"I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner." -Bary Yasso
Have you ever watched the "fat guy" at the hotel gym working out and think, "yeah I am sure that guy works out all of the time" or some other snide thought?
Have you ever judged the "heavy girl" who orders a burger and fries at a fast food restaurant and then tops it off with a diet coke?
Be honest, you have. We ALL have...
Little do we know that the "fat guy" has lost over 100 pounds and is still working on losing the rest...or better yet, the "heavy girl" is on Weight Watchers and she has lost 50 pounds, and has decided to use some of her weekly points on a hamburger and fries, but doesn't want to waste points on a regular soda.
We are so quick to judge. I am just as guilty as the next person. I am not proud of it, but it is just proof that I am human like the rest of you.
The worst part? I am the heavy girl that orders the diet coke! I am the girl we have all judged at some points in our lives. And let me tell you, I enjoy every fattening bite of my indulgence:)
If you have followed my journey, then you know that I have lost 54 pounds on Weight Watchers since I had my son on 1/18/11. I have also recently started the Couch to 5k running program in an effort to boost my cardio so I can increase my weight loss. I am not an athlete by any means, but I push myself as hard as I can with every workout.
While I am starting to enjoy running, I find myself stuck on the stupid treadmill because I fear the judgement of others. I run on a treadmill 3 times a week with my friend. Yes, I would much prefer to run outside...I hate the treadmill., but I am far too insecure to run in front of people.
The treadmill has become my sanctuary...my crutch, if you will. It is the one place I can run and not feel as though I am getting judged. But as I headed to the beach on Sunday on a girls' trip with my mom and sisters, I found myself without a treadmill and I knew I couldn't skip my training. The thought of running somewhere other than a treadmill made me sick to my stomach.
My sister had been wanting to get back into running, so she agreed to run with me while we were there.Though still terribly insecure, I felt better having a running partner. On our second run on the boardwalk(2nd run of the DAY, might I add!) I expressed my concerns to my sister. Though she is a tiny size 2, she listened to me intently. She has been with me every step of the way with my weight loss journey, and I knew she would not make me feel ridiculous for my insecurities.
The biggest part of me feared people judging me. I hated being perceived as the fat girl running. Yes, the numbers on the scale go down week after week, but in my mind I will always be the fat girl. Unfortunately it takes MUCH more than losing weight to lose that mindset.
After listening to me ramble, my sister reassured me that I am doing everything right and I am losing weight. I should not feel insecure, especially after working so hard.
"Screw them," she said.
Within 5 minutes of expressing my concerns, we jog passed a group of people and one of the guys says quite loudly, "Is that all the faster THAT chick can run?"
Yep, you read that right! Every single insecurity I have ever had was confirmed in one short phrase. It hit me much harder than I had expected.
Did I stop running? NO!
Did I cry? I wanted to, but NO!
Did I turn around and kick some ass? NO (though my sister tried to).
Instead, I pushed on.
At some point, I have to look at myself and know who I am.
I am not a skinny girl.
I am not the fastest girl.
I am not a lot of things...
But I AM A RUNNER!
Who sets the standard for what qualifies me as a runner? Who has the right to condemn me for not keeping an "acceptable pace?" NO ONE!
I battle my inner demons everyday with my decisions as a new mommy,a stepmother and wife. I battle them with every bite I take, wondering how it will effect the scale on Tuesday morning at my Weight Watchers weigh in. And I battle these demons every time I lace up my running shoes.
What I will NOT battle with are people who think less of me because I am not a size 2 or because I am not able to run a 7:00 mile.I will NOT battle people who feel the need to put others down to make themselves feel better.
I WILL NOT STOP! I WILL ACHIEVE MY GOALS! And I will say it again...
I AM A RUNNER!!!!