Firefighter Michaela Lewendon has a new string to her bow - she’s recently qualified as a fitness coach and started a part-time business called Ignite my Fitness.
The 27-year-old from Wing believes too much emphasis is placed on having the perfect body image and she’s passionate about raising the importance of health and wellbeing.
She herself has struggled with body dysmorphia – an anxiety disorder that causes people to have a distorted view of how they look - and says: “My most powerful tool for keeping my negative thoughts at bay was fitness.
“Although at first it was extremely difficult seeing my reflection in the gym mirror, I started to look at what I was achieving.
“Exercise enabled me to learn more about my body than its dress size – I became aware of its strength rather than its weight and its power, rather than its measurements.”
Michaela believes exercise should be about rewarding the body with endorphins, not punishing it for what’s been ingested and feels this is a very important message during Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 22 - 28).
She explains: “People have a perception in their head about how they should look, it’s all about appearance rather than ability.
“No two people will use the same methods to combat negative thoughts and I want to help as many as possible, tailoring individual fitness programmes to their needs using a personal one-to-one approach.
“By building an honest open rapport, we can celebrate their successes as stepping stones towards self-belief and life-long achievement.”
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