Fit after Forty: Update on the Book and Request to Readers for Help with the Subtitle

Lately, we’ve mentioned from time to time that we’re working away on the book. It’s true. Sam and I get together at least four afternoons a week for two hours so we can work on the book in the same room. We are in the intensive writing phase, so what that looks like is each of us sitting with her laptop, quietly typing away.

We use google drive, so we can work in real time on the same file at the same time. Sometimes we do that, sometimes we work on different chapters (each chapter has its own file).

The manuscript is due on July 31st. The launch is scheduled for spring 2016. The book will be available in print and as an ebook.

We heard from our editor, Nancy Flight, at Greystone Books today and they had their “concept meeting” about the book. Apparently it went really well. We’d originally proposed that the book be called:

Fittest by 50: Two fearless women swim, bike, run, lift, twist, bend, and headstand their way to the big 5-0 

It’s not going to be called that. We suggested at first because the idea is that the book documents our “fittest by 50 challenge” that gave birth to this blog and, along the way, introduces some of our feminist analysis of fitness, all with an eye to encouraging more women in mid-life and beyond (roughly from the 40s on) to get excited about physical activity. For some, it might be for the first time in their lives. For others it might be the little nudge that reconnects them after some years of hiatus.

The publisher, quite rightly we now think, thought that “Fittest by 50” might be a misleading title that would mistakenly suggest a rather narrower audience than we had in mind. Maybe only women approaching 50 would feel drawn to that book. So it’s not going to be called that. Instead, it looks like Fit After Forty is at the top of their list right now.

But then there is the matter of the subtitle.  We knew, when we first wrote that subtitle, that it was unwieldy, what with all the different things going on — swimming, biking running, lifting, twisting, bending, and standing on our heads.  Perhaps, our editor suggested, it may even be a bit intimidating. Surely you can get fit without doing all that?

They also think it would be better in the first person — “we” instead of “two women.” And can it have a feminist slant to it? We’d love that too.

So today is for brainstorming subtitles that will flow nicely on the other side of Fit after Forty. Something like: Fit after Forty: How we added feminist to fitness to hit our fitness peak (well) after forty, and you can too. Note that I said “something like.” Because that’s not quite right yet. It’s a bit long. And maybe it doesn’t need the “how” (because it’s not a how-to book).

So here’s where we ask for help, your help. Any and all suggestions for a subtitle are welcome and will be seriously considered. If we go with your suggestion, we will send you a free copy of the book when it’s published.

18 thoughts on “Fit after Forty: Update on the Book and Request to Readers for Help with the Subtitle

  1. Fit after forty: our feminist refusal to decline? As in: it is not all downhill from there?

  2. I still don’t like “Fit after 40”. It indirectly reaffirms the idea that after 40 is special old-time when fitness is special or surprising. Why not just ‘Fit at Any Age’? I know you asked about subtitles, not main titles, so take that fwiw… And good luck with the writing!

  3. Rebecca has a point here; maybe something like “Feminist Fitness Feats: Peak (and Valley) Performance Stories from Two Over-Forty Athletes”… Uh, still working on this, but figured feedback couldn’t hurt.

  4. I’m with Rebecca. I don’t like Fit after Forty. It actually cuts out two important themes from your blog: Feminism and body positivity. I’m not great at titles, but how about

    Fit, Feminist and Fab: A Journey of Fitness Through Feminism While Discovering Fabulous

    Just a thought. Hope the writing process goes well!

  5. Here’s another thought (while I’m taking a procrastination break from that commentary article for IJFAB): the word “journey” seems good. I also like something like this– journeys in finding the meanings of fitness for Every Body (note the little pun there, emphasizing body positivity). Honestly, this would go easier if you two and all of us readers were sitting together, brainstorming in a coffee shop, but in lieu of that, the comments section will have to do… 🙂

  6. We’ve had some great suggestions so far. Thank you everyone! And I do feel as if we should go back with some alternative titles as well as subtitles, so feel free to bring more of those on.

  7. I agree with Rebecca too and think it would be great to use the name of your blog (branding and all that as well).

    “Fit is a Feminist Issue: strapping on our sports bras and taking a healthy look at women and fitness.”

    “Fit is a Feminist Issue: Our journey beyond 40 and into fitness”

    “Fit After Forty: shaking off societal expectations and putting on lycra.”

    I am sure I will think of more… And I would love to be in a coffee shop with you brainstorming – nice one Catherine Womack!


  8. I also agree with Rebecca re the name. I LOVE your blog. But I’m 27. I would never buy a book called Fit After Forty. Unless it was for my mum. But even then I’d be worried it would offend her…

  9. I know you aren’t looking to address this aspect in your title but I can’t help but want to include your insights and observations on body acceptance in my suggestions:
    “Fit, Feminist and Feeling Peace With Our Bodies: At 40 and Beyond.”

    Or “Fit, Feminist and Flourishing in Our Bodies …”

  10. Fit After Forty: Women Reclaiming our Power and Finding Joy through Exercise

  11. I vote for this one: “Fit After Forty: shaking off societal expectations and putting on lycra.” If you don’t use the Fit After 40, then I do think you need something that refers to “as we age” or something. Being 55 it is extremely hard to find anything on fitness for my age group!!!

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