athletes · competition · fitness · inclusiveness · running · training · triathalon

By the way, fat people also aren’t lying about exercise either

Earlier this week, I talked about the lack of credibility given to fat people when it comes to what we eat. You can tell people, if you’re me, that you’re a non drinking, non fast food eating, vegetarian but people don’t really believe you.

But it’s also true that no one believes what we do when it comes to activity either.

This week Ragen Chastain appeared in People Magazine as the heaviest woman to ever complete a marathon. She’s actually completed two because the first time she didn’t know it would put her in the Guinness book of records and she didn’t notify them.

She’s not alone as a larger endurance athlete. See my post (Updated) Plus sized endurance athletes, we exist!

What gets me about Ragen is not what she’s done, though that’s remarkable at any size, it’s the lengths people will go to deny it. Tracy blogged about it here, When “pathetic” loses its irony. It’s a post about a Facebook group she was in that allowed a lot of Ragen trolling, bashing, and skepicism to go unchecked.

You can follow Ragen’s journey to Ironman here at her blog IronFat.

The Ragen haters have their own blog IronFacts, which is a debunking blog which supposedly tells the truth about Ragen and details her lies. It was last updated in May 2017. Since presumably People magazine has its own fact checkers maybe that’s shut them up. I don’t know. I find the whole thing puzzling.

Like, why would you even doubt that she’s telling the truth?

There are medals, race finishing photos, pictures of completion times. She’s never claimed to run the whole thing. Instead Ragen like lots of amateur athletes runs and walks her marathons. That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

To me it can only be explained by a kind of prejudice against larger bodies, that those of us who have them can’t be trusted and shouldn’t be believed. We set out to lie and to cheat people. I’m not sure why people believe this but they seem to.

What do you think? Do you also find out puzzling?

The sun setting over Mo’orea, an island in French Polynesia

4 thoughts on “By the way, fat people also aren’t lying about exercise either

  1. Earlier this week, the head of our local randonneuring club asked for reasons why we enjoyed the sport (for a presentation for interested newcomers). The version I gave was less explicit, but the subtext: because this is an sporting community that has never once made me feel unwelcome or lesser because I’m fat (or female), and has believed that I could and would finish since I showed up to my first event. The only time anyone even mentioned body size was a fellow participant who wanted to lose weight, who I think was hoping to have a diet tips/commiseration session mid-ride, and was a little confused when I breezily said I wasn’t dieting.

    It’s such an oddball niche sport that I get very little disbelief from other people, including doctors, although I do get the usual WTF expression initially while they wrap their head around the idea of a fat endurance athlete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am struggling to understand why these trolls waste so much of their time doing this. Have they not their own lives to lead? What is it that threatens them so much that they spend so much time doing this?
    Social media has to step up & start taking down such posts & banning the people who post such hate.
    We must all step up as well & report abuse & post our positive support.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Both this and the previous article re: food really struck a chord with me. I regularly get this from “well meaning friends” they can’t believe I have a good and balanced diet and do hours of sports and exercise a week and yet am ‘still’ a big person. They try and find fault in what I’m saying or tell me that I’m not eating the “right” kind of stuff or doing the “right” kind of exercise. I’ve learned to walk away at that point because it’s clear to me they value societal norms of “health” and “weight” over my own understanding of my body, my health (both metal and physical) and and most importantly over the integrity of our friendship. It saddens me every time .

    Liked by 1 person

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