Fitness challenge fail

My gym usually posts a fitness challenge every month. Up until now these fit challenges have typically taken the form of a one size fits all list of exercises to be done as quick as possible. Participants then listed their name and time to completion on the challenge sign-up sheet. That is all good. The challenges seem to be reasonably popular and many people find this sort thing motivating.

The June challenge however has some serious issues. Every time I look at one of the posters for this June’s challenge I have fantasized about taking a fat red marker and drawing a giant frowning face on the poster with the words “Why so sexist?” underneath.

The June challenge was a maximum rep pull-up challenge. This was awesome until I looked past the title. When I read the directions I discovered that it is not in fact a pull-up challenge for everyone. It is a pull-up challenge if you are male. If you are female you get a separate sign-up column for longest dead hang.

Why is gym management assuming that all women can’t do pull-ups? What about the women that can do pull-ups? They exist. Where do they sign up?

Why is gym management assuming that all men can do pull-ups? What about the men who can’t do pull-ups? They also exist. Where do they sign up?

I have been working towards be being able to do unassited pull-ups. I am not there yet, but I can sure as hell can do more than a dead hang. Personally, I don’t find getting automatically stuffed into the “weaker” category based on my gender to be very motivating.

The most annoying this about this challenge is that it could be so easily fixed to not perpetuate the ridiculous myths like that all women can’t do pull-ups or that women have less upper body strength. All the gym has to do to fix this is to eliminate gender completely and post: Maximum pull-up OR longest dead hang challenge (The winner in each category gets a new water bottle!). Anyone that wants to participate can then just select the exercise the works best for them regardless of their gender. They could even go a step further to accomodate people of intermediate fitness levels by adding a third category for band assisted pullups.

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Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones But Words Can Hurt You Forever

I was recently having lunch with a beautiful and talented young woman, one who was enrolled in a good school getting a professional degree at a good school, who had a wonderful boyfriend who adored her, who was working at a decent job to help pay her school bills and is kind.  I was somewhat surprised when I heard this woman say that she had seen a television commercial showing a lazy chubby young boy, calling his grandma on the phone to ask her to bring something to him from the other room.  Not surprised that she had something to say.  But rather surprised that she had something so vicious to say about that pudgy, fat kid.  That if she was that fatty’s parent, she would smack him.  I was surprised not only because this seemed a little out of character for her, but also because she knew very well…

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Put on your pants! Or not. It’s about choice…

I remember once while traveling and sight seeing I was forbidden to enter a small chapel because I was a female wearing pants. I was not impressed😒.

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Top 7 Reasons to Wear Pants June 11 for Girls Rights

Why wear pants on June 11? Because there is STILL debate about “Should Women Wear Pants?” For girls and women, it’s not a universal freedom.

New Moon Girls invented Wear The Pants Day five years ago because we want everyone to say yes  to  Should Women Wear Pants?  Every year we rally allies to continue the fight for females still denied that right, right here at home and around the world.

The girls we know are often baffled that female pants-wearing is even an issue. What is so terrible about females donning the same type of garments that males routinely wear? The answer is, there’s nothing wrong with girls and women wearing pants, or yoga pants, leggings, or shorts!

And yet, the sexist headlines keep coming. At graduation ceremoniesthis year, even as speakers tell young grads to soar for the sky, female grads got the message that their…

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Too Much Public in Our Public Health

Dances With Fat

A study looked at the public’s willingness to accept legal strategies when it comes to public health interventions found that:

There was much support for strategies that enable people to exercise healthful choices—for example, menu labeling and improving access to nicotine patches—but considerably less for more coercive measures, such as insurance premium surcharges. These findings suggest that the least coercive path will be the smoothest and that support for interventions may be widespread among different social groups. In addition, the findings underscore the need for policy makers to involve the public in decision making, understand the public’s values, and communicate how policy decisions reflect this understanding.

I have a number of concerns around this, but first and foremost I think that we need to be sure that public health is about making information and options available to the public, while taking care not to make the individual’s health the public’s…

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the HAES® files: Don’t blame the fat-shaming Lilly Pulitzer employee. Blame the culture that supports our self-loathing. Then help change it.

A very important distinction that can easily get lost along the way.

Health At Every Size® Blog

by Harriet Brown

They were the office decorations seen around the world. Or at least the internet. A New York Magazine slideshow of life behind the scenes at Lilly Pulitzer, a women’s fashion house known for its floral prints, included a shot of two cartoons hanging over an unnamed employee’s desk. Their captions read “Just another day of fat, white, and hideous . . . you should probably just kill yourself” and “Put it down, carb face.”

Any number of media outlets covered the controversy, and pretty much every one of them used the word “fat-shaming.” As I read story after story about the drawings, I found myself torn between two conflicting reactions.

On one hand, I’m glad that both the concept and the word “fat-shaming” have entered our consciousness to this extent. No offense to my chosen profession, but when journalists use a term like this in headlines, it…

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Full body basics – barefoot goodness

do we have to run

I love being barefoot. I would always workout barefoot if it was practical or safe to do. But going barefoot doesn’t work for me when I am doing anything with impact (also gyms require foot wear). I do however love the occastional low impact workout done barefoot. I love light walking workouts done at home in barefeet. My favorite part about yoga and pilates is that you do them barefoot. I love select strength moves done barefoot with no weight or light weight. There is something lovely about low impact work after having a few days of higher impact exercise.

Full-body basics – barefoot

1) squat with diagonal chop (w/ one light to moderate weight dumbbell) x10 per side
2) pike press x10
3) kettlebell swing x20 (can be done with moderate dumbbell also)
4) one arm kettle bell or dumbbell row (x10-15 per arm)
5) suntana pushup (alternate between sides for side plank w/ a pushup in the center) x10
6) dancing crab x10 or hold a table or bridge position for 30sec

Repeat 1-5x depending on what you feel like doing.

Combine this with a short low impact power walk from jessicasmithtv and it makes for an energizing bit of movement. We don’t always need to be gargeling our hearts or pounding on our joints.