Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who is the Fat Chick in Lycra

Well, first off, I'm not really all that fat. I thought I was until I started lurking among the body size acceptance blogs.  I've got a lot more thin privilege going on than I thought.

But in this world, I'm fat enough. 

I'm fat enough that every year, when I take a wellness assessment for an insurance discount at work, it tells me to lose at least 25 pounds, despite otherwise good numbers.

I'm fat enough that all the news stories tell me I'm taking my life in my own hands because of my body size.

I'm not so fat that the only images I see of women with my body size are headless torsos. I'm fat enough that I simply rarely see women my size in the media anywhere.

I'm fat enough that I spent much of my life first hating my thighs, then my belly, and as I got into my 40s, my upper arms.

I'm fat enough that I'm grateful for the alternate voices of HAES and body acceptance. I've been lurking in the fatosphere for a while, commenting on blogs, gathering strength and wanting to add my own voice to the mix. I'm going to try it now.

I love to bicycle. I came damn close to completing a century ride in August, and I'm planning on doing my first century in June. There is nothing, NOTHING better on long rides than stretchy lycra shorts with the chamois padding.

I'm fat enough that I was at first scared to wear lycra, then very self-conscious about it. I was embarrassed to wear the most practical clothing for the endeavor because, well, I was fat.

After I'd been riding for real for a while, a co-worker made some snotty comment about fat people and lycra. I wanted to dance on his desk in nothing but my bike shorts and a jog bra with both middle fingers upraised. I thought that might be a little rough on my career path, though.

I often thought about starting a group called Fat Chicks in Lycra. I wanted to be with women who rode, who skied, who walked, without self-consciousness. I wanted to be among women who loved good nourishing food. I wanted to be among women who enjoyed life, who moved with joy and who ate without apology. I've found them online, and I am grateful.

I'm happy to be a Fat Chick in Lycra.


  1. Yeah, let's all lose that self-consciousness, shall we? Let's exercise and not hide the jiggles! Thanks for leading the charge!

  2. Thanks, gal! Don't know that I'm exactly leading the charge, plenty of others out there. :)

  3. It bugs me how when we're fat we're discouraged from exercising - as if we have to be a certain shape before we're allowed to wear the purpose-specific attire that is athletic apparel. It's athletic apparel. You wear it when you train, no matter what size you are. Then the same people who will discourage us from training turn around and tell us that we should be training. Drives me nuts.

  4. Thanks, Chris. It's weird, isn't it? I was fortunate that my DH used to lead bike tours and he turned me on to the gear. Can't imagine long rides without it now.

  5. I have spent a much-needed, recuperative day in bed perusing the Fatosphere. Through the Fit Fatties Forum, then Live Once, Juicy, I came to your blog. Just wanted to post a note to say I was hooked enough to read every word of every post. I think you are wonderful! Thank you.

  6. Thanks, GTG. Your comment means a lot to me. :)