Eat Sweat Play – Why our twenty-first century obsession with exercise is all wrong

Anna Kessel’s book, ‘Eat Sweat Play’ covers everything from gender stereotypes and the societal view of women in sport to common sporting taboos such as periods, pregnancy, motherhood and menopause.

It is jam-packed with facts; to the point where I found myself flagging pages that had interesting viewpoints and writing down athletes names that are mentioned throughout the book so I wouldn’t forget to follow them on Twitter and read more about them afterwards. Eat Sweat Play covers so many different angles and aspects of women in sport but the topic that resonated with me most discussed why our twenty-first century obsession with exercise is all wrong.

The twenty-first-century notion of exercise being the whole #fitspo fashionista image where expensive juice bars, gyms and classes result in picture perfect toned legs, arms and abs.

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Pumpkin Muffins

These muffins are quick to whip together and they are so nice and warming as the cool weather settles in. Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, its like the best part of a pumpkin pie is in muffin form making it totally acceptable to eat for breakfast. Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes

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Live Loosley Takes Over The Performance Kitchen!

The Performance Kitchen; Live Loosley Take-over

As you know, I am a big advocate of people pushing their limits and getting out of their comfort-zone. For those who know me well, you know that I never feel more out of my comfort-zone than when I am the center of attention. So filming a 20 minute cooking show was massively pushing my limits! But when The Performance Kitchen asked if I’d be interested in doing a Live Loosley takeover episode, there was no way I could pass up the opportunity. Even though I hate being the center of attention and can be known for blushing when someone just looks at me too long, I always get a sense of satisfaction after spending some time out of my comfort-zone.

The Performance Kitchen is a YouTube channel that focuses on professional athletes, their sport/training and how their cooking impacts their performance. What better way to learn about fueling your body than from some of the best athletes in the world – straight from the source.

My episode was filmed right after World Champion Swimmer, Katy Sexton and right before Professional Basketball Player, Tayo Ogedengbe. The call sheet for filming that day also included: Sophie Papps, Chris Gregory and Vanessa Raw. All amazing athletes in their own right.

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Life in between goals…

This Summer, I set myself a bit of a vague goal:  Approach training with a ‘healthier balance’. I set this goal to avoid over-consuming myself in training and to make sure I don’t compromise too much from other important aspects of life.

But what exactly is a ‘healthier balance’? Was I not healthy before?

For 10 years, I have consumed myself in specific functional goals in preparation for “Race Day”. It is something I’m really proud of, but sometimes I struggle to find enough meaning behind it all… a reason to dedicate so much time to it.
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So this is what I was trying to accomplish by training with a ‘healthier balance’… less compromise to train and more time with friends and family.

It almost backfired! … I started questioning things way more than before.

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Who cares?

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.54.28 PMLately, I’ve been questioning myself a lot… wondering things like: Why do I care so much about healthy living? Why do I care about something that can seem so superficial on the surface and that in the grand scheme of things, is so insignificant in comparison to “real life” and “real problems”? I even started to question why I spend so much of my time in preparation for a race? Who cares?

I haven’t been posting regularly over the past few weeks because I’ve struggled to find a meaningful answer to these questions.

Healthy living in comparison to lets say… living with an illness, or living in a war torn region for example… just does not stack up and I started feeling silly for sharing ways to maximize a privileged first world way of living. But though it is important to have perspective, I’ve been reminded over the past few days that it’s OK to care about it… That even though it may not ‘stack up’, it does matter, it is something I’m passionate about, and sharing my honest approach to healthy living actually does have a positive impact.

So, thank-you to the people who have reached out and reminded me of that. I am officially no longer lost in my thoughts and seeing the Olympics come to a close this weekend has definitely confirmed it for me…  it has been amazing watching the best athletes in the world do their thing and it has been such a nice change of pace seeing positive headlines in the news too.

Just a few days ago I was questioning why I bother racing at all and what the meaning of it all is, and now I’m searching for another race to sign up to. I love competing and I thrive off of keeping an active lifestyle. Is there meaning behind it? Maybe not… but it keeps me sane, it gives me something to work towards and I simply enjoy it. So why not?

In saying that, I have a race report post coming up next and an exciting announcement to make too. Onwards and upwards…

The Transition from Year 1 of Triathlon into Year 2

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Last year the 2015 Crystal Palace Tri was my first triathlon EVER and I remember being absolutely terrified for about a month leading up to the start.

One year later, I face the race again. This year however, I had a busier than usual social calendar leading up to the race last weekend and as a result I ended up approaching the 2016 Crystal Palace Triathlon all very nonchalantly. It was kind of nice knowing I could just turn up and enjoy a fun race.

It really goes to show how comfortable I’ve gotten in the triathlon scene and how quickly you can adapt. I never thought I’d be able to race triathlon ‘for fun’ but I guess a lot has happened over the past year…

Last year was a year of firsts… My first wet suit, my first open water swim, my first Sprint triathlon, Olympic distance triathlon and my first Half Ironman. No wonder I was so motivated and focused — it was the fear factor. I enjoyed racing last weekend, but if I want to keep seeing improvement this year than I’ll need to re-focus. With fear clearly out of the equation, I need to find a new source of motivation to keep me on track.

So I’ve taken a step back and come up with some new goals and benchmarks for my 2016 focus in triathlon….

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