The Fat Girl’s Guide to Running chronicles Julie Creffield’s escapades as an overweight runner. Her mission is to show individuals and the public that ‘slim doesn’t equal fit, and fat doesn’t always equal to being unhealthy.’
Before discovering running, Julie was unfit, overweight and living on a diet of fast food and binge drinking. After participating in a work-related 3k fun run—in which she “almost died” and was called, “Fatty” by a young spectator—she decided to turn her health around and start making an effort.
Today, Julie regularly trains and runs for marathons, weighing 157-lbs and running 5 to 10-km four times a week.
To chronicle her journey for others, and show that size shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to running races, Julie created her website, The Fat Girl’s Guide to Running.
Advocating the Health at Every Size approach, or HAES, the website states:
“Being overweight in this modern world is not an easy thing what with the Medias obsession with an unachievable idea of “The Perfect Body” the pressure to be a certain size and to live a healthy lifestyle has never been stronger.”
As the only web resource in the world specifically designed for plus sized women interested in running, the site promises not to shame people into losing weight. Instead, the website is on a mission to simply get 1 million ‘fat’ women running—and proud of what their bodies can accomplish.
Hoping to remove the stigma that fat people are lazy, the resource also gives tips for beginner overweight runners, nutrition pointers, is a directory for events and advertises running campaigns like ‘Kit that Fits,’ which encourages workout companies to make workout clothes available in larger sizes.
As an avid runner and finisher of five marathons myself, I know just how difficult it is sometimes to keep running. The fact that this blogger is doing so—and inspiring thousands of others—despite her size and negative stereotypes surrounding her body type is so very impressive, and I hope she continues her running journey and continues to get other overweight girls off the couch and into sneakers.
While I’m inclined to think that running and weight loss go hand-in-hand, I know that circumstances are different for different people. A plus sized person that is a regular running may not necessarily lose weight—especially at first—so it’s important that they remain inspired and motivated to continue.
Running is a great stress reliever, exercise tool and endorphin releaser–no matter what your size is, I recommend giving it a try!