This week, Fitness for Feminists celebrates its one year anniversary! Hooray! It’s been a fantastic journey so far. I’ve enjoyed all of the comments, new friends, and the community we’re building! On Thursday, look for an article about the history of Fitness for Feminists, in which I’ll talk about the circumstances behind starting the blog. Today, Suhayl, Mandy, and I have each picked some of our favorite posts that from FFF’s inaugural year. Enjoy!
“Meditation on This Body” is by far my favorite post that I’ve written this year. Did you know that I have an MFA in poetry? I finally put it to use! One day when I was trying to nap, these words just kept going through my mind: “I am in this body / I am this body / I am more than this body.” Over and over these words repeated, like a mantra, like a meditation. I got up from my almost-nap energized, headed over to the computer, and wrote the poem. Then, because I heard it as such a clear piece of audio, I recorded my first (and so-far only) audio file for Fitness for Feminists.
“Why I’ll Never Have 6-Pack Abs” is the first post where I got personal. Before that, I’d written recipes, general advice, and a very long series on Warm Ups, which I’m proud of, but which didn’t reveal much about me as a person. Something you might not know about me: I do NOT like to be vulnerable. I’d prefer if everyone thought of me as an invincible super-human who can do and say anything without fear. But it’s a facade, of course. I’m a deeply flawed human who has insecurities and hang-ups, just like everyone else. “6-Pack Abs” demonstrates that although I don’t want to make the trade-offs necessary for 6-pack abs, as a fitness and nutrition coach, I’m aware of the expectation that I have them.
In “It’s All Love (sometimes.),” Suhayl grapples with the effects of depression on her daily life. She surmises that all of these effects were a series of choices that she was making without thinking. While I’m into the conclusion, I’m really moved by the substance. I understand what it’s like to feel overwhelmed. I understand what it’s like to feel weak. It can be hard to remember that when you’re in the struggle, you’re not alone.
“Why You Shouldn’t Use Exercise to Lose Weight” furthered the Fitness for Feminists argument that we should focus on what our bodies can do rather than on how they look. Exercise should be a joyous expression of movement and physicality rather than a punishment for eating a Twix. In this world where women are supposed to be young, small, and beautiful at all times, giving up the notion that your time spent in the gym should be devoted to making yourself more pleasing to the patriarchy is in itself a political act. Get Strong (Not Small).
“Self Compassion 1: Introduction” was a reminder to take a minute and be good to myself in ways that are good for me. It’s always so easy for us to look at someone else and take care of them, but do we always make the same choices for ourselves? It’s all wine bottles and ice cream pints until you wake up in the middle of the night with raging heartburn realizing that you need to be easy on yourself and your body.
“Objectification and Rape Culture” was sobering in its unflinching view of how damaging the majority of womens’ fitness images can be to everyone who views them. My body isn’t my enemy and I make choices every single day on how it’s exposed or viewed. While I cannot dismantle an entire system telling me this body of mine is “not ideal,” I can continue to educate myself on what my body is capable of so that the system becomes less important to my personal fitness journey.
"Fuel For Fitness" includes my favorite rendering I've ever produced of the Kool-Aid Man. It is also near and dear to my heart because for all of my interest in writing and sharing my art, it is actually the first piece I've shared with the public. I find it so fitting that I found such a supporting channel to answer fitness queries. This is the kind of supportive community where I can grow. Here's to beginnings!
Have a favorite post that wasn't mentioned here? Tell us in the comments!
Follow Fitness for Feminists on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @fitforfeminists. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in learning more about Suhayl? Follow her on Instagram or email her at email@example.com.
Have a fitness or nutrition question you'd like Mandy to sketch out? Email her at Funniesforfitness@gmail.com.