fitness · tbt

Body hair and winter months: Will the extra leg hair keep me warm? #tbt

It’s that time of year again when I get less regular in my leg hair shaving. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to shave my legs for the knee physio clinic, but I do. How about you? Do you shave less or stop in the winter months?

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

winterlegsIt’s the winter. For many of us summertime shavers, the season of more body hair. Bye bye bathing suits and hello tights and leggings.

I still shave my legs though since I bare my legs in hot yoga, on the trainer in bike shorts, and in the hot tub at home. I confess though that I’m less fastidious about it all. I have dry skin that’s no big fan of the cold weather and so I certainly shave less often than I do in the summer months.

Serious cyclists, male and female, shave legs for a variety of reasons. See some debate and discussion here.

Now if wind tunnel tests prove to be right, we ought to be shaving our arms as well. Read Specialized say that hair-free arms will save you time on the bike

How much faster? On their test volunteer, the result suggested a time saving…

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body image · tbt · Throwback Thursday

Still Struggling with Body Image? Try a Nude Vacation #tbt

As we enter into the holiday season (yes, it’s coming), we are about to face a barrage of posts that are trying to make us feel badly about our bodies (you know the ones, all about holiday weight gain — more on that in a few weeks!). Here’s an oldie but goodie from the early days of the blog, when I (Tracy) reported on how I tackled my body image issues in an unusual way: I went to a nude resort and it was transformative!

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Sam and I often get a kick out of the site stats that tell us what search engine terms get people to the blog. People have landed here by searching “soccer and beer,” “If a guy says you are not fat but fluffy,” “aikido makes me nervous,” “hard fast no cuddling after tshirt,” and “no other regret compares to the childhood email address made.”

But yesterday, my heart really went out to the person who searched “I want to be nude at home but I’m too modest.”  Many of us struggle with body image. I’m not sure if this searcher is too modest because she (or he) is self-conscious about her (or his) body not being “good enough,” but if she is, I can recommend a solution that worked for me:  a nude vacation.

A few years ago my husband finally convinced me to try a nude resort for our…

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fitness · tbt

Why I like “falling back” #tbt

Sam tagged this post last night in her post “Dark is Coming.” I re-read it and thought it would be a good re-blog today even so because it still 100% captures how I feel (other than I have given up o the 6 a.m. swimming altogether for the time being).  I am happy for more light i the mornings right now and though I get that early nights are tough, my challenge is on the front end of each day at the moment.

Tracy

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

daylight-saving-time-clip-art-free-cliparts-that-you-can-download-to-dw2whh-clipart

I’ve heard a bunch of complaints from friends this week about our clocks “falling back” on the weekend. Mostly, people are grumpy about the earlier darkness setting in. Sam blogged about that last week.  I understand that people get seasonal depression (sometimes called SAD) and that the end of daylight savings time brings it on more intensely.

But the alternative is not to have DST at all. It’s DST that’s the aberration, creating those wonderful long summer evenings. Don’t get me wrong. I love the long summer evenings. But if we didn’t bother with DST, we wouldn’t have to “fall back” and the long summer evenings would have been an hour shorter all along.

Once the weather changes I’m not as inclined to go out for an evening stroll. I lean more to cocooning at home on cold winter nights. An earlier nightfall somehow seems to give permission for…

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body image · diets · fat · fitness · tbt

Imagine if size really didn’t matter. Can you? #tbt

Today I’m doing a “Throwback Thursday” post where I invite you, once again, to imagine how different life would be if we actually lived in a world where size doesn’t matter. Happy Thursday!

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

tape-measureOne of the most intriguing news items this week reported on a six-year study that measured what happened to the contestants who lost dramatic amounts of weight in Season 8 of the reality TV show we here at Fit Is a Feminist Issue love to hate: The Biggest Loser.

For those of us who have gained and lost, lost and gained, and lost and gained again, the most obvious result wasn’t a shocker. The contestants are heavier than they were when the show ended.  The season’s winner, Danny Cahill, went from 430 pounds to 191 pounds over the seven month period of the weight loss competition.

And he’s gained 100 of it back. According to The New York Times article “After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight,” the regain is despite his best efforts. “In fact,” the article goes on to say, “most of that season’s…

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fitness · tbt

Bleeding while running and ending menstrual stigma, #tbt

#tbt to the time when I blogged about bleeding while running and ending menstruation taboos. What do you think?

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

An awful lot of people have sent us the story about the woman who ran a marathon while menstruating and asked us to say something about it. Since I’m still menstruating despite my age (see an upcoming post called “Menopause: Seems I’m Late to the Party”) I thought I’d chime in.

Here’s the People Magazine version: Woman Runs London Marathon Without a Tampon, Bleeds Freely to Raise Awareness. That should give you a sense of how much attention this story is getting.

Kiran Gandhi, who has played drums for singer M.I.A. and Thievery Corporation, decided to run the London Marathon without a tampon. Gandhi let her blood flow freely to raise awareness about women who have no access to feminine products and to encourage women to not be embarrassed about their periods.

“I ran the whole marathon with my period blood running down my legs,” the 26-year-old wrote of…

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aging · fitness · tbt

Is Aging a Lifestyle Choice? #tbt

You know how some people seem young at 50, and others much older, what if there were an element of choice about it all? What if we aged because we slowed down, rather than slowed down because of age? I’m still thinking about this. Here’s a post on the topic for a few years ago.

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

I’ve been reading, and really enjoying, Gretchen Reynolds’ book on exercise science, The First Twenty Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer.

Lots of it is fun but for those of us who follow exercise science in the media not really news.  I read Reynolds’ Phys Ed column in the New York Times and lots of the chapters cover in more detail, and with footnotes and references, material covered there. That’s fine. Nice to have it all in one place. High Intensity Interval Training beats out long, slow workouts. Yep. Chocolate milk is a better recovery drink than Gatorade. Yep. Exercise doesn’t help (much) in the quest to lose weight. Yep. Sad but true. OK, it gets worse. Massage after exercise–a cyclist’s favourite thing–doesn’t actually increase blood flow to muscles or help remove lactic acid to aid recovery. (Read about that sad result…

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fitness · tbt

Testing athletes for “too much” testosterone shows how inadequate the sex binary really is, #tbt

Tracy on whether testing athletes for testosterone makes any sense…

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

As if elite women athletes don’t suffer enough indignities just from media coverage, journalists who would rather see them twirl than ask about their tennis game, and being either hyper-sexualized or having their sex and sexuality challenged and questions. No, that’s not enough. Because people are so convinced that women have more limited athletic potential than men, even at the elite level, women who do excel must prove that they do not have “too much testosterone.”

Caster Semenya knows all about this type of challenge. In 2011 her fellow athletes challenged her accomplishments by questioning her sex. This led to mandatory sex testing, and the whole thing was handled badly. Initially banned from competition, Semenya has since been allowed to return. But her treatment left a permanent mark, and the major governing bodies in international sport, including the International Olympic Committee, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the International…

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