Weight Loss Support - I am so embarassed by what this lady said to me while I was running




encelia
07-08-2010, 02:31 AM
I just finished week 1 of C25K. In February I got as far as week 5 and then had to drop out due to constant bronchitis. I'm picking it back up as the first step towards running a half marathon. This is all to loose enough weight so I can get pregnant again.

Anyway, last night I was finishing my run and I was sweaty, hot, and flushed. This woman and her husband were riding their bikes and she pulled over to talk to me. She was tall, blond, tan, skinny, HUGE boobs, short shorts, etc. She said, "I want you to know that you're doing a REALLY GOOD JOB!" I got all flustered and said thanks and she went on to ask me how far I wanted to go. I explained that I was training for a 5k and she said, "Well, GOOD FOR YOU!"

I know she probably meant it in the nicest way possible, but I was so completely embarrassed. I know she was just trying to give me a boost, but it felt more like "Good job, fat girl!" or like, "awwww, look at the fat girl trying to run!" I honestly don't think she would have said the same thing to a skinny runner. I felt like I was being patronized... kinda like the same kind of praise you'd give to a toddler for going to the bathroom on the toilet.

I know I need to get over it and just accept the compliment, but I was just really embarrassed. For me, the whole point of running at dusk is to not draw attention like this to myself. :(


asharksrevenge
07-08-2010, 04:42 AM
I feel the pain of being called out publicly, especially if you were running at an hour when you hoped not to be noticed, but if you can turn this event into a positive for yourself, I guarantee you'll feel a lot better. The EXACT same thing happened to me the very first week I began working out--at a gym I'd never been to, by myself, no less--and I was the weight you currently are now. A really good looking guy came over to me (never happens) and spoke to me out of the blue (absolutely never happens) and said, "Keep up the good work. Don't let anyone get you down. Good for you!" At first, I was shocked. Not only do guys never talk to me--did I mention that?--but to offer me encouragement? Forget about it. I thought a lot about what that guy said to me and how much courage it must have taken to single me out as he did, not knowing me or how I might react to what he said. People are incredibly self-conscious about their weight, and women in particular, and there would be no way he would have known how I would react to his compliment. I could have made it a negative thing; I could have criticized his generosity as insincerity or worse. I could have watched him to see if he would go up to all the fat ladies and comment about them. But I didn't. I smiled to myself, added another five pounds to my weights, and kicked a$$ that day. His reaching out to me was a turning point in what had started as a pretty difficult adjustment to eating right. Instead of assuming that people hated me as a fat woman in their "skinny" space and that I would be ignored and ridiculed by all the beautiful women there (and many had the body your commenter had), I began to consider that people out there, even strangers, want to see me succeed. Now, when I walk outside as I do six days a week, I hold my head up high. I've been yelled at by passing motorists (both men and women) but I don't hear them because I've got my iPod on and am in the zone. Whatever they are saying is drowned out not only by my music, but by the well-wishers along the way.

So try to change your outlook on this event. Try to see it from her perspective--maybe she herself was very heavy, or someone she loves is/was too. To be honest, her reasons for why she called to you don't matter. But your attitude does, and we need all the cheerleaders we can get. So the next time that happens, smile, say thank you and BELIEVE IT.

Good luck!

chris313
07-08-2010, 06:45 AM
you just need to turn the negative way of thinking into a positive. i would have been thrilled to have that woman care enough to encourage me. weight is a sensitive issue which, it seems, is something not everyone relates to in the same way. thin positive and go for it!!:cp:


Caela
07-08-2010, 07:01 AM
People don't generally pull over and stop someone to patronize them to their face. Where I live, bicyclists and runners socialize like they are in the same club. Plus, she specifically asked about your distance/race goals. Maybe she's a runner and actually wanted to talk a lil shop. Or more likely she wishes she was a runner. Just because she's thin doesn't mean she can physically or mentally handle it. But you can. ;)

Thighs Be Gone
07-08-2010, 07:15 AM
Also, maybe she was once obese herself.

I personally wouldn't have done what she did but I betcha she wasn't meaning harm.

Vladadog
07-08-2010, 07:19 AM
I don't know what part of the country you are in but if you are anywhere near the heatwave parts then she may well have just been congratulating you for having the determination to get out and get exercise despite the heat.

Caela
07-08-2010, 07:24 AM
That's very true, Vlad. A runner's commitment is impressive. I quit jogging once the weather turned hot and humid this week.

Losing It 2010
07-08-2010, 07:43 AM
My Dad was a runner all his life and we would go to his marathons, one thing with marathons is you give people lots of encouragment along the way. I still give people encouragment when i see them running throughout my town, I will honk the horn, yell out the window or clap if they run past me.

Turn your negative thoughts into positive, I am in awe at everyone who has started that running program..I don't run, my bones are too brittle and I am afraid I would break a bone (I did once walking in front of a store, fell down and broke my arm in two places)

Keep your chin up and your feet to the ground, you can do this..positve thoughts

I just finished week 1 of C25K. In February I got as far as week 5 and then had to drop out due to constant bronchitis. I'm picking it back up as the first step towards running a half marathon. This is all to loose enough weight so I can get pregnant again.

Anyway, last night I was finishing my run and I was sweaty, hot, and flushed. This woman and her husband were riding their bikes and she pulled over to talk to me. She was tall, blond, tan, skinny, HUGE boobs, short shorts, etc. She said, "I want you to know that you're doing a REALLY GOOD JOB!" I got all flustered and said thanks and she went on to ask me how far I wanted to go. I explained that I was training for a 5k and she said, "Well, GOOD FOR YOU!"

I know she probably meant it in the nicest way possible, but I was so completely embarrassed. I know she was just trying to give me a boost, but it felt more like "Good job, fat girl!" or like, "awwww, look at the fat girl trying to run!" I honestly don't think she would have said the same thing to a skinny runner. I felt like I was being patronized... kinda like the same kind of praise you'd give to a toddler for going to the bathroom on the toilet.

I know I need to get over it and just accept the compliment, but I was just really embarrassed. For me, the whole point of running at dusk is to not draw attention like this to myself. :(

Rochester
07-08-2010, 08:01 AM
I sorta understand what you're feeling, encelia. I still have the junior high flashbacks when I was the teased & tormented fat kid in phys ed class. But really, what everyone has said here is so true. People are impressed by those who are committed to fitness and improving their lifestyle, and when they make comments, it is sincerely meant to be inspiring and motivational.

Nada
07-08-2010, 08:45 AM
My rule of thumb is: compliments should always be taken at face value (even if you have a sneaking suspicion they aren't sincere) and insults should understood in the reverse as if that poor person just said it wrong. Confuses them when you thank them.

ubercast
07-08-2010, 09:19 AM
People come up to me quite often and tell me that I am doing a good job. I started walking/jogging a few months ago, and people stop me and tell me that I've been doing great. I just take it as it is. I'm sure they wouldn't tell that to the skinny girl running passed me, but it is what it is. I just take compliments for what they are.

sept15lija
07-08-2010, 09:25 AM
Honestly, I would have felt exactly the same way you did. But I think a lot of that comes from inner feelings of self doubt, and not actually what the other person was trying to express to you. It's good advice to try to take it as it was probably intended, however hard it is!! :)

winning the war
07-08-2010, 09:28 AM
I am not thin or blonde or tan or young, but when I see people trying to take care of themselves (regardless of physical appearance) I always think "good for you!". We live in such a sedentary society, and seeing others out there enjoying the outdoors and trying to be active and healthy is motivating. I am not brave enough to strike up a conversation with a stranger, but I'm kinda glad she did with you, only because encouragement is important and her comments were positive. I really don't think she meant any harm, and hope you will see what she saw...someone who is working hard toward a goal... and succeeding!

nelie
07-08-2010, 09:35 AM
When I used to go to the gym early in the morning, I'd get all these older weight lifter guys coming up to me and telling me that I was doing so good and that I should keep it up.

Also when I was training for a 5k, I did have a lady yell at me from her car saying "keep it up girl! You are an inspiration!" I noticed she was a bit chubby as well.

Now that I belong to a gym where everyone works out together, people do try to encourage people and tell everyone to keep going and keep pushing. It is slightly embarrassing but I know that is just how it is.

QuilterInVA
07-08-2010, 10:05 AM
Every day I read posts here complaining that others aren't recognizing their weight loss and encouraging them. Then I get the posts like this complaining because they were. Wonder why people are so hesitant to say anything about weight loss? I think all of us have some head issues we need to address.

ncuneo
07-08-2010, 10:09 AM
Also, maybe she was once obese herself.

This. I've often wanted to say words of encouragement to people I see trying to get fit/lose weight, but don't because I don't want to embarass them. I've always thought that if I ever did say something though I would preface it by letting them know that I was once in there shoes. But don't be embarassed, be proud of yourself, you are doing a good job!

NiteNicole
07-08-2010, 10:52 AM
I am with you in that it might have made me a little self conscious but part of what keeps a LOT of people from working out or getting exercise is fear of what other people think. It's great that she reached out to you so now you know, not only are people probably not thinking negatively, they're rooting you on!

saef
07-08-2010, 11:08 AM
I have to ask this, just because I am curious:

If the woman had a visible weight problem, or was not conventionally attractive (as she sounds in your post), would the comment be less bothersome?

Because I think there is a fat sisterhood. [By that, I mean I used to feel more comfortable with a stranger who was about my weight & build.] And there's also an athletic sisterhood. [Now if I'm walking to the gym in my exercise clothes & I see a runner going by, I feel a silent moment of kinship & I make sure I am out of the runner's intended path.)

You may have just caught yourself in a moment when you crossed over from membership in one & now have also joined the second. Transitions are always awkward, aren't they?

I had a somewhat analogous experience two years ago. Before my foot problems got bad, I ran in a local park. I had worked my way up from walking, to speedwalking, to jogging intervals, to running all the way. The faces in the park were familiar. (Well, actually, I got to know the dogs that were regularly walked there before the people. The people kinda look the same; the dogs never do.)

A lady who always walked a shih-tzu stopped me once & said, "I just want to tell you, you're looking great." I took it well, but yes, I was a bit embarrassed. This woman had seen me progressing & couldn't have helped but notice that I was also losing weight.

After that, we always nodded to each other. I don't know her at all, but she gave me a very treasured NSV.

If you start crossing this woman's path regularly, it may feel okay & less condescending.

encelia
07-08-2010, 11:30 AM
Hi again,

Thanks for your responses. I REALLY understand that she meant well. I hope to bump into her again in a few months and see what she thinks. You are all right- compliments should be accepted as compliments. I think what bothered me most was that by complimenting me, she was acknowledging that I am doing something very challenging. I'd rather think that what I'm doing isn't such a big deal, but she is right- this IS a big deal.

And really, when I see people out running, I feel genuine support and admiration for them, especially if it is a heavy runner. Based on that, I know she really meant what she said. I guess it's just hard to have someone quietly acknowledge that you're fat, even if it is through a genuine compliment.

m3rma1d
07-08-2010, 11:39 AM
If a hot skinny big boob'd chick had said such nice encouraging things to me, I'd be THRILLED!

Petite Powerhouse
07-08-2010, 12:13 PM
I'll come at this as someone who has wanted to go up to women at the gym from time to time and tell them how inspiring their commitment is, how strong their form is, how great it is that they come back day after day, how great they are looking, etc. I don't do it, but I have wanted to. I don't do it because I expect they would feel exactly as encelia did. I just can't see my comments coming off as I mean them to while I'm wearing skin-tight gym clothes with my midriff bare and muscles on display. I never single any woman out, because unless she is in phenomenal shape, she may wonder why and draw conclusions that make her uncomfortable. But, because I have wanted to say something before, and because I have had only good intentions at heart, I suspect the woman who stopped to offer encouragement also had her heart in the right place.

seagirl
07-08-2010, 12:33 PM
I love the Athletic Sisterhood Theory. I sometimes get people commenting on what I'm doing - on one particularly grueling uphill bike ride, a guy passed me and said "looking good!" I swear that got me up the rest of that hill. Another time a man commented about how I was "very faithful to my afternoon swim" (he lived right on the beach where I swam so he saw me there everyday).

I think that people like to see other people striving for goals.

Also, I bike. It is a million times easier than running (I can't get past Day 1 of C25K). She may have tried running and realized how much work it is.

OrganizedChaos
07-08-2010, 02:20 PM
Please, please, please don't take this the wrong way, but how would you have felt if she said "What the heck are you doing?, You're not in any condition to be running" or if she giggled as you ran by. That is what would have mortified me. Now, I also would have felt a little called out by her actual remark too, but after I thought about it, I would have felt motivated. I can really feel for you, I started walking back in February and in April started adding in jogging intervals to hopefully some day be able to run a 5K. I am not following C25K, but it is the same concept. I recently started doing my intervals on the treadmill because it has just gotten miserably hot and humid here in Atlanta so I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb in the gym running on a treadmill. The entire time I am running I am constantly thinking that other people in the gym are wondering if I will break the machine. In reality they probably barely even notice me. I hope you are feeling better about what happened and we are always here to listen.

audrina
07-08-2010, 02:30 PM
I feel your pain. I really don't like going to the gym because I feel like everyone is thinking something along the lines of 'Oh look at that fat girl over there...'. I know that people mean well and try to be encouraging with their comments, but sometimes they just hurt.

I don't like having the extra attention drawn on myself. Already I'm the heaviest and most out of shape person in my boot camp, and I feel pretty self conscious about it. To add insult to injury I herniated two discs in my back two years ago and I just can't do the high impact stuff [jumping around, sprinting, skipping]. I feel like everyone is thinking 'Oh look at that girl, she's so fat and lazy.' But I just do what I can.

As I get smaller I've mostly gotten over being self conscious about it. You know, I'm doing this for me, not anyone else and I just try to forget about them and focus on myself.

dragonwoman64
07-08-2010, 02:56 PM
I guess it's just hard to have someone quietly acknowledge that you're fat, even if it is through a genuine compliment.

I've been on both sides of this fence.

One example (and there are more), a very in shape lady at my gym saw me doing crunches with a weight ball and said: that's a great ab exercise! keep going! I don't think she would have said that to a thin woman, but I wasn't insulted by it.

I don't see it as someone acknowledging that I'm fat exactly, more like they know I have more of a challenge (which I do consider to be true), and want to encourage me. It's difficult to approach this type of subject with a stranger, so I appreciate her thought.

there was a woman who used to come to my gym who was probably about 5 feet tall and I'd guesstimate about 300 lbs. I could see she was having a tough time. I wanted to encourage her and be friendly, not be patronizing, or acknowledge anything about her size, but because I've been to the 330 lb place and I remember so many of the things I experienced that were difficult.

It's too bad it's so hard irl to talk about this subject with other women.

JoJoJo2
07-08-2010, 05:11 PM
OK, so what can we say to our weight-challenged friends and acquaintances who are trying to improve their situation?

Evidently anything we say to encourage them can and will be taken as offensive.

audrina
07-08-2010, 05:19 PM
OK, so what can we say to our weight-challenged friends and acquaintances who are trying to improve their situation?

Evidently anything we say to encourage them can and will be taken as offensive.

I've never taken offense to a simple: "I noticed you lost some weight and you look amazing."

Hamoco350
07-08-2010, 05:42 PM
I've never taken offense to a simple: "I noticed you lost some weight and you look amazing."

This.

Short, simple and sweet. My thing is I spend about 100 percent of my time focused on my weight these days, and although I'll accept any compliment graciously and happily, sometimes I just want to feel like a normal person doing normal things. Y' know? It's complicated and pretty simple at the same time..

Brown
07-08-2010, 06:58 PM
I absolutely understand where you're coming from, and not wanting attention is exactly why I have always had such a hard time exercising outdoors (whether it's because I'm a fatty, or because I hate cars full of obnoxious guys honking and hollering and just making things uncomfortable. Ugh *shiver*)

BUT when it comes to just the comment itself.. I try to look at the intent behind things people say. The act of her stopping you and saying anything to you WAS embarrassing, but SHE thought she was encouraging and wanted you to know not everyone is making fun of every overweight person making an attempt at change. I do the same things around the holidays when people wish me (a non-christian) a merry christmas. I don't blow a gasket because I'm not religious, I just take it as they meant it and wish them a good day as well. It was just her (uncomfortable) attempt at encouragement. :)

loveAcat
07-08-2010, 09:31 PM
I used to be embarrassed if people saw me run, especially people that know me. So I ran early in the morning, where I could be sure none of my friends in college were up yet :D I still like running in the morning, but mostly because there are less cars around!

When I run in the afternoon, I interact more with other people that I'm sharing the road with. Once, this cute little old guy said "You go, girl!" in a really upbeat way, so I replied in the same voice, and said "Yeah I am!" It was great, it was a positive exchange on both sides!

JulieJ08
07-08-2010, 09:59 PM
You can always ask, "What do you mean?" If they meant something nasty, they will usually either get flustered, or come right out with it. If they didn't mean anything nasty, they'll usually just elaborate more nice things, and you won't feel bad for being nasty back to someone who meant well but was awkward.

MaddiesMom
07-08-2010, 10:07 PM
I think I would have felt the same way you did, but then, I would think that she meant it in a positive. Our first instinct, since we're trying to lose weight, is to see the negative, because at times that is all we can see in ourselves. But, I feel that she meant it in a positive light.

Athenacapella
07-08-2010, 10:13 PM
First, I am totally impressed. You rock! And you are going to do that half-marathon. :)

Regarding this incident, I get it. I would feel the same way. And I think it's a good example of how messed up my thinking can be. Because deep down, I would be feeling this way about *myself*. And this just happened to happen, and I would interpret it as a "validation" for how I already felt.

Agreed with others. I think you can work on being a bit more assertive. So that if someone says that, you could say, "what did you mean by that?" OR, if you want to change the subject, how about asking her about if she likes to run. Now the focus isn't on you any more, which sometimes makes me uncomfortable.

And again, you rock. I can't wait to read more about your progress on the program! Please keep sharing it.

EZMONEY
07-08-2010, 10:58 PM
If a hot skinny big boob'd chick had said such nice encouraging things to me, I'd be THRILLED!

Me too! ;)

ParadiseFalls
07-08-2010, 11:39 PM
I understand how you feel :( at least you know you're doing something good for yourself

Fat2Fab
07-08-2010, 11:55 PM
I'm sorry the incident made you feel bad. I like to think her intentions were good and she was impressed with your motivation and wanted to express that to you. Does not matter what weight you are, getting out there and running and working towards your goal is impressive! Too many of us are excuse hounds and never make it out the front door.

Your doing great and you deserve every pat on the back you get. Don't let your inner negative voice talk you into thinking that you should feel awkward or embarrassed or patronized by anyone. If anyone thinks (in your mind) or says anything that makes you feel bad...thats their issue and they should be working on themselves instead of wasting time focusing on you. Keep going! I'm proud of you!

mandalinn82
07-09-2010, 12:05 AM
Today I was at water aerobics class. There was a woman who was new and clearly still adjusting to the equipment (it's hard to get yourself oriented in the water at first). Anyway, she was getting better and better at it as class went on, and afterward, I thought "I should tell her that she was really doing a good job, and that next class will be even better".

Then I thought about this thread. She was bigger than me, and she'd have no idea I used to be morbidly obese. My comment wasn't about her weight at all, but I wouldn't want her to think that and be embarrassed. So I kept my mouth shut.

I don't know if you saved me from hurting her feelings or prevented me from giving her a compliment she would have enjoyed, but this thread definitely made me think twice.

ennay
07-09-2010, 12:13 AM
Me too! ;)

Hey Gary, you are doing a REALLY GOOD JOB!!!


To the OP - I think it is the sisterhood. I've been on both sides of it now. It still makes me uncomfortable sometimes. There is an older guy at our gym who regularly comments on my workouts. But one of the things I have come to realize is sometimes we look for the "bad meaning" because it is so hard to accept a compliment.

I try now to say "thank you" even if what I want to say is "Oh, but I still need to lose X" or "I'm really not fast, but ..." or other versions of diminish, distract, deny.

dcapulet
07-09-2010, 12:34 AM
When I was training for 5k last year, a woman in her 70's who was out there running 10 miles every day stopped me and told me to keep up the good work, and that I was doing a good job. I was at about 260 then, so I wasn't sure if I should be flattered or embarrassed. I think she meant it to be nice, and wanted to communicate respect. Maybe this woman was the same.

I know it can feel patronizing, but you are out there, doing it, and you deserve to be praised!

Natasha1534
07-09-2010, 12:59 AM
I would bet money that she would be MORTIFIED to know that you took it any other way than as a compliment. Being overweight, we tend to have self esteem issues and think the worst of people b/c we've often been shown the worst. But we have to learn to TAKE compliments when they are given, accept them, and thank the person that gave them. A few years ago when I was exercising daily by walking 2 plus miles on the treadmill, I had a similar conversation w/ a girl at the gym. Me, her, and a friend of mine who is thin all wound up in the sauna at the same time and we got to talking. She told me that she sees me "getting it" every night on the treadmill and that she's SO jealous and wishes she had my drive when it came to the treadmill. Turned out she used to be almost 300 pounds and had exercised and eaten well and dropped down to 160 pounds. Her encouragement kept me going for a while...it was nice to know that someone had seen how hard I was working and was thinking positively about it. :)

encelia
07-09-2010, 02:04 AM
Thanks again everyone.

I saw her again today!! She BREEZED past me at a fast walking pace with her teeny little dog while I was jogging (if you could call it that!) and she winked at me. I smiled back. :D

Natasha1534
07-09-2010, 02:40 AM
Thanks again everyone.

I saw her again today!! She BREEZED past me at a fast walking pace with her teeny little dog while I was jogging (if you could call it that!) and she winked at me. I smiled back. :D
Sounds like you've got you a workout buddy to help keep you motivated. ;)

GradPhase
07-09-2010, 03:06 AM
I don't know if you saved me from hurting her feelings or prevented me from giving her a compliment she would have enjoyed, but this thread definitely made me think twice.


This is exactly what I hate about this "with us or against us" sisterhood mentality. A few of the posters here mentioned just saying something simple like "I noticed you've lost weight, you're doing great!" as being the best "safe" mode of encouragement - and on the contrary, I've read so many posts time and time again on 3FC of people taking that as a negative thing as well thinking "Wow, thanks for pointing out that I was so large to begin with". And it's so infuriating to me. Seriously, ladies. Can't we just be honest with eachother and most importantly ourselves and take a compliment, or a nice gesture as something GOOD? We are fatties. We know it, and the world around us knows it. We are literally working our butts off. And it is HARD. And we DESERVE good feedback from the people around us. And THEY deserve not to be bashed down any time they try and offer it to us. We need more solidarity between the sisterhoods, and the brotherhoods, and the skinnies, and the fatties, and the people just trying to make good choices, and be good people! Solidarity!

..What a crappy system we've created for ourselves! :?:

asharksrevenge
07-09-2010, 04:27 AM
Eskinomad, I completely agree with you. When someone notices I lost weight or says that I look good, I always believe their compliment and am grateful that they have enough courage to say that to me, considering how many women like the poster would (at first) turn it in to a negative. I wrote about what a weight lifting guy said to me when I first began, and then this evening when I was on a walking route I seldom go on (it's nice to mix things up), a woman who was watering her yard smiled and spoke to me. When I came back around an hour later, she commented on how long my walk was and told me I was doing a good job. I was pleased, smiled back and told her her lawn looked great. And it did :)

EZMONEY
07-09-2010, 09:23 AM
Hey Gary, you are doing a REALLY GOOD JOB!!!
.

:o Why thank-you ;)

This is exactly what I hate about this "with us or against us" sisterhood mentality. A few of the posters here mentioned just saying something simple like "I noticed you've lost weight, you're doing great!" as being the best "safe" mode of encouragement - and on the contrary, I've read so many posts time and time again on 3FC of people taking that as a negative thing as well thinking "Wow, thanks for pointing out that I was so large to begin with". And it's so infuriating to me. Seriously, ladies. Can't we just be honest with eachother and most importantly ourselves and take a compliment, or a nice gesture as something GOOD? We are fatties. We know it, and the world around us knows it. We are literally working our butts off. And it is HARD. And we DESERVE good feedback from the people around us. And THEY deserve not to be bashed down any time they try and offer it to us. We need more solidarity between the sisterhoods, and the brotherhoods, and the skinnies, and the fatties, and the people just trying to make good choices, and be good people! Solidarity!

..What a crappy system we've created for ourselves! :?:

IGLOOGIRL you are right on here! (IMHO) I can't even count how many times someone has posted here at 3FC something that was said to them....that they felt offended by....THAT I SAY TO PEOPLE with nothing but respect intended....sometimes I wonder if I should not try to encourage if people are going to take it the wrong way :?: But then I have noticed some things said seem to offend some people :mad: and to some they get all :carrot: excited....different strokes/different folks....

Tigerra
07-09-2010, 09:33 AM
Why should you be embarrassed? I think this is not their business to discuss you I guess. You should pay no attention. Go to your goal and don't give. Be more than these words. You have wrong thoughts. Just take the compliment and train harder. I'm not a skinny at all. But I fully enjoy this one short life)

Breannaj1215
07-09-2010, 09:48 AM
I would take it as a compliment. Ur right she probably wouldnt have said it to a skinny girl, but so what. Your doing it to change your life!

Last night at my cycle class the instructor said to this guy whose a regular. Dont let the new girl beat you. I knew he meant dont let the fat girl beat u. But i didnt care it gave me the strength to push harder

Rebound
07-09-2010, 03:33 PM
Last night at my cycle class the instructor said to this guy whose a regular. Dont let the new girl beat you. I knew he meant dont let the fat girl beat u. But i didnt care it gave me the strength to push harder

And how exactly did you "know" this?

JoJoJo2
07-09-2010, 03:36 PM
And how exactly did you "know" this?

Exactly!!!

m3rma1d
07-09-2010, 04:04 PM
From the OP, to mandalinn82 being afraid to say encouraging things to a bigger lady at water aerobics, to Breannaj1215 assuming her trainer was calling her "the fat girl"....
This thread is just making me incredibly sad. :?:

Natasha1534
07-09-2010, 04:07 PM
From the OP, to mandalinn82 being afraid to say encouraging things to a bigger lady at water aerobics, to Breannaj1215 assuming her trainer was calling her "the fat girl"....
This thread is just making me incredibly sad. :?:
Same here. Why do we always assume the worst in people??? Why can't we accept it as a compliment until they show us otherwise???

EZMONEY
07-09-2010, 04:19 PM
.....

Last night at my cycle class the instructor said to this guy whose a regular. Dont let the new girl beat you..............


See...this is something that I might say as a way of "encouraging" you to "push" it .....

Absolutely no offense intended here...just a perfect example from my point of view....:)

MissKelly
07-09-2010, 04:54 PM
From the OP, to mandalinn82 being afraid to say encouraging things to a bigger lady at water aerobics, to Breannaj1215 assuming her trainer was calling her "the fat girl"....
This thread is just making me incredibly sad. :?:

I believe that any human being despite their size..whether they're 800lbs or 105lbs deserves positive reinforcement. When it's well intended & given in good nature, it's heartbreaking that it has to be put under the microscope to be dissected on whether it's mockery or not.

This conveys the message that we have to walk on eggshells & start carefully deciphering on who to hand out compliments/positive reinforcement to based on their body size or over thinking others sincerity? No thanks...I'll pass. I am not lacking faith in mankind or in myself.

It's possible that skinny woman with huge knockers was once 350lbs. Maybe she rides her bike because she cannot handle running & was impressed....or maybe impressed & envious at your endurance. Endless possibilities. Either or...run with the compliment & what a great job you're doing. Sure as heck have me beat in the running dept.

m3rma1d
07-09-2010, 04:59 PM
Eff this.
When I go for my walk tomorrow, I'm gonna tell EVERY PERSON on that trail how awesome they are.
From the skinny hot runners, to the fatties draggin' azz walking (I can say that, 'cos that's my category), to the toned cyclists... EVERYONE.
Yup.
No earphones for me tomorrow, gonna let everyone know just what I think.

seagirl
07-09-2010, 07:39 PM
Eff this.
When I go for my walk tomorrow, I'm gonna tell EVERY PERSON on that trail how awesome they are.
From the skinny hot runners, to the fatties draggin' azz walking (I can say that, 'cos that's my category), to the toned cyclists... EVERYONE.
Yup.
No earphones for me tomorrow, gonna let everyone know just what I think.

I so wish I lived near you! I would love to receive some shout outs of encouragement!! Have fun! And report back!

m3rma1d
07-09-2010, 08:14 PM
I so wish I lived near you! I would love to receive some shout outs of encouragement!! Have fun! And report back!

I wish you did too, you could help me!
And will do! (report back) Heck, maybe I'll just start a new thread or something...

Ilene
07-09-2010, 08:19 PM
Thanks again everyone.

I saw her again today!! She BREEZED past me at a fast walking pace with her teeny little dog while I was jogging (if you could call it that!) and she winked at me. I smiled back. :DYay, you've made a new friend!

This whole thread is why I rarely look at anybody at the gym, unless I know them of course ... I didn't think this way until I became a member of 3FC and found out that people were insulted or embarassed by the encouragement...

Windchime
07-09-2010, 09:37 PM
See...this is something that I might say as a way of "encouraging" you to "push" it .....

Absolutely no offense intended here...just a perfect example from my point of view....:)

I guess I wonder.....why do you feel that it's your responsibility to "push" someone? Can you tell when someone isn't really giving their full effort--and if they aren't, is it your responsibility to point that out to them, and to push them?

I dunno. I think a lot of it is in our heads (I know it is in mine), but this kind of "encouragement" tends to feel patronizing to me. Others may thrive on it, but I would probably be slightly annoyed at a stranger feeling like they needed to push or encourage me....as if my efforts weren't really enough, because if they were....I'd be slim, right? (In the eyes of the encourager).

Unless someone is my paid trainer, I don't really need exercise police.

GradPhase
07-09-2010, 09:50 PM
Blah. This thread, and mentality makes me feel deflated and defeated. My chubby butt is hitting the treadmill..

Caela
07-09-2010, 11:47 PM
I'm a little bit dismayed by all the backlash here. Expressing "irrational" insecurities in a vent doesn't mean that we can't also see the "rational" version of the events. I thought the OP expressed that clearly in her posts. Furthermore, overweight people aren't automatically overly sensitive just because we often express our insecurities through the spectrum of "fatness". If the OP's situation happened to me when thin (i.e. huffing and puffing outside not expecting to talk to anyone), I would be momentarily thrown off by the encounter, too. Same with the "don't let the new girl beat you" comment. Take fatness out of the equation, and I would still be a little put off that the instructor used me (because I'm new or a girl...) as a motivational tool.

Wow, I started coming to 3fc for support and motivation but I am beginning to feel like every thread (not about puppies or rainbows) gets to this weird sad place. Maybe I'm just oversensitive because I'm fat, eh?

EZMONEY
07-10-2010, 12:29 AM
I guess I wonder.....why do you feel that it's your responsibility to "push" someone? Can you tell when someone isn't really giving their full effort--and if they aren't, is it your responsibility to point that out to them, and to push them?

I dunno. I think a lot of it is in our heads (I know it is in mine), but this kind of "encouragement" tends to feel patronizing to me. Others may thrive on it, but I would probably be slightly annoyed at a stranger feeling like they needed to push or encourage me....as if my efforts weren't really enough, because if they were....I'd be slim, right? (In the eyes of the encourager).

Unless someone is my paid trainer, I don't really need exercise police.

PUSH was not the best word to use....SUPPORT would have been better...

If I was running the show and an overweight girl (who obviously needed to be there) walked into a place where she would probably feel uncomfortable because ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE were not overweight (or maybe just in her mind she may be thinking that)...I might say something like the guy did..."Don't let the new girl beat you" as a way of showing my support to HER...

not everyone understands me...

that's OK...

some do ;)

GradPhase
07-10-2010, 12:31 AM
Ez.... I think you just proved part of Breannaj1215's point....

Windchime
07-10-2010, 12:50 AM
I really think that most of the reason I feel embarrassed or patronized when people say things about my diet or exercise or just about my body in general is because I have been overly sensitized to it, as a couple of previous posters have mentioned. All my life, people have given me crap about being tall. "Freakishly tall" is how my best friend (my best friend!) described me the other night. So add about 70 pounds of fat to "freakishly tall" and you've got a situation ripe for comments from all kinds of people.

So I guess my take is this: For me, I don't really like it when people comment on my body unless I really, really know them. Then, a simple compliment will do ("Cute top!" or "Gosh,you look great"). There is no need to gush on an on about how proud you are of me and seriously, you look SO GOOD, I mean, I just cannot get OVER how GOOD you look.

I guess it's kind of like the girls here who dislike it when people say that they have such a pretty face, that they usually hear an unknown addition ("too bad you're so fat") tacked onto it. I honestly didn't know that people felt that way, but I'm glad I do now because the last thing I would want to do is to hurt someone's feelings.

Other people thrive on effusive compliments, encouragement, advice, and being pushed. Neither position is wrong; we are all different and have different reactions and sensitivities. So I guess that those of us who are sensitive should try to keep in mind that most of the time, when people compliment us they have the best of intentions. And people who are doing the complimenting should keep in mind that some people feel very self-conscious when they are singled out due to their bodies and to speak with sensitivity.

There! All fixed! :) :) :)

Lori259
07-10-2010, 01:06 AM
Ya never know she may have even been heavy at one time herself~Or just a nice good looking lady trying to be nice for your accomplishments~Sounds like a super compliment to me ~even if it was cause she noticed u was heavy ~She was trying to compliment you for trying to work on it.~I wish u luck with having a baby! There such little gifts from GOD~YOUR DOING SUPER! ~As for compliments u will get use to them~Just let them sink in & enjoy!HUGS*

Thighs Be Gone
07-10-2010, 01:08 AM
I agree with Lori.

The older I get, the less I try to read between the lines with people. I try to take things at face value and move on.

Natasha1534
07-10-2010, 01:42 AM
I'm a little bit dismayed by all the backlash here. Expressing "irrational" insecurities in a vent doesn't mean that we can't also see the "rational" version of the events. I thought the OP expressed that clearly in her posts. Furthermore, overweight people aren't automatically overly sensitive just because we often express our insecurities through the spectrum of "fatness". If the OP's situation happened to me when thin (i.e. huffing and puffing outside not expecting to talk to anyone), I would be momentarily thrown off by the encounter, too. Same with the "don't let the new girl beat you" comment. Take fatness out of the equation, and I would still be a little put off that the instructor used me (because I'm new or a girl...) as a motivational tool.

Wow, I started coming to 3fc for support and motivation but I am beginning to feel like every thread (not about puppies or rainbows) gets to this weird sad place. Maybe I'm just oversensitive because I'm fat, eh?

I think you're reading a different thread b/c I see no backlash. I see people trying to say "hey, why not take it at face value and assume she was trying to encourage you instead of ASSUMING she was being condescending." Let's say you were getting married next week...and someone came up to you and said "oh, I hear you're getting married next week...congratulations!!!" Would you take that and hear "Oh, how nice, the fat girl found someone to marry her!!!" Because that's what some of you are doing to yourself...reading too much into things and not taking them at face value. I learned to love myself a long time ago...I might be fat, but I'm effing fabulous and I love me!!! :D

Caela
07-10-2010, 09:14 AM
I agree with you, Natasha. And in fact, I was one of those people who said the same thing to the OP (way down @ the beginning of the thread). By backlash, I just meant the back and forth (heathly discourse if you will?) of what you can and can't say to fat people because they are fat and will invariably take it the wrong way. My points in the post you quoted were just a) We should all be allowed to vent when caught in an emotional moment; and b) everyone has insecurities, not just us fatties and it's not always just about weight with us.

And with that I bid you all a pleasant and positive day as I walk away from the keyboard. :)

EZMONEY
07-10-2010, 09:22 AM
..... All my life, people have given me crap about being tall. "Freakishly tall" is how my best friend (my best friend!) described me the other night. So add about 70 pounds of fat to "freakishly tall" and you've got a situation ripe for comments from all kinds of people.


One of my nieces is about to go into 6th grade....if you didn't know her you would think probably 9th.

She has been over 5 feet tall since she was about 2! :o

She is currently 5'6"....

Her entire life comments about her go like this....

"Gee your sooo tall"...WOW! How tall are you?"...."You're ONLY in second grade?"

All of the comments I heard were from family members and friends of family...

all said with no harm or disrespect intended..

but I still cringed for her when they were said....having to hear those comments over and over....

:hug:

Windchime
07-10-2010, 11:12 AM
Her entire life comments about her go like this....

"Gee your sooo tall"...WOW! How tall are you?"...."You're ONLY in second grade?"

All of the comments I heard were from family members and friends of family...

all said with no harm or disrespect intended..

but I still cringed for her when they were said....having to hear those comments over and over....

:hug:

Yes, it gets really tiring and really starts to make you ashamed, when people feel the need to constantly comment and point out how *different* you are, how you stand out from the crowd, how you "tower over" people, and how "big" you are (people love to use the words "big" and "tall" interchangeably). And I'm sure most of them mean no harm, but harm is done either way. Even though they usually tack on the end as an afterthought, "I wish *I* was tall."

Yeah. I'm sure you wish you were taller than most men and can't find pants long enough and have huge feet. Most women long to be in that situation......right?

So yeah, I feel for your niece too. It's not like being tall is some kind of awful life sentence; there are much worse things to deal with. But having people constantly point out that your body is WAY outside the norm isn't fun.

Rochester
07-10-2010, 11:28 AM
Until I read this thread, and others like it, I really was clueless how sensitive people could be about their weight, because I pretty much feel like Natasha, "I learned to love myself a long time ago...I might be fat, but I'm effing fabulous and I love me!!!" I never would have guessed that by encouraging someone, it might be perceived as an insult.

encelia
07-10-2010, 12:21 PM
I'm a little bit dismayed by all the backlash here. Expressing "irrational" insecurities in a vent doesn't mean that we can't also see the "rational" version of the events. I thought the OP expressed that clearly in her posts. Furthermore, overweight people aren't automatically overly sensitive just because we often express our insecurities through the spectrum of "fatness". If the OP's situation happened to me when thin (i.e. huffing and puffing outside not expecting to talk to anyone), I would be momentarily thrown off by the encounter, too. Same with the "don't let the new girl beat you" comment. Take fatness out of the equation, and I would still be a little put off that the instructor used me (because I'm new or a girl...) as a motivational tool.

Wow, I started coming to 3fc for support and motivation but I am beginning to feel like every thread (not about puppies or rainbows) gets to this weird sad place. Maybe I'm just oversensitive because I'm fat, eh?

OP here.

Thanks for this, it helped.

I came here becuase I was upset about an experience and tried to view that experience objectively while also expressing how I felt. In return, I got a lot of "eff this" and "blah".

I'm pretty new here and from this experience, I've learned this this really isn't the best place to be if you want real support. This whole thing became very dramatic, with everyone posting about people being oversensitive or lamenting about how you just can't say anything to anyone these days. A lot of you came off sounding just plain bitter.

I'll still visit 3FC to view the success stories and maybe post every once in awhile. But for the most part, I'll be careful not to share personal experiences in an effort to find support within a community of people who possibly might understand what I'm going through.

P.S.- Thank you to all of you who shared genuine support and took the time to give a compliment, instead of using my post as an opportunity to grandstand about how awful people are these days. I really appreciated the compliments and support.

midwife
07-10-2010, 12:31 PM
encelia, your feelings are your own and they are worthwhile. I'm glad you shared this experience. Clearly, it was quite thought-provoking! I tend to be a waver or thumbs-up giver when I run, cause I figure we're all out there together. But I can also understand why you felt the way you did. Please don't hesitate to seek support here. There's a lot of opinions (boy howdy there are!) but there's also a lot of support to be found.

m3rma1d
07-10-2010, 12:42 PM
I came here becuase I was upset about an experience and tried to view that experience objectively while also expressing how I felt. In return, I got a lot of "eff this" and "blah".


You didn't get a lot of "eff this", you got one. Mine.
And actually, my "eff this" wasn't to you or your feelings--my "eff this" was for MY FEELING SAD after reading ALL the posts and the state of things in general. I was saying "eff this being sad anymore, I'm gonna DO SOMETHING about it."

Thought I wrote it pretty clearly. Next time I'll be more detailed I guess.

EZMONEY
07-10-2010, 12:56 PM
..... I've learned this this really isn't the best place to be if you want real support.....

I am sorry you feel this way. I saw tons of support to your post through the conversations....and a lot of personal moments.

That is usually what happens here...

The site is full of people that will :hug: hug you ....

and full of people that will get in your :mad: face and YELL!! WAKE UP GIRL!!! :mad:....

support comes in many ways here.

encelia
07-10-2010, 01:13 PM
support comes in many ways here.

Sorry, but it's not support if people don't feel supported.

m3rma1d
07-10-2010, 01:18 PM
Sorry, but it's not support if people don't feel supported.

It's the exact same thing as your original post. You can take it how you want, but it doesn't necessarily make the person's intentions what you perceive them as.

MissKelly
07-10-2010, 01:36 PM
I'm very sorry you feel this way. No one as far as I can see has invalidated your feelings. In a public forum we're going to almost always get opinions on a subject opposite of our own...especially in a group that's primarily women...just have to take what we want & throw the rest out. I have no idea what anyone would feel bitter about in regard to this subject. I am reading two groups of people, those who feel compliments may be backhanded & those who don't. My experiences with people in my past are probably different than yours that make me unable to wrap my mind around it. This thread has left me feeling quite bummed out with it now stuck in the back of my mind that in times when I'm out & about in society, I will feel held back from spreading genuine sunshine in someone elses day. Not in my nature to be like that & it's very eerie and unsettling to even have to feel like this. It was always programmed into me since a child that there can never be too much good heart & positivity thrown into this world. I'll be calling Mom & Dad later to let them know they were once right, but that times have changed.

ennay
07-10-2010, 02:00 PM
OK, I dont get where you didnt feel supported.

Because it seemed to me that you saw what the majority of people were trying to say which was that we have no way of knowing if there was a hidden insult in her compliment, so why not just act as if it was a genuine compliment.

A lot of people did say that they too have the tendency to assume that a compliment is laced with a criticism. We get that.

There was a little side discussion not aimed at you with a bit of back and forth about is it possible to compliment anyone.

There is a difference between genuine support which is what you got here and what I call blowing air.

The support you got here was both understanding and sympathetic about how you felt and also providing a possible solution (change how you choose to perceive compliments, because you sure as heck cant control the other people in the world). In general that is the kind of support you will find at 3FC.

Blowing wind support is what some people desire from a vent. i.e. "That skinny beeyotch just needed to keep her opinions to herself" "I am so sorry that anyone was rude enough to say that to you!" i.e. "You are completely 100% in the right and everyone else is completely 100% in the wrong and no one in the world with half a brain would perceive it any other way" support. I'm not knocking it, there are times in our lives when we need that. I have a friend that is good at that kind of support. In general you will only find that kind of support one one one. It doesnt tend to exist in a group situation and even more rarely in a message board situation. One it is rare to find a person who is really good at giving that type of support without coming off totally snarky and fake (clearly, I am NOT good at it) let alone 30 people. Two, generally that type of support is from someone with a personal relationship with you.

LA85
07-10-2010, 07:18 PM
I think she really meant it in a good way...

junebug41
07-10-2010, 07:37 PM
I guess it's kind of like the girls here who dislike it when people say that they have such a pretty face, that they usually hear an unknown addition ("too bad you're so fat") tacked onto it. I honestly didn't know that people felt that way, but I'm glad I do now because the last thing I would want to do is to hurt someone's feelings.

I absolutely felt this way. And the funny thing is, I heard this all the time before I lost weight. I haven't heard it since. I've been complimented on my looks/beauty since then, but that specific comment which people used to drown me with has been totally absent since I lost weight. I can't explain it.

asharksrevenge
07-11-2010, 01:33 AM
I was the first one to respond to your post OP, and I genuinely get that you took a comment--we'll call it a neutral comment because we can't analyze the sender's "true" intentions--a made it a negative. A whole bunch of people took it a different way, and offered you ways in which to turn the comment into a positive, or to attempt to see it another way. A few agreed with you, and offered the same kind of thinking by sharing how they react(ed) to compliments as well. As far as I can see, if that's not support, you're looking for something else, which I and likely the majority of people here am not going to give you. I'm looking for a serious change in life, and I come here to find others who tell it like it is and understand that though we once lived negatively and harmed ourselves and others, we are trying to undo some of those vicious cycles by being kind to ourselves and others. Weight loss is a serious life change and with it come serious mental changes. If you can't handle a simple debate (and I've seen much more heated ones than yours, and I've only been here a few months), go somewhere else where they'll tell you what you want to hear and "support" you.

This thread gave me some insight into the positive and negative thinking we tell ourselves about our own bodies and the intentions of others. I don't give a damn how my compliment is received, I will give it because I mean it. If the listener has a problem with that, too bad. The same goes for my opinion, on and off this forum.

m3rma1d
07-11-2010, 11:13 AM
I was the first one to respond to your post OP, and I genuinely get that you took a comment--we'll call it a neutral comment because we can't analyze the sender's "true" intentions--a made it a negative. A whole bunch of people took it a different way, and offered you ways in which to turn the comment into a positive, or to attempt to see it another way. A few agreed with you, and offered the same kind of thinking by sharing how they react(ed) to compliments as well. As far as I can see, if that's not support, you're looking for something else, which I and likely the majority of people here am not going to give you. I'm looking for a serious change in life, and I come here to find others who tell it like it is and understand that though we once lived negatively and harmed ourselves and others, we are trying to undo some of those vicious cycles by being kind to ourselves and others. Weight loss is a serious life change and with it come serious mental changes. If you can't handle a simple debate (and I've seen much more heated ones than yours, and I've only been here a few months), go somewhere else where they'll tell you what you want to hear and "support" you.

This thread gave me some insight into the positive and negative thinking we tell ourselves about our own bodies and the intentions of others. I don't give a damn how my compliment is received, I will give it because I mean it. If the listener has a problem with that, too bad. The same goes for my opinion, on and off this forum.

http://m3rma1d.com/forums/applause.gif

nelie
07-11-2010, 11:56 AM
Dear OP, I hope you understand that we do value your thoughts but everyone has different opinions and experiences and I think we tried to share them with you. I'm sorry you feel unsupported and hope you reflect on your experience and understand that it can be seen from different angles. Overall, good for you for running and getting out there. I hope even if you felt embarrassed that it won't stop you from running.