After The Bachelorette, Georgia Love was in a dark place. One thing helped pull her out.

georgia love

 

The 2016 pre-Bachelorette version of Georgia Love would honestly piss herself laughing at the thought of running a half marathon. Or any kind of marathon. Or running.

The now-29-year-old had always been a generally fit person through dancing and her lifestyle, but she’d never gone to the gym or ‘trained’.

“I certainly wasn’t ever a gym person, it sounded like my worst nightmare,” the Network Ten journalist told Mamamia.

“When people would talk about being fit and going to F45, I used to think, ‘that’s great for you but it’s just not me’, but now I’m the one saying, ‘no, but really’.”

You might’ve scrolled through the former reality TV star’s Instagram feed recently and thought, gee, she’s looking pretty fit these days. And she is, but not because she wanted to look a certain way or felt like she ‘had’ to as a part of her job in the public eye.

For Georgia, making a conscious decision to exercise more was about taking care of her mental health, which took a battering after losing her mum Belinda to pancreatic cancer just 24 hours after the 2016 The Bachelorette finale aired.

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Georgia also spoke to Mia Freedman shortly after The Bachelorette in an honest and raw conversation about losing her mum. Post continues after video.

“After my mum passed away and I finished [The Bachelorette], I had so much scrutiny from the media and public, I wasn’t working full time which got me down and I was upset about that, at the same time adjusting to this strange new life… I really wasn’t in a good place mentally,” she said.

“That’s because so much happened and changed in my life, all in one go. I’ll never know whether it was the comedown and the pressure post-show, losing my mum, moving interstate, being unemployed… I’ll never know which one of those things hurt me more than the other because I had them all at once. Any one of those things would really mess with someone’s head, and I had them all. I was in a pretty bad place for a while.”

Georgia said having her partner and winner of her season of The Bachelorette Lee Elliot and a group of very close friends helped her get through that time in some ways, but finding a routine through exercise is what pushed her forward.

“I needed some way of clearing my head [at that time], I found that through exercise. I wasn’t working a regular job or hours then, so having a routine and getting up at the same time everyday, whether it was going to F45 or Pilates, just doing something and having a routine was the best thing for my mental health,” she said.

“I’ve changed a lot mentally over the last few years, I put a lot more time into myself. I know that’s a bit of a trend at the moment, mindfulness and looking after your head space, but I’m really appreciative the trend came at a time when in my life I felt like I really needed it. It’s certainly helped me.”

A post shared by GEORGIA LOVE (@georgiealove) on

Although Georgia has always described herself as “an average size 10”, she finds being surrounded by technology and the social pressures of social media and Instagram makes it hard to live your life without always feeling the need to change something or be thinner, fitter or better.

It also worries her, thinking about what young, more vulnerable people are thinking about themselves if she is scrolling Instagram and feeling crap about herself.

“I think social media is the very, very worst thing for anyone’s body image, whether they’re in the public eye or not. You’re constantly seeing pictures of beautiful girls with amazing figures, it makes you think that’s normal and everyone can attain that. That’s how I felt before [The Bachelorette], but the older and wiser I get, I realise not everybody can look like that. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us though, we’re all different and human.”

“As a 29-year-old, I scroll through social media and find myself feeling bad because I don’t look like that in a bikini or my bum’s not that pert. Then I imagine if I was 13 and also had bullies to worry about and didn’t have the confidence I have that’s come with age and time. Most of the pressure I feel is what I’ve put on myself, which is kind of worrying because there’ll be 15-year-old girls sitting at home looking at Instagram feeling just as much pressure as someone walking a red carpet.

“I’m so glad I didn’t grow up with Instagram. I’m terrified to have kids because I’m scared for them to grow up in the world the way it is at the moment. I’m hoping by the time I have kids and they’re teenagers, [social media] won’t be a thing anymore.”

Aside from the pressure to look great all the time, Georgia’s had to learn to manage the mental pressure that comes after losing a loved one to cancer, even more so because cancer runs in her family. She deals with it by trying to be as healthy as possible and living her best life in the least cheesy sense.

“I don’t want to become paranoid, I found myself doing that in the months after mum’s death. With pancreatic cancer, my mum just had a really bad gut for a while and thought she’d developed a [food] intolerance and then found out she had a tumour in her pancreas. For a couple of months after, I’d do things like if, I had a stomach ache, I’d think I might be dying, and that was doing nothing for my mental and physical health.”

“I’m more aware and do all the right things and get all the regular tests, but I’m also a big believer in living life and not worrying about things in the future. I hope to have a good and full life.”

This month, Georgia is participating in the Run Melbourne marathon to raise much-needed funds for pancreatic cancer research. She said the imminent possibility of running in front of people, red faced and sweaty (like all of us) is bloody good motivation to resist snoozing her alarm.

“Having Run Melbourne is the biggest, best motivator I’ve had for anything. Being a journalist, I work well to deadlines, that’s the only way I can get anything done. So having this date in my head that I have to be able to run a certain distance makes me do it.”

“It’s the first fun run I’ve ever, ever done, I’m nervous about people watching me run. But whether you sign up to do something like a fun run, or do an eight-week challenge, setting a goal is the best way to see results and get yourself out there. It’s so hard, it’s still hard now as well. But you feel yourself stronger and fitter for it – that’s a big indicator for me, when you just start feeling better.”

For that, Georgia reckons her 2016 self would be pretty stoked.

Georgia Love is an ambassador for Run Melbourne presented by lululemon, taking place on Sunday 29 July. Georgia will be raising funds and awareness for the Pancare Foundation. The event includes a Runners World Half-Marathon, a Bulk Nutrients 10km run and a 5km run. To register or for more information on the event, visit www.runmelbourne.com.au. You can also support Georgia’s charity Pancare by donating through her Everyday Hero fundraising page.

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