Ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio shuts down idea she’s ‘promoting obesity’: 'Existing and moving in my fat body joyfully and in public is the real issue'

·3 min read
Mirna Valerio explains why she's not
Mirna Valerio explains why she's not "promoting obesity" by existing in a fat body. (Photo: Mirna Valerio/Instagram)

Mirna Valerio is shutting down the notion that she’s promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, simply by existing in a larger body.

Valerio, who is a Lululemon ambassador, author, anti-racism activist, and ultramarathon runner, took to Instagram on Nov. 30 to share a video of herself engaging in all kinds of physical activity, from rock climbing and hiking to weight lifting. On the video, she wrote, “Promoting obesity. Let’s be real — existing and moving in my fat body joyfully and in public is the real issue.”

She continued her thoughts in the caption, writing, “There I go PROMOTING OBESITY again! Have you ever said/thought/heard the phrase ‘PROMOTING OBESITY?’ Y’all, what does this phrase actually even mean? You show a fat lady RUNNING, CYCLING, SWIMMING, HIKING, SKIING in public…. And folks start saying ‘YOU ARE PROMOTING OBESITY’ HINT—I already know the answer…It is the highest level of fatphobia. They tell us, GO TO THE GYM, GO WORKOUT, RUN, GO TO BOOTCAMP CLASS. Guess what? I do all of that and more, and I’m still fat.”

Valerio added that the term “promoting obesity” is just a way of “moralizing the existence of fat bodies.”

“Some people think that their naturally thin bodies make them morally superior. Some folks even think that if they have managed to lose weight, this also makes them morally superior,” she continued. “Whatever. I’m just going to go about my morally wrong fat way, doing my fat things, running while fat, hiking, skiing, riding while fat on my fat bike, and hanging off rocks with my fat ass. If this is ‘promoting obesity,’ I’m going to keep doing it.”

Followers applauded Valerio’s words in the comments section, with one writing, “Thank you for promoting LIVING, baby! We love you for every ounce of who you are. You are a light and a treasure.” Another added: “You are the reason I started distance running — so thank you for promoting self love and giving myself the gift to do what feels good in my body!”

The athlete, who is known as “The Mirnavator” on social media, previously spoke to Yahoo Life about how people do not need to be a certain size or shape to start running or engaging with athletic activities.

“The most important thing to do is to decide that you are a runner,” Valerio explained. “A runner is someone who runs. We may have this idea that a runner looks a certain way; that they run a certain pace; that they run in certain areas; that they don’t run on a treadmill or they wear certain shoes. When we realize that is all what society has created and the messaging we’ve received, once we separate that from our natural human need to move it becomes easier to decide you’re a runner and to go outside or get on a treadmill and start running.”

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