Strong and Powerful: Let’s Get Fit!

I recently began following a blog called Fit and Feminist which as the name suggests combines two of my passions. Well, okay I wouldn’t call fitness a current passion of mine but I’m working on it.

Fit and Feminist is a blog that address fitness, exercise and health from a feminist viewpoint – without all the weight loss buzz words that every other fitness blog seems determined to overuse. Fit and Feminist doesn’t care about trying to become an idea shape for a capricious society that is constantly changing its mind. Caitlin Constantine is the editor and primary writer of the blog and she is using it to share her image with the world – an image not based upon how your body looks but on how it feels. With personal stories and motivational advice Fit and Feminist encourages women and men alike to shed the idea that they need to lose weight to be happy and healthy. What they need is to make exercise a habit.

For the past academic year I have been holed up in an artificially lit room for months on end studying for my final Leaving Certificate exams. I live in Ireland and the bane of every Irish student’s life is the Leaving. 10 consecutive exams within two weeks at the end of the year – in essence it dictate our future career prospects and our chance of attending university. So I’d be somewhat understating if I said I did very little exercise last year. Honestly, I barely went outside except to get to school and back.

When the summer holidays finally came and my exams were completed I made the decision to get into shape. I’ve never enjoyed team sports and I’ve never been very active but now I was morbidly unfit. I have tried in the past to get into a healthy exercise routine but I have always come up against a problem: I go the Interwebs to find a workout routine; I find a health and fitness website that seems legit; I get told how to lose weight quickly!!

This way come as a shock to some magazines out there but not all women want to lose weight. I’m very comfortable with my body shape and size, I know I don’t need to adjust it. However when I’m constantly being hounded by articles and advertisements telling me how if I do this and that I can lose weight, my mental stability begins to ebb. I start to look at my body again and analyse every bulge and crease. I start thinking, “Maybe I should be skinnier”, “Maybe I’d be happier if I lost weight”. “Sure, I think I look fine but maybe everyone else feels disgusted when they look at me”. These thoughts continue to eat away at my self-esteem and I relentlessly critique my body until it seems the only way I can stop is to stop my exercise routine. And I quit.

This has happened so many times now. That’s why coming across Fit and Feminist was such a huge revelation for me. I’ve now decided that I can exercise and still maintain confidence in my appearance. Working out after all should never make you feel worse about your body. We need to exercise for health and happiness and I’m finally learning to do that.

Inspired by Fit and Feminist, I’m starting a new series on this blog that will document my fitness journey with weekly updates, tips, routines and blog recommendations. No-one should ever feel pressured to lose weight but that doesn’t mean we should forgo activity. Go on, release some endorphins!


4 thoughts on “Strong and Powerful: Let’s Get Fit!

  1. Yesss! Much power to all feminists! I have been at the receiving end of self-inflicted negativity that also made me feel like a hypocrite, because one moment I would criticize my weight and the next moment I would tell myself, “Screw insecurity, I’m a strong independent girl”, but nothing really gave me peace.
    Some weeks ago I came across this article:
    I think every one should read it because it’s a service to everyone who struggles with body image issues and dissonance.
    Kudos to you!

    1. Thank you so much for your awesome comment! I understand exactly the experience you’ve described. It’s so difficult to reconcile what we want to believe with what we truly do believe. I love Everyday Feminism but I had not read that article previously, thank you for linking it. It’s very informative and has inspired me to include more information about eating disorders in my posts. I hope my blog will help others struggling with body image. Good luck with own journey and always be forgiving of yourself ❤

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