All in feminism

Why I Don't Believe in the, "No Excuses" Movement

When I decided to become a coach, I realized, first and foremost, this sort of trust was vital to the success of everyone involved: if I can't humble myself enough to listen—deeply and fully—or to understand that at any given moment you may be having an entirely different experience and perception of our interaction and/or environment than I do (and believe you about your experience), then am I really being of service?

Am I really helping you along with your goals?
Does this change when your goals are different from my goals?
Or when they're different from the goals other people have, or have had in the past?

Seems quite basic, when you put it that way, but I haven't always hit the mark, and I find time and again, as I both get to know coaches further and have hired some myself, we could all use work, here. Not being understood seems to be a common experience of the human condition, especially in fitness.

Why You're Hung Up on Your, "Summer Body"

During warmer weather in particular, we hear all about, "summer bodies," and, "getting ready," and all sorts of things implying that our bodies aren't enough as is, and, when we inevitably buy into it, we're often left with less money and more frustration than when we started, plus a heaping helping of shame.

Body image issues are logical: they don't come from nowhere, and nothing is wrong with you if you struggle to love your body.

(In fact, I'd argue that, "loving your body," isn't really the point, here; it's to think if your body less, so that you can be more of who you are, other than your body.)

And, the first step, for so so so many womxn I coach, is to recognize, while your body is certainly all yours and you can do whatever you choose with it (or you should be able to, anyway), perhaps (juuuust maybe), your thoughts on your body are not entirely your own.

If You're Tired of Trying to, "Love Your Flaws," You're Not Alone. There's More to This.

We won't be talking about, "loving your flaws," here, for quite a few reasons, but perhaps the most universal one?

I don't think that's a goal you really have, when we get down to it.

I don't think it would make you feel good to pick on some body part you've been told needs to be fixed, agonize in the mirror over it every morning to keep it top of mind all the time, only buy clothes that cover it up, and somehow be totally hype about it anyway.

It doesn't make sense.
Marketing to you that way is dishonest, IMO.

How (One Way) to Say No

ABOUT THIS EXPRESSION I MAKE:

100% of the time, I adopt this hands-under-chin situation when I have just delivered information that is likely unwelcome and/or at least slightly uncomfortable to its target.

This being the circumstance, I could not be more thrilled my friend Jen captured this on film, at our weekly #neighborhoodworkoutgroup.

ITEMS THAT HAVE PRECEDED THIS POSE:

⚡ "I can't do that for you."
⚡ "This is hypocritical."
⚡ "I need more support."
⚡ "Do you see how this is problematic (fatphobic, racist, misogynistic things have all made appearances here)?"
⚡ "This is out of alignment with my values."
⚡ "I disagree."
⚡ "No."
⚡ "🎶 nooooo 🎶" (in song)

(The context for many of these situations is wonderfully sticky, nuanced, and sassy conversation, as most of the things I'm into often are. Other stories for other days.)

All statements good to practice saying, particularly in a culture urging us, as womxn (the marginalized experience to which I can speak directly, but, for sure, this is exponentially compounded for others), to be quiet, to acquiesce, to carry the burden, to solve and fix and nurture.

I Ripped My Pants: 3 Tips to Deal with Clothes that Don't Fit

Earlier this month, I met with a CPA.

As though taxes weren’t enough bossy boss lady fun, I made the executive decision to put on pants. If you work from home or from a gym, you know how rare an event this is.

I went to put on my favorite pair of jeans,—soft, well-worn-rarely-washed denim, the kind that fit just Goldilocks-level right—and as I realized they’d been folded in a drawer for 6 months, I squatted down, and, riiiiip.

How Do You Feel Powerful?

POWER: what does it mean to you? Where is it found?

Does it hide from you, running to the dingy corner as soon as you enter the room and turn on the light? Or does it display itself proudly, waving its flag in your life as you march like General Sherman on his way to the sea, asserting your presence and leaving flames in your wake?

As womxn in a patriarchal world, there is no shortage of places we're told we can't be. There is no dearth of reminders of our status, supposedly submissive. In the board room, in the bedroom, in the gym, in the damn left-hand lane—we're underrepresented, told we don't belong, deemed, "too emotional," to handle it.

POWER: it isn't something supposedly meant for us.

Which is why I'd like to ask you where you find it for yourself.

That Time I Thought, "It HAS to be Valentine's Day by now..."

If you're new to the fitness scene, welcome! The endeavor to begin a new habit can sometimes be a rocky one fraught with hiccups and false starts, making January a frustrating month for many.

If you find yourself there, hair in your hands and wondering why you even started again, know that you're not alone, and anything that hasn't gone according to plan is not a signal of failure, but a call to listen to your body and soul more deeply, asking questions to further refine your goals. What's worked so far? What hasn't? How has it felt? What's made it easy? How can you get more of that?

If you're a gym veteran, you may have had to make some space on your favorite Stairmaster or in the squat rack with the best mirror, which can also make January feel like a long month. If you've felt a bit frustrated, know that you're not alone either, and consider that anyone with the desire to share a space with you or with the courage to ask you a question is likely overcoming some uncertainty, and they'll find their rhythm soon enough (and you were new once, too).

How Do You Define Yourself?

We’re told, at every turn, how we must define ourselves.

We all know the narrative of the overculture: womxn are supposed to be small, demure, delicate. We're constantly in pursuit of shrinking and forever deferring to someone – anyone – with more authority.

Many of us hold this societal ideal in the lofty turrets of our minds for a lifetime: we remain locked away like Rapunzel, hoping someone will climb the tower and ask us if that ideal is, in fact, who we are or what we want. In the meantime, we accept it and work tirelessly to fit into that mold.

Has it ever occurred to you that you can ask yourself?

On Body Image

Body image issues are complex, and their roots run deep.

Societally, all women are told we are not enough, on some level, but this is not true to the same degree for all of us.

No one issue is any more valid than another—there is space to process for all of us—but it would be shortsighted to fail to acknowledge that some issues are more costly than others, literally and figuratively.

MORE Diet Advice (That's Not What You Needed? You Don't Say!)

The sheer volume of conflicting advice for women is maddening.

First, a low-fat diet holds the keys to the kingdom of thinness and, therefore happiness. Then, low-carb. Oh, but don't forget to sprint! Actually, you should aim for as much low-intensity walking as possible. But mix it in with a healthy dose of strength training, and don't stretch too much! But also, do yoga. And there's no way you can do it right for any less than $599.99.

AND DON'T FORGET TO RIP YOUR HAIR OUT WHILE YOU'RE AT IT. That burns calories.