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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

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I felt like I needed “Warning: Fat Girl Working Out” on a t-shirt when I started working out at my new gym.I stood outside the gym door going back and forth about whether or not I should go through with my workout plan.  I have always had insecurities about my weight. I was overweight the majority of my life and have dealt with it day by day, but it wasn’t until I studied abroad in the United Kingdom that I really noticed how “big” I was. I had gone back and forth about going to the gym weeks in advance. I was already here so why not walk into the gym, what is the worst that could happen?

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One of my favorite things to talk about is gyms. Not because I’m a hardcore “gym rat” or that I consider it a hobby (more…)

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I haven’t been feeling great about my body lately.  It’s because I’ve been spending so much time at my desk or hunched over a book (thanks, finals).  But it’s also because I haven’t been able to wear my favorite pair of jeans since I got back from my time abroad (where I ate everything I wanted because cultural experience!).  I’m telling myself not to let a pair of pants make me feel this way about my body, but I’m feeling it. (more…)

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A few days ago class discussion touched on a topic that has always been sensitive to me: exercise.

Modern culture if full of ads and products for getting fit, working out, and losing excess weight, all which will lead to a better and more beautiful you. The more you work your body out, the better the results and the better life you will have, or so says all the diet and exercise literature that I have read.

But is this true?

Every magazine I pass in the grocery store offers at least one full spread of exercises that will transform your body for all to see while low-fat, fat-free and zero calorie food and drink are everywhere. In society’s drive to be “healthy” are we really just pushing ourselves beyond the scope of what we are actually supposed to look and feel like?

Throughout history women’s bodies have been viewed from a skewed lens; as chattel, as something that must be covered lest it seduce man, as dangerous, and now as something that must be shaped to fit a standard. That standard being a skinny, tall, large-breasted but without curves, form. The religion of Exercise has only given credence to this standard, with the abundance of gyms and fitness classes there is no reason not to have a “perfect” body, no reason not to count every calorie and run a mile for every slice of pizza eaten.
Are these expectations even possible to meet?

I recently saw an ad for a gym that read, “It’s not Fitness. It’s Life.” This ad made me angry, from a larger societal standpoint and as a woman I should not have to view exercise, or “fitness” as a lifestyle. Some days I may choose to take a walk, go to a yoga class or run and other days I may not do much at all in the realm of exercise. I’m not advocating for laziness or avoidance of physical activity, I believe an active lifestyle is healthy and beneficial in many ways, it’s the overabundance and extremes that are almost forced down our throats that frustrates me. You aren’t running every day? Le gasp. How about abs and shoulders, when will those become bikini body toned? Have some ‘extra’ poundage? There’s a pill/drink/diet/exercise for that.

Learning to love my body is hard being surrounded by the mantra of fitness=life, when for the majority of women fitness is really an impossible standard instead of just being a healthy BMI.

Fitness is not life; life is friends, family, beautiful days, meeting new people and moving because it makes your body feel good and not because you want to maintain an impossible and ridiculous standard.

Thoughts/Disagreements?

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