I’m Running 10 Marathons This Year And I Still Get Fat-Shamed. Here’s My Response.
By Guest Writer Latoya Shauntay Snell
Last year, I completed two 50Ks and four marathons ― three of which were done within a two-month span. And just a week before I participated in the New York City Marathon, I also completed my first 100K ― the Javelina Jundred event in the Arizona desert, which involves running roughly 62 miles.
This year I signed up for 10 marathons and a 50-miler, and I intend on running in my first 100-miler. Still, despite earning over 100 finisher medals and completing close to 200 running, cycling and obstacle course racing events over a span of five years, the internet police continue to remind me to lose some weight. I’m an unapologetic 5’3, 242-pound road and trail ultra runner from Brooklyn sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE running shoe company, and I am continuously fat-shamed.
On Jan. 3, I posted a video on my Instagram account of my fitness regimen. A day later, this same post resurfaced as a suggestion on my Instagram “Explore” page as a repost by a person followed by more than 50,000 people. Despite not tagging me in the comments, the poster expressed “concern” that while my “advanced workouts” are admirable, she “feared for the shock” that it would place on my fat body.
Perhaps this person thought I would and should feel comforted by the condolences that she (and her sizable following) offered about my “weight loss journey,” but I didn’t. Even worse, when I tried to have a private conversation with this person, she immediately blocked me.
Frankly, I’m not sure which part of the post was the most humorous to me: the part where several Google and WebMD doctors who knew nothing about my five-year fitness journey sounded off on what they must have assumed to be my unhinged eating habits or the countless people who suggested that a woman shouldn’t lift weights and should stick to cardiovascular activities.
Over the years, I’ve encountered so many people who are absolutely mind-boggled when they learn I work out or participate in a multitude of events for reasons besides weight loss. And the disapproving commentary doesn’t just happen online ― I’ve experienced it offline, too. It’s only been a bit over a year since I was fat-shamed at the 2017 New York City Marathon. But the abuse began long before that.
Read more of Snell’s story here.
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