A friend of mine posted a link the other day on Facebook that got me thinking.
The gist of the post was about how he thought about overweight people he sees out running. He speaks to a girl (not sure if she is real or just used as an example for prettier writing) and tells her that he wishes she’d not shy away, that if she would hold her head high and meet his eyes she’d see the pride he has in her. How great he thinks it is that she is out DOING it. That she shouldn’t be ashamed of her size because people like him look on and don’t think that way, they just think it’s awesome that she is making a change.
Read it, you’ll get a better idea of it than I can explain.
It was a great post, and I thought it was wonderful that he felt that way.
It did get me to thinking though… It’s no secret to my readers that I have never been comfortable in a gym. I tried but I just felt so on display and self-conscious, I couldn’t stick with it. It didn’t help that I didn’t like the gym I was visiting either, but that’s another story. It was particularly hard on days like “Fireman Tuesday” when I would go on Tuesday morning and work out while the guys from the local fire dept were there for spinning class. Great for ME, lots of eye candy! Then I realized that *I* was what they had to look at during the class (yeah it was all in one room) – YIKES!
This has also been an issue for me when out walking (EEK, city, so many people, I feel on display everywhere I go!) … Biking (See walking). Just always feel like people are going to look and think “Oh look at that fat cow trying to <enter exercise here>” and not anything like what the guy in that article wrote.
Yes, I am fully aware that I may be totally off base here and that it all may be chalked up to my own insecurities.
So this is where my question comes in, a question specifically for the runners, cyclists, body builders, yoga and aerobics instructors. How do YOU feel when you see someone who is overweight out there doing what you do?
Do you look at overweight people who are out red faced and sweaty, power walking or running and think “Oh man, that’s so gross!”?
Do you look at them and think “DAMN, good for them, at least they are doing SOMETHING to try to change the situation!!”
Do you look at them, not give it any thought and move on?
What DO you think?
I’m really curious if the way this guy feels is the norm and those of us with weight issues actually have more allies than we think, or in some cases are we right when we think we see something in a look someone gives us as we pass by them?
I get that everyone is different, and that’s why I’m throwing the question out there. I really do want your honest answers. I am not looking to be placated or told what I want to hear, this isn’t about ME or building my self esteem. That is my own project, it’s a work in progress and isn’t going to change no matter what answers I receive in answer of this question.
This is just honest to goodness curiosity and I am extremely interested in hearing what you have to say. This is a no judgment zone, so if you do feel “GROSS!” please feel free to say it. If we are friends now, we will still be friends after you say it, I promise! haha
No holds barred people, let’s hear your honest thoughts.
One thing I did think when I was reading the guy’s article, is how awesome it would be if those people who THOUGHT what he thinks said it more often. Imagine if there really was a ‘fat girl’ that he described in his article. If she is running but clearly uncomfortable and insecure and worried about what those around her are thinking. Can you imagine what it would do for her to hear someone like him compliment her on her hard work or tell her he’s proud of her? Man… Not that we should rely on that, we all need to find it within ourselves, but still… it’d be pretty freakin’ awesome for someone to hear in that situation, I figure.
ANYWAY… thoughts?! Feel free to pass this on to your other fitness friends as well, there are a lot of us on the other side of the fence that would love to hear their opinions!