On Saturday 19th March I attended the Girl Gains event, ‘Educate, Empower, and Inspire’ which was held at Third Space Gym, Canary Wharf.
Before I talk about the event itself, I wanted to talk a little about Girl Gains. Girl Gains was created by three gorgeous ladies; Zanna, Tally, and Vic. Three personal trainers who came together with the aim of inspiring and motivating women to become fitter, healthier and happier. They created the Girl Gains hashtag on Instagram, each sharing their own personal stories as well as their knowledge and wisdom on all things fitness and health related. Through Instagram, I, along with many other women became an avid follower, hooked on soaking up the motivation and positivity they shared daily.
The event was also co-hosted with Protein Pow, a company formed by a wonderful lady called Anna Sward who set out to create delicious & nutritious protein mixes to encourage a healthy life-style.
The event schedule had me jumping for joy. Not only was it sponsored by Holland & Barrett (I could spend a fortune in that shop), Linwood Foods, Meridian Foods, and more, but its sole purpose of encouraging self-love, confidence, and mindfulness had me feeling excited and eager to delve further into the mentality aspects of health & fitness.
The schedule looked like this:
2:00-3:00 – Healthy living, Body Confidence, and the Power of Community in instigating change – by #GirlGain’s founders’ Zanna Van Djik, Victoria Spence, and Tally Rye, and Protein Pow’s Anna Sward.
3:00-3:45 – The Power of Positivity – by Jacqueline Hurst.
4:00 – 4:45 – Disordered Eating, Body Confidence, and the Importance of Mindfulness – by published author and yogi, Nicola Jane Hobbs.
5:00 – 5:45 – The Power of Food – A Protein Bar Making Workshop with our new Protein Pow’ cooking mixes – by Anna Sward (#AllTheFood!).
5:45-6:30 – Healthy Snacks and Q&A with speakers.
What I loved about each speaker was how honest and raw they were, they weren’t afraid to go against the grain that women should fit a certain bracket and size. They emphasised the importance of how we should feel about ourselves; how important it is to love ourselves, flaws and all, and how life is so much more than a flat stomach or a certain number on the scale. Fitness should be a way for us to give back to our bodies to enable us to be strong. We should nourish our bodies with foods that help us function to live a healthy and happy life. Each speaker shared their own story highlighting personal difficulties they had faced throughout life; eating disorders, low confidence & self-esteem, drug addiction, and how they were able to overcome those with the power of positivity and change. References were made to how magazines and the internet promote ‘the perfect body’, when in reality, none of us our perfect, we our all perfectly imperfect.
The last session of the day was the absolute cherry on top. We were able to make, and eat (obviously the most important part) our own protein treats. Let’s just say I was in nut butter heaven and I came away feeling slightly full and sick due to too much ‘experimenting’. I needed to try absolutely everything more than once though, right? Each table was spread full of healthy delights; nut butter (all different types), banana coins, flaxseed, goji berries, protein mix, coconut chips, and so much more! We were like kids in a candy store (a healthy one though, obviously). Aside from the food heaven, we had so much fun making our own treats and I didn’t realise how easy they were to make. I’m no Delia or Ramsay so this gave me a much needed confidence boost to get creative in the kitchen.
I noted a re-occurring theme during the day that really hit home to me, and that was self-love. I realised that throughout my difficulties, I never loved myself or took care of myself, in fact, I rather disliked myself. I was so focused and wrapped up in becoming the thinnest and having a flat stomach, that I had lost myself and my purpose, and I had forgotten that in order to truly live a happy and healthy life, I firstly needed to learn to love myself and how to take care of myself properly. I was also reminded that life is for living, seeing, doing, and making amazing memories. And that, my friends, is a valuable lesson learned.