Mum-of-three celebrates one year of sea swimming by spreading body positivity message
A woman from County Durham is celebrating one year of sea swimming in Seaham after discovering it relieves pain and improves mobility caused by a genetic weight gain condition.
Kathleen Wotton, who lives in Murton, celebrated her one year anniversary of sea swimming in Seaham after she took it up to relieve pain caused by Lipoedema – a condition where the hips, buttocks, legs and sometimes upper arms are out of proportion with the rest of the body.
Unlike normal weight gain caused by over-eating or lack of exercise, Lipoedema fat often can be painful or feel heavy, with many describing their legs as being big, swollen and like ‘tree trunks’.
The 48-year-old said: “It has helped me out massively, I’m not saying that I’m pain free but it has made a huge difference.
"I got to play with my grandchild in the water for the first time the other day, something that I’d not have been able to do before.
"The sea swimming community are so welcoming and supportive which is a big help, when I first started I was wearing a lot of clothes but because you are not judged by anyone, I’m now wearing swimming costumes.
"It has made me so much more confident and outgoing, it has changed my life.”
She added: “The idea behind the Baywatch theme is that I want to spread the message that all bodies are beautiful.
"There are so many people who are self-conscious about the way that they look or maybe they don’t like certain parts of their bodies but I think that we should be celebrating our bodies.
"My friend Helen Wardopper is helping me celebrate and she is a huge inspiration after going through her own battles.
"I’m going to be setting up a 100-day ‘Get Active’ challenge as a way of supporting others to take up more movement and exercise as a way of improving their wellbeing.”