The SufferFest Book Club – Inspiration Friday

On a recent blog about using the bike trainer I mentioned that, while I listen to music for every other workout, when I have to use the bike trainer I’ve been listening to books about ultramarathoners.   The trainer means a difficult workout including pain and boredom and, it seems to help to hear someone talk about doing things that are even more horrible than what I’m doing.  Since then a number of people asked exactly what books I listen to. So here’s what I’ve got (and if you have similar books that are good, I would love for you to leave them in the comments.)

I also want to say that, while I try very hard to avoid any books that have weight loss or fat shaming bullshit, these may not be fully from a Health at Every Size or Size Acceptance perspective.

Here are the books I listen to which include my recent foray into ultramarathon books, as well as IRONMAN stories

Dean Karnazes:  Ultramarathon Man,  and Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

Andy Holgate:  Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run

Chrissie Wellington:  A Life Without Limits

Matt Long:  The Long Run

Jacques Steinberg:  You Are An Ironman: How 6 Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon

How about you?  What gets you through your workouts?  Leave it in the comments!

Body Love Obstacle Course (BLOC) – Registration is Now Open!

I am so excited about this! I have been working hard with Jeanette DePatie and 7 other experts on the BLOC  – a 10 week, proven, step-by-step program that will give you the coaching from nine amazing experts, the tools, and the community you need to create a rock solid foundation of self-esteem and body love, and teach you the strategies and skills you’ll need to leverage that to create the life you’ve always wanted no matter what obstacles the world puts in your way.

Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty or love our bodies isn’t enough.  On our journey to body love and amazing lives, the world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. We’ll teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you, to get to the life you’ve always wanted.

Get all the details register (and get lots of free information from our four preview videos) at

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff!

IRONMAN Sale:  I’m having an ongoing sale on my books,  DVDs and downloads to help pay for my IM – you get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! To check it out, you can go to No money?  No problem!  If you feel like it, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail ( saying something encouraging, that’s incredibly helpful as well!

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Book Me!  I’m a professional speaker and I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!


About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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5 Responses to The SufferFest Book Club – Inspiration Friday

  1. Cynthia Markey says:

    I like to run – I’m not training for anything specific right now, but am trying to get back to a level of distance that I used to do regularly until my job got stupid busy and I had to stop running for awhile. I have a sister who is extremely extroverted and hilarious. One of her hobbies is yelling from her car at pedestrians- usually she will yell “HEY! YOU’RE DOING A GOOD JOB!” She lives in a different state from me, so I can’t actually have her do this, but sometimes when I’m running, I imagine she is following me in her car yelling positive affirmations. It actually helps 🙂


  2. lsstrout says:

    No comments on the books, other than it does sound helpful to hear other people’s woes.

    I have been wondering if your eating patterns have shifted – like craving more bananas than you used to or if you can’t tell because you have to organize it around (and sometimes during) your training schedule.

    What are these snacks like that you have for your distance work?


  3. melodygloucesterpegasus says:

    Hooray, thank you for the audiobook recs! I’m almost looking forward to my next long run on the treadmill now. (Almost!)
    In a similar vein, I’ve been enjoying The Ultrarunner Podcast lately (same caveat about it not being from a HAES perspective, but I haven’t noticed any particularly egregious weight-related BS in the episodes I’ve listened to so far).


  4. Thalia says:

    I don’t listen to or read while I’m working out (or work out per se — I walk and hike a lot, no gym involved), but I love love books about distance hiking. I have read a ridiculous number of Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail memoirs even though I’ve never backpacked in my life, and they do get me fired up to go on longer and more intense hikes. When I’m struggling up a switchback, I can reflect that at least I’m not carrying a 50-pound pack and I’ll be taking a hot shower before bed …

    I also like survival narratives, like Adrift and Into the Void. I’m always amazed by what humans can endure without giving up.


  5. Rachel says:

    Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox is amazing (but there is no audio book). Born to run by Chris McDougall is good. I also enjoyed “The Extra Mile” by Pam Reed and Scott Jurek’s “eat and run.”


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