Wow! I can’t actually believe it’s one year since my book Sorted: The Active Woman’s Guide to Health was published. Time has flown by. Many authors liken writing a book to giving birth and there are certainly many similarities.
Taking an idea, seeing it grow and gradually over many months of researching, writing, re-writing and editing, form its own identity. It does at times feel like a long and painful gestation and labour! Putting it out into the world was a nerve racking experience. I felt vulnerable and exposed. This was my work, my offering to women to help them get and stay active. I simply wanted to share my knowledge and experience from 15 years as a GP and ten years with a passion for exercise. Reading back the blog post I wrote on publication day reminds me how nervous and also how grateful I was.
I knew how becoming active had changed my life and realised that lifestyle change was such a powerful way to improve health. My GP clinics would be full of women with health issues that I knew exercise would benefit but I simply didn’t have the time to discuss all their barriers in the detail that I wanted to. I also knew there were many women at home not asking for help because their problems were embarrassing or they thought they were too trivial to make a GP appointment for. In my eyes, if your ‘trivial’ problem is preventing you from enjoying exercise, then it’s not trivial, it’s really important for your health, now and in the future. There was and still is a need for information, support and encouragement to help women overcome the issues that are stopping them being active, whether that’s a leaky bladder or lack of motivation.
I had so much help from amazing women telling their stories in a bid to make other women feel able to ask for help. Here are some of the women whose names you will recognise:
Dr Zoe Williams from ITV’s This Morning explains how she shares her love of exercise with her patients and let me have a photo of her in her previous role as Amazon in Sky 1’s TV show Gladiators!
Nell McAndrew divulges how miserable heavy periods are but how she doesn’t let them stop her exercising.
Carol Smillie discusses the menopause and and shares an incident involving a pair of leather jeans, a beach cafe and a lot of blood!
Chrissie Wellington explains how her relationship with her body has changed over time and how she has come to trust it.
Sophie Raworth talks about how she manages to fit marathon training into a busy week when she’s working full time and juggling three children too.
Many other women contributed with very personal stories to make us all realise that we aren’t the only ones struggling and there are ways to overcome our barriers. I’m so grateful to them all. Huge thanks also to all the experts who contributed their knowledge and experience to answer some of the more specific questions related to pregnancy, post natal exercise, asthma, diabetes, breast surgery, HRT, nutrition and motivation.
I’m proud of Sorted. I’ve had incredible feedback from women telling me it covers all the things no one else wants to write about and they appreciate that they can read about these things in the privacy of their own home. Many women say Sorted is a bookshelf essential and they know they’ll be returning to it again and again as issues arise throughout their lives. I love the fact that health care professionals including GPs, practice nurses, midwives and physios have been telling me how useful they find it for conversations with their patients.
… and how are the sales? The question everyone wants to ask me! Yes, I’ve sold plenty (I’m not about to disappear off to the Caribbean or buy a sports car!) BUT I know that there are so many more women who would benefit from the advice in the book and the encouragement that it offers. That’s where I need your help to spread the word. Please do share about the book on social media, (use the #sorted and #activewomen hashtags), tell your female friends, buy your mum, sister. daughter or aunt one as a present. Exercise is an amazing thing, it’s too good not to take part in and you just don’t know what it is that’s stopping the women in your lives from joining in. There’s something in there for every woman of every age and ability.
If you’ve read Sorted then please do leave me a review on Amazon; it really counts for a lot, especially for new authors.
Meanwhile, I’m raising a glass to my one-year-old and saying a huge thank you to all of you for your amazing support over the last twelve months.
If you would like to buy a copy of Sorted: The Active Woman’s Guide to Health, you can get one here, on Amazon and in book shops too. Let me know what you think.
The other question I’m always asked … will Sorted have a sibling? I’m open to persuasion!