International Women's Day #BeYOU

This International Women’s Day, we have chosen to celebrate a topic which we feel every woman should advocate: self-love. We have been particularly inspired by 3 women who perfectly embody the idea of self-love, and who are not afraid to be themselves. We feel that Lindi, Amii and Amy share our values of female empowerment and we hope that members of our female community can also feel inspired by these three very different relationships with fitness and self-love.

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LINDI MARCUSEN - @lindi.marcusen

Lindi Marcusen uses her Instagram page to illustrate that fitness is for everybody and serves as proof that strength and determination can do great things. To us, Lindi is the epitome of self-love: kind to herself but aware that her potential is never limited, and never takes no for an answer.  We caught up with Lindi to discuss what IWD means to her, and how she remains focused and optimistic on the journey that lies ahead.

What do you love about yourself?

Each of us are born with talents and one of mine seems to be that I have a lot of grit. I rely on this everyday to do the workouts that I know will be hard, to check the tedious mundane boxes that adulthood provides, and to get to where I want to go and who I want to be. I am more than willing to put in the work everyday when it feels like I am getting nowhere. Training for 15 years as a gymnast helped develop diligence and I continue to find opportunities to strengthen it further. 

Do you have any quotes or mantras you live by?

Always do your best- That is one thing you can always count on yourself to do. It will not look the same everyday and trying to give more than your best is not sustainable, but it will pay off if you choose to do your best day in and day out. I also do not believe everything happens for a reason. Things just happen because we live in a world of uncertainty. I DO believe that it is your job to create your reasons for why things have happened and own your journey in the past, present, and future. 

How has your fitness changed since losing your leg?

Haha well it hasn't in the end. It did take a couple of years to rehabilitate after a long list of injuries including my leg amputation. I have switched sports from bodybuilding to track and field because I have the opportunity to compete as a Para-athlete, potentially on a world stage in the Paralympics. The day to day movement of my body I do have will always be a staple in my lifestyle. 

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

When we as women come together as one, we become unstoppable. This is what International Women’s Day means to me— a day we can look up from our individual lives and realize the power we hold together as one as well as celebrate the women who came before us, run beside us, and who will continue to pave the road after us. 

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AMII MILLER - @amiifit

Amii Miller is a yoga teacher, nutrition advisor and soon-to-be personal trainer who dedicates her social platforms to spreading awareness about eating disorders. Having recovered from an ED 3 years ago, Amii is the embodiment of female empowerment and is constantly developing herself as a person. Amii recognises her own beauty, knows her worth, and we feel everyone should follow Amii’s example of maintaining a healthy relationship with food, fitness, and most importantly, yourself.

What do you love about yourself?

The thing I love the most about myself is my resilience. I trust that I am strong enough to get through whatever life throws at me. Rather than viewing life’s challenges as inconveniences, I see them as opportunities to learn and to grow stronger.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my personal development (so far!) - since I have recovered from an eating disorder, I have gained so much strength and learnt a lot about myself as a person. I have learnt to care for my mind and body, and to prioritise what matters to me. I am grateful to be able to share my experiences with an eating disorder with other people via social media - I proud to have educated & empowered many other girls & women who may be suffering with the same right now, and help with their recovery journeys.

Do you have any advice for people suffering from an ED, or loved ones who want to support someone suffering with an ED?

Communication is key - it’s the first step to recovery! Don’t be scared to ask for help - it’s not weak, it’s brave. When you admit that you have an eating disorder, you are doing in realisation that you WANT to recover. Confiding in loved ones, or even medical professionals is so important, telling them how you feel and understanding how they can support you. 

If you’re the person supporting a loved one who’s suffering, it’s important to listen to them without judgement, try and educate yourself more about their eating disorder, and build up their trust in you.

For both parties, it’s important to realise that recovery does not happen in a linear way - there’s going to be ups and downs, but the way in which you tackle the ‘downs’ is where growth happens. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see recovery straight away, just focus on fighting it day by day.

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate female power and strength. To be a role model to all of the little girls that are to become the next generation of women. To not tolerate discrimination of background, colour, sexuality, age - but to embrace our differences.

Show respect & appreciation to not only ourselves, but all the women around us- mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmothers & daughters. It’s a day to recognise the beauty in the female body, of every size & shape. It’s a reminder to display our womanhood with pride: wear red lipstick, paint our nails, wear trousers, wear shorts, wear nothing, eat what we love, feed the soul, dance like no one’s watching, sing our hearts out, love who we love, be bossy, be the boss, own our lives. Don’t let being a female stop you from anything. Do anything and everything, for you are a woman.

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AMY FLEMING - @amshealth

Amy Fleming was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 6 years-old, and demonstrates to her followers that having a hidden disability does not prevent a healthy and happy life. Amy is the perfect representation of a strong woman, and is always aware that true strength comes from stepping out of your comfort zone. We are inspired by Amy’s confidence and self-acceptance, and her work to prove to women that we are capable of anything.

What do you love about yourself?

I think the thing I love most about myself is my strength. I’ve fought my whole life against Crohn’s disease and fought to carry on and try and live a normal life, living a life with a hidden illness is quite hard and causes a lot of anxiety. I love how strong I have been against the illness and still gone for jobs that may have been a struggle, still trained in the gym even when I didn’t feel my best because I know how good moving your body is for your body & mind. And especially since my surgery - the strength I have inside and how strong my body is has blown me away. 

Are there any misconceptions you think people have about Crohn’s?

I think people think that Crohn’s is just a bowel disease, they also may not know that much about it but it actually effects so much more than just your bowel. It can make you feel so fatigued, drained, malnourished so just to be super mindful of people with Crohn’s disease as it can be quite challenging to live with during everyday life.

Has your fitness journey changed since having Stoma surgery?

Yes it has - but only for the better! I am no longer malnourished, the bad bit of bowel that was damaged was removed which has made such a massive difference to food digesting normally, my body has been able to gain some weight, soak up all the nutrients which has really helped my training! I have so much more energy, I can train harder, for a longer period of time and feed my body properly afterwards to help repair my muscles. It’s the best thing to happen to me! 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I am just so so proud to be a strong woman. Thank you so much for wanting me to be a part of this it means the entire world. I just want to show that you can have a disability, go through hard periods in your life but still come out the other side, stay fit, strong and healthy and feel confident.