08/01/2014 10:29 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Case Against the 'F' Word

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The worst thing a person can call me is "fat."

Even though I constantly call myself that when I look in the mirror or can't fit into my pants or am running too slowly on the treadmill, I would be heartbroken if I overheard this word being directed towards me.

Even though it's true, I feel like this word is so offensive.

This is why I can't bring myself to understand the torrent of Facebook pages, blogs and books where a woman applauds herself for being a "Fat Runner."

Why do we continuously put ourselves down in the name of empowerment? Please, tell me the reaction you would have if your daughter or sister or friend, someone that you love unconditionally, was described to you as your "fat daughter" or "fat sister" or "fat friend."

I recognize that "fat" is in the eye of the beholder and we all have our own body issues, but many of the women who write these blogs and books are not even fat. They feel uncomfortable in their own bodies. Many of us do. But here we are, perpetuating the myth that if your body isn't perfect then you're fat. And what is perfect anyway?

When I think about the positive adjectives that describe me or the titles I'm proud to wear, I choose NOT to negate them by adding another descriptive. Sure, I'm fat. According to any BMI scale you will find I'm obese.

But if someone asked me to describe myself I would say, "I'm a daughter, a sister and an honorary auntie. I'm a coordinator, a volunteer and a caring community member."

And I am a runner.

And I don't need to call myself derogatory names to get my ass on the road. I just go do it.

It is a matter of believing in yourself because you can, not because you can in spite of how much you weigh.

Please understand, I have read the books and the blogs and I feel a fierce connection with many of these women, I just don't agree with the label.

My dad is not the most eloquent guy. He wasn't coming up with gems throughout my childhood to teach me lessons or make me think. He is a straight-forward dude and he once said something to me that I have never forgotten:

"Heather, don't call yourself bad names. Enough people in the world will put you down. You don't need to do it to yourself."


My dad is not your average guru...

Let someone else try to hurt my feelings and call me fat.

I, on the other hand, am going to try my best to be a kind person to everyone, including me.


I am a runner. Period.