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Fat and Fit, thanks

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So, I have this friend…which is a really hateful way to begin a post, I know…but I have this friend, and I love her to bits, but she has a real knack for saying some really hurtful things – completely unintentionally.

This morning, for example, she handed me a flier for a new activity programme being run in the town. It sounded great, and I do enjoy being active, but when I read the small print….it was being aimed at people with obesity issues.

I said to my friend “Look, I can’t do this, I don’t have a BMI of 32.”

Her reply; “Are you sure? Have you checked? You can’t be far off it. It would be good for you,Β it’s for people like you, who don’t do anything.”

Well, thank you for crushing me just a little bit, there, with your kind concern and your good intentions!

I don’t understand; this girl has known me pretty much all my life. And I run – I have been a runner since I was about 18, with the occasional “rest periods” that some runners have when they are just not feeling the buzz.

Since my youngest started school full time in September, I have been lucky enough to be able to fit in a run after I drop the kids off in the morning. I may not be eating up the miles in the way that I used to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still do it!

My friend, my beautiful, kind, funny friend has fallen into the trap that many people do; she thinks that, because I am big, I spend my days sitting on the sofa watching talk shows and eating crisps. I felt so cross that I came home and went out for a run, just to prove to myself that she was wrong – not a very good reason for a run, but even a bad reason is still a reason. Within just a few minutes I had forgiven her for her blunder, and felt like I was flying. There is no drug that can give a high like that, or clear the mind quite so easily. The post-run snack of an apple and glass of water is somehow made so much more delicious because of the burning lungs and scarlet face that accompany them.

I realise that sometimes people need to see something before they will believe it; and I will admit to being more of a private runner than one who will walk around all day in their running gear. I don’t post on Facebook about my “Best.Run.Ever” or my “6 mile hill session before lunch, legend” in the way that some people do. I gave up long ago trying to join in the fitness conversations with the skinny mums at the school because they made it clear that someone of my size couldn’t possibly understand what it is like to feel the burn at one of their aquafit classes or bodysculpt, or whatever the latest trend is.

I have a brother in law, as thin as a rake, who likes to sneer at “fat people.” He makes fun of anyone of size, regardless of what they might be doing at the time. If they are coming out of the shop with bags of shopping, we will hear “They they are, look, on their way home for a mid morning snack,” or they might be walking the dog, and then we will hear “Go on, keep walking, another 50 miles and you might fit into your trousers properly.” Nasty, poisonous comments from someone who obviously thinks that thin is good, fat is bad. I would argue that “fit” is best, regardless of size. And I could run that skinny man into the ground – he may well beat me in a sprint, but give me a few miles and I would leave him for dead.

Anyway, enough about negativity; this post was meant to be a positive one. This post is for anyone carrying a few extra pounds who is sick and tired of the whole world thinking that they are lazy, greedy and stupid – amongst other things (I had an ex once who refused to believe that I could beΒ cold,Β because in theory, my layer of fat should have been enough to keep me warm. That is why he is an ex now, the idiot.)

Big people can be fit. Big people can enjoy the same highs from exercise and enjoy all the benefits of an active life that a thinner person can. So if your size is stopping you from giving it a go, be brave and go for it. Get out there and get that buzz, don’t let the thin people hog it all to themselves.

Don’t worry about people staring – if they stare, it is because they wish they were doing it too.

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Comments on: "Fat and Fit, thanks" (20)

  1. Hah! I have an example for you: I was always the second fastest girl in my class (can’t run long distances, I get horrible cramps). One day we go to this event where several schools compete against each other. 100m sprint. I look at the girls I will be racing against, one is tall, really tall, and skinny (damn, she would beat me easy), and the rest were short and chubby, big butts, heavy legs.

    I came last.

    I had a laugh attack mid race, all the boys from my class who were cheering me laughed “with” me (thank god, also, I’d kick their butts after if they had been nasty).

    • Ahh I LOVE the image of a laugh attack halfway through the 100m sprint! I was always prone to fits of the giggles, often at the most awkward times!
      I must admit there was one occasion when I was dropping my daughter off at her swimming lesson and saw that one of the children was quite a large girl. I thought “Oh, I hope she doesn’t get picked on by the others in her group,” and then she got into the water and blew me away with her amazing speed and grace. I was guilty of the very assumptions that I can’t stand in others! She sure showed me, that day!

  2. “Are you sure? Have you checked?”, Oh man! I am a card carrying member of the foot-in-mouth club but that’s just terrible.
    My brother and I have had this conversation about small vs fit a few times. He has had experiences similar to yours with regards to being judged as lazy and unfit based on his size even though he runs (way more miles than I usually do) and spends time at the gym. People are generally ignorant, mean, and judgey. Don’t let that discourage you.
    At least you posses intelligence and a modicum of kindness and decency. They can’t yoga or Zumba themselves smart or nice.
    There’s nothing quite like a good run to burn of the frustration and anger and restore your sense of peace. I just wish it was above 0 here so I could get one in.

    • Thank you!
      Wow, I have been dodging runs all winter because it was “too cold,” but I guess our winter is pretty mild compared to yours! No more run-dodging for me! πŸ™‚
      In the past, when I was a little more sensitive, I would have responded to comments like my friends by going home and eating everything in the kitchen – “I’ll show her!” sort of thing – so I am very glad to have gone for a revenge-run instead. Much healthier!

      • Temperatures finally got above zero. It was 23 the other day and I thought “This is basically a heat wave…now go run!” It felt good to get out.
        Revenge running is much more effective than revenge eating because you actually feel better after doing it.

  3. emmiehillerby said:

    It’s so true, people rarely think that you can fit and overweight, I myself am not a fan of running but on average I take between 15000 and 20000 steps a day and can easily walk walk up a steep hill with ease that a number of my “skinny” friends have trouble with.

    • I used to point out to a super-skinny friend that my body had to work a lot harder than hers even when we were doing the same thing – I asked her just how far she could walk carrying a sack of potatoes; not very far, I would imagine. That is what I am carrying around with me everywhere!
      That is a huge number of steps to be taking every day, no wonder you are leaving your friends behind! πŸ™‚

  4. Well frickin’ said! I had a relative who only knows me through photos and what other people have said tell me i’d put on weight the first time she met me!!

    • How rude of her! What on earth are some people thinking sometimes, when they don’t see how personal it is to make a comment about someone’s weight?!
      That is the kind of situation where I end up struck dumb with amazement, only to wake up in the middle of the night having suddenly thought of a snappy reply – always way, way too late! Oh, the frustration! πŸ™‚

    • WOW! Now that is just plain rude

  5. Thank you! When I started to run for the couch to 5k, I was also doing wii 5 times a week and the spartan exercise, and do you know what? I didn’t lose ANY weight, despite also eating right I weighed more, though looking back at the pictures I did look more tones, but people (“friends” and family included) said that I should do more, wouldn’t believe that I ate what I did, or did the exercise I did, (I could beat my much fitter husband at the spartan exercises!) I felt like everywhere I turned people assumed that because I weighed 210-215lbs that I sat down watched tv and ate biscutis and crisps all day, funny I am now unable to do all that exercise because of illness and I still don’t sit down and eat crisps rubbish all day, but I do have a limit to what I do, and I have actually lost weight, and I eat more than I did then! Go Figure, I know EXACTLY where you are coming from. take measurements and lots and lots of pictures make a folder on your computer and keep looking at it when you feel demotivated or let down by these people who think they know “best” That was uncalled for what she said, prove her wrong! And no NOTHING beats that feeling of running anger off, I miss it so much πŸ™‚

    • I’m sorry to hear you aren’t well at the minute, it is so frustrating being unable to enjoy the things that normally make us happy. Other peoples’ stinking attitudes make it even more frustrating!
      I find that I am afraid to eat a chocolate biscuit in front of some people because I feel them looking at me, and I know they are thinking that I must be eating that kind of thing all the time. Very silly to let people dictate what I eat – and very silly to deny myself something because of what other people will (wrongly!) think.
      I hope you are feeling better soon, thank you for your supportive comments xxx

      • Your welcome, keep going yoru doing fine πŸ™‚ And Yes that’s how I feel too. It’s easier to say ignore them than actually do, people don’t realism how much damage they are doing πŸ™‚ I get to the point I eat what I want now and if they say I say oh yeah this is only my second packet today πŸ˜‰ haha xx

      • That is a great answer, I may borrow that! πŸ™‚

      • Go ahead, am sure it will soon stop those negative comments πŸ˜‰

  6. Reblogged this on Cute an' Crafty Crocheter and commented:
    I just wanted to blog this because I see this a lot people get judged on size, please read this and let it help those who do not realise that you can be larger and fit, it IS possible as you can be slim and unfit. Thanks πŸ™‚

  7. Well, I’m the fat and unfit kind that exercise their mind and hate hate hate any form of physical exercise. I admire your restraint, I’d gave given her a gobfull! Anyway, good for you going running. You do things your way and be proud of who you are. Love yourself now, not what you might one day be. People like that. X

    • That is a great bit of advice! When I was at my heaviest, I put my whole life on hold, saying !I’ll do it when I’m thin” all the time, which meant I never did anything. From now on, no more waiting for life to begin; it starts now! Thank you xxx πŸ™‚

      • πŸ˜„ I’ve been reading some very positive stuff online about loving yourself for who you are. I’m trying too! If you ever need someone to be affirming, give me a shout!

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