Eat, Sweat, Play by Anna Kessel

Sport. It’s a minefield isn’t it?

I love watching sport. Well, some sports. Tennis, the Olympics, especially curling. I regularly attend the gym and at times run. (when my knees aren’t being a bugger.) But I haven’t played a sport since I left high-school. I was never top of the class at netball/hockey/800m but I enjoyed it. Really enjoyed it.

Recently I signed up for a staff netball team and saw that this book was being advertised by the Pigeon Hole App. Being a competitive person who’s never R E A L L Y been encouraged to enjoy sport through work/university I wanted to find out more. I wanted to feel inspired because I don’t want to give up on sport. This book (Eat, Sweat, Play,) is a life-line to those who want to re-kindle or inspire a love of sport.


What does it mean to be a sporty woman in the 21st century? From the launch of Net-A-Sporter, serving up sports clothing for fashionistas, to the introduction of #plankie as the new Instagram selfie for yoga bunnies; exercise for women has finally gone mainstream.

But if sweating has never been so hot for female celebrities, then why are there still so many obstacles for girls and women when it comes to sport? Why do girls still hate school sports lessons? Why is sport consistently defined as male territory, with TV cameras replicating the male gaze as they search out the most beautiful women in the crowd? Will women ever flock to watch football, rugby and boxing in their millions? Or turn up to the park with friends for a Sunday morning kickabout? How long do we have to wait to see the first multi-millionaire female footballer or basketball player?

My Review

 Eat, Sweat, Play, is written by sport’s journalist Anna Kessel. It’s a bunch of essays/chapters that look at women in sport. Not just the professionals, but you and me too. Anna discusses why women have lost interest in sport and how we can encourage women, especially teenagers. Not only for their health but help increase interest to continue through to adulthood. Anna encourages us not to worry about how we look but to move, and enjoy it

The book focuses on lots of different themes;

1)     Talk of how pregnancy (before and after) affects mum’s. Should you exercise at X many weeks. How much can you do. By using scientific theory Anna helps to dispel confusion.

2)     Role Models are a big part of the book. Kessel discusses how different professional athletes have delt with coming back to their sport while giving their bodies time to recover.

3)     PERIODS. This theme was so refreshing to read. Throughout my time at school periods were a bloody bug bare especially during sport. Yes it helped but I always thought – shouldn’t my body be in recovery right now. The book discusses the struggles of competing whilst your body is painting the town red. When to excercie, how it can fuck up your performance and how to overcome it. Bloody brilliant.

4)     Women in sport: Kessel being a sports journalist has heard the worst of it. I found her discussion of being a woman in a man’s world very insightful. From sportswomen being perceived to how we move forward and encourage women to take part in everyday sport and ENJOY IT.

Final Thoughts

This review is already long but quick discussion of the writing style. I thought this was going to be a lot more story-like but it reads a little like an essay or dissertation. But that’s no bad thing. It’s easily digestible in chunks which I read on my commute. It also has a lot of a lot of facts and I found myself really discussing the books with others. T had an earful a couple of times as I got frustrated with the ways women are ostracised from sport.

In short this is a fantastic book about women in sport. Written with guts, power and knowledge it’s a stunner. I’m off to find a football.



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