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I am so embarassed by what this lady said to me while I was running

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:31 AM   #1
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Default I am so embarassed by what this lady said to me while I was running

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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:42 AM   #2
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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!
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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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!!
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:01 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:15 AM   #5
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Also, maybe she was once obese herself.

I personally wouldn't have done what she did but I betcha she wasn't meaning harm.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:19 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:24 AM   #7
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That's very true, Vlad. A runner's commitment is impressive. I quit jogging once the weather turned hot and humid this week.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:43 AM   #8
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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

Quote:
Originally Posted by encelia View Post
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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:01 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:45 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:19 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:25 AM   #12
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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!!
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:28 AM   #13
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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!
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:35 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:05 AM   #15
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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.
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