Post #2: As a Matter of Fat…

As a matter of fat, we have something to discuss…

I want to thank all the family and friends who read the first post for Fat Guys Running Marathons. The positive feedback and well wishes I received were amazing. I do, however, have to take issue with a few of the comments I received from readers of “Mile Marker One.”

I received a few responses to the tune of “I don’t think of you as fat.”

While I appreciate your kind assessment (and would love to hear further compliments about my intelligence, creativity, or calves), I must disagree. I realized that my level of fatness may need further explanation. Today, I aim to end all confusion. You see, there is a vital importance in the meaning of “fat” versus words such as “overweight,” “obese,” “hefty,” “big-boned,” “thick,” or other supposed synonyms that people of unlimited size and stature have inevitably heard throughout their lifetime.

“Overweight” and “obese,” for instance, are taken directly from the Body Mass Index (BMI), which was designed undoubtedly by skinny scientists who wanted to body shame the rest of the world into binge eating. Have you seen this measurement? You put in your height and weight and it spits out a rating of “underweight,” “normal weight,” “overweight,” or “obese.”

After losing more than 100 pounds, getting into the best physical shape of my life, and uncovering a mid-section of at least a two pack, I was still 20 pounds away from being “normal.” No thank you Mr. Scientist, I’ll stick to being fat. Who wants to be “normal” anyway? Other than those who want a better insurance premium of course.

“Fat” is much more than numbers on a scale. It is a mindset, a lifestyle, a collection of habits or decisions made by an individual, regardless of their measurements (vertical or horizontal), that deviate from what may be considered “normal” behavior. Some decisions may be adverse to your health, but others may just be adverse to the way those same scientists believe you should live your life. Have you ever heard “it’s all about balance?” There are millions of ways you can load the scales of health, fitness, eating, etc. Fat people just tend to use bigger pebbles.

To illustrate my point, I have come up with a few examples from my own life. So here you have it, the official Fat Guys Running Marathons list of “How I Know I’m Fat”.

I know I’m fat because….

  • I use words like ellipticizing because I don’t know the actual term
  • When I see pizza, I eat pizza
  • If you give me a beer, I drink the beer (one caveat, I don’t fruit the beer…you can take back those orange slices and lime wedges)
  • I suggest my own serving sizes
  • I run to eat, not the other way around
  • I often hear comments such as “Are you going to eat all that?” Answer… “Yes, yes I am.”
  • I’ve heard the doctor’s “your stomach is as big as your fist” speech at least twice
  • Other people’s stomach gets full, mine just gets less empty
  • I love eating green… as long as it’s mint chocolate chip

Fat Guys Running Marathons would love to hear other reasons why you know you are fat, or any other comments about the blog. Feel free to comment on the site or send an email to fatguysrunningmarathons@gmail.com.

 Attitude and Effort Award

This section is dedicated to acknowledging someone or something that has displayed incredible attitude and effort. If you have ever worked with me, you likely are dumbfounded by how long it took me to use these words on this blog. Attitude and Effort is a motivating concept focused on controlling the controllable aspects of a person’s life. People have the opportunity to learn and improve at any skill, but attitude and effort are two intangibles that must come from the heart and mind of each individual to be successful.

This week, I came across an incredible story of the first person to paddleboard across the Atlantic Ocean. Chris Bertish spent 93 days alone with his custom paddleboard rig paddling from Morocco to Antigua. He encountered multiple life-threatening situations throughout his journey, but persevered through incredible mental maturity to complete the trip. Seasickness, sharks, the lack of freshwater, and a list of other dangers may keep many people from considering this feat…personally I’d put 93 days without Chipotle high on the “why not to do this” list.

You can read more about Chris’ incredible story HERE.

Training Time

In this section each week, I will provide updates on my training for the Boston Marathon qualifying race. If you are looking for tips on heart-rate zones or the physiology of running, you may want to look elsewhere. If you want some content on chafing prevention and pre-race Pop Tarts, you’ve found your place!

This week, I began my official training to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am still making decisions on which race or races to run in late-summer or fall to reach this goal. This first phase of training involves building back up my cardio base and time on my feet. Since my last race in November, I have ran sporadically and ellipticized (fat guy word) off and on, but have not maintained a regular training plan.

Week one included five runs and two days of ellipticizing. Runs included three medium distance runs (4-6 miles), one speed training run, and a longer 10-mile Saturday jog. This may seem like a lot, it certainly would have to me prior to my running days. I am privileged in this journey to be starting from at least a little bit of cardio experience from my past races.

My biggest challenge in this training plan will be speed. The qualifying time for Boston in my age group (18-34) is 3:05. My current personal best is 3:57.  I will need to cut about two minutes off my per-mile pace. This week, I wanted to get a sense of what my body is capable of achieving in its current fat condition. In one workout, I was able to run one sub-seven minute mile (about the pace I will have to maintain for the entire marathon).  I guess I’ll take it, but I can’t imagine keeping that up for three straight hours.

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