Inspiration Ambassador: Jacinta
I met Jacinta the other week while doing her hair and makeup for the Portrait Physique photo shoot. I was immediately drawn to her fun, contagious energy and decided that I wanted to feature her on the blog.
Being physically active has always been a big part of Jacinta’s life beginning in her childhood where she enjoyed things like bushwalking and riding her bike. In school she was into team sports, competitions and athletics. Sitting inside and being still was a foreign concept to her. With that being said, her relationship with exercise has not always been a ‘healthy’ one.
In her 20s and 30s, Jacinta sustained multiple injuries from overtraining and her obsession with diet & exercise had become her priority. She would use training as an excuse to miss family or social events and even call in sick to work so that she could workout.
It has only been over the last 10-15 years that Jacinta has connected the importance of exercise and mental health. Back then; she used exercise as a form of punishment or a way to ‘self-medicate’ emotional instability. It eventually led her to a breaking point where she become both physically and mentally exhausted. But sometimes reaching breaking point is necessary in order to recognize and respond to underlying issues.
Jacinta was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and bi-polar disorder. The diagnosis provided relief as it helped her to understand the reasons behind the way she sometimes felt, thought or acted. The ‘Do it for Yourself and Help Someone Else’ campaign is something that Jacinta is quite passionate about because of this first hand experience.
It has been a long and challenging road for Jacinta. This journey has taught her many things but more importantly she has found the strength and courage to share her personal experience. There is often a stigma associated with mental health but it is very real and more common then you would think (1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness). It is important to learn and share facts about mental health and illness in an effort to challenge stigma, reduce discrimination and support recovery and social inclusion.
Jacinta now maintains a healthy relationship with food and exercise by training smart as opposed to training hard. She listens to her body and mind in an effort to avoid burnt-out (rest days are important!). She eats to perform by listening to her body and recognizing what it needs rather than following the latest in food trends or diets. Most importantly, Jacinta has learned to be kind to herself. She treats herself with kindness and love, as well as accepts that she will never be perfect because no one is perfect (…and who really wants to be anyways).
Having been so inspired by the Lifeline WA campaign “Do it for Yourself and Help Someone Else”, Jacinta wrote an amazing and incredibly honest piece about her relationship with mental health and exercise. I encourage you to click the link below to read Jacinta’s story.
Relaxed in Strength: Mind Body Connect
Let’s help Jacinta reach her goal for the ‘Do it for Yourself and Help Someone Else’ campaign through Lifeline WA. You can donate by clicking the link below, every little bit counts.
If you are interested in sharing your fitness journey, documenting this time in your life and supporting Lifeline WA, get involved and apply now! We are looking for everyday people with a passion for fitness and feel that their fitness journey has had a positive influence on their life. Do it for yourself and help someone else.
Lifeline WA delivers services that aim to prevent suicide, support people in crisis and create opportunities for emotional wellbeing.
24 Hour Telephone Crisis Support – 13 11 14