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Monday, September 28, 2015

"Fat Girl Running" Blogger Encourages Women of all Shapes and Sizes

Rabun Gap–Nacoochee School is a small, private college preparatory school located in Rabun County, Georgia in the Appalachian Mountains. This is where you will often see 39-year-old Mirna Valerio running cross country. But she is not your typical cross-country runner...

Who is she?

Mirna Valerio teaches voice and is the cross-country coach at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. In 2009, she started running to help her lose weight at her doctor's advice; she weighed 300 pounds at the time. She still weighs 250 pounds but is hooked on running. She loves the challenge and also feels healthier. But when people see her running, they refer to her as "the fat girl running," but she has used that to her advantage.

Valerio states, “When people think of a runner, they usually think of slim, maybe muscular, athletic…and I’m none of those. And I’m okay with that.” Instead of being offended by others' comments, she started a blog in 2011 called “Fat Girl Running.” Since then, she has been an inspiration to girls of all sizes and shapes and was featured in a July 2015 profile in Runner’s World.

What's next?

Valerio has already completed 35 mile marathons. Next month, she will run the Javelina Jundred, an annual 100k race in the Arizona desert. Why does she do it? “I love my body and I have learned that the more I love my body, the more I love myself, the healthier I am and I am a better person,” explains Valerio.

Visit her blog at

Watch her interview below on NBC Nightly News:
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