Been a crazy last few months finishing this year of uni, but nether the less, I have done it and onto the next year…
So I wanted to write a post about the British 10K! Those of you reading who follow me on social media know that myself and 2 other friends of mine ran the British 10K Sunday just gone, to raise money for Beat the Eating Disorders charity (will attach their page below). Those who follow me and know me personally also know that I love going to the gym so surely a 10K run shouldn’t be too bad right? The thing is, I never usually run, and running for such an important cause and having had an eating disorder, I put so much pressure on myself naturally to do well. So I thought I’d share with you:
a) How I prepped and how it went
b) Why this run was so important in raising money for Beat and what everyone’s fabulous donations does and goes towards.
c) Why this run was personally important to me in establishing my relationship with exercise after having had an eating disorder and what it meant to me to complete it.
Okay so first pointer… how did I prep and how did it go? Well.. I’ve been in Ghana volunteering in a psychiatric ward in a hospital (will write another post on that and how anyone interested in it can do it!) so I haven’t actually had the opportunity to train that much. As I said before I usually go to the gym a lot but I never really do much running, I lift weights which make me feel mentally and physically strong. So when I came back from Ghana, which was about a week before the run, I just did some running every other day, trying to up my mileage every time I ran as the time got closer. I was so excited to do the run, but so nervous at the same time because of how much I wanted to complete it. I’d not actually ever ran more than 6-7k before the British 10K which made me really nervous to do it, because I really wanted to run all of it and I’m the kind of person that when I set my mind to doing something, I have to do it.
So it got to the day, and I was so nervous at the start line but I started. The atmosphere was indescribable. Random people shouting my name and cheering everyone on, the music and drumming going on through central London created a vibe that made me forget how far I was running. Despite the 30 degree weather, I started finding it hard when I got to about 8K. Knowing I was so close to the finish line made it harder, but we pushed and with the help of Jennifer and Georgia, we did it. It felt so amazing to cross the finish line as my own personal accomplishment as well as the money we’d raised for Beat.
On that note, what does the money raised do for people with Eating Disorders? Well for those of you that don’t know Beat is an online charity that supports those suffering from eating disorders. They have online services and helplines that those who want to call can, and can speak to people. Alongside that, they also aim to educate people on eating disorders taking the focus away from physical symptoms and recognising that it’s as much a Mental illness, as much as depression. Beat doesn’t however, receive any government funding and relies on all the generous donations of people like you and me to keep their very very important services running. I only discovered beat after I had my eating disorder which is sad and I wish I had discovered it before, so raising money, as well as awareness, for such a positive and needed charity was important to us. So starting out with a £500 target which we upped at least 3 times to a final goal of £1,200 we went over our target and raised £1,350 which is enough to run Beat’s support services for a whole day. Having had an eating disorder, this is like music to my ears and the thought of even just a day of support for people makes us all so happy and makes running 10K to worth it. So thank you, and if you haven’t donated and are want to please find the just giving page below, we’re closing our donation page soon but a last few donations would mean more than explainable. (link will be below)
So moving on to why to this run was personally important to me is a big one. I’ve mentioned earlier that I put a lot of pressure on myself to complete this run a certain way. For people who don’t know much about Anorexia, exercise can be a big part of it in the sense where you eat, and regardless of what you eat, burning it off is crucial. It varies for different people. For me personally, I had to make sure I was as active as I could be so that I burnt more calories than I consumed. This was important to me to make sure I felt like I was always losing weight. To this day I still exercise a lot but what my eating disorder has taught me is that the relationship you have with exercise is so important. Gym is one of the things that didn’t work for me when I wanted to lose weight before my anorexia. But that was because I wasn’t doing it right, and went in there with the mindset of ‘losing weight fast’ (which is of course okay if that works for you) but, for me that triggered more thoughts which spiralled out of control. Luckily, I now love the gym for the right reasons for me. To make me feel strong mentally and physically, a space to breathe and let go of stresses, and this is the relationship I’ve always wanted with exercise. Saying that, there are still days where I struggle. Today, gym has become a fashion statement, and the focus on body image is bigger than ever, and looking a certain way has almost taken over the importance of going to the gym for a healthy lifestyle. This can still make it hard for me, even though I’m no longer sick.
So thinking about that, running this British 10K was an important step for myself in being able to say that I have a good relationship with exercise and doing it for the right reasons and I think I did. Having in mind the huge amounts of people who don’t get help for eating disorders/can’t afford it, and the importance in a charity like Beat who help out so much and are so easily accessible which means no waiting lists (which are beyond ridiculous, maybe I should do a post on this…) it’s so important to keep charities like that going, and with that in mind, even though it was HARD, how could I not do it? It also feels amazing for me personally and feels like such an achievement in regards to my eating disorder. 4 years ago I would’ve looked at the signing up page online and completely ignored it, thinking I could never ever do that because of the Anorexia, and because of how unfit I was even before I got sick. So I guess I can say it’s one of the ways the Anorexia has been a blessing in disguise in helping me get fit, and learn about fitness the right way and doing something good with it..
It feels so good to say that having had an eating disorder and being on my journey to recovery, I have ran the British 10K for Beat, an Eating disorders charity. And there’s many more of this to come hopefully.., Thank you for reading, and now that I’m off Uni, and have said “I should write a post on this” so much, I guess there’s new posts on the way. Here’s some of the links I mentioned, and some photos.