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”RUNNING HELPS ME TO STAY ON TOP OF MY RECOVERY. IT GIVES ME TIME TO THINK ABOUT WHERE I’M AT WITH MY DAY AND MY MOOD”

COVER STAR

Hope Virgo, 28, from south west London, was forced to put her life on hold for years while in the grips of anorexia. Now at a stage of ongoing recovery, she is using her experience and understanding to help others. What’s more, after years of running as a secretive and obsessive route to extreme weight loss, she has rebuilt her relationship with exercise, now running for the love of it – and to celebrate her new-found mental and physical strength.

But Hope’s road to recovery hasn’t been easy. It has taken immense mental strength to change the deeply rooted beliefs and behavioural patterns that anorexia instils which, in Hope’s case, began around the age of 12, following sexual abuse by a family friend that went on for 10 months.

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About Women’s Running

It’s a strange thing, our relationship with food. We tuck into our favourite snacks and meals to reward ourselves, cheer ourselves up and celebrate special occasions. Mealtimes can be something to look forward to after a tough day or training session, an opportunity to share quality time with loved ones. For me, food is associated with homeliness and family, but also with health and wellbeing. Fuelling my body nutritiously gives me enormous satisfaction – it gives me a feeling of control, knowing I’m supporting my health and my running. But because of such emotional associations, our relationship with food can become very complex. And, in some cases, even detrimental to health. Over the coming pages, we look at a number of topics surrounding nutrition. From the highly emotive issue of eating disorders (page 30), to the growing trend of going meat-free (page 62), we give you the facts to help you make sense of how your diet impacts your training and heath – mental and physical. If you are moving to a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’ll find heaps of expert advice on everything from getting the right protein intake to vitamin and mineral deficiencies – and even a seven-day, meat-free meal planner (page 69). Of course, there’s lots of non-food content, too, including one feature guaranteed to get you out the door, even for just 15 minutes (page 44).