When I woke up on Friday morning to see a plus-size model on Nike Women's Instagram, I breathed a sigh of relief. And when a second one was uploaded over the weekend, I knew I had to thank Nike publicly.
This 'New You' that is now being lauded to us in the media, usually means shedding half your body weight and giving up all the 'bad' things in life in order to be a healthier, happier person by the end of the month. To me, it all seems a bit unfair and unrealistic.
While I get where they're coming from - stop trying to starve yourself to look like *insert name of slender popstar*and focus on having a strong, healthy body instead - why do they have to do it by demonising yet another (often healthy, and often genetic) body type? You wouldn't go round calling people fatty, so why is it okay to comment on them being 'skinny'?
It will happen naturally. Although you might not necessarily say you're 'enjoying' it yet, you keep going. Your body feels the change happening, even though your brain still wants you to sit down. It's confused by your insistence on repeating this madness.
Although the idea of strength training for women is not a new one (Marilyn Monroe famously used to weight train!) it appears with social media now finding itself with an abundance of female fitspos and many celebrities opting for the strong over skinny look, it's now difficult to avoid the phenomenon that is changing our approach to training our bodies.
Now I am all for changing up the imagery we see in the sport and fitness world and having positive role models when it comes to physical activity at every size for a change, but the fact she is a professional model somehow deters from the power of this statement.
Every Tuesday, I go to a grotty old man's gym tucked underneath a railway bridge for a boxing class. It's gruelling. Most of us are there because it's an unrelenting class that makes us toned, strong and gives us a really positive sense of empowerment. Oh, and beating the living crap out of a boxing bag can be extremely therapeutic. But as I looked around at the women in my class, sweat pouring down my face, thinking murderous thoughts about our Bulgarian trainer bellowing the words 'press up tuck jump burpee!', I had a revelation about body image and assumptions.
The problems people have with barefoot running, I think, is that they are not actually running barefoot. When I run barefoot, the fear of standing on stones makes me lift my arches up and land lightly on my feet.
There's something about journeys like this, that is bigger than fun and which it is important to recognise and treasure. It's hard to vocalise what it is exactly but I think it echoes back to that 'spectacular' thing I mentioned earlier.
You just have to show up on time and give each class your best effort. The freshly prepared meals are also absolutely delicious. The portions sizes are certainly quality over quantity, but having come straight from having been on a juice, I felt completely overfed.
You remember that feeling when you were a kid racing round the running track. When did you lose that buzz, the love of running you used to get each time you pulled on your trainers?
If you told me at the start of the year that I would be able to run 10K, I'd have probably laughed. But a few weeks back I ran the Nike Women's 10K in Victoria Park (and bloomin' loved it). So whether you're considering signing up for your first 10K race, or you've already committed to doing one (eek!) here's everything you need to know in 10 easy points.
It wasn't just the total lack of confidence I had in my ability, I was also plagued with concerns about how I looked when I ran. Gym kit can feel particularly exposing and I found it very easy to worry that people would see me running and think "look at that larger lady running".
The boat race might not quite be the Olympics, but as the buzz from the race dies down, I'm hoping it leaves a legacy of its own. I hope that it encourages women to look at rowing in a new light, maybe even give it a go! As those women proved, rowing isn't just for men.
I love nothing more than being a sweaty betty or feeling like I can barely walk after a tough session. This is my reality. I know my face goes so weird, like almost twitches when I lift a really heavy barbell or when I am power cleaning 60kg. This is my reality.
Just looking at those red faces in the gym vigorously pushing their pedals to please the shouting instructor. It looks hard doesn't it? You may think it's not for you, but anyone can do it and with a little bit of preparation it will be much easier and less scary than you might think. Just follow my advice and you will survive.