Now blogging at fatgirlonarun.wordpress.com

So, this blog had a happy ending. I met a guy, we fell in love, now we live together and everything is lovely. (No, seriously. It’ s been over a year and hot damn! Things are good.) There’s still stuff to say and I might occasionally drop in here, but for the most part I’ve moved on to another adventure: running.

I started running about a year ago and blogged a bit about it here. I ran my first 5k last March, did a 10k in October and in a haze of post-race endorphins signed up to train for a half marathon this April. A half marathon?! What was I thinking? Well, what I was thinking was this (and, lord, I have to remind myself of this over and over again, because EVERY DAY I want to quit. Every. Single. Day.): I don’t have a job right do (boo) and I’m kind of floundering. I thought it would be good to have a goal, a big challenge to overcome. My sister got her running start with Team in Training and had an awesome, life-changing experience (she met her boyfriend there, and a group of women who have become some of her closest friends, and now she runs half a dozen races a year). So I went for it.

Anyway, I’m blogging about it – in particular, about the experience of being a fat runner. Come check it out.

(You can also donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and help me meet my fundraising goal.)

Biggest Loser criticism… on a running website!?

I did another 5K this weekend. Bettered my time by about 30 seconds, which is exciting (particularly given that my second race was cold, rainy, and hilly, in contrast to the perfect weather and nearly flat landscape of the first 5k) – yay me!

So I’m poking around online, looking for another race to run in May. I stumbled upon this article, posted on the website of a company that hosts and organizes races: The Biggest Loser TV Contest: A Big Loser. It’s a good article,with a some fat acceptance messages tucked in there. Not perfect, but good – and surprising to find on an athetic competition site, I thought.

What do you think?


fat girl dating and running updates

When I started my relationship with M I didn’t want to write about it on here now. I told him about the site – kind of; not with enough information that he could find it – and I told him that I wasn’t going to write about us, or really write much at all anymore. That felt right.

A few times in the past few weeks, though, I’ve thought of something I wanted to write on here. How he surprised me for my birthday. Conversations we’ve had about size, fat acceptance, health, eating, exercise. Ways he’s challenged me. Or, just generally, how true it is that it’s easier to accept and love yourself when someone else accepts and loves you, too.

Anyway. I haven’t figured out how to negotiate this yet, but for the time being I wanted to drop two quick updates: On Running and On Love.

On Running

I did it!

I did it!

My 5K was on March 22; I finished in 43 minutes and 49 seconds; about a minute under my goal time of 45 minutes. Go me! (Sorry for the lame white-outs up there; I erased all the identifying stuff like my last name and my and my sister’s race numbers.) I’m running another one next weekend, and again in May. After that, who knows?

On Love

M came back to Minnesota to watch my race, and to celebrate my 30th birthday. He met my family and a bunch of friends. We drove back to Pennsylvania together, stopping in a few places to visit other friends. We were doing great before the trip and we’re even better now. Something solidified during that time we spent together. Now, in addition to the joy we had in each other, it feels like we have security as well. Life is good.

fat girl in love

It feels a little weird, not writing here. It shouldn’t, I guess, since I’ve gone through periods of not writing much before. The difference is now that I actually have lots to say… it’s just that I don’t want to say it here.

(It’s funny, because I definitely think of you folks as my friends. But even with my friends, I have a hard time talking about things like this. It’s not that I want to keep my feelings to myself, not at all, it’s just that I struggle to know how to express them.)

The relationship that I mentioned last month is going strong. No, that sounds weird. It is going strong, but what I really want to say is that it’s beautiful, exciting, grounding, life-altering. I’m a logical person, a rational person. I work hard to make decisions based on the facts, on my best guesses, on pros and cons. But with M? I can’t. I just know. This is it.

Eek.

In other news, best troll comment ever: “FATTYS MUST DIE! ALLAH ACKBAR!”

running ups and downs

Since coming back for the holidays, I’ve been having a hard time running. Some of it’s to do with a new schedule, new obligations, a new relationship – but most of it is because I had a bad running day.

Runners, you know what I mean? Two Wednesdays ago I was scheduled to run. It was raining, so I took a (lovely, lovely) nap instead. Thursday was beautiful; I worked (as a cook, on my feet – this is how I earn my keep these days) all morning and afternoon and decided to go for a run before dinner.  For the first time in all my training I just couldn’t do it. I was too wiped out, and I ended up walking almost the whole route. I remember thinking that I needed to be careful not to psych myself out about it, not to lose confidence, to think that one bad run means that I can’t do it.

Yeah. Uh, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. And now I’m feeling insecure and worried, and then I went down to DC for the inauguration (!!!!!!!) and didn’t run at all (although I calculated that I walked about ten miles a day the four days I was there), and now I’m nervous about my next run.

On the flip side, I had a great experience last week: I walked up a hill that I’ve walked a hundred times before, and for the first time I wasn’t out of breath at the top. Sounds silly? It wasn’t that being out of breath was terrible; it was that this was the first real indication I’ve had of improved fitness from my running. The running never seems to get easier, I don’t feel stronger, my clothes don’t fit differently – but I can do something that I couldn’t do before. Awesome. I want more of it. It’s enough to get over my running slump. I’m headed out tomorrow!

confession

Ok, it’s been a little while. I was at home for the holidays, and then I came back and had a crazy-busy week, and I have all sorts of very good excuses.

But here’s the real reason: Through a series of coincidences – not through any of my attempts at online dating, and he’s not the man I wrote about here – I met a really nice man. I don’t know where things are going with him, yet, but it’s good, and it feels private, and I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it here, even in my semi-anonymous form.

So wish me luck! I’ll be back with other bits of commentary, but for the time being the whole “on a date” bit is going to go dark (again).

Confessions of a REALLY fat runner

In the December 2, 2008 issue of Newsweek, on page 20, we’re treated to an essay titled “Confessions of a Fat Runner.”

I’m not sure what to make of it.

My first reaction was of great interest. Hey, I thought, I’m a fat runner! (Whee! I’m a runner! I’m not over that yet.) My interest quickly turned to confusion; the woman who is pictured is not at all fat. No, really. Not just not-fat in comparison to really-fat me – she’s Not Fat.  She’s posing a little weirdly, one leg crossed in front of the other as if she’s trying to hide her thighs or something – but she’s in running pants. You know, tight. She’s very obviously not fat.

She’s a size 14, apparently. This is how she describes herself:

“Most runners are ectomorphs: emaciated and square-jawed. Me, I’m an endomorph, posessed of a soft and thick body that looks as if it was stuffed to order at Build-A-Bear, not sculpted at an L.A. sports club. I look so unlike a runner that, when I first started jogging, passing motorists would pull over and ask if I needed a ride.”

Having read it a few times now, I don’t think there’s a clear point to the essay. Here are some possible conclusions you could draw from what she writes:

  1. Not all runners are thin.
  2. Running doesn’t make you thin.
  3. Running is a fat-friendly sport.
  4. Running is fun.

Ok. I mean, those are generally positive conclusions, and ones I pretty much agree with. (Not so sure about running being fat-friendly. I run by myself; my running is wildly fat-friendly. I’m all “Whoo! You look awesome, fatgirlonadate! Nice job! You are WORKIN’ those skintight bootcut running pants that were obviously intended for pre-teens.” But elsewhere?) She makes a nice point about how she’s run 10 miles a week for the past 20 years and hasn’t lost any weight, but she counters that with a wisecrack about how losing weight would require eating less ice cream, and gee whiz she’s just not willing to do that.

So there’s not much to the essay. But I’d love to hear from an actual fat runner – someone like me, a size 24, except maybe someone who’s been running for more than, oh, a month – in a magazine with an audience as large as Newsweek’s.  I’d love to see someone write about the struggle to find high-quality gear in plus sizes, or the conversations they have with folks whose minds are blown when they realize that the chick who’s eight sizes larger than them runs three miles a day, or what it’s like to run races when you’re twice the size of the other runners.

My experience has been superlative, so far. I found running gear that is working brilliantly (thanks Brooks! thanks Enell! thanks Moving Comfort!). I run through my quiet neighborhood and have received from folks I pass or who pass me only waves, smiles, and wry comments about their own failings (“Hey, I do what I can!” said an old, old man with a crooked smile that I jogged past on Thanksgiving). Every single person I’ve told about my running – and I tell everyone, working under the belief that if I tell people then I’ll be too embarrassed to quit – has been interested and supportive and not at all flabbergasted; three people have started running, or started running again, since I told them what I was doing.

I’m running my first race on March 22*. That’s a week after my thirtieth birthday, and my father might run it with me. Then, a few weeks later, I’m running the Cherry Blossom 5K in D.C., with my sister, who will just off a six-month layoff following a stress fracture she got in training for the Marine Corps marathon.

Wish me luck!

* Yeah, the website’s funky. It’s still showing the 2008 info.