FFG in Roma

There is something about Italy that makes me more conservative. After arriving yesterday, for instance, I donned a long flowing skirt and body concealing t-shirt before heading over to Santa Maria Maggiore to attend mass. Since I was raised Catholic, I joined right in with the genuflecting and self crossing. My secret motive, however, was to revel in the atmosphere and scrutinize the fifth-century mosaics adorning the triumphal arch and nave, about which I wrote an undergraduate research paper. They are still fabulous.

Today jet lag woke me up early, and I considered going upstairs to work out in the well equipped gym, one of the main reasons I booked this hotel near the Termini station. I bet it does not even open until 7am, I chuckled to myself, thinking of the Italian internal clock. But I was wrong. It opens at 9. So my shoulder burn was delayed, and instead I went downstairs to the breakfast area in my tank top and lulu ass bra, where I dined on fresh peaches, prunes, and museli. Although I am in Europe, I am not on holiday, and in any case I will not use travel as an excuse to avoid exercise and clean eating. As I stashed two hard boiled eggs and an apple in my purse, I noted that I would not normally consume so much fruit, my one concession to Italian deliciousnes. Plus some wine. But I will not be indulging in pasta or bread or dessert (sorry Kimbers, that includes tiramisu). I do not even want these foods any more, to be honest. During my meanderings yesterday, I noticed that several restaurants were advertising gluten free pasta, which made me smile, thinking that PDDs would be pleased to see that her dietary needs were being addressed by the Italian tourist industry.

I was initially sad about leaving my partner and friends for six weeks, but then happy to realize that I finally have close friends in Edmonton, and wish that they were all coming with me. Well, PDDs and Fitbabe will be visiting me in Paris for a week in early June, so stay tuned for a hot photo essay of us rocking the French gyms. I have blogged about friendship before, so you already know how important it is to me. Workout partners are a specific kind of friend, something that I have been thinking about after spending a few hours with PDDs almost every day for the past ten months. Before leaving for my sojourn, I told PDDs that she is the perfect workout partner because she is always eager to train, texting me plans, or simply ‘Rawr! Looking forward to killing your legs later.’ She has never once cancelled a session, bringing her best even when feeling ill or tired. Our relationship took a while to develop because it began on a purely physical level—not like that you pervos—and did not involve much talking. We lifted to failure, and when we chatted in between sets, it was about working out. That has now changed, and I tell PDDs more about my private life than she would no doubt like to hear. I trust her, something the dictionary defines as a ‘reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, and surety of a person or thing.’ When my determined workout partner remarked that she never thought she could lift so heavy—think 55 pound dumbbell presses—I responded that she was super strong and also relied on me to spot properly, allowing her to take risks. Because of our mutual trust I am not afraid to try anything at the gym. (Get out of the gutter, I was talking about weighted bench jumps).

The truth is that I am not afraid to try new things in general, especially while travelling. I wander around by myself, getting lost. As a single woman, I try to avoid dodgy neighbourhoods and staying out too late at night. Why do you think I have time to blog, despite being in this urban paradise? And with that I am off again, removing the drip-dried skirt from the shower stall, and moving my ring from my right hand onto my left wedding finger. That is a necessary precaution in this town. Trust me.

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About feministfiguregirl

I am a 51-year-old professor named Lianne McTavish who receives as much satisfaction from working out at the gym as from publishing my academic research. About eight years ago, I decided to combine my two primary identities (scholar/gym rat) to create "Feminist Figure Girl," a fictional character who both analyzes and participates in bodybuilding. I competed in my first figure show in June of 2011, and then wrote a book inspired by the process, published by SUNY Press in February 2015. In this blog I will write about and consider my ongoing research on the body, while regularly making fun of myself. I recommend that you start reading my first post from August 2010 (available on the home page), instead of backwards from the most recent one, in order to get the full FFG effect.

4 thoughts on “FFG in Roma

  1. I am so excited to know you and PDD’S! We had this same conversation yesterday at lift and bitch ( missing you) about the value of great workout buddies..and about how we came into each others lives just when we needed it most! I’m trying to talk Pdd’s into competing with me at Muscle beach! You have transformed her into a physique culture lover like us! I believe surrounding yourself with like minded people brings out the best in you! Can’t wait to Rock the French gyms!

  2. I’m going to Italy in two months and, even though I don’t really eat a lot of those foods anymore, I’m definitely going to be having some pizza, pasta, and gelato. I’m sure I will be incredibly bloated by the end of it but it’s the first time I’ll be there so I would regret it if I didn’t!

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