A Review of Be Fit London 2014
Be Fit London, took place in March this year (2014) at the Old Billingsgate near the River Thames, in Central London. A health and fitness festival aimed at women with a mission to (quote) “create the UK’s largest community of like-minded, health and fitness conscious women who support themselves and each other in looking and feeling the best they possibly can!”. I was intrigued to find out more and so off I trundled to Billingsgate, in full lycra clad to spontaneously join in the fitness classes, they had on and well….to look the part too ;).
There was lots on offer including; a packed exhibition hall complete with fitness clothing brands, food and supplement stands, beauty and well known female publications hosting their own stands. It was great to walk around and try the food and drink samples, but not so great pre – exercise class! Because yes, Be Fit had timetabled exercise classes all day, so that you could jump in at any time and try something new. A great way to counter my increased intake of the available food samples ALL day long. Anyhoo, I thought the exercise classes were fab, a whole range of women; different ages, sizes, ability levels were taking part – which was fantastic to see. The only downside here was that it was in full view of Be Fit delegates, not great for those who are a little body conscious and/or not very fit. Although I felt the pressure of people watching definitely made me work a lot harder!
Over the Friday to Sunday festival, Be Fit had also scheduled some great speakers including well known athletes and celebrities such as Denise Lewis, Victoria Pendleton and ex-Spice Girl Melanie C to name a few! I was lucky enough to squeeze into the packed speaker room and listen to Denise Lewis. She was fantastic at helping to empower the ladies in the audience by explaining her struggles juggling; relationships, family and life with her life-long and full time ambition and commitment to achieve a gold medal in the heptathlon, which she achieved in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She had a intuitive ability to motivate and uplift the mood in the room, which was a great to experience and be part of.
Overall, Be Fit London was great, it was good to go along and be part of its first year. However, I would like to see some changes for next year. I left the festival feeling slightly conflicted, on one hand Be Fit were empowering women to take control of their lifestyle, by exercising and exposing them to healthier food options and encouraging us to not take everything so seriously. As well as providing tips and advice from strong, successful women such as Denise. Then, on the other hand, the exhibition was full of beauty and ‘image’ stands which seemed to me to create this idea of unattainable perfection, serving only to promote self dissatisfaction and low esteem, which women and girls face, day in, day out within popular culture and media.
And so I ask, Which is it Be Fit London? It would be great if the organisers could embrace the ‘empowerment’ ethos for next year, continuing to inspire and support women without alienating them with ‘perfection’ brands and fads – just because they will pay for the space.