Tag Archives: Minimalist

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: 10 Gifts for People Who Love Minimalism

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Last week I had trouble commenting on some of the WWBC participants whose sites are hosted on Blogger. I will try to comment on your posts again this week! Here’s hoping that issue was solved.

So what do you buy for someone who already has everything they need and isn’t interested in collecting more gadgets? I’m writing this post from the perspective of someone who fits this description. While I’m always appreciative of the gifts people give to me, the truth of the matter is that there aren’t too many physical possessions out there that I need but haven’t already acquired somehow.

Here’s a list of things you could buy, make, or otherwise give to folks like me depending on their tastes. I mostly stuck to food-based stock photos to illustrate my point because apparently there isn’t a lot of demand out there for stock photos about slippery emotions like compliments. Ha!

1. Baked Goods

I’m an average baker, but I certainly wouldn’t know how to make anything that looks like it was made by a professional. It’s always a thrill when someone surprises me with some nicely decorated cupcakes or other treats.

2. Tickets to Artsy Stuff

To give an expensive example, the Hamilton musical is coming to Toronto next year. The tickets for it are far too rich for my tastes, but this would be the sort of thing I’d squeal over if I had a fabulously wealthy fairy godparent.

On a much more economical note, I’d also be thrilled with a general admission ticket to a museum, art gallery, comedy set, concert, or other similar event. I love the feeling of seeing or hearing things that I don’t normally experience in my daily life.

3. A Massage

My parents bought me a one-hour full body massage once or twice when I was in college. It was the nicest thing they could have given me. There’s nothing like the relief of having tense, sore muscles gently relaxed after all of those long months of studying.

It could be a massage from someone I’m really close to or a gift certificate for a professional masseuse. Either one is wonderful in my opinion.

4. Stories, Photos, and Memories

Obviously, this one depends on how well you know the person, but I love it when the older generations in my family pass down new information they’ve discovered about our ancestors or pieces of their childhoods that they haven’t shared yet. There are relatives who died before I was born that I feel like I’ve met because of how much of their lives has been recorded in our oral histories.

It’s also cool when friends randomly share an old photo or funny story from our past.

5. A Personalized Book Recommendation

It always makes me happy when someone tailors their recommendations. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it sure is lovely to receive.

Assorted chocolate and fruit pralines6. Vegan Chocolates

I’m always on the lookout for new types of vegan chocolates or pralines, especially if they’re flavoured with mint, fruit, nuts, or other mix-ins.

7. Herbal Tea

Is it possible to have too much herbal tea or even tea in general? I doubt it.

8. Random, Genuine Compliments

Being surprised with something someone honestly appreciates about you almost feels like the emotional version of a massage. They both make me feel incredibly happy and appreciated.

In order to make this more gift-like, the compliments could be compiled in an email or written on little scraps of paper and put into a fancy jar. Yes, I somehow came up with a physical item that I couldn’t eat but would still enjoy owning. I’d probably use it to store chocolate and other treats in after I’d savoured all of the compliments.

9. Shopping Advice and Support

Fashion isn’t one of those things I spend much time thinking about, but I do admire people who know how to put together an eye-catching wardrobe. It would be super cool to spend a day going through my clothes and shopping with someone who genuinely enjoyed putting nice outfits together.

10. Stargazing

I love astronomy.

This past autumn, I had the chance to do a little stargazing at a local university. The event was put on by faculty and students there, so we got to hear some interesting facts about the stuff we were looking at.

I would be so excited to do this occasionally with someone who was really knowledgable on this topic.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

3 Things I Don’t Love About Fitness Culture

A few days ago blogged about the four things I love about fitness culture. Today I’m going to be talking about three things I wish I could change about it.

Since it can be difficult to read people’s tones on the Internet, know that I’m bringing up these concerns because I care about this topic quite a bit. Everything I’m about to say is coming from a genuine, sympathetic perspective.

The Pseudoscience

What is it about the topics of diet and exercise that attracts so much pseudoscience? I’m all for each fitness enthusiast figuring out what works for them as far as what they eat and what types of exercise they do, but I’m also alarmed by how many ads I’m seeing for products claiming to do things that are either scientifically impossible or could potentially be dangerous if tried without a doctor’s supervision.

For example, I keep seeing advertisements for products that are supposed to block your body from absorbing certain types of calories in the food you eat. I’ve seen other ads for products that claim to be able to get rid of belly fat without diet or exercise, along with many other strange declarations.

While these kinds of ads have been around for a long time, I’m surprised by the fact that people are still falling for them. It would be amazing if there really were a magical pill, powder, device, or spell that allowed everyone to eat and drink whatever they pleased with no side effects, but sadly that’s not how the human body works.

The Consumerism

Consumerism is one of the biggest reasons why I stopped following fitness blogs and social media accounts. As a minimalist, I have no interest in buying a whole wardrobe of fitness clothing in order to have matching outfits when I exercise. What other people wear is not my concern, but I personally don’t see the need to buy new stuff if what I already own still functions perfectly well.

My workout outfits tend to be old, stained, and/or already mostly worn out. I like the fact that I can do any exercise in them I want to without worrying about ruining them. They’re impossible to ruin! If I didn’t wear them while exercising, I’d probably turn them into dust rags or throw them away entirely.

I follow this same rule when deciding when or whether to buy new fitness equipment. A yoga mat and a few pairs of free weights in various sizes are all I need. This seems to run so counter to how many well-known fitness enthusiasts operate that I often find it hard to connect to them.

The Objectification of Women

There are many wonderful stock photos out there of people doing all sorts of exercises, but in order to find them to illustrate my posts on this topic I need to wade through far too many images whose compositions vary widely depending on whether a man or woman is being shown in them.

This is a typical photo of a model who is a man.

 

Look at how his body is covered by loose, comfortable clothing. The photograph is framed in such a way that the weightlifting itself is what’s most important. The model is lifting heavy weights, and he’s totally focused on doing it properly in that moment. Nobody cares if he’s perspiring, has messy hair, or makes a funny facial expression while he lifts.

I do my best to share pictures of as many different types of fitness models as possible. This includes gender, race/ethnicity, disability, and as many other visible markers of difference as I can possibly find because of how important inclusivity is.

However, this is a mild version of the sort of photos I find when I look for fitness models who are women.

 

As you’ve probably noticed, they are not exercising at all. They’re using cell phones, and yet this is being tagged as a “fitness” photo. This happens far too often.

I’d like to be perfectly clear here that I have no problem with pictures of women exercising in sports bras and yoga pants. That’s what I wear for some of my workouts, especially if it’s a warm, humid day and I’d prefer to perspire from the workout itself instead of from unnecessary layers of clothing.

The issue is that male models are at least pretending to do workouts while female models are often either posed in sexual/suggestible ways or aren’t shown working out at all.

I don’t know about all of you, but this isn’t a time when I worry about how I look in any way. My only focus is on getting a little stronger, faster, or more flexible than I was the last time I did that routine. It would be really helpful to see this reality reflected in fitness culture imagery.

How do you wish fitness culture would change?