Anticipating tonight’s documentary

I briefly mentioned in my first blog that there was going to be a documentary about Hannah Powell, Helen Jewell and I on TV tonight. Its title is now Girl Power: Going for Gold and its on BBC 3 at 9pm. And to be quite honest, I am already quite horrified about what might be shown.

We started filming the documentary in July 2011 when Hannah and I were just moving up to Leeds. I think my first session of filming was the day I moved. I’d attended the Hop Farm music festival the day before – I’d seen Morrissey that night, so I was on a high – but I think I probably looked a bit worse for wear. I also vaguely remember being pretty stressed out by the fact that I was going to have to drag a few heavy bags up on the train with me. In all honesty, I could’ve probably done without having a camera held in my face at that point in time, but I prevailed for the sake of the documentary. I’m good like that.

My next concern is the video diaries I also briefly mentioned. We were supposed to do a few a week (but I don’t think I did) and as you can imagine, outside of training, not a massive lot happened to me most weeks. As I sat there, rambling absent-mindedly about my (probably dull) week to the camera in the privacy of my own bedroom, it was all too easy to forget that it could possibly be broadcast to the entire nation. The worst part of it all is that I know for a FACT that 99.9% of my diaries were done makeupless and on bad hair days. I think I might’ve even done one in the bath once (it was an ice bath, and I was appropriately attired, stop panicking). I really hope that the editor was kind enough to cut most of the bad ones out!

Speaking of my quite regularly atrocious appearance, I am now going to take this opportunity to ask you all to kindly turn a blind eye to how fat I look in parts of this documentary. I compete in the 58kg category these days, but for quite a while last year I was in the 63kg category and sadly, I remember weighing about 65kg at one point. Weight, I know, is a touchy subject for women everywhere (except for the annoying ones with naturally perfect figures). And ladies, there is no shame in weighing 65kg. But when you are just over 5″2 and that extra stone – yes a whole stone – goes on your belly and face, it doesn’t make you feel particularly excellent. I am aware I sound very paranoid and self-concious at the moment, but I assure you that my self-esteem is completely intact. Maybe due to the fact that I’m now back down to my normal size, but present day me will almost certainly be watching the 2011 version of me in horror later. 

As you’re all now aware (to my own amusement), I can be a very angry person anyway. This is often because I basically can’t eat anything. Bold letters were necessary there. There is in fact, a direct correlation between how much a person can eat and how happy they are. Take Victoria Beckham for example – has anyone ever seen her so much as nibble on a grape? Have they ever seen her crack a smile either? And c’mon, it isn’t like she hasn’t got anything to smile about. She’s a millionaire, lives in sunny LA and she’s married to Becks. I wouldn’t STOP smiling. So there’s your proof, so you can forgive me for being potentially rather grouchy in parts of this documentary. I think there’s a bit where I fight with my sister for having a takeaway, which in hindsight is a stupid thing to argue about, but when you’re starving and your sister sits there stuffing her face with McDonald’s, it really does feel like you against the world. 

Aside from the aforementioned potential disasters, it should be quite a good piece of film! In the bio which can be found on the BBC 3 website, it says “We see how they cope with living away from home for the first time, serious injury, a relentless training schedule, travelling the world and being under the spotlight. Finding out if it’s possible to balance being a serious athlete with growing up, getting an education and falling in love”. I’ve not seen it yet myself, but they must’ve edited it very well because as I recall it, it was a year of the three of us running around saying and doing ridiculous things (and the odd bit of weightlifting). 

Look out for it tonight (July 22nd 2012) on BBC 3 at 9pm! Please feel free to comment on here to let me know what you think, alternatively you can message me or Hannah (unfortunately Helen isn’t on it) on Twitter  – @ZoePabloSmith and @hannahpowell92 and give us your feedback.



4 thoughts on “Anticipating tonight’s documentary

  1. I thought seeing your tweets for over a year gave a near-perfect insight but watching the documentary showed so much more that I didn’t realise, or didn’t realise the true extent of how things affect you. All three of you came across really well. Looking forward to watching how you do in these Games Zoe, and that 4000 followers ‘bet’ we had looks a cert! So much belief in you, do your thing 🙂

  2. Excellent programme. Really enjoyed seeing all the behind the scenes preparation especially on competition day. You looked so strong!

    Felt sorry for Hannah & Helen working so hard and not being able to fulfil their dreams. Does it make you more determined to succeed knowing your friends worked really hard but still didn’t make it?

  3. Dear Zoe,

    Im out in California (USA), do you by any chance know how I would be able to watch the documentary out here?

    Secondly, congratulations on totally killing it out there in London. ( :

    Lastly, I know you’re extremely busy and whatnot, but I did want to get in touch with you
    and talk about something I feel very strongly about:
    The importance of having a healthy mindset and self confidence in a society that is
    unrelentingly critical on appearance and constantly promoting unhealthy body image/
    beauty ideals.

    You caught my attention because of the way you handled and responded to those
    rude, disrespectful, uncalled for remarks toward you with such class and tactfulness.

    I’m reaching out to you in hopes on continuing this conversation about my desire to
    promote healthy body image/beauty ideals and inspire people to speak up toward
    insensitive, disrespectful remarks.

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