10 years, 10 books

When I was 10 years old I wanted to be a writer

The problem was I wasn’t very good at spelling, nor grammar and no one really gave a shite what I thought about the world.

My Nans brother was a journalist, Leslie Jerman and I had met him briefly at a family wedding, and he had told me about all the travel and adventures he hah had…and that sounded like the kind of life I wanted to have.

We became penpals, and wrote to each other for over 10 year. Every time I asked him how to become a writer he would answer in the same way,

“If you want to be a writer you just have to write”

In 2010 I set up The Fat Girls Guide to Running, a blog. I was frustrated with coming last, not finding kit that fitted, being laughed at and shouted at in the streets while running…I didn’t know then that this would be how I would hone my writing skills.

Last night, I pressed publish on my 10th book….yep 10…I can’t believe it myself.

So here is a little run down of the 10 books I have wrote over the past decade.

1.From Slouch to 10K

I wrote this ebook over a weekend when Rose was just a baby. I had been to a Hay House writers weekend and had this idea for a book for plus size runners that could act like a bible so to speak.

I was busy writing a proposal to send to publishers and I can remember thinking, “this is ridiculous, the amount of time I am spending on this proposal I might as well just write the damn thing” but instead I just did a little test run, and wrote a book about my current issue which was getting back up to the 10K distance.

I sold 100 copies in the first weekend, and I was over the moon.

2. Getting Past the first 30 seconds

Another short to read book, a few months later. This was in response to women saying “yeah but I can’t even run to the top of my road” how do I get started?”

I took this off the market a few years back, as it got quite a lot of criticism for being so short and simple as an ebook. I think it’s worth remembering where the world was 7 years ago. Plus size running wasn’t really a thing…and a heap of the popular running books for women were not available then.

3. How to run with a baby

I loved writing this book, and it was the first to be available as a paperback (I now knew how to do this) This was a simple book about how to fit in exercise after becoming a parent…but not just when they are little, but right through every stage of their development.

The book was originally called “100 ways to run with a baby” and I did a book launch in a cafe in the Olympic Park where I had recently started running buggy fit classes….a total of 4 people came ha ha

4. 5 weeks to 5K

Now, this is where things started to get interesting. I got a phone call from a producer at ITV’s This Morning TV show. They wanted to know if I could run a feature over 6 weeks teaching 3 complete runners how to run, and supporting them to get up to the 5K distance.

5 weeks to 5K I thought? Can that be done? Well it could if you took the pressure off being able to run every step of it, and you committed to building up slowly and really listened to your body…great I thought, I’ll write another book in time for being on national TV

I would later develop an online programme, helping women to get to that important milestone. More than 3000 women have been through that programme now. (The next cohort kicks off in January)

5. New Year, Same You

The blog was really starting to get some traction, and my online programmes were becoming popular. I started writing more about womens issues. the fear of judgement, the diet industry, general health and wellbeing.

I wrote this book as we approached Xmas in 2015

I took this down a few years back too, as I felt the information was outdated, and I didn’t believe all that was in it anymore. My views on what healthy was had changed. Although, I still stand by this quote…

“Health and happiness improvements can be made by making tiny little adjustments over time. They don’t need to be massive big shifts especially if they are unlikely to stay, and you don’t have to wait for the start of a new year, new month, new week or even new day to make the change.”

6. Scream if You Want to Run Faster

I Loooooove this book. It was such a fun book to research and write, and women are always emailing me to feed back that they read the book, did the exercises and got faster…I mean thats what you want as an author and as a coach…people to take action from your writing.

The book shares 8 strategies for improving your speed over the 5K distance, and it also talks about the pressure we sometimes feel as slower runners. It makes you the superhero of your own running story.

This also became a popular online group programme, which has seen women knock off as much as 8 minutes off their 5K time. (The next cohort starts in January)

7. The Fat Girls Guide to Marathon Running

This is the book of all books. The one I’m probably most proud of. I decided to write this after 3 or 4 years of coaching women to run their first full marathon and after having run 4 of them myself.

This book is probably the one I wanted to write all those years back, the bible of plus size running, as it’s packed with loads of general advice and fun stories even if you never want to run a full marathon.

Women stop me at races to tell me that my book helped them get prepared, and they email me to thank me for helping them to believe that they could do it.

8. Living a Bigger Life

In May 2018 I did one of the scariest things of my life…and this time I was not in running shoes. I stepped on a little round red carpet and delivered a 14 minute talk.

I did a Tedx talk on Living a Bigger Life, all about the fear of judgement women face, especially plus size women.

I had found a statistic that said the average woman would spend 31 years of her life on a diet….shocking!!!

You can watch it here

As part of the preparation for this talk, I worked with 100 women over a 100 days to explore various health and wellbeing issues, interviewing them before and after the process about how they felt. The data from those interviews informed the talk and this book.

9. Leading from the back

With the 10 year anniversary of my blog approaching in 2020 I wanted to write an anniversary book, sharing all of the lessons. I started writing it in the autumn of 2019 and was almost ready to send it to the editors in February 2020…ready for its planned release day on London Marathon Day….but then COVID.

I did not want to launch a running book into the world, when the world was not running, and so I parked it, and spent the next few months focussing on the running of my 2 businessess and homeschooling my 7 year old.

But in the summer when the dust had started to settle, I felt this need to write again…but I didn’t want to write purely about running, instead I wanted to write about what it means to be a leader in the online space, how to build movements that matter, how to grow a profitable and impactful tribe.

And so I kept the name but started writing a completely new book. I headed out to Greece for 3 weeks, to get the peace and quiet I needed to write it…I ended up staying for 8 weeks.

The ebook went live on the 1st of December, and the paperback will be out in a few days. If you are running a business you need to read this book, it has a few stories about running too just for good measure.

And my Next book???….book number 10

10. Pass me the Lube, My lessons from a decade as a plus-size athlete.

And so now, now that the world is running again, even if the whole race thing is still not certain. I feel ready to share my lessons from the last decade.

Work has commenced on pulling this all together and the book will be out early next year.

This book is going to be jammed pack with life lessons, funny stories and anecdotes from my running community.

It may well be my last book on Running.

I guess a girl has to retire at some point hey? I do still run, but not as much as I have over the past decade. I have got into sea swimming, and love my peloton, and much prefer hiking to running…and so, and at this point I can’t see myself running marathons again.

But never say never right?

So there you have it 10 books in 10 years, thousands of articles and emails…I think it is safe to say that I am in fact a writer.

I got there in the end Uncle Les

Julie Creffield is the founder of Too Fat to Run, a plus size movement that helps women to get over the fear of judgement to lead healthier and happier lives.

As a serial entrepreneur, community engagement strategist and business coach, Julie also works with small business owners to help them build movements that matter, you can find out more about this work at www.juliecreffield.com

Julie is currently looking for partners/brands/investors to help take the Too Fat to Run movement forward over the next decade.

For all inquiries please contact julie@juliecreffield.com

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