(This is the fifth in a series of interviews with the top women fitness bloggers I could find!)
Monica Shaw writes at SmarterFitter where you can find “Less diet, more brain”. Her web site is “designed to help people make smart fitness decisions based on hard data”.
I asked Monica the following questions about her blog:
1) Why did you decide to start your blog or how did you start it?
Smarterfitter.com grew out of my personal interest in fitness and food. I’m a science nerd who likes to know the details. I’s not enough to know that “flax seeds are supposed to be good for me, so I’ll eat them.” I want to know why flax seeds are special, and furthermore, I want to read the science behind the claim. The more I know, the smarter my choices, it’s plain and simple. Writing about all this stuff is a great way for me to remember the things I learn and share it with a community of like-minded geeky folk. “Wait, I’m not a geek!” some might say. Anyone who wants to understand the logic behind the choices they make is a geek in my book. Science geeks, art geeks, DIY geeks, archaeology geeks… all geeks are welcome at smarterfitter.
2) What do you think is the biggest obstacle that keeps women from engaging in a regular fitness routine and/or from living a more healthy lifestyle in general?
I can’t speak for all women, but I know that the biggest obstacle for me is having the willpower to overcome challenges in my environment. The modern world makes it tough to lead an “active life”, with cars being the main mode of transportation and packaged-meals being the main delivery device for food. This is changing, but ever so slowly. I’m lucky enough to live in London, a big city where it’s possible to get almost anywhere by bike or on foot. But there’s still pressure
all around. Social events almost always take place at the pub, a fixture on almost every street corner in London. Turning down a pint or a bowl of hot chips is tough in a society where drinking is the norm. It makes us feel either deprived or like a social outcast. Ick. Nobody likes that. Maybe the real obstacle is less about willpower than it is about perspective. I’ve certainly had to change
my perspective on my environment by learning to embrace the things that encourage good habits rather than fuss over all of the negative influences. It’s a similar mantra to AA’s serenity prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
I’m not religious, but there’s some truth to that. Still, there’s no avoiding onslaught of tempting cake and chocolates that arrives with every coworker’s birthday. But if we create the right environment and get our habits straight, it’s a lot easier to avoid overindulgence and love ourselves for making the choice that we know will make us happy.
3) What do you consider to be the most unique or helpful thing about your blog?
As its name suggests, smarterfitter is all about using our brains to get fit. My hope is that smarterfitter encourages people to make smart, rational choices based on real evidence rather than false promises for “rapid weight loss” or some similar claim. That was the goal in starting the blog, though I should really listen to my readerson this one. Most people tell me the best part about the blog is the food. I’m a vegetarian and my meat-eating readers say the recipes give them good advice for cooking with veggies (I forget that this isn’t obvious to many!). So much for my geeky intentions. But that’s okay; food is my obsession and I love to write about it. I’m just glad other people like it to.
Please take some time and visit Monica’s blog: SmarterFitter!
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