Tag Archives: self image

Cycling is Good for You!

19 May

let’s go ride a bike is one of my all time favourite blogs. yesterday dottie made an incredible post about cycling and self-esteem which basically sums up how I feel about cycling and everything I love about it.

dottie of let's go ride a bike

“In our bipolar society, where the most obese population in the world is inundated with dangerous images of “beauty” by the media and where “fit” people drive to the gym to run on the treadmill, millions are locked in a struggle with their bodies.  Even healthy and otherwise happy young women waste immeasurable time fixated on perceived flaws and self-loathing.”

Since I was about 11 years old this has been how I felt and treated my body. I used to do Irish Dancing which involved doing around 16 hours practise and exercise every week as well as competitions which lasted all day at the weekends. I was really fit and very thin (too thin) but I hated my body. I felt fat and unnatractive and would take pains to cover myself at every opportunity. When we had P.E at school I would sit hunching my legs under me and crossing my arms over my stomach, trying to make myself as small as possible.

These feelings didn’t leave as I got older, they only became more ingrained, to the point where I would deny that I even felt like that anymore, that I didn’t care, while covering myself in baggy tops and dresses.

Then I bought a bike and decided to cycle to work everyday, and suddenly everything changed.

“The solution is a lifestyle change that favors simplicity over excess and regards the human body as a tool rather than merely a decoration. A big part of such a lifestyle is active transportation especially cycling. Riding a bicycle as daily transportation can radically shift both how you feel and how you feel about yourself.”

I began to love the idea that my body was capable of getting from one side of London to the other…and it wasn’t that hard! It was empowering to know that those muscley legs I always hated where powering me and my bike. I looked and felt better, I was getting healthier and loosing all the flab, but the best part was how good I felt on the inside.

Since I started cycling everyday I have not only come to appreciate the work my body can do and to like the way I look more, but more importantly my mental health has imporoved. I feel that now I know that I can cycle around London unscathed, I can do anything I put my mind too. And that really is a good place to be.