Road to Tempe 2015: What’s Happening, Ragen?

Over the past month, Ragen has made a few low effort IronFat posts that have almost nothing to do with training. On Dances With Fat she’s phoning it home with a stream of old posts she deleted and then reposted word-for-word, e.g. June 30, 2015 vs. Dec 12, 2012Here is the difference the 2+ hours of elite research she claims she puts into every post made in that case. There are numerous examples of this delete and repost behaviour in her recent posting history.

She’s also trolling the news for absolutely anything possible to be offended about. Of course, that’s just standard operating procedure for someone who used to visit gyms on open days to gather blog material by getting trainers to “fat shame” her by recommending weight loss.

In the last three months Ragen has only had a single paid engagement, as an instructor at a plus-size belly dancing convention in Michigan, so we know she isn’t busy with her non-existent job (maybe she is supporting herself with all that Advocare money she saved).

So, has Ragen had time to train with all this activity in her life? Apparently not, judging by the distinct lack of training updates on IronFat. We never heard anything more about that open water swimming course she was doing in May. As far as we know she still can’t run for more than a few minutes. The longest distance she’s covered on her bike is 4 miles, and a few weeks ago she was happy about being able to stop three times in a row without falling off the bike.

Ragen’s latest IronFat post is about finding a new running coach. Does she say anything about her training, times, paces, etc.? No, and ironically she has chosen a coach who teaches a running program that specifically recommends weight loss. He was happy to take her $150 with the promise of not mentioning weight loss to her though.Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 11.16.23 PM

It’s now 3 months, 11 days until the Arizona 70.3. Ragen has been training for the past 14 months. In 14 months she could have lost over 120 pounds on a modest 1200 calories per day net intake and be in the best shape of her life. Instead she has committed to not losing weight and spent 14 months struggling to carry that 120 pounds of dead weight with her for every single pounding footstep and knee to the gut. 14 months is enough time to completely change your life, but Ragen has almost nothing to show for it.

103 days until Tempe.

24 thoughts on “Road to Tempe 2015: What’s Happening, Ragen?

  1. Thank you for mentioning the way she looks for ways to be offended. That’s one of the pieces that I’ve never understood when I read about her exchanges with other athletes/trainers/random people on the street- how all of her experiences are bad and people tease her for working out or comment/congratulate her for being active.

    My husband and I recently started changing our lifestyle to eat healthier and move more. We’re both pretty large people. Not once, NOT ONCE, has anyone seen us walking or working out and made any kind of comment to us other than the basic “hi!” Seriously. No. One. Gives. A Shit. About. Your. Life. They’re so busy doing their stuff they don’t have time to pay any attention to yours. In four months, we haven’t had one exchange even close to equaling the offensive behavior she seems to encounter on a regular basis. We haven’t even received any comments that would register on the offensive richter scale. I don’t understand how she consistently meets these boorish people who give her advice or comment or give her the side eye or whatever. I’ll be honest, based on some of the things of hers I read I was initially worried about reactions from other people. Nothing. So is the chip on her shoulder so big that people can’t help but bump into it, or is she just making stuff up to add drama to her posts? I don’t get it.

    • You know what they say, when everyone you meet is an asshole, it’s probably you who’s the asshole. Ragen’s not exactly the most charismatic person to begin with; factor in that she wants and needs something to be offended about just to be able to write a shitty blog about it…she’s looking for offence, and if she doesn’t find it, she’ll make sure it happens.

    • I go to the gym on a regular basis. There are people there of all shapes and sizes… and everyone is too focused on themselves to worry about what someone else looks like. I doubt that the incident at the track ever happened (where people were offering her advice on running). I truly believe that was internal dialogue initiated by hyper-vigilance. Ragen is doing a disservice to people of all shapes & fitness levels by reinforcing a bogus idea that fitness and weightloss are next to impossible – achievable only by elite athletes defying all odds – which would be Ragen, of course – because she needs to feel special and heroic… all the while convincing her readers that it’s not only impossible for them; but necessary. She’s a fraud – ripping people off financially, emotionally and physically. Thank you for this blog.

    • I actually admire the obese people I consistently see out on the roads or at the gym. I’m probably a little nicer to them than everyone else, by which I mean I might actually say “Hi” or acknowledge them with a nod or wave. I just ignore everyone else.

    • My experience was a little different from yours though I agree with your premise. Folks generally mind their own business and don’t go out of their way to issue unkind remarks. When I walked the roadside in the afternoons, teen-aged boys would holler mean things at me while they drove past me (“gee, you’re fat”, “please don’t eat me”, ‘king kong” etc.). No way for me to issue a response as they sped by. I also noticed that no one ever said anything derogatory to me if they were walking past me. Either as you say, no one really operates that way, or folks realized that doing so would open them up to retaliation as they had no means of escaping me. I’m thinking the former.

      Something that always struck me as hard to believe: any story where the name caller remains on the scene. For example, if one was swimming at a public pool or walking on an outdoor track and was called names, why would the offender stay around? The offender risks retaliation if they do not exit promptly once the hurtful comments are issued. And, if there are witnesses, offender takes the additional risk of being chastised by one or more witnesses.

      So I do take some of the name calling stories with a grain of salt. But, name calling of fat people does happen. I am witness to it.

      • I am in great shape. Teenage boy and girls (and day laborers, oddly enough) yelled stuff at me all of the time when I was out running or biking. I never could really tell what they were yelling because they were passing by quickly and/or I was wearing earbuds (or it was in Spanish, which I don’t speak). But it happened pretty regularly. A couple of times per week. I assume most of it was negative. My wife (110lbs) reported similar experiences, although I assume her comments were not as negative. For a while, we used to keep a running total of these incidents to see who could get yelled at more. This is just to say that getting yelled at by passing cars full of teenagers happens to everyone, regardless of size, shape, race, age, sex, etc.

  2. I have an eerie deja vu feeling about Ragen’s latest “Anatomy of a Long Run” post on IF…
    Somehow I’ve read all this before?!?

    • As a long time runner/triathlete (currently on hiatus for strength training), none of that “Anatomy of a Long Run” registered with me. It certainly did not reflect any of my experiences with long runs or runners. First, when I was running long distances, I didn’t think of 5 miles as a long run. Five miles was “table stakes.” I would not have bothered to run anything less than 5 miles — I didn’t view it as worth the effort of changing clothes and lacing up shoes. Second, there were huge differences in how I viewed 5, 10, 15 and 20 mile runs. There is no way I would lump them together as “long runs.” Finally, I never “felt the burn” during any portion of a run. What is she talking about? I’ve never heard a runner say something like that.

      • I had calf cramping similar to what Ragen experienced, but that was when I was a beginner and adapting to running. I doubt that she should be experiencing those after all of her training. I don’t know what other kind of ‘burn’ could be happening there.

      • Your muscles burn if your VO2max threshold is higher than your lactate threshold. I have an exceptionally low lactate threshold and have had to modify my training as a result, and yes, my muscles do burn. My circumstances are rare, though.

  3. What is annoying to me about Ragen is that she is basically mocking every other fat athlete out there if she doesn’t pull this off. And she won’t.
    I get the idea that she’s going to not be able to complete because of some external force, completely unrelated to her lack of training or fitness. And I will be pissed.
    I’m fat, I run and am also losing weight due to running, and lots of other fat people are fit. Lots of people who don’t look like whippets are out there doing 5k and longer races and basically giving it a go. We may be slow, but no excuses.
    When this goes tits up for Ragen the sub text will be if she can’t do it, then it’s just the world hating on fat people who want to engage in exercise. She’s setting herself up to fail and by being the figure head of ‘fat athletes’ she’s taking the spotlight away from all those who do actually manage to train and complete events like this. GRRRR.

    • “the figure head of fat athletes” is exactly my problem with her. she’s vague about her progress and results. why is it such a secret? she makes it seem like she’s defying all kinds of odds because she wants to be a hero (or a victim in the event of failure). what kind of message does that send to fat people who are afraid to get fit because of all these impossible obstacles that Ragen bullshits about? I will be super furious if she doesn’t deliver after the crowd funding (ie: buy my books so I can buy parts/equipment ) and training/progress blogging.

    • I’m betting that she WAS 284lbs and IS NOW considerably more. She doesn’t look at 284lbs like she can’t ride a bike. She can’t walk 5k briskly. That really says something about what’s happening to her physical condition.

      And, hell, I’m out of shape, and every time I beat my time for my loop, I sure let everyone know! I also complain when my bad joints force me into a shorter route.

  4. I’d just like to say that I think it’s great that Ms. Chastain is trying to do things like the Ironman…

    and then failing to complete them, because it reinforces the point that you cannot be “fat and fit.” Ms. Chastain’s experience is exactly the issue with obesity: even obese people who really want to take part in fitness events (even mild ones, like a 5k) are simply unable to do so until they lose weight.

  5. Okay, I have to respond to the Anonymous one. I hate to say it but you’re just flat out wrong and it’s pretty irritating when that kind of stuff gets put out there. I was exactly the same weight I am now when I did a 5k and was far from the last finisher (the last finishers weren’t even overweight, not that it really matters). So yeah, people can do it. Would I run a Marathon? No. I will never run a Marathon though, regardless of my ultimate size due to a bone surgery I had when I was fourteen that destroyed my ankle joint. I was thin when I was fourteen, just so we’re clear. And for many years afterwards and that joint was still just as destroyed. It is totally fine for people of any size to take part in whatever events they so choose provided they do so in a safe fashion. I’m not a fan, ever, of someone large or small participating in an event and endangering others to prove a point (this is partially in reference to someone pointing out that the bike she uses might actually be unsafe for everyone around her if she rides).

  6. Her latest post about “running” is a total rip off of swim bike moms. Same day and everything. Can she NOT come up with her own material??

  7. Hahaha…I think she even has a troll. But a troll so excellent she doesn’t maybe realize it!

    Toogz says:
    I bet you’re just being modest.🙂 You’ve been training for almost a year now. After putting in so much hard work day after day, you are probably at a really impressive level of fitness. And you still have 3 months to go!! Keep it up ragen, and I bet you’re really going to surprise some people with how well you do.”

    And I agree with the “fat and fit”…there are limits to everything in life. Sure you can do a passable imiation of whatever, but to truly do various things (dance en pointe for example) you need to have a certain physical ability.

    However, it’ll keep personal coaches in business forever with these people who think they can be way overweight and that’s just fine, as long as they can shuffle through a 30 minute ‘workout’. It helps them stay stuck. What is the problem with honesty? It’s not a loaded statement, it’s a fact: if you’re above X weight, you’re going to have a hard time if you start out trying to do an IM.
    Realistic goals…SMART goals…guess she never learned that as a turnaround CEO.

  8. @Fatrunner and BFD

    The “figurehead of fat athletes” is an interesting comment. The only reason she can get this status at all is that there isn’t enough out there about us and for us. I would LOVE it if there were another Web site for fat athletes. There are a few individual blogs, like Fat Broad on a Bike ( but I haven’t seen any sites with more broad appeal. I would be very interested in connecting with other fat athletes, as I actually hardly know any in real life…. there are no other fat people in either of the two bike clubs I ride with, and most of the friends I ride and hike with outside of clubs are normal weight. I would love to compare info on clothes, equipment, and yes (sorry Ragen) healthy weight loss. And by the way, I never get any negative comments from anyone because I’m overweight and doing sports…in fact, it’s the opposite. I have to bring it up because no one wants to be rude–like they are afraid I’ll get all butthurt or something. Like at the bike store buying wheels, I had to really press to say hey, I’m 200 pounds, are these lightweight wheels you want to sell me really right for me? It’s really not a big hush-hush subject; I know I’m overweight and I won’t break down in tears if someone brings it up, especially if it’s a legitimate part of the discussion, like what wheels I need. Oh and by the way, the wheels go up to about 220 pounds so I bought them and they are awesome.

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