Hi, I’m Kate!
I’m bookish, sarcastic, cynical, know-it-all, sullen, bossy, awkward, plain graceless and I’ve never had a good hair day in my life. Sometimes I’m contented, optimistic or possibly even compassionate. I labour under the impression that I’m a sparkling wit.
Those are my good points.
I’m clumsy, have two left feet (both of them flat) and I have no hand-eye coordination. I stopped taking part in organised sport as soon as the school no longer had any right to coerce me into it and I’ll soon be celebrating 50 years of avoiding team sport.
In my thirties, I gave up smoking and took up overeating. In my forties, I started moving around occasionally. In my fifties, I stopped drinking and started to move more with intent.
All the while, I felt lazy and weak. My inner monologue was all about my weight, my body shape, my hair, my teeth, my clumsiness, my lack of grace. Every waking hour filled with a background hum of low level self-criticism (or off-the-scale high level self-criticism, if I caught sight of myself in a mirror or a photo).
What motivated me? I was getting bouts of depression, paranoia and anxiety as my hormones started to shift towards perimenopause. I had developed a deep fear of joint pain and could no longer fasten bras behind my back. It turned out that the only thing that kept me sane in those times was going outside for exercise. This gave me some evidence that I could make changes which would make some of my life a bit better, at least some of the time.
It took me a while to start on the right approach. To begin with, I fell in with the “get a grip” mentality and aimed to be “the best me I could be”. Slowly but surely I realised that nearly all resources about selfcare are dripping in diet culture and promote an ideal that we all have an ideal we can live up to and that we can hack our way to it. For example, when I googled “fitness for beginners”, I was faced with pages and pages of workouts resistance (complicated), mixed with lists of life hacks for building an exercise habit (simplistic) and humblebrags by glowing journalists and celebrities who were neither flabby nor unfit in the first place (patronising). As for all the “slow down the aging process stuff, don’t get me started.
On the other hand, there just aren’t enough resources for people who need to drop out of diet culture (= everybody). I finally found one resource which lets you work with yourself, rather than against yourself – the NHS C25K programme -and followed it from beginning to end. It was my first ever physical achievement! From there, I ended up joining a running school and running a 10km event. I wrote about both for a running blog and realised that instead of only looking for resources, I could help to provide them.
I started writing and researching. It felt a lot more constructive than just being angry with people lucky enough to be born with even features, clear skin and a sense of balance. More constructive, too, than constantly criticizing myself for not being even-featured, clear-skinned or graceful.
I’m no dietician, personal trainer or medical expert; I’m just an ordinary person hoping to create a safe place for you all to come and learn and teach, to rest, recove and share.
So come on in, make yourself at home and let’s give diet culture the heave-ho!
PS. I have kept moving about, but I am still a work in progress. I am with you. Truly.
PPS. The fear of joint pain is gradually subsiding.
PPPS. Still can’t do up the bra