Monday Gym Soreness

I very recently moved to Reading from London (more details may come soon), therefore I left my old gym to join a new one – BuzzGym. Well, I have to say that the change of scenario kind of refreshed my motivations. As I have no specific goals – I still can’t run on tracks, I don’t want to do any bikini or body building competitions or any other kind of competitions, sometimes I’m afraid that at some point I’ll lose my motivation when lifting weights.

Monday gym soreness, gym soreness meme

And then the Monday gym soreness starts and I feel better. The best way to kick off the week is to live with gym soreness! When you’ve lived with chronic pain for 4 years it’s so rewarding and relieving waking up and feeling the so-called ‘good pain’ :)

Your body always speaks to you. With the chronic pain it told me something was very wrong with me, but today it’s only saying it’s happy to improving its range day by day!

BuzzGym is a very cool place. I haven’t found my ‘spaces’ yet, but I’m confident that it’s only a matter of time. I am so get used to my training habits and circuits at my old gym that I feel a bit lost now in such a big gym floor with a number of new and awesome machines, and many more people attending.

Have a wonderful Monday gym soreness everyone!💪🏻

Taken at BuzzGym
Follow me on Instagram – don’t miss out my Fitbit IG Stories’s column!

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Top 9 things I lived and learnt in 2016

While everyone is welcoming the upcoming 2017 and blaming the 2016 for all the people who have died during these last 12 months, I’ve made a sum up of the top 9 things that happened to me in 2016.

top 9 things 2016

That’s the Instagram’s Best Nine. Well, no pics about me? Guh!

So here are my top 9 things I chose as highlights of my 2016!

Many other great things have happened during this 2016. It’s been an amazing year for me, I can’t complain at all!

When reading my first post of the 2016 about avoiding proposition, there’s something I’d like to underline:

In the picture above there are the 9 most liked pictures on Instagram in 2015. They reflect well what my year has just been: travelling, working on myself, never giving up, coming back to running, eating, drinking tons of coffee and loving all things beautiful in the world.

That’s exactly what happened on this 2016 too. I hope my 2017 will enhance all of this, and will push even more out of my comfort zone. I want to learn new skills, visit new countries, get stronger, write more, spend more time with my loved ones, and enjoy life.

I wish you all a fantastic, happy and healthy 2017 full of all the things you’d like! Stay strong, live your life at full and don’t be discouraged by the bad times – good times are always around the corner!

Christmas in Rome: an Instagram Stories Documentary

Franz and I flew to Italy to spend a nice Christmas in Rome with our combined families. Since it was the first time we did it, and also the first time we cooked a holiday meal(s) for them, I decided to use the technology to provide documentary evidence of what happened.

Christmas in rome, instagram stories, christmas documentary, family, italy

Spoiler alert: Families voted the Christmas lunch I cooked, and luckily the result is a full 10. Phew! 😅

The best tool I thought of for keeping track of the food prepping and all the other shenanigans in real time was Instagram Stories. It works pretty much like Snapchat, with the huge difference that (many) people actually comment, reply and ping me every time I upload a photo or a video.

Since the Instagram Stories last only 24 hours, but I wanted to keep the memory of that glorious Christmas in Rome and Christmas epic win, I downloaded the whole story of Dec 25th and made it a video of out it. Here it is!

I hope you enjoyed it :)
Do you have any social media evidence to share that proofs your Christmas epic win?

Taken at Rome, Italy
Find more on my Instagram account and Instagram stories!

My First Automattic Christmas party

I was looking forward to this event since I started working at Automattic last June. Eventually, December arrived and it comes also the time to enjoy my company annual Christmas party!

My first Automattic Christmas party
My first Automattic Christmas party was such a blast! I had the pleasure to meet up with some of the Automatticians living in the UK. Another bunch of us had a very cool Christmas party in London too, but I couldn’t attend to that one :( They had a nice lunch and then went to a bowling place.

On the other hand, we went ice skating! Last time I tried ice skating was nearly 10 years ago! Saying that I had the best time on the ice rink with my colleagues does not even remotely explain how happy I was in there. I feel like I was born on the ice. Some of my fellow Automatticians had a bit of troubles on the ice, so Rachel (on the pic above bottom right) and I tried to help them out. It turned out I was very useless when trying to aid my friends. Here’s a bad video shot by me whilst skating – it was also on my Instagram stories.

At some point I dared to attempt an angel figure on the ice, with one of my leg flexed out first, then bent over toward my back. I succeeded! I was pretty proud of myself, and my core and stabilising muscles. After the bad injury I had a few years ago I’d never dreamt of performing something like that ❤️
Too bad no one saw my exercise, a part from a couple of guys who applauded me. Better than nothing!

Then we head over Mother India cafe, where we had a lot of good Indian food. The funny thing was the service. It looked like the staff had no clue about what we ordered and to whom to deliver the food. To be honest, I’m not sure if I wouldn’t be able to handle it better, since we were a group of thirty people spread out into two long tables, all cheering and laughing out loud.

The cherry on top was when the lightbulbs in the room started exploding for some reasons, and then a waiter made a tall pile of dishes crash on the ground. It was like we were on Candid Camera, but the food was utterly excellent, so thumbs up!

Edinburgh has been the perfect setting for a lovely evening with the best people.

As a nice side note, the afternoon I arrived in Edinburgh I also met up with my cousin Antonella who moved there last August from sunny Sardinia. It looks like she’s settled there well and I’m happy about it. This is a (rough) pic we took just before having haggis, one of the most delicious food on Earth (that’s why I’m smiling with all my teeth!)
Me, Franz and cousin Antonella in Edinbugh

And if you think that was the end of the fun, think again. The day after the Automattic Christmas party I headed to Matlock, Derbyshire, for the annual Human Made Christmas dinner. I wasn’t the only Automattician invited, as my the girlfriend of my colleague Jack, Daisy, works at Human Made together with my husband Franz (of course plus ones were welcomed in both dinners).
That was my second Human Made Christmas party, and as always it’s been a pleasure to meet up with people I can call family already.

Everybody was dressed smart casual, and I was too – underneath my brilliant Code is Poetry Christmas jumper I sported with proud also in Edinburgh.
I didn’t shoot any pictures in Matlock because time flew and was too busy chatting with everyone, but the great Noel Tock took a couple of pics for me:

All in all, I can cry out loud that I’m so privileged to be part of the Automattic and WordPress families ❤️

Taken at Edinburgh and Matlock, United Kingdom
More pictures and video have been added to my Instagram Stories! Have you missed them out?

Accepting ourselves whilst ageing

I was under certain medications for three months – nothing serious, it looks like I’m fit as a fiddle.

Anyway, now that I’m gradually recovering from the mess this treatment made to my body and mind, I want to share with you what happened meanwhile! I think this is my personal message to try accepting ourselves just the way we are, and to accept the changes by rationalising them.

So here I am in late October and November, all bloated and with a massive water retention going on. (And yes, these are my first bathroom selfies ever, and yes, I’m sporting a Jetpack t-shirt). I’m not flexing or posing or holding the breath. This is just me in my worst shape ever.

accepting ourselves - stef bloated water retention

I gained 5kg in a month or so, about 15 days after I started taking those pills. Before these three months, I thought that the wrinkles I could see on my legs was cellulite. Then I found out what cellulite looks like for real because it popped out overnight whilst under this treatment. I also experienced tiredness, massive and terrible mood swings, headaches, legs soreness, and bloating. For a comparison, these are some pics of myself before starting the medication # – ##, and one week after I started with the pills (their effect kicked out 8 days after this photo).

I felt terrible. I couldn’t control all those changes in my body, not to mention the mood swings! Reducing the calories intake to minimise the weight gain wouldn’t make any difference, as it was clear that I didn’t gain fat, but just water. I excluded food with yeast and dairy from my diet as much as I could, and that helped a little bit to avoid extra bloating.

The psychological side effects were worse than the body ones, to tell the truth. I felt down and happy, I cried and then laughed, I was nervous pretty much all the time because I was feeling uncomfortable all the time.

I then tried to rationalise what was happening to me. It would last just for three months, and those were short-term side effects. Many people told me they couldn’t even notice the difference, a part from my tummy definition that was obviously gone. Someone noticed that I was moody and my waist got wider, though.

I also took these three months as a moment to realise that I’m not in my twenties anymore. I hate that. Despite I look much younger than I am, I won’t be (and look) young forever, and my fast metabolism will abandon me at some point. The greedy-eating-all Stef will have to start eating responsibly, doing more cardio (which I hate too) and, like all of us, start accepting ourselves the way we are – evolving, ageing creatures.

This is also why I’m sharing these pictures. I’m currently transitioning out of the medications timeframe and I have already lost 3kg. I don’t know if I’m going to be 48.2 kg again, but looking back at those past months I hope to have learnt the lesson to take it easy and be less tough with myself.

I will never stop fighting the ageing, though. I refuse to surrender. I see many people ageing and being in a great shape nevertheless. I’m thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger or the lady at my local gym who I think is 80 or something and she’s still such a badass with kettlebells and dumbbells. Ageing will be never an excuse for me to get lazy and unfit.

22/12 Edit and pic update

Pic update, tranformation, get fit, water retention
Pic on the left is dated between October and November when I was under medications. Picture on the right is me 3 weeks off the medications. Note that the day before on the right picture I had a whole pizza and a £4 Italian gelato!

I lost 3,5kg of water retention; my tummy is more flat and I feel better now.

Still 1.5kg to lose but I’ll think about it after Christmas! 😇🍽

Taken at London, United Kingdom. Find more on my Instagram Stories too!