Once I opened the cage I was in I started running and now I don’t want to stop anymore. I lifted a weight and pushed it down the hill and it is rolling and rolling.
This is how I feel. I feel like I finally got the key of the cage I put myself in, a cage of fear, regret, and uncertainty, and I let the lion that is me outside it to see the beauty of life and possibilities. I was the one keeping myself trapped, I was the one listening to the belittling comments others would say and believing them, I was the one stopping myself because I didn’t get the support I was looking for. And that stopped me for years, years of ups and downs where I dragged myself through life, sometimes hoping for it to end and sometimes finding passion in a new project that would never see the light, since I was always looking for that approval or help I never actually got to get.
All my partners told me “Me first and then we think about you”, and guess when that time arrived? Yes, you are right, never. Year after year I waited and helped, and move mountains, to see my twenties passing by without me doing what I really wanted to do, and then the thirty became thirty five and I couldn’t hold myself anymore. I finally broke free and understood a million things.
I understood that the only support I need and always needed was mine.
I understood that the only cheerleader I need is ME.
The first thing I decided to do was to go back to Uni, but being late to apply I decided to enroll in the BHC program at the HealthCoachInstitute and that decision changed me completely. Not only it helped me overcome a lot personally, but it gave me a vision I was missing, it gave me the link between all my passions and interest, training, food and mental health.
I am late again to apply for Uni, but if I will manage to get in I will be studying psychology, which will be just one of the steps I am planning to take to get where I want to be.
In the meantime I am working on myself day in day out and to strengthen and develop my will power mental muscle I decided to train for a bikini competition. I am not actually interested in getting skinnier, or get a medal out of the competition, my confidence boost will come from prepping for it and get on stage half naked!! Past 10 years old I have always been super shy and self conscious and getting on that stage scares me more than anything at this moment, and that is why I want to do it. Every year I am planning to do something that stretches me and scares me, to grow myself mentally and become that brave confident person I have always dreamt to be.
The Bikini Competition will be in September, so I have few more months to bulk up as much as I can before having to start cutting my calories. And that means that I have to eat quite a bit and can still enjoy and prepare for this blog oil rich well seasoned foods.
Today’s recipe is one that I prepare quite often, because it is very easy, I usually have the ingredients on hand and I just forget it in the oven while I am doing something else.
The Aubergine “al cartoccio” are not a caloric dish and are perfect as a side of red meat or accompanied by a fresh cous cous with mint, parsley, tomato, celery and garlic, which are all ingredients that pair really well with aubergines.
- 4 aubergines
- 4 tbsp evo oil
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp black olives
- 1 tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes
- a small bunch of parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt, pepper and oregano to taste
- Cut the aubergines in half and criss-cross them with a knife.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano.
- Finally chop capers, olives, tomatoes, parsley and grate the garlic. Mix them all with the oil.
- Place the aubergine on a tray lined with tin foil. Spread the oil over the aubergines, trying to get the bits and bobs inside the cuts you just made.
- Place another sheet of tin foil on top of the aubergines and close everything so that no steam will escape from the "cartoccio" you created.
- Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 2 hours.
- The aubergine have to come out creamy and juicy. If you decide to check them before the 2 hours have passed, remember to close the tin foil bag you created, so the aubergine will not roast.
- Some people love to sprinkle the aubergines with salt and let them rest for half an hour so that the bitter juices will come out. I don't personally do that because I like that bitterness and if the aubergines are really fresh it is minimal anyway.
- If you are not a big fan of garlic, feel free to reduce the amount as well.