Georgie Crawford: "Putting your true self out there, you feel so vulnerable"
Her's Digital Cover Star for May is Irish podcaster and wellness advocate Georgie Crawford.
"I'm still figuring things out about life."
Georgie Crawford never expected to become an inspiration to women around the world.
But in recent years, sharing her life online and creating a podcast to tell her story has allowed her to amass a huge following and impact numerous lives.
It all started a few years back - Georgie was settling into life with a new baby, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I was kind of getting myself ready to go back to work, get back to normal, when I found a lump in my breast in the middle of the night," she tells Her. "I think I really just felt like it was bad news. I just had this feeling in my gut that I had cancer that night. Five days later, that cancer was confirmed."
What happened next was a long journey to recovery, including five months of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiotherapy. "It was a really tough year. But as tough as it was, it brought me to where I am today," Georgie says.
During this time, Georgie started sharing her experience online and was quickly blown away by the messages of support and encouragement from people she received. People from all over the world told her that her story had helped them, so she decided to start The Good Glow - a podcast dedicated to inspiring and uplifting stories like hers, in the hopes of helping even more people.
"For it to have grown and grown, I never expected it. I think when your intention with something is pure, my intention was to connect with people, that's why it connected with so many people.”
Online, Georgie exudes positivity. Through Instagram, she shares all things health and wellness while encouraging her followers to live their best lives and follow their dreams. But like anyone else, she has those days we're she's just not feeling it - and she thinks it's important for others to know that.
"With Instagram, I try to be really real with my life. Putting your true self out there, you feel so vulnerable at times, especially with the ups and downs of life, almost feeling like you're wearing your heart on your sleeve. But it's so important for me to be authentic.
"I didn't just recover from having cancer and didn't ever have a problem since. I have bad days still, I'm still figuring a lot of things out about life."
On the hard days, Georgie reveals she has a bit of a secret "tool kit" that she turns to.
"In my tool kit is a cold shower, getting out into nature, going for a jog, connecting with a friend, whatever I might need on that day. The difference between my life before and after cancer is that now I take the time to ask myself what I need, whereas before I just zoomed through life at 100 miles an hour, never took a moment, never paused or had a break.
"Now I take the time to stop and check in with myself - and kinda discover what I need every day to be the best version of myself."
Throughout her recovery, Georgie discovered her passion for running and now credits it with massively benefiting her physical wellbeing and mental health.
"I wouldn't have run anywhere before 2018, I wouldn't have run to the studio for a news bulletin! Truly, not on my radar. I told myself all through my life that I'm not the type of person to exercise - it's just not for me, I'd say.
"But in my recovery, my oncologist - she encouraged me to exercise in order to live fully. So, I got up one day and I said 'maybe I could run for 1km'. And I was able to, and I was so proud of myself.
"It was when my hair had started to grow back, and my eyebrows were coming back, and I remember seeing myself in the reflection of a glass and feeling so proud."
Since then, Georgie has took on several marathons, including the New York City half marathon, and even trekked through the Swiss Alps.
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"It's still hard for me, I'm still not a natural athlete. But I always focus on how I'm going to feel at the end of the run and I know that mentally, exercise helps me so much cos I struggle with my mental health at times. So, I know what I need to do in order to feel well and running just brings so much to my life."
It's easy to feel stuck in a rut sometimes, wishing things were different, browsing through Instagram and comparing our lives to others - most of us can relate. Even if you want to change, knowing where to start can be the hardest part. Georgie admits she once felt like this too, but now knows becoming the best version of yourself is all about taking baby steps.
"Change can be massively overwhelming. I was in fight or flight mode for 10 years before I got sick, I didnt know how to start or where to turn... I wanted to be this happy healthy person but I didn't know how to start. When I was sick and I knew I actually had to change my life I was like, 'okay, I'll just do one thing at a time'.
"I used to just wake up and do the same thing every day but now I'm open to new concepts and actually making steps, thinking about what way I want to live my life and how to actually get there.
"It's all about baby steps, healthy habits, nothing too overwhelming. I didn't give anything up in my life, I just brought more of the good stuff in. And I really believe that life is about balance - I'm not too hard on myself, I'm not this saint!"
Her best advice for a fulfilling life? "Find your joy button, what keeps you well. Figure that out and just do more of that".
On 30 May, Georgie is bringing The Good Glow Live back to The National Concert Hall. The show promises to be an evening to remember with inspiring guests, conversations, and music.
"I want to empower people. I want people to leave the show feeling like they can take on the world."