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International Women's Day: Women who inspire Tamara

posted on Thursday, 8th March 2018 | find under Tamara
Today is International Women’s Day, well Women’s YEAR, who are we kidding? So, what better excuse do we need to celebrate amazing women? 2018 marks 100 years since women won the vote in the UK and we are all about celebrating strong female figures.  At Sweaty Betty, our mission is to empower women through fitness and beyond and in honour of this year’s theme #PushForProgress, our Founder and Creative Director, Tamara has shared a few women who inspire her.

My Mother

international womens daytamara
My Mum, centre left

My parents instilled a love of adventure in me. We moved around the world as a family growing up and my Mum was always so enthusiastic about travel and immersing herself in the local culture. She also has an incredible enjoyment of life and people. She's constantly busy and incredibly sociable and just loves being with people (as well as her herd of alpacas).  She is patient and wise and I love how she treats everyone with respect and kindness. Plus, she looks amazing in our leggings!  

Annie Foulds, Athlete

annie foulds
Annie at the finish line of the Comrades Ultramarathon

Annie is an incredible athlete with abs of steel and a heart of gold. She is an amazing ambassador for both Sweaty Betty and Great Ormond Street Hospital, for whom she has raised so much money for. Annie has run so many marathons over the years, but is all about empowering women to push themselves to the best of their ability. I have gotten to know her over well over the last few years as she coaches our weekly office run club. She is a lovely motivating trainer. Her knowledge about illness, hormonal changes and how women can exercise through these to continue to feel good about ourselves amazes me. 

Meet Annie

What is your favourite race that you have ever done?

I loved running the New York marathon and the Sahara in particular. However, I have to say that taking part in the Comrades ultramarathon uphill last June 2017 has to be the ultimate. The training consisted of seven months of tough strength and conditioning and running training, with 10 weeks of running about 6 hours every weekend. The race was completely uphill for 87K.  

I really enjoyed the whole experience of being in South Africa with my family as well. I also managed to get a bronze medal because I finished within the timescale of 9 to 11 hours.  Which made it all that more special. 

What tips would you give to someone who wants to run a marathon?

My advice would be to follow an appropriate training plan for your ability from a professional running coach. Also incorporate some strength and conditioning training in your weekly program and buy some very good running shoes.

What's next on the Annie Foulds challenge list?

I still intend to do several marathons over the next two years, but my main focus will be getting fit enough to complete the World Marathon Challenge in January 2020. This is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours.

Adwoa Aboah, Model and Activist

adwoah aboah

I think what Adwoa Aboah is doing with Gurls Talk is really awesome. She’s using a place of influence to share with young girls the importance of mental health awareness completely following her own path. I recently saw an interview with her and her Mum, and I love how she is highlighting the importance of self-care and talking to someone about your issues. As a Mum of two teenage daughters, it’s amazing to see role models like her making a difference.
My Daughters

tamara daughters
My daughters and me in The Hamptons

My daughters inspire me every day (when they aren’t driving me mad!!) and I love how much I learn from them. They are so strongly principled and passionate about conservation, vegetarianism and PETA’s fight against fur in fashion and sustainability. They’re really active and love sport, and I love seeing what this does for their self-esteem.

They are growing to be really strong women. Their Instagram feeds are of them being goofy, crazy and creative, showing off their style and personalities. Their pin-ups are Adwoa Aboah and young female singers like Mahalia, Jorja Smith and Ray Black. They follow Gurls Talk, go to protests and are determined to fight causes for under-privileged women and female empowerment.

Amelia Freer, Nutritionist

international womens day amelia freer

I first met Amelia for lunch a few years ago and love her down to earth philosophy on healthy eating and nutrition. I’m a firm believer in balance around food and I love how sensible she is and how she doesn’t promote an authoritarian approach to healthy eating. Amelia said to me that she encourages her clients to ‘eat less and move a little more’ and to cook from scratch using fresh, seasonal ingredients. This is a method I certainly agree with.

Meet Amelia 

What is your morning routine?

I start the day with a black coffee; I look forward to it every single morning. Then for breakfast, I always try to eat a little protein, some veggies, some healthy fats and a portion of fruit. Eggs and avocado is my staple breakfast, though sometimes I have leftover supper – I don’t mind eating curry for breakfast. 
Where is your favourite place to eat out?

I don’t eat out that much but when in Wiltshire, The Beckford Arms and when in London, The Providores in Marylebone is always a favourite.
What’s on your bucket list?

To spend time working with elephants, go to Bhutan and to learn to play the piano.

Victoria Beckham, Designer

international womens day victoria beckham

I admire Victoria for her success at reinventing herself in the face of the cynical fashion world. Her tenacity, passion, focus and desire to succeed are qualities I admire. I also really like how she has moved with the time and is providing a cool, contemporary sports luxe look to empower the modern woman.

Denise Lewis, Athlete
It’s our 20th birthday this year and I was thinking the other day about how far we have come in terms of the number female athletic icons in the last twenty years. Now young girls have countless British icons to look up to, but in 1998, our only female Olympic medal winner was Denise for the heptathlon. She’s the first athlete I remember being really interested in and went on to win a gold medal in Sydney in 2000. She’s now a Mum of five, has an OBE and looks absolutely amazing. A true Sweaty Betty.

Jess Schuring, Founder Heartcore

international womens day jess
One of the first people to really ‘get’ the boutique fitness scene, Jess brought Heartcore to London ten years ago determined to provide a seriously tough workout in beautiful surroundings. Like us at Sweaty Betty, she considers an active lifestyle to be a choice of how you live, not just as part of your life. She also has a very cool dress sense and I love the studio design – you feel pampered as well as worked.

Meet Jess

What is your morning routine?

My morning routine changes depending on my work commitments but it always starts with a large glass of water followed by a black americano. Whenever I can, I get my workout in early but if I don't have time, I compromise with a shower and a cold rinse off to wake me up and get going. I check my emails and the news with a second coffee and a light bite to eat - either a banana, oatmeal or scrambled eggs.

What makes Heartcore so effective?

First of all, I’d say that we very much care about everyone who comes to train with us and that we give our very best to get everyone into the best shape possible.  All our training methods focus on working the muscles under tension for the long/lean look, working towards muscle fatigue by designing certain sequences and keeping downtime to a minimum.

What's on your bucket list?

Inspire as many people as possible to live a healthier, happier and more courageous life. Make the world a better place. Learn how to sail and travel more, especially in Africa and South America.

Victoria Milligan, Charity Campaigner

victoria milligan
Victoria is one of our global ambassadors and a real inspiration. After a tragic speedboat accident led to the devastating loss of her husband and daughter, she’s dedicated herself to raising money for the charities that helped her family through such a challenging time. Since 2013, she has run 10k, cycled 300 miles from Cornwall to London and more to raise money for RNLI.

Niki Perry, Yoga Teacher

niki perryNiki and I on the slopes in February

Niki has built up an incredibly strong yoga community bringing her inimitable and infectious style of teaching to so many people. She is a huge supporter of a number of charities and regularly donates to the Africa Yoga Project.  I really admire her enthusiasm, down to earth sense of humour and incredible energy.

I am proud to call Niki a Sweaty Betty ambassador and friend. I absolutely love spending time with her and being taught yoga, we’ve practiced together everywhere from the snowy Alps to outside in the sunshine wearing glitter. She is so busy with three young kids and yet she will ALWAYS have time for you with a little gift of chocolate protein balls.

Meet Niki

How did you get into yoga?

My mum always did yoga, I would sit in the corner of village halls watching her practice with her friends. Even now she reaches to the sky and touches the floor everyday at 72. So it has always been a part of my life, but it wasn’t until I was living in London 20 years ago that I really started to practice regularly.

Tell us about the Africa Yoga Project?

The Africa Yoga Project, educates, empowers, elevates and expands employability with African youth through yoga. 

The charity is dedicated to delivering all that yoga has to offer to the diverse communities of East Africa. Over 6,000 people participate in more than 300 community yoga classes weekly in 80 locations. We also have over 200 teachers earning a living wage by teaching yoga to people who otherwise would not have the opportunity.

Which women inspire you? Tell us in the comments below as we celebrate #IWD2017. Find out more about Tamara here
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