I might have mentioned here a few times how I try to avoid reading fitness blogs etc as I find they put me in a bad headspace. I’ve gradually pared back my exposure to them to the extent that I don’t even read the Powerlifting Women group I’m in on Facebook any more (although I’m still a member – I’ve removed it from my newsfeed). I still read the GBPF Facebook group, but mostly because I run my club’s website & need to share info to the GBPF from there.

But because I’m Facebook friends with a lot of powerlifters (mostly ladies I’ve met though the British championships) I still see articles about “female fat loss”, diet, this-food-is-bad etc put into my timeline. I don’t want to unfollow all the women I’ve met as they’re all awesome, but it does make me feel like I’m a lone anomaly in powerlifting terms, that I don’t want to lose loads of body fat and I don’t want to read what (noted misogynist) Jim Wendler has to say today etc etc.

I’m sure in powerlifting terms this makes me some kind of “pussy” (sigh) but fuck it.

My Twitter timeline is more tightly curated than my Facebook, but even then I have days when I read stuff on there that gives me pause. I like to think that my Tweets (and this blog!) make it pretty clear where I stand on the political/social spectrum, but maybe they don’t? Maybe this is one of those things you have to spell out.

This week what’s been bothering me is people I usually admire espousing anti-feminist sentiment, and a nutritionist whose work I thought I liked (rare!) attacking Dr Linda Bacon & HAES. I guess my Twitter timeline needs even more of a trim.

I’m especially disappointed when people who friended me are anti-feminist. I’ve always tried to make it clear that I’m the angry, intersectional type of feminist; I work in STEM and while I’ve not experienced harassment recently, women’s issues in STEM are very important to me (hence I got pretty cross at the Rosetta shirt debacle and people dismissing it as “not important” or “pathetic”). I’m also (did you guess?) very into the work of body acceptance activists like Ragen Chastain and Hanne Blank.

All of these combine to make existing in the world of powerlifting… awkward. Obviously there’s not a lot of love for body acceptance in powerlifting (especially for women, hence the plethora of “female fat loss” advice); there’s a lot of misogyny too (not just from the men!). I find it hard to be truly myself when I’m in lifting circles. I guess I could keep my head down and not engage with the community, but that would be hard now that I’m a referee and because I do a lot of social media stuff for my gym.

On a positive note, the only fitness group I’m active in now is the Fit Fatties Forum, which is much more kind of place because it’s accepting of not only all body types but all sports. I really really hate the positioning of barbell sports as “superior” to other sports; it’s ridiculous and exclusionary.

I guess you could say I’m an intersectional sportist as well as intersectional feminist 🙂

Saturday

  • Glute & ham raises to warm up
  • Deadlifts: worked up to 2 x 2 @ 100kg, then 2 singles @ 105kg
  • Bench press: 3 x 3 @ 40kg
  • Yates row: 40kg x 7; 35kg, 2 sets of 7 (40kg was too much!)
  • Barbell shrugs: 50kg, 3 sets of 7
  • More glute & ham raises

Those deadlifts felt so heavy…. I think me & morning training just don’t get on.

Only one more session now until the competition!

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7 thoughts on “

  1. ebay313

    “noted misogynist) Jim Wendler”
    I was not aware of this :-\
    I just started his 5/3/1 program.

    I’m far less involved in any lifting communities, except for a fitness based website I spend a lot of time on. I love it overall and have met some awesome people on there. But I also feel like I’m not allowed to really be fully myself there. I actually started writing a post on my blog about feeling caught between two worlds between FA/HAES and fitness communities… until I realized that analogy doesn’t really work because it’s not like FA/HAES spaces are in any way anti-fitness. It’s entirely one sided.

    How do you like the fit fatties forum btw? I joined but had trouble navigating and finding much activity on there. Because I would love a place to talk about fitness and lifting that wasn’t so steeped in diet and weight loss talk.

    1. lozette Post author

      I’m more active on the Fit Fatties Facebook page than the forum – the forum is quite quiet, and I agree with you about it being hard to navigate.

      I’m really torn on Wendler – 5/3/1 is a great program but I try not to read any of the articles he puts out on Testosterone Nation etc because they can be very abrasive. I’m sure he’d think I was just some sort of pussy for thinking that, but hey ho. No skin off my nose.

      1. ebay313

        I haven’t read a lot by him, and now I’m thinking I don’t want to.
        I don’t mind straight forward/abrasive styles, but I hate when people think sexism, and other isms are just being straight forward/abrasive/no-bullshit/whatever. There are a number of people I can’t stand on that website I mentioned, who all thought calling someone a f*****t was hilarious (the website banned the person who actually said it, but not all the other people who supported the person saying it.) Which of course people brush off as just being “no bullshit” and having a sense of humor. No, that’s called homophobia, the end.

        Makes me feel better that all the info on 5/3/1 I have gotten has been free online instead of having paid for his book though.

      2. lozette Post author

        “I don’t mind straight forward/abrasive styles, but I hate when people think sexism, and other isms are just being straight forward/abrasive/no-bullshit/whatever.”

        Yep, this exactly. Also use of “rape” to mean things that aren’t. Etc etc. Gross.

  2. G

    I’ve created a sort of “bubble” online to save my sanity, too. It restores my soul when I go to my tumblr or my blog follows and read people who are positive in the ways I’m positive.

    But it is a bubble, and I do think it’s important to challenge communities (i.e. STEM, powerlifting) to be more inclusive and less shitty. But it’s easier (and more comfortable) to do this one-on-one or in small groups, rather than taking on an entire anonymous forum steeped in shitty culture. And the more we can change our small communities to be inclusive and friendlier to women, then that will carry over as members of that community interface with other communities and carry their expectations with them.

    Wow, someone attacked Linda Bacon? I can’t imagine that would come from a place other than deeply ingrained fat hatred. Obvs performance nutrition and HAES-style nutrition are different animals, so what was the problem?

    1. lozette Post author

      I totally agree that it’s important to challenge stuff but I don’t always feel able to. Partially I don’t trust myself to know enough to challenge things eloquently, you know? I still feel like a newbie in lifting (especially since I haven’t/won’t ever set any records etc, and that seems to be all people respect!). I feel like I have to walk a balance between challenging stuff, and being able to go to competitions and not be harassed for my views. My MH isn’t always up to dealing with people in real life, let alone online.

      I have major impostor syndrome in my job, too, but I do feel a bit more able to challenge stuff there. Plus I like doing things like women in tech-style events. Although I’m increasingly feeling like I want to leave tech, but I don’t feel I *can*, for fear of being perceived as one of the women that we’re all supposed to prevent leaving tech (I feel a bit trapped sometimes!)

      The HAES thing was an article in the Chicago Tribune, which Linda Bacon claims she was misquoted on, and the author then roundly attacked her on Twitter for her objection. Not very nice :-/

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