REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: How country mums are using social media to shift from the good paddock

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Workouts are inspiring more than weight loss in paddocks across the state. Photo: Samantha Townsend

Workouts are inspiring more than weight loss in paddocks across the state. Photo: Samantha Townsend

"Mum, I don't want to be mean but I reckon that (weight loss program) will really benefit you. You are like really beautiful but you have a big bottom."

That's what my eight-year-old daughter told me at the start of this year while watching television one night.

Now I've certainly been in a good paddock and I can't blame my kids anymore, it's been six years since nappies.

But it made me think about the power of advertising and social media, and how it influences our lives these days.

"You aren't going out in that, are you?"

"Your hair looks fabulous."

These are all things that when I was eight, I never would have thought about. I was too busy building forts and playing in the mud.

And that's why every morning for the past two months I've been posting images to social media of a group of women in their 40s working out.

Not to get extra likes on Facebook or to become a social influencer but because the best advertising our kids can see are the role models in front of them.

We come from all walks of life, there's farmers, professionals and stay at home mums who are part of the group that started because we couldn't keep up with our kids.

We are all shapes and sizes (let's just say, for me, the bikini is out of the question).

The fitness hasn't just been about dropping a size on the tag, it's about health and feeling good about who we see in the mirror.

We don't know how many kilograms we've lost but we know we are better for it.

Now I can run a kilometre and not sound like I have a smoker's cough.

We might be sweatier than a shearer's armpit by the end of it, but everyone walks away with a smile on their face.

These photos have inspired other women across the state, and even some blokes to get motivated.

We have people cheering us on social media and posting their own work out images. And here's the proof.

Our local butchers, in their 20s, started pounding the pavement.

A stud owner from the NSW Central West said: "your posts are so real that I've now started working out".

A farmer from NSW Hunter Valley now does 50 squats in the shower every night.

Their feedback is also helping continue to motivate when the alarm goes off at 5.30am, it's still dark and the temperature is one degree.

Clearly the message is getting through and we are using social media to send a positive message. But beyond trying to getting into that bikini, there is another fringe benefit.

Amid the forest of airbrushed covers and video clips of gyrating size eights my daughter is exposed to, she is getting a glimpse of what real women are like.

And the power of what we can do when we get motivated and that's the most important message - that you should feel comfortable in your own skin.

The weight loss advertisement appeared on the tv the other day and this time a different reaction: "Mum, you don't need that (weight loss program), you just need to keep running."

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