London Student Embarking on “European Naturist Cycling Expedition”
A London student is in Europe completing an unsupported, 4,300 mile cycling expedition. The journey is taking him to 15 countries and more than 70 naturist clubs and resorts along the route to raise funds for Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, and The Body Dysmorphic Foundation.
Robert John, of Bloomsbury, decided to support the charities after suffering from negative body image and body dysmorphia.
Commenting on the expedition, Robert, age 33, said: “I combined naturism with the expedition because of the way it helped improve my body confidence. After trying a naturist holiday in France I came away feeling much better about myself, I hope the trip will help raise awareness of the benefits and the huge amount of options available in the UK and abroad.
Last month I took part in a naturist triathlon in Germany and managed to get first place, it was a family friendly event at a large community sporting complex, people from all backgrounds and age groups were taking part, some were teachers, others business owners, it was lovely to meet them. This is definitely something I want to bring back to the UK for 2018, I think it would be really popular.
Robert said he agrees with a statement made by BBC Springwatch presenter Kate Humble earlier this month, she said “British people are obsessed with nudity in a weird, unhealthy way”.
Recently Goldsmiths University published findings in the Journal of Happiness Studies which found people benefited from immediate and significant improvements in body-image, self-esteem and life satisfaction when free of their clothes.
Dr Keon West, who led the research said that “naturism may offer a low-cost and simple solution to body dissatisfaction”.
British Naturism have been helping Rob with planning and arranging accommodation, their PR manager Andrew Welch said:
“The stigma surrounding nudity is fading as people are realising that we’re all the same underneath, but decades of social conditioning still mean that many, normal, healthy people are suffering from poor body image and leading unnecessarily miserable lives.
“Naturism can change that attitude: being naked with others allows everyone to appreciate that there is no such thing as a perfect body and that we’re all fine as we are – with all our lumps and bumps. We’re grateful to Rob for mounting this campaign and wish him all the best”
Beat’s Community Fundraising Officer, Andrea Auburn added: “We want to thank Rob for all of his hard work and planning Funds raised will help Beat to change the lives of more people affected by eating disorders. By taking part in this expedition and representing Beat, Rob is helping to fund our Helplines and online support services. Beat could not exist without our fundraisers, so we are extremely grateful for his hard work and determination”.
Rob’s support will help to fund Beat’s essential services, including helplines which are open 365 days a year. To donate towards Rob’s challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/asitiz
At least 725,000 people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder. These illnesses have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric condition and up to 20% may die. Early intervention is crucial in saving lives and Beat can provide the first contact to guide and support people in accessing the treatment they need. The charity supports thousands of people every year through its helplines, message board and text services, which are funded by supporters.
Rob started on the 24th June, and will be in Europe until the end of September, please follow his progress on social media
All of the planning maps, event lists, and resources are available on his growing website at www.asitiz.com
Dr Keon West “Naturism may offer a low-cost and simple solution to body dissatisfaction” [http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/scientists-discover-key-happiness-surprise-12508610]
Kate Humble “Springwatch presenter Kate Humble calls for BBC to launch Nude Watch][http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/springwatch-presenter-kate-humble-speaks-10633953]