Fitness and Fatties – Super Secret Blog Project Revealed

One of my biggest frustrations as a fat athlete is the lack of safe, comfortable forums that exist for me to discuss fitness goals, achievements, training tips, clothing options etc. There are lots of forums out there that discuss these things, but there are some major issues for me.

The first is overall goals: many of the people in these forums engage in fitness for the sole or very predominant purpose of manipulating the size and shape of their bodies.  That’s absolutely their right, but my goals are sport-specific performance and health from a Health at Every Size perspective and I don’t want to have to slog through a whole bunch of diet talk and weight loss challenges to read what interests me.

Also, while some are accepting of fat athletes, many spaces online are highly un-fat-friendly (remember the Runner’s forum comments when 400 pound Kelly Gneiting completed a marathon).  Finally, while I don’t mind being the token fat girl or token HAES practitioner, I really wanted a community chock full ‘o fatties and HAES practitioners

I started talking about the idea with Jayne Williams (Slow Fat Triathlete) who was kind enough to lend her time and expertise to shaping the project.  Then my now-good-friend,  fat fitness professional Jeanette DePatie (The Fat Chick) and I started talking about it and I found a get-shit-done soul mate!

In early January I told you that I was doing a super secret blog project and I asked for pictures of fat people doing physical things.  The response was awesome and we got over 150 pictures and they are absolutely amazing.   Today Jeanette and I are launching this project,  that has been months in the making, and that I’m as excited about as I have been about any project I’ve ever done.

Introducing The Fit Fatties Forum! 

The forum, which is free to use, is a place where people of all sizes and abilities can get support for being fit by their own definition (whether that means walking to the mailbox or finishing a marathon) in a safe, Health at Every Size  environment. It is a moderated forum that includes:

  • Discussion threads (you can also create your own)
  • Groups devoted to specific topics (and you can create your own)
  • A Photo Gallery (you can add your own pictures)
  • A Video Gallery (you can add your own videos)
  • Ask a Fit Fatty – you can ask your questions about anything and get an answer from an expert

To join just go to and follow the simple login process. (Even if you don’t join, I recommend checking it out to see the awesome banner of fit fatty pictures!)  If you have any problems please let me know. When you log in you’ll see all of the sections in the navigation bar at the top, you can see the community intro and agreements down the left hand side.  Read the agreements, then dive in, get involved, and make it your own!  We did a beta test so there are already a some members.  We are absolutely open to your feedback.  If you are so moved it would also be really fantastic if you would pass this information along to other super-cool people who might want to be involved.

Several people have asked us about the name – why we called it the “fit fatties forum” when we intend it to be for people of all sizes.  The reason is that when it comes to  fitness and athleticism, fat people are often ignored, erased, hidden, discouraged, and called liars.  The forum name was created to give fat people a tangible place in the fitness world, not to indicate exclusivity.  We are proud to be  fit fatties claiming our rightful place in the world of fitness, and we are happy to welcome people of all shapes, sizes and abilities to join us.

This blog is supported by its readers rather than corporate ads.  If you feel that you get value out of the blog, can afford it, and want to support my work and activism, please consider a paid subscription or a one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail subscription (available at the top right-hand side of this page) is still completely free.   Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

23 thoughts on “Fitness and Fatties – Super Secret Blog Project Revealed

  1. i would love to sign up but keep having an issue on the sign up page. and i can’t contact anyone there without signing up. help

  2. Awesome! YAY! BUT… it wouldn’t let me sign up through facebook OR google. I got messages that I don’t have an email address. Tried 2 separate addresses, one through Facebook, one through google. But the sign up on the left side seems to be working! BRAVO!

  3. This is so incredibly awesome and I am there, but I do need to know if there is a place to create a screen name. I almost never used my real name online for identity privacy all over the ‘net, and this would be no exception. Please let me know!

  4. Okay, I’m not an expert on gender issues, so take this with a grain of salt, but the sign-in gives two options, male or female. The option not to display it is awesome, but there are no alternate options for genderqueer or non-binary. Also, if I recall correctly, checking one of the bubbles was mandatory–the easiest fix may be to make it optional.

    1. It was optional by the time I got to it, which was fine for me. But as a genderqueer type, I would definitely welcome a third option if when and when there is time to make that change to the site.

  5. Hello, AWESOME forum!!! I want to sign up but I don’t know how to answer correctly the question «Are you or do you aspire to be a fit fattie?». I typed «I aspire to be a fit fattie» and it said Please correctly answer “Are you or do you aspire to be a fit fattie?”.

    What can I write?

    Thank you!!

  6. Are ther some or all of the pictures that I could direct people to for use in educational lectures? Just yesterday, one of my teachers had a headless fatty in his lecture and I thought that I would love to have a stock of “fatty”photos for the teachers to use that were positive. I doubt I will be able to change the “fat is bad and is a huge risk factor for disease” mentality before graduation in 3 months, but maybe I could get some of the headless fattie picture off of these various lectures. I just want to make sure there is permission for using faces possibly.

    Thanks! This is a fabulous idea too. 🙂

  7. That question, “Are you or do you aspire to be a fit fattie?” is a little off-putting for me. Not because I don’t aspire to be a fit fatty, or because I don’t want to connect myself with fit fatties, but because the only correct answer is, “Yes.” Capital Y, period. It took me a while to figure out, and though it will screen out people who can’t bring themselves to answer that question in the affirmative, it will also make some people who would otherwise benefit from the discussion give up on it. That’s all.

  8. This is amazing! I’m so pleased that you’ve set this up. I’ve been struggling to motivate myself recently, and didn’t want to join some random forum for motivation. I’m trying to get fit and lead a healthy life, to feel joyful dancing and swimming – all the things I love to do.

  9. I signed up for the forum today. I can’t tell you how inspired and happy I feel right now. To be honest, after months of lurking on your blog, you would think I’d take HAES to heart and learn to *NOT* beat up myself for every little thing I eat and my weight and exercising. It’s like I read your blog and I think “Yes, this is awesome, this applies to everybody, this is how it should be!” But then I think in terms of applying it to everybody else, not me.

    But you know what really got me? When I signed up and saw all those beautiful pictures of all the women geting out there and DOING things. Not to say your pics aren’t inspiring, they are….it’s just that I’m madly uncoordinated and dancing makes me really self conscious, so it’s not something I see myself doing. But there are so many pics of people doing so many different things…Seeing other people who look more like me, out walking, running, weightlifting, diving, etc.. It makes me feel like I could be braver and get out to do these things as well, instead of being intimidated by the people at the gym or people on the street.

    Anyway, so call me a hard-head that it’s taken this long to get the HAES message. Point taken. Looking forward to participating in this community.

  10. Ragen,
    I was reading your blog, which I always enjoy:
    When I got to the part where you said

    “very predominant purpose of manipulating the”

    for some reason my mind read “mutilating” the size on the body.

    Actually, it is not that far off. LOL Marla

  11. Hats off to you for establishing the forum. In addition to the usual obstacles we all encounter to make exercise a regular part of our lives, some have the added challenge of being looked down upon by others for even trying. Good luck in all your endeavors. Stay fit and stay true to yourself.

  12. Wow! I can’t wait to check this out. I’ve recently decided I wanted to be fitter and I’m trying to achieve it without weight loss talk/thoughts. I’ve gotten a little way along – I found an awesome local Zumba class with an instructor who is all about fitness and fun with no weight talk – but I was wondering about how to go about strength training, especially as I can’t afford a gym or equipment at the moment. And like you say, pretty much all that’s out there either focuses on weight loss or assumes a particular body type/ability…

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