Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Claire Kenny
Features Writer
2:00 AM 11th June 2022

Our Optimistic 40+ Blogger Claire Kenny Focuses On Her Health

40 plus blogger Claire Kenny is cautiously optimistic about her latest attempt to focus on her health.
“I wanted to be able to look at photos from my local park run or club races without being absolutely mortified.”

I ran in the second of the Jane Tomlinson Canal Races on Tuesday night and was pretty shocked to beat my previous time of 35 minutes. Regular readers will know that I’m very much a ‘grin and bear it’ type when it comes to running and not really competitive either, so I just wanted to try and enjoy this one without worrying about my time. Like last time, my Dad was marshalling just before the finish line. Hearing his shouts of “33 minutes!!!!” I realised I was in with a chance of a better time and I stepped it up a gear, even though I felt like I was going to keel over. I think that made a massive difference, so thanks Dad!

On Wednesday night I did our usual social run with my club, but I was apprehensive because I knew I had nothing in the tank after Tuesday night. While I might not have had much physical energy, running through St Aiden’s Nature Reserve certainly recharged my batteries in other ways. With bright sunshine bouncing off the water, the sound of the various birds and not a housing estate or building in sight, it was hard not to feel invigorated. I’ve made a mental note to spend more time there when I can.

I took some time off last week and enjoyed a spot of shopping. As usual, I had something so specific in mind (for a beautiful wedding I attended at the weekend) that it didn’t actually exist. After trying York outlet and Leeds with no joy, my Mum suggested I try a tiny boutique called The Clothes Horse in Crofton, Wakefield. I was delighted to find that they have blazers designed and made especially for them, which are not only gorgeous, but really unique too, so there’s less chance of you bumping into someone wearing the same thing! I’m thrilled with mine and am looking forward to an excuse to wear it again.

Finally, I’m feeling really good about the fact that since refocusing for the millionth time on my health and nutrition, I’ve lost a stone in weight and there hasn’t been a 'meal replacement shake' or cheesy catchphrase in sight. Nor have I had to drink slime.

Let’s face it, there’s constant messaging in today’s media from our cosmetically and digitally altered friends to be something we’re not, and I’ve written before about not wanting to be pressured into weight loss. But that didn't change the fact that I was pretty miserable with the way I looked. I wanted to feel good; I wanted getting ready to go to work, a social event or even a workout to be a pleasure rather than an ordeal. And I dearly, dearly wanted to be able to look at photos from my local park run or club races without being absolutely mortified.

More importantly though was the niggling realisation that my weight and age made me statistically more susceptible to a multitude of health problems.

My tendency to overeat in times of stress means my progress will always be fragile, but I’m really hoping that this time I’ve smashed that vicious self-punitive cycle.

I’ll keep writing about my relationship with food and exercise whatever happens, but I’m determined to keep working on myself and remember that my life is infinitely better if I love myself, like myself and take care of myself. And that should happen at any age.

Claire can be found on Facebook and Instagram as