Much like I wrote about in my “Merfolk and their Weight” blog, fitness is very much a personal journey. I started documenting my fitness journey almost a year ago on this blog. For this entry I want to give a summary of the year, share some wisdom with my personal trainer, and let you know what I’ve come to learn is important for mermaids with their fitness!
A lot goes into being a mermaid. Whether you’re doing it for fun, or doing it as a job. Hair, makeup, costumes, and yes… fitness. It takes a lot of strength and stamina to be a mer, and being a mer can add an extra layer of stress to your body. You’re swimming, often in a very heavy costume, lugging loads of gear and sometimes kids, balancing precariously, and dealing with often stressful situations. Your costume puts a lot of pressure on your hips, knees, and ankles. The dolphin kick can put a lot of extra force on your lower back when it’s coupled with a tail that is either heavy or creates a lot of drag (resistance) in the water.
Back when I started researching for my third book: The Fishy Business Handbook for Mermaids, I asked the community what sort of information they'd like to see in the book. I had an overwhelming response asking for the experiences of other merfolk in different demographics. So I began running surveys and collecting experiences from different demographics from our mer-world. This included asking men about their experiences, asking the merfolk who are trans/non binary, looking at issues specific to merMAIDS, and a big request was research into the area of weight and body image. The information I collected went on to be in my book, and other blogs, such as the recent on on Mermen.
I ran a survey for months where anyone who identified as "plus size" (a term suggested) within the mer community could share their experiences. The survey results were published in my book, and now I'd like to share some of them with you all here! All of the photos you see were submitted by people who self-identified as "plus size" (or a similar variation) and were happy to contribute.
The Halifax Mermaid
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