Should I change my name?

12 Aug

No, not ‘Tamsyn‘ – I like that one – thanks, mum and dad!

One issue that I’d like to blog about today is the title of my blog (‘Fat Girl to Ironman’, in case you’d forgotten). A couple of my lovely friends (who are much slimmer than me) – yes, that’s you Irene and Ellie – have suggested that they think I should change the title of my blog as it’s derogatory. It’s a title based on personal perception. I am aware that there are many people in the world who are bigger than me, however I am generally categorised as ‘overweight’ according to BMI. I am also aware that BMI is often described as unreliable, but, it is still widely used. My current bodyweight is hovering on the edge of ‘overweight’ and will hopefully soon move into the normal/healthy weight category… but it is an ongoing battle to keep it there. I suspect that my waist/hip ratio (or just waist measurement) is not healthy, but I don’t want to get out a tape measure and get depressed about it. According to BMI, I would need to lose nearly 3 stone before I would be considered underweight, so there’s plenty of scope for weight loss!!!

BMI-female BMI-Chart

The BBC has an interesting calculator, “Where are you on the global fat scale?” Cheerfully, it tells me that “If everyone in the world had the same BMI as you, it would add 10,754,372 tonnes to the total weight of the world’s population” – yay! I suspect the small print says, ‘luckily, not everyone is fat otherwise earth wouldn’t be able to support them!!!” Apparently, nationally, I’m below average, but globally I have a higher BMI than 55% of women my age.

Today, I decided to deviated from my training schedule again. I was meant to swim at lunchtime, but I knew that I would need to cycle to the hospital this afternoon and also had lots of parkrun emails to deal with, so I decided to skip that workout. I’m also feeling a bit tired after yesterday’s run. After work, I had a training session with Lordshill Road Runners. It was a hill training session, but as I’m practising coaching, I couldn’t join in much – well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!!!

Tomorrow, I should be open water swimming before work, and then doing 3x1600m reps after work. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to maintain the required pace for the reps, but it’s only 3 miles, so it’s not an unmanageable workout.

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12 Responses to “Should I change my name?”

  1. somuchfattitude 12/08/2013 at 10:08 pm #

    I wouldnt, for several reasons. I personally view “fat” as an adjective. It’s nothing more and nothing less. It turns derogatory when people view it as more than that. I refuse to give a word that much power. Additionally – it was a big reason I clicked on your blog initially. I thought, “OH! Someone I can relate to! She’ll get me!” The transformation of losing a huge amount of weight and doing triathlons is like none other. I applaud your name and encourage it.

    • tamsynsmith 13/08/2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Thanks for your reply. I was quite surprised by the fact that people felt I should change the name of my blog. I know that some people may not view me as particularly fat, but I think it all depends on a starting point. Five years ago, I was a lot bigger than I am now… and I was going in the wrong direction. Although I’m a healthier size now, there are still many items of clothing that I wouldn’t wear (although ironically, I’m OK in a trisuit!!!) and compared to most people I do sports with, I am definitely on the larger side. It’s great to have some support from someone who agrees that while it might be nice to be a bit slimmer, it’s more important to accept who you are and to make steps towards a healthier lifestyle πŸ™‚

      • somuchfattitude 13/08/2013 at 2:16 pm #

        And aside from all of that – you’ve “branded” yourself with this name in a marketing sense. No matter how much weight I lose I’m sticking with my name because I never want to forget where I’ve come from.

  2. rikkiprince 12/08/2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Luckily anything the world’s population could eat to make it 10 million tonnes heavier would come from the earth, making no net difference. In fact, it would only take everyone drinking a litre and a half of water simultaneously to have this effect πŸ™‚

    As for the name, I think it reflects your attitude towards your body and your goals, and if you’re happy with it and don’t feel oppressed by the word, then don’t worry what others think.

    • tamsynsmith 13/08/2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Thanks, Rikki. It’s good to know that the odd binge at Sprinkles is not going to lead to planetary disarray πŸ˜‰

  3. Flash Ally 13/08/2013 at 9:42 am #

    I agree with everyone else – I used to hate the word fat because it wasn’t just a word to me, being fat meant I was lazy, slovenly, stupid, a failure etc etc. It took losing weight before I could reclaim the word and realise it just meant my arse was bigger than other peoples, and actually, smaller than some! If you’re not using it to beat yourself up like I used to then I think you should keep it – it brings people to your awesome journey! I think it’s a nice way to show your transition, and it’s easy for other people to know what they’re getting when they come here πŸ™‚ xx

    • tamsynsmith 13/08/2013 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks, Ally. I certainly think that ‘Fat Girl to Ironman’ is catchier than ‘moderately overweight and unfit girl’s attempt to become a triathlete’! πŸ˜‰

      I agree that ‘fat’ can be used as a synonym for ‘lazy’ by some people and it often takes someone who has had a weight problem themself to realise how difficult it can be to lose weight and keep it off. We’ve all seen “humorous” illustrations about ‘inside every fat person is a thin person trying to get out’… every day I’m battling the fat person who wants to regain my life, and although some people might think I’ve met that challenge, I know that unless I’m vigilant, I’ll be on the road to weight gain.

  4. rustyironwoman 06/09/2013 at 11:22 am #

    Further to others’ responses, I think you should keep the name. ‘Fat Girl to Ironman’ implies that it’s not a static state but a journey. For most people reading your blog, they’re going to want to know how they get from being inactive to active and you’re setting a great example.

    • tamsynsmith 07/09/2013 at 8:23 am #

      Thank you πŸ™‚

    • tamsynsmith 10/09/2013 at 11:04 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words. I think I’m going to stick with what I’ve got… although that may be seen as being inactive by some people πŸ˜‰

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