I met Ginelle in what feels like a different lifetime ago in a 12 Step meeting. I don’t remember much about that day, but I do remember her kindness. Like me, Ginelle is a writer and shares her truth via social media. I am super excited to share this beautiful conversation with you as the kick-off for my Pride Month interview series featuring members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Haley Sherif: Why did you start your social media page?
Ginelle Testa: In January of 2019, I posted body positive content every day for “National Dieting Month”, then did the same in January of 2020. After that, I realized how much I loved the type of content, so I went full time to posting body positive/acceptance/liberation stuff. Now, I’m a body image coach!
HS: What is your motivation to share every day?
GT: There’s power in sharing our stories, especially when they’re imperfect and full of both struggle and grace. I share because it’s cathartic for me and I hope to help others through my stories.
HS: What was the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
GT: By far, my mental health crisis in 2017. I was hospitalized 7 times and received electroconvulsive therapy. My mental health was completely bottomed out after burning myself out due to working at a startup and generally overcommitting in my life. I got through it alive, though, and now my mental health has been stable for years. I now know the value of rest & boundaries and I implement both regularly.
There’s power in sharing our stories, especially when they’re imperfect and full of both struggle and grace. I share because it’s cathartic for me and I hope to help others through my stories.
HS: What do you do when you have a creative block?
GT: Go to writing groups and write about silly things. Recently one of our prompts was to write about spoons. Writing without an agenda really helps me to just relax and remember why I write in the first place! When I get a creative block at work, (because I write for a living), I brainstorm with my boss or others verbally to get my juices flowing.
HS: Who/what inspires you?
GT: Many, many, people… mainly women in my life and some famous folks. My sponsor is a constant source of inspiration emotionally, spiritually, and even professionally. So is my meditation instructor, she helps me navigate life with grace, forgiveness, and gentleness. I’d say Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my main inspirations in terms of famous folks – her book, Big Magic, blew my mind and I return to a lot of the learnings regularly, such as her letter to fear, (you can’t drive).
HS: What is a way you like to give back?
GT: I sponsor in 12-step programs. Working with sponsees who have similar (or different) stories to me and helping them learn that they’re fundamentally good enough as they are brings me so much joy. I also pride myself on being a trauma-informed sponsor.
HS: What is a dream you still hope to accomplish?
GT: Publish my book! I wrote a book over the last several years, and am in the running at a small all women’s press to be published. Fingers crossed that it works out and I can share my baby with the Universe! Some people have literal babies. I have writing.
HS: Favorite social media story?
GT: I guess not a particular story, but in general I’ve met so many AMAZING people online that I’ve had chances to connect with them in-person or just continue to support each other from afar. My Instagram community is the best.
HS: Favorite splurge?
GT: I have to say tattoos and travel! I have two tattoos this summer and two international trips (Iceland & Italy) – not cheap, but definitely worth the “splurge.”
HS: How do you self-care?
GT: Imperfectly, and proud of it! I’m not one for too strict of a routine when it comes to day-to-day self-care. I don’t really have a morning or night routine. I just generally try to care for myself through staying connected to friends, fellows, and loved ones, move my body in whatever way feels good, stay mindful through yoga, meditation, or just general mindfulness. I also love to cook and eat intuitively, take care of my many plants, and thrift eclectic attire.
HS: Any final words?
GT: Thank you for your lovely blog, Haley. You are also an inspiration to me as you are kind, raw & vulnerable, tenacious, and a great writer!