14 February 2021

It's Valentine's Day: loved ones. Or rather: FitLovas, feminism and gymnastics

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Today in Italy as in the rest of the world is the day of chocolates, flowers and soft toys. The day that if you are single you hate all couples and if you are engaged you start planning two weeks before where you will dine, what you will wear and what you will give him as a present. Today, with a feminist conscience instead, I want to propose something to you. I propose to ask you: what do you do to love yourself? Ask yourself if you give yourself the self-love you deserve and how you give it to yourself. I think there is no better day for this question.

There are many ways to love yourself, including listening to music that gives you the right vibe, investing in training, eating a healthy diet, eating your favourite dessert, serving yourself a glass of wine while accompanied by your beautiful presence reading a book or watching a series. And of course masturbating, which makes your soul happier, helps you get to know yourself better, raises your endorphin level and fights stress.

As for your body, apart from masturbation and some massages, how do you love it? In the different ups and downs of love and hate with my body I have learned that it is like an entity in itself. You have to take care of it as if it were a plant or your own daughter. You have to hydrate it, you have to give it light, you have to feed it well and keep it strong. In the end it is her, your corpa that will see you through to the end. Unfortunately they don't teach us these things, they tell us about sport in general, about the gym. But often we women associate training with achieving aesthetic goals. And maybe that's the problem. Why do we train?

Personally and honestly I was training for others. I was training to please that boy, to be thinner than my friend - I was comparing myself to all of them... the damn low self-esteem. I went on diets that I wouldn't recommend to anyone today, I spent hours on the treadmill (very boring) to get into those jeans or to get rid of that fat that was intermittently accumulating on my hips, thighs, stomach, arms.

E' San Valentino: amati. Anzi: FitLovas, femminismo e ginnastica

I never really liked myself. I was very happy when I got the results I set out to achieve, but I never lasted long because something always clicked in me and made me give up. I thought the results would last forever and I wouldn't have to go back to that hell of counting calories and training which was always a race against time.

I had started, before my definitive departure from Rome, to training only with women and I had already noticed the difference from that. showroom which is the gym. Then I came to Barcelona, and after joining several gyms and getting bored again with treadmills and machines I looked for a personal trainer and found Berta.. Her Instagram profile reflected a bit of what I was looking for, a normal girl of my age, with a nice, fit body and no sexualized gym model poses.

From there, the reconciliation with my body. I had hurt myself in previous years, I was determined to get back into 'shape' - a misconception - and maybe this time I was doing it for others. But workout after workout I started to enjoy it. It was no longer the mirror that counted or the scales, but the challenge with myself. To outdo myself a little more each time, to do an extra push-up, to stay in the plank longer or to run faster.

It was meant to be, I am sure of it now, because in the space of a few weeks Berta decided to create a women's training group with Monse, her partner in the functional training course. It was what I was looking for even before I thought of a personal trainer (a woman, of course). I was present at the birth and then at the growth of this project, which now has more than 200 members.

We started in a few, 5-6 friends of friends. We felt we were experimenting together, some were already quite trained (not me). We learned to train among women, to experiment with our bodies, our strength, our agility in a box rented by the hour where there was no male gaze to control your movements.

We didn't have to be ashamed to look funny, ungainly, bachelor, sweaty, to fall down, to fail and we didn't have to prove our abilities to anyone but ourselves.

We all suffered together in sisterhood and we motivated each other with healthy competition/motivation. Above all, we laughed a lot.

E' San Valentino: amati. Anzi: FitLovas, femminismo e ginnastica

Then Berta and Monse decided to get serious, and after deciding on the name of the group, FitLovashave launched the first training programme for womenan 8-week programme, 3 times a week in the open air in the parks of Montjuïc, with a points system for prizes at the end of the programme. A fourth day a week was dedicated to yoga and to studying together topics related to our health: nutrition, the concept of diet, the menstrual cycle, the relationship with food with the accompaniment of another Montse, a psychologist specialising in the field of nutrition. eating disorders (which have to do with your inner child).

In these 2 years Fitlovas grew in a way that no one could have imagined, Berta and Monse took a centre near the Sagrada Familia, integrated the team with Mavi, general manager and institutional relations, a career woman who divided her time between Holland, Turkey and the United States and decided to take a break from the world corporate and follow her heart and instinct by dedicating herself to women's enterprise and feminism.

Today FitLovas is presented as a unique centre in Barcelona. There are no mirrors in the training room, only in the bathroom. Women feel safe and can be themselves without worrying about how they look every second. They present themselves like that:

We are a brand with a feminist approach that uses training as a tool for self-empowerment and self-care.

In a perspective of body acceptance and self-love, we help you to boosting your inner strength respecting and listening to your body.

We help you to achieving your health goals as a woman, online or in person.

E' San Valentino: amati. Anzi: FitLovas, femminismo e ginnastica

During the lockdown FitLovas replaced functional, strength and yoga training with online training and created the format "Lovas club"every Thursday we met virtually with expert guests to learn and share topics of common interest related to feminism. Thanks to FitLovas I met radical feminismlatent gene that has been reawakened thanks to them and to Lula Gomez, author of the book "Eres una caca, a guide to understanding and dismantling machismo"first registered and then several times as a guest of the Lovas Club where I am sure it has awakened several consciences.

We tackled topics such as conscious nutrition, sports psychology, the menstrual cycle, female sexuality, sustainability, motherhood, food psychology, art and feminism with normality and no shame.

Thanks to Berta, Monse and Mavi, I came to terms with myself several times, especially when talking about nutrition, and I learned what feminism and sisterhood are before I was even aware of them. I started my feminist deconstruction journey with them and it became indispensable for me to feel surrounded by women who reflect the same way I see society.

FitLovas is a space open to women of all ages and they have recently launched the new programme "Lovas Maternity"where the focus is on pregnant women, a topic to which Berta 'mother of a 6-year-old monster' in particular wanted to give special attention.

"I had never done sport in my life. I was a software developer until one day I decided to join a gym near my home to "get in shape". After having a baby, let's say your body changes and I was not very comfortable with mine. Although I am aware that I didn't start with the best goals, I know now that it was one of the best decisions I ever made."

Monse's story is also very similar to that of many of us:

"For many years I used sport as a form of punishment, either because of what I was eating or because I wanted to look thinner. For many years my relationship with food has been painfulI would go through periods of restriction for fear of gaining weight and then collapse and eat everything around me. Luckily after a lot of inner work I made peace with myself, accepting myself as I am and loving every part of my body."

"We both decided to create this project that we love and that fulfils us. Because we know that the value of a woman is NEVER to be found in the correspondence of her physique to imposed aesthetic standards.and that we all have the right to train our strength and our bodies without feeling guilty, without reasons that hurt us and by connecting with that animal and archaic strength that has been taken away from us.

We love to see that every day we raise the shutter girls arrive with desireThey train and give their best, and are surprised by their ability, their power and their strength. And above all we love every time a woman tells us "I didn't know I was so powerful, I've never felt so good working out with other women around me, I feel free and never judged.".

We are still as strong as we were at the beginning, or even stronger ????.

Ah, I forgot:

"Why are we called FitLovas? Because she-wolves (lobas is lupe in Italian) are the only mammals without gender hierarchy. Both she-wolves and wolves have the same role in the pack: to protect themselves, to feed themselves and to live. The pack is everything to the wolves and they do everything to keep it together and protect it, from birth to death. The "V"? Because a pack without love is nothing. For the love of sport and how it makes us feel."

I hope there will soon be a FitLovas in Italy too.

Sara Punzo

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