In this interview, we discuss mental health, body image, and finding the motivation to achieve your goals. Featuring somewhat of a regular here on the blog, Vicky Whiting A.K.A. The Girl on The Spectrum.
So a quick recap, since we last spoke, how has your mental health been?
Like a roller-coaster ride really, very up and down, but right at this moment I’d like to think I’ve got things under control!
Something I know you’ve been concerned about is body image. People can get so depressed about the way they look, and its not healthy at all. What can you tell us about your experiences?
I’ve always had some insecurities with my self esteem and self-image, I’ve never been confident in my looks. Last year was an all time low for me, I’d spend my days binge eating Tesco chocolate muffins (I know living my best life!). This year I’ve changed my mindset and been active, I’ve joined weight watchers and I barely think about my body image.
Body image issues can occur in both genders though right? Its normally seen as something women worry about more.
Anyone can have confidence and body image issues, anyone. People think that it’s a female thing, it isn’t. It’s the media which influences what people think.
Instead of sitting and feeling sad you’ve been proactive with your fitness lately. Tell us a bit about that?
So, earlier this year my mum signed me up for a Couch to 5K running class, thing is she forgot to tell me she signed me up. So, my first thoughts were ‘I can’t do this’ and my mindset was ‘No’. Months later and I’m still running, it clicked with me and now I can’t stop! I wanted to make a positive change and running helped that.
What’s the most you’ve done in one running session? What does it take to mentally push yourself to achieve such a feat? How do you feel afterwards?
At the moment my longest run is about 4.5 miles, but I’m aiming to beat that! Its all about the mindset, if you believe you can then you will. Afterwards I’ll be pretty achy, but I’ll feel a sense of achievement which is the best feeling ever!
What’s your running gear like? Are there any safety measures you take, like appropriate footwear etc?
I use pretty standard running gear. I wear Nike leggings, a Nike armband and running trainers. As a runner it’s important to wear trainers that give the right support. I recently changed my shoes as my old Brookes ones weren’t giving me the right support. I now wear Asics GT-2000, which cost me £80, but its vital to get the right footwear to prevent injury.
You recently joined the Middleton Harriers, didn’t you? What is it like being part of a running team?
I joined the Middleton Harriers through the Couch to 5K course, and I’ve never been happier. Rob and Jo (Couch to 5K coaches) have been incredible. The club are supportive and encouraging and just what I need. They push me to keep going, to achieve my best and to never give up no matter how hard. The club have been amazing, and their knowledge and guidance has been invaluable. Being part of a team gives that feel good factor. I’m not up to racing standard yet, but I have my sights set on my first race in 2019!
Do you have any races or events planned?
Following on from the last question. Janice, who has been supporting me whilst running has recommended a race for 2019, five miles, multi-terrain, giving me a year to train! At this moment I’m not focused on racing, I’m more focused on running longer distance.
Can you tell us what running has done for your mental health?
Graham, a Middleton Harrier once told me that running will change your perspective on life – he was right. Running has changed my life. I’ve been healthier and happier. When I’m running I’m out of my head, I’m focusing on my breathing and nothing else matters in that moment. I’ve found a massive improvement in my mental health since starting running!
Lastly, what is next for you with this? Do you have any personal goals?
Honestly, I have no idea! I just want to keep going, pick up some speed, work on my stamina, and start racing haha! As for personal goals, maybe do a 10K? We shall see!
There you have it, my interview with Vicky Whiting. It’s great to see her doing so well, she’s made a lot of progress since she featured on #ShareYourStory.
You can find Vicky at the following links: