Earlier this week, I had the honor of being a guest contributor on The Writeous Babe Project, where Javacia Bowser shares her life as a blogger, writer and southern fried feminist. I confess that my obsession with fitness may not be entirely healthy, especially when I know it’s not my looks that will get me where I want to go.
I wish I had the kind of metabolism that would allow me to abandon exercise all together. Including round-trip travel time, I spend about ten hours a week in pursuit of fitness. That doesnâ€™t include the time it takes to wrap up whatever I was doing before the gym and change clothes, cook healthy meals, or sleep so that my muscles can recover and so I wonâ€™t use food to replenish the energy that rest should.
I shouldnâ€™t feel bad about this, but truth is, itâ€™s not all about health and fitness. The Writeous Babeâ€™sÂ postÂ about pole dancing and feminism reminded me that my top priority in working the gym like a part-time job is to look good. I want to feel confident in my own skin, and having been about 50 pounds over the recommended weight for my height, I know I donâ€™t feel confident about all the brilliance I have to present if I donâ€™t think I look good.
As a writer and as a feminist, this causes a real conflict for me. A recent televisionÂ appearanceÂ on a local talk show put all the negative thoughts I had 35 pounds agoâ€”I never lost the last 15â€”back into my mind. I listened to myself on the half-hour broadcast, because after looking at me for 30 seconds, I was picking myself apart. …