Tag Archives: Hair

For People who Hate Exercise

First and foremost let me tell you that it is completely within your rights to hate exercise.   It is also completely within your rights not to do any exercise at all.  You get to be the boss of you.  That means you are under no moral or social obligation to exercise or even think positively about it.

Personally, I’ve grown to love exercise and love what it does for me.  And I love to teach other people to exercise and to share my love for exercise with folks.  Some people will never love exercise or even like it.  And that’s okay.  But I think sometimes people who think they hate exercise, really only hate one aspect of exercise.  And sometimes (but not always) I have been able to help people move around, over, under or through those barriers to exercise and they find that they do really like exercise after all.

So if you hate exercise, but really wish you didn’t hate exercise, or at least could understand what all the fuss from all those happy exercisers is about, I have some thoughts to share with you.  Here are some of the most common exercise “hate points” I’ve discovered and some suggestions for how you might move around them if you like.

1.  I hate to sweat.  The first thing to understand is what about sweating do you hate?  Are you embarrassed about sweat?  Most great athletes sweat.  In fact, it’s a sign that your body is working in a healthy way.  Are you uncomfortable when you sweat?  If you have the means, you might consider buying some exercise clothes in technical, sweat-wicking fabrics.  Cotton (especially cotton socks) is uncomfortable when it gets wet and can lead to chafing.  Or maybe you want to exercise someplace cooler (see next point).

2.  I hate being hot.  First of all, I feel ya.  I also hate being hot.  But here again, there are some options. You can exercise in a highly air-conditioned space like the mall.  The mall is also usually quite flat, easy to navigate for people who have less control over their feet and usually (but not always) pretty safe.  Also, if you like to exercise outside, you can aim for early morning or evening.  Just be sure you are someplace relatively safe and have a charged cell phone with you at all times.  Also, swimming is a great exercise for people who like to stay warm.  But this leads to a whole other problem for some exercisers (see next point).

3.  Exercise messes up my hair.  I hear you.  Swimming or having hair that is soaked with sweat may initiate a whole hair care ritual that is absolutely no fun.  If this is you, I might suggest that you exercise first thing in the morning, and accept going to your workout with messy hair.  Then you can get coiffed just one time in the morning in the locker room after your workout rather than having to do your hair once per day.  Another option is to do your workout at the end of the day and wash your hair before bed time.  Depending on your style, perhaps you can just spray with water and style your hair in the morning.  I find that wearing a thin sweat band under my hair, helps keep my hair from getting too sweaty, but your experience may be different.

4.  Exercise is boring.   So many people try just one form of exercise, and when they don’t love it, they decide that exercise is no fun.  Finding the right form of exercise is like finding your prince or princess.  Sometimes ya gotta kiss a whole lot of frogs before you find the right one.  So don’t get married to the first form of exercise you try.  Experiment a little.  Go on some exercise dates.  And even when you find a form of exercise you love, you’ll still need to change things once in a while to spice things up.  Sometimes you need to do it in a different place.  Sometimes you need to try a different position.  And sometimes you just need to try something altogether different.

5.  I suck at exercise.  Here’s a secret.  I am very, very uncoordinated.  Sure, now I teach dance classes.  But it was really a challenge for me to learn the choreography and put together my routines.  Because most of us suck when we try something new.  And we suck at it until we do it a while and then we either suck at it less, or we actually get kinda of good at stuff.  But understanding the lot of the newbie and embracing beginnerness can help you not only in your exploration of fitness, but in other stuff as well.

6.  Exercise hurts.  This is an often complicated but important point about exercise.  A certain amount of soreness or stiffness is pretty normal when you exercise in a new way or with some muscles you haven’t used in a while.  This is called DOMS for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  BUT exercise shouldn’t hurt a lot while you are doing it and it shouldn’t hurt a lot the next day.  The key here is to work very slowly and gradually beyond your current fitness level.  Depending on your current activity level this might mean moving very slowly.  Or maybe you are only going to work out for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.  That’s okay.  It doesn’t matter how little you start with.  Nobody even has to know what that is.  It matters that you aren’t in too much pain and that you are able to exercise again in a day or two.  If you are coping with serious or chronic pain,  you might need to work on some underlying issues with a physical therapist and eventually work with a trainer to develop a program.  But a lot of studies indicate that even people coping with chronic or serious pain eventually find pain relief from a properly constructed, reasonable exercise program.

There’s more to say, but I gotta go teach my dance class.  So for now we’ll say, “To be continued…”

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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Olympic Athletes Say “Enough” With the Fat Bashing Already

It seems even winning a gold medal in the Olympics Heptathlon isn’t enough to shut people up about your weight.  Women who can run and jump and hurdle and pole vault and lift hundreds of pounds at an undeniably elite athlete level are still receiving criticism in the media and in the social media stream about the size and shape of their bodies.  And these women have had enough!

Olympic weightlifters Sarah Robles and Holley Mangold received criticism for their size and shape although they are elite athletes at the top of their game.  Eight-time gold medal winner Liesel Jones from Australia was blasted for the way she filled out her swimsuit.  And apparently qualifying for your 4th straight Olympics games is not enough to quiet critics unless your washboard ads are visibly rippling.

Even Jessica Ennis, arguably one  of the fittest women in the world was criticized for the size and shape of her body.  She went on to win the Heptathlon for Great Britain last week.  Look, it’s one thing when folks have difficulty believing the fit/fat story in my case.  I’m a size 20 and a mere aerobics teacher.  But one has to find it at least a little ridiculous that the fittest women in the world are being criticized for not looking like supermodels.  I guess we can take heart in the fact that there is a backlash, and these women are speaking back.

But apparently no matter how accomplished you are as a woman, you’re not okay unless you look great in a swimsuit, oh and have perfect hair.

My little chicklettes, all I can say is that the world most definitely sucks sometimes.  All you can do is all you can do.  And sometimes, you just have to tell those small minded critics out there to kiss your tailfeathers.


The Fat Chick

Reducing A World Title to a Hairdo

I’d like to talk today about another way that obsession with thinness reduces us.  I wasn’t always a person who spoke out on behalf of HAES(R) and Size Acceptance.  For many years, I hated my body.  I was miserable because of my body.  And I put my life on hold waiting to be pretty enough and thin enough to be ready to begin my life.

This went on for years.

There were years and years where I wasn’t living to my full potential, because I didn’t think it was possible for a woman of size.  Day after day, I didn’t dare to try challenging things or exciting things because I thought they were impossible to achieve unless I was thin.  Month after month, I let opportunities pass me by–waiting to be acceptable.

And all during this time I was spending thousands upon thousands of dollars and thousands upon thousands of hours focused on losing weight and recovering from the inevitable (at least for me) weight gain.

I love my life now, but I honestly wonder where I might of been had I not lost nearly two decades obsessed with losing weight.  And I am one of the incredibly lucky ones.  I have a genuinely wonderful supportive family.  I have an amazing spouse.  I have a survival instinct that has always fought against this desire to make me smaller–to make me less than.

But I wonder about the millions of us that are right now not achieving, not winning not being in a world where Gabby Douglas can win the most prestigious gymnastics award in the entire world, and face a huge argument about her hairstyle.  I mean really?  Gabby beat out countless thousands of gymnasts around the country, achieving an unbelievable level of perfection in a merciless sport where skill is measured in thousandths of a point, and you want to talk about her hair?  What is going on here?

Is Gabby threatening the idea of what a gymnast should look like?  Is she redefining a visual standard of success?  You’d better believe it!  And you’d better believe that a whole lot of people are threatened by it.  And you shouldn’t be surprised when that threat manifests itself in terms of people finding any excuse to put her down.

You have to wonder, is obsession with thinness a tool used by those who must compete with us?  Those who see our talent and our power and are afraid?  Those who will do anything to put us down and make themselves seem better, sexier and more powerful?  Those who will cut down the herd of competitors by any means necessary?

My dear chicklettes.  You can choose, right now, to throw off your shackles.  You can choose to love yourself and accept yourself.  You can refuse to gain ascendancy on the backs of other women.  You can choose to empower and strengthen your fellow women and succeed together.  You can live your absolute best life, right now.  Right this very second.  I’ll be in the stands, waving a flag, jumping up and down and cheering.


The Fat Chick