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 doesn’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 won’t use food to replenish the energy that rest should.
I shouldn’t feel bad about this, but truth is, it’s not all about health and fitness. The Writeous Babe’s post 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 don’t feel confident about all the brilliance I have to present if I don’t think I look good.
As a writer and as a feminist, this causes a real conflict for me. A recent television appearance on a local talk show put all the negative thoughts I had 35 pounds ago—I never lost the last 15—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. …