Behind the smile:
I have an unhealthy relationship with food. Trapped in a vicious cycle of binging, hating myself and then strict dieting, it’s begun to take a toll on my mental state. As an athlete, we are always pushing ourselves, striving to be better than we were before and there’s a pressure to look a certain way. Competition uniforms leave very little room to hide insecurities and I can’t help but feel like my body is being scrutinised the moment I step onto the track in a crop top and short shorts. My mind is plagued with thoughts of visible cellulite, looking heavy and how far my gut sticks out. So many wonderful social media accounts promote finding balance and not worrying about the figures on the scales. But the proven reality for me is, that number is a defining aspect in preparation for races - the less I weigh, the lighter I’ll feel and the faster I’ll run. Why am I sharing this? As a journalist, I feel I have a voice and I want to write about things that hopefully resonate with others so that they can find solace through my struggle. I hope this little insight behind the perfectly articulated photos helps at least one person understand that social media is a facade, and if you’re struggling with an issue, you’re not alone.