrogio with a pleathra of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meats etc. Of course it is easy to over do it on the mozzarella di bufala, fresh baked pastries, pizza and gelato, but I have no intention of cutting those out entirely, just not indulging as freely as I may have in the past. Reckless abandon some may have even called it. I have realized that I need to set limits for myself without deprivation. I do also LOVE my wine, but again, have made a conscience decision to take notice of how much I consume and how it makes me feel.
My reasons for doing this are not to look like a supermodel, (since I already do) Its really about feeling better and being healthy.
Now I know this doesn't have that much to do life in Florence other than to say that the food here is REALLY good. And that you will certainly not be served the enormous portions of pasta that you are at your typical Italian restaurant in the U.S. Here you can expect a single portion, not a enough for 6 people. Everything is fresh and natural. That certainly makes achieving a fitness goal easier.
So I will say this, if you are planing a visit to Florence and want to start or maintain your exercise routine, there are several ways you can do it and you don't necessarily have to have a gym membership either. One of the best places for a run or walk is up to Piazzale Michelangelo. As you can see from the photos (FYI, that's not me in the photo, do you think we should tell her that her booty is hanging out?) it overlooks the city so there are a few hills involved. From the city center you can walk or run up into the Tuscan hills and get yourself a good workout. (Be careful about going too early or too late though, especially if your a girl) or you can run along the Arno river with all of the Florentines or head down to Le Cascine park. If you prefer the gym like I do, there are several in the city. As long as you don't expect L.A Fitness or Gold's Gym you can find a gym with all of your basics. Here's a list. The prices are also bit more than they are in the U.S, but its your health and there is no price too high for that.
So one of the most important things that I have realized is this; time is going to go by weather you are doing it or not so you might as well just do it. There are no excuses. AND its time for ME. Just me. I turn up my ipod and block out the rest of the world for an hour and a half. Ahhhh che bello!