Road to Tempe 2016: Four Fit Fatties who put Ragen to shame

[Welcome Pathetic Triathletes! We’d like to invite you to check out the posts Is Ragen Wrong about Everything? and The Truth about Ragen Chastain to get an idea of why this blog exists and why we feel it is important to call her out.]

In exactly 103 days, Ragen Chastain claims she will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full marathon in under 17 hours at IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe, AZ. To date, her only endurance event experience consists of gaming the rules at the 2013 Seattle Marathon to force the volunteer to allow her to finish in over 12 hours, and failing to complete the swim segment at IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona last October. This year she has worked hard on her 5K personal record and managed to get it down to an elite 1:05:51. This was followed up by her recent IronFlop 4.3K disqualification when she was unable to finish a novelty fun run 5K course properly and ruined a week of IRONMAN training by walking for an hour.

Ragen is currently “sick” or else training hard depending on whether you check IronFat or Dances with Fat. It is coming up on a month since her last training update, reminiscent of last summer when she only posted a single IronFat update between July 8 and August 28, and most of her Dances with Fat posts were deleted reposts. If she follows last year’s pattern, she will soon be making enormous progress after a year of dismal failures, right in time for another swim DNF in November. We anticipate a century ride report at some point before November 20, but any other speculation would be fairly meaningless.

While Ragen continues to train for “3-5 hours” every day, we would like to focus on something completely different. Fit Fatties is a forum Ragen created where “thousands” of fit but fat women apparently post about all their amazing athletic endeavours on a regular basis. The most notable output of Fit Fatties is the infamous Fit Fatties Across America video where Ragen and her pal Jeanette DePatie and 1,500 forum members completed a 2,800 mile “virtual journey” across America that amounted to a grand total of 125 feet per day for each participant. Signing up for a Fit Fatties forum account quickly reveals the forum is a ghost town, but it has evolved into an extremely active Facebook group. It is clear from Ragen’s participation that she does not care about the participants in any way beyond being able to brag about creating Fit Fatties and use it for self-promotion. Her only participation in the Facebook group for the last few months has been occasional posts asking people to send her money for the upcoming Fat Activism Conference.

In the Fit Fatties Facebook group, HAES is king and weight loss talk is banned. There are no male members in sight, and the vast majority of posters are obese middle-age women doing basic activities like walking, hiking, or biking short distances, which is certainly reasonable enough. Ragen’s elite athleticism is sometimes a source of awe and inspiration for many members who look up to her for being such an apparently accomplished athlete.

However, there are occasionally some genuinely impressive “fit fatties” who post in the Facebook group, like the four women we will be featuring in our post today from the last few weeks. While Ragen was spending the last two years writing about how much she hates training and doing as much as possible to portray triathlon as a depressing and miserable sport nobody in their right mind would ever participate in, these women were training hard to do what they love. While Ragen was spending over a year whining about being unable to find triathlon gear and renting inappropriate men’s wetsuits for photo shoots, these women were solving their gear problems quickly and getting on with their training. While Ragen was skipping out on events and taking her utter failure of a 70.3 as a sign she should register for a full IRONMAN, these women were doing races appropriate for their abilities and body sizes. All of these women have achieved athletic goals far more impressive than anything Ragen has ever done in her life, and none of them will ever be featured on Dances with Fat or IronFat because Ragen simply does not care about other fat athletes who make her look bad.

Despite our obviously negative opinion of Ragen and her antics and moneymaking schemes, Fit Fatties may actually be her most positive creation, simply by virtue of Ragen herself having no part in its content and being unable to monetize it.

Update: Some concerns have been expressed about the use of anonymized Fit Fatties content in this post. We feel it is a reasonable fair use of the content, and specifically avoided obscuring faces because of past issues and because it plays into the “headless fatty” trope many fat activists decry. There is very little meaningful identifying information in any of these posts, and some of the concerns seem rather overblown. Nevertheless, faces have now been obscured to further anonymize the photos, which we feel detracts from their accomplishment to some extent.

Fit Fatties 2 copy

Fit Fatties 3 copy

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19 thoughts on “Road to Tempe 2016: Four Fit Fatties who put Ragen to shame

  1. Thank you for this post. It’s really cool to see bigger athletes compete seriously. With their great attitude alone, they put Ragen to shame. Keep it up, ladies!

  2. According to Sized for Success, Fit Fatties has 6,000 members.

    -Ragen is frequently featured as an expert in print, radio, television and film and is a champion dancer, marathoner, co-founder of the 6,000 member Fit Fatties Forum, and currently training for her first IRONMAN Triathlon.

    According to Facebook, Fit Fatties has 3,000 members.

    -Members (3,133)
    Jeanette DePatie

    Ragen Chastain


  3. This says everything you need to know about Ragen. If she was really about FA and HAES as “causes”, and really an “activist”, people like the above would be covered left, right, and centre. Instead? Not a single word, ever. Just Ragen’s handicapped-level performances and cash grabs.

    • I doubt she’d ever admit they’re an inspiration, she (Ragen) sooked so much about how hard it was to get equipment, suits, blah blah blah as if she’s the first to ever attempt something like this, she makes out like she’s the first fat woman to ever get off her arse and do something and while she’s complaining and making excuses, these women are running rings around her, literally. Sad, really.

  4. WOW…someone just told me about this article!! I’m the one in front of the “Women for Tri” banner and raced in Ironman Lake Placid a couple of weeks ago. I was last out of the swim after being beat up a LOT but made it! Got on the bike but started feeling funny and realized my head felt like it was in a vice grip so got checked by medical and taken out of the race with a concussion. I’ll have to start checking out this Ragen chick because she’s not “inspiring” others. It sucked I DNF’d but Ironman will be there and I’ll be back and I’m proud of what I’ve done and accomplished over the years! Thank you so much for putting this out there!

    • Thanks for visiting, Keely! I’m sorry to read you got a concussion, that’s a doozy. I always worry about getting hit unintentionally by another swimmer in busy water, I can’t imagine what it’s like in an actual Iron Man when everyone is going full force. 0_0 But I wish you luck in the next Iron Man.

      • Yeah. I started with my projected finish time group of 1:40 and stayed on the cable. Which was my mistake. It was beautiful heading out until the first turn when all of the fast swimmer were coming around for their second loop. I stayed on the cable. Stupid!!! I’ll remember next time to swim a little wide. For those that don’t know Mirror Lake is AMAZING to swim in because it’s a shallow lake and they have a cable running along the bottom that they tie buoys to for Ironman, rowing and other events so you can follow it out, turn and back. No need to sight! But it turned into that Clif Bar commercial where the guy is practicing his swim by having friends beating him up except it felt like they were using bowling pins. Oh well, another day!! I try to go out and do what I can to show women that no matter what your size, shape, age…if you put your mind to it and just start you can set goals and achieve them! I’ve met so many great and supportive people through triathlon that I know I’ll get there. I wish Ragan would promote THAT aspect. The podium finishers, elites and pros cheer me on so this sport really is for everyone!!

    • Hi Keely,

      I love what you say about the supportive nature of the sport and everyone cheering each other on. I’m an ultra-runner and routinely finish in the last half dozen, and that has been my experience too. Immense support both from those around me (party at the back!) and also from the elites finishing in half the time.

      It makes me sad that Ragen doesn’t seem to have noticed that. And it worries me that her constant accounts of heckling and abuse from other athletes – which I find hard to believe, as it is so contrary to my experience – will be a barrier to others trying sport. She likes to think she’s an activist for fat athletes, but, in fact, her constant negativity and vocal dislike of her training portray racing as unpleasant, uncomfortable, unrewarding and hate-filled. She’s part of the problem, not the solution.

      Anyhow, congrats on all you’ve achieved to date, and good luck for the future.

  5. I am featured in this article and I thank you for giving us Athenas some attention. I work very hard to have the most fun possible in a triathlon.

  6. I remember when Marilia Brocchetto (of the Tri-Fat blog) said back in December that she just started training for a tri in July, I was like… you sure you don’t wanna train longer? I really didn’t think that was enough time for her…shit, I didn’t think that would be enough time for ME. But July arrived and she finished (and I ate my hat).

    I think that it was hard for me to believe Ms Brocchetto at first because I’ve been following the Ragen saga for so long😦 Ragen’s been training for Ironman since 2014 and championing herself as a privileged, elite athlete the whole way (also, the 12.5 hour marathon she had supposedly trained 20 weeks for). She has a decent platform of both followers and “haters” and she’s really not doing a good job at all with convincing anyone that fat can be fit. I mean, if she wants to be half-ass, I wish she wouldn’t sell herself as an athlete (at this point, she’s a participant). This blog entry has further opened my eyes to what real fit fatties look like. It’s also made me reevaluate some of my own goals D: I’m now in week 5 of C25k – yes it feels like a baby step, but I’ve always sucked at running and I’m curious how far I can go now.

    So much respect to the ladies featured in this article. I would have told myself it was impossible when I was 50 lbs heavier (it certainly felt impossible at times). I definitely feel less “judgy” when people blog about their goals and have the receipts to back it up. Ragen seems to avoid mentioning those who actually do accomplish their goals… funny, that.

  7. I’m a member of the Fit Fatties facebook group and have been so so pleased to see these fab women giving it their all, training hard and showing that we can go out there and kick ass.
    I’m more a low key, run a few times a week, and do a few workouts kind of fit fatty, but am inspired to try to train for something bigger like a tri one day (post small rug rats).
    I’m not sure how many others are I like me in the group – but I personally think Ragen and her training is a joke and I get so annoyed that she never never ever pipes up to congratulate others who are actually achieving great things. I would respect her a hell lot more if she ever actually did an event or at least gave praise to those who do.
    Also, while I’m a member of this FF group, I do actually work to lose weight and working on maintaining a 50 Ib weight loss. Shocking but true.

    • What Ragen reminds me of actually, is that recent episode of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, wherein Whitney made an exercise video. She held auditions for back-up dancers, and then promptly rejected and humiliated the best dancer because she made Whitney look bad (she was better than Whitney and half her size). That poor girl was pretty upset. Like with Ragen, it’s all about ME ME ME, and no one else is allowed to have the spotlight for a second.

      I’m glad to see there are so many people in the FF group that give it their all and support each other.

    • You’re awesome and I’m glad to hear this. I’m in the group too, and I’m always baffled by Ragen’s lack of participation and support. But it doesn’t seem like something one can openly talk about. It’s a weird world.

  8. Jeanette had made a deal with devi., that particular devil being Ragen. You are known , Jeanette,, by the company you keep. And the finish line pictures you fake.

    To all the true fit fatties: You rock.

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