Saturday, 10 February 2018

Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Our Lives by Anna Kessel +#fitspo

Eat Sweat Play challenges the idea that women, sport and exercise don't mix. Each chapter, meticulously researched tracks the trajectory of women's attitudes towards sport, exercise and their bodies right from childhood and, the factors that influence this. Anna Kessel makes a powerful case for sport and exercise; how it can empower and change your body and mind, at every stage of your life : everything is covered from PE lessons at age 4 to pregnancy to women in professional sport to mums who box.

This book has really inspired me to pick up my sport and exercise game. Many women I think can relate to enjoying sport at some point in our lives and for whatever reason be it, other hobbies taking over or not having the most encouraging P.E teachers, we fail to maintain that relationship with sport. For me, it was becoming more and more self conscious about my body and how I looked playing sport as I grew older. And that's such a shame because I used to play quite a lot of cricket and athletics and loved the feeling of sweating, being active, being competitive and just being outside !

I've never particularly been inspired to go to the gym having only been ... legit once in my life. I know, I know. The thing is I think my motivations for getting fit over the last three years, have been to change how I look. And vanity isn't a very sustainable reason when it comes to exercise because I just don't care enough. As envious as I am of some #fitspo accounts on Instagram, I'm really happy with the way I look so I've never been able to diet or exercise consistently. And I think the conversation all women are having about fitness is changing ! A fitness podcast I'd definitely recommend is Zanna van Dijk's Fit and Fearless, which talks a lot about strength and how for example lifting weights is important for bone density. The shift in the conversation to general well being I reckon has been far more motivational to get fit than getting that "bikini body".

As I still can't afford the gym, I try and walk for about 3 hours a week and I've started doing  short 10-15 minute exercises from Carly Rowena's YouTube channel 3 times a week and its incred ! I just feel so much stronger, more refreshed, happier and have noticed I have more energy. It's not a lot but its a lot more than I was doing last year. If you're interested I'd recommend checking out Carly Rowena, Zanna van Dijk and the blog Imperfect Matter who are on the ... let's say the right side of fitspo. These ladies definitely advocate for being mentally and physically stronger through sport and exercise which I think is a far healthier way of approaching the topic.

Eat Sweat Play is one to read if you want to be truly inspired to get back into exercise,. Given how well researched it is, it does  read like very in-depth articles - not surprising given the author is a sports journalist. Therefore, it does read a bit dense at times and took me a lot longer to get through. BUt thats not in this case a bad thing. I'd use it as a manual for the year !



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