A former Miss Universe Ireland, new Vhi women’s mini-marathon ambassador Rozanna Purcell was once used to being judged on her looks and height.
A few years ago, the Tipperary native, 31, began speaking out about her battle with an eating disorder and how CBT sessions helped her reevaluate her self-esteem and break the negative thinking trap.
Since then, she’s garnered plenty of praise for her unfiltered swimwear photos and honesty about her own efforts to maintain a positive body image.
Still, the author and blogger freely admits she’s found lockdown particularly triggering and is “in no way immune” to the usual social media pressures – and why carbs are “the joy of life.”
She spoke as she helped start the 2022 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, where she was named the new ambassador and posed for the cameras in her first photoshoot in years in Killiney Hill, County Dublin
. The event is now in its 40th year and will take place on Sunday 5th June. For the first time since 2019, it’s happening in person, and people can also attend virtually from anywhere in the world by registering. The organizers also point out that you can also walk the 10km route around Dublin city centre.
“My experience is that I come from an eating disorder background and live my life based on my size. My number one priority was my weight and I’m recovering from that. It’s about having a very balanced relationship with food and my body now,” Roz told Independent.ie.
“While I’m definitely not a body positivity activist because I live in such a straight body, I can tell my own story, coming from a place where I’m controlled by food culture.
“Now when we come out of Covid on social media, we see posts about ‘Oh the Covid stone, you’re supposed to be feeling a certain way’. We’ve literally just gone through a pandemic when you need to get a new pair of jeans. it’s not the worst!
“I think getting therapy and working on my own relationship with my food and my body and then being thrown into a lockdown scenario really made me aware. We live so much online and this world can really affect this negative aspect of people and their relationship with their bodies and food. All of these memes that can be passed off as jokes can actually be quite harmful.”
The founder of blog naturalbornfeeder believes the key message should be that everyone needs to be simpler to themselves.
“The world is not a great place right now. The last thing your body needs when we’re all dealing with stress is to cut out carbs — they’re the joy of life. My message is if you have a weight on your chest, stress or anxiety, if you feel like people aren’t going to look at you the same way because you look different after lockdown, go talk to someone.
“This idea can be fed to us through social media and the messages from society that our bodies shouldn’t change. We’ve been in lockdown for two years, our bodies are getting older, we’re going to change.”
Even before lockdown, she found solace in the great outdoors and for years has been leading her movement initiative, The Hike Life, across Ireland while encouraging the public to get involved in her walks. She said that when times were tough, getting out and talking to friends and family has always been her therapy.
Speaking of the Vhi Women’s Mini-Marathon, Roz said: “It’s going to be incredible.
“I am delighted to be on board, as I have done before, but never as an ambassador. I even think the sense of camaraderie you get from it, that sense of community is amazing. It’s a huge event and you don’t even have to run it, you can run it.
Registration for the event is now open at www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie.
https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/womens-mini-marathon/people-need-to-go-easy-on-themselves-carbs-are-the-joy-of-life-says-rozanna-purcell-as-she-launches-vhi-womens-mini-marathon-41403190.html “People have to go easy on themselves – carbs are the joy of life,” says Rozanna Purcell as she starts the Vhi Women’s Mini-Marathon