Check out this article in Women’s Running magazine, which exhibits a great focus on health at every size, a recognition of “fat talk” as a routine social phenomenon among women that negatively affects body image, and several examples of successful larger female athletes. There are mentions of the BMI and Waist-to-Hip Ratio as guidelines for health, but the article is quick to point out that the BMI might not mean much among athletes–which is a positive step on the way to understanding that it might not mean much for anyone else either.

I am thrilled with the confidence that is allowed to shine through on the part of the athletes, and the notable lack of judgment in the article itself. Not to mention the recognition that thinner is not always better in terms of performance. Incredibly, there is no standard useless, patronizing “but this isn’t an excuse to sit on the couch and eat donuts all day” or “maybe you can be healthy if you’re 10 lbs. overweight, but nobody who’s 100 lbs. overweight can be healthy” punchline either!

(As an aside, I think the Athena Class concept is cool and probably does encourage larger athletes to compete, but I do find it pretty irritating that it’s a 150-lb. cutoff regardless of your height. The 150-lb. Athena competitor interviewed for the article is 5’8″ and is not close to “overweight” even by BMI. Come on. Of course, this is not the magazine’s fault.)

I clicked over to the article (it’s ominously titled “Your Perfect Weight”) expecting to be frustrated and angered by the content as usual, but I was pleasantly surprised. Way to go, Women’s Running!

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