Plus Size, Perfect, and Ready To Race!


ready to race

I grew up in a very active family. Being active was an important part of our life. I played soccer and volleyball growing up. Unfortunately, some injuries later and I stopped playing both.

Fast forward 10, okay 15 years later and here I am, married with two kids. I’m definitely in the plus size arena. And guess what? I’m totally fine with it. I have a positive attitude about life. I don’t let being plus size hold me back from being outdoors or engaging at the beach with my kids. My motto in life is if you don’t like what you see, look the other way. I will not allow my kids to think that there is something wrong with the way mom looks. Do I need to get healthy for myself AND my kids? Definitely….so this is where my journey begins. 

About the middle of last year, I decided it was time to take my life back. I’ve raised two vibrant, very active and healthy kids and it was time to focus on myself. So, instead of having the mentality that Fat = lazy and failure, vs. Skinny = success and fabulous, I put it in my head that a healthy attitude and lifestyle was the ultimate goal. This would require changing my eating habits and workout goals.

The hardest part for me was getting into a consistent workout routine. Here’s the thing….I get bored VERY EASILY. Running on the treadmill is just not my thing. I found a workout group (Jax Stroller Strength) through some friends and joined.

I loved (and still do) going. The ladies’ in the groups were very motivating. They didn’t care that I was the last one doing laps around the fields or running suicides… they’d still cheer me on as if I was the leader of the pack.


A month into this routine, I felt great about myself. I was strong and loved the way my body was responding to my new daily workouts. I started doing a few races here and there and loved the high I would feel the morning of the race. Nothing gives me more gratitude (and attitude) than when I’m running during a race and I zoom by a “skinny” person! Eat my dust lady!

My only goal throughout this whole process was to finish. And finish, I always did!

So here I am, 10 days before the race I’ve been training for the past 9 weeks, the GATE River Run. This is the 3rd time I’ve done the race. The last time was 2 years ago and I had just found out I was pregnant with our daughter. As much as this race gives me anxiety, it’s one of the most fun races in Jacksonville. There are so many people on the side roads cheering you on and bands playing at certain points of the race. It’s just all around fun! 

pre run selfie

This time around, I followed the Hal Higdon 15K training plan for novice runners. His plan is very effective and doesn’t require you to run the entire race. I don’t plan on running the entire race, but I do plan on finishing it!

Being plus-sized, it can be difficult to find some essentials for working out. I thought I’d share a list of must haves for me. 

Good running shoes. I was fitted at 1st Place Sports and the Asics Kayano have been a favorite shoe for me for a while.

A great playlist. Salt-n-Pepa Push it……can I get an AMEN?

Capri running pants. I wear the Nike fitted Dri fit Capri.

Workout bras. This is obviously a necessity, but I STILL have not found a good one. Anyone have a recommendation?

Good socks. Not even kidding. These make a big difference. I prefer the ones that are thin on top and have a cushioned sole.

Workout top. I tend to like more fitted tops (but that don’t ride up when working out). I’ve even found some at Walmart that are great!

I’ve realized that a healthy and fit lifestyle can really be achieved at any size. You don’t have to be one size to be “in shape.” And I’m proud to be a plus-sized fit woman!

Make sure you stay tuned for my post race blog post to find out how I really did.

UPDATE: Read about my race here!

Patricia Kozack
Patricia Kozack is a professional makeup artist, wife and mom to two kids. Her days are spent wrangling the kids, being a mom taxi, and getting a workout in on the tennis courts. Her weekends are spent beautifying clients for their weddings and events.  She is obsessed with all things beauty related and cannot wait to share her niche of the world with Jacksonville Mom.


  1. The best sports bra for me is the Freya Active sports bra. Breathable and has underwire. I found it at a boutique they size you when I lived in GA. Nordstrom has them I believe. The best ever!

  2. I love the Champion high support show off bra at Academy. It provides lots of support which is key to me! I love your life motto and good for you for carving out time for yourself to get healthy and active!!

    • I agree, support is key for me too! Thank you for the kind words. I’ve been actively trying to ensure I get some kind of activity in daily.

  3. You and your story are so inspiring! I have gained 100 pounds since college, due to inactivity from health issues and also the depression that followed those issues. I love to swim but I won’t be caught dead in a bathing suit. I avoid being in any pictures or going where anyone might recognize me from “before.” There are so many problems with that but the biggest is that I now have a two and a half year old little boy and I’m missing out on making and preserving memories with him because of my profound shame and fear of judgement from others. You have such a healthy mind set and fearless attitude. I’m not sure how I get to that point but I want to. I also never considered it possible to find a fitness group that would motivate me but not judge me for my physical limitations or appearance but this gives me hope. At any rate, thank you for your courage in writing this. I needed to read it.

    • Hi Heather! Thank you. I’m glad my story inspires you.
      For me, it’s all about pushing out the negative out of your mind. Like you said, be in the moment and enjoy the time you have with your child. One of my biggest motivators are my children. I don’t want them to look back and ask why didn’t we do certain things when they were younger. I don’t want them to miss out on beach/pool days because of me. Seeing their faces enjoy those moments definitely helps me remember that’s what’s important.
      Also, not worrying what others think helps too.
      If you ever want to come out to one of the classes I take, please feel free. I promise you all it takes is one step at a time. The women I have bonded with over the Stroller Strength classes are incredible. No one cares what our size is, we are all there to get healthy and be better moms because of it. Come out anytime!


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