Bianca's Bitesize Blog - Exercise and Body Image

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.  

Join the Race for Life 

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.   



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    

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!


Bianca Sainty
Founder, Pod Fitness