The brilliant Katy Rose at Modly Chic links up fashion and beauty bloggers via the FBFF google group, asking weekly questions about blogging and life. Check it out here.
1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why? I have a genetic defect in my knees and a long-term injury in my back, so I have to be pretty delicate with certain aerobic activities (running, for example, pretty much wrecks me); the upside is that I’ve learned to love yoga and try to go at least three times a week. However despite my physical restrictions, I love moving, sweating, and working it out, as long as there’s a good beat or song playing to keep me engaged. I’m a firm believer in living-room dance parties, mostly when I’m alone and need an energy boost, but I’m also fully invested in getting my Beyoncé on and dancing for a workout. This term I joined the YMCA (because it’s quite literally across the street from my apartment complex) and I’ve been really enjoying taking step aerobics and zumba; again, it’s about the music and the dance-type movement and, let’s face it, an instructor to keep my ass moving! Basically, what I’m saying is that I really like to move and work out, but if there’s not some bad-ass music (or a secondary motivator), I lose my focus pretty fast. So does anybody have a winning workout music playlist that they want to recommend to me? The second part of this question is the why and, well, I work out so that I can feel good in my skin, so that I can bike to work and school and the grocery store without getting winded, so that I can be healthy and face my future with compassion for and commitment to myself. And so that I can eat whatever I want (which usually doesn’t include six donuts in a row or anything) without guilt.
2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that
nature, helped with your own perception of body image? Absolutely. For me, it’s not about my weight or the relative size of my hips, thighs, etc. Certainly when I’m smaller in size I fit into the beauty ideal a little more and get accolades for that, which I’ll never deny liking. But the truth is, no matter my weight or size, I feel better in my skin when I know how far and hard I can push it, when I know that I’m in command of my physical self. The self esteem benefit is, I think, as potent and powerful as the benefit to my heart, lungs, muscles, and brain.
3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what
do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion? I’m all about functionality. Particularly because I have, to be delicate, a lot of lady lumps (are the kids still referencing that song or am I hopelessly out of date?) to corral and need a good deal of sports-bra action.
4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be
doing for your own physical fitness? Yes. The female body is a contested space, one that is constantly being interpreted and appropriate by society (and congress), and I don’t believe that women can exist outside of ideologies and assumptions about our physical personhood. Bummer. And things are pretty complicated for American women right now. Not only are we supposed to be thin, we’re supposed to be fit, and treat it like it’s effortless and fun, and have rah-rah girl power high self esteem, be healthy eaters instead of finicky dieters (but still be skinny), and be totally blasé about the fact that these are not organic, autonomous choices. So yeah, when I admit that I work my ass off at the gym so that I can eat cheese and cookies (usually not in the same meal, except for special occasions), I feel like I’m breaking the rules. When I admit that I have a complicated relationship with my body, I feel like I’m breaking the rules. When I admit that I do not always find going to the gym fun, rewarding, or entertaining, I feel like I’m breaking the rules. But I still go, I still try to keep fit, because the truth is that even though all of these rules and assumptions exist, keeping fit is still the best decision I can make for myself.
5. Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal. I honestly don’t have any fitness goals other that I can articulate, because I mostly just want to get to a phase where I feel like I’m committing myself to myself as much as I need, and that’s a nebulous, mobile emotional space. As a grad student, I don’t get to spend much time just giving kindly to myself, so I treat my fitness routine as an opportunity to show my body and my life some respect and love. And I want to be able to do that as much as I want! Although I’d really like to be able to do that Beyoncé dance all the way through…
dress — GAP (circa 2008) sweater — Target
Well, darlings, it is absolutely pouring, hailing, storming outside, but I’m not going to let that stop me from donning my most wedding-appropriate dress (albeit, an utterly casual one) in anticipation of tonight’s Royal Wedding Watching Party. The lovely friend hosting this event is a wine buyer, so we even have the official champagne of the royal wedding! I’ll be wearing my best imitation of a tux and promise photos tomorrow. Did any of you stay up late / get up early to watch the royal wedding? Are any of you planning viewing parties? So enjoy your Fridays, stormy or not (and for any readers from the Southern States, my heart goes out to you and I hope you and your loved ones escaped harm).