Excercise and Empowerment

Apologies for the long absence. I’m not a great multi-tasker and my mind and body have been elsewhere. I shall try to refrain from disappearing in future.

I’ve started running. I mentioned this in my last post I know but we must bare in mind there may still be people out there who don’t follow my every word. I’ve been doing it for five weeks now and I’ve gone from swearing blind that I hate it to feeling a bit lost on my compulsory rest days.

Of course in part this sudden spurt of energy started with a long overdue decision to finally lose the weight I put on last year. I had had a bit of bad health and my lack of energy took me away from exercise and the self pity got to me and my ass. I put on over a stone over the course of the year and I could have done with losing a bit of weight to start with. I have a wardrobe full of pretty clothes I can’t fit into and I’m determined to get back into them this summer.

However the weight is only part of the issue. The other issue, which I think is often not given enough emphasis for women, is how empowering it is to have a body which can. I want a body that can run and swim and climb and lift and work for me. So often, I think women objectify their own bodies as fat or thin, short or wide so that we become disassociated with them and feel we don’t have any control over them. It’s totally liberating to take control of your body and make it work for you the way you want it to. I think men are intrinsically better at this. They get taught from an early age that if they want something they are to work for it. Girls on the other hand are supposed to wait for things to happen, sitting in their castles waiting to get saved.

Being someone who loves fashion I am often left envious of the models in magazines whose lean angular bodies are undoubtedly far better clothes hangers than my petite round frame. But for me to be like that I’d have to starve myself so that my body would be completely useless and weak (not to mention the medieval stretching device I’d need to grow my 29.5inch legs) and that’s not what I want.

It’s very easy to say “I’m not really a sporty person” or “I’m not a natural runner” but what I’ve found is it’s incredibly easy, assuming you are an able-bodied person, to rapidly increase your fitness. I began interval training for 40 mins at a time doing intervals of 3 min running/1 minute walking and I was gasping for the walking break at two and a half mins. Now I am running up to 10k, running over ten mins at a time and I can run a full 5k without stopping. Even though I’ve not dropped a lot of weight yet, my body is visibly changing and I feel so much stronger. I’m bounding up the escalators at Oxford Circus station now. If I can do it, anyone can!

As a bit of a challenge and to keep my training moving forward I’ve signed up for a 10k run at the end of May in support of Kids Company, who are an incredible London based charity, aiding the lives of disadvantaged kids suffering from the effects of inner-city poverty, neglect and abuse.

They deserve your support so if you’d like to donate and support my training efforts please donate via my just-giving site.


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