Self Labelling – I am an athlete


I make no bones about the fact that I was always last in anything sporty at school.  Always the last one to be picked for netball and hockey teams.  I used to dread cross country where I would end up breathless and last once again.  Gymnastics was a particular hate where I never even mastered a forward roll properly.


Women's Cross Country Team runs the OZ invitat...
Image via Wikipedia


I was one of the fattest kids in my year at 12.  Not by today’s standards but in 1982 everyone else was skinny.  I was a faddy eater with a very sweet tooth and the latter hasn’t changed being particularity partial to a little(sic) chocolate.

I don’t actually recall what changed and when.  I know I started by first diet at 12.  I didn’t lose weight although I did grow and maintain my 8st giving a thinner appearance.  Yet puberty blessed me with a number of shapley curves and chunky thighs so something in my mind kept that “fat” label for some time.

Its very easy to label ourselves  and once we do that it can become a self fulfilling prophecy, so now I chose carefully what I label myself with and avoid the negative ones at a costs.

So why with all these painful school memories do I chose to label myself as an athlete?

Well, I’ve worked hard to get rid of those chunky thighs.  I can’t.  I’m blessed with them, together with the curvy waistline and larger than average cup size. However, at 41 I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been.  I work out 3-4 times a week, covering pilates, body pump, Zumba and aerobic type exercise.  I walk 8-12 miles at a weekend or cycle 20 (no mean feat for someone who learned to cycle at 28).  I choose to eat healthily although regular chocolate is still part of my treat regime.

I still can’t do a forward roll.  I don’t have the flexibility and my chunky thighs and curves just don’t allow it. I just don’t bend enough.

My personal trainer summed this up for me some months ago.  She said the real athletes aren’t the ones that win races easily- they’re the ones that have to work at it and don’t give up.  So that’s it – I’ve swopped the “fat”label for “athlete”.

I’ve achieved a lot.  But to remember this I have to make sure I don’t compare myself to the performance of others and celebrate my own personal achievements.


Four key points to remember:

  • When you compare yourself to others look for the favourable things that you see in you.
  • If you’ve stuck labels on yourself, change them for more positive ones.
  • If you want to change something, stick with it, some battles are long but they can all be won.
  • Remember to celebrate your own successes and regularly.






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