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.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 7:00 am

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’.

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Kathleen Wotton has celebrated her one year anniversary of sea swimming. Photo: Ian Burn.

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.

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"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.

Kathleen wanted a "Baywatch" theme for her special swim as a way of promoting body positivity. Photo: Ian Burn.

"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.

Kathleen has revealed that sea swimming has changed her life and improved both her physical and mental health. Photo: Ian Burn.

"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.”

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