Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hey, Fat Girl.

Yes, you. The one feigning to not see me when we cross paths on the running track. The one not even wearing sports gear, breathing heavy. You’re slow, you breathe hard and your efforts at moving forward make you cringe.

You cling shyly to the furthest corridor, sometimes making larger loops on the gravel ring by the track just so you’re not on it. You sweat so much that your hair is all wet. You rarely stay for more than 20 minutes at a time, and you look exhausted when you leave to go back home.  You never talk to anyone. I’ve got something I’d like to say to you.

You are awesome.

If you’d look me in the eye only for an instant, you would notice the reverence and respect I have for you. The adventure you have started is tremendous; it leads to a better health, to renewed confidence and to a brand new kind of freedom. The gifts you will receive from running will far exceed the gigantic effort it takes you to show up here, to face your fears and to bravely set yourself in motion, in front of others.

You have already begun your transformation. You no longer accept this physical state of numbness and passivity. You have taken a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Every hard breath you take is actually a tad easier than the one before, and every step is ever so slightly lighter. Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and forward-looking, one who knows that anything is possible.

You’re a hero to me. And, if you’d take off the blaring headphones and put your head up for more than a second or two, you would notice that the other runners you cross, the ones that probably make you feel so inadequate, stare in awe at your determination. They, of all people, know best where you are coming from. They heard the resolutions of so many others, who vowed to pick up running and improve their health, “starting next week”. Yet, it is YOU who runs alongside, who digs from deep inside to find the strength to come here, and to come back again.

You are a runner, and no one can take that away from you. You are relentlessly moving forward. You are stronger than even you think, and you are about to be amazed by what you can do. One day, very soon, maybe tomorrow, you’ll step outside and marvel at your capabilities. You will not believe your own body, you will realize that you can do this. And a new horizon will open up for you. You are a true inspiration.

I bow to you.


  1. Brilliant. I could not agree more.

  2. Okay, this made me tear up a little. Not in sadness but out of joy. Fantastic post. Love it! Now I am off to blubber a little into my tea. This is why I love this blog.

  3. Hey Flint, I read this post over on FlintLand and then found my way here. I just wanted to say thanks. It's June 24 and your post is still moving people and will be for a long time (I followed a link from Lose It!). I wanted to say that I get where BCC (commenter on FlintLand) is coming from and I think the Health at Every Size movement is really important. I liked AJ's last words, too. Most of all, though, I get your intentions, and they mean a lot to me. I used to be fit (a rower) but now I'm not only the fat girl, I'm the fat girl who has a gimpy leg and walks slooooooowwwwwly with a cane. I've got all kinds of other recovery issues too. I can barely make myself go out of my apartment. I get grumbles and complaints from every direction about getting in the way as I limp myself through city streets to the market and back, in my attempts to get healthy food, to get a little exposure to the out-of-doors despite my fears, and to try to keep moving despite the pain. For me, it was your intention to honor people's efforts that shone through, not any unintended judgment of fat people. I doubt I'll ever be a runner, but you've got yourself a new reader anyway. And, P.S., I like your Blogger template!

  4. Thank you very much, Elle, for your kind words.

    Indeed, you have understood the spirit of my post and my intention, and that is a relief. I, of course, never meant this text as an insult to anyone. I would've liked the conversation with "BCC" to go somewhere, but it didn't. Ah, well :)

    Good luck on your journey to better health and keep smiling!



  5. You have verbalized my feelings. Thank you.