Moving To LA Made Me Fat

Bay Area; Hot And LA; Not

What It's Like To Be LA Fat.

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Thanks to my parents and my therapist, I've always known myself to be a confident person. I know my strengths, weaknesses and just all around who I am as a person. However, since moving to Los Angeles my confidence levels have depleted. In the Bay Area I am considered hot and in Los Angeles, I am not.

Yes, someone like me is often hit on at the bar in SF. Don't act so surprised, GOSH. I mean it happens more often than other places and definitely 100% more often when compared to LA. The definition of "LA fat" is being considered skinny anywhere else in the world except for LA. I might not be the most muscle toned person in all of Los Angeles but I definitely wouldn't consider myself fat.

Moving to Los Angeles has really gotten to my head. Everyone here is ridiculously good-looking. Fake or not, you want to be associated with the LA crowd. All of a sudden my personality, my natural looks and my physicality was not good enough. I had to be better.

I started working out regularly, ate healthily and completely neglecting my body type, I started wearing clothes that were considered fashionable. It didn't matter that I was going to the #1 public school in the United States, what really mattered was my appearance.

My roommate always says "look good, feel good." I truly believe in that mantra. The problem was, I was constantly comparing myself to others. Therefore I never looked good, so I never felt good.

Although we are collectively working towards an ideal world where body shaming is eradicated and self-love is encouraged, with the rise of social media and living in such a materialistic and appearance-focused area, I feel worse and worse about myself every day.

I decided to protest the ideal LA body goals by practicing self-love. Rather than only focusing on bettering my physical appearance, I'm also focused on bettering myself in a more holistic way. I'm learning to love what my mother had given me in the first place. I give myself morning pep talks in the mirror. Yes, I really do and I take a moment to appreciate my facial flaws and my body flaws because who am I without my beauty marks?

My practices also include eating all the carbs I want because starving yourself is not the way to go. Also, I can never say no to burrata and pasta. What is life without Italian food, let's be real.

I'm Bay Area hot, not because I compare myself to everyone surrounding me but because I'm more confident in myself in general. It's a supportive, nonjudgmental community. There is no pressure to look a certain way or to fit a mold. Diversity and differences are celebrated. Being only 7 hours apart there is such a cultural difference between these two places; the bay and LA.

Then again, anyone can feel insecure anywhere. Whether it's in the Bay or LA, the key is to practice self-love everywhere you are and finding a supportive group of people to be around rather than ones who push you down and criticize you.

As an athlete, I do believe in good health and having a healthy lifestyle. However, this doesn't mean that people need to take the responsibility to remind one another that they are unhealthy or overweight. One should make changes based on their own ambitions. Make change through positivity, not negativity. Rather than pinpointing each others flaw, we should practice noticing the beauty in one another.

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10 Easy Ways To Survive A Summer Trip To Rome

I went through it all so you don't have to.

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Ever since I was young, I dreamt of visiting Italy during the summer time and having my own little Lizzie McGuire moment. However, when I got there, things weren't exactly as dreamy as I expected them to be. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved Rome and would go back in a heartbeat if I could. But at times, the heat was unbearable and made things quite frustrating for my family and me.

If you're planning a trip to Rome this summer, or maybe in the future, here are my tips so you can be able to make the most out of those scorching summer days.

1. Pack cool and lightweight clothing.

Gianna Alfanno

First things first, pack warm-weather-ready outfits and expect to be sweating all day long. Bring nothing but shorts, sleeveless or short-sleeve tops; perhaps those flowy pants that are trendy right now, skirts, and dresses.

NOTE: If you're visiting the Vatican and want to enter the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, make sure to pack an appropriate outfit. Since it is a holy place, there's a dress code you're asked to respect, which comes down to cover your shoulders and knees.

2. Wear comfy shoes during the day.

You're going to be walking a lot and the streets in Rome are very uneven, so I recommend you wear sneakers or shoes you know you can walk miles in without complaining. My sister learned the lesson the hard way. Our first day in Rome, she decided to wear sandals 'cause they "looked cuter," but ended up having blisters and foot pain by the afternoon. Comfort over style, girlies.

3. Stay hydrated.

Gianna Alfanno

Have a bottle of water with you at all times and don't worry about running out, the tap water in Rome is potable. You'll come across a lot of water fountains on the street, known as nasoni, where you can fill them up again or splash your face to cool off.

4. Bring sun protective accessories.

Gianna Alfanno

Whether it's sunglasses, a hat, an umbrella, or all three of them, bring along your own form of shade.

5. And a fan!

Gianna Alfanno

There's little to no breeze in Rome during the summer, so a folding paper fan or one of those mini portable electric ones are nice to have in your bag.

6. Don't forget your sunblock.

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Speaking of sun protection, make sure to put on some sun lotion before taking on the day. This is something I always forget, but it's an easy and effective way to prevent sunburn.

7. Take the tour bus.

Gianna Alfanno

Those double-decker sightseeing tour buses are actually a great deal. They take you to the most popular landmarks in Rome, so you don't have to walk that much. You hop off and hop back on wherever and whenever you want. And if you're wondering, Ubers are very rare in the city and taxis tend to be a complete rip-off.

8. Make some room for gelato.

Gianna Alfanno

They don't call it "Eataly" for nothing. Italians eat a lot but try not to fill yourself with pasta and pizza. There's nothing better than a couple of ice cold, creamy scoops of gelato on a hot summer day.

9. Plan ahead and book your tickets online.

Lines can get really long and you don't want to stand under the sun or within a sweaty crowd for almost an hour. A lot of attractions in Rome offer "skip the line" tickets you can purchase online beforehand.

10. Beware of pickpockets.

This last tip has nothing to do with surviving the heat, but is still very important to pass on. Summer is the high season in Rome, so thieves are lurking everywhere. Don't put anything in your back pockets and always be aware of your surroundings. If you can, buy a backpack with hidden zippers or one difficult of opening without you noticing. If not, bring your regular backpack, but carry it in front of you.

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