Women’s Running Magazine Features Plus-Size Model on the Cover

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18 year-old plus-size model Erica Schenk is featured on the cover of Women’s Running Magazine, fighting the misconception that all runners are ‘skinny’ – here’s the explanation from Magazine editor Jessica Sebor:

“I think that every woman goes to the magazine rack sometimes and feels like she can’t see herself in the cover images. We wanted our readers to feel like they could see themselves in our cover. Some women believe that since they have curves they can’t run or shouldn’t run. Running is for every body anytime. There’s a stereotype that all runners are skinny, and that’s just not the case. Runners come in all shapes and sizes. You can go to any race finish line, from a 5K to a marathon, and see that. It was important for us to celebrate that.”

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112 thoughts on “Women’s Running Magazine Features Plus-Size Model on the Cover”

    • Seriously. I’d buy the whole “fairness” thing if instead of saying “they need to see themselves on covers” she’d said “our magazine gives tips and tricks on improving form, training, and safetey, and this month’s magazine features a plan for safely running as an overweight person.” Because that’s the main point of running magazines anyway- it’s for enthusiasts and people trying to improve.

      • Totally. It seems like they are trying to show how diverse (but come on its not that diverse) they are now. That is just how it seems to me…I wish this wasn’t such a big deal.

      • That’s not entirely true she could run… maybe she isn’t fast but that doesn’t means he doesn’t jog.. she just eats more than she burns… but I get what you’re saying.

        • She very well could run. This is anecdotal, but here goes:
          I recently quit smoking. I also recently put on 25 lbs. I still run atleast 5 km a day, yet here I am overweight! (I am 5’4 and 140 lbs now). So, it is entirely possible that a person runs and is over weight (sadly I have recently become one of them!)

          • You’ll lose the weight… quitting smoking is way more awesome than you wanting to lose that weight… you’ll do it in time, so don’t sweat it (no pun intended)… again it’s so awesome that you quit smoking! 🙂

          • Anytime…

            But with me being sweet, just depends on who’s replying to me 😉

            There are some snarky ladies here, I love it

      • You have no idea what her story is. Maybe she is leaner now that she has started running. And maybe she runs to clear her head, to spend time outdoors in the sun, to move her body…maybe she’s comfortable in her body and runs because it makes her feel good not because she wants to lose weight. We should never judge or make assumptions of others

  1. While I think it’s a good thing to see non-skinny women on the cover of Women’s Running, I have seen very few women who look like plus-size models running races. I have run a few of 5ks and two half-marathons. Most of the people who run them are lean. I’m not saying they are skinny – some are and some aren’t – but they are lean. I’m not trying to be mean but when I did the half-marathons the few clearly overweight men and women I have seen run these races usually had to start walking after 2 miles.

    • For some reason this comment bothers me… Maybe the reason you see few women running races that are not lean is because by the time they get to the point of running a race they have tonned up? I think this is a great way to show so many people can run… If you need to walk no shame. Heck I ran a marathon and walked but finished. Anyone remember Oprah running the marathon?

      • My comment is based strictly on my observations. Personally, I think it’s great anytime someone who is overweight wants to start running to get into shape. One of my best friends is overweight and she started running. She was embarrassed to be running because she is heavy and she was nervous people might stare at her. But she can do about 3 miles now without stopping.

        • That’s awesome about your friend… It sucks that at first she was embarrassed, I hate that… But her accomplishment is awesome and I hope she’s not embarrassed anymore. There really is no reason to be 🙂

    • I agree with you. In fact it’s quite odd to see someone this large running…the reality is, if you run regularly it’s pretty difficult to maintain such a high body fat percentage, given that you put in a moderate effort each time. Not to mention, someone this “curvaceous” would most certainly be uncomfortable running more than 5k

      • Lol, I’m not being rude at all but please don’t refer to her as curvaceous, I know you’re intention is to be polite but curvaceous isn’t the right word to use to desribe her,

      • Dear users…to drop the weight (not 10lb) requires a loot of running and time. Of you never were fat you dont actually know the constancy it takes. You can expect an obese person to drop some weight after an year.its not like you see on the telly,training 8 hours a day! You will break for sure that way. Its a lifestyle change. So fat people are gonna remain fat for a lot of runs out and you are gonna see them. A lot of fat runs. I think these people deserve only to be praised, as they are actually doing something healthy in front of you..so i dont get the critics at all

      • I disagree…you can run all you want, but icnypu eat a high fat diet, your body fat will still be high. 80% of our bodies composition is diet, 20% is exercise.

    • Hate to break it to you but lots of us run to “run” not compete. I’m thin/petite and wake up every Sunday morning and run 7 miles on a trail.

      I think it’s kinda presumptuous and obnoxious to assume every woman who runs is competitive

  2. I like this. My sister-in-law is a heavier lady but she runs half marathons and is currently training for her first full marathon. She could outrun my skinnyass any day!

      • seriously Alias? why do you keep baiting ppl into these diet conversations? how on earth is that comment relevant? learn to leave people alone and let them do what they want and stop acting like everyones mother on here….gawd

        • Veronique is the one who commented to me in another post. She’s clearly not over her eating disorder if she is still so fearful of carbohydrates. I don’t care how you put it.
          The question is why are YOU still writing to me under multiple usernames? Desperate and pathetic? I think so.

          • I am not using multiple usernames, that is ridiculous but whatever. I feel like you are intentionally creating a lot of drama on here that most ppl don’t want to deal with anymore and it would be nice if you realized that and stopped looking for arguments. Someone else’s eating disorder is none of your business, and trust me you’re not helping her by commenting. It is really childish and rude.

            Veronique, I hope you get better soon <3

          • Then stop responding to me. I haven’t commented on ANYTHING you’ve wrote anywhere since the Ariana Grande post until now oh wait because YOU are choosing to write to me. BYE!

          • This is beyond pathetic. People who say get better soon and nothing more don’t give a crap if you recover or not. Recovery doesn’t fall from the sky just so you know

          • Wow, dude please just stop. I have never once said I am over my eating disorder. In fact, I’m very much stuck in it currently. I am fearful of carbs, true, but it is a fear I am working to overcome. Also, you’ve gathered all this from one comment I made about Demi Lovato. You were preaching the HCLF diet, and I said it probably wouldn’t be healthy for her to switch to such a lifestyle, and that balance was the best approach, ie not restricting ANY macronutrient/food group. Seems like you’re the one who is afraid of fat (which is also an essential macro).

          • ur a joke. i’ve said many times i eat 1-2 avocados a day. i tend to be too thin, so yes for someone like you, you *absolutely* need to eat fat. i would even say you should eat 3-4 avocados a day, look up fruitarian elle, she is recovering and thriving and buys a box of avocados each week. but for someone like Demi who is unhappy with being bigger, no she should not be eating most of her calories from fat, and then restricting them. eating disorders happen when you restrict your CALORIES. if she can eat so much more and be happy with her weight eating more carbs, then what’s the problem? did i tell her not to eat fat, did i tell her not to eat protein? no i said she needs to eat MORE carbs because that is what gives us energy, that is what satiates our bodies. if you think telling someone with a past of restrictive eating to eat MORE is an issue, you clearly have your own to deal with.

          • Okay so you totally misunderstood what I had originally commented but whatever. Also eating disorders don’t happen when you restrict your calories…that is a manifestation of the illness but it is not the *cause* of the illness. You are ridiculously ignorant, good bye now!

          • Your point was that I’m fearful of fat? Where do you even make up this type of stuff. Realize that this nasty little attitude of yours is 100% the reason why you aren’t recovering. Someone wishes you to recover and get well, and suggests someone to look to for inspiration and you snap back with such hate and anger. Am I surprised you’re still struggling with anorexia? No. Look up Elle Taylas recovery video she chose recovery and happiness am I saying it’s easy? No but it’s possible stop acting like you know what you’re doing. How many pounds have you gained since you last told me your bmi is 13? I went from a bmi of 15 to now 18+ so pretty sure I know what I’m doing and you’re still lost but OK treat people this way who try to offer you advice would not be surprised if your bmi drops to 11 soon

          • Ugh my point originally was that I do not believe that HCLF lifestyle is a true recovery, because following that way of life still leaves you obsessing over food choices, restricting food groups, etc. I appreciate your “advice” but I have zero interest in eating raw fruit for the rest of my life.

          • Who are you to judge what is recovery and what is not? Have you recovered? And this type of stubbornness is why you aren’t getting better. Did I tell you to eat nothing but raw food. If I did please point out where I did. I said you need to eat MORE, whatever you are eating now you need to eat 2-3 times more and really force yourself. I recommend adding more carbs to your diet I explicitly said you do not need to cut out animal products if that’s what you choose to do. I explicitly said you need to add a lot of fat to your diet. Your eating disorder is clearly messing with your ability to understand and comprehend it’s quite scary actually. Really go eat 10 fruits or slices of bread on top of what you usually eat because you seriously need it.

          • Anyways sounds like you have zero interest in eating period but continue your justification for your actions is quite amusing. You can eat whatever you’re eating now I don’t care but if you really want to recover you should work on eating 1000 calories more on too of the usual. Saying no to eating more is just am excuse to restrict.

          • and having an eating disorder is your choice. you CHOOSE to do this to yourself. of course it upsets you when someone gives you genuine advice to recover, and of course it makes you happy to see people say “get well soon” which doesn’t mean anything at all. it really just means i hope you’re ok but do whatever you want.

            anyways I am NOT pushing any diet on you. eat fat, eat protein, eat animal products and meat even if you wish. the MOST important thing is you need to eat enough calories, and not go in the whole i ate 1000 calories today i’m full. i come from a past of being underweight you really need to force yourself to eat a certain amount of food everyday to get to a healthy weight. look up elle tayla or fruitarian elle, she’s overcome her anorexia. maybe her diet will work for you, maybe it won’t. but notice how hard she is working eating 3000 calories a day. you are never going to recover and get where you want to be if you’re stuck at eating 1000 something a day. i actually do wish you the best, and hope you recover soon, but you have to fight and seek inspiration from people who have succeeded, and not be stuck in your own head because that’s where the demons are.

          • Are you kidding me? An eating disorder is NOT a choice, FULL STOP. That’s actually extremely offensive.

          • The only person who can help you get better is yourself. So tell me more how it’s not your choice? Your actions your life your choice

          • If you can’t realize it’s your choice to continue starving yourself you will never get better. It’s the same with obese people who don’t believe obesity is a choice why do you think they stay fat!?

          • You cannot change whatever triggered you into your current state. I believe the same about obese people who usually have experienced something in their past to become obese. Yes that is not a choice BUT gaining weight and losing weight is 100% in your power. To say it’s not a choice is to say you cannot recover. That is dangerous. I hope you realize recovery is 100% in YOUR power and you are strong enough to overcome this! Genuinely hope you get better, as I wish for all people suffering EDs. But of corse you’re going to lash out at me anyways so really good luck with your life

        • Obviously you’re not eating enough because not only can you not run like this obese chick featured above you also lack basic comprehension skills

          You can eat bacon and eggs for breakfast if you want just make sure you’re eating another 5 slices of bread you need it.

        • Honestly from everything I have gathered here:

          1. You do not want to eat more food regardless of what type of food it is
          2. You do not truly want to recover because someone telling you eat more calories of whatever food you want upsets you greatly
          3. You think recovery is just going to fall from the sky and it’s not something you have to fight for
          4. It upsets you to know about people like Elle Tayla who have recovered and are happy because it reminds you of your own failures
          5. You are probably still a BMI of 13 and you think you know what’s best for yourself even though what you’re doing is not working
          6. Your severe carb restriction has caused you brain damage and you think I’m telling you to only eat fruit when I clearly said you need to eat fat you need to eat more of everything. I did not tell you to restrict any food group I told you to eat more carbs, a lot more, that is it.

          Anyways from what I’ve gathered you sound like a true B. If any of my comments bothered you, you truly do not deserve recovery. Please eat 1000 calories of carbs more a day, come back and actually learn how to read.

        • Seriously where in these comments was I wrong? You are still incredibly fearful of food that anyone telling you to eat more makes you incredibly upset. Clearly you’re still very pro-anorexia, which is disgusting.

  3. I love this! I’m a marathoner, currently training for my 8th marathon, and I look pretty “fit” I guess, but I run with a charity team, and I have some teammates who are seriously overweight. You can kind of see it is just kind of how they are built…they’ll never be skinny like some runners or look really “toned” like I do. It’s not in their genes. Being skinny isn’t natural for me, either, but I do like three pushups and plank for 15 seconds and my muscles are visible. Every body is different! And just because you aren’t 90 lbs doesn’t mean you can’t run! These people may not be fast, but they’re still out there every day training through snow and cold winters (and raising thousands for charity)! I think it’s more important to encourage people to exercise and be healthy than it is to encourage then to look a certain way, and if this helps encourage people to get moving who otherwise might feel intimidated by it, then it can’t be a bad thing!

    • I’m thin, slow, and clumsy…but I was still an athlete… So this notion that big people can’t work out is stupid.. many people do it… Even lost weight and then compete… They are heavy, not incompetent…

      So I agree with you… BTW 🙂

      • This is why it can be frustrating when certain people claim to be concerned about an overweight person’s “health,” when all they are going off of is appearance. Thin people (even those who happen to eat poorly and don’t exercise) don’t face that kind of judgement.

        I don’t disagree that if someone is overweight then they likely experience many health issues. It just doesn’t seem fair that the knee-jerk reaction to seeing an overweight person is to act concerned for their health, or to assume their lazy.

        • Totally. I played sports with over weight girls… Not obese or morbidly obese (though I know people who are work out)but the over weight girls I played with were inshape… Not thin but they could run and play three or four games in a day… It’s a slippery slope… Chubby isn’t a body I want… But I don’t find it unattractive… Like the model… I don’t think she has an ugly body but it’s not my ideal… But I believe she works out…

          The only models I have issues with are the ones who go on about how much they work out or eat and it’s obvious that are selling a lie… Just like magazines…

    • That’s great, I’d love to get around to running a marathon some day. I’m surprised there are so many overweight people running, guess I’ve just not seen it much and assumed they’d prefer other ways of exercising, because it seems to me like it must be so painful/uncomfortable.

      • Hey shailene, trust me, when you’re putting in the miles for a marathon and taking it seriously, it can be painful for everyone, whether you’re fit or fat! Anyone can do it and I really believe that. With smart training, of course. It’s great exercise, it’s practically free, and doing road races is a ton of fun! I hope you get around to checking a marathon off of your bucket list one day!

        • You might be right, however I think I would be too scared that I’d be needing knee replacements down the line if I didn’t feel like my body was on my side. The idea of pushing though the pain scares me when it comes to joint or back pain. I’m sure some people are better built for running than others regardless of weight, though.

      • That’s why I find it so inspiring to see overweight people out there sweating and working. It takes a LOT of dedicating to build your foundation of fitness.

        Remember the nike commercial with the overweight kid struggling to run? I loved it. That made me more interested in their products than watching an Olympian cut through the air running so fast in a neon lit wind box. And I myself am very fit.

        • You’re absolutely right, I’m sure it takes a lot of guts and dedication, especially if someone is not on the leaner side.

          I’ve not seen that commercial, but all my workout clothes are from Nike and I absolutely love them, so that makes me happy to hear! Sounds like an awesome ad.

  4. I hate running so much. Biking, kickboxing, any team sport, yes! But running just seems so pointless to me. Unless you really are running from something, what’s the point, you know? I’m half-joking, my ex was/is a runner and he always tried to get me into it, but I hate it so much. I think I breathe wrong, if that makes sense, and after 2 minutes it’s just painful. I kinda wish I liked it. But well, different strokes…. About the model, she doesn’t look that bad, but she needs a better sports bra. I’m nowhere near that size but I have big(ish) b❆❆bs and I find it both hilarious and infuriating the way my b❆❆bs go flapping and flying whenever I exercise without the appropriate support. That cover looks like they’re not in the right bra. And they look rather painful.

    • I loath running… I can bike forever… running I hate it… probably years of it being used as punishment in team sports… nah, i’d still hate it.

      • I prefer running due to all the times I’ve been close to killing myself on a bike, my balance is soo bad, lol. I wish I was better at biking though, it’s a lot of fun.

    • ahah same about running.
      swimming, circuits, boxing, soccer, snowboarding, surfing, (not that I’m ANY good at them) all the way!!

    • I hate running as well! I love lifting and will do circuits and conditioning exercises (sled drags, tire flips, etc). That being said, I have a lot of respect for runners and anyone that puts work into their health and body.

      • Yeah I prefer to walk, not run. I do have a question however. How do you girls keep up with your exercise in long periods of extremely hot weather? I’m struggling. Even in the morning it’s over 30 degrees C.

        • I wake up at 5am to go cycling. Or go running at midnight. I much prefer cycling, but this year we’ve had a heatwave that’s lasted for the past 3 weeks and I don’t function well in hot weather. My friends and I go hiking on weekends, luckily we live close to mountains. We choose destinations where we can swim in lakes or rivers after we descend. Other than that I do a few minutes of bodyweight exercise a few times a day. Just the minimum to not lose too much fitness. I certainly don’t get more fit in such weather. I guess you could also find an airconditioned fitness facility or a swimming pool if that’s your thing and money isn’t an issue.

        • Unfortunately my gym has no AC and it will be about 90F tonight. I train with a group and in this kind of heat we usually don’t go as heavy and as long/intense as we normally would. Don’t want anyone passing out!!

  5. It’s so refreshing! I’m glad there have been changes in the way the fashion and modeling world perceive/promote beauty. Even if they are small. Since models like Robin Lawley, Gigi Hadid, and even Kate Upton have become more prominent, my self esteem has definitely risen. The models I listed, and those like them, look GREAT! But they look healthy and confident and even a little relatable. And it’s nice. As a teenage girl who struggles with body image, its nice to see some difference and acceptance in the modeling world 🙂

  6. Look, its great for overweight people to start running, but the goal should be to lose weight if you are OVERweight. Most overweight people can’t run a few minutes, so can we stop pretending MOST overweight people aren’t inactive and eat a lot of junk.
    The one thing I really dislike though is when overweight people are made fun of for exercising in public. So on one hand I do like this, because it could enocurage overweight people to run.

    • The goal should be being healthy not losing weight. Lots of people with low to normal BMI have high body fat. Weight is a useless measure of health

        • they don’t HAVE to. For weight loss you need calories out > calories in. You could run marathons and still be overweight as long as you make up the deficit with calories in. An overweight marathoner is healthier than a skinny person who doesn’t exercise and has a high body fat.

          I’m not defending this girls weight but my point is when it comes to weight and body-weight ratios, you’re only see what’s on the outside. You can’t assess how efficient that person’s heart pumps blood, their sensitivity to insulin, or the shape their blood vessels are in. In the end, these are the types of things that matter not how much you weigh.

          I had a friend in high school who was probably 2X as wide as me. She played hockey and she was awesome and fit in gym class. My BMI was 19 and I couldn’t do a push up or run a mile. At the end of the day, she was healthier than me. 10 years later, my BMI is higher but I can run a 10K without stopping and I’m definitely healthier today.

          • That is not quite correct; while it is true that certain measurements can only be obtained from a blood test, it is also true that too much body fat puts stress on a person’s joints and bones, and excessive body fat has many negative hormonal effects in the body. So even if an obese person has good bp, glucose, insulin, etc they might benefit from reducing body fat %.

        • Not saying that… my point is that if she’s truly fit, which is possible, she’s still healthier than a skinny model who eats poorly and never exercises.

          In any case, I’m glad they put someone like her on the cover. it shows anyone CAN run. Sure it’s harder for some but you can work to get there

    • Yeah I also hate it when people harass overweight people in real life whether it’s exercising or anything else they do. If someone is overweight, they are clearly struggling, and need help, encouragement, kindness to get better. If they want to exercise that’s a good first step! NO ONE should be made fun of for exercising and trying to get healthier, we all start somewhere.

      At the same time, people acting like this girl is the most fit person in the world, are a bit delusional. I’ve never seen an olympic athlete which such high body fat. Almost all serious athletes are lean no matter what their size is. If she is encouraging other young women to workout and get fit no matter what size they are – awesome. But at the same time there are people like Mia Davis, who was on TV supporting the fat acceptance movement, saying she works out 4 times a week with a trainer and how she’s so healthy, and how all overweight people are healthy, and only thin people are unhealthy. Then a year later she dies of reasons related to being overweight. Yes it is really sad, but I just wished she made the realization how dangerous it is to be overweight instead of just promoting it so much and being in denial about it.

      While I like the message “it’s ok to be overweight you can still make steps and changes to living healthier everyday” I’m really not OK with “it’s OK to be overweight therefore you should stay overweight and do nothing about it, but deep down be really angry about it because beauty standards are effed” (ahem Tess). The latter is just dishonest and irresponsible

  7. I never understood why people would claim a trigger for a post until this came along… So weird for me. I get it now.

    When I was in high school I ran track and played softball. I dreamed of school records and being the absolute best. Distance was my thing and I ended up breaking records for my high school in the mile. Unfortunately people would always comment that I looked like a sprinter (larger leg muscles) instead of a true distance runner (lean and lanky). I starved myself. Days and days to achieve something I could never be all to mold myself into the standard. I thought if I looked the part I would be faster. Of course it didn’t work and I didn’t have the energy to compete.

    I love this campaign. People of all shapes and sizes can run and compete! There is no standard and I wish covers like this existed when I was a teen. Now I am so happy with myself and what my body can do. I also understand my limitations which is power in itself.

    Let’s promote health all around!!

    • I did the same thing- and I wasn’t even bulky, it was BDD telling me I was. So I’d come up with lame excuses like, “oh on meet days and the day before I just have to eat a lot lighter because I’m so nervous” and I’d have nothing but a little fruit all day.

      I think especially at younger ages there’s this urge to stay small and childish and not develop your muscles. I’m sorry you went though it !

    • I’m glad you recovered. I’m a recovering bulimic which came from issues with my mother and a not getting too heavy and staying lean while I played sports… It consumed my life… And it can… Then I got hurt and had to take my senior year fall season off, while I was in college, and my coaches and parents reinforced that I could not gain any weight since I had limited ability to work out… And my ed got really bad… I was folding and I’d eat very little and throw up… The thing is I thought everyone thought I was getting more heavy but I wasn’t… I did it to myself.. but while in recovery I met a lot of women who were athletes… The athletic world has just add many eds as fashion… People just don’t talk about it

  8. I can’t believe she’s only 18. I wouldn’t consider her curvy or in shape tbh but if she’s running and trying to get in shape that’s a good thing

  9. I’m honestly getting tired of this fat acceptance crap. yes runners come in all shapes and sizes but they usually aren’t ever obese.

  10. It can’t be healthy to run if you are overweight? Maybe I’m ignorant on the topic and just a bad runner myself, but I’m pretty fit and I still have to be at least borderline underweight to be able to run much without pain or damage. In fact that’s a huge incentive for me to lose weight right now, I miss the long running sessions. I can’t even imagine running at her weight. Don’t your knees take something like 3 times your bodyweight for every step?

  11. Damn is hard to run as a fat one..everything bouncing in pain,imeanexpecilly for obese people(not my case) but also as an overweight you can feel the difference! Despite that,i’ve seen fat people running in every city i’ve been to, maybe slow,but consistent. Every time i see a fat guy/girl run in the park i feel like i’m seeing an hero…cause i know the struggle XD

  12. If they have extra weight to lose they have to start somewhere. Running doens’t seem the most appropriate exercise for someone obese, maybe start swimming or something else.

    But if i’ll see overweight people running or walking i will feeling nothing less than respect.

  13. Nice thought but I seriously doubt any person who is that over weight really considers themselves someone who’s hobby is running or that they’re athletes. Not saying bigger people don’t jog or exercise but there’s a difference imo… But on the other hand nice gesture for people who think they can’t be runners because of their weight and that helps to lose the weight or maintain a healthy weight.

  14. I don’t think this girl is overweight, she has a bigger&wider build, and is maybe, closer to far end of her healthy weight range, imo. But folks today jump with “fat” on anyone who has twice as little but visible fat as this girl, so. But i do see, how to those, very much into fitness&mag reading, or those who think media is a representation of real life – this girl would seem overweight, when you’re used to see small body fat% anything bigger is a shock, i guess. Anyway, i feel like people focus on running as an exercise to lose weight, but many folks at diff. weights do diff. exercises to maintain their normal weight (which again to some will seem “fat”) or simply cos they love it. Not everyone who eats healthy also exercises&not everyone who’s into working out is a healthy eater necessarily.
    As for this mag, don’t see why praise them for a heavier person on the cover, it should’ve been done years ago without any “we have a plus-size on our cover!” Try putting people of different weights withing healthy range(medically)&of different fitness levels on covers, maybe then i’ll consider it a truly positive move to a real change, not just following a trend to get more attention. Though it’s nice to see a mag without every cover headline being about “losing more or sexy something”.

    • You’d be amazed at what is I considered “over weight “. I recently have become over weight myself. Not to make excuses but I recently quit smoking and things have gone crazy with my body. I gained 25 lbs and am now 140 lbs at 5’4. That is considered overweight. I’d definitely say I do not look good, but I’m shocked this is considered over weight.

      That being said, I’d definitely suspect this woman is overweight given my personal experience

      • don’t worry, you are not really overweight; your bmi is 24, and generally the cutoff is over 25+, but even 25ish isn’t considered unhealthy. Only when your body fat% is excessively high are you considered medically overweight. Of course, take bmi with a grain of salt as it doesn’t measure body fat, just height to weight proportion.

        • Thanks for the comment! I’m happy to say my running is finally helping and I’m down to 137! Long, long way to go but I’m slowly getting there.

  15. Love the idea of a big girl on the cover. Maybe they could put a “normal” one too. Although I’m all in for the plus size movement and diversity, please stop calling fat “curves”… If we’re embracing it, let’s do it for real! Fat is fat. It’s almost like a taboo right now 😛

  16. i have run regularly for about 40 of my 46 years (started with soccer), putting in 8-20 miles/week (brief break to heal torn achilles). if i dwelled on what a runner is “supposed” to look like, i’d never leave the house: i’m 5’3″ on a tall day, built like a shot-putter, with thickly muscled legs and disproportionately broad shoulders, and have huge t–s. (after two children, they are huge, unperky t–s.) running ain’t comfy, no. i wear three bras. i’m slowish. i’d definitely rather be doing HIIT, yoga or spin, but sometimes you just have 30 minutes and running does the trick. so i do it anyway. i’m no ectomorph, but i have staying power. there are tons like me (go to any 5k or 10k or even a marathon and see). we are chubby. we are imperfect. for some of us, the discipline never translates to skinny. and you know what? at almost 47, i’m still here, lumbering along, strong as a goddamn ox. we need to see images of runners like us.

  17. It just says that Erica is a plus sized model. Is she a runner? Or is she just posing in action shots? I wish these running, health, shape etc magazines had models who were actual runners, fitness trainers, class instructors, etc. I also don’t like seeing celebs on health magazines.

  18. I agree with the quote about every body size runs, buuuut to get motivation to run I would rather be motivated by a fit model.

  19. Well, its great. Heavier people should take extra care with their hips, knees and ankles because of the impact. I think the most important things when you want to lose weight is change your eating habits and find an activity you like.

  20. You guys! This is amazing! I think this was an amazing decision made by the magazine. It is a FACT that the health and fitness level of a human being cannot be judged simply by how they look. When was the last time you saw a girl like this on the cover of a running magazine? There are changes happening in both the fashion and fitness worlds. We need to be supportive and embrace the fact that there are all different types bodies in this world and they are all beautiful. We need to stay positive.

  21. I have so much respect for runners of any size. I used to run growing up, up until I hit puberty really. Then I’d develop side aches and I just have avoided it ever since. Its not even that I get tired, its the damn side aches lol. I prefer to lift weights instead and walk on an incline trainer.

    • I think is motive for worrying. she is a teenager and it’s clear that she is not helthy.

      stop with the fat acceptance movement, it’s not right, sends the wrong message and i can’t see how could it be any positive.

  22. I think is motive for worrying. she is a teenager and it’s clear that she is not helthy. she is only 18 and and think is sad, she looks so much older.

    stop with the fat acceptance movement, it’s not right, sends the wrong message and i can’t see how could it be any positive.

  23. running is pretty bad for your knees anyways so don’t worry about it. cardio in general is extremely over rated (lol i typed over weighted by mistake), try hitting the weights and your joints will get a lot stronger!

  24. You both are talking about balance… I think that is why I hate running, I am thin and clumsy and I contribute that to my tiny little feet. I am 5’9 and have been measured at 5’10 (at a morning Dr appointment :D)!… and I wear a size 6! in a shoe… I can do a 6.5 or even a 5.5…. I swear it really jacks with my ability to keep my balance (not to mention my depth perception is really terrible)… I have been doing Bikrim yoga five years and still am not close to being able to do any one leg pose for longer than 10 to 15 seconds (no matter how relaxed I am)

    People who see me run can’t help but make fun… my arms move as fast as possible but it like my legs are stuck in concrete.. haha

    I don’t have that problem on a bike or swimming! I can hide it and appear somewhat graceful 😉

    • Holy wow! Your feet are as small as mine, and I’m 5′ 5″. I think i understand you’re predicament, now. I’m usually a 5.5-6 and people think I have small feet for my height! I can imagine it messes with balance.

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