Growing up, I had a difficult relationship with food and fitness. I used to obsessively weigh myself and restrict my eating or binge eat based on the numbers on the scale. It took me some time to find a balance and learn what truly makes me happy.
Nowadays, I rarely step on a scale. My focus is on how I feel rather than the numbers. I believe that if I feel good, that's what matters. It's about listening to my body and understanding its needs. I've let go of the dieting culture and embraced a more intuitive approach to eating. If I want to enjoy a donut or eat a sandwich, I do so without guilt. It's all about finding that balance and nourishing my body in a way that feels right.
However, my passion for fitness extends beyond myself. I have always had a deep love for working with children. Throughout my life, I have been involved in activities centred around kids, such as being a gymnastics instructor and working in summer camps. I want to incorporate my "you are good enough" mentality into the fitness industry and instil it in children. I believe that by building a strong foundation of self-acceptance and body positivity in children, we can break the stigma that many adults face.
I've noticed a positive shift among athletes where mental health is becoming a priority. Athletes are now stepping away from their sports, recognising the significance of mental well-being. In the past, there was a mentality of pushing through, disregarding our mental and physical exhaustion. However, this mindset leads to health issues and overall depletion.
As a strength and conditioning coach, I encourage my clients to listen to their bodies. Whilst I want them to challenge themselves, I also understand that not every day is the same. It's important to recognise when they're not feeling their best and adjust accordingly. Sometimes, they might have great days and perform at their peak, while other days, they might feel tired and unable to lift heavy weights. By acknowledging and respecting their limits, we can support their overall well-being.
Athletes are more than just physical bodies; they have mental and emotional needs as well. It's crucial to create an environment where mental health is valued and supported. Implementing mindfulness practices, providing support resources, and encouraging athletes to ask for help when needed are steps in the right direction. By addressing the mental aspect of sports, we can ensure the well-being of athletes and ultimately enhance their performance.