In keeping with my last three posts, I am once again jumping on the media bandwagon, hoping to get more hits and comments by writing about a viral news story. You are no doubt especially tired of this one: “the crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford.” Continue reading
Biography: When not writing, which is most of the time, Kick and Glide likes to cook and drink, especially wine and craft beer. Luckily he also likes cross-country skiing, swimming, and organic gardening. According to him the best things in life are family and friends. His favourite TV series is “The Wire.” Kick and Glide thinks that our most pressing global issue is the question of economic growth and its impact on the environment. We must find a balance.
I’ve been watching and musing over Avicii’s video, “Wake Me Up”: http://youtu.be/IcrbM1l_BoI. I like the music and the song and I have gone on to listen to other songs by Aloe Blacc who has a lovely voice, but this particular video left me with a disquieting feeling that won’t go away. Continue reading
Type “Am I Pretty or Ugly?” into any search engine and you will find hundreds of thousands of videos made by pre-teen girls. These youngsters—some of them seem about eight years old—shyly pose before a camera before hesitantly admitting that they have a question to ask. They simply do not know if they are attractive or not. Some kids at school say that they are cute, but others judge them more harshly. What is the truth of the matter? All of the girls in the videos I saw were wearing make-up and had their hair done. None of them was hideous, but all were vulnerable, asking for help in a way that made me want to cry, despairing at a world that could be so cruel to children.
I then tried to consider the videos in a more positive light. Continue reading
I’ve been training with free weights for over a year and although I can definitely feel I’ve made strides in terms of strength and size, I still find it hard to know when I’m reaching a strength plateau and how to get past it when I do. For example, how do I know when I need go up, say, 2kg (I’m from the UK btw) on what I’m lifting? I’m trying generally to stick to the progressive overload idea but what’s confusing is that some days I feel I can lift heavier, and other days not. Should I just force myself to keep progressing, i.e. do a particular amount of weight for 3 weeks, and then go up, systematically? Would you recommend keeping a logbook? How do you do that? Continue reading
This month has witnessed a sustained hullabaloo regarding images of “fit” women. First there was the storm of controversy surrounding the photographs of Lea-Ann Ellison, a CrossFit aficionado shown lifting weights while 8 months pregnant, discussed in my previous post. Then things really got heated when Maria Kang, a 32-year-old fitness instructor, produced a poster of her scantily clad self towering above her three young children while challenging the viewer with the taunt: “What’s Your Excuse?” Attracting millions of hits and thousands of comments, many people felt bullied by this picture of a beautiful, young, and clearly fertile woman with washboard abs. Others admired Kang’s chutzpah, declaring that those who criticized her were likely lazy, fat “haters.” Surpassing the media frenzy inspired by Ellison, Kang received international attention, even appearing on major television talk shows. Despite the sheer quantity of dialogue, for the most part it was limited to asking audiences to take sides either for or against Kang. This lack of thoughtful engagement is par for the course in today’s world of unsophisticated journalism. Yet it was also predetermined by the dominant message encoded in Kang’s self-promotional poster. Her aggressive question “calls out” a particular kind of spectator, namely someone who does not work out and therefore looks nothing like Kang. Continue reading
Photographs of Lea-Ann Ellison, an American CrossFit enthusiast, recently attracted global media attention. A reader sent me a link to the story, asking for commentary, and I am happy to oblige. While I do not want to blather on about pregnancy, especially since I am currently six-months preggo, I think that gestation is not the only issue in these images. Continue reading
My husband has been eating “paleo” since he joined a CrossFit gym in June. Suddenly all grains, dairy products, sugar, and even alcohol have been “banned” from our house. He won’t let our kids eat their favourite cereals, or any other treats unless they are “paleo” approved. I basically have to sneak around and hide food from him. He makes me feel ashamed—as if I am killing my children—if they have some toast or spaghetti for dinner. I have begun to bake everything with coconut or almond flour; he has now even started to put up a fight about us going trick or treating on Halloween. I am at my wits end. I can’t reason with him. He wants us all on board but we are not happy with his new lifestyle. What do you think I should do?
From, Debbie, soon to be divorced! Continue reading
You might know Audrey better as DYT, the Delightful Young Trainer who whipped me into better shape for my figure competition in June 2011, after G-Smash, my original trainer, decided to devote herself full-time to bodybuilding. Audrey’s nickname is apt, for she is indeed delightful. When Audrey recently opened her own business in a studio near the campus where I work, I was happy to start training with her again. She is at once sweet, supportive, and tough—willing to push me to work harder every session. I look forward to and enjoy every single work out with her, especially the boxing sessions which my back fondly remembers for about a week afterwards. I recently sent Audrey a list of questions about her life as an athlete and personal trainer, and paste her responses below. Continue reading
I really admire the picture of you doing a chin-up. I would love to be able to do them, even just one! How do you begin to get good at pull-ups/chin-ups? I am 49-year-old female and want to be able to do them before I turn 50 in 2 months to show off for my husband who is a retired police officer with a beer gut! Continue reading
A few weeks ago I read about a group that had formed to stop parents from oversharing about their children on facebook. Some people do not like seeing pictures of kids with food smeared all over their bodies, or receiving constant updates related to barf and poo. Fair enough, but did they really need to form a protest group? Continue reading
I counted to five while urinating and then waited the required minutes before looking at the pee-soaked stick. WTF? I could not believe my eyes: two solid blue lines. Continue reading
After attending two conferences in as many weeks, I have learned that strangers, especially white men, feel entitled to make unsolicited comments about women’s pregnant bodies.
These men can be from all walks of life – hotel staff, airplane travelers, and conference acquaintances. Yet no matter their position, when they see a pregnant woman working or traveling alone, their response is to (a) notice the woman’s belly; (b) make a remark about it; and (c) engage in unwelcome behaviour. Continue reading
On Saturday June 01, I finished up my cardio and headed over to the Northern Alberta Bodybuilding Championships to watch PDDs and Fitbabe compete in Figure. Continue reading
This gallery contains 32 photos.
After finishing my book, which is now in the hands of external referees, I realized that many photographs—taken by the incomparable artist and designer Patrick J. Reed—could not be included in it. I think his images offer feminist interventions in the often heteronormative, … Continue reading
I have been thinking about this project for quite some time, and post here sections from the introduction to my book “Feminist Figure Girl,” written at the end of last year:
It is December 12, 2009, and I am at the gym, feeling euphoric. Continue reading