Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series featuring North side residents who share their passions — from antiquing to puzzles to the news of the neighborhood — with the world via their blogs. In the sea of more than 100 million U.S. blogs and a true “world wide web” environment, we’ve discovered that we don’t have to go far to find interesting people and topics — they are right here. We’ll profile a new local blogger each week, so be sure to check back!
Sallie Stiens, 35, of Uptown, regularly updates her two blogs, chicagonow.com/blogs/plus_athlete and plusrunner.com, which serve as resources for plus-sized, active women in Chicago and throughout the country. Drawing from her experience as an endurance runner, tri-athlete, cyclist and self-proclaimed “big girl,” her posts are a mix of fitness goal ideas, encouragement, personal (often funny or empowering) experiences and advice on the best plus-sized fitness apparel available.
Staying active and healthy is tough at any weight, so we asked Sallie to tell us a little more about her blog:
Blog topic: My blogs cover what types of clothing plus-sized athletes like myself can and should wear and where to find it; trail, race, and event reviews geared towards plus-sized Chicago athletes, who are often a little slower and have some unique challenges; and how to get started with a new running or walking program and sports.
I write about the fun adventures I have playing sports, but I also talk about failures — when things don’t go as planned — and how to move on from those experiences. Finally, you’ll find links to some of the places I find inspiring.
Why blog?: Over the years, I’ve become a sort of go-to expert in “what to wear” if you’re a bigger woman who wants to start running. I’m also a shopper — and at my size, you simply can’t go into a running or big-box store to find the clothes you need; stores don’t carry plus-size active-wear that’s good and technical. I knew all the places on the web to find these things and I started reviewing for myself, but it occurred to me that no one else knew. So, that’s how the idea of a blog was born, and since then, it’s grown into two blogs, Plus Runner and Plus Athlete, and they’re really doing well.
The big picture: I’m focused daily on inspiring, guiding, and helping (especially with a little fun) men and women who are not a “size small” become more active. There are so many health benefits from being active at a larger weight, and I’m just trying to help people realize they don’t have to change their entire lives at once.
About you: I love anything that gets me outside — hiking, run-walking and Nordic walking are favorites. I came to Chicago from Cincinnati in 1996 to attend DePaul’s College of Law and haven’t left. I work for Grant Thornton, a large public accounting firm in Chicago.
Photo by Steve Matteo Photography.