blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten September 2023 Posts, #ICYMI

Bright orange leaves on wooden steps. Photo by Unsplash.
  1. Does a Diagnosis Change Who I Am? (Mina)
  2. All Lanes are Open (Stephanie)
  3. I’m 53 and a half and I’m still menstruating: is this a good thing? (Cate)
  4. A Pattern Emerges (Stephanie)
  5. The shape of an athlete (Tracy)
  6. Rest in power fit feminist, friend, philosopher, fashionista, fellow dog walker, and yogi Cate Hundleby (Sam)
  7. Pain and the Human Playground (Sam)
  8. The sit-rise test: trying to get up to save my life (Catherine)
  9. The NYT 6-minute workout: commenters’ critiques and robust responses (Catherine)
  10. Getting up and getting down with my new knees (Sam)
blog · fitness

Top Ten August 2023 Posts, #ICYMI

  1. Rest in power fit feminist, friend, philosopher, fashionista, fellow dog walker, and yogi Cate Hundleby
  2. In 2020 Sam blogged about the lack of representation of larger women’s bodies in fitness images. See Where are the muscular, larger women’s bodies?. It was the second most read post in August.
  3. Cate’s still menstruating post was the third most read post in July.
  4. Catherine’s post Don’t try this at home: What to make of teeny-weeny fitness studies was our fourth most read post.
  5. Tracy’s 2013 post The shape of an athlete was the 5th most read post in August.
  6. In 2019 Catherine wrote about yoga poses she can’t do and what she does instead. Yoga poses was the sixth most read post on the blog in August.
  7. Mina’s moving post How Do I Keep Moving Through Uncertainty? was seventh.
  8. I love it when guest posts make the Top Ten list. 3 things I hate(d) about running by guest blogger Stacey Ritz was our 8th most read post.
  9. Another guest post in the Top Ten list is Movement in Transition by Alex Boross-Harmer. It was our 9th most read post. Here’s hoping Alex and Stacey blog for us again!
  10. Our tenth most read post was Stacey’s earlier guest post, Running does not have to be an achievement journey.
Stacey’s post-5K.jpg:  “Sinking my teeth into the race’s namesake after the finish.
(alt-text: a woman wearing a blue hat taking the first bite of a butter tart)

birthday · blog · blogging · cycling · dogs · family · fitness

59 great things about Sam, in honor of her birthday

All of us at FIFI are grateful to Samantha and Tracy for starting the blog in 2012, inviting us to join as writers and readers, and keeping it going strong in the midst of whirlwinds of change over the past decade plus some. In honor of her birthday, and in no particular order, are 59 great things about Samantha, who turns 59 today.

1–4: Samantha’s in-house menagerie of various creatures:

5–8: a rotating roster of cats, past and present, including the venerable Zippy, who lived to the ripe old age of 18, Boo, her son Gavin’s cat, who lodges with them from time to time, and her daughter Mallory’s cats Louie and Moon, who visit on occasion.

9–16: Sam’s well-looked after family of Mallory, Gavin, Miles, Kathleen, Sarah, Jeff, Susan, and others I’m forgetting. Not to mention her many friends, students, colleagues, and neighbors (which I’m counting as one for these purposes).

I don’t think I got everyone in this montage, but that’s just because Samantha’s family and friends cannot be contained by mere digital means.

Images of Samantha with family, friends, dogs and bikes.
Samantha with family, friends, dogs and bikes.

17–26: Sam’s written a lot of very popular blog posts over the years. Here are ten of them:

The fact that Sam wrote in both 2013 and 2021 about finding clothes to fit athletic women’s bodies shows a real need for this blog. And by the way, it’s not fixed yet. But don’t worry, Sam and the rest of us are on it.

27–31: Samantha has been writing about real women’s bodies (in contrast to Barbie bodies) for a decade before the movie came out. Here are five of her posts:

32–37: Sam embraces the gear! six bikes:

  • pink brompton
  • gravel bike
  • newer road bike
  • older road bike for trainer
  • fat bike
  • track bike (possibly for sale…)

38–40: Sam continues to embrace the gear! 1.667 boats

  • 1/3 of a big sailboat
  • 1/3 of a small sailboat
  • 3/3 of a canoe

41: Sam doesn’t embrace single car ownership, but shares one with her mum.

42: Say what you will, but I think Sam and I looked pretty similar in high school.

43: I think we still look like we could be cousins (which we certainly are in a psychic sense, or something)

44: Samantha loves books! She buys books, reads them, talks and writes about them in our FIFI book club (and elsewhere), and gives books to people. Hey Sam– what should our next FIFI book club be about? Something to think about.

45: Sam’s To Listen, Read and Watch posts. They are a relaxing and often informative time-out from work emails or more serious reading. Wanna catch up on some of them? Look here.

46: No matter what sort of snafu or whoopsie-thing happens with the blog (and yes, below our sleek, professional exterior, we are fallible like everyone else…:-) Samantha manages to a) fix it; or b) compensate for it; and c) not sweat about it. Thanks, Sam!

47–59: For each year of this blog– 2012–2023 and on, Samantha and Tracy deserve praise (Tracy’s birthday is coming up soon, too, so stay tuned…)

Happy 59th, Samantha, from me, the bloggers, the readers, and Robert Anderson (who took this photo on Unsplash).

Pink happy birthday signs on pink confetti frosted birthday cupcakes. yum.
Happy Birthday! yum.

blog · blogging · food

Tracy’s new blog

I’m excited to announce a new blog in relation to a major project I am working on. The blog is called “Vegan. Practically.” I just published the first post yesterday: “Welcome to ‘Vegan. Practically’.”

The blog is going to explore what I call “imperfect veganism” from a philosophical, ethical, strategic, and practical perspective. I have been vegan for ethical reasons since 2011, vegetarian for quite some time prior to that. But, as I explain in “Welcome to ‘Vegan. Practically.” I am not 100% perfect at it. Many people both inside and outside the vegan community think of it as an all-or-nothing undertaking, that you can not be “properly vegan” if you ever falter. That has never seemed right to me, and as a philosopher I have been mulling it over for a long time.

I have blogged here a bit about veganism: “Veganuary, Anyone?”, “Veganuary: Not Just for Vegans,” “Vegan Is Not a Fad Diet,” “Can an Ethical Vegan Gain Muscle? Yes!”, “Trending Now: Plant-Based Eating,” and “On He-gans and She-gans: The gendering of a plant-based diet,” to name a few. But I have a lot more to say than is appropriate for a feminist fitness blog, even if Fit Is a Feminist Issue is a big tent.

The book-in-progress, and its new blog companion “Vegan. Practically.” will carve out a space for a principled approach to veganism as an ethical practice. I emphasize the idea of practice because I think that is a great way of understanding the ongoing, but sometimes flawed, effort, much as we do in other practices, such as yoga, meditation, religion, even physical training in athletics from hockey to running.

I started the new blog because as I’ve been writing the book over these past few months, I’ve had some challenges hitting the right note in terms of tone. I want to be inviting, offering these reflections not just to vegans, but also to anyone who might be curious, or anyone who might be more than curious but feels convinced veganism is “too hard.” I don’t want to be scary, combative, strident, or (overly) self-righteous (tough to navigate when you’re taking an ethical stance on something, but I don’t see that as a productive way for me to be). I also don’t want to evangelize or preach. I’m a philosopher, so argument, commentary, and analysis are my go-tos, with some personal narrative thrown into the mix. Hopefully it’ll be inherently interesting subject matter presented in an approachable and engaging way (a women can dream!).

As a writer I can sometimes overthink things like tone, but I know that I when I blog I feel as if my authentic voice comes through. I tried to approach some parts of the book “acting as if,” that is, pretending I was blogging. But I guess I’m not such a great pretender. Why not just do it for real?

As I was grappling with this question of tone and the possibility of blogging for real, I felt a bit of resistance because a blog is a commitment not to be undertaken lightly. Then my writing coach (Daphne Gray-Grant, The Publication Coach), whom I’ve been working with for a few months, said that a blog is an excellent platform for making a success of the book. I know from my experience with Fit Is a Feminist Issue and the book, Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey, that I co-authored with Sam, that this holds true. We did much better with the book because of the blog — indeed without the blog there would have been no book.

I plan to start modestly, with one to two posts a week on a range of topics from the various reasons in support of veganism to Veganuary pros and cons to cell-based meat to my favourite vegan recipe sites (I won’t be offering much if anything in the way of recipes). The photography will be my own (I’m intensely into photography so this is a way of showcasing some of my work).

Unlike this blog, I have no plans to expand the author-group, at least not for starters. I would love to find readers who are interested and curious. No need for readers to be vegans or ethically-guided eaters of whatever kind. I’m not focusing on health, though there are actually some compelling health reasons for following a plant-based diet and I might sometimes mention it.

Please check it out and ask your friends to do the same.

blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten March 2023 Posts, #ICYMI

Lia Thomas and Trans Athletes (Diane)

Cate’s still menstruating post (Cate)

The sit rise test (Catherine)

Grieving the loss of a feminist friend (Diane)

My fit feminism is a fraud (Mina)

Yoga poses I can’t do and what I do instead (Catherine)

Walking 20k steps a day (Michelle)

One month countdown to my next knee replacement (Sam)

A review of the Human Playground (Sam)

Metabolic age is what??? (Nicole)

Photo by Navin Rai on Unsplash
blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten January 2023 Posts, #ICYMI

This is list is striking for two things. So many of the posts are from years past! I also love how many are written by guests. If you’d like to join our community of occasional guest bloggers read this post.

The most popular post of January was Cate on still menstruating 

Catherine’s Yoga poses I simply can’t do, and what I do instead was 2nd.

The 3rd most read post was Tracy’s on the many shapes athletic bodies can take.

Pain and the Human Playground by Sam was 4th.

Keeping Fit While Healing from a Hysterectomy was our 5th most read post, from Marjorie.

I walk 20K steps a day… and I’m getting rid of my Fitbit by Michelle was 6th.

The 7th most read post was Catherine’s post about the need to ditch the word ‘obese.’

In the spirit of changing the way we talk, our 8th most read post was Sam saying we should stop talking about women athletes’ slut strands,

The 9th most read post was Sam on the different messages told by articles in women’s magazines and by their advertisers.

And timely for New Year’s was Kate’s guest post on resolutions, This Time I Mean It: New Year’s Resolutions, Self-Forgiveness, and Fitness.

White yellow and pink flowers by Emilie Dagg on Scopio

blog · blogging · fitness · ICYMI · top ten

Most Read Posts of 2022, Written in 2022, #ICYMI

Lots of our most read posts in 2022 were written in years past. Earlier today I posted a list of the most read posts. But I’m always curious about which posts written in 2022 were read the most. Here’s that list:

Is the soleus pushup the key to health? (Catherine)

Pain and the Human Playground (Sam)

No more ‘slut strands’? (Sam)

Style secrets for women over 50? (Catherine)

Not too late to start Yoga with Adriene’s January MOVE practice #YWA (Tracy)

Gracilis cramps: A new bad thing–yikes!!! (Sam)

What to do instead of extreme dieting to get into an old dress for 5 minutes on social media (Catherine)

Inclusive objectification anyone? (Tracy)

The Year of Tiny Pleasures (Diane)

Christine Sinclair and Women in Sport (Diane)

people walking on the street
Photo by Alina Kurson on

blog · blogging · fitness · ICYMI · top ten

Most Read Posts of 2022, #ICYMI

Our most read posts of the year, not necessarily written in 2022. The popularity of some early blog classics lives on.

The most popular post of the year was Cate was still menstruating (2018).

Keeping Fit While Healing from a Hysterectomy was our 2nd most read post, from Marjorie (2019).

The 3rd most read post in 2022 was Catherine’s post on soleus push ups.

Catherine’s Yoga poses I simply can’t do, and what I do instead was 4th.

The 5th most read post was Tracy’s on the many shapes athletic bodies can take.

Crotch shots, sports photography and the objectification of athletes bodies is an older blog post with words in the title that often get put into search engines. Sam’s nine year old post was our 6th most read post. (2013)

Sam’s mini review of Pain and the Human Playground was 7th.

Eighth was Nicole asking, My Metabolic Age is WHAT?? (2020).

Women, aging, and caring about your looks was the topic of the 9th most read post.

Sam wrote about slut strands and that was our 10th most read post in 2022. Enjoy!

Photo by
blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten December 2022 Posts, #ICYMI

Sam’s review of Pain and the Human playground was the most read post in December.

Cate and menstruation in her 50s. Her post about it almost always makes the top 10 list. This month it’s the 2nd most read post.

The 3rd most read post in December is Marjorie’s post about recovering from hysterectomy.

The 4th most read post was Sam’s saga about using her phone in the sauna.

Catherine’s post about the latest research on almonds and appetite was the 5th most read post.

Almonds spilling out of a jar on a rough wooden surface. Unsplash.

Every December Carly’s guest post makes the top ten as new year’s looms. This year not my resolution; thoughts on January weight loss from a cheerful chubster (guest post) was the 6th most read post.

There are yoga poses Catherine can’t do and her blog post about what she does instead is the 7th most read post this month.

The 8th most read post was Tracy’s older one on the many shapes athletic bodies can take.

Mostly we’re not new year’s resolution folks here at the blog but my post on some challenges we like is our 9th most read post.

Woohoo, bring on the light is number 10.

It’s the positive potato
blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten November 2022 Posts, #ICYMI

  1. Is the soleus pushup the key to health? Catherine has thoughts
  2. Tracy’s older post about the many shapes athletes come in.
  3. Women Fighters of the Modern Middle Ages by Diane
  4. Cate and menstruation in her 50s. Her post about it almost always makes the top 10 list. This month it’s the 4th most read post.
  5. Marjorie’s older post on keeping fit while healing from hysterectomy.
  6. Pain and the human playground, a review by Sam
  7. Catherine’s helpful post about yoga poses she can’t do and what she does instead.
  8. Elan wrote about how to organize a chill, relaxed soccer team.
  9. How Catherine holds it togeher
  10. Sam’s post on aging, activity, and myths.