Fitness Journeys: Guest Post by Hissy Fit


View of Ezio Faraone Park, aka best bootcamp site in Edmonton

At 37 years old, I have the most body fat I’ve ever had in my life. Except, possibly, for when I was in my mid-20s. At that point, my teenage metabolism had all but stopped and the weight was creeping on faster than a basement flood in spring.

Today’s culprit is different. For the past 10 years, I’ve stayed in shape by exercising an average of 5 times a week. I actually used to look forward to winter, because then it meant that I could go skiing. The city where I live has an excellent lighted trail system, meaning one can work all day and glide down silent, wintry trails by night.


Skiing in Edmonton

I’ve tried all the different fads – bootcamps, step aerobics, zumba, running, yoga, spin – and I’ve loved them all. (Well, except perhaps yoga). My favourite, though, is weightlifting. I have lifted weights for over 10 years. There is nothing like the feeling of moving heavy objects around, feeling oneself getting stronger every (second) day.

But in early 2013, I became pregnant. Try as I might, my heavy body just gave out. By March, I had to stop weightlifting because my lower back kept popping out of place. Running I stopped in April. By August, I could only do elliptical and spin. And those I could do only lightly.

Today my baby is 6 months old and I’m lucky if I get to the gym once a week. My partner and I juggle work and childcare, meaning if one of us is parenting, the other is getting done everything that needs doing. We have been fortunate enough to get our child in part-time daycare. So, while my partner works full-time, I work part-time.


Whenever my housecleaning falls behind, I think fondly of this saying.

Where does exercise fit in? In addition to childcare, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and staying in touch with loved ones, I am pretty much pooped. For a while, I tried both working and exercising during the time my son is in daycare, but I had to stop doing that because work began taking up all this time.

Then, my partner and I took turns going to the gym in the evenings. The only problem with this was that if our son got sick, or my partner had to work late, one of us had to give up the gym.


Getting to a 6 am fitness class is not so hard, these days.

Our new plan is for me to lift weights at 6 AM during the week, and for him to work out in the evenings. We’ll see. I am desperate to regain muscle, but I also value my sanity.

These days, exercise is about priorities. It must compete with my child, my work, running errands, family life, and friendships. Is it possible to have them all? Stay tuned.

This entry was posted in pregnancy, Uncategorized and tagged , , by feministfiguregirl. Bookmark the permalink.

About feministfiguregirl

I am a 51-year-old professor named Lianne McTavish who receives as much satisfaction from working out at the gym as from publishing my academic research. About eight years ago, I decided to combine my two primary identities (scholar/gym rat) to create "Feminist Figure Girl," a fictional character who both analyzes and participates in bodybuilding. I competed in my first figure show in June of 2011, and then wrote a book inspired by the process, published by SUNY Press in February 2015. In this blog I will write about and consider my ongoing research on the body, while regularly making fun of myself. I recommend that you start reading my first post from August 2010 (available on the home page), instead of backwards from the most recent one, in order to get the full FFG effect.

5 thoughts on “Fitness Journeys: Guest Post by Hissy Fit

  1. FFG I would love to have you come to strollercise, try it out for yourself, I promise and assure you it is a wonderful workout , and you get to do it all with your wonderful 6month old… Kinsmen Tuesdays 945 am to 10:45, Wednesdays 1:15pm to 2:15 Thursdays at commonwealth 1030am, I will cover your drop in fee!! I realize that you are at a certain fitness level and like heavy lifting, we can meet that fitness level and your heavy lifting is available before or after your workout! And btw good for you for keeping the strong desire to stay active

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