Five things Friday 17/7

Five things Friday 17/7

I have pretty much lost all concept of what day of the week it is, but happy Friday! In the spirit of the almost weekend, here are five random tidbits.

1. I may have gotten a little too excited in my last post
I freely admit that I made some generalisations about Italians and European people overall. I know not everyone is thin and avoids the gym. My statements are based on my personal observations. I live in a student neighbourhood, so I think my population “statistics” are a little skewed. Furthermore, the European friends I’ve made all over the world have been 35 or under – a population group which tends to fit the mould I described.

I should also point out that I wrote that post while sitting outside in my local square, drinking vino, so I was feeling a little more excitable/ranty than usual. Drinking wine and writing posts is also not a good combination for my lightweight self, and I have learnt that I should not edit my posts after hitting publish. By “western” I of course meant anglo countries. Wine brain.

I still stand by my statement that pasta and wine are good for the mind and body!

2. Ideal bodyweight
This calculator popped up in my newsfeed and it’s super interesting! You plug in your height and, based on the industry standards, it tells you your ideal bodyweight as a powerlifter, Olympic lifter and figure/fitness/bikini competitor, if you’re a woman.

If you’re a man, it will tell you your maximum drug-free muscular potential at a range of body fat levels, as well as your ideal weight for powerlifting, Olympic lifting, mixed martial arts, bodybuilding and competing in the fitness division.

Apparently, I should be 82kg for powerlifting and Olympic lifting, which is awesome news. I’m currently sitting at 74kg, which sounds like a lot to most people. Just the other day, someone at the gym asked me “what are you, 64-65kg?” and his eyes nearly popped out of his head when I told him my actual weight.

I couldn’t care less what the number on the scale says, but it is somewhat of a relief to know I have room to grow if I want to become more competitive as a strength athlete – any excuse to eat more gelato! And I love being told that I should be more, and not less.

On the other end of the spectrum, I should apparently be 61kg for figure/fitness, and a measly 57kg for bikini. I think I would actually die if I reached 57kg! My lowest weight in the past five years has been 62kg, and I looked positively malnourished then – and that was before I had any muscle on me!

3. I walked around the boundary of an entire country yesterday
How many people can say that?! However, given that Vatican City has an area of just 0.44 square kilometres, it suddenly does not sound so impressive.

I’m not religious at all, but there was something simply breathtaking about being inside St Peter’s Basilica.

st peters

vatican selfie

The Vatican Museums, on the other hand, were 100 per cent not worth the effort. It seemed like every tourist in Rome had chosen that exact moment to visit the Vatican. It was probably the most awful tourist-related experience of my life. Seriously, look at this!


I saw the Sistine Chapel and got out as quickly as possible – which still took about 45 minutes given the massive crowd I had to wade through. I was not impressed.

I took a lot of photos of the ceiling, so as to avoid having other people's mugs in my pictures

I took a lot of photos of the ceiling, so as to avoid having other people’s mugs in my pictures

My Italian is coming along very nicely! I force myself to speak it every chance I get, and yesterday a number of people mistook me for Italian. I will totally take that as a compliment!

4. I have booked (almost) all of my accommodation until December!
In two weeks, I head to Naples. From mid-August to mid-September, I will be in Florence. I will then spend three days each in Venice and Trieste (this is the only part of my trip I haven’t booked yet).

From Trieste, I will take a bus along the Croatian coastline until I arrive at my new home for the next three months, Split!

Amazing panoramic top view of the historic city of white stone Split in Croatia



I’m so excited about living here. I have a feeling I will be sick of moving around so often by then, so I will welcome the opportunity to stay in one place for a while.

The Croatian properties available on Airbnb are absolutely amazing. I have rented a one bedroom house right in the middle of the old town for less than half the price I was paying for a single bedroom in London. And I could have rented a three bedroom house right on the beach on Hvar Island for the same price!

As sad it is, I want to be somewhere where there is a gym nearby, so that really only left me with the options of Split and Dubrovnik. And, as much as I love my own company, something tells me I would start to go a little stir-crazy after three months of being isolated on an island!

5. Some reading material
Here are some posts I’ve shared on my Facebook page lately.

Tennis’s Top Women Balance Body Image with Ambition: There is SO much I could write about this, but this article gave me the sads in a major way. It’s very, very unfortunate that elite female athletes still equate having muscles with being masculine, and shun weight lifting for that reason.

What Does It Take To Build Muscle Like Wonder Woman? This is a very interesting interview with Julia Ladewski, where she reveals all the hard work she has put in over the past 17 years to get the rocking body she has today. I hope it quells some fears women may have about bulking up – those tennis players really need to read this!

5 Tips for Leaning Out: I have a love-hate relationship with Bret Contreras, but this was a great post. It was really comprehensive but also very simple.

Diet or Deception: The Problem with Nutrition Secrets: This is kind of what I was talking about the other day. Finding the ideal nutritional strategy really comes down to keeping things simple, and finding what works best for you.

That’s all I’ve got. Have a great weekend!

Did you try the bodyweight calculator? Were you surprised by the results? Have you read any good articles lately?

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