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What does fitness mean to you?

The dreaded F word… fitness…

It’s the word that makes you shudder and have nightmarish visions of binning the chocolate digestives and living a life of pain and misery sustained by iceberg lettuce, carrot sticks and Ryvita that will make your mouth drier than Ghandi’s flip flop.

And what makes it worth putting ourselves through such horrors… To see those lbs fall away on our set of scales and to fit in to that pair of jeans you used to fit in over 10 years ago right?!

Success – now we’ll be happier and have a better life!! …………… said nobody ever……

This. Is quite possibly one of my biggest bugbears ever. EVER. So I am here to challenge this view.

Fitness for me is so much more than appearance. It is about learning to love and respect your body through becoming healthier.

How much time and money have you spent on something like your car? This is something that will be in our lives for maybe 5 – 10 years at most and yet we don’t think twice about investing in it on a regular basis.

In comparison, we are with our bodies for our whole lives – so why do we almost go out of our way to neglect and even abuse it? I don’t know about you, but for me it was because I didn’t love my body.

Rewind back over 10 years ago now and I am at an all girls grammar school immersed in a world where you are constantly under pressure to behave and look a certain way. It was one of the most miserable times of my life. I fell into a seriously unhealthy habit of letting the way I thought I should look dictate my life and I can tell you it didn’t end well. I found myself struggling an eating disorder.

On the bright side – I got through my eating disorder and now only have the fun and games of anxiety & depression. It wasn’t easy and it took me a good eight years after leaving school to work on finding the confidence to be myself and stop letting other people rule my life.

Fitness played a huge part in helping my learn to love the body I am in. I have pushed my body to places I didn’t think it would ever go. I still can’t believe that last year my body swam 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles – it’s insane!! How can I loathe something capable of something so incredible?

So what did I learn???

Here is the thing.. when I have been my fittest I actually put weight on, I still couldn’t fit into that pair of jeans I wore when I was 19 and I don’t believe I ever dried my mouth out with a slab of Ryvita.

I learnt that my body is not meant to have big curvy Kardashian hips, I’m never going to have a tiny waist and my double chin (face cushion) is never going to go away.

I learnt that I didn’t need all of these things to be happy. It was my personal achievements that made me happy. I soon found that people would praise me on my achievements and when they paid me any compliments it was about how I was glowing and looked really happy.

By doing me, I stopped comparing myself to others so much and I learnt that people could appreciate me for who I am instead of my ability to attempt to fit in to a certain mould.

I might not look the coolest when I do sport.. but I have slowly learned to stop wasting time on those who don’t appreciate me for who I am and support me to achieve what I need to achieve – no matter how bonkers it is – so my mental health has benefitted just a much as my physical health.

So what version of fitness are you going to choose – sucking on cardboard and obsessing over the scales every morning OR doing your thing and being healthier and happier in your own skin?

It is totally up to you.

 

2 Comments

  • Fleur

    August 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Absolutely loved this! I found it really inspiring (almost enough to get off the sofa and sport some Lycra!)

    1. Emma Crampton

      August 21, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Amazing!! So pleased you liked it.. and that it miiiiiiight get you off the sofa!

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