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How do you stay healthy and fit? Interview with Valeria Aliperta

'TFD (The First Drop) logo on fitness bag' photo (c) 2009, Pete Bellis - license: Hello everybody! A little over a week left before 2014, can you believe it?! I can't. I am really looking forward to the Olympic Games starting in February. It's going to be a great time.

This time I am publishing an interview with Valeria Aliperta from Rainy London Translations. Valeria has something very special and very inspiring to share with you about how she stays healthy and fit. Enjoy!

I've never been a very sporty person. I did play some tennis in the past and for a few years, when I was 12 or so, I took part in the Youth Games, as a Fosbury high jump athlete, with decent results. School workload soon became intense and I gradually left sports for study - I was so exhausted and had no time to do homework if I kept going to tennis lessons for 3 or 4 times a week. I never had weight or health problems so not exercising never posed a threat. I turned thirty a year and a half ago and yes, it all changed! I soon realised that that sensation when I got on top of the stairs or when trying to catch a bus could only mean one, crystal-clear thing: I was UNFIT.

It was an epiphany, I swear. I said to myself that I could not possibly be short-breathed after just a flight of stairs anymore. But why oh why? I hate sweating and exercising and the likes - I repeated to myself. Leading a life that can go from very sedentary - translating for 6/8 hrs a day, chained to a desk at home - to highly mobile and stressful - interpreting assignments bring me often around Europe and mean countless nights in hotels or carrying suitcases in airports - is definitely not helpful for your fitness status. Especially when you're not naturally a lover of high-octane activities and your idea of fun is watching a movie on your sofa. Mind you: I'm active and prone to change but I do enjoy my rest and my spas and my food.... Well, I just had to find something that could do the trick for me. And the keyword turned out to be.... MOTIVATION.

I started seeing a personal trainer - Ryan from Finish Fitter - in June 2012 and I have to say - I could not believe to my own ears - he changed the way I approach my life. The motivation and the result that I needed come from a mix of Ryan's stimulus and momentum and the strong will of being the better version of myself. I started going once a week and felt terrible: I was weak, out of breath and ridiculously tired. Then my pride kicked in: why shouldn't I make it after all?

We set a goal and sticked to it. Now I train 4 to 5 times a week and follow a nutrition plan that entails high protein and low-carb consumption, with the occasional comfort food and cheat meal. Unlike many, I do not run or do any more cardio than 5/10 minutes of rowing in the gym. All I do is... heavy weights and circuit training. My routine is usually 50 minutes 4 times a week, normally around 5pm but I am now trying to exercise in the morning even though my early riser challenge is sometimes a bit of a stretch to put into practice! The benefits of weightlifting for me have been mainly stability in both my back and knees, strength and resistance and also a generalised improvement in the overall shape, where my body has become leaner and stronger. I understand it's not for everyone but since I started, my back feels great, my self-esteem is higher than ever and hey, I feel great and in shape.

So my suggestion is... find what works for you! I highly recommend a consultation with a professional able to tell you or direct you towards what is best for your body shape and condition. I also get monthly measurements to keep my body fat under control and track my improvements and my strength, along with keeping a diary of blood pressure and health checks to always be on track. I do not smoke or drink but I believe that my body is worth it and my mind is much faster and focused it's even hard to explain how! Don't get me wrong, I know this sounds crazy and I understand you. I used to think the same! And obviously, I still prefer watching a movie with a Ben and Jerry or some pizza on my settee to hitting the gym! But to be honest, it's something that I do because it makes me feel good and more alert, just like having a shower or walking in the park. OF COURSE it's hard work, but I don't think I could ever go back to my unfit self now.

Dear Val, thank you so much for taking the time to share your inspiring story! Have a great weekend and wonderful holidays!

Author bio:

Valeria Aliperta (member of IAPTI and Head of External Relations, Associate of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, member of ASETRAD) is a conference interpreter and translator working from English, Spanish and French into Italian. Her fields of expertise are IT, fashion, design, marketing, legal and advertising. With a spot for blogging ( and social media (she organised the Tweet-Up at the 2010 ITI Conference), she was listed as 15th Top Twitterer and 21st Top Facebook Page in the Language Lovers 2012 contest. Along with talks and webinars, she writes articles and guest posts on branding / corporate identity and regularly contributes to the ITI Bulletin. She recently launched Rainy London Branding, an all-new sister site to Rainy London Translations, entirely dedicated to branding and identity consultancy Along with Marta Stelmaszak, she runs The Freelance Box, a series of hands-on, no-nonsense in-person courses on the practical side of the freelance translation business (


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