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Fat Girls Can’t

December 21, 2013

Fat girls can’t run marathons.  Fat girls can’t backpack.  They can’t rock climb.  They can’t hike.  They can’t ride roller coasters.  Heck, fat girls can’t even snorkel.  Except that I have.  I’ve done all those things while being quite overweight.  And I bet others have too.

But apparently there aren’t enough of us to constitute plus size active wear. Have you tried finding size 22 zip-off hiking pants at REI? Sport Chalet? Sport Authority?  You can’t. they simply don’t exists past size 12. FYI, you can find them online at rei.com. The downside being that there is only one (one!) style and you can’t try them on. Not that it matters. Whether they fit well or not, you are buying them anyway because your only other choice is going on a backpacking trip slugging around in jeans. As if there wasn’t ENOUGH extra weight on my body already.

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That goes for wetsuits and running clothes as well.  I ended up buying a size 2X men’s wetsuit with cut-off ankles and wrists off of Craigslist from a guy in Long Beach.  And yes, I drove an hour out of my way to pick it up. I even tried it on in his apartment. Awwwkwaaaaard!  The bright side: it was only 25 bucks.  We mos def need more availability for plus size active wear. How are we supposed to lose the weight anyway if we can’t get some quality exercise gear at the local sporting goods store?

8_25_2007_10And don’t get me started on the naysayers trying to dissuade you from realizing your dreams. A guy on a Runners World forum flat-out told me that I should find another hobby because I run too slow. He even posted this article for me on the cons of having “plodders” (the slower of the “runners”) run marathons. The nerve!  Sure, I run slowly.  But who cares?  Its better than not being active at all.

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Although I try not to believe any of the above statements that I “can’t” do anything I want to do, the fact is, as I have gained more and more weight, these things have become increasingly problematic.  Sure, I trained for and completed a marathon while 70 pounds overweight. But I got plantar fasciitis in the process and had to take (a lot of) time off from one of my favorite things to do: running. I can’t keep up with others when I hike, I carry more weight than anyone when I backpack, and I’m afraid to have people belay me when I rock climb because I’m so heavy, so I don’t do it anymore. I don’t even try to ride roller coasters nowadays. The ride operators at the theme parks used to be able to smoosh me into my seat and buckle me up, but now they just can’t. Ugh! CAN’T! I hate that word! I should be able to do anything I want to do! But I can’t.

I have learned a lot from being a plus-sized active woman. Not the least of which is that I can do anything many things I set my mind to. But does that include losing this weight?  This has been the hardest battle of my life, and that’s saying something, as I’ve had my share of trials, losses, and heartbreaks. But I’ve also had my share of triumphs.  I have overcome things I never thought possible. But can I do this? There are as many reasons for being overweight as there are overweight people in this world. And I have more than a few reasons working against me right now.  And not only does the weight make it harder to do the things I love, but the weight-related health problems are a trial all their own (ever had sleep apnea?  That thing is NOT good).  But I am working with my Dr. to get healthy.  Most of all, so that I can go back to doing the things I love.  Because sometimes fat girls can, but other times, not so much.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Harris permalink
    April 15, 2014 10:47 pm

    This is one of your best posts yet. I have struggled with being active with my weight too, and I identified with every single word. I am not sure what the answer is, but keep pushing the boundaries. You give all of us “fat girls” courage to keep trying new things.

  2. April 15, 2014 11:39 pm

    Um, that article you linked to about plodders made me angry. What the heck is some people’s problem!?!? Just want to say i think you’re awesome. I’m glad you haven’t let the “can’ts” stand in your way. Keep proving those morons wrong!

  3. April 16, 2014 12:06 am

    I love you! You have so much courage and honesty. Maybe we should start our own line of active wear. I find the same problem. I once went to Golds Gym in my pajamas because I couldnt find anything to fit me, not even at Wal-mart. Again, yes online but no place to try it on. I had to send back some shorts three times. I gave up. I am proud of you Crystal, you have shown all of us that weight doesnt mean you cant move and you cant enjoy life, an active life.

  4. April 16, 2014 5:40 am

    Nice post, being overweight is tough. What is worst is that we are often our own worst enemy. Nobody can love you until you love yourself. Keep moving along, you inspire a lot of people, myself included.

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