July 17, 2014
I am always slightly amused at the reaction I get when people ask me the name of my blog.
“The Fat Girls Guide to Running” I say proudly.
Sometimes I get a laugh, sometimes I get a quizicle, slightly uncomfortable look and often particularly from slim people who just don’t understand why I would say such a thing about myself I get an almost defensive politically sensitive
“But you’re not FAT!!”
I love the way that others feel they have the right to tell me wether I am or am not fat. The doctors tell me I am, the media tell me I am, the fact that many highstreet stores do not stock clothes to fit me sure as hell tells me I am, I mean they have specific “Fat” clothes stores and worse still “Fat sections” so if you are overweight, you kinda know it. I feel like I have been overweight my whole adult life, the closest I got to a normal reading on the BMI scale was whilst in training for my 2012 London Marathon, weeks before finding out I was pregnant and even then I was still about 10lbs overweight. I am overweight its a fact, and i’m not afraid of using the word fat in reference to myself. Of course I don’t go around calling other women fat and it’s not something I like being described as by others, but I am entitled to describe myself anyway I wish. With the launch of the new website url and of course the “Too Fat to Run?” merchandise there has been a bit of a backlash. This was expected, as I knew not everyone would feel comfortable branding themselves with the word Fat before heading out the door for a run. Since the new site went live on Monday the general consensous though has been that it is a unique and lighthearted way to get the message out there that exercise, and running specifically is an accessible activity for overweight women, and that we shouldn’t shy away from it.
Yesterday while I slept a number of USA media outlets picked up on the story and it all went a bit “viral” with tweets and facebook likes all over the place, but there was one website (see the full story here) which run the story that was particularly interesting. Jezebel.com is a media gossip site that gets 200K hits per day and they run a story on me. What followed in the comments section was fascinating
are we really saying that this woman is SO GARGANTUALLY FAT that she encompasses the entire sphere of “fat people” and, since she can run, she proves that there can be no one “too fat” to run. It’s totally insulting to her, and totally untrue.
One commenter said.
She’s not that fat
said another But the final word has to go to this one
I have curves but I am not fat or as another commentator described women of my size: “pretty overweight”. (Which I am not so f**k you)
The reporter on this article Kelly Faircloth fights my corner and gives good arguments in support of the site, but it is interesting that apparently for you to stand up for overweight women you have to be a certain type of overweight yourself. Clearly as overweight women we still judge others in a “Well, shes not THAT fat” kinda way without a second thought. How Fat do I need to be to have any amount of integrity in this area of work? 240lb?, 250lbs or how about 300lbs cos I have been all of those in the last 2 years. Why do you think people take this standpoint? I am not trying to talk on behalf of all overweight people or telling anyone who is not the media’s idea of perfect that they must start calling themselves fat, not at all. I guess the reporters choice of headline “Here’s Proof That There’s No Such Thing As Too Fat to Run” didn’t help. Of course there are people that are too overweight and imobile to just jump out of bed an go for a run, but as I state in the Getting Started area of the site, even having the mindset of a runner, setting goals, having a plan, keeping your eye on the prize, all of those things can be integrated into any lifestyle change. That little kid that called me Fatty all those years ago has a lot to answer for hey? But maybe he was just saying it as he saw it, which many children do. Although he was a little *shit” and old enough to know better. I wrote a piece about this on the Huffington Post yesterday so check it out.
So come on guys how fat is fat?