Mother, scholar, athlete–in that order. I have a beautiful six year old daughter who is the inspiration behind my work in the gym and in life. I am currently finishing up my Master’s program in Women’s Studies, and am excited about pursuing my career as a writer. I have competed in bodybuilding and powerlifting, and have dabbled with some training in boxing and muay thai.
After several years in the fitness industry, I came to realize that the very sports that seem to free women from the thin ideal often just reinforce it. Images, advertising slogans, and the general culture of the fitness industry all send the clear message that healthy is synonymous with thin. I began to see my participation in this industry as a problem–despite my dislike for the emphasis placed on aesthetics, there I was participating in a purely aesthetic sport!
At first I ran away entirely, not wanting to be associated in any way with health and fitness. But no matter where I went, it followed me. People still asked for help with nutrition, or advice about workouts, and I found myself engaging easily in these topics. So eventually I realized that I could contribute something positive to health and fitness, and became committed to shaping a new concept of what it means to be healthy and fit.
As a starting point, I want to challenge some of the ideas and assumptions surrounding health and fitness. Here are a few:
1. The assumption that every fat person wants to be (and should be) thin
2. The term “overweight” in general
3. The assumption that health and fitness are visible traits
4. The link between “diet” and deprivation
5. Language that draws a relationship between discipline, suffering, and fitness
6. Language that suggests that the body must be punished and overcome
7. Diets and nutritional philosophies that rely on pre-packaged “health” foods
8. The assumption that healthy foods are expensive, time consuming, and difficult to prepare
Unwrapped presents a holistic approach to health and fitness, challenges you to reconsider your understandings and assumptions of what it means to be fit and healthy, and invites you to come with me on my own journey to deconstruct the way we package food, health, and the body.