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A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. 
That’s why they don’t get what they want.

— Madonna
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got a running-shoe feud, an evidence-based influencer, and a negative take on body positivity. Read on...

Did you know Adidas and Puma were founded by two feuding brothers? Adi and Rudolf Dassler started up a business making spiked running shoes in Germany. They had a brand-recognition win when their shoes were worn in the Olympics by gold medalist Jesse Owens. 

But a falling-out dissolved the partnership and turned them into bitter business rivals—Adi built Adidas, while Rudolph founded Puma. Fast forward to 2020 and it’s Adi’s brand that’s worn on more feet worldwide. 

In recent years Adidas has focused on the female customer, from its partnership with sustainable fashion designer Stella McCartney, to the workout content on its YouTube channel—if you’re a runner, try cooling down with this 30-minute Yoga For Runners flow. 

As for Adi and Rudolf, they never reconciled and, though they’re buried in the same cemetery in their hometown, their graves are spaced as far apart as possible!

Wishing you the patience to resolve your sibling rivalries this week, Katherine & Linda
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Natacha Oceane

With 1.2 million YouTube subscribers, Natacha Oceane has a loyal community of fans who tune in for her thoughtful videos discussing the scientific underpinning behind fitness and nutrition concepts. 

For example, she’s examined whether scientific evidence supports the widespread belief that you burn more fat if you do cardio fasted. (Her conclusion? She’s skeptical.) Another video explains the science of why calorie restriction diets don’t work, and how “detox” and “cleanse” are just a rebranding of outdated ideas.

Natacha shares both her wins and her challenges in life with her fans. In a recent Instagram post she said of the experience of recovering from an injury: “Moving has been such a big part of my life since I fell in love with racing my dad in the garden when I was 4 years old... I’m currently rebuilding my foundation all over again and obsessed with making it the strongest it’s ever been.”

Try this: Oceane’s no-equipment 20-minute Full Body Home Workout has bodyweight strength work, agility drills, and zero jumping, so no worries of complaints from your downstairs neighbours. 

Think you’re fit and want to take on a tough workout? Try this no-equipment 15-minute Advanced HIIT Workout (don’t hesitate to hit the pause button if you need to catch your breath!)
Make 15 minutes seem like 30 with Natacha's no-equipment HIIT.
Can body positivity be a negative?
Over the past decade, the body positivity movement has encouraged men and women to celebrate our bodies, no matter the shape or size. As a retaliation to body shaming and weight bias, it has spurred women to post unedited photos of their bodies on Instagram, and turned some plus-size models into influencers. 

But there may be problems with this push for unconditional self-love. As novelist Kelly deVos wrote in an essay on body positivity for the New York Times in 2018: “The problem with today’s version of body positivity is that it refuses to acknowledge that no one approach is right for every person. One teenager might grow up to be healthy at any weight, and another might end up in the hospital.” 

Does “body positivity” serve corporations who want us to continue to eat packaged, processed food? To not question the connection between what’s on grocery store shelves, and the rate of overweight and obesity in our society? Is there a middle path between “Healthy At Any Size” and body shaming? 

As gym owner and trainer Alyssa Royce commented in Glamour: “Throwing away a lifetime of body hang-ups is way more complicated than adopting a few ‘empowering’ hashtags.” Royce prefers the phrase “body acceptance”, implying respect for ourselves without the pressure to force a positive emotion.
Explainer: Protein powder rundown
Wandering the shelves of GNC or clicking around on supplement sites can be confusing. Many “supps” are marketed to gym bros, with ludicrous names like Bucked Up and Total War. But some are actually useful for us, if used correctly.

If you ramp up your training, or find yourself getting hungry during the day, adding easily-digestible protein in the form of a powdered supplement may help. A rundown of the top types: 
  • Whey protein isolate: Derived from dairy, it has the highest percentage of pure protein and is low in carbohydrates.
  • Casein protein: Like whey protein, casein protein is derived from milk, but digested and absorbed much more slowly by your body than whey. It may help you feel fuller for longer.
  • Collagen protein: Collagen promotes healthy skin and joints. Most collagen protein powders are tasteless and unflavored—making them useful as an additive to other foods—and are low in carbohydrates.
  • Soy protein isolate and pea protein isolate: Good options for vegetarians and vegans. Watch for additives that can add calories and carbohydrates—be sure to read the label.
Do you use protein as a supplement or occasional meal replacement? Reply and let us know your favorites—we’d love to share them with other Fit Girls in a future issue!
 “Do you have any tips for motivating oneself to get off one’s ass?” Workout motivation tips to help even the worst procrastinators (Vice)

 This step-by-step video by vegan cookbook author Caitlin Shoemaker gives how-tos on five easy, budget-friendly, and healthy vegan meals for weeknights (YouTube)

 Make some plans for after “vax and relax”: positive anticipation can be a powerful motivator. Here’s why it boosts your mood when you plan some things to look forward to (Vice)

 For a super-easy and cost-effective low-carb dish that’ll provide you dinner for a couple of days, try this ground chicken meatloaf (Low Carb So Simple)

 Spend a lot of time sitting during the workday? You’ve gotta try this 3-minute neck mobility drill—it relaxed us during a long day at our desk (Mark Wildman)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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