Fitness blogger Latoya Shauntay Snell from Brooklyn, New York has signed up for ten marathons this year, but she’s being scrutinized by many for her weight. Latoya talks about health and fitness on her Instagram account as well her blog Running Fat Chef, described as a “fitness and food blog about her experiences as a plus size athlete of color.”
She lives a healthy lifestyle after she began working out in 2013 and has even lost 100 pounds after taking up running, but still gets trolled online about her body.
When she started her fitness journey, she weighed 265 pounds and suffered from issues that impacted her mobility, but decided to start running to get healthy. Latoya explained that she dropped down to 175 pounds and signed up for a half-marathon. She fell in love with running and wanted to share that experience online.
Unfortunately, the fat-shaming comments followed, with negative comments she explained were “reminiscent of the ones I received when I weighed over 265 lbs.”
She explained: “At the time, I was 175 lbs and resting comfortably at a size eight. But my various inboxes were filled with messages from friends and acquaintances who were all asking me different variations of the same question: ‘If you are a runner, why are you still fat?’”
She added: “Conversely, others accused me of being on drugs to have lost so much weight and made fun of my smaller frame. I suddenly found myself trapped between those who thought I was ‘too fat’ and those who thought I was ‘too skinny.’”
At that time, Latoya’s workouts were intense: she ran 30 to 40 miles a week and lifted weights at the gym for 45 minutes four times per week. Her diet was just 1,500 calories a day.
She became concerned that she was suffering from Anorexia and that her healthy habits were toxic, so she changed her mindset and began fueling her body as was needed.
Latoya explained: “As I started pursuing longer distances during my runs, while simultaneously abandoning the desire to lose weight and exploring other areas of my fitness journey, I quickly realized that I was surrounded by athletes of all shapes, sizes and fitness abilities and that size doesn’t necessarily determine a person’s grit or physical capability.”
Latyoya shared one painful experience, writng for The Glow Up about how when she approached the finish line at one marathon, a man yelled: “It’s gonna take your fat ass forever, huh?”
She explained: “He didn’t know what I’d sacrificed to be there; how I’d contemplated abandoning a sport I often refer to as ‘oxygen’ because I was still grieving the miscarriage of my twins in August.”
Latoya continued: “He didn’t know I’d had emergency surgery for endometriosis, or the 142 times over the course of a year that I’d been called everything from ‘fat b***h’ to the n-word online, simply for being a black, plus-size food-and-fitness blogger.”
Layota shared that she hopes the trolls “learn to spend more time loving themselves and less time hating on me and others like me. Hopefully, they can finally bring themselves to keep their unsolicited and unwanted comments to themselves.”
She added: “I now feel so full from embracing this new kind of confidence, I cannot help but want for it to be infectious so that others can hopefully experience how good it feels.”
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