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.
blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten September 2022 Posts, #ICYMI

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

Second is a seasonal favorite. First published six years ago it almost always hits the top ten in September. That’s Scorn and Fetishization of Food: Gender Norms, Bacon (mmm… bacon), and Pumpkin Spice Lattes (like, yum!)

Remember my dear at midnight September 1st everything will turn into pumpkin spice

Third, it’s Marjorie’s older post on keeping fit while healing from hysterectomy.

Fourth is Sam’s post on checking in one week after knee replacement.

Fifth, Catherine looks at more misleading science and health reporting, these stories and her analysis look at balance and morality risk. Hot tip–the truth is more complicated that than the headlines make it appear.

This was also popular in September and I approve. Horns improve everything.

Sixth is Catherine’s helpful post about yoga poses she can’t do and what she does instead.

Seventh, Amanda-Lynn blogged about gender, work, and finding progress where we can. I think that especially in September that’s theme to which many of us relate.

Eighth, Sam’s post about what three weeks after knee replacement surgery looks like, including a photo of her knee without staples.

Ninth, Tracy’s older post about the many shapes athletes come in.

Tenth, Sam’s older post about women, aging, and the cost of caring about your looks.

blog · blogging · top ten

Top Ten August 2022 Posts, #ICYMI

This list of most read posts will be familiar by now. Lol.

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

Second, Marjorie’s guest post on keeping fit while healing from hysterectomy.

But the rest were (mostly) written this month!

Third, Sam reported on feminists having conflicting thoughts about Nicole Kidman’s biceps.

Fourth, Nearly half of British women don’t exercise? The Internet has thoughts (Bettina)

Fifth, Sam is checking in for August with all sorts of Big News

Sixth, Catherine’s 2022 Stop-Doing List

Seventh, Elan covers 10 years and 4 themes of FIFI

Eighth, Catherine considers pointless fitness goals.

Ninth, Catherine tried the sit-rise test.

Tenth (from 2020 and still going strong), My Metabolic Age is WHAT?? (Nicole)

the year legit went like jaaaaaannnnnnuary, febuaaaaaaaarrrrrrryyyyyy, maaaaaaaaaaarchhhh, aprilmayjune, july, AUGUST.
blog · blogging

Happy 10th anniversary to us!

I never know exactly which day to count, the day of our first actual post, after writing our bios, or the day we got all set up on WordPress.

Today is the latter.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

For a lovely post that reviews that themes of the blog over the years and makes a case for why we’re still needed check out Elan’s post here.

No doubt I’ll have more to say later but I’m still recovering from yesterday’s total knee replacement. All going well so far.

birthday · blog · blogging · fitness · Throwback Thursday

10 Years and 4 Themes of FIFI

Though a long-time reader of FIFI, I joined as a regularly contributing author not long ago. It has been a joy for me to re-visit the FIFI blog on this date in its first year of publication and think about how events of the past 9 years confirm the need for FIFI long into the future.

A decade ago

The FIFI blog was launched at the end of August 2012. Almost a year later, the August 25, 2013 post invited readers to submit to a special issue of the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics: See How She Runs: Feminists Rethink Fitness (Spring 2016).

Co-blog/issue editors Samantha Brennan and Tracy Issacs describe how the special issue—like the still-new blog from which it emerged—looks critically at the impact of fitness on women and “the very assumptions about what constitutes ‘fitness’ in the first place” (p. 3).

In forms of writing both scholarly and personal, the articles surface four key and connected themes related to fitness and feminism:

  • Equality – the gender disparity that starts in childhood and widens in adulthood,
  • Inclusivity – the exclusion of women and minorities from domains of sport and the lack of diversity in the fitness media,
  • Empowerment – competitive sports, body performance, and the linking of sports to personal confidence and public life, and
  • Aesthetics and feminine embodiment – the complex relationship between women, their fitness goals, and their bodies.

These themes have since featured prominently as the cardinal compass points guiding thousands of FIFI blog posts by more than 165 authors over the last 9 years.

Nearly a decade later

FIFI continues to examine and re-define fitness from an anti-homophobic, anti-racist, anti-ableist feminist lens. Over the last decade, this blog has helped readers to reflect on the many history-making moments in sports and fitness. Here are just a few:

Equality: Since 2013, wage and other gaps between men and women in sports (like basketball, surfing, and hockey) have been spotlighted. For instance, in 2017 the women’s hockey team announced a boycott of the world championship if U.S.A. Hockey did not increase the women’s wages. Despite greater attention to inequality, gender gap in sports participation, funding, and media attention still continues.

Inclusivity: Athletes have become more vocal about gender, race, and mental health in sports. For example, in the media gymnast Simone Biles confronted the myth of the strong black woman affecting women athletes of colour. Tennis player Naomi Osaka also articulated the need to address depression, burnout, and toxic spaces that athletes face. Yet, CAMH notes that stigma continues to be attached to mental illness as a sign of unfitness in sports.

As well, inclusivity and diversity in sports are subject to ever-changing rule books. Since 2013, some rules have shifted to promote greater inclusion, while others have not—such as the recent exclusion of transwomen athletes from sports such as rugby, swimming, and track and field.

Empowerment: Over the last few years, research has found that gentle exercise benefits women, especially at older ages. A greater focus on happiness and health, as well as recovery time, has also appeared in emerging fitness research. Social media movements addressing fat bias, such as #StrongNotSkinny, have helped to shift how women relate to athletic performance and body acceptance as a form of self-empowerment.

Aesthetics and feminine embodiment: And yet, also since 2013 more fitness influencers have greater…well, influence…than ever before on idealized body norms and commodified aesthetics. Gear such as fitness trackers have been lauded for helping women to be more fit. But their use may be concerning for reasons of data privacy and whether this tech actually matches women’s wellness and fitness goals in the first place.

A decade (or more) more

What has changed since the first year of FIFI is a more collaborative approach to publication. Under the continued leadership of Samantha, a larger collection of blog authors help to manage the blog while being a supportive global writing community for each other.

Our reading community is larger since 2013 too—tens of thousands of subscribers, readers, likers, commenters, and sharers from around the world. (We appreciate you all!!)

And yet, like the special issue the blog is a mosaic of diverse reflections that encourages making the world of fitness—and the many lived experiences of that world—more equal, inclusive, empowering, and embodied for everyone.

A decade goes by quickly, but this brief retrospective on key themes and tiny number of big fitness events show us the value of the FIFI blog then, now, and well into the future.

blog · blogging · fitness · ICYMI · top ten

Top Ten Posts in July, 2022 #ICYMI

At 53 1/2 Cate was still menstruating and her post about it is always on our top ten list. This month it’s #1!

Keeping fit while healing from hysterectomy, by Marjorie.

Catherine goes on a yoga retreat and still can’t do hero pose, despite everyone’s best efforts

Crap on the run by Nicole

Through A Different Lens: Seeing My Power Now by Christine


Women who care most about their looks have the toughest time aging by Sam, from 2014

Crotch shots and up-skirts, Sam’s post from years ago with the words in the title that keep search engines happy

Gracilis cramps: A new bad thing–yikes!!! by Sam

“Girls say they hate their vaginas.” WTF? by Tracy

Sam has thoughts about shorts

JULY grey on black Unsplash
blogging · fitness · winter

Six things Sam wants to blog about

It’s January and I’m super busy. The dean’s office is busy as we get ready to return to campus January 31. I’m also in the middle of three different grant applications.

At home we navigated the challenges of coming down with COVID, being sick (briefly and not that sick, thankfully) and then re-entering the world at large. It all felt very complicated.

In the world of Zwift, I’m captain of one bike team (hi TFC Dynamite!) and helping out with another (hey TFC Phantom!)

There is a lot on my plate right now. It’s not the case that there aren’t blog worthy things on my mind. Instead, it’s more like there a lot of different things I’m thinking about and they are still in the percolating stage, mid-mull, as it were.

Nothing seems to be settling down into a blog post.

Here’s my list:

Book review time!

I’m reading a book and writing a review for the blog. It’s Let Get Physical by Danielle Friedman. Here’s the blurb, “For American women today, working out is as accepted as it is expected, fueling a multibillion-dollar fitness industrial complex. But it wasn’t always this way. For much of the twentieth century, sweating was considered unladylike and girls grew up believing physical exertion would cause their uterus to literally fall out. It was only in the sixties that, thanks to a few forward-thinking fitness pioneers, women began to move en masse. In Let’s Get Physical, journalist Danielle Friedman reveals the fascinating hidden history of contemporary women’s fitness culture, chronicling in vivid, cinematic prose how exercise evolved from a beauty tool pitched almost exclusively as a way to “reduce” into one millions have harnessed as a path to mental, emotional, and physical well-being.”

Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman

Silly Little Walks

me going on a stood little daily walk for my stupid physical and mental health

I’ve been fretting for a little while about walking and mental health connection and while we’ve all been taking silly little walks for the sake of our mental health, I worry we’re putting too much pressure on the humble walk break. Not all problems can be solved with a lunch hour walk. I’ve been worrying too about what it means for those of us, like me, who can’t walk very far or very fast.

Snow Days

Sarah, Mallory, and I are just back from a lovely weekend away which involved lots of time outside in serious Canadian winter. It’s January and we’re in the days where the high is still in the negative double digits but everything feels better because there’s sunshine and longer days. It’s why I hate November typically and do okay in January even though it’s colder. We all joked about having moved into our serious winter clothes– long underwear, snow boots, snow pants, parkas and real mitts.

I’ve helped a few newcomers to Canada get ready for winter and I know it’s a costly business. Most of us who spend time outside in the winter have multiple winter coats and boots for different activities and conditions.

In addition to the clothes, we also all have snow shoes and poles and yak tracks for walking on the ice. Again, it’s okay being outside when you have the gear but when streets and sidewalks aren’t plowed, it’s super cold, and you don’t have the right clothes and gear, it can be a long indoor winter. We often message people, for physical and mental health reasons, to just get outside but the reality is that it’s not simple.

Sunday hiking on the Georgian Bay Trail to the grotto in the Bruce National Park
Saturday was warmer but windier

Knee surgery

I’m trying not to think too much about knee surgery. It makes me angry and sad. I know, it’s just knee surgery. It’s not cancer treatment, but the pandemic delays feel endless. I first saw the surgeon about total knee replacement, in the hospital, in August 2019. This August that will be three years ago. I have tentative sabbatical plans to go to Australia and New Zealand. I have hiking plans that without the surgery won’t happen. I mean travel might not be possible anyway but if it is, and I can’t do any walking (or tramping as they call it in NZ) I’m not sure what I will do.

I’ve considered traveling to the US for surgery and paying. I’ve considered just ignoring the whole thing and focusing on what I can do, which is walk 2-4 km without much trouble. But it hurts. My knees always hurt. Pain wakes me up at night. I try to think about people who are worse off, the people with more serious surgeries delayed because of the pandemic and even people waiting for knee surgery who can’t walk at all.

The poles helped on our walk today and I might invest in a pair, or just borrow Sarah’s more often.

Here’s me with poles!

Mallory and me at the end of our hike


We also watched a movie that readers with younger children will know all about. I loved seeing the depiction of Luisa, the strong and muscular sister in Encanto. I also loved reading that children related to her. This is possibly the first time I’ve seen a muscular woman in a children’s movie or book who wasn’t the butt of jokes. Now I want some Luisa merch too.

Less than 60 days until spring

I try not to start the countdown too early but this year when I want to see friends outdoors and we’ve got another brighter pandemic spring ahead of us, I’m ready for spring anytime. In many ways 2022 feels an awful like 2021, as this video points out.

We’re all looking forward to spring and summer in my house.

blog · blogging · fitness · ICYMI

Top Ten Posts of December 2021, #ICYMI


1. Cate wants to know why she’s still menstruating at 53.5 and whether that’s a good thing.

2. I love it when one of our most read posts of the month is by a guest blogger. This month it’s a new voice here at Fit is a Feminist Issue, Julie on curling.

3. Another very seasonal guest post from a few years ago, it’s Carly’s thoughts on new year’s resolutions from a cheerful chubster.

4. Cate offers advice in her dear field poppy advice column. I think we’re all hoping there’s more of these yet to come.

5. Nicole offers advice too, to teens and others.

6. Marjorie’s guest post on keeping fit while healing from a hysterectomy

7. When plans change and your usual coping strategies fail, Sam’s musings on covid, stress, and falling into bed at 7 pm with a box of chocolates.

8. Diane’s post on balancing and juggling and making space.

9. Martha on taking time.

10. Elan on serving love and what that can look like when it comes to seasonal feasts.

blog · blogging · fitness · top ten

Top Ten Posts, September 2021, #ICYMI

The two most read posts in September are all about menopause.

Alexis’ review of the Menopause Manifesto was our most read post of the month.

And second was Cate’s chestnut about still menstruating in her 50s.

Third was Cate’s post/rant about media coverage of a doctor claiming that we all need to fit into the same jeans we wore when we were 21, or risk death by diabetes. Bah!

Fourth was another oldie, loved by search engines everywhere on crotch shots and the objectification of women athletes.

Fifth was Alexis’ review of What Fresh Hell is This?.

Sixth was Tracy’s 57th birthday post, reflections on her birthday, what it all means, especially during the pandemic.

Yellow and white floral cake. Happy Birthday! Photo by  Erin Schmerr  on  Scopio

Seventh was A Milestone & Kind Strangers (Guest Post) by Joy.

Grayscale photo of bicycle on grass field. Photo by  yagnik vasani  on  Scopio

Eighth, Catherine wrote about the 10 percent happier app a few months ago.

Ninth, this month Catherine blogged about new research on metabolism.

And our tenth post read was Cate’s story of softening her completist personality while bike riding in Bulgaria.

blog · blogging · fitness

Happy 5000th post!

I like celebrating milestones–the blog’s birthday, the number of followers on WordPress, for example.

But today we’re celebrating a new milestone. It occurred on the weekend with Diane’s post about being back in the pool. That was our 5000th blog post.

It feels like a significant number. We’ve been here awhile and we’re trucking along. Go Team Fit Feminist!

The number 5000 on a stick, amid green plants. Photo by Marcel Eberle on Unsplash.