They're proving that anybody can run a marathon—because a "runner's body" comes in every size and shape.
On Sunday, journalist Bryony Gordon and plus-size model Jada Sezer met at the starting line of the London Marathon wearing nothing but their underwear. Their goal? To show that anyone, regardless of shape or size could run a marathon if they put their mind to it.
THE BIG REVEAL so @jadasezer and I are going to run the @londonmarathon IN OUR UNDERWEAR To prove that you don’t have to be an athlete to run a marathon (though it certainly helps). To prove that a runner’s body comes in all shapes and sizes. To prove that exercise is for everyone, small, big, tall, short, size 8, size 18. To prove that if we can do it, anyone can! We will be raising money for @heads_together and putting up our sponsorship page later. First, a 15 mile run in Ibiza with our friends @thebodycampibiza to get used to exercising in our knickers. Will report back later on chafing. Because obviously you want to know about chafing. #gutsygirls #marathontraining #running #runnersofinstagram #effyourbeautystandards #bodypositive #headstogether
"[We are running] to prove that you don't have to be an athlete to run a marathon (though it certainly helps). To prove that a runner's body comes in all shapes and sizes. To prove that exercise is for everyone, small, big, tall, short, size 8, size 18. To prove that if we can do it, anyone can!" Bryony wrote on Instagram when the duo first announced the news in March. (Related: Iskra Lawrence Strips Down On the NYC Subway In the Name of Body Positivity)
#TeamHeadsTogether runners @bryonygordon and @jadasezer have not only been changing the conversation on mental health with their @londonmarathon campaigning, but also had an inspiring message to share as they took on 26.2 miles in their underwear. Bryony and Jada wanted to prove that 'you don’t have to be an athlete to run a marathon... and that a runner’s body comes in all shapes and sizes.' They showed that exercise is for EVERYONE, and we're so proud of them both. #headstogether #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #gutsygirls #getinspired #oktosay #londonmarathon
On top of promoting some serious body positivity, Bryony and Jada also raised money for Heads Together, a campaign spearheaded by Britain's royal family that works to promote conversations about mental health. Prince Harry recently opened up about the importance of going to therapy, and it brought Prince William and Lady Gaga together over FaceTime to talk about the fear and taboo surrounding mental illness and what can be done to eliminate the stigma surrounding it. (Related: 9 Celebrities Who Are Vocal About Mental Health Issues)
Wondering if I’d dreamt yesterday? But the chaffing patches & achy muscles remind me otherwise. - The low moments (mine at mile 23) my body felt empty, energy levels 0. The voice in my head repeating “this body will never get to the end”. Yet somehow we kept moving... Comparing that to the huge highs, like seeing my running family @run.dem.crew at Mile 21. Letting off confetti poppers, screaming support, it was the mental fuel needed to drown out the self talk. - For everyone who cheered on the street and across the world online. I am so overwhelmed & thankful. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster I will never ever EVER forget. Thanks for being apart of the ride
Despite it being the hottest London Marathon in history, Jada and Bryony made it to the end, fulfilling their goal and inspiring thousands of people in the process. In the end, the moments of low energy and self-doubt were drowned out by the incredible highs of the experience. "[There was a] voice in my head repeating "this body will never get to the end." Yet somehow we kept moving," she wrote on Instagram. "Letting off confetti poppers and screaming support [were] the mental fuel needed to drown out the self-talk."
We’ve had such a huge response from today Mostly positive, with some negativity which fuels the fire to keep campaigning for diversity until seeing women like us doesn’t make a headline...because it’s normal. - Every decision we choose is a reflection of our mental state. Including the relationship we have with our bodies. Whether I’m fully clothed or in my gym kit on national TV, I choose to love it all. - Why do we wait for that fad diet to end before our lives begin? Or for peoples approval to start trusting in ourselves. Stop waiting. START living!...Maybe even start running...Maybe in your underwear?..This Sunday?? WITH US!!!! - Wearing @elomilingerie #energisebra for everyone asking - #bethechangeyouwanttoseeintheworld
At the end of the day, despite "chaffing patches and achy muscles," and some negative responses, going the distance was totally worth it and had a positive impact on her relationship with her body, Jade wrote in an Instagram post from the race. If you're ever doubting your abilities, these women are serious proof that you don't need to be a certain size to love your body—or to run 26 miles—and that the only person who can hold you back from achieving your goals is you.
Jada says it best: "Why do we wait for that fad diet to end before our lives begin? Or for peoples approval to start trusting in ourselves. Stop waiting. START living!...Maybe even start running...Maybe in your underwear?"
Because our bodies are badass and feeling strong, healthy, and confident is for everyone! Help us spread the body love and be a part of our #LoveMyShape body confidence movement: Post a photo or video on social sharing why you love your shape. And check out Movemeant Foundation, our partner in empowering women and girls to be body positive.