Eat, Sweat, Play: How Sport Can Change Our Lives by Anna Kessel

Today I am super thrilled to introduce something totally different to you – namely, a non – fiction book. I don’t Eat-Sweat-Play-Jersey-iconusually read non – fiction, but this book is about sport, and whatever, however, no matter how unfit I am, sport plays a great role in my life. And so I thought, why not to read this book, maybe it’s going to change something in me? And bingo! Welcome to the new, different thinking Agi! And when you read my review, there is also a mostly personal post about my own Eat. Sweat. Play. Enjoy!


Eat, Sweat, Play: How Sport Can Change Our Lives

by Anna Kessel



Publisher: Macmillan

Publishing Date: 16th June 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher thank you!.

Number of pages: 288

Genre: Non – fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback






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?

Eat Sweat Play is an engaging and inspirational work by sports writer Anna Kessel.

Rating: 5/5

„Eat, Sweat, Play” by Anna Kessel is not my usual kind of read, as I usually don’t read non – fiction, but there is always a place on my book shelf for books that I have a feeling are important and can bring „something” into our lives. And I think that this book has played its role really well, as I truly felt inspired by author’s words.

„We saw a range of body types, ethnicities, ages, activities. Best of all, we saw them sweating, smiling, out of breath, with messed – up hair, not concerned about how they looked. We saw them in what would normally be described as varying states of imperfection, and yet they were enjoying themselves”.

The author features many interviews and experts’ opinions in this book, but it is all so very accessible and so easy to understand, and when reading it I was thinking, eureka!!!, they’re right. And yes, they were talking about things that I know, that are obvious, but maybe sometimes you just need someone to tell you those things again, like this? They really worked for me.

„Lena was talking about running, which she says helped her tackle anxiety in a way that sixteen years of medication never managed to. But she doesn’t equate exercise with losing weight, or being healthy, or any of that boring, polarized, feel – bad shit. Instead she talks about the revelation of being able to run down the street when you’re late, actually using your body for its original intended purpose.”

This is a very unique book written by a sports journalist, so Anna Kessel knows what she’s talking about. I’d say that there is a feminist side to this book as well, which I personally really liked. The author is exploring gender equity in sports, giving as a wide and bright view on it from different perspectives. She also wants to convince us (but NOT in a patronizing, imposing her own opinion way) that sport really plays/should play an integral and important role in our lives.

„This book is about encouraging women and girls to reclaim sport on their own terms. It is not a lecture about health, but rather invitation to discover the fun and fulfilment in physical activity, and everything that it brings – from better emotional stability to better relationships. it’s not about telling women what to be, or what to do (…). But it is about urging us to rethink the spaces that we close off from ourselves.”

 – I couldn’t sum up this book in a better way. It is truly about this, and not about patronizing us by a super fit and flexible and wonderfully muscled fitness goddess, and this is why I am buying this book. It doesn’t tell us what to do, it makes us think for ourselves. It is a thought – provoking book, written in a very engaging and interesting way, giving us many perspectives as to why sport is important. And finally, it is from a woman, about women and for women and how to find their own bodies again – for themselves.



I love sports. On TV and when other people do them.

OK, not quite like this. But I love sports. Not all kinds of them. I am much more a team player, so give me a zumba class or volleyball play any time. I was not this kind of child that the author writes in „Eat, Sweat, Play”, skipping PE lessons. Oh no, I was waiting for PE lessons. I spent my childhood on the backyard, hanging down from the carpet – hanger and organizing run competitions with other children. In fact, mostly my diplomas and prizes come from sport competitions. When I was older, I discovered aerobics. Loud music, colourful clothes, sweating, jumping, shaping your muscles – I was besotted. Jane Fonda was almost nothing compared to me. Truly. But what I loved most, since I was a child, was horse riding, and thanks to my parents for organizing their lives around my hobby. I was this little pony – club girl that would spent all her free time in the stable, doing everything for a free lesson in riding.

But then life got in. Universities, studying, job… and laziness. There was no time for sport anymore and I felt too grown up to spent all my free time with the horses. I didn’t stop to love them, oh no, I just had other priorities… well, dancing at the disco may also be considered a kind of sport, right? Nevertheless, I kept myself relatively fit, what with everyday dog – walks and occasional sprint to the bus or to the train.

But then life got in again, in a different direction. No more sprinting to the bus or train, only driving everywhere in the car. Going for walks with a buggy was also a kind of activity but not as demanding as going with the dogs. Baby blues caused comfort eating and chocolate addiction – I was so far that I behaved like an alcoholic, hiding chocolate from my husband so that I could eat it alone. I don’t want to mention the extra kilograms, but I started to feel awful. With myself, with my body.

In the meantime, my daughter started pony – riding. I found myself again in the stables, with the horses, their warm breath on my skin, and it was a great pleasure for me to spend my time among this beautiful animals and to watch my daughter, so confident and free from fear. And then came this feeling – what if I started riding again? Is it too late? Will I manage? Or am I too old and it’s too laughable?

And then, one day, I thought either now or never. I want to try again. I want to feel it again. I found the courage. And I’m back! I’m back on the horse! And what is important – I’m doing it for me. To feel better. To have time for me only. And it works!!! Guys, it works! This sport is fun for me, I enjoy what I’m doing even though my horse makes me feel frustrated because he’s so stubborn, and my condition is on the minus level (I am not fit. Not at all. I thought I am, what with going once a week nordic – walking in the average tempo of 8 km/h… on the other hand, it is true, this with running and not being able to breath after 15 second, so something is wrong here, no?)- and you need to be fit for horse – riding!!! –  but I know, I just know, that very soon I will be  able to trot more than one round without losing my breath, and that I WILL move Andy to gallop. I. WILL. And I won’t stop horse riding – I’m getting a kick out of it.

Because what I learnt from „Eat, Sweat, Play” is that it’s worth. It’s worth, even though you can’t breath after 15 seconds of jogging. It’s worth, because it’s overcoming your own weakness and difficulties and strengthening not only your body, but also your mind. And I know, after reading the book, that I should do it this time – I shouldn’t give up. And I won’t. That’s my promise to myself.

This is me and my daughter on Andy. Usually it looks much more professional, haha, but it was a play – day for children. And please, have a look at Sophie’s riding helm – it’s mine. And it’s pink. PINK, guys :)