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Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A uniquely feminist approach to how women can break free from what society thinks and get active in their forties, fifties, and beyond.

On the eve of their forty-eighth birthdays, Samantha Brennan and Tracy Isaacs set out to achieve a daunting feat: to become the fittest they’d ever been in their lives by the age of fifty. To chart their progress, they created their blog Fi
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Paperback, Advanced Reader Copy, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2018 by Greystone
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  69 ratings  ·  28 reviews


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Viv JM
"Fit is a Feminist Issue" is my go-to blog (and Facebook/Instagram feed come to that) for BS-free fitness inspiration, advice and stories, so I was really excited to pick up this book co-authored by the blog's founders.

The book is written in sections dealing with topics like motivation, making movement part of everyday life, setting realistic goals etc. At the end of each section Tracy and Sam detail their own journeys on their Fittest by 50 Challenge, which I enjoyed, having discovered the blog
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Carol Tilley
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: betterness, health, women
Motivational and practical.
Anna
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I have the paperback, but I ended up listening to the recently published audiobook instead. It's not listed on Goodreads yet, but it exists and I found it to be a good audio experience.

The content of the book is a mixture of personal experience and a synthesis of fitness science through the lens of feminism. If you are looking for a hardcore "here is how to get fit and it's not pleasant or fun" book, this is not the book for you. If you are a woman* in or approaching or even sailing past mid-lif
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Madam J
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I waffle between 2 and 3 stars, but I'll stay with the 3 because the book is well-written, concise, well-researched )I would hope so, they're academics) and there is some very relevant content contained in it.

I found it rather hard to relate to, seeing as I am both disabled and not fit. I didn't expect them to write a book for me, rather I expected them to have a story that would resonate with a larger group.

Yet, they were already active before "the journey" began. The training schedules were im
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Sonia Dyett
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book didn't seem to know what it wanted to be. Born from a blog, lots of the personal parts just read like blog posts, interspersed with chapters on a feminist look at woman's fitness. The timeline of the journeys of these 2 women jumped around and was confusing to follow.

I wasn't really sure what audience these women were targeting. I thought it would be more for beginners, but the authors were accomplished athletes who were just getting back into it in mid-life. You got hear way too much
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Sue
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Two feminists discuss the details of the fitness challenge that they undertook as they approached the age of 50. The book has some long autobiographical passages that get a bit overwhelming, but the training schedules and philosophies are interesting. The book format bogs down a bit compared to the shorter bites in a blog post, but it did include a lot of useful information. If you are looking for information on fitness, free of false health claims and the shilling that normally comes with fitne ...more
Éva Cserháti
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down. It is the book I have always wanted to read about feminism and exercise. It is inspirational, possibly life-changing for some readers. Written in a nice, intelligent but easily accessible prose the authors reach out for a wide audience. I can only recommend it to anybody who has the slightest interest in sports and women. Thank you so much and congratulations!
Michelle
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn't read this for the athlete/competition stuff, but liked the between details: the diet busting (they don't last) and the nutrition programs, intuitive eating, "Make small changes, live them consistently, and change will come." Eating until 80% full, being a integrationist: working exercise into everyday life, active sitting ( I'll have to look that up), Aikido recommended, the Pomodoro Technique (a time mgmt tool where you start doing anything in small doses.)
Vicki
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It's for all of us who, at various times, have tried and failed at fitness. It offers sound advice on intuitive eating -- no deprivation dieting here -- and an inspirational journey of two wonderful women in search of being their fittest by 50 years old.
Josh
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I may have liked the book more than otherwise, as I followed/read the blog which provided me context and memories of the ideas discussed in the book. Michelle's review covers my general feelings.

To that, I ponder upon what goals or measurements or greater breadth or depth of experience might drive me ... to do more.
Kidlitter
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
DRC was provided courtesy of Edelweiss.

Brennan and Isaacs are professors in feminist studies at universities in Canada, and academics who also blog and write books. They have that peculiarly Canadian style of being earnest, educated, judgemental, idealogical, and yet both endearing and inspiring (full confession: this reviewer is Canadian born and raised; I know how to virtue signal with the best of them.) Most importantly their magnum opus inspired by their own journeys to better health and fit
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Karen Hapgood
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bought this book after seeing someone on Running Mums Australia rave about it, and they were right. I really enjoyed this book - encouraging, realistic and made me think about my assumptions and approach quite a few times.
Two Readers in Love
I tend to get annoyed at reviews that complain "this book isn't what I expected." Surely, we've all heard the old adage about not judging a book by its cover? But, I have to admit, this book was not what I expected... mostly in a good way.

I sometime pick things up at the library specifically to challenge my own thinking. As a runner coming up on what the authors refer to as a "9-ender" (i.e. a birthday ending in a 9) not too far in the future, and as a woman who tends to have a lot of internal a
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Karen
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great motivation to keep moving. While there are no startling revelations, the book challenges readers to be daring and pragmatic at the same time.

While I was reading the following section, my mother came down to the dock for a swim but almost backed-out as she was afraid of what people would think to see her in a bathing suit. Mom, just swim!

"The mental health charity Mind found 9 in 10 women over 30 are afraid to participate in outdoor exercise. As a result, Mind began a campaign to encourage
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April
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won this book by calling into Maritime Noon to share my thoughts on fitness as a feminist issue. This means a great deal to me as a mom of three young boys. Making fitness a part of my life saves me from falling into a pit of despair (only a slight exaggeration) and has nothing to do with having a perfect bikini body. Which I will never have!
This book is a great look at what worked and what didn’t for two professional women as they approached 50. I loved their take on the pressures women face
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Darlene
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Less of a how-to book than an exploration of an idea. The book explores the history of the two authors, both philosophy professors with a feminist bent, with regards to their personal histories with fitness and the way that exercise programs whose focus is primarily slimming down/toning have failed the majority of women. It does have some questions at the end of various chapters for the reader to chew over in their minds, but not so much that it's a guidebook. Instead, it looks honestly and open ...more
Nicola
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I rated this book a 2 only because I didn’t find it interested me as much as it could, but since I had received it as a gift I felt I must finish reading it. It was a a strong validation of all the reasons I know and already believe about fitness for women. So, in this respect, Sam and Tracey were preaching to the choir. It was quite personal and contained a lot of information I just wasn’t interested in. Martial arts sports bore me and talk about equipment and gear really turn me off. Also, the ...more
Karen
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like the authors' blog, which gave birth to this book, but I was a latecomer to it, so I enjoyed finding out much more about their personal and paired journeys to enter their 50s at their fittest. I particularly appreciate the feminist lens through which they examine dieting (bottom line = don’t), fitness, sports, competition, personal and group challenges, etc. The fact that their respective starting points on this journey are well beyond mine is a little intimidating, but I love their mode o ...more
Ingrid
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is fat positive, but does mention weightloss (not dieting) and reflect on negative body image if that is a trigger for you, and fitness (I guess that was obvious) but I found it inspiring and enjoyable on the whole and also love the mention of bivisibility. I must say both of these people were a lot fitter than me at the start of their 'journey' so it could be a bit disconcerting if you are hoping to read something from the perspective of a person who starts from zero physical fitness.
Kathleen
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The discussion of fitness with an emphasis on happiness, health and strength fit well with my worldview. Not a how-to but an encouragement __ a bit plodding with a touch too much detail of Sam's and Tracy's journey. Still--- a good read.
Susan
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but didn’t realize it was going to mostly be about their fitness journeys. Disappointed it didn’t give more fitness advice. In any case kudos to the authors for their fitness journeys! I too enjoy my fitness over 50!
Susan
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Good stuff.

At first, I missed an index, because, e.g., I wanted to look up all the references to BMI, but as I read it, I realized how hard that would have been to include, because of the format of the book.
Jodi Santini
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring!

While I'm a 4.5 years from 50, I found this book inspirational to keep on keeping on with my goal of walking a half marathon in 2019 at age 46. Age and weight are both numbers that shouldn't be used to measure our success.
Yasmin
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good info and an interesting premise but overall a little ho-hum.
Wendy Phraner
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this fresh perspective on fitness. It’s thought-provoking and well written.
Sharon Draws
rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2018
Kirsten McMahon
rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2018
Angela
rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2019
Anita
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2019
Amy Riggs
rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2018
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Samantha Brennan and Tracy Isaacs are the authors of Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey, launching spring 2018 from Greystone Books

Samantha Brennan is Dean of the College of Arts at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Previously Brennan was a Professor of Women's Studies and Feminist Research at Western University, Canada. She is also a member of the Rotman Institute of
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