Body image & exercise / Hormone Health Workshop /
Pretty Muddy 5K and more...
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, with a focus on Body Image. An interesting and complex issue in my experience. And one which can affect all ages.
As a teen, my self-image was pretty terrible. I grew early, I developed muscly legs and a bum. In my mind, I stood out. I was a painfully, hyper-self-conscious teenager. I didn't realise I was one of the lucky ones to enjoy sport and exercise, which unbeknownst to me was quietly upholding what little body confidence I had.
Fast but self-conscious Teen
I had no idea back then that my thighs and bum were ‘big’ because they are strong and powerful. That without them I would never have been able to enjoy the elation of winning events like these.
This grainy pic is me c.1990 collecting a gold medal for the 100m sprint in the Olimpiadi Gioventù Italiana. I loved being able to run fast, it gave me such a thrill, and gave me an identity - I was “sporty”. Yet I was still very under-confident in how my body looked. In my head, I had massive thighs and a fat bum, and tortured myself worrying that everyone would judge me for it. Plus I only had small boobs, so zero chance of 'balancing' out the backside with the front!
Instead I resorted to constant and surreptitious tugging at baggy jumpers
in an attempt to cover up.
Fast forward 20-plus years from "Italian Olympics" to my first triathlon and discovering that endurance challenges can really help boost your body image.
Yes, I still look at this pic and briefly notice with a flicker of self-criticism the "wider than I'd like hips", but mostly I look at this and an awesome feeling of epic-ness washes over me! The elation of coming out of the water, tired yet determined to forge on. The mental strength as I refocussed on transition and looked ahead to the next bike stage. The resilience to keep going and finish strong on the run.
Completing a challenge like this helped me appreciate, respect and be grateful for what my body can DO, rather than what it looks like. What a liberation! Today, I am actually comfortable tucking my jumper INTO my jeans. Sport and exercise has the power to do this.
Are you inspired to take on a challenge? Then join us at the
PRETTY MUDDY 5KM - Sat 22nd June - Wormwood Scrubs
**This year, for the first time, Cancer Research UK is inviting everyone – women, men and children - to join the Race for Life.
Race for Life Pretty Muddy is a brilliant 5k muddy obstacle course that everyone, no matter their ability, can take part in! Join us to climb, crawl and slide our way to beating cancer.
SAVE THE DATE: HORMONE HEALTH WORKSHOP
Monday 10th June 2019 7pm-8.30pm
@Bears Ice Cream
We're very excited about this! Join us for an in-depth look at how best to balance changing hormones, and tackle the symptoms of the peri-menopause
and the menopause.
We'll talk nutrition, exercise and skin at this interactive session.
Featuring Alina Tierney from Outstanding Nutrition -
Lorraine Avanessian, Skin Therapist - and me!
Plus we've got an exclusive ice-cream designed by the Bears Ice Creamcreative genius, Phil...
Tickets will be available shortly on Eventbrite and Pod clients will receive an exclusive 10% discount.
Next HEALTH & FITNESS CLINIC
Friday 24th May 9-11am @Bears Ice Cream
Come and see me for a goal refresh, a training review, or for a general chat about your health, fitness and wellbeing. Either just drop-in to see me, or book a 30-minute time slot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY LUNCHTIME RIVER WALKS
Meet me at Furnival Gardens, by the Dove Pub alleyway, at 12.30pm
for 30 minutes easy-going walk.
I look forward to seeing you soon!