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Location: Clapham, London

I've been wanting to talk about this for a while, but I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do - but here we are.

The fitness industry in my opinion, is pretty diabolical lol. There is only ever one idea of 'fit' that is celebrated and I don't know about you, but I find the entire topic of exercise pretty intimidating, judgemental and on some occasions harmful.

My relationship with fitness as an adult has never been positive either. In the past I have used 'getting fit' as a cover up for another agender - weightloss. And that is because (if you haven't noticed), that most people associate getting fit, being healthy, and exercising with accomplishing a 'bikini' body or with losing weight.

Since joining the body positive community and educating myself with diet culture and fat phobia, I have realised just how ridiculous all of my past personal trainers have been, and how much they have affected my relationship with exercise. Of course, social media and society as a whole has also played a part in this too!

Did you know that you can work out without pushing yourself so hard you throw up? Did you know that exercise doesn't have to hurt? And did you also know that you can move your body because you love it, not because you hate it?

These are all the things I had to learn and understand on my journey to recovery and over the past year I have empowered myself by NOT exercising. However I now feel ready to incorporate it into my new found 'woke and well' life.



Shop My Look

Coat* | ASOS
Dress | ASOS
Boots | Primark - similar linked

Sunglasses* | Ray Ban
Gucci Bag | MyTheresa


The Red Coat Edit


Over the last year I've dabbled in exercise and attempted to find the kind of exercise I like. I hate running lol and will never ever do it, but I like Zumba, boxing and if I'm in the mood - yoga.

But the two things that have affected being able to take part in said exercises, other than life getting in the way and not prioritising my time well, is the fact that 1. I couldn't find well teachers or personal trainers (ones that didn't use diet culture language etc) and 2. the anxiety around the fact that I know I'm not fit anymore and that I used to be.

I've previously wrote about exercise in this post, where I spoke about being disconnected from my body due to trauma and how I was now rediscovering it and learning to appreciate it for what it can do, not for what it looks like. I'm definitely still on that journey and learning just how much exercise and mental health are intrinsically linked - for me anyway. I would often punish my body with exercise and use it as way to measure my self worth. 

Now that I've really worked on my mental health and processed past trauma, I sort of feel like my brain doesn't match my body. Not in terms of size - but in terms of feeling good and strong and full of life. I feel sluggish and tired and I've been experiencing a lot of physical ill health. I believe my body is now feeling the affects of my trauma now that my mind isn't and its something I never expected, so its a little bit of a shock for me. I want to feel empowered and powerful and like I can fight a fully grown man if I needed to lol and right now, I just don't feel that way.

So a few months ago I began searching for a personal trainer who I felt was on my wave length and christ almighty - it hasn't been easy. It turns out that so many people in the fitness industry are heavily engrained in diet culture and that just doesn't sit well with me. I also decided a PT would be best for me because at times I need motivating and extra help, so I knew 1:1 training would benefit me the most.


Exercise gives me anxiety. The thought of people looking at me out of breath, red faced and puffy just makes me want to hide in a corner and cry lol. I realise this is because all you ever see are thin cis white women, jogging round Clapham Common looking like a Victoria Secret Model lol. But in reality - exercise for most of us isn't glamorous. It can be hard work and who the fuck looks pretty when they're panting and working their butt off? Not me babes.

I used to be so fit (although unwell and unhealthy) but I could get through a two hour Zumba class without a problem, so comparing that to how I feel after walking up a flight of stairs now, really makes me feel guilty and ashamed. Although I know that I'm so much healthier now mentally, I definitely still feel a little worried and anxious about working out with my new bigger body. Will it do the things I need it to? Will it feel the same when I bend over? Those are the kinds of questions I find that I'm asking myself and although the answers are all probably no - I understand thats not down to my size, but down to just not exercising regularly for the last few years.


Anyway. I'm anxious as fuck but I have found an amazing personal trainer who I believe will be the best person to embark on this new journey with me. I feel confident that I can now work on myself physically without sacrificing my mental health and y'know what? I feel fucking proud and excited - albeit anxious but I know that will change once I'm in a routine and I'm improving session to session.

I'm not working out and starting this new journey to drop a dress size or to Instagram myself doing a squat. I'm doing it to feel empowered, to de-stress and to just generally incorporate some more healthy habits into my life. This decision is just a new part of my self care and a way for me to be able to look after myself.

I won't be sharing this new journey often because I know how alienating it can be, but every once in a while I will update you all on how things are going, how I feel and what progress or setbacks I've had.

My first session is this Sunday and OMFG I have butterflies just thinking about it, but I know I'm ready and I know this is what I want to do and y'know what - sometimes you have to do things that scare you because happiness is right outside your comfort zone.



  1. Katie
    21st November 2017 / 4:11 pm

    I can relate to this so much! At my highest weight, I was around 180bs and my lowest was about 139lbs (how bad that I can remember the exact pound). I went on a weight loss journey a few years ago and went from 169lbs to 139lbs in about 4 months! (I had already dropped some ‘puppy’ fat at the start of the journey) I looked great but I was so mentally unhappy and obsessed with the scales. I would obsessively count calories and weigh myself every morning and hate myself if I hadn’t lost another pound.

    Since being at uni, I’ve probably gained a stone or so. I refuse to weigh myself anymore because I found it so damaging last time. However, I physically don’t feel my best and it’s affecting my mental health so I started back at the gym this week and am eating healthily! I get scared going because my gym is full of the typical ‘Insta’ girls with tiny waists and big bums (my bum is as flat as a damn pancake) and I feel self-conscious. But I know the more I go the easier it will get, yet it does feel hard at the moment. I am going again tonight and hopefully all goes well!

    I hope Sunday goes well for you too, and I’m sure it will. We all think everyone is looking at us in the gym, but in reality, no one is. Everyone is too focused on themselves!

  2. 21st November 2017 / 4:16 pm

    Good luck with your first session Grace! I had my first PT session last month and my trainer was great. I’m happy with the way my body looks I just need to get fitter overall (I’m a size ten who gets tired running up the stairs so it just goes to show size doesn’t mean a thing) so he showed me moves that would build muscle/stamina and raise my heart rate. It wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought it would be and it gave me the confidence I needed to go to the gym solo – I hope you enjoy it!

    Jess xx

  3. Louise
    21st November 2017 / 5:34 pm

    I watched your last youtube vid and you mentioned moving onto other things in life to help you feel good in your body, you also mentioend that you may not share much of it. I am SO glad you are sharing some. i have followed most of your journey and i think you are doing amazing. and with that its nice to see all sides of your journey and to see someone doing it without the obsession around being skinny. I keep thinking about starting some form of exercice, but again not to lose weight but becasue I like moving. I am yet though to find something I enjoy that doesnt cost a fortune. Good luck in your journey, hope you enjoy this next phase. xx

  4. Helen Louise
    21st November 2017 / 5:50 pm

    You are killing it with the fashion content at the moment! Your style is 👌👌👌
    I totally get your feelings around exercise, I have gone through periods of being really fit but I was always focused on exercising to lose weight. Now I’m the biggest I’ve ever been but also the most accepting I’ve ever been of my own body (although I still have a way to go). But I’m also probably the least active I’ve ever been and I know exactly what you mean about the fear of getting back into exercising, because you know your body is going to react differently than it used to (at least at first). I’m hoping your post has given me the boost to get back into exercise once and for all for the right reasons this time around!

  5. 22nd November 2017 / 1:32 am

    that coat is to die for! I love it and you look freaking amazing!
    Also this post is so accurate. The fitness industry is so toxic and I very much worry about how I influence it as a cis privilege white woman. It is so hard to be a body positive and I am glad you found a personal trainer who will fit your needs. Good luck Sunday!

  6. Natasha Jones
    22nd November 2017 / 4:57 pm

    The part where you said “Did you know that you can work out without pushing yourself so hard you throw up?” resonated with me so hard because, I didn’t. I have always thought you had to because ‘no pain, no gain’. I thought I was supposed to feel sick and want to stop and hate every minute. I’m trying to work out in new ways and learn that wanting to be sick is NOT a sign of a good workout.

  7. Emily
    22nd November 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Chookas for Sunday!!
    We can take over Clapham Common!!

  8. 25th November 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Exercise is so great for your body, sleep and mental health if it’s done in the ways you’re describing and you’ll be fitter before you know it! I’m excited to hear about the positive changes, hope you love it tomorrow! Alice xxx

  9. 21st July 2018 / 7:28 am

    Wow, what an interesting story you’ve shared there Grace! Very brave of you to be open on what you went through. It totally molded you to make better decisions and it ultimately made you a better person. Thank you for sharing and I wish you the best of luck!

  10. 15th October 2019 / 8:14 am

    Good luck with your first session Grace! I had my first PT session last month and my trainer was great. I’m happy with the way my body looks I just need to get fitter overall
    Need fitness trainer Clapham to visit more information. and helpful health and fitness

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