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.

Wasting Time at the Gym

I no longer work out two hours per day, but I still spend quite a bit of time at the gym, about one hour six days per week. While warming up on the rowing machine or re-racking the bar in the mirrored squat rack, I take a look around. Sometimes I admire the masterful technique of those nearby. Sometimes I get ideas for new exercises, helping me to plan the next work out with Dr. Ironcore. And sometimes I become irrationally annoyed by people who don’t seem to be working out at all. They are just wasting time. Continue reading

Advertisements

Training in the Moment

Featured

uplay2After stashing my purse in the corner of the indoor playground, I jump on the wide blue trampoline, rising higher and higher. The stress of the week leaves my upper back and neck regions. A bolt of freedom shoots from my entrails to the top of my head. I relish the sheer physicality of the moment, without a care in the world.

I have no idea where my kid is.  Continue reading

The Last Spin Class

Featured

images6c8cbtp4

This title is meant to recall the title of the best-selling book, The Last Lecture (2008), written by Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science who had terminal cancer. Just before his death he delivered pithy life lessons to his students, or at least I think so. I have not read his final words and have no interest in doing so. I thought of Pausch’s book today only because I taught my last spin class, after offering between 2-4 classes per week for the last five years. Although I am not dying anytime soon—thankfully I am fit as a fiddle—I did feel a sense of loss when I decided to throw in my cleats. Continue reading

Shaming the Fit and Muscular

Featured

From an article called: "Fit shaming is the new fat shaming: Have you been a victim?" See http://www.fitnflexed.com/article/fit-shaming-rise-have-you-been-victim

From an article called: “Fit shaming is the new fat shaming: Have you been a victim?” See http://www.fitnflexed.com/article/fit-shaming-rise-have-you-been-victim

I was going to title this post “Is Fit Shaming a Thing?” but someone had already used it. In fact, I found quite a few discussions about “fit shaming” online, dating from 2014 to 2016. In theory, fit shaming is when people who are fit and healthy are criticized for being obsessed and made to feel ashamed of their bodies, based on assumptions about their lifestyle and narcissistic mentality. Some bloggers insist that fit shaming is simply the opposite of fat shaming. They argue that it is discriminatory and wrong to ridicule fit people, just as it is wrong to exclude or make fun of fat people. Others, including the woman who writes at “Iron Beaver Fitness,” provide a more sophisticated view, understanding that being fit is privileged in our society and cannot be shamed in the same way as fatness http://www.ironbeaverfitness.com/articles/2016/7/31/is-fit-shaming-a-thing. Continue reading

Guest Post: Breasts at the Gym

stop policing

By Sonya W

Workout wear can reflect your mood, comfort level, and sense of fashion. But what if a woman’s choice is a distraction to other gym-goers? Sensitive male (and female) eyes may be confused and agitated, not knowing where to look. Surely, there must be some limit to how much cleavage a woman should be allowed to flaunt in the weight-room? The obvious answer is yes, of course! The correct answer, though, is no. Continue reading