Why I Run

28 Mar

Someone expressed their disappointment at my piece in the Evening Standard last week.  Their beef was that I only motivated myself to run by calling myself a fat bitch and that this was somehow against the female cause.  I can completely see her point, and I suppose that this is always going to be one of the difficulties in writing a short piece to a specific brief because the message of Run Fat Bitch Run cannot be adequately put across in 700 words.  The idea of calling myself a fat bitch and recommending others to do the same is simply a hilarious device that I have found to be quite motivating.  It is never supposed to savage our self-esteem, nor is it to be taken seriously except in the context of getting you into your trainers – ideally, laughing – and outside of the front door.  

The reasons I run have never really had anything to do with my weight, it is a happy side-effect for me that running keeps me trim and an even happier side effect that it enables me to eat heartily and not have to worry about getting fat.  But I run for so many other reasons: Because it makes me feel amazing; Every time I come back from a run I feel a huge sense of achievement which on a good day I can carry through to other tasks;  I feel contented and at peace with myself and the world post-run; I run because it helps me cope with stress, because it keeps me fit enough to carry our enormous twin sons, and because it gives me space and time away from them!  It is the only time I have that is purely for me and I cherish that; in that time I am able to appreciate my environment, reflect and give thanks for my many blessings, or get creative – dream up new ideas for books, features, blogs.  I come back each time renewed and with a sense of purpose or, if I went out feeling absolutely awful, I return feeling myself again, with a fresh and clearer perspective.

So, just in case there was any doubt, running for me has precious little to do with calling myself a fat bitch!  I know a lot of people take up running to lose weight and this is a very positive step which I applaud, but what I also know is that they may well come to love it for some of the reasons I’ve mentioned or indeed for others of their own which they may not even know exist yet – this is the magical thing about running…whoever you are, whatever your age is when you start and whatever your goals may be, they all somehow become possible through the regular practise of running. 

The Grit Doctor says:

Call yourself a fat bitch to get you outside and into your trainers but make your run count for so much more. 


21 Responses to “Why I Run”

  1. Gwen Hamer March 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    As requested twice already, please take me off your mailing list.

    • gritdoctor March 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      I’m sorry, but I have no idea how to take you off the list, that is something I think you need to do from your end I’m afraid.

    • Georgie April 17, 2012 at 2:51 am #

      You can change the delivery frequency by visiting your subscription dashboard

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  2. Naomi Ross March 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    I really dont understand why you are apologising, anyone with half a brain would know that you have to motivate yourself to get outside or inside and RUN it is not an enjoyment for most people it is a necessity

  3. Casper March 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Agree with the previous poster you don’t have to apologise! I am a fat bitch and have started running and love the way it makes me feel……all thanks to you and your book.I love the way you say you hate running but love the feeling after it LOL. I have twin boys too by the way they’re 20 months! 🙂

    • gritdoctor March 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      wow, twins sons too, how are you finding it?! i love mine most when they are having their afternoon nap!! x

      • Casper March 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

        Ya they’re a “ball of energy”!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a 4 year old too (boy) I love that I get to run it’s my time and I have more energy to take care of them all. Thanks for the book at last someone has written a book for real people.

  4. fattymustrun March 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. I’ve just written a blog which explains why I’m called fattymustrun, what right do other people have to dictate how we describe ourselves, or what techniques we use to motivate ourselves!!

  5. fattymustrun March 28, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. I’ve been told off for my nickname, and recently wrote a post explaining my reasons for writing the fat girls guide to running.

    Nobody else has the right to dictate how we choose to describe ourselves, or how we choose to motivate ourselves!!

    Whatever works I what I say!!!

  6. Denise March 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    I think the reasons why we run are very personal to some people. I do run because I am overweight (aka fat bitch) but a side effect of that has been that i have found out I can run and that i do ‘enjoy’ it. Is it a bad thing to use whatever motivates you as long as it gets the job done?

    • gritdoctor March 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      its ALL about finding what motivates you and getting the job done, whatever that may be!

  7. Maria March 28, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    My brother bought me the book as a present because for years I have been talking about running but never did I loved the book and laughed the whole way through it and then started running I have type 1 diabetes and I can’t believe what a difference the run makes to my blood glucose readings, I feel healthier fitter but the most important thing is I feel sooooo much happier and very proud of my self. thanks Grit Doctor

  8. theurbanmum March 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Possibly you struck a raw nerve with that person…I suggest they could benefit from your approach, that maybe they don’t feel so great about themselves. All I know is that these ‘feminist’ comments give me an earache… For gods sake, what is against the female cause is other females suggesting that stuff another woman does that is different from their ideals is somehow inappropriate. Humph…
    I’m get down off my high horse , and go for a run! X

  9. Irene March 29, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    I think you are great and your book has really motivated me. I have lost 12.5lb through running since reading your book. I have a problem though which I hope you can help me with. I went out eventually like you said in you book and bought my new runners. Asics kumo gel runners for 110e but now half way through my run the balls of my feet are burning and very painful. Have you any ideas to help ease this pain in my feet?

    Irene, Dublin x

    • gritdoctor March 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      I can only suggest going back to the shop you bought them at and explaining the problem to them. Did they see you run in them before you bought them? I will look into the shoe and your complaint though and answer in more detail on monday in the grit clinic.

  10. Nicky March 29, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    I’m a fat bitch too…….reading your book has helped me get up off my fat a*se and run, no excuses. Even when I’ve shed a few pounds and am a hot chick, I’ll still be a fat bitch!!! X

  11. Marathon Mummy in Training April 8, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    You are a woman after my own heart! I have never experienced the sense of accomplishment I get post-run. I am less stressed, I love that I have an hour to myself to listen to music and chill out, can eat what I like and to be honest, I love the chance to have ‘time out’ from the family. All of this is newly discovered and every day I love it more. I don’t just run to lose weight – I run to gain some ‘freedom’.

  12. MedalSlut April 9, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I think people are getting too cotton-woolly about calling people fat. My own grandmother slapping my ass and telling me the exercise bike would be a better decision than baking brownies hurt, for sure, but it motivated me to change.
    I think ‘Run Fat Bitch, Run’ is as good a motto as any! It’s certainly much cleaner (and less ‘abusive boyfriend’) than my internal dialogue to myself when I’m slacking! 🙂

  13. Lenny April 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Took a leaf out of your book today and lied to myself the whole way around!! Love my new mantra of being a fat b!tch too, it really helps! Already a runner my bf bought me the book as a joke for my birthday but I LOVE IT and keep recommending it to other fat b!tches! 🙂

  14. Margarite April 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    I loved every minute of your book. I have always loved running and it’s given me such inspiration. When I get back to my 2 year old twins I am a different mother. I believe running makes me a better person.


  1. Putting the ‘Fun’ into ‘Run’ | tildyteacake - April 1, 2012

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