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Tandem bikes aren't meant for sea cows.

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Old 07-06-2009, 03:28 AM   #1
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Default Tandem bikes aren't meant for sea cows.

Interesting title, you say? Well, it's true. And by "sea cow", I mean me.
We visited the Denver Aquarium today and my mom and step-dad decided we need to go on a tandem bike ride. They rent out a bike. Long story short, we're going up a hill and I'm so out of shape and so heavy that we nearly backslide into oncoming traffic and I was totally embarrassed. If you want to hear the whole story, it's on my 3FC blog.

Anyway, do people not use logic when it comes to doing activities with fat people? And why are they always so insistent? Have you ever had a similar experience, where someone insisted you do something that you knew would cause you grief and/or embarrassment because of your weight?

Like go on a roller coaster ride you know you're too big for, and lo and behold, you are, in front of everybody? I want to hear your stories.

But seriously, why don't people think? It's an awful, awkward situation. You either have to try your best and do it, or are forced to explain yourself, practically write it out in big crayon letters I. AM. TOO. FAT.

I could appreciate if they were encouraging me to exercise and make it a fun family activity. But let's get our own bikes. Or at least consult me first before I don't have a choice because it's already paid for and I can't be the ungrateful downer that ruins all the fun. *sigh* Y'know?

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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Yes you could have sat it out and been a downer but you didn't.....you got on it anyway and that is what matters. Taking a negative spin on it will just hinder you and put up walls you think you could never climb.

I wish I was pushed more with family activities but instead I was the excuse. We never did anything because my mom thought I was too fat (surprisingly I was a normal weight until after I had my first child but was called fat & teased all my life by my family).

Just remember it's over One day you won't think twice about jumping on and going for a ride!
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:29 AM   #3
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For some reason you calling yourself a sea cow makes me sad.

Keep moving my friend and these types of stories won't be an issue. I did a lot of personal butt kicking for blowing my knee the first time because I was sure if I was running at 150 lbs and not 250 lbs it wouldn't have gone. The doctors said my weight wasn't the issue. I still have doubts.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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sakura--hugs to you this morning! I completely agree w/your post. I am sorry for your experience. I just don't get people sometimes. Dust yourself off. We are all here for you and can relate.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:04 AM   #5
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I agree with rochemist, you saying you are a seacow makes me sad. There is only one thing you can do. Bust your butt to lose the weight, plan for the exact same trip next year and show them what you are made of! Keep blogging on here and we will lift you up! Look at the ladies who have posted above, romancediva, rochemist, and thighsbegone..... they did it and so can you!
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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Man, I'm so sorry that happened to you.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rochemist View Post
For some reason you calling yourself a sea cow makes me sad.
THIS.

I'm sorry your mom and step-dad are kind of clueless; my sister used to do similar things to me because she was in denial about my size. She forced me into lines for rides I was positive I wouldn't fit on when I was at my high weight, and I spent the entire wait (usually an hour or so, you know how theme parks are) stressing myself out about how humiliated I was about to be.

Lucky for me I always managed to squeeze into the rides, but it was a near thing a couple times, and the looks on the faces of the park employees (great, here comes another fattie to squeeze into this thing) was humiliating all on its own.

My point is that I feel your pain, and I know where you're coming from, and I hope you will use this experience to push you forward toward your goal. Freeing yourself from that kind of self-consciousness is the BEST thing you will ever do for yourself, regardless of how much you weigh. Take it from someone who knows.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:36 AM   #8
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Please adjust your attitude and quit calling yourself a sea cow. That in itself is detrimental to your success.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:54 PM   #9
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On the other side of the coin, I'd much rather have people assume I would be interested and able to participate in a physical activity, than make those decisions for me, based on their assumptions of my abilities (even if they were true).

It's not their responsibility to know my physical limitations, but it is my responsibility to know my own, and communicate them. This would be true if I was of average or underweight as well. I want people to treat me like a "normal" person, because that's what I am. Just as a person with a peanut allergy wouldn't eat a peanut butter cookie to avoid embarassment, there's no reason for me to hurt myself to avoid embarassment, either. I either need to learn not to be embarassed, or be willing to endure a bit of embarassment (which often is how I learned not to be embarassed).

I've known hugely obese folks who are physically active and physically able. When I met my husband, he was one of them. Near or over 400 lbs, he had an incredibly strenuous and active job. He was an assistant human resources manager and plant trainer for a huge auto part manufacturing company. Because he had to walk all over the plant on a daily basis, and had to do it quickly, he walked miles and miles daily, including repeated trips up and down flights of chairs, often carrying large pieces of machinery or auto parts. He also went to the gym three times a week, lifting weights, walking, and swimming. We'd go together and I was pooped after an hour and a half (including changing time), while he didn't consider it a workout if he was in the gym for less than three hours.

Just walking with him, was a challenge, because I couldn't keep up, and he had a hard time adjusting his stride to mine (he's also 6'2", with very long legs).

You don't have to see yourself as a "sea cow," and you don't have to let others decide what you are and are not capable of doing. It doesn't have to be an embarassment to say "I don't think I am up to that," or "I don't think I can do that," or even "I'd love to, but I'm not coordinated enough for a tandem bicycle, I'd prefer to rent or bring my own."

It drives me insane to no end, that it's often not "socially acceptable" for overweight or obese people to exercise or be active (or at least do so in public for all the world to see).

I'm not a huge fan of most reality shows, and was expecting to really hate Oxygen's "Dance Your *** Off," but have to say I am very impressed with the show so far (after only seeing one episode). Watching the dance routines, I see that those folks are exercising at a pace that I never would have been able to accomplish even at my lowest weight (155 lbs and 17 years old).

In college, I had to take two P.E. classes. There was no way I was going to show off my fat to other students on any but my own terms, so I took independent study. I was about 260 to 280 lbs, and chose swimming. Usually the bane of even the slightest overweight women, I've always loved swimming, because it's the one place on the planet where a little extra weight can actually be an advantage, rather than a disadvantage. Many scrawny friends would find my ability to tread water for long periods of time "amazing," and I never tipped them off that it was the excess body weight that acted as a built-in life jacket.

The coach/p.e. instructor and I set up a swim routine for me, after she evaluated my swimming. It was challenging, but fun. She would supervise to monitor my progress. After a few weeks, she told me that she had given her younger (thin) sister my routine (her sister was a student at a different college) and that her sister couldn't keep up with my routine. She meant it as a compliment, but I was a bit offended at the shock in her voice that a "normal" person couldn't keep up with a fat girl at any physical activity.

I'm starting to rant and ramble, but my message really is to take the reins in your own life. It's up to you to know what you can and can't do (just as it is for anyone of any weight or ability or disability) and to communicate those to people in your life. You don't have to be ashamed of being overweight, or of being unable to participate in certain activities. All people of all sizes have physical limitations, and often the limitations aren't obvious to other people (even when perhaps they should be).
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Last edited by kaplods : 07-06-2009 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:03 PM   #10
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What kind of tandem bike was this? Was this with your feet in front of you? Because honestly even fit people have issues with those going up hills if they aren't used to them.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:40 PM   #11
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Please DO NOT call yourself a sea cow. You honestly made me cry AND there are lots of OTHERS out there at your weight who probably don't want to think of themselves as sea cows either

That being said... you asked for stories and I have a doozy.

We were all out camping, a family trip and my other mother told us all we were going on a walk. Just up the road. Okay... sure. So I've got my 1 year old in the sling, I weigh 377 lbs, it's 32 degrees celcius and since we're going on a short walk I have no water, no hat, no sunscreen.

Well this turns into a 2 hour walk and honestly? i thought I was going to freaking die of a heart attack. My heart was racing and she's all like "keep up guys!!!!"

I was so embarrassed. Everyone was worried for me and she didn't care. Oh it's just a little walk! She said... of course she is fit as fit can be.

I was on my two hour walk last night and I thought about that day two years ago. I am proud that I can walk now, and walk fast but I still can't get over the way I felt that day
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:01 PM   #12
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:22 PM   #13
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I'm with some of the others...I read the title of this and I cringed a bit.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:27 PM   #14
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I'm not sure why people are so offended by the sea cow comment. I didn't mean it in a self-belittling way at all. After all, my entire post was frustration with other people, not berating myself because I couldn't do it. I know my limits. And I know I'm fat. It's a fact. Calling myself a sea cow is just my sense of humor, seeing as how it happened at an aquarium AND my avatar is a mermaid, which are thought to have been manatees, dugong, or "sea cows" mistaken by sailors as mermaids.

If anyone else took offense to that comment, it was directed at no one else but me. I happen to think sea cows are exceptionally cute.

In any case, thanks for you support guys! You are awesome. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been embarrassed and yes I will keep working at this with all my heart. I was a little sad and embarrassed by that incident, but I won't let it get me down.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:36 PM   #15
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I think it was because you directed the "sea cow" reference to yourself that made some people cringe. Even said in a joking manner it is a bit self-depreciated Trust me I used to joke about my fatness all the time.

Everyone around here will tell you I'm a big self love promoter For the time being I'll spare ya!

You are still early on in your journey....once you get the communication open with your family you will probably find them to stop and think about these things but they can't read your mind, it's up to you to open up dialog and lay it out there. As you've seen here there are people on both sides and I bet your parents don't know which side you are on
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