Health coach

How my approach to fitness changed in 2018

At the end of 2018, I find myself certified as a yoga teacher and in the middle of the process of becoming a health coach. With six kilos less, I carry a different mindset to say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019.

How was I at the beginning of 2018? Let’s walk down a little bit on memory lane.

I spent New Year’s Eve high as hell in Madison, Wisconsin. I was sad, my journey as an au pair was about to come to an end. I didn’t know what to expect from my coming back to Italy after two years.
On January 6th, I took the flight back to Italy. I landed in Milan and I really didn’t have a plan. My only thought was that I had to go to Barcelona to finish my first immersion for my yoga teacher training as soon as I could. 

The Thursday after I got home, two days before I took my flight to Barcelona, I fell sick. I had a terrible headache, a contracture in my neck and shoulders and I had to go to the ER. I could barely handle the pain. I had to give up on the first immersion in January, I kept vomiting and having terrible headaches for the following week.  The doctor said it was due to the stress, and it was true.

I was stressed by all the changes that were happening in my life.

For two years I had lived in a bubble. I had my salary. Going back home meant to go back to university to finish the exam that I had paused two years before. It meant not having a salary and the independence that it came with that. I felt like, instead of improving, I was going back to the person I was before.

Luckily, yoga had my back.

headstand yoga barcelona

I signed up at a yoga studio in my hometown, and I started to deepen my practice on this side of the ocean. I went to Barcelona for my first immersion in March, passed that part successfully. I had to wait until September to go back and finish everything. The University and its exams, once again, kept me from doing what I wanted. 

I stayed in Italy for 7 months.

Even though, I traveled to Barcelona once and to Naples another time. For me, it wasn’t enough. I started to feel like I couldn’t breath again, like I was wasting my time. Once I finished my job as a summer camp supervisor in July, I packed my stuff and went to Spain.

Why Spain?

headstand yoga pose

My last exam at University, the one that I couldn’t pass, was Spanish level C1. I thought: “since I can’t pass it here, let’s go to Spain and see how it goes.” I went to Sotogrande, an English enclave close to Malaga and Gibraltar. I went there as a Workawayer. I volunteered, in exchange for food and a place where to live, in an English family who owned a gym. 

Maybe, it wasn’t the right move for my Spanish, but it was awesome for my health. I started weight lifting alongside my yoga practice. I lost three kilos in a month, gained muscles and learned a ton more about nutrition than I could expect. I gave up on sugar and carbs for a month, I trained twice a day and practiced yoga. I changed for the better, I felt awesome. 

I wasn’t expecting that.

I started to realize how important nutrition and health is in our everyday life. I decided to enroll in the August Accelerated Course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), a nutrition and holistic health school online. The best choice I could ever make. Enrolling in IIN doesn’t just open up a new career path for me, alongside my yoga teacher training. It opened up to the opportunity of a journey of discovery. 

In the same period, I fell in love with my boyfriend who knows a lot about nutrition and fitness. Besides making my heart beat fast every day and making me laugh, he taught me a lot about his field of knowledge. 

At the end of my month in Sotogrande, I went to Barcelona for two weeks for my yoga teacher training. It was a tough and amazing time that you can read about in my first post here. After passing it successfully,

I moved to Sevilla, Spain. 

sevilla spain españa triana los remedios

I moved in with my boyfriend. While I was trying to find a job, I had free time. I started to go to the gym 5 days per week. It became a habit. Now, if I don’t go, I feel like I’m exploding. I started teaching yoga and English to make some money, but the job offer in Andalusia is worst than in Italy. I’m patiently waiting, sending out my best vibes for 2019 working out in the meanwhile. 

At the beginning of 2018, I was sad, scared, unhealthy, and hopeless.  At the end of 2018, I’m happy, loved, healthy, and hopeful. 

It’s crazy how a mindset can change in a year, how many things can happen. I came to Spain for a reason, I ended up staying for another. I lived in three countries in a year: States, Italy, and Spain. I feel like Spain is not going to be my last stop, but for now, it’s where I’m supposed to be. It’s a hard time finding job here, that’s why I’m trying to build a business online. 

Soon, I’ll start accepting clients as a Health Coach, building my program that will combine my coaching skills and my yoga teaching ones. I want to share with everyone how life can change, how we are not stuck. Little shifts in our life can create incredible events. 

I want to help people make the change. Look at your 2018, did you change from the beginning of 2018 or do you feel stuck? Are you ready to make a change to find your better self, mentally and physically? 

At the beginning of 2018, I would have never thought I would have been living in Spain by the end of it. Or that I would welcome 2019 without 6 kilos, with muscles on my body and a different attitude. But it happened, and I’m so glad it did. 

take the risk

Love, 
Elena.

26 years old Italian living in Spain. Yoga teacher and health coach with a passion for writing, traveling and learning.

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