I Call Bullshit: Exercise is Important

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My arms look this way because I eat kale seasoned with unprocessed sea salt. NOT.

Tosca Reno’s arms have been sculpted by kale seasoned with unprocessed sea salt. NOT.

According to certain “experts” in the fitness industry, fat loss is primarily based on nutritional choices. Exercise has little or no impact on body composition. The “Eat Clean Queen” Tosca Reno quantifies such claims, declaring that working out has an effect on the body of only 10%, with genetics providing another 10%, and food intake adding up to 80%. In other words: you are exactly what you eat, so stop blaming your genes. And stop worrying about working out, apparently. I call bullshit on these invented statistics and what they imply. Continue reading

Responses to FFG: Five Years Later

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Five long years ago.

Five long years ago.

Exactly five years ago, I was standing on stage during an amateur figure competition, dehydrated and feeling like crap. It seems like a lifetime has passed since then. I rarely think about those days anymore, though I sometimes consider the book I wrote afterwards, inspired by the embodied experience of prepping for and analyzing the process of becoming a figure girl. Continue reading

Obesity and the Environment

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water, peace and warAre fat people destroying the environment? Yes, says Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. According to Chellaney, the “obesity epidemic” is a key cause of the global water crisis. He writes that:

  • Growing prosperity, population size, and economic development are not the only factors behind the soaring consumption [of water]: the global population is also getting fatter, especially in wealthier countries. This promises to have a big impact on water demand, as fat people consume more water-intensive resources like food and energy than those who are fit, thus indirectly driving over-exploitation of natural resources, deforestation, and the release of greenhouse gases (Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis, 2013, xiii).

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Naked in Different Places: France, The Caribbean, and South Korea (Collaborative Post)

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merkinParis, 2010

After climbing five narrow flights of stairs, I push tentatively against an unmarked door. Is this the ladies change room? I enter a fitness class in progress. About 20 slender men and women wearing tight black pants are lying on their backs, thrusting their hips into the air to the rhythmic chant of “les fesses, les cuisses.” I slowly back away. Continue reading

Body Nostalgia

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Looking back to 2012. My ideal body is big and strong.

Looking back to 2012. My ideal body is big and strong.

Do you long for a “simpler time” when you had a better, fitter body that was under your control? Do you keep an image of this body in your head, using it as an ideal against which to measure the present? If so, like many other people (especially women), you are engaging in body nostalgia. Continue reading

Training Like a Baby: The Latest Fitness Trend

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Original strength by and Geoff Neupert was published I 2013

Original Strength by Tim Anderson and Geoff Neupert was published in  2013.

The other day my friend GlamPro–she is a glamorous professor—sent me an email about her new fitness program. “I saw my trainer this morning and we did a workout based on a book he read over the holidays called Original Strength. You may already know about it, but the argument is that we need to regain the mobility we had as babies in order to reset our bodies in the present. Continue reading

The Tanned and Butt Ugly: Photos I Cannot Resist Showing You

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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

On Miscarriage: Guest Post

Two months ago I had a miscarriage. Miscarriages are things people don’t talk about, though I wish they would. Perhaps if we talked about them more, we who go through them would know what to expect. Did you know, for example, that if you are over 40 and pregnant you have a 1 in 2 chance of miscarriage? And that 1/3 of all pregnancies end in miscarriage? Continue reading