My name is Julie Creffield and I am a Runner.
I’m not your typical runner though because I am FAT but hey let us not get hung up on labels right now because as you go through this site you will realise that the idea of there being just one type of runner is ludicrous – If you run…you are a runner SIMPLE!
It is quite integral to my story though as in 2003 weighing almost 20 stone a work colleague convinced me to take part in a 3k fun run and with absolutely no training I almost died on the way round, and not only due to the unusual strain on my body, but also from pure embarrassment when a young boy shouted “Run Fatty Run” as I passed him.
I was in my early twenties and unable to run for more than 30 seconds at a time. That shocked me into taking action and regaining control over my life. The following day I signed up for the London Triathlon, which I completed just 3 months later in an XL wetsuit that just about fitted my size 18 body. I did nothing more than dabble in the sport for those first 6 years making very little progress in terms of weight loss or general fitness as I would simply compete in races, but never do any real training. My inconsistent diet and partying lifestyle didn’t help much either.
All of that changed when I buckled down, joined a running club and signed up for my first marathon (yes I have run more than 1 now)
What Qualifications or Experience do I have?
I did not come into the sport in the traditional way, so, therefore, have not followed a coaching pathway or taken any Personal Training qualifications.
In 2014 I became a Run England Run Leader enabling me to lead runs with groups. I have also been on a number of other useful short courses over the years such as,
- Coaching Disabled People in Sport
- How to Motivate and Inspire
- First Aid.
I also have a First Class BA honours degree in Performing Arts and a MA in Multimedia, as my career started out working wth young people to inspire them through the arts, namely dance however my path changed when the 2012 Games headed to London and my work shifted focus and became more about inspiring others to take up healthier lifestyles, leisure and sport.
I have worked for over 10 years for various organisations, including government on sports and cultural policy, and as a consultant delivering everything from multi-million pound sports participation programmes across East London to estate based community led dance projects.
I do not profess to be a Personal Trainer or a Qualified running coach, but I do know a lot about being a plus sized runner having been one for more than 10 years now. I guess I see myself more as a motivator or lifestyle coach, however, I am keen to explore professional development opportunities in fitness, health and nutrition to assist my work…although I have no desire to be an actual Personal Trainer.
What else do you need to know about me?
I’m fast approaching my 40s, I have a 4 year old daughter called Rose and I have recently taken up CrossFit which is bloody hard work.
I am passionate about helping women be the best versions of themselves and I am on a mission to get 1 million overweight and inactive women through my programmes…I write books, give talks and am generally obsessed with my mission.
Over the past 12 years running has taught me so much about the capabilities of my body and the strength and weaknesses of my mind, but there are so many barriers for FAT women wanting to enjoy this sport and this is something that must change.
Obesity is a huge concern around the world, but inactivity is the big killer of our time. Many people simply think that running is something that FAT women can’t or shouldn’t do at all, including some medical professionals and I am on a mission to prove otherwise.
As long as you learn to listen to your body and build up slowly there is no reason that anybody of any size shouldn’t enjoy the sport of running.
So excited to have you on board