Sarah Rowe On The Secret To Healthy Eating And Getting Active With Her Mum

The new campaign ‘No Proving. Just Moving.’ – which Rowe spearheads – is targeted at all women who are involved in physical activity, including those who are new to sport and unsure where to start.

20x20 and Lidl have today launched 'No Proving. Just Moving.' – the fourth chapter of their multi-award-winning campaign 20x20. 

Set within the backdrop of COVID-19, the ‘No Proving. Just Moving.’ video features a realistic insight into the lives of a host of Irish women who are showcasing their involvement with physical activity through the lens of their own mobile phones.

The campaign recognises the challenges that women of all ages and abilities can face in maintaining a strong relationship with physical activity and showcases the benefits of activity on physical and mental well-being.

Fronting the initiative is 24-year-old Sarah Rowe, someone who is no stranger to a bit of hard work. 

A Mayo GAA senior player, AFLW midfielder and now qualified life coach, Rowe's contribution to the project all starts at home. 

"I've been trying to get my mum active at home," she tells Irish Tatler. 

"She's the kind of woman who is always on her feet and working around the house – by no means lazy – but would never have exercised in the way I do. She has loved going on walks, once we kind of tell her that we're going to get a coffee afterwards. And we've also managed to get her on the exercise bike out in the garden – which we're pretty happy with!" 

20x20 will be making a platform available online where women will fill out a quick questionnaire, which will lead them to a suggested 20-minute activity and supports around how to get started and to keep it going. 

The idea is based on the saying ‘it takes 21 days to make a habit’ and how 20x20 will be with you for the first 20 days and then, on Day 21 you can embark on your own journey with a new habit around activity.

"Just put on your runners. It's simple things like that people can start off with," Rowe says.

"Whether it's to put out the bin or cut the grass or whatever it takes really to get yourself moving."

In terms of tackling your nutritional intake, Sarah says it's all about changing the way you think.

"When I was in Australia I studied things like life coaching and hypnosis because I went to a life coach about four years ago and it was instrumental in how I thought and how I could control my own life," she said. 

"Food is one big area I worked on and I found that the emotional attachment for food is oftentimes far bigger than the actual want for it. What I encourage clients to do is when you're about to eat something that you know will give you a few minutes of satisfaction and then you'll feel not great after it for a day or two, is to ask yourself a question on why you're having it. Are you not in the best of form, is something else wrong etc.

"A lot of the time there is an emotional attachment to food, as well as exercise. If you tell yourself that you know this is going to make you feel better, you give yourself no choice but to do something for twenty minutes. You'll come back with nearly a whole new perspective afterwards and it's the same thing with food and healthy eating. 

"If you eat bad food that's okay but maybe drink an extra two litres of water and you'll find you'll feel so much better afterwards. It's all about choosing your reasons for wanting things – this took me years to figure out but now I don't think I'll ever go back."

Under normal circumstances, Rowe would have returned from her six-month stint down under to start prepping for a tough few months ahead of the All-Ireland final, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Ladies Gaelic Football Association to push back the start of the action, meaning that self-led training has been the order of the day. 

"Thankfully at the minute, with COVID, there are so many resources available online for when the weather is bad," she tells Irish Tatler

"My sister is pregnant at the minute and I know she's been looking up different videos online, as well as yoga and pilates with the rest of us. At the minute, it feels like every kind of workout is available online - whether you're a dancer, runner or yoga fan."

There are six different activities available on the 20x20 site including walking, jogging, cycling, yoga, home workouts and dancing, with a beginner and intermediate goal for each activity in order for it to cater for a variety of different levels of ability and experience.

The resources section of the microsite provides full details of each activity and includes video instructions, expert tips, advice and routines from some of Ireland’s leading sportswomen. 

 “Through our sponsorship of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and our support for women’s sport in general, we have seen first-hand the barriers that exist for women in a sporting landscape that is dominated by male sport," said Joe Mooney, Senior Partnerships Manager at Lidl Ireland.

"20x20 is about creating a more inclusive, healthier Ireland and we are proud to be part of such a worthwhile movement. We want women of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to feel comfortable and supported as they make physical activity a part of their daily lives, so 'Lidl Moves' is here to help anyone who needs it.”

For more information on the initiative and ways you too can form good habits, check out their dedicated website here.

Main image by @sarahrowe123

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