100 lb. Club - Tandem bikes aren't meant for sea cows.




sakurasky
07-06-2009, 03:28 AM
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?


TJFitnessDiva
07-06-2009, 07:48 AM
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!

rochemist
07-06-2009, 08:29 AM
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.


Thighs Be Gone
07-06-2009, 08:36 AM
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.

ladyrider72472
07-06-2009, 09:04 AM
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!

thinpossible
07-06-2009, 09:23 AM
Man, I'm so sorry that happened to you. :hug:

thistoo
07-06-2009, 10:29 AM
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.

QuilterInVA
07-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Please adjust your attitude and quit calling yourself a sea cow. That in itself is detrimental to your success.

kaplods
07-06-2009, 12:54 PM
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).

nelie
07-06-2009, 01:03 PM
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.

cfmama
07-06-2009, 01:40 PM
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 :(

marbear24
07-06-2009, 02:01 PM
:hug:

matt_H
07-06-2009, 02:22 PM
I'm with some of the others...I read the title of this and I cringed a bit.

sakurasky
07-06-2009, 03:27 PM
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.

TJFitnessDiva
07-06-2009, 03:36 PM
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 :lol: 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 :)

lonegirl
07-06-2009, 04:18 PM
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.


LOL I have to say, I found your Sea Cow comment quite humourous and a lighthearted way to look at yourself. ;)

DCHound
07-06-2009, 04:20 PM
What CFMama said.

kaplods
07-06-2009, 09:46 PM
I think the reason I assumed the sea-cow was not light-hearted, was because your post didn't reflect confidence and self-empowerment.

Criticizing others for failing to recognize, acknowledge and and accomodate your limits, without you voicing them, as well as making decisions that went against your own better judgement for yourself, it gives the impression that you don't think very highly of yourself, or at the very least you consider other people's needs and wants to be more valuable than your own.

If you have confidence and self-respect, you make your needs known without embarassment. You don't let people (including yourself) pressure you into making decisions that are harmful to you.

If you have the confidence to make fun of youself, then you have the ability to demand more from your relationships with other people. But demanding more doesn't mean expecting them to read your mind. If you accept an invitation, people are going to (justifiably) assume that you wouldn't have accepted if you didn't have the ability to participate.

Arctic Mama
07-06-2009, 10:55 PM
:hug:

sakurasky
07-07-2009, 12:51 AM
That's the thing though, I was saying nervously "I don't think I should" but there was "oh, c'mons" with frowning glances. So I didn't fight it. It was a good day, I didn't want to ruin it. :(

kaplods
07-07-2009, 01:14 AM
Social pressure (or peer pressure) IS tough - and it doesn't disappear after high school, and it doesn't get any easier to resist.

The thing is though that when you (I'm using "you" in the generic sense, not talking about you specifically) yield, you get the reputation of someone who can be persuaded. I don't know if people interpret it as mixed messages (she says no, but she means yes), or feel that you just "need a little encouragement".... whatever it is, when you say no, but don't seem to mean it, people stop listening to the no.

I've definitely been there, and still find myself there occasionally, but I'm much more difficult to persuade than I once was. I'm a lot more assertive in saying what I am willing to participate in and and what I'm not. Maybe because I don't get angry, and keep my tone light, even joking, but FIRM, I've never pooped the party.

That doesn't mean people in my life accepted the change easily. They were still far too used to me eventually giving in. Like tantruming children, they escalated before they learned that no really did absolutely meant no.

For me, health problems have increased the consequences for overdoing it physically, so I have reason to be much more stubborn. I'd rather disappoint family and friends than deal with significant health repercussions (nothing ruins a good day like pain or a serious injury).

Being assertive without being aggressive is a skill, and a very useful one to learn. You don't have to ruin anyone's day by making sure that you're taking care of youself. Sometimes a very serious, but still emotionally neutral "I know you don't want me to hurt myself, so you've got to trust me on this one, that this isn't a good idea for me."

People, even the best and kindest often have difficulty putting themselves in someone else's shoes. So they assume if they like something, others will too (even if they need a little persuading).

If you think about it, there are probably times when you persuaded someone to do something with you that they didn't initially want to do. Maybe there weren't negative consequences (or the person didn't say that they weren't having fun), but it's just a natural thing that people do. Sometimes it even has good consequences (peer pressure can be a good thing).

Ultimately though, you've got to take care of youself, and not trust that job to anyone else. No one can know what the risks are for you, or when the risks are worth it to you, and when they're not. Only you can decide that.

rochemist
07-07-2009, 08:08 AM
I will tell you why the sea cow thing upset me, is it hits too close to home. The positive language of self is much harder than the negative language. Self deprecating humor always has a note of truth to it, or at least it has been my experience. I have to find the pretty and beautiful in me everyday, and whats a shame is I have been beautiful for 36+ years, but I am just realizing it NOW!

It's your journey, you will find your path and your voice. BIG HUG!
Chris

cestlavie22
07-07-2009, 03:29 PM
as a tandem enthusiast i would encourage you in better circumstance to try tandeming again. As an overweight person it was a a great way to go cycling with my very fit, very fast cyclist partner. One thing about it, if you are overweight, you want to be on a high quality tandem with good wheels. Hope you get to try it again at another time when you feel safer about it.