Home My Journey How Losing Weight Made Me A Feminist

How Losing Weight Made Me A Feminist

by Erika Nicole Kendall

My relationship with my body is… hmmm. If there’s one thing that has been more clear to me during these past few years, its that my understanding of my body has grown in ways I could never quantify. I could try for the purposes of this blog post, but the reality is that the level of ownership I’ve chosen to take of who I am and what defines me is the one thing I’m most grateful for, here.

You know that saying, it goes somethin’ like “In order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been?” I’d also stand to argue that “In order to appreciate where you are, you have to understand where you were.” Where I was as a woman is so far removed from who I am today that I look back on my past with tears in my eyes… not because I have pity, but because I know the pain that this woman will have to endure in order to turn into the person I am today.

Feminism, to me, is about allowing women the space to be who they are free of gendered expectations, free of stereotype, free of gendered limitations. I know that a lot of women may turn their noses up at feminism as something that man-haters do, but my eventual embracing of feminism wasn’t born of a desire to hate men. It was borne of a journey that came from learning to love myself and, at the same time, hate the societal standards that prevented me from doing so.

When I first started working out, I struggled with the idea of entering a space that wasn’t very welcoming to women… and that was the weight lifting area. It’s hard to enter a space where you see no one who looks like you – my gym had very little to offer in the way of Blacks, women, or Black women entirely – and make yourself at home, because you consistently wonder if there’s something that intentionally keeps you away from doing so. (Notice how much this sounds like seeing persons of color in any medium, and how difficult it must be to be the first to transcend this.) You eventually realize that yes, there is something that intentionally keeps women out of the weight lifting area: a general societal understanding that women aren’t supposed to be strong. That muscles are the realm of men, and having them would make a woman look… manly. Femininity, as defined by people who aren’t, ostensibly, female… doesn’t include muscles. It was a gendered expectation that was preventing me from becoming my more fit self, and it frustrated me to no end.

Then, I moved on from working out to focusing specifically on food… and the expectation is that I’d starve myself. I’d sustain on carrots and diet coke. That’s what women do. They starve themselves and deprive themselves… and when they’ve starved themselves down to nothing and have suffered enough, maybe then I’d have earned the right to male attention. It’s just what women do to lose weight. Heaven forbid that I eat real food and enjoy myself. I, a woman, couldn’t have a sensible relationship with food. By virtue of being a woman who was changing her relationship with food, I had to be starving myself. It needed to be reinforced that I’d diet myself down to nothing.

The expectation, once I’d lost a respectable amount of weight, was that I’d done so by dieting. (Y’all know that dieting and I don’t get along worth a damn.) Dieting is just what women do. You hate food for making you fat. You fear food because it makes you fatter. You avoid food because you don’t want to be fat. You turn “fat” into a loaded term… you turn against yourself and hate yourself for having fat (news flash: even athletes have fat), you cringe when you see “fat people” enjoying their lives because you can’t enjoy yours because, well, you’re too busy being fixated on fat. It’s just the cycle that women go through. By virtue of being a woman, you’re expected to engage in this cycle.

As I moved on in trying to decide what I wanted to look like, I had to contend with demands and expectations from all sides. On one end, I was being advised that being thin was the ideal. No muscle, no “curve” – “curvy is just pretty language for fat,” and we all know how bad “fat” is – just thinness. On another angle, I was being told that, as a Black woman, I needed to keep my curves. [Black] men love curves, and if I lost mine, surely no man would want me then. From a third angle, I not only needed to have curves, but I was worthless without the right kind of curves. No gut, huge ass, giant breasts. My body wasn’t my own to make the decisions for – everything was a mitigating factor in what my body should look like. The only thing that didn’t matter in the equation was what I wanted to look like in the end.

And really, the amount of flack I received – and still receive – for being a proponent of pole fitness is astounding. The fear that Black women have of everything we do making us more sexual than we already are… prevents us from doing things that we really enjoy, regardless of whether or not they’re inherently sexual. We can’t be sexual on our own terms because we’re too busy trying to mitigate the terms laid before us regarding us. By virtue of being a Black woman, you’re constantly fighting the idea that you’re some kind of whore… and you’ll – by and large – avoid anything that could further that belief, regardless of how innocent the activity is and regardless of whether or not you’d truly enjoy it.

And can you remove yourself from it? Of course, but let’s keep it funky, here. It’s the mentality of the dominant culture. It’s a battle you have to face every day. Every decision you make to pursue your fitness in the way you want in order to achieve the body you desire – be it thin, thick, muscular, runner’s physique, whatever – is challenged by the fact that you shouldn’t know anything about fitness, woman. You’re supposed to diet yourself miserable to please a man, or “thicken up” to please a man. You’re supposed to be a whore, and while you spend your life competing to try to prove that you’re not this thing that society says is so wrong, you’re chastized for not being the whore you’re expected to be.

Losing weight turned me into a feminist because every single time I reached a new level in my journey, I experienced a road block that I’d never experienced before when I was overweight. For me, losing weight was a journey that made me more aware of my surroundings and how they affected me. No longer was I burying my head in the school books, the music, the responsibilities. In deciding to focus more on me, I had to focus on how things affected me. That included the stigmas that prevented me from being able to fully embrace my whole self and the things that make me happy. Lifting weights makes me happy. Swinging on the pole in my living room makes me happy (not, as conventional wisdom would have it, a slut.) Dieting and depriving myself makes me stabby. Knowing these things about myself and knowing how hard it was for me to learn these things are a huge part of what inspired me to start this blog and keep it going.

So, really, I’d have to say that losing weight made me a feminist because I set out to dismantle the things that preventedme from loving myself in all my totality. It didn’t make me a man-hater, and it didn’t make me burn my sports bras – they were too expensive, anyway, and y’all know I’m cheap – but it made me set out to help other women learn the language of self-love and acceptance, embrace the idea of being humble and vulnerable, and for goodness sakes… it made me set out to convince y’all to lift a weight or two and jump on a pole. Make the world a better place. You know you wanna.

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Eva April 14, 2011 - 10:13 AM

I love this entry. But…

“When I first started working out, I struggled with the idea of entering a space that wasn’t very welcoming to women… and that was the weight lifting area. It’s hard to enter a space where you see no one who looks like you – my gym had very little to offer in the way of Blacks, women, or Black women entirely – and make yourself at home, because you consistently wonder if there’s something that intentionally keeps you away from doing so.”

Really? I mean I started lifting weights on and off in 1982 and though I didn’t see many Black women doing it, it just didn’t bother me. I’ve never been a follower and I really don’t care if no Black women were doing it, I was doing it. Then again, I’m real self centered so for me it’s not hard to enter a space where I don’t see anyone who looks exactly like me because there is no one exactly like me, (self centered again!)

Erika Nicole Kendall April 14, 2011 - 12:18 PM

Is it so much about following, or is it about feeling like you’re experiencing a brick wall that might’ve shut out someone who may have come before you? You’re kind of making this into being about something else, especially since I said “struggled with it,” not “gave up on it.”

A little self-centeredness isn’t a bad thing, it just isn’t the “thing” at play here, IMO. People feel lots of inadequacies and insecurities at the gym – it’s a place where people go to, ostensibly, to FIX any potential insecurity. Although some are more valid than others, I don’t see the harm in addressing them all, here. Ya know?

cassie April 14, 2011 - 10:50 AM

hi erika

i swear, i truly love your blogger.. i’m what you would call sometimes a silent follower (don’t always comment, but always taking in the great wealth of information you provide).. i love this post and it truly resonates me.. specifically, when you said “When I first started working out, I struggled with the idea of entering a space that wasn’t very welcoming to women… and that was the weight lifting area.”.. girl, i am still struggling with this, the weight area just scares the crap out of me at the gym, i get a bit intimated.. if i do go to the weight room it’s on a friday evening when it’s not so crowded.. and even then i feel like people are looking at me like i’m not doing it right or don’t belong..

so i don’t do much as it relates to weight and strength training as i should which i know is not a good thing.. i really need to work on getting over this becauase at the end of the day it’s only hurting me..

thanks for this inspiring post..

Danielle April 14, 2011 - 10:57 AM

this is the best article you’ve ever written.

Nikita April 14, 2011 - 11:25 AM

I noticed long ago that with weight training I meet my healthy weight/ living goals. For the reasons you mentioned, society expectations I have not gone but I am beginning to realize to keep myself motivated I want to see some results which means I gotta go. I can change the way I eat, I can up my aerobics but it is going to be slow going, like a snail process if I do not get into the gym and up my metabolism by building up my muscles.

It is kind of funny that you posted this today because I just really thought about this – why I do not like going to the gym. It is time to get over it and go on in because my health – my life is worth it. Thanks Erica. It is nice to know that someone understands and has gone thru it which gives me the courage to go and do it for myself.

Eva April 14, 2011 - 11:54 AM

The thing about going to the gym and feeling uncomfortable. Here’s what I realized: no one is looking at you, nobody cares; everybody there is into themselves, looking at themselves in the mirror. If they do look at you, it’s because they want you to say, “wow, your muscles are awesome!” They could give a rat’s behind what you’re doing as long as you’re not using the weight machine they want to use.

SA April 17, 2011 - 6:11 PM

Your comment that “no one is looking at you” is, I am guessing, spoken from a place of body size privilege.

As just about any larger-sized fat woman can tell you, strangers pay all kinds of untoward attention to them working out in public spaces, and are full of unsolicited remarks from weight-loss advice, to condescending comments, to irritable outbursts about how “it’s obviously not working” so clearly you should get out of their way.

A friend of mine even found out that the STAFF were talking about her workouts and her body behind her back.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 18, 2011 - 7:01 AM

That’s another part of this, too – going in the gym at six feet tall, 180lbs is MAD different from going into the gym at six feet tall, 280lbs. One person is going to be given more “respect” than the other. It’s the by-product of a size-conscious society. That’s why, while Eva has her experiences, Rose has hers. We’ve gotta work to try to make a space for everyone.

We have to be very careful in how dismissive we are of other people’s experiences, here. While it might be comforting on the part of the individual to repeat to themselves “Nobody’s paying attention to me,” if people are experiencing the presences of jackasses in their gym hounding them for fun – and I know these people exist because I live in a very superficial place where I SEE them – then that should be acknowledged.

We have a really awesome opportunity with this site to make space for everyone. Thanks to SA for making this point.

Allie July 31, 2012 - 8:54 AM

Erika, long time reader, first time commenter here. Could you elaborate on this topic some day? I would love to hear your advice on dealing with unsolicitated “help” or comments at the gym. Yesterday I was halfway through my benchpress sets (1 set of 8 with barbell no weight for warm up, 3 sets of 8 with barbell with 5 lbs on each side) when a muscular man came up and grabbed the barbell out of my hands and placed it on the rack. He told me I was going to hurt myself because I couldn’t handle the weight on the bar. I have done this same weight with a trainer many times – with no weight on the barbell I can do over 25 reps, so I need about five lbs on each side for a workout. He looked condescendingly at my arms (which are small – that’s why I’m at the gym!) and said “look, you’re too weak to have weights on the bar, sweetheart.” He wouldn’t leave my side until I, humiliated, removed the plates from the bar.

I always try to tell myself no one’s looking at me at the gym, but what happens when you realize they are actually looking at you? I ended up leaving without finishing my workout because I was so frustrated and embarassed. I know I am letting him win by letting him get to me. How do I get enough gym “swag” that I don’t care about people like this anymore? I need confidence in my form and workout knowledge, ASAP. Also, what do I tell this guy to make him leave if I don’t want his advice? I know I can’t be the only one dealing with these gym jerks.

Erika Nicole Kendall August 1, 2012 - 1:24 PM

Giiiirl, you got your own full post in response to this. I just… I couldn’t let this one slip away.


Joyce April 18, 2011 - 8:43 PM

Many people have had experiences where their presence was noticed–it was not just in their heads. I agree that many many people at the gym are not looking at other people and judging them. But some are. I find this especially true in weight room! I have had men actually say things to me about me not belonging there. I am very short and petite (but I still want some rocking muscles!), and I stand out big time!

JoAnna May 23, 2011 - 10:53 AM

ROFL. You are SO right about that look you get when someone else wants the machine that you’re on. And as a large person, the thinner ones usually give me that “Like it’s really working for you… Not!” That’s when I add another 5-10 minutes to my workout just to be ornery. I’ve also gotten concerned looks from some staff who see me sweating “excessively” and are afraid I’m gonna have a heart attack or pass out ’cause I’m almost panting on the elliptical. And why don’t they ever have some larger sized staffers anyway, huh?

L.P. April 14, 2011 - 12:23 PM

I recently found your blog when it was featured on The Roots article… and I love everything about your journey. We share many of the same opinions and I was astounded as it rarely happens (I tend to be a pretty opinionated black woman, you know that girl. :))… I have been reading the archives and over all enjoying all that you are willing to share. I decided to comment today because this post in particular defines everything I appreciate/love about fitness, sports and athleticism. It’s a powerful thing to know that our bodies have a purpose beyond pleasing x,y, and z…

I love my big thighs because they carry me across finish lines in races, my healthy (err, big :)) bum helps power through tough inclines while biking… My strong shoulders and back can kick pull-ups into oblivion… My body is mine and it is functional and the more I get it to do the things it’s supposed to do, the more empowered I get.

Thank you for allowing this space to share our trials and tribulations but more importantly to brandish our triumphs. Keep up the good work!

*Black Feminists Unite* 😀

Rachel April 14, 2011 - 2:55 PM

This is my first comment and I have been working on developing my lifestyle for a while now, and am just starting to really take it seriously. I am so grateful for your site. It has helped me tremendously. I wanted to say that first. Wow …this is so well written. I had always thought of losing weight as freeing myself from the bonds of food, but I had never thought of it as freeing myself from standards set on me, but not by me. By reading this, I realize that this is a way of me taking my power back from others. It’s a chance to define my own beauty and love myself through the way I treat myself daily, and discover what I love. I think that it is moments when you realize things like this that you understand why this is a journey…an unfolding of your layers, if you will. Thanks again Erika. You are very appreciated in ways you can’t possibly imagine.

Jasmine April 14, 2011 - 3:08 PM

**slow clap***

Everything about this post I love and it comes at a perfect time for me as I try to find the strength to overcome fear. It made me think about the first time I stepped into my gym 130lbs ago and all the random self depreciating thoughts that ran through my head. I knew that if I just kept showing up and ‘do work’, I’ll get the body that I’ve always wanted (funny all the random bs thats come along with that). I’m also reminded of all of the fitness arenas that aren’t accepting of women and how I blindly carved out my own space in the gym and jiu jitsu, where there aren’t many women of color. I’ve never given much thought about my journey and its effects on my womanhood until now (i’m back and forth between my journal and this comment, this post has brought out soo many thoughts and memories). Though I wouldn’t label myself a feminist, my journey has definitely allowed me to finally own myself and create a more awesome me regardless of social constructs (sounds kinda feminist).

But these two quotes are definitely going on the vision board “I set out to dismantle the things that prevented me from loving myself in all my totality” and “but it made me set out to help other women learn the language of self-love and acceptance, embrace the idea of being humble and vulnerable”

You’re all things awesome. Thanks Erika!

adamson April 14, 2011 - 6:12 PM

Great post, especially the part mentioning the Madonna/Whore complex. I feel as if black women are extremely limited in what we do because we are too afraid of passing imaginary but looming boundaries that exist in our community.

lph1908 April 14, 2011 - 6:54 PM

I love this!! I totally understand the struggle you have with the term “feminist”, since it is such a dirty word, especially among some Black men. I tend to use the term used by Angela Davis and Toni Morrison, which is womanist. Still embracing and fighting for all that is “being a woman”, while realizing that SOME of the struggles of women of color are distinctly different from white women. . . It works for me, so thought I’ld share.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 14, 2011 - 7:56 PM

I’m familiar with the term “womanist,” but because the issues I’ve addressed here are NOT, in fact, exclusive to Black women, I’ve felt no need to use that label.

tdixonspeaks April 14, 2011 - 8:06 PM

Oh Erika. Weight loss AND feminism? You speaketh to me. A lot of ppl don’t consider the identities we gain when considering the weight we lose. I’m a different person today than I was 4 weeks and 8 lbs ago. And who I’ll be 4 weeks and 8 lbs from now-i can’t wait to meet her either. It’s interesting to think about the journey this way.

Sky April 15, 2011 - 12:45 AM

Hello Erika!

I’m a new follower to your blog and this is my favorite post thus far. I think feminism has gotten a bad rap when in actuality, its really a great thing. I too, hate when men have a problem with muscles or anything else that isn’t “lady like”. I especially hate it when they try to call me out on it; trying to make you fit the mold and their standards of what a woman should look or act like. I stopped going to the gym not because I didn’t feel comfortable with using weights, but I got sick of the older men staring me down. It got uncomfortable after awhile, so I work out at home.

Keep up the great work 🙂

Erin April 15, 2011 - 1:44 AM

Oh Erika. I just want to hold you a little. lol. Love it.

Where feminism is limiting or confining it no longer serves us. If pole dancing means you aren’t pro woman that’s insane. The whole idea is that we get to choose for ourselves. From the whole life buffet. We don’t need a new word for that, just a new attitude.

And obviously, everything else; yes. I don’t even know how I came across you to begin with but I’m always happy I did.

rose April 15, 2011 - 5:34 AM

Hi Erika you sweet thing you! Thank you for a wonderful post. Being an African African, I so identify with all this and a lot more. Here in Zimbabwe its natural for a white woman to be seen running outside. A black woman running outside is a totally different story. You are ridiculed and laughed at. Openly. I went to a gym once, for about a month. It was a women only gym. Chosen specifically because , well, one would be less conscious of themselves in a ladies only gym , right? I liked it there but I could not continue because of financial constraints. I resolved to doing it at home. I use exercise DVDs. I do not have any exercise equipment at home. Deep inside I really wanted to run outside. I know that I burn more calories jogging in less time compared to the exercises that I do using DVDs. I exercise in the morning before dropping the kid at school and going to work. I can use a routine which makes me burn more in less time. One day in March 2011 I just broke loose. I went outside and ran for one kilometre. I loved it! I repeated two days after. Awesome! Now I am free! I run when I want. For distances I want. My kids go with me during weekends and we do more kilometres since we have so much more time. Sometimes my routine is broken by other life pressures but I try to keep progressing. I am also experimenting with food. I badly need a good menu plan to help me achieve fitness, health and strength. I do want to be strong. Badly. I want to look good in clothes. The desire to go outside what you grew up eating and venture into different foods is equally stigmatized. There is a certain view that people look at you with if you dare to be different. Here in Africa a fat woman represents someone who is well fed and well looked after by her husband. And BTW if you are seen running outside, people will be wondering, who is sweeping her yard for her whilst she is wasting time like this? You are supposed to be there for your husband’s clan first before you even remotely start to think about your children, let alone yourself. I have learnt that once you start something and not give up, people will get used to seeing you that way. There was a time when I thought I should lose a certain amount of weight first before venturing outside so that people would look at me as an athlete or something but once I realized I was not making as much progress inside as I wanted, I had to do something about it.

Phew! Thank you for allowing me to say this. You rarely meet people to talk about these things around here. Keep up the good work!

osusmith April 15, 2011 - 12:16 PM

@ Rose,
Wow, thank you for sharing your perspective and your life. It is easy to be so preoccupied with our own issues, that we fail to see another person’s stress. I’m encouraged by your perseverance, and pray that you will continue to pursue being the best YOU.

Linda April 15, 2011 - 11:35 AM

“You eventually realize that yes, there is something that intentionally keeps women out of the weight lifting area: a general societal understanding that women aren’t supposed to be strong. ”

Women are also not supposed to be physically competent.

Weight lifting doesn’t just train you to be strong. Weight-lifting trains you to be competent. At home in your body.

Being at home in your body makes you willing to try new things using new-found physical strength and competence.

Like putting in a new kitchen sink. Or changing a tire.

And once you change a tire? You can change anything.

Lorrie April 16, 2011 - 9:15 PM

I agree with you Erika. An additional issue I have with traditional “feminists” is the idea that to be a liberal feminist you are expected to be pro-choice. I want to be for women’s rights while yet being pro-life. I want to accept my natural hair yet still love my straight haired sista, I want to be black unapologetically and still be 100% American. I am a woman…ha!

Erika Nicole Kendall April 16, 2011 - 9:23 PM

Heyyyyy…. that’s territory that’s farrr beyond the scope of THIS post – this SITE, even LOL. I can say that your politics are not mine, but I can try to understand the dichotomy that you’re presenting, here. The opposite is not always the enemy. I can understand that.

Curlstar April 17, 2011 - 12:33 AM

Standing ovation! Excellent post! BTW, pole dancing is AWESOME!! I looked up a local studio last year because I saw your blog on it and I’ve been in that studio ever since. For me, it’s the fight to be able to hold my own weight off the floor – and winning (no one ever said that falling was sexy) 🙂

Caitlin April 17, 2011 - 3:08 PM

I love this post so much! I’ve written extensively myself on the connotations between “female” and “weak” (like, for instance, the fact that there is no feminine adjectives for strength but there are several for men) and I completely hear what you are saying.

For those who say they have never run into issues in the gym based on their gender, I am envious of you. It means you’ve never had to deal with men commenting on how they don’t find women with muscles attractive while you do your lat pull-downs or your bicep curls, which is something I used to hear quite a bit until I learned to put my headphones on and scowl a lot. I still have to fight for space in the weight-lifting area, which can be intimidating as usually one of the only women, but at least I don’t have to hear pointed jabs about how I’m making myself unattractive to men.

Anyway this is the first post I’ve read of yours and I am now officially hooked. Your blog is going in my RSS reader. Thanks for making the connection between feminism and physical fitness in such a clear way!

TeakLipstickFiend April 24, 2011 - 5:51 AM

I came across this post through the Racialicious site and found it very encouraging. I am currently trying to get healthier and doing it through eating healthy foods (but NOT dieting – yuck). But I’m 43 and have only been to a gym once in my life. This is partly because I hate the idea of paying for exercise, but also because I feel that people would be laughing at me, an overweight person, doing exercise. Thanks to a friend, I am slowly coming round to the idea of joining a gym; but also thanks to the reading I’ve been doing about the importance of strength. I want to be strong, I want to have muscle. And I want to do it for me.

And I love this paragraph of yours= “Feminism, to me, is about allowing women the space to be who they are free of gendered expectations, free of stereotype, free of gendered limitations. I know that a lot of women may turn their noses up at feminism as something that man-haters do, but my eventual embracing of feminism wasn’t born of a desire to hate men. It was borne of a journey that came from learning to love myself and, at the same time, hate the societal standards that prevented me from doing so.”

ConshusMama June 14, 2011 - 6:15 PM

I’m stomping my feet, clapping and lighting a candle for this post.

I love your story of empowerment.
I love how you gained a sense of yourself through your OWN journey.
And I love that you found yourself embracing that big bad word: Feminism.

So many things I loved about that that I printed it out to read on my train ride home.

The power in your speaks to the power in me.

Kells September 21, 2011 - 11:26 AM

Erika, i always enjoy reading your entries but this one hit right home for me. I am a long time feminist who has lost 60 lbs. I have gone through alot of the same issues you have. Although i still have another 50 lbs to go, I often hear the following: well don’t get too skinny you don’t want your man to go looking at someone else, along with a bunch of other ridiculousness. At one point i considered having a breast reduction, and the person i was with at that time said: well why do you want to do that?? And how small do you want to get? Once i revealed my desired cup size his response was WELL YOU HAVE TO MAKE ME HAPPY AS WELL AND THAT IS TOO SMALL FOR ME!!! –well then! lol— I am learning so much about myself that it keeps my head spinning! I have transformed from a woman who once was in a physically abusive relationship, suffering severely from low self esteem to the strong and confident woman i am today. I would also like to say that for me, being a feminist is not a man hating thing or a lesbian thing. I love men and couldn’t see life without them. For me, feminism is living my life free of gender specified roles and free of stigma. Thanks for the article Erika!

Tremilla October 31, 2011 - 9:59 AM

Totally understand. I’ve never went to the weight section in my gym either. I feel it’s the boys club. But to supplement this fear I do attend classes wherein I partake in weight training. I still haven’t gotten over that “I don’t want any staring at me” feeling. I have the confidence but the self-assurance is still MIA

Christina Gant May 17, 2012 - 12:31 PM

I just found your blog today. I love this post and you creating a space for everyone.

oliviadaughter August 6, 2012 - 3:08 PM

I love this article. I ran across your blog today while surfing facebook. I started weight lifting this morning. I have a personal trainer, to help me learn the proper use of the machines. I had been so scared to venture into the weight lifting area. I wanted to lift because I know MY body needs it. I realize the weigh lifting area is for women and men. I also have entered a couple 5Ks and I am learning to walk/run, running is for all who want to do it not just for other cultures. I am grateful for your articles, keep them coming.

Janey August 17, 2012 - 11:07 PM

I just found your blog because it was listed on Jack and Jill Politics (I know, super random) and it is FANTABULOUS. This post in particular really resonates with me because so often I find that I end up just punishing myself all the time in order to stay healthy but it’s so much more important to think about it your way – loving myself in all my totality. You’re doing a fantastic thing with this blog and you’ve inspired me to eat clean and make sure there are nutrients in everything I eat. I am a short Asian girl so you are definitely helping everyone with this blog. Thank you!

Insane A April 21, 2013 - 1:13 AM

Wow. I’m not even sure what I want to say in response to this article. I really identify with it. I’ve been a feminist for a long time and I’m raising my 2 daughters accordingly. I started my fitness journey 6 months ago and I just feel strong and happier now. I never put 2 and 2 together until now. I’ve always had mental strength, to add physical strength to it just makes me feel invincible. Anyway, thanks for this wonderful blog and this post in particular.

Sarah November 16, 2013 - 4:48 PM

“Feminism, to me, is about allowing women the space to be who they are free of gendered expectations, free of stereotype, free of gendered limitations. I know that a lot of women may turn their noses up at feminism as something that man-haters do, but my eventual embracing of feminism wasn’t born of a desire to hate men. It was borne of a journey that came from learning to love myself and, at the same time, hate the societal standards that prevented me from doing so.”

Excerpted from How Losing Weight Made Me A Feminist | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

I absolutely love that definition of feminism. It has almost become a “four-letter” word in our society. Thank you for putting such a beautiful spin on it.

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