blog · blogging · fitness

Blogging through the years, in numbers

We’ve been here on WordPress for 8 years and a bit. In that time we’ve had 4598 posts! And 2,747,658 views of posts. Our busiest day ever on the blog was July 24, 2014.

21,032 people follow us on WordPress. We just celebrated 21k followers last week which is what started me down this rabbithole of numbers.

Also, 16,026 people follow us on Facebook. We’re also on Instagram with just 1336 followers and Twitter with 1745 followers. Follow us if that’s your thing.

But it’s not all about followers. There are other numbers too. From followers I started tracking what people liked and shared this list of our most liked blog posts of all time.

In 2012 our posts averaged 580 words but in the 2013 they’d grown to 690 words on average. Post length seems pretty consistent through the years though. Last year, in 2020, it was 681 words on average.

Weirdly, post likes have varied quite a bit. Posts got an average of 2.4 likes in 2012. In 2014 they got an avereage of 21 likes, and last year in 2020, 13.3 likes.

Comments also vary through the years. We hit a high in 2013, 9.1 comments per post on average and just 2.9 in 2020.

Where are all the people from? By and far, most of the blog’s readers through the years are in the United States (1.3 million), next is Canada (584k) and then the UK (225k), Australia (120k), Germany (41k), India (35k), New Zealand (22k), France (21k), Netherlands (18k), Sweden (17k) and Ireland (16k).

After that it’s Phillipines, South Africa, Finland, Singapore, Spain, Italy, Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Switzerland, Japan, Malaysia, Denmark, Mexico….and lots more.

Oh, and the blog is busiest, in terms of views, either Monday morning at 9 am or Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm.

Just a couple of more sets of numbers.

Our total word count in 2013 was 293,809

And in 2020, with a lot more bloggets, it had grown to 448,250

Finally, let’s look at the number of posts through the years.

In 2013, 426 posts.

2015, 587

2018, 616

2020, 658

Moving beyond numbers, I also sometimes track search terms that bring people to the blog. This week’s include ‘workout feminist beginner’ and ‘how does renpho calculate metabolic age’ and ‘fit feminist hiit’ and ‘biggest loser new season 2021’ and ‘is it normal to have a period at 53’ and ‘you are not your biological destiny women.’

All the statistics and data aside, we love your engagement. Bloggers at Fit is a Feminist Issue like your comments and your feedback. You might even consider writing a guest post. Drop us a line some time soon!

Scrolling numbers of likes
cycling · family · fitness · yoga

Lizard Pose with Lizzy!

I confess. I’m partly writing about lizard pose to share photos of a new pet in the house, Lizzy the bearded dragon. My son just moved back home and he was nervous we wouldn’t like her. Luckily, she seems to fit in just fine as part of the working from home crew.

But that’s not the whole story.

In an online cycling group of which I’m a member someone recommended lizard pose as an excellent yoga pose for cyclists.

What’s LIzard Pose? “Lizard Pose is an excellent stretching posture for the hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps. Integrating this pose into your regular yoga practice improves hip flexibility and strengthens the leg muscles.”

I’ve been riding lots lately (207 km this week on Zwift) and feeling in need of some bike speciifc stretching in addition to the Yoga With Adriene I’ve been doing. So Sunday morning, ater taking Cheddar for a walk, Sarah and I spent some time with Adriene and lizard pose. I love how low key silly and goofy Adriene is. I feel much more relaxed and happy on that mat with attitude.

As always, there are even more advanced poses.

Here’s flying lizard.

But for what it’s worth, even Lizzy–an actual lizard–can’t do flying lizard and neither can I. That’s just fine by me.

Happy Monday from Sam and Lizzy!

fitness

You like us, you really like us, or our most liked posts of all time

This won’t be a surprise to those of you who know me and those of you who are regular blog readers. I’m a bit of a data geek. Monthly and annually I share our most read posts, I celebrate significant numbers of WordPress followers and Facebook readers. Lately I’ve started to pay a bit more attention to Twitter and Instagram too.

If you’re a regular WordPress user you know that finding out which posts are the most liked is trickier. I recently switched our main page to display top posts as most liked, rather than most read. That gives you the top 10 most liked posts of all time. Interestingly, there’s no overlap between most liked and most read.

Finding that out past the top 10 or on a monthly basis is trickier. Adding the widget requires upgrading (again!) on WordPress and while we’ve upgraded once or twice, that additional leap seems too much for now.

But here, for the curious, are our most liked posts of all time.

Doctorates, Down-Dogs and the Challenge of Self Talk (Guest Post) 488 likes

Beyond Good and Evil (Food) 342 likes

Why Food Is Beyond “Good” and “Evil” 316 likes

Belly Patrolling 63 likes

Repeat after me: Athleticism is beauty. Athleticism is beauty. Athleticism is beauty. Athleticism is beauty… 63 likes

Loving my post-mastectomy body (Guest Post) 53 likes

It’s just another pandemic Monday! 50 likes

The stories our skin tells: Stretch marks, scars, and tattoos 50 likes

Whoever said “eating fried potatoes is linked to higher risk of death” can f**k right off 49 likes

Living Clean without Eating Clean 47 likes

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fitness · winter

Blue Monday feels less blue in 2021 somehow

A friend the other day remarked that every day feels like Monday since the pandemic began and while it’s true for me that the workdays all blend together, I’m not sure they all feel like Monday.

Today is supposed to be Blue Monday, whatever that means. It’s a made up thing.

See Happy Blue Monday and Happy worst day of the year!

It’s grey out there and dark and that’s the kind of winter weather I really don’t like. Give me cold and snow and sunshine any day. But I’m not feeling so blue about Blue Monday this year. Partly I suppose it’s the blurring of time thing. Also, frankly, November always feeling worse than January to me.

I’m also feeling just a little bit hopeful. I’m hoping that this is the worst of the pandemic and that by summer we’ll be able to do things outdoors together again. I’m hopeful that sometime in the fall we’ll be vaccinated and back at work and maybe soon after that in concert and theatre venues.

And more immediately, right now, there’s more daylight each day. The sun is returning to some Northern communities for the first time in weeks.

And in just a few days there will be an inauguration of a new presidency in the United States and we all might sleep a bit more soundly at night. We’re not there yet, but close.

I’m starting to feel like we’re on the home stretch–winter wise, politics wise, and pandemic wise.

I like this tweet from Matt Haig:

How was your Blue Monday? Let us know in the comments below.

fitness

Femme Crocs! Or, can a person wear too much leopard print?

Crocs are, all snobbery aside, a great outdoor shoe. You can slip them on and hose them off.

See In Defense of Crocs, the Perfect Outdoor Shoe. I saw that the same week my first pair of Crocs arrived in the mail.

“And despite how ugly they are, Crocs serve a vital purpose during these times: they’re perfect for the outdoors. They’re waterproof and easy to clean. They float. They’re cushy and bright. During quarantine I’ve slipped on my Crocs to build a chicken coop and togo on family walks. I’ve worn them while picking up dog poop in the yard and while washing the cars. I’ve even worn them to get groceries and to the hardware store. Nothing matters anymore.”

I got mine so that I’d stop borrowing Crocs of other people when we went to the farm on the weekend. Perfect for the dash to the hot tub.

Mine are even lined with fleece. They’re polar Crocs for winter wear!

And they are leopard print. I love that the dangerously seductive power of leoprad print has made its way onto Crocs. It’s part of the contradictory nature of leopard print itself. I especially love that leopard print and bisexuality are now so entangled that you can buy merch in bipride coloured leopard print.

Although I love leopard print, I won’t-except in jest–attempt to match my Crocs with my outfit. That’s my polar fleece suit jacket which looks like an actual suit jacket on Zoom but is really all warm and soft and stretchy in real life.

Leopard Crocs

And I definitely won’t wear the Crocs and the jacket and this mask!

Leopard mask
covid19 · cycling · fitness · yoga · Zwift

Fall In Love With Zwift Cycling to Avoid Stress Seven Days a Week!

Polar bear in pink shoes on a yellow bike

True confession: That’s not my blog title. Thanks blog title generator. I tried a bunch of them. They also suggested:

Need More Time? Read These Tips To Eliminate ZWIFT PANDEMIC CYCLING STRESS 7 DAYS A WEEK

Everything You Wanted to Know About ZWIFT PANDEMIC CYCLING STRESS 7 DAYS A WEEK and Were Afraid To Ask

Also true confession: The blog content is all mine. Life hasn’t been easy lately. On the one hand, I’ve got a great job I can do from home, a supportive family, some lovely pets etc. On the other, there are stay at home orders and rising  SARS-CoV-2  infection rates in the province where I live, and attempted coups in the country to the south. I feel like I am holding my breath until the transition of power takes place and then again until we’ve vaccinated the most vulnerable members of our society. I’m sure that ‘holding one’s breath’ feeling is worse for American family and friends. I also have family in the north of England where things are very bad and I’m nervously watching the situation there too.

All of that said, I have been really enjoying myself on my bike and it’s a thing that spills over to the rest of my life and keeps me calm and relatively happy. I sleep better after riding my bike. I smile more often. As a result, I’m riding lots. I’m alternating feeling proud of this and feeling ridiculous about this. Yes, it’s good to relax but surely I should be reading more good fiction. (Are bikes really beating books as they worried in the 1890s?) But the fact of the matter is I’m struggling like everyone else with attention span and distractability. I still read a lot but riding helps even when reading doesn’t.

I’m also socially engaged with my bike teammates. I’m even meeting up with real world cyclist friends on Zwift even though we’re trying to get out on our actual bikes at least once a week.

Mental and emotional health and well-being turn out to be a pretty good motivation to ride.

What’s a typical week of riding look like? I thought I’d share my last week of riding with you.

Here’s a rundown:

Sunday

What: Riding trails around Guelph on our fat bikes

How far: No idea really! We didn’t even take our Garmins

How long: We didn’t really even keep track of time. Somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours.

Purpose: Fresh air, fun

The rest of my rides are on Zwift

Club social ride

TFC Social Ride on Zwift

What: Team social ride, we split into two groups, one at sub 2.0 watts per kilo, and one at sub 2.5, we banter on Discord, and ride tightly packed as a group except for designated sprint and regroup sections. We also race at the end for those who are keen.

How far: Usually about 30 km

How long: One hour

Purpose: Connect with teammates, promote the club, share info about TFC racing

Monday

TFC Monday night race, a rare sight, me in the QOM jersey

What: TFC Monday Night race, D category

How far: 40 km with killer hill at end, Keith Hill After Party was the route

How long: approx 90 min plus warm up and cool down

Purpose: Race!

Tuesday

What: DIRT family values ride

How far: 30 km

How long: 50 minutes

Purpose: Dad joke ride at recovery pace

My favorite dad jokes from the Dads Indoors Riding Trainers (DIRT) ride tonight:

What do you call an apology that’s made up of dots and dashes? Remorse Code

I trapped some vegan burglars in my basement. I’m not sure they were vegans but they kept saying, “Lettuce Leaf, Lettuce Leaf.”

Thanks for the company Jim Peyton

DIRT ride. That’s me in the pink cap

Wednesday

Here’s our race poster

What: Team route recon, getting ready for Thursday race

How far: 30 km, Watopia Figure 8 reverse

How long: One hour

Purpose: Connect with teammates, discuss race strategy, practise paceline techniques

Thursday

Team time trial

What: Team Time Trial WTRL

How far: 30 km

How long: 55 minutes ish (time includes my cool down)

Purpose: We raced in Mocha class and came 15th out of 65 teams. Woohoo! (More importantly, we raced well together, had pretty smooth transitions, and kept up a nice pace–40 km/hr on the flats.)

Personal achievement: I stayed with the group up two climbs!

Friday

At the end….

What: TFC Christmas Smash Fest

How far: 35 km, 18 laps in crit city

How long: One hour and five minutes

Purpose: No category racing! So much time in the red zone. I was able to jump on the back of faster riders as they lapped me and I did okay in the end as a result

Saturday

Rest day

No riding, just gentle Yoga with Adriene.

fitness · motivation · new year's resolutions

It’s the day to ditch your resolutions

Today’s The Official Day To Ditch Your Resolutions.

“January 17 or Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day is popularly thought to be the day when a large number of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions. Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day gives you an excuse to forget your New Year’s resolutions.”

But you don’t have to quit. It’s not mandatory.

You have choices.

You can scale back and start smaller. That’s Tracy’s advice.

You can stick with it for now and quit later. I often like this one.

You can take a few days off and start again later. Last year Catherine started her new year February 9. Why Feb 9? It’s all arbitrary. You get to choose.

Christine has been posting daily tips to make keeping going easier.

Be kind to yourself. There’s a pandemic going on. You’re doing the best that you can.

Did you make a new year’s resolution? How’s it going for you? Let us know in the comments.

cycling · fitness

Do bicycles hurt books?

I love bicycles! (You know that, of course.)

Miss Piggy and Kermit ride bikes

I also love books.

Cat reading a book

And it amused me to come across the worry about bicycles hurting books from the first wave of mass participation in cycling.

I knew about the worry about cyclists and church-going. See Can good Christians be cyclists? (Joke, sort of)

See Moral Threat of Bicycles in the 1890s.

Another charge against the cycling craze was that people were spending their Sundays—often the only work-free day of the week—on bike rides rather than at church. Already, male church attendance had been on the decline. As a sport open to both women and men, cycling threatened to leave preachers with congregations made up of only the sick and the elderly.

But I hadn’t heard about the book worry about cycling. Not only does it eat up your book reading leisure time, it makes you too tired to read afterwards.

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I sometimes even love to combine bikes and books, reading books about riding bikes.

I’m looking at this list, On your bike: the best books to celebrate the cycling boom

Do you have a good one to recommend?

fitness · meditation · mindfulness · motivation · new year's resolutions

What’s your Word of the Year? Here are ours…#WOTY

Word cloud of the bloggers’ #WOTY

We didn’t all blog about it but most of the bloggers at Fit is a Feminist Issue have chosen a word of the year.

Why do it? Sometimes people choose a word of the year to guide them instead of a new year’s resolution, and for others it’s part of the resolution. It can mean different things to different people but the basic idea is to name an area for concentration, focus, or exploration. Sometimes it’s what you want more of in your life and sometimes it’s more general, to give a flavour to the conversations you’re having about your prupose, direction, and plans.

But with no further ado, here are our words for 2021:

Mina’s is ENOUGH

Christine’s is CONSISTENT

Sam’s is FLOW

Cate’s is STEADFAST

Nat’s is REST

Tracy’s is MINDFULNESS

Martha’s is HOLD FAST

Nicole’s is STEADY

Susan’s is PERSIST

Catherine’s is AWAKE

What’s your word of the year?

Let us know in the comments if you’ve chosen a word for 2021, what it is, and what it means to you. Thanks!

fitness

Dear CBC: Walking may be ‘best’ but not everyone can walk for fitness

Sam’s icy street, hilly too!

I love that walking has great health benefits. I hate that it’s described as “best” with no acknowledgement that not everyone can walk for fitness. I can’t right now.

Grrr. I mean I walk Cheddar the dog but I can only manage long walks 3 or 4 days a week.

That’s why I get annoyed when I see headlines like this…If you had to pick one healthy habit for 2021, here’s your best choice

Of course it’s walking and of course they mean well. After all, everybody can walk. Except we can’t. We can’t all walk for fitness. Some of us can’t walk at all.

I shared the story on our Facebook page with my “grrr” comment attached.

A few readers agreed with my “grrr” and added their own concerns about living in unsafe neighbourhoods or in neighbourhoods without sidewalks. Others complained about snow and ice and I thought about my street pictured above.

Check out the snowy icy sidewalks. My mother wears yaxtrax on the bottoms of her shoes to avoid slipping and falling. I flaunt the rules and walk Cheddar in the middle of the road. But as you can see even in the middle of the road, it’s icy. It’s not exactly “everyone can walk for fitness” friendly.

I get what CBC was trying to do. Amid CrossFit and high intensity interval workouts, walking can seem a little low key. Yet it’s still a good workout and for most people doesn’t require a high degree of fitness to start out.

It’s also great to get outside. I go for short walks in the sunshine even if they’re too short to do much for me fitness wise.

Anyway, if you can, walking is a great way to get some fresh air and some movement in your day. Enjoy! Cheddar does!

Cheddar napping after a long dog walk!