body image · competition · fat · fitness · health

Fit Fatties Challenge is Starting Soon

As regular readers of this blog know I have an ambivalent relationship with the word “fat” as a descriptor of me. In the post Fat or big: What’s in a name?, I say I often feel that “big” better suits me. I’m the female equivalent (does it need a female equivalent?) of “brawny.”

But I’m 100% in favour of other people using the term as a neutral descriptor. It’s just a fact. And I think we ought to reclaim the word. Why? See Reclaiming the ‘F’ Word: It’s For the Children, or Reclaiming the word FAT, or Cutting Fatphobic Language Out of Your Life and many more.

And while I don’t think we’re under any obligation to pursue health as a goal whatever our size (see Healthism, fitness, and the politics of respectability) I am a strong supporter of making space for exercise for people of all shapes and sizes. We ought to be able to pursue fitness, without doing so as a way of chasing away fatness. There are lots and lots of benefits of exercise that have nothing to do with weight loss. In fact, I think linking weight loss and exercise is a dangerous move for both fat and thin people and everybody in the middle too.

See How equating being fat with being out of shape hurts the thin and Fit, Fat, and What’s Wrong with BMI .

It can be hard to find a supportive place to workout if you’re fat, especially if you’re fat and not so much interested in weight loss. See Working Out While Fat for more on that theme.

With me so far?

Then let me introduce you to the Fit Fatties.

Who are the Fit Fatties?

Jeanette DePatie writes, “A few years back, Ragen Chastain and I created the Fit Fatties Forum, a place where exercisers of all ages, sizes and abilities could get together, talk about exercise and help each other in an environment free from weight-loss talk. The forum has grown organically from just three members to over 2,400 from six continents around the world. And while Ragen and I drop in from time to time and offer advice and encouragement, the Fit Fatties Forum is run for and by its members. And this group has expertise about, well, everything! Need to find out about buying a wetsuit and what kind of weight belt you need for deep sea diving? Check! Need to know about what is the best sort of flaming hula hoop? Fit Fatties have your back!” See more here.

The forum is here.

Welcome to the Fit Fatties Forum – a place for anyone who wants to discuss fitness from a weight neutral perspective. You can join the conversation here, and on our Facebook page at

What’s the virtual challenge?

It’s time for the next Fit Fatties Virtual Event Challenge! We’ve changed things up a little bit this time around, in addition to participant prizes, and a medal for completing a quintathlon (5 events), decathlon (10 events), or double decathlon (20 events), this time around you can also earn Fit Fatties Flair (online badges and real world buttons!) for completing specific combinations of events.  This Challenge will start May 1, 2015 and finish August 31, 2015

You can register here.

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