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Learning about Body Positivity with Diandra Oliver section image

Learning about Body Positivity with Diandra Oliver

November 1, 2018

Last week, Diandra Oliver took our crew through a Fat Positivity + Body Positivity workshop. Through the work she facilitated, we learned the difference between body positivity and fat activism, systemic discrimination against plus size and fat identified folx, and the ways we can value all bodies and the incredible things they do. We got…

Last week, Diandra Oliver took our crew through a Fat Positivity + Body Positivity workshop. Through the work she facilitated, we learned the difference between body positivity and fat activism, systemic discrimination against plus size and fat identified folx, and the ways we can value all bodies and the incredible things they do.

We got to know Diandra a little more and found out why this type of work is so important for the fitness community:

You’ve got a lot on the go! Tell us some more about yourself and the different initiatives you’re a part of:

I am a writer and activist from the ancestral territories of Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations in Northwest, British Columbia. I grew up on mountains and in rivers, and moved to Vancouver in 2016. Since being in Vancouver I’ve jumped head first into the outdoors community, co-founding Vancouver’s first fat softball team, The Heavy Hitters and becoming the first Canadian ambassador for Fat Girls Hiking, supporting them to get their Vancouver Chapter up and running. This past summer I joined the Curvy Kili Crew, a group of awesome fat babes from all over North America who are hiking Mount Kilimanjaro for International Women’s Day 2019. The hike will be the first group fat hike of Kili and the Curvy Kili Crew has been featured all over the internet in social media stories, blog posts and podcasts. To get ready for the hike I’ve been training at Tight Club and at the beginning of October I completed a distance and elevation gain simulation of Kili which you can read more about on my blog here.

Outside of this hiking life, my partner and I parent our rad 8 year old kid. We basically run around the city eating noodles (his favourite is Mr. Red) and going to all of the swimming pools (faves are Eileen Daily in Burnaby and New Brighton pool in East Van). For work I’m a PhD student and instructor in the Geography department at Simon Fraser University. I study young people’s unemployment in Vancouver and how young people resist and advocate to have their economic realities acknowledged by the government and employers. Basically, if you were born after 1980 things are not good. Let’s fix it.

What inspired you to start this workshop?

I started working out at Tight Club with the Tight Life Challenge in January 2017. After spending decades experiencing fatphobia, homophobia and sexism in sports and fitness I had become weary about walking into anywhere new. But there was something about how Tight Club put the movement in front of the bullshit that inspired me and hooked me. Keighty, Jody, Kelsey and everyone at Tight Club was so welcoming those first three weeks and the Tight Life family was everything I needed to intentionally get my body moving again. I’ve always felt like my body was celebrated at Tight Club and it’s at Tight Club that I’ve learned to celebrate my body and what it can do.

This workshop came together because I want to support Tight Club to learn about gatekeeping in the industry (how the industry intentionally keeps fat people out by focusing on diet talk or by only having thin people in their advertising) and the systemic ways that fat folks are restricted from moving their bodies (eg. gear and clothing is not size appropriate, instructors often have traditional body types, and modifications are not always offered). I am excited to work with Tight Club to unpack the hierarchy of thinness and to develop a practice of inclusivity that supports and celebrates bodies of all sizes.

Why is it important?

Most fitness and sport spaces are alienating for fat folks. It’s really hard to go into a fitness space and not be bombarded with messages about weight loss. In our culture, gyms, fitness centres and “healthy living” are all so deeply connected to fatphobia and the diet industry (that profits off our own self-hatred). Fat Activism requires us to accept all bodies the way they are and to honour each person’s own reasons for moving their body however they want to or not. For example, I want to move my body to outlive my enemies and manage my anxiety, not to lose weight. Often when I’m working out regularly or on an elimination diet to deal with health stuff, family and friends are so excited that I’ve “lost weight” and do not hesitate in telling me that I look great and they’re so happy for me. I’ve begun to reply with a cheerful tone, “I haven’t lost any weight! I’m still fat but now I really love burpees!”. Committing to Fat Activism requires us to change the script away from happiness for weight loss to pride for gaining strength and living a tight life. The next step is taking that internal change and replicating it by advocating for all bodies in the systems around us.

What you hope others will take away from it?

I’m so proud of Tight Club and the work they’re doing to be an inclusive, safe space. It is exhausting to constantly be making space for yourself in a world that clearly doesn’t want you and it’s exciting when people in the industry stand up to do this hard work. I hope that as Tight Club deepens their practice of welcoming those folks who are typically marginalized by the fitness industry, folks will find it easier to walk into this space because it will be ready for them.


A huge thank you to Diandra for taking the time to teach us how we can make our space more accessible, inclusive, and how we can advocate for and support members with all types of bodies with empathy and solidarity. ALL BODIES are welcome here.

Sports Day Is Still The Best Day of the Year

October 1, 2018

It was no different this time around: Sports Day is THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR! The weather gods were not on our side to start the day, but y’all still came out to play and were slippin’, slidin’, and sippin’ on Hey Y’alls. And as the day continued, the sun made an appearance and…

It was no different this time around: Sports Day is THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR! The weather gods were not on our side to start the day, but y’all still came out to play and were slippin’, slidin’, and sippin’ on Hey Y’alls. And as the day continued, the sun made an appearance and before we knew it were basking in its warmth and everyone’s tight vibes.

Shout out to our amazing crew of volunteers who helped us pull this thing off!

And to these amazing peeps who made the day extra special:

Say Hey Cafe

Parkland

KIND Snacks

Hey Y’all

Cocos Pure

Swiss Water Coffee

Saucony

Scroll through to see some highlights from the day captured by our boy Grady Mitchell:

Outdoor Vices Summer 2018 Roundup!

September 30, 2018

Another summer has come and gone and with it a new batch of memories to last us a lifetime and damn, was it ever a good one. We hung out with familiar and new faces, laughed (A LOT), got sweaty (A LOT), saw you bust a move, and challenge yourselves in new ways. Endless love…

Another summer has come and gone and with it a new batch of memories to last us a lifetime and damn, was it ever a good one. We hung out with familiar and new faces, laughed (A LOT), got sweaty (A LOT), saw you bust a move, and challenge yourselves in new ways. Endless love to you all that make what we do every day sooooooo worth it. 

TIGHT BIKE

First up, let’s revisit the latest season of Tight Bike (including Rapha 100!) and hear from some of the crew on their favourite memories from this year:

I spent the whole Tight Bike season doing sloops. Every. Time. And I’m okay with it. I really wanted to be close to home because I’d been working so much. R&R was my main goal. But I also knew I needed to, and wanted to be on my bike, so a couple loops of Stanley Park after work was just what the Dr. ordered.

About three quarters of the way through the season, we made our way up to Prospect Point, as we did, and then…. we just…. stayed there. For like, quite a while. And it was great! It was a huge crew of us and we’d reach max-summer chillax – on a bike ride. We all knew each other but then we shot the shit and snapped photos. It took a push, but after a good span of time we all decided whether we’d do another loop or head home and off we went. A lovely eve.“ – CHANTELLE

My favourite rides are always the Sloops. It’s social and always a great ride with some fun competition up Prospect Point with a sweaty photo up top!

Any of the sloop photos are the best. Always sweaty and a solid group of peeps!” – ALFRED

Highlight of the season was meeting a bunch of like minded rad people who liking riding bikes! I joined to meet new people and make some friends.

Favourite ride was out to Iona beach, that was a really fun and fast ride and I really enjoyed it, plus I have never done that ride prior.“ – MATTHEW

Favourite ride: Social sloops that finished at Electric Bicycle Brewing; got some loops in and then drank beer with a good crew… what more could you ask for?” – KRISTY

RAPHA 100 

Photos by Jeff Kwok

 

TCRC

Our Tight Club Run Crew happens year round (every Tuesday at the Field House at 6:15 FYI), but running with pals while soaking in those summer rays is always a highlight. Back in July our friends at Outdoor Voices supplied our runners with “Doing Things” hats and we went out in the hood for a run and sweat session. Here are some of the highlights captured by Kezia Nathe:

MAKING MOVES SUMMER PARTY

You came, you danced, and you shot some hoops! Our Making Moves Summer Party brought out a tight crew to take part in our Free Throw Competition with Myodetox. Keep scrolling through to catch the highlights! Photos by Kezia Nathe:

And that’s a wrap for the summer of 2018!

Making Tight Moves!

June 19, 2018

We’re celebrating a summer of Making Moves! We’re stoked to launch this project: Making Moves. A product of passion and talent, of living the tight life and holding nothing back. A video to inspire movement; physical and otherwise. A creative expression of living the tight life, and making moves; whether that’s quitting your job and…

IWD2018: “What’s tight about identifying as a woman?”

March 15, 2018

It’s been a week since International Womens Day 2018, but honestly we’re always celebrating women. We dedicated a week long celebration to all the women who make our future tight and the women who make our future tight are all the inspiring, unique, strong and powerful women who walk through our doors on a daily…

It’s been a week since International Womens Day 2018, but honestly we’re always celebrating women. We dedicated a week long celebration to all the women who make our future tight and the women who make our future tight are all the inspiring, unique, strong and powerful women who walk through our doors on a daily basis. We see you and we appreciate you each and every day. That’s why we asked you to strike you’re power pose and tell us; “what’s tight about identifying as a woman?”

We’d also like to take a minute to say thanks to all of you who participated, donated, gave your time, energy and tight vibes. Here are just some of the highlights from what was one for the books last week …

 

  • Almost a 100 of you came out on Tuesday night for a super fun 5km social run in collaboration with Erin Irelands Heartbeets Run Club and as if that wasn’t awesome enough you all generously bought along menstrual products to donate to our pals at Period Posse; a non-profit organization who believes in menstrual equity, where access to menstrual products is a right.

 

 

  • The “Game Changers” class was full with the tightest of vibes to celebrate women in sports who paved the way fighting for equality and empowerment, all of you listened with warm hearts and sweated your butts off for a super fun and empowering night.

 

 

And now, “What’s tight about identifying as a woman?”

Emily

No matter what, there’s always an implied sisterhood between us if we look for it. There’s a silent support that surrounds us all.

 

Tracy

To me it’s how amazingly resilient our mind and body is to what can sometimes be such a tough world out there. As women, we just persist and take on whatever comes our way and that’s pretty tight.

 

Shanique

It’s sweet that as women we are able to give life.

 

Gil

Being soft and strong.

 

Kelsey

Having people underestimate me or my strength because I’m a woman and getting to show them WHAT’S UP!

 

Malloreigh

That we can embrace our femininity that men don’t always feel comfortable doing.

 

Heather

We get shit done.

 

Diana

That I get to be part of a band of badass woman.

 

Michelle & Sarah

Sarah: I’m one of twins and sisters are just on a whole other level.

Michelle: Being inspired and empowered by other women like Keighty 😉

 

Claire

Being able to support one another and be part of this amazing network of strong women.

 

Gail

We pretty much run the world now!

 

Sasha

Having the ability to prove people wrong, like watch us be CEO’s, scientists, athletes … whatever and whoever we want to be.

 

Caley

It’s tight to have so much opportunity, we’ve got so much ground to pave (metamorphic-ally).

 

Ali

F*cking everything! I can’t just pick one thing.

 

Keighty

My innate nature to provide safe spaces for the people in my life.

 

Jessica

What’s tight about being a woman is being a woman right now in 2018 because there is a huge change happening and it’s awesome to be part of it all.

 

Lindsay & Madeline

Easy: empowering other women.

 

Tight Club Check-in: Janet Nixon

March 13, 2018

Take a peek inside the Tight Club community, each week we’re checking in with one of our crew to learn what they get up to when they’re not slamming balls or crushing burpee challenges. These are the people that motivate you in class when sh!t gets real. From OG’s to newbies, here’s their inside scoop.…

Take a peek inside the Tight Club community, each week we’re checking in with one of our crew to learn what they get up to when they’re not slamming balls or crushing burpee challenges. These are the people that motivate you in class when sh!t gets real. From OG’s to newbies, here’s their inside scoop.

Meet Janet.

 

 

What would the title of your autobiography be?

Success on my own terms. Connection, Values and Joy.

Words/quote to live by?

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.

 

 

Something you really love about yourself (self-love is tiiiiight!)

My vulnerability. Although it’s painful sometimes, I feel like I live my life wholeheartedly and all that comes with that.

The sun has been out recently, how have you been enjoying it?

As soon as the sun is out, I have to go for a walk. My dog loves it more than I do, so it’s a mutual walk with springs in our step.

 

 

 

What makes Vancouver awesome for you?

Sometimes I think it’s the ocean, sometimes I think it’s the sheer beauty. Whenever I go somewhere else in the world that’s known to be great, I always think it’s better at home. We have it all (OK, maybe more sun in the winter would be good). I’ve only ever once thought somewhere was as beautiful as here, in Istanbul on a warm, sunny day looking down from the Golden Horn.

 

 

 

The tightest thing in your life rn.

I think after struggling for a few years to make my business really go, I’ve finally found something that really works, is growing exponentially and it’s easy. It’s hard to get into a mindset of Abundance but it’s such a worthwhile pursuit.

 

How did you find out about Tight Club?

Rachelle Bonneville was my trainer at a previous gym and she told me she was teaching classes there. She was so excited about the community and the people there that I just had to check it out.

 

 

Your fav move in class?

Any of the routines of a few movements that go with the music. Using the music is so important to me, the beat going with the exercises and the mood it creates.

 

Besides classes, we know you also do personal training sessions with Andrea. What do those look like?

I was so close to Rachelle and I really enjoyed her ‘ab’ focus. So I was really surprised that when I started training with Andrea, we went to a new level. Both in closeness and workouts. She uses heavier weights that I used to think would make me bulky, which has resulted in much more strength, overcame some injuries, and now I can go to many Tight Club classes as well, because I am now fit and strong enough. I train twice a week with Andrea and try to do 4 Tight Club classes a week.

 

A book you plan on reading?

Rising Strong by Brene Brown. I have read other books and watched her TED talks and I think she has great insights to live by.

 

 

 

Are you a dog or cat person?

I have both. Most days the dog gets more attention because she forces it, but my cat is equally affectionate and connected. They’re different but equally great.

 

 

Three people dead or alive you would like to have dinner with?

I have a whole Pinterest board on this so limiting it to three is hard. I’ll start with the Obamas, Amal Clooney, Adele, Christine Largarde, Lady Gaga, Christiane Amanpour, Benedict Cumberbatch, Welby Altidor … you see?

 

With the Winter Olympics having just wrapped up, what would be the event you wish you could master?

I don’t know if I care to master it, but watching Shaun White and the way he feels about snowboarding, it looks like he just does it for the fun. Period. That’s attractive to me.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Having a very successful professional year and travelling every two months.

 

 

 

Interview by: @maxime.evans

All photos by: @valerielina

Being your own Valentine is TIGHT

February 14, 2018

It’s Valentine’s day and whether your married, seeing someone or single we’re here to tell you that being your own Valentine is TIGHT. Take today’s celebration of love and shower it all on yourself. We chatted with our trainers to find out all the tight ways that they practice self-love. Make sure you block off…

It’s Valentine’s day and whether your married, seeing someone or single we’re here to tell you that being your own Valentine is TIGHT. Take today’s celebration of love and shower it all on yourself. We chatted with our trainers to find out all the tight ways that they practice self-love. Make sure you block off some time today or later in the week to take care of you boo, self-love is the tightest love!

 

Amanda says go snowboarding all day then come home and watch the winter olympics all night with a drink of choice.

 

Natalie says get your running shoes on and hit the trails to let that brisk fresh air hug you. Bonus points for getting up and down the mountain before work!

 

Michael says if you can’t go to Mexico, bring Mexico to you. Dig up your favourite swim gear, go find your nearest hot tub, swimming pool and tanning bed. Caliente!

 

Andrea says go invest in a pasta maker and spend the entire night drinking wine and making all the pasta your heart desires. And actually while your at it, make some focaccia bread to soak up all that delicious sauce.

 

Kelsey says run away to Squamish for a sunrise lake swim with snacks and a deck of tarot cards.

 

Lucy says donuts and coffee, what else did you expect?

 

Keighty says head on down to the wonderful ladies at womyns ware…treat yourself 😉

Tight Life Challenge Gold: Interview with Kezia Nathe

February 2, 2018

  What were your expectations going into the 3 weeks? Spring/Summer was full of travelling and work and maintaining my usual level of fitness and nutrition started to become a huge struggle. I have high expectations of myself and was starting to get more and more down on myself as I felt like I was…

 

What were your expectations going into the 3 weeks?

Spring/Summer was full of travelling and work and maintaining my usual level of fitness and nutrition started to become a huge struggle. I have high expectations of myself and was starting to get more and more down on myself as I felt like I was losing control of the food I put in my body, and missed the energy and strength and happiness I felt from exercising consistently, but couldn’t seem to get out of my rut no matter how much I wanted to. I needed something to help snap me out of it and reignite my motivation- I needed the tight life challenge. So my expectation was this…in those 3 weeks I wanted to drop my bad habits of unhealthy snacking and mindless eating, remember how good I feel when I fuel my body properly and crave that instead of junk, rediscover my drive and passion to sweat and push myself hard physically no matter what kind of day I’m having, and overall, regain balance in my life. Like usual, I had high expectations.

Did you have a goal in mind?

The tight life kick off includes goal setting and although I wrote down a few specific strength and physicality related goals I honestly wasn’t too concerned if I met them within those 3 weeks because I knew they would come with time and consistency so my biggest and most important goal was the mental aspect of having a better relationship with food and simply getting back into the habit of eating healthy and training hard.

What were your fears about taking on those 3 weeks?

Initially my biggest fear was the nutrition aspect. At that point I felt really out of control with what I ate, always giving in to unhealthy cravings and overeating even though I knew I’d feel shitty after. So my fear was that I’d give in to that during the Tight Life and fail myself and the rest of the group.

What was the most challenging aspect of the challenge and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was sticking to workouts and eating healthy despite having plans to go out with friends, getting a cold, and having exhausting work days. The group support was huge in helping me get through this. Being able to post to the Facebook group on a tough day and in response get support and encouragement from everyone helped motivate me to stay on track and feel accountable.

How did the community support you, or did you feel like the community had your back?

See my last response. The community definitely had my back, we shared our struggles and celebrated our wins together. One thing I looked forward to most about the workouts was seeing each and every person who was a part of this challenge. Even on the days I didn’t feel like going, that’s what helped get me there.

What was the most surprising thing?

The thing that surprised me the most was how much my physical assessments improved. I didn’t really expect to see that much of a difference in 3 weeks as that isn’t really very long, but not only did I smash and improve every single challenge, I also lost almost 5 lbs and inches off my measurements.

What were you the most proud of?

Meeting my mental goals. After those 3 weeks I felt so much better mentally. I felt in control of what and how much I ate, I was craving veggies not sugar (most of the time), I felt myself regaining confidence in my body, and overall was feeling balanced again. Although I have a lot of work ahead of me to meet my long term strength goals, I’m back on the right track to get there. I’m also really proud of the group of humans I got to do this with, for the goals they met and the challenges they all overcame (oh ya, and my 10:04 min wall sit!).

What does living the ‘Tight Life’ mean to you?

To me, living the tight life means having a healthy, balanced lifestyle and doing what I love that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning, excited to start each day. It means living life and loving to the fullest.

Who would you recommend the Tight Life Challenge Gold to?

I’d recommend this to almost anyone really, the only requirement for the gold level challenge being that you have some kind of fitness knowledge and experience. Everyone’s goals are so individual both mentally and physically and I truly believe you will get out of it as much as you are willing to put in. There’s always alternatives, progressions, new ways of trying things, and ways to challenge yourself in every aspect of life: workouts, nutrition, relationships, etc. So if you commit, show up, put the work in, have fun, and be a part of the community and support system, I guarantee anyone can benefit and be rewarded from those 3 weeks.

For more info and to sign up click here

Special thanks to #tightbabe @kezianathe for taking the time to answer these questions!

Copy & layout: @maxime.evans