Morgan Mitchell: "I Was Trying to Look Like a Supermodel, Not Run Like an Athlete"

Olympian Morgan Mitchell has learned a thing or two about energy, drive and self-belief over the years. It’s time to unlock yours.

Erin Fisher Author Image
Erin Fisher

May 9, 2024 - Updated May 9, 2024

Morgan Mitchell Active Wear

Life moves fast. There’s always things to be done and goals to chase. So it’s no wonder that discovering health hacks to unlock more energy has been a hot topic of conversation for years. But what if we told you one of the best things you can do for your energy levels is to tune out what other people think and focus on how you feel?

In a recent episode of Sweat Daily, Kayla Itsines caught up with Olympian Morgan Mitchell to talk all things energy, body image, nutrition, self-belief and whose opinions really matter at the end of the day.

Pushed to the edge

Morgan Mitchell’s running career started when she was 17 and she made her first international team just two years later in 2014. Bursting onto the athletic stage, she was suddenly thrown into a world of media attention, pressure, comparison and high expectations that pushed her to her limits as a young woman.

“I nearly quit the sport because I felt like I wasn't being heard. I’d get to training and cry in my car for about 20 minutes, go to training and pretend to be Morgan - the strong tough girl that everyone sees - then jump back in my car and then drive home crying.”

She recalls trying unhealthy tactics to lose weight for regular BMI testing, feeling like her body was on display for the world, being drained of energy, and her mental health taking a hit from having strangers on the internet commenting on her size, identity and athletic performance.

“I got pushed to the edge to try and look like a supermodel, not run like an athlete. People were more worried about how I looked rather than how I was racing.”

“I've been through the wringer and it's not until last year that I finally got my head around loving my body and going off how I feel,” she says. “But, it took 29 years to get to this point.”

Morgan Mitchell Running

The voices that matter

For Morgan, taking the time to figure out who truly had her back and who got to influence how she felt was life-changing. It allowed her to take back her power, giving her space to think about what was most important to her and focus on the positive.

“You've just really got to understand and believe in your core group of friends and family that care about you and surround yourself with those people every single day. Check in, be open, be vulnerable. That made me realise, no one else actually matters,” Morgan says, adding that she no longer lets the opinions of others hold any weight unless they are people who truly know her.

In an age of social media and constant connection, this mental shift can be a challenging one and Morgan knows how much time it can take, but it’s worth it. It’s a shift that can free up so much more energy to live your life to the fullest, create healthy habits and pursue your dreams. 

“Mum always told me, ‘Morgan, I did not put you on this earth to listen to other people, do what you want in life.’ I have a choice to either give in to these people I don't even know or to continue doing what I want to do,” she explains, and that mindset has led her to be a proud two-time Olympic athlete, athleticwear designer, globetrotter, leader and friend.

“I also want to inspire the next generation of young women, minorities and children who grew up disadvantaged from low socioeconomic areas. I want them to see me and see that I’ve struggled and gone through it and still been to two Olympics and in a James Cameron documentary. I used to think it was arrogant, but now I feel like I deserve it. I worked hard and I want other people to understand that no matter where you came from, you deserve it too.”

Food is fuel, food is joy

When it comes to food, Morgan feels her best following a nutritious vegan diet with plenty of carbs, protein and vegetables, but appreciates everyone is different. For women who want to switch up their own eating habits, she always recommends visiting a professional dietician to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients and energy.

Tuning into the wisdom of your body and mind also plays a role in nutrition, too. Morgan knows the way she eats skyrockets her recovery, fuels her training, prevents her from getting sick and keeps her energised. And perhaps most importantly, the way she eats brings her joy - a fundamental part of her approach to food.

“Take a beat, relax and understand you can actually still enjoy your food without the pressures of society and social media telling you to do otherwise,” she says.

“I used to be scared of getting fat, not being able to burn it off or my skin breaking out. I now understand food is just fuel. I eat to run fast. I eat to feel good and I love feeling good.”

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Have your own back

Feeling at your peak level of health, energy and happiness can seem like a complicated math equation, but Morgan Mitchell has learned it doesn’t have to be. One of the most important things you can do for your energy levels is to honour your own needs, do what brings you joy, believe in yourself and tune out the negativity around you.

Love Morgan’s outlook? You can listen to the full episode with her on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts!

Erin Fisher Author Image
Erin Fisher

Erin is a writer and editor at Sweat with years of experience in women's publishing, media and tech. She's passionate about the power of movement, and you can often find her on a yoga mat, a hike, a dance floor, in the ocean or the gym.

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* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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