Poorna Bell: My kind of stronger

Award-winning journalist, competitive amateur powerlifter and author Poorna Bell joins Happiful’s podcast to talk about embracing gratitude and growing stronger through change

Poorna Bell’s new book Stronger: Changing Everything I Thought I Knew About Women’s Strength has a vibrant energy about it, even at first sight. With a vivid yellow lightning bolt emblazoned on the front, it screams power, purpose and ‘pick me up, read me, and then take action!’

Drawing upon her own life experiences, and particularly her recent practice of becoming a powerlifter (she can lift twice her own body weight), Poorna explores strength and fitness as well as the impact of society’s expectations on women and girls, and how we move our bodies.

“Prior to taking up powerlifting I’d been weight training, but it was powerlifting that changed my life and every single aspect of it,” Poorna explains. “I took it up when I was 38 and it occurred to me how different things could’ve been had I been taught about physicality and strength when I was younger.”

“But Stronger isn’t just about my story. There is a commonality of experience, particularly amongst girls, and how they have a terrible time of it in PE,” Poorna continues. “It’s also looks at that drop off in physical activity when we’re teenagers and how that has such strong links to our why our sense of self-esteem and confidence falls away.”

Poorna shares that at this point in her life, having written Stronger and now embarking upon a work of fiction due out in 2022, she is feeling a strong sense of positivity and gratitude. She’s also relieved to be feeling well once again, after recovering from long Covid in January this year.

Throughout the episode, she explores her experience of having anxiety but not being an anxious person and her desire to be a constant work in progress. Poorna also reflects upon moving forward after tough times and changing as a person, as a result of hard life experiences.

“We go through so many different changes in the course of our lifetime,” she explains. “If there was more support and care when we go through big changes, rather than expecting each person to go back to how they were before, for life to go ‘back to normal, if we could just embrace what comes through with that change – good and bad – life would be easier.”

Listen to Poorna’s episode of I am. I have
Buy Changing Everything I Thought I Knew About Women’s Strength
Find out more about Poorna Bell

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