In February I did an Instagram ‘take over’ for Wonderful Wild Women. It was fun, scary, liberating, empowering and nerve wracking all at the same time!
I wanted to pull all the posts together so I can look back at them when in need of inspiration.
Below is the amalgination of posts from the week in February.
Wonderful Wild Women, Instagram Takeover (21st-28th February 2019).
It’s time for February’s takeover. 🙌
I’m Lauren – I was lucky enough to grow up in the Lake District. After a few years studying in the North East, a few months across the pond in Australia and a short period of city life in Manchester, I found my way back to the mountains. Shortly after, I discovered the amazing Wonderful Wild Women community. 💜
I haven’t got a plan behind my posts yet, but I do know this: I want to share some recent experiences that have significantly altered my perception of what life is about – including mental health, body image, the importance of adventures and inspiring others to get outside. I’m going to go with the flowwww, so bear with me! 🌊
I hope you enjoy them! 💫
#wonderfulwildwomen #getoutside #mentalhealthawareness #outdoorswimming #sharetheswimlove #lovethelakes #lakedistrict #liquidmeditation #selfcare
Accepting yourself. ✨
As part of this Instagram takeover I want to talk about loving our bodies.
Social media can become a bit of a paradox when it comes to self acceptance. Instagram has many positives; it creates amazing communities (like this!), it can be a source of inspiration and fantastic connections can be made. As with anything, there are also negatives; it can increase pressure to strive towards the non-existent ‘perfect’ body and we can fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others.
Through my own mental health struggles my body has fluctuated in weight and appearance. I had long periods of inactivity and then periods doing lots of exercise. This exacerbated my body insecurities.
Fellow ambassador, @gillymcarthur, gave me this pearl of wisdom. Gilly told me as a way of helping her body confidence, she bought a bikini and started to learn not to focus on her own body hang-ups… so I went and did the same!! 😍
Also, I rediscovered the blog I wrote for WWW last year, which reinforced that I want to love my body for what it can do, rather than focusing on what it looks like. (I will leave a link in the comments below ⬇️). Perspective shift — I want to focus on the beautiful tarn I am about to jump into, surrounded by the amazing mountains, rather than fixating on my body hang-ups.
So, to all of you women and men struggling with accepting your body – let’s celebrate the amazing functionality of the human body and the adventures it can take us on!! .
Thanks @mrjumpyjames for these delightful photos.
#wonderfulwildwomen #outdoorswimming #selfcare #loveyourself #liquidmeditation #bodypositivity #getoutside #lovethelakes #goexplore #thisgirlcan #happyplace
Have you ever had to redefine your identity? It could be out of choice or due to circumstance: Either way, it can be hard.
I have struggled with my own identity the past few years, specifically relating to competitive sport.
I have always viewed myself as sporty. As a child I swam for a local club, in my teens I viewed myself as a Fell Runner, later at University a die-hard triathlete. With this identity, other expectations followed. Because I was a triathlete, I “was someone who”: ate healthily, trained 2-3 times a day, raced most weekends, sticked to the training plan and never missed a training session – regardless of how my body was feeling.
My training and racing came first. Friends, a social life, studies came second. Happiness and health after that.
I am not denying that my commitment and some of these self-imposed rules led to pretty cool opportunities, like racing all over the world and meeting some awe inspiring people through sport, like @nic13jackson! Plus I did love pushing myself in races.
However, I have recognised at this current time in my life I want to let go of that obsessive routine I had turned sport into and enjoy life for what it is. As @lucy_in_the_lakes told me recently “we want to ride the wave, not be taken under it.” 🌊
It’s still a work in progress. I realised I haven’t completed a triathlon since 2016; yet there is still a part of me that defines myself as a triathlete.
Perspective shift — everyday I am challenging this “old Lauren” identity. I currently don’t have a training plan, I have started climbing more regularly for fun and I check in with how my body feels as to whether I swim, ride, run or climb. Now, I also thoroughly enjoy sharing the outdoors with friends, rather than worrying about completing the session on my training plan.
Also, I have set myself a new and daunting challenge, I have entered my first ultra marathon in October! 👟
Here’s to the next chapter of no training plan, enjoying adventures with friends and completing fun challenges along the way. 💫
I would love to hear your thoughts on how identity has affected you, sport related or otherwise. 🙌 📷 @mrjumpyjames
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust. 💫
I want to dedicate my next post to the delicate topic of mental health.
Today I ran Bournemouth 10mile road race with @zoebazza. We chose this as our February event for the ’12 months for MIND’ challenge we have set ourselves.This race was an amazing experience: I ran it alongside my best friend, I enjoyed the challenge, I didn’t worry about a time or position, I soaked up the atmosphere, we sang ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley most of the way round and enjoyed the sea air and views. ✨
“Aim for the stars,
No matter how high,
Have faith in yourself
And reach for the sky.
Just follow your dreams,
They’re waiting for you
And you are the one
Who can make them
Come true.” ✨ The Wonderful Wild Women community has added so much sparkle to my life — the people, the events and the challenges make it special.
I am incredibly lucky to be an ambassador for WWW and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to share my experiences this week.
If you haven’t been to an event yet, please join us! We are a friendly bunch. 💜💚 Also – without compromising your safety – there is no ‘correct’ outfit for going on adventures in the outdoors. Here, I forgot my bobble so used my buff instead, I’m wearing a cotton top and (not running) leggings and I’m rocking the odd sock look (this has become a bit of a trademark look for me. 🤷♀️ Never let the fact you don’t have the ‘proper’ running (or other sports) gear stop you getting outside. 👟
Just one more post left for me tomorrow, then normal WWW Instagram will resume. Happy Monday! 💃
This is the last post from me!
Despite my initial apprehension for this takeover, I have had a blast! My goal was to inspire others to get into the outdoors and get active. I hope I have been successful! Plus, it has been great for me to reflect on what I have learnt the past few months.
…Thanks @sarah_gerrish for the amazing opportunity. 😘
I want to share another cute little quote which the wonderful @rmarikate passed onto me:
“We are all cups, constantly and
Quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing How to tip ourselves over and
Let the beautiful stuff out.” 🌸
~Ray Bradbury. … But I’m not quite finished yet! Keep an eye on the WWW Instagram stories for updates tomorrow. 🙌
This photo was taken by the super talented @hugoshootsfilm on his film camera. 🎥
Until next time.