October 15, 2018
Did you know, the average woman in the UK spends 31 years on a diet
You would if you have watched my recent TEDx talk all about how womens preoccupation with being smaller, has affected our ability to live BIGGER more fulfilling lives.
In a recent poll with 100+ women from my online running club it discovered that,
Less than 5% of women liked how they looked
63% Feel uncomfortable in social settings because of how they look
55% Feel held back by how they look
Is it just me who finds this shocking?
I don’t know why I find this so shocking…because I spent 20 years of my own life on a diet.
Did it make me any smaller? Nope not in the long term
Did it make me any healthier? Nope, if anything it wrecked my mental health
Did it make me any happier? No. even at my lightest I never felt like I was good enough…and you would be shocked at some of the things I was doing to stay slim.
You may or may not be glad to hear that I no longer abuse my body with yoyo dieting…or crushing thoughts of not being worthy at this size.
After working with overweight women for more than 5 years with Too Fat to Run, and recently finding out all of these shocking and heartbreaking things about the impact of dieting and the insecurities women face because of their size and perceptions about how they look, I felt compelled to do something.
I couldn’t be silent.
I couldn’t just hope that something or someone would come along and address this stuff.
I had to at least try to help.
So earlier this year I piloted a programme…a simple programme with a simple concept, based on a single simple thought,,,
What if I worked with 100 women for 100 days, banning traditional diets and instead working on 100 small health and mindset changes which will make us healthier and happier, even without the promise of any weightloss.
Well, that is exactly what I did.
And what were the results?
Well, firstly we had a whale of a time it was a relief to be with a group of women with shared experiences. The Facebook group was an incredibly safe and inspiring place to be. And the levels to which women could be vulnerable but also offer support to one another was incredible.
98.4% of women in the pilot said they would reccomend the programme to a friend
93.4% said the programme improved their health & happiness
45% of women are choosing to stay for a 2nd round, 15% have upgraded to work with me on one of my other programmes.
But it was the anecdotal stuff that got me.
“Just come back from holiday with my partner and I wore a bikini every day”
“I’ve just wore lipstick for the first time in 10 years”
“I’ve just signed up for a half marathon”
“I went to spin for the first time in 6 months”
“I said yes to a night out”
“I can actually look in a mirror again”
It is an absolute privalage to do this work, and I am completely fired up by it, because I know it is life changing both for the women I work with and for me…it helps me be healthier and happier too.
It boils down to this.
No amount of exercise or improved nutrition is going to improve someones health if deep down they hate themselves.
Self-acceptance is key before any lifestyle changes can truly be embedded.
This week we are welcoming a new cohort of women.
Today I started letting women into the closed Facebook group and introduced them to the new resources area, which stores the 9 modules.
I am so excited to get started.
I can’t wait to see how these women get on.
There is still time to join if you are interested,
- If you are done with the yoyoing
- If you are done with the self-hatred
- If you are done with not really looking after you
The welcome week for this cohort comes to an end on Friday, and the real work starts then, so please ensure you have signed up by then.
I really hope in years to come, programmes like this won’t be needed.
I pray that my daughter will never experience a 20 year battle to accept the body she is in.
But in the meantime, I am going to focus on sharing everything I know about living the healthiest, happiest life I can, in the body I happen to be living in right now.