This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is Body Image. Our mission at Digme is and always has been to create an inclusive culture where we help others feel their most confident selves.
For a long time on my personal and professional fitness journey I have certainly been one to follow the crowd. However, over the last 18 months I have really started to question the status quo and work out what’s best for me.
I don’t know about you, but the more I read about Nutrition, the seemingly more complicated it gets! With so many headlines, articles, blogs and social media posts, as well as every Tom, Dick and Harry putting in their two cents it really has become a minefield of information.
It can be overwhelming to say the least, and therefore I believe the biggest impact this has had is on our relationships with food. Many suffer great anguish and guilt over ordering and eating a Burger over a salad that I believe the stress alone can have a greater impact on mental and physical health than enjoying the burger itself.
I had never thought twice about food until I was 19 and began my Musical Theatre training. It was then that I started to learn more about nutrition, and became acutely aware of the link between food and my body. Soon food, diets and the weighing scales became a hot topic of conversation between my classmates and I.
Towards the latter half of my 5 years of training, I discovered the gym, weights and #fitspo on Instagram, becoming obsessed with training in the gym 5-6 times a week in addition to my dance classes. The focus was on achieving the elusive aesthetic goal of a six-pack and I did just that. However it was at the expense of having a life outside of my gym workouts and my self imposed clean eating diet.
Over the past 5 years I have worked hard to overcome the rules and restrictions I naively put in place and heal my relationship with food and training. I have learned to tune back in with body; feeding it when hungry, stopping when full and learning to practice a lot of kindness and self compassion on the way.
I now eat freely, enjoying ALL foods in moderation and that has made me thrive.
Putting it into practice
My own experience along with the stories of many of my clients and community has strongly influenced me to be an advocate for positive relationships with food and our bodies, so we can cut out the noise and focus on doing what is best for our physical and mental health.
I now put the emphasis onto health and well-being as opposed to physical transformation and weight loss results so I can really help my clients and community focus on the long term benefits of exercise and movement.
I do not weigh or measure clients. Instead I track their training progress through programming, celebrating increases in strength and fitness ability.
I do not offer quick fixes or diets. Instead my approach is about finding long term solutions to help clients feel their best and to function at their optimal level inside the gym and most importantly outside too.
I do not believe in creating a culture of shame or guilt as motivation to train. Instead I want to positively encourage and support people to use movement as a form of self care, so they can make the best choices for their own health and wellbeing.
The ultimate goal is to change mindsets away from the aesthetic transformation, but rather shift to the positive physical and mental health benefits so that we are all able to thrive.
Come join us at Digme to experience the positive impact exercise and our workouts can have on your mental well-being. You can normally find Tally on Tuesday evenings at our Blackfrairs studio, and on Thursday mornings at Rathbone Square.