Jockey Signs Up For Bristol 10K After Anorexia Battle

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A stable jockey will take on a 10k challenge to raise awareness about eating disorders after she bravely battled anorexia over the last three years.

Sally Nowell, from Radstock in Somerset, found her weight consistently dropping below six stone after she struggled with the condition for most of her life, with it coming to a head over the last few years.

She was hospitalised in June and was finally discharged in January this year, having been at her lowest mentally and physically.

Sally admits that she struggled with these issues most of her life, always finding fault with her appearance and becoming obsessed with food and her weight, as well as pushing herself to exercise.

She is still recovering from the condition and decided to sign up to the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 13 May to give herself a focus and to prove to other sufferers that there is life outside of an eating disorder.

Sally is no stranger to running, competing in running events as a club runner since she was 15 and now hopes that she can fall back into the sport she loved following the period when she was ill.

Sally, 35, said: “I’ve struggled with anorexia and eating issues all my life, since I was a child. “I would always find fault with my appearance and always thinking I was the fattest person in any situation. It got worse when I started secondary school and I became obsessed with food and my weight.

“Over the last few years, it all came to a head and I found myself being hospitalised in June and then again in October when I was at my lowest, battling depression.

“I was discharged in January and I decided that I wanted to keep myself busy but also energised for my job so that my depression doesn’t let me sink again.

“I think that mental health awareness and eating disorder awareness is crucial to a person’s recovery, you have to accept that you need the help.

“Daily tasks had become an awful chore and I was no longer able to work full time as a stable jockey or ride my own horses every day as I just didn’t have enough energy.

“I was constantly tired and always felt weak and often fainted. I had a huge problem because being at my lowest weight still wasn’t enough for me.

“Having anorexia is like having another “voice” inside your head that’s convincing me that even though I am poorly, everything is fine and it’s normal.

“I decided to enter the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k and although I have not fully recovered from anorexia, I feel like running this event is a huge step towards my full recovery.

“It’s going to be a huge personal challenge as I used to run competitively so I always aim for a time, but this run is definitely keeping me going mentally.”

Sally will join 13,000 people at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k, where she hopes to raise awareness about eating disorders.

Runners can start good and finish greater when they take on a 10k challenge through the awe-inspiring surroundings of Bristol, including the Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Sally, who works as a stable Jockey at Johnny Farrelly Racing, added: “I don’t think enough people understand what having an eating disorder is like, so I hope to be able to tell my story to educate others.

“It’s not as easy as “just eating” or “just getting out of bed” as it’s a constant fight every day with yourself about calories, your weight and exercise.

“The fight is exhausting and it’s so easy to give into the battle, especially if you don’t have a strong support network.

“Training is a bit of a struggle at the moment but the event is keeping me going and I am determined to cross the line.”

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