Women’s Fitness writer Joanna Ebsworth caught up with TV personality, podcast host and author, Vicky Pattison. Vicky tells us all about her own personal motivation for taking part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Trek26, before discussing how her relationship with exercise has changed over the years…

Watch the full interview here:

Vicky Pattison on taking part in Trek26 in memory of her grandad

In this emotional interview, Vicky tells Women’s Fitness that she is taking part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Trek26 in memory of her beloved grandad, who passed away earlier this year following his battle with dementia. ‘My grandad was a really positive influence in my life,’ Vicky tells us. ‘He gave me so much; he gave me a love for fitness, he gave me a passion for travel. More than anything, he instilled in me the importance of good family values.’

Vicky goes on to describe the heartbreaking experiencing of watching her grandad battle Alzheimer’s, telling us: ‘I had to watch – as did the rest of my family – [my grandad] lose a sense of himself through this disease. It’s horrible, it’s debilitating, it’s heartbreaking, to feel like the person you love so much and care about is just losing so many bits of themselves in front of you.’

On her decision to sign up for the Alzheimer’s Society’s Trek26, Vicky explains that she is taking part in memory of her grandad, but also to raise awareness and money for countless others who have been affected my Alzheimer’s. ‘I’ve loved working with the lovely guys at the Alzheimer’s Society, for years now. I will be continuing to support them, more so than ever, for my little grandad’s memory, and for everybody. There are so many people affected my [dementia]. What this disease needs is more honest discussion and more people like me doing something about it – that’s why I’ve decided to take part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Trek26.’

Vicky Pattison on body image and fitness

In the interview, Vicky also discusses how her relationship with her body has changed over the years. She tells us: ‘From a young age, I was always aware that I looked slightly different. I was a curvy girl. When I was young, there was no representation. You didn’t open a magazine and see a beautiful curvy woman; you didn’t flick on the TV and see a gorgeous plus-size woman owning it. It just didn’t happen. I constantly struggled and believed the only way I was going to be attractive or deserving or worthy was if I was “waif-like”.’

This damaging belief led Vicky to develop an ‘unhealthy obsession with exercise’. She explains: ‘I weaponized exercise. I didn’t see it as a celebration of what my body could do – it was a punishment for what I’d eaten.’

On building a healthier relationship with exercise, Vicky explains how she now preaches balance: ‘I know that moving my body is good for me, but I know that moving it too much is coming into toxic and unhealthy territory. I love exercise. I love feeling powerful and strong – it’s cathartic, and it’s good for women to feel like that.’

Vicky is also passionate about encouraging women to love and accept themselves. She tells us: ‘Loving the skin you’re in is difficult. As women, we’re almost socialised into believing we’re never good enough. But beauty is so much more than a clothing size or a number on a scale: as women, we’ve got loads of offer – loads more than an aesthetic. As long as you are healthy and happy and you’re being a good person, then that is beauty to me. Please, accept who you are: whether it’s straight up and down, curves for days, lumps and bumps, big boobs, itty bitty titties – whatever it is, you’re absolutely lush, and just own it!’

Sign up to take part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Trek26:

Take on a challenge this year by taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Trek26, a series of 13 and 26-mile treks in seven breath-taking beauty spots across the UK. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a beginner who just wants to take in the views, there’s a trek for everyone. You’ll join hundreds of people walking to stop dementia in its tracks.


  • 28 May 2022: London
  • 25 June 2022: Lake District
  • 2 July 2022: Brecon Beacons
  • 16 July 2022: Cotswolds
  • 13 August 2022: Peak District
  • 2 September 2022: Stonehenge
  • 10 September 2022: South Devon Coast

Click here to sign up or find out more!

Find more health and fitness tips from Vicky in our May issue, out now! Click here to order your copy now.

Related: Strictly’s Karen Hauer on motivation, nutrition and injuries