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Body Image Issues Do Not Stop This “Fat Girl Runner”

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Letting a little extra weight stop you from going to the gym, pool, or sports field? Here is why you don’t need to.

Join this “Fat Girl” by being the active person you want to be.  She is breaking stereotypes that all athletes or active people are within their BMI (body mass index).  On her blog she writes How to be a Fatrunner in 10 simple steps.

Some media spots say she is promoting obesity.  Her response, “I promote body positivity, fitness, body love. Self-love, body awareness. Human love, human awareness.”  There are many more sites and groups online to motivate and promote activities for “big” people who really just want to enjoy life without the worry of their size.

So get out there, try things you want to try and live life fully!

Read through this article, watch video interview below, and share what you think.

… Passersby often do a double-take when they see Mirna Valerio, a fat, African-American woman, running around the small, mostly white and very rural Rabun County, Georgia.

But the stares don’t faze her; Valerio is too focused on her goals, which she documents on her blog, Fat Girl Running, to care about haters.

“People do look, and they say things,” Valerio told Upworthy. “But I know what I have to do, and whatever my goal is for the day, I know I need to get it done, and so I go do it.”

Valerio after one of her dozens of races. …

She’s been running consistently since 2008 — completing multiple 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, ultramarathons — and is currently training for the pièce de résistance of her running career thus far: the Javelina Jundred, a 100k race (that’s just over 62 miles, people! SIXTY! TWO! MILES!).

She also happens to be “clinically obese” at 240 pounds. But that label means nothing because whatever, it takes serious physical and mental strength to run 62 freaking miles. Sixty! Two! Miles! …..

But it’s Valerio’s inspirational devil-may-care attitude toward her critics and her messages of body love and fitness accessibility for every body type and shape that has empowered people to challenge the negative stereotypes surrounding higher weight people and fitness. …

“One of the major reasons people don’t want to go to the gym is that people are saying ‘Oh, you need to go work out,'” Valerio says, explaining the the anxiety and double standard fat people face when they try to participate in athletic activities. You feel as if you need to lose fifty pounds before you can show yourself at the gym or show up at a race because people do look twice and people do wonder why you’re there.“…

She’s not interested in running to lose weight; she’s a runner because she loves running. She loves the views from the top of a mountain trail. She loves spending time talking to her friends, mile after mile. She loves seeing what her body can accomplish. ….

Her advice? Do what you need and want to do in a way that feels good for your body. “You’ve gotta know yourself and what you are and who you are,” she says.

We don’t all fit into a one-size-fits all mold when it comes to fitness and health, and that’s cool.

She also hikes! …

“I really want people to feel good about their bodies,” Valerio encourages. “Your body is spectacular and can do so many things — and you don’t know half of the stuff that it can do!”….

For the full article see Upworthy.

Watch this VIDEO of an interview that happened after Women’s Running Magazine featured a “plus-size” runner.  (Interview features Mirna Valerio, Women’s Running Magazine, Alyona Minkowshki, Jessie Sebor, Erica Schenk, and Joe Holder.)

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