feature, HEALTH -

Jogging Jessica gees up inactive mums

Gunditjmara woman Jessica Lovett-Murray is smashing the guilt many mums feel about making time to be active in a new television campaign designed to motivate and inspire women in Victoria.

Lovett-Murray, 30, is one of 12 women in the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, which aims to help women overcome feelings that stop them from being active, including judgement, intimidation and embarrassment.

The campaign, run by VicHealth, is based on the viral campaign by Sport England that inspired 3.9 million British women to ditch the couch and get active.

Lovett-Murray’s image is now gracing TV and social media campaigns — and even trams.

The Healthy Lifestyle Promotions officer at Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation says she played netball and basketball before taking up running three years ago when her son, Nason, was three.

She says at first she used to run very early in the mornings because she didn’t want anyone to see her.

Now she’s overcome her shyness and runs marathons, half-marathons, shorter distances and everything in between.

“Running for me wasn’t just about being physically active; it’s become more of a space to think about life and be more clear-headed,” she says. “It’s something I will do for myself.”

Now at the age of six, Nason rides alongside his mum on his bike, joins in or kicks a football while she runs laps of the local oval.

Lovett-Murray says finding the balance can be difficult but it’s worth it in the end.

“It’s always hard finding a balance between work and being a mum and self-care,” she says. “But you find a way to get it done.”

She hopes other women will be inspired to step out and do something for themselves.

“When you feel better you are able to give back more to your family and community,” she says. “And break down the barriers that stop people from doing things.

“If they see me doing it, then they think ‘If she’s doing it, I can do it’.

“I used to be the same. I used to be ashamed when I first started running … but then you realise it doesn’t really matter what you look like as long as you are feeling better.”

Wendy Caccetta


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