lona Holloway – 'I Cured My Unhealthy Mindset'
Women's Fitness UK|August 2023
Former elite hockey player lona Holloway, 34, shares how an addiction to perfection, both in exercise and what she ate, led to an eating disorder, and how breathwork and mindset retraining helped her recover
By lona Holloway
lona Holloway – 'I Cured My Unhealthy Mindset'

It's June, 2017. As the sun beats down on a lake in Western Massachusetts, my boyfriend's sitting outside with his parents by the water. I'm not. I'm inside, covered in a film of sweat from hill sprints, weighing out porridge oats on a scale. Eating them, dry, with egg whites and three strips of chicken. That's when I got the call telling me my grandpa was dead.

Gone. Two months before his 100th birthday.

Two weeks later, my family gathered to celebrate the life of this gentle World War II veteran. I think his funeral was beautiful. But I can't tell you for sure because I didn't go. Not because I didn't love him. I wasn't there because I had to be 53kg by July to make sure my months of dieting paid off with a weightlifting gold medal.

WHY TALENT IS NEVER ENOUGH

I grew up in Glasgow. I was a tomboy and wanted to do everything my big brother could, but better! And I was lucky. I had a natural talent for sports, a strong work ethic and coaches telling me I was on track for greatness. But as the years passed and my standards soared, the mental pressure I put on myself felt like an elephant standing on a balloon. I could barely breathe.

According to Dr Fred Luskin from Stanford University, 75 per cent of your thoughts are negative because brains are wired to run on fear*. My internal monologue wasn't jam-packed with: "I'm so proud of you, lona. Keep going", it was the exact opposite, and I became used to mobilising myself through negativity.

This story is from the August 2023 edition of Women's Fitness UK.

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This story is from the August 2023 edition of Women's Fitness UK.

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