Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fat Girl Running (Updated! Now includes long tangential story about shoes!)

Can you see me?

I'm kind of hard to miss. I'm the girl who shuffles by in tattered sweatpants, looking like she's about to keel over, breathing in ragged gasps.

You know how they say that you should find a pace that still allows you to keep up a conversation? Yeah, for me, that's called walking. Anything faster will immediately result in the gulps and wheezes you're hearing now, and make all my blood rush right up to my steaming face. I'm not talking about your charming Southern belle type flush either. I'm talking the kind of splotchy purple people turn when they're being choked or drowned, and it will stay like that for at least an hour after I've already showered. There's nothing I can do about this.

I'm fully aware of what I look like, which is why the struggle to get my butt out the door and face you all is a million times harder than what I'm doing now, meaning the real battle has already been fought and won about half an hour ago in the privacy of my own home. This thing you are witnessing now is in fact my victory lap.

And even though after a couple of minutes my vision blurs so much it's amazing I'm still able to stick to this stupid path instead of wildly veering off-road into a meadow somewhere, I can see you, too.

There's those of you who look so genuinely worried that every time we cross paths I make a mental note to make myself a T-shirt that says: "Honestly, I'm fine!" as I see you all preparing to call me an ambulance and going over what you remember from CPR in your head. I appreciate your concern, but I swear it isn't half as bad as it looks.

There's the soccer moms who avert their gaze while silently thanking their stars they never let themselves get this out of hand. I get where you're coming from. You can totally feel good about yourself. I am happy to provide this service for you, while I secretly do, too.

There's Russian crew-cut guy who always sticks to the grassy bank and stops every 50 yards or so to do push ups without vomiting even a little bit, and whom I secretly elected as my favorite because he hasn't looked at me even once, caught up as he is in his own Serious Business.

Then there are those I affectionately term 'Them Gazelle Bitches' who manage to not even break a sweat as they bouncety-bounce past my line of vision achieving a perfect 50/50 split between horizontal and vertical motion while still able to spare the energy to smirk at me as they go by, thereby proving that it is indeed possible to look superior while wearing orange spandex. I always wonder how smug they would look if they were forced to wear a 60 pound backpack of jiggly pudge, but I know I brought this on myself, and that's just fine.

Personally, I try as hard as I can to keep any vertical motion to an absolute minimum, due to all the flab, and because I have this voice in my head that keeps telling me I don't deserve any fancy shit like a sports bra or proper running shoes until I've at least proven that I can finish this damn couch-to-5k program and the farthest I've ever gotten was about halfway in. And those shoes, no matter how much I still love them because they have naked ladies on them, admittedly have seen better days, and make whatever I'm doing look like shambling at the very best. But the point is that I'm doing it.

And when I've finally put in my pathetic little circuit of 1 minute intervals, I get to walk home all proud and splotchy purple while listening to Explosions in the Sky and wallowing in fresh, free dopamine that I made with my own brain, added to the rush of getting to tell myself that I did it! I really did it! and I feel absolutely fucking invincible.

So you can all suck it.

These have seen better days. And by that I mean the 90's.

* If any of you are at all aware of the fat shaming wars that have been happening on Reddit recently, you can consider this my two cents. And you don't absolutely have to suck it if you don't want to. :)

Update: I ended up deciding to listen to all you lovely people and your worries, so I went out and got myself a sports bra (fun fact: this post actually earned me a Google search result for "make your own sports bra" - how about no?). The shoes were a birthday gift from the boyfriend.
Not so fun fact: there were only about three pairs that were recommended for women over 75kg (I suppose nobody wants to see fat girls running), and these were the least pink ones. Are we supposed to assume that the heavier girls get, the more they aspire to be Disney princesses? Because I can assure you that I don't. Oh and the sports bra might come in handy when I finally decide to try that auto-asphyxiation thing all the kids are talking about these days. Because, you know, orgasms.

Update 2: Yeah... I think I may just stick with the old Kappas for now...

Update 3: So I superglued my old sneakers anywhere the soles were coming off and went for another run in them today. My feet are happy. The end.
PS: Anybody want to buy some shoes? They're only a little bit pink...

Update 4: So! After some minor harassment, the store where I bought the evil murdershoes let me exchange them after all!
Now I am the proud owner of what may just be the ugliest shoes ever created by man:

But they don't destroy my feet, and I also could never stay mad at anything that makes this face at me:

The end.


  1. You know, those nekkid ladies look transferable...And you totally deserve the right bra and shoes. They'll make the run suck less, including helping you know that you look less like what you've been looking like (and having to overcome that to even get out the door).

    ps I hate running and am so glad my knees don't let me do it at all. Yay!
    pps Fuck those gazelle bitches.

  2. Amerbird is right, you deserve the right running gear. It will definitely help you finish that program! (The worn out 'naked ladies shoes' look awesome though...).

    PS. Please don't listen to Evil Trillie when she says 'you snailed it'! ;)

  3. I like it actually :) But we both know I'm a masochist at heart ;-)

  4. Running shoes are crazy expensive though...

  5. Actually I saw pretty cheap running shoes recently in Decathlon for 13€. No idea how decent they are, but I have the impression anything will be better than those old Kappa's... :).

    (Omg, I feel like some kind of stupid advertisement-spam-bot...)

  6. My cousin made 75$ an hour advertising these old Kappas! :P

  7. I'm with everyone who says that yeah, you should get "fancy" running stuff. Because not having the right shoes can really fuck up your joints. And that's no joy. Back when I thought I'd start jogging (because everybody runs here, it's ridiculous) I wanted to buy new running shoes, and they cost just about as much as a smartphone. So I bought a pair of second-hand ones, which were like 10% of the price. (And then, of course, I found out that my ankle is too fucked up to withstand running.) Maybe you can get some of these.

  8. I promise I'll think about it :)

  9. I wholeheartedly salute you for perservering. I tried it a couple of months ago, managed two runs and then stopped because it made my shins and knees hurt too much.

  10. The trick is to put in the absolute smallest movement that can be interpreted as "running", while making sure to land on your forefoot. My feet barely leave the ground! (This looks utterly stupid, but has prevented injuries for many years now) One of the reason I'm not sure about overly cushioned shoes is that they remove the penalty from putting your feet down the wrong way, thereby sustaining the problem. I have a lot of weight to support though, so I'm not going the minimal shoe route either!

  11. I'm all about the walking, thank you. I don't know when it happened, because aging does that to you, but I pretty much cannot run AT ALL anymore. I tried to jog a couple feet recently (while out for a walk) and it just about killed me. So I stick to the walking. :-)

  12. I know, right? The first time I had to 'run' (=jog) for one minute I thought I was never going to make it. But the coolest thing is that, if you stick to the program, you get to be absolutely amazed at yourself when you find out you can run an extra minute in no time, and then another, and another! It's a little addicting ;-)

  13. Well done, you! I'm envious of your running shoes with the naked ladies, and the Russian Guy. I don't seem to have either of those on my runs (although there is plenty of bouncy pudge, and Gazelle Bitches - one of these days, I'm going to trip one of them right into the canal - see how well their spandex color-coordinates with mud). I also remain flushed for an hour after a run (and a shower!). And like you, I am proud of my exertion. :)

  14. Thank you! ^_^ I haven't seen Russian guy in a while though. I assume he's off to save the world from impending doom. I also have to admit my thoughts about the G.B.s haven't been 100% pure, because I do like that picture you paint there ;-)