I came upon the following blog post by a fit runner who wrote an ode to the "fat girl" running laps at the track. It's the opposite of what you'd expect and definitely worth a read.
"Hey, Fat Girl" at http://flintland.blogspot.com
I'm sorry if this has already been posted here since it was written in June, but most newbies probably haven't seen it. And I've seen a lot of posts lately about worrying about working out in public. So this should help.
On a more personal note, this post brought me to tears. I live in a town where most people are very thin and nearly everyone is fit. I stick out like a sore thumb and can honestly count on both hands the number of people I've met in the four years that I've lived here who are even close to my size, and none of them are my age (28).
I still remember the first time I tried running here, starting with week one day one of Couch to 5k several years ago. It called for jogging a minute and walking 90 seconds, repeating this 8 times. I was so self-conscious about my "workout" and worried that people would scoff at my attempt at running that I almost didn't go at all. I mean, who runs for JUST 1 minute? That's inconceivable around these parts. It was really hard to get out the door
These days, I am nowhere near fit and not skinny by any means (see my ticker) but I've gotten over my crippling fear of working out in public. I still won't use a treadmill because I feel like an elephant stomping around on it, but I am no longer embarrassed to go to the gym and now bike in full spandex (head to toe).
Most people are too wrapped up in their own worlds to even notice my workout, and if they do they often have nice things to say. I got a smile and a wave from a fellow runner this morning on the trail and the enthusiastic, "Keep it up! You're doing awesome!" encouragement from a random person getting into their car as I jogged past them three years ago still sticks out in my mind.
Long story short, I hope some of you get inspiration from this runner's post and are inspired to get outside and get moving!