blog · blogging · fitness

Our Top Ten Posts of 2019, #ICYMI

Our most read post of 2019, #1, was Cate’s 2018 post on being 53 1/2 and still menstruating. That post, on what may seem like an oddball topic for a fitness blog, hit a nerve. From the many comments and reposts we learned that Cate is certainly not alone. It’s on our top ten list pretty much every month. (5415)

Our second most read post is a much older one. It’s from 2013 when I blogged about sports reporting, upskirts, and the objectification of women athletes. That post also has enduring popularity thanks, in part, to search engines and the existence of “upskirts” and “crotch shots” in the title. (4593)

One of our newest bloggers wrote the third most read post of the year. Marjorie wrote Doin’ My Part to Keep the Gym a Safe Space for Men  back in March 2019 before she’d even joined the regular team of bloggers here at Fit is a Feminist Issue. (3277)

In May, in light of the ongoing Caster Semenya controversy, Martha blogged about sex tests. That was our fourth most read post of the year. (2382)

In 2014 I blogged about CrossFit and women’s bodies. People read that post a lot, and to be honest, I suppose it’s got some appeal because of the images. It’s often on our top ten list and this year it’s number five. (2169)

Who would think vibrators would make for good prizes in women’s sports? Someone did and Catherine blogged about it in May of 2019. That post was our sixth most read post of 2019. (1831)

Eyelash extensions made Tracy feel ridiculous when she tried them and blogged about it 2017. That post was our seventh most read post. Considering eyelash extensions? Go read her post first. (1737)

In 2013 I was feeling exercised about finding clothes to fit athletic women’s bodies. That post was our eighth most popular post. The issue still bugs me. I’m still struggling to find clothes. I might blog about it again. (1565)

Also, in 2013 Tracy wrote that “you’ve lost weight, you look great” isn’t a compliment. That post was our ninth most read post of 2019. (1534)

Another 2013 post was our tenth most read post of the year. That’s Tracy’s blog post on why fitness models aren’t necessarily models of health. These old posts are definite blog classics. (1403)

Sparklers! Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

blog · blogging · fitness

Top ten posts in December, #icymi

My post about that Peloton ad was our #1 post of the month. I was puzzled by all the people who thought the wife was already fit because she was thin.

A cartoon woman with green hair spinning away.

Our second most read of the month was my post about training like a world class endurance athlete, building a base, and making the time to go slow.

A husky riding on a tortoise

Marjorie wrote about pseudoscience and the need for critical thinking in the area of nutrition and exercise science. That post was #3.

Science!

Nicole urges us when it comes to food choices just say yes, please or no, thank you. ” I urge us all to try to break free from “I can’t because I’ve been bad, naughty, I fell off the wagon, etc.”. We all have different reasons for choosing to eat what we do, day in and day out. I’m not here to discuss the pros and cons of different food plans. But if you are presented with food (cookies, chocolates, etc.) that you choose not to eat, simply say “No Thank You”. The location of the opportunity for snacking does not matter – it can be at work, your friend’s house or your parent’s place. ” That post was #4.

A dog nodding with the word “YES.”

In the 5th most read post of December Nat puts out her wish for high performance formal dance . wear. ” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, why can’t we dance the night away at weddings & other formal gatherings without drowning in our sweat? Whether you prefer a snappy suit or a darling dress no one feels great in their getup after even a short stint of enthusiastic dancing. “

A young girl in a blue dress with sunglasses bopping away.

An older post that I reblogged in light of the Peloton ad controversy was our 6th most read post of December. See How equating being fat with being out of shape hurts thin people too.

A chubby hamster lifting weights.

Cate’s classic still menstruating post is #7.

Menopause!

If you cannot go big, go small by Susan is #8.

A regular sized male cyclist riding a very small bike. We love the clip shoes.

Best of the worst gifts for the holidays, by Catherine, is #9.

An elevator door opening and closing,with a woman holding lots of parcels.

#10 was my post on concussions, Hit. Stop. Sit.

Bubble soccer!
blogging

Top ten posts in November, #icymi

Our most read post of the month was Tracy’s post from a few years back on fear mongering, fear of fat, and seasonal eating. It included swear words and definitely hit a nerve then and now. The mixed messages start around the time of American Thanksgiving and they just want to make Tracy say “fuck off and leave me alone!”

Nicole’s post on feeling invisible was #2.

#3 was Susan’s thoughtful and politically engaged post on Brené Brown.

All of the posts except this one and Tracy’s #1 post were written this month. #4 was Cate’s older post on still menstruating at age of 53 and 1/2.

My post on pain and deciding whether or not to walk anyway was #5.

#6 Men, bodies, and shame was me talking about men and their bodies again!

Nat’s post about her experiences of perimenopause was #7.

A race report from our newest guest blogger Şerife Tekin was #8.

Dare not Compare, Kim’s post, was #9.

#10 was Cate’s post about catching butterflies with her vagina.

Blue sky, bare branches, yellow leaves. Photo by Łukasz Łada on Unsplash
blogging · fitness · top ten

Top ten posts in October, #icymi

Topping off the month is Cate asking, Am I leaking? How do they know? Really the whole theme this month in our top posts is messy out of control bodies!

I love it when an old post that doesn’t usually hit the top 10 hits the monthly top 10. This month #2 was one of my favourite posts of Tracy’s:”You’ve lost weight! You look great!” Isn’t a Compliment. I’ve been thinking about that a lot these days.

In the 3rd spot is Cate following up on a reader’s question on how much we should worry about post menopausal weight gain, around our bellies, when it seems like we can’t do much about it. #YouAsk

Continuing on theme of questions and answers is Catherine’s post on whether we should walk faster to avoid the grim reaper. (tl;dr: Not necessarily.) It was #4.

Crotch shots is always in the top 10 and this month it’s smack dab in the middle at #5.

Next is another regular. #6 is Cate still menstruating at 53 and a half.

Catherine hates being told she’s wearing the wrong bra size. So do we all. I hate these “you’re doing it wrong” stories and that one in particular bugs me. Her post about that is #7.

Marjorie Rose’s This is my “why” is number 8.

Catherine also blogged about the new marathon records set this month. That was #9

#10 tells the story of why I won’t be wearing a lady backpack anytime soon. Gendered sports goods aren’t my thing.

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Pumpkins!
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
blog · blogging · fitness

Top ten posts in September, #icymi

The most read post of the month was Catherine’s post on age and weight gain.

“I’m no human metabolism science expert, but I think the upshot here is this: the rate of lipid turnover (part of human metabolic activity that affects weight maintenance and change over time) varies in the population. Experts thought that we could improve our rates of lipid turnover through exercise. Turns out, not so much. In a way, this is good news– it’s offering another scientific puzzle piece to provide a picture of what we already know: in general, people gain weight as they age, independently of their eating and activity behaviors. This opens the door to shifting talk away from addressing how older bodies look and toward how older bodies feel and function for those who have them.”

Second was Marjorie Rose’s “How much do you bench?” and other signs of ignorance.

“In any case, this penchant for sharing myself means that it is not uncommon for me to mention my workouts with a class—maybe I’m discussing Newton’s laws and drawing an example from a recent lifting session at the gym. And usually, after the first incredulous question, “You lift weights?” the immediate follow-up question will be, “oh yeah, how much do you bench?” And I get stumped. I imagine my more skeptical students taking the inevitable pause as proof that I’m deceiving them about my weightlifting (I clearly do not fit their mental image of someone who strength trains regularly). But what I am actually stopped by is how overwhelmingly difficult it is to retrace their misconceptions back far enough to answer their question. Where do I begin?”

The number three spot was Nicole Plotkin’s post on imposter syndrome.

“I have been running for 16 years. I have run 2 full marathons and several half marathons. During my 30s I went to spinning class, on average, 4-5 times a week. Often double headers, and sometimes a run, followed by spin class. Then I learned kettlebell and yoga and became a devotee of a lovely local studio for a few years. For the past few years I have been going to a women’s studio for strength and conditioning workouts. And yet, I still feel like an imposter, on occasion, when it comes to fitness (don’t get me started on my career).”

This is the month when we all wanted to know if the headlines were right. Will soda kill us? Catherine weighed in. And her post on that controversy was our fourth most read post.

Cate’s classic “still menstruating” post came in at number five.

Number six was my unplanned angry post on the story about the swimmer who was disqualified for breaking modesty rules even while wearing the team issued bathing suit. And yes, race was a factor. Grrr. (In the end, the decision was overturned.)

My old post about crotch shots, it’s always on the list somewhere, was number seven.

Number eight was Catherine’s review of Brittany runs a marathon.

My new post about cycling safety as a disability rights issue came in ninth.

And number ten was Martha’s post on representation and why it matters.

blogging · fitness · Guest Post

Big blog changes: Be our guest!

Interested in guest posting here at Fit is a Feminist Issue? I thought I’d share (again) the instructions we send people who are going to guest post on the blog.

INSTRUCTIONS (AUGUST 2019 UPDATE)

Thanks for your willingness to join our community of guest posters at Fit is a Feminist Issue.

Posts usually range between 500 and 1000 words. If your post is really long it might make sense to do it in several parts.

First and foremost we’re a feminist blog and we expect guests to share that perspective. We also usually incorporate a personal perspective in our writing, even if that’s the history of what made us think about the thing we’re writing about.

We also are a body positive blog and we try to keep the diet talk down to a minimum. Lots of us are critical of diets, the long term odds of success, and the beauty standards beneath lots of fitness ideals. We’re more about doing things we love and sharing athletic, rather than aesthetic goals. That said, we don’t all agree about all of these things and “big tent feminism” is part of the charm of the blog.

We try to use accessible language and write with a sense of humour, where appropriate. We especially try to avoid ableist language. For example, we don’t say “crazy” or “lame.” Here’s a link to alternatives, http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/alternatives-to-oppressive-language/

Where it makes sense include links to further resources.

You must include a short bio at the end.

The way it works is that you after you receive and accept our invitation to the blog (through WordPress), submit the post for review and we edit it lightly (mostly for grammar and spelling and adequate paragraph breaks). We schedule it. We also add photos. You can email pictures to samanthajbrennan@gmail.com (or if you’re working with another blogger to their email address). Contributor status means that you can’t add photos. After a few posts, we switch you to author status and authors can add their own photos and schedule their own posts. If you would rather not work directly in WordPress, email us your word docx and we will import it into WordPress.

Note: If you are adding your own photos and video, pls be sure to provide image and video descriptions for the visually impaired. All non-text content should have a text alternative that provides an equivalent meaning as the image. Read past posts for some descriptions of the images in the posts. Best practise is for the image description to go in the alt-text field which you can see when you edit the photo. You can put the image description in the caption as well if you have space. Captions are also useful for photo credits Finally, giving your photo a descriptive title makes it easier for search engines to find.

Please share your guest post widely to let your friends and social media followers know about the blog. We’ve got some excellent regular commentators and if you could check in on your post and reply to them that would be great.

Yay! And thanks for contributing!

Cheers,

Sam and the Fit is a Feminist Issue team

A red bicycle leaning against a battered brown leather sofa with a “guest” tag on the rear wheel.
blogging · fitness

Big blog changes: New blog description, about us, we’re changing

What’s up? As you likely know, Tracy is stepping away from the blog. We’re more explicitly a team now. In some ways we’ve been a team for awhile with varying degrees of involvement from the people associated with the blog.

That’s meant a bunch of stuff: A plea for a new visual representation, a new schedule, and now some new text for the “about the blog” page that appears on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I think I’ve changed them all! Thanks Cate for drafting the new text.

“Fit Is a Feminist Issue started with a conversation blog co-founders Sam and Tracy have been having for more than two decades about feminism and fitness.  What does it mean to be fit? What way(s) does women’s quest for fitness and health contribute to empowerment and/or oppression? And what are appropriate measures of fitness in a feminist context? 

The blog started in 2012 as a record of Sam and Tracy’s quest to be the fittest in their lives when they hit the age of 50 in 2014.  Since then, the blog has grown into an international conversation about fitness, health, aging, and gender. From our original two-voice conversation, we now have a team of regular bloggers, including Catherine Womack, Cate Creede, Martha Muzychka, Christine Hennebury, Natalie Hebert, Susan Tarshis, Bettina Trueb, Mina Samuels, Marjorie Hundtoft, and Kim Solga with an array of guest posters from around the world.  We also have a very active community in the comments on our blog and on our facebook page and twitter feed. Some of our posts are about our personal approaches to fitness/health, and some posts are more reflective, critical and meant to challenge common assumptions. While Sam and Tracy have always been at the core of the blog, in September 2019, we’re excited to announce that our other regular bloggers will be taking on an even more prominent role.    For more on our history, read 

Tracy and Sam’s book Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey. (Greystone Books) For more on the future, keep reading the blog!”

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash
Image description: Black gothic font spray paint on a read brick wall, reads “Together we create!”