Bad Romance: Getting Over Your Messy Break Up with Exercise

Written by Ragen Chastain. Posted in Featured Posts, Fierce Fatness, Fitness, Spirit, Think

I travel around the country giving talks about body positivity, size acceptance, and Health at Every Size. In many of my talks, either in my introduction or during the talk, the fact that I am and have been involved in the fitness world – as a certified group fitness instructor, as a dancer, as a marathoner, and now training to be an IRONMAN – comes up. Whenever I talk about fitness, people of all sizes tell me about the horrible experiences they’ve had that led them to decide not to be involved in the fitness world. Some even tell me that just the word exercise is triggering or sends them down a shame spiral.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-heartbreak-image17958053

Before we get too far into this, let me be clear: fitness, or involvement in fitness or movement of any kind, is not an obligation or a barometer of worthiness. The choice of whether or not to participate in fitness is personal, participating in fitness is completely optional, and those who choose to participate in fitness are not in any way better or more laudable than those who choose other hobbies.

There are people who aren’t interested in exercising for whatever reason and that’s completely ok. The people I’m talking about are those who tell me that they would like to engage in movement for whatever reason, but they feel stuck or blocked about it because they had a messy break-up with exercise, because exercise was used as a way to mistreat them, to punish them for their body size, because they were forced to do exercise that they didn’t like, or were shamed because they weren’t “good enough” at the exercise (Junior high school gym class, I am looking at you).

Survivors on the Yoga Mat: Recovering Ourselves, Our Communities, and Our Culture

Written by Sarah Hentges. Posted in Featured Posts, Reviews, Spirit, Yoga

Survivors on the Yoga MatAs an academic interested in feminist fitness and a yoga teacher, I anticipated the publication of Becky Thompson’s book for almost a year after meeting her at a conference. Survivors on the Yoga Mat: Stories for Those Healing from Trauma has become an indispensable asset for my work in fitness and academia. Both of us draw from our personal and professional lives, weave the words and experiences of others into our texts, and believe in the power of yoga (and, for me, fitness more generally) as a means toward recovery and transformation. For anyone interested in the healing power of yoga–personally or professionally–this book is a moving and rich resource.

Hitting the Homestretch

Written by Ragen Chastain. Posted in Featured Posts, Fierce Fatness, Running/Walking/Hiking

A Fat Marathoner Overcomes Her Biggest Obstacle: Other People’s Prejudice

I am neither a runner nor a morning person, so how was it that I found myself shivering outside at ass o’clock on a December morning, with a threat of rain looming, listening to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones blasting over loud speakers, waiting, with anxious excitement, at the starting line of the Seattle Marathon? To understand how I got there, we need to back up.

fat marathoner, body positive, Ragen Chastain, Seattle Marathon

The Reticent Runner: Testing Out the Couch to 5K App

Written by Amber Ponomar. Posted in Amber's Blog, Cool Stuff, Featured Posts, Running/Walking/Hiking, We Did It (So You Don't Have To)

We Did It So You Don’t Have To: Couch to 5K

I was a soccer player in early high school, until a bad knee sprain put me out of commission and away from sports for about eight years. More recently, I’d begun biking to and from work every day, and, because I live in a city, I walk to most places in my neighborhood. But even though I talked a good game, saying I’d start running “next summer,” “next summer,” “next summer,” deep down, I never seriously thought I’d be a runner. And then my Ms. Fit boss, Kathie, asked me to review the Couch to 5K app by Active.

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