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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > May-19 > “I DON’T FEEL LIKE ME IF I’M NOT EXERCISING”

“I DON’T FEEL LIKE ME IF I’M NOT EXERCISING”

Former Olympic and World Champion Jessica Ennis- Hill, now retired from her golden girl of athletics role, talks life on the other side and why the goalposts have shifted

‘Retiring is a real shock,’ says Jessica Ennis-Hill sagely. ‘You’ve spent your whole life living a certain way – it’s not just training, it’s the way you eat, the way you sleep. Your whole life is bundled up into your career. When it stops you can’t help but wonder, “How is my life structured now?”’

It’s not an unfamiliar premise – many retirees speak of the void it leaves in their life, of seeking a new sense of purpose. But most of those people are in their 60s, not sporting a rippling six-pack and Insta-documenting hill runs. The 33-year-old heptathlete retired from athletics in 2016, just four years after her success at the London Olympics had the nation cheering at their TV screens. A silver at Rio in 2016 rounded off her career nicely – along with World and European Championship titles and the current British record for the heptathlon. It appears idyllic – Jess retired on her own terms and as one of Britain’s most decorated athletes – but the lifestyle change was a lot to come to terms with. ‘It’s strange for any athlete,’ she contemplates. ‘You suddenly don’t have to get up every morning and train. You don’t have a focus, you lose that goal of being ready for competitions. I was always working towards something as an athlete, so when I retired, there was a hole where those goals were.’

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About Healthy Magazine

Have you thought about your sleep recently? It’s one of the key pillars of our wellbeing, which is why we’ve delved into all things bedtime this issue. Inside, you’ll find simple, science-backed fixes to all your sleep worries, from insomnia to snoring, plus our body clock training plan and moves to help you snooze. We investigate whether fat really deserves its bad rep, uncover the intricacies of the placebo effect, and explore 2019’s biggest wellness trend: blue health. Plus, our food section champions light Easter bakes, three beauty experts dish on their bedtime routines, and Jess Ennis-Hill talks family and fitness since retiring. Find all this and more in the brand new issue of Healthy!