Emotions and Excercise ... lets discuss .... (candid)
you know i came to understand this morning, as I do every morning, that everytime i go out to do something physical - i feel ashamed - as if i should be terribly embarassed about my size - my looks - my appearance-
i weigh 388lbs - my neighbour this morning asked me why i felt i needed to lose weight - he thought i was very pretty - bless him -
made my day, however seeing past that - when i got home i just felt like crying.
crying because the emotions i feel are ones of forcing myself to accept the change im forcing myself thru.
Often I keep waiting for someone to call out "you fat cow - or you fat pig "
and yet it hasnt happened yet - its all in my head - however more importanlty - hwats also in my head is that i should not be feeling the emotions of feeling embarrased, shame, guilt .......
I keep feeling like i should push those feelings aside and just "live with it"
but ...... i think this is where the key to the emotional transition in my mind is taking place - this is often the place where people who are losing weight or have lost weight never visit in their minds - the emotional check in point where the surface of just "determination" cannot last - hence why people start eating again.
am i making any sense? do i sound like im brainstorming? well i am!
What I think you're describing is being uncomfortable in your own skin. I've heard people talk about that a lot, but even at my heaviest I really didn't think I had that same feeling, but as I've lost weight I definitely think I must have had it, and a pretty severe case too. For the first summer in my adult life I'm wearing tank tops, seriously before this summer the last time I went sleeveless in public was in a bridesmaid gown at my brother's wedding in 2000, and that dress was of course selected by my skinny skinny sister-in-law. And let me just say - it was a bit of a traumatic experience.
I do think you have to get over your fear of having people shout insults at you, especially since it's never happened. This journey is about you, not others. And seriously if someone feels the need to shout insults at a woman riding a bicycle, what does that say about their own self esteem? I used to feel very self conscience at the gym. Like I should stick to the "easy" side of the workout room and not attempt free weights and such (where all the big muscle people hang out). But I've gotten over that completely.
Last night for some crazy reason it was huge hulking bulking muscle night at the gym. I'm doing PT on a bum shoulder so my upper body workout is with small hand weights and abs, but I did the whole routine right there with all the heavyweights anyway. And do you know what? One of the really super buff guys leaned over and said "so who's your physical therapist?". I was totally shocked and so I just blurted out "is it that obvious?". And he ended up telling me all about his rotator cuff surgery and how that got him started in body building. It wasn't flirting or anything, just conversation to make the workout time go by a little faster. So there I was, with this really great looking muscle bound guy talking to me like I was just any other normal human trying to get in shape. And do you know why? Because that's exactly what I am, and it's exactly what you are too.
There ain't no shame in working out, so you just do it. Truthfully pigs and cows are usually quite lean, they are just larger than humans. Maybe a way to combat the fear is to take ownership of it. I used to know a guy that had a shirt that read "Well I might be fat, but you're ugly and I can go on a diet". It's hard to pick on someone that has already told the joke. How about a workout tiara? Queen on a bicycle? Or workout shorts in cow print?
I can relate to the emotions you expressed in your post. When I was younger, I did join a gym in hopes of getting in shape, but only used it a few times because I was really intimidated by all the 'skinnies' in their make-up (for working out???) and coordinated outfits, feeling self-conscious about keeping up and not fitting in.
But almeeker is right... it's about feeling comfortable in our own skin.
I think your neighbor is so sweet, and if only more people were like that and saw the beauty in everyone... because it is there.
But you are getting fit for your health & to feel better right? Good for you! I'm trying to do that myself.
Although, admittedly, I should be doing it more for my health than vanity reasons... but I am eagerly looking forward to clothes shopping in a non-plus sized section.
I am a pretty emotional person too, and I've always felt 'fear' more than 'shame' when it came to exercise & losing weight. It may sound crazy, but I'm worried about looking & feeling worse as I get thinner. Insanity right?
Well, I think it's mostly because I've never been thin and it's that fear of the unknown that I'm experiencing.
I think having a support group, like FitDay, is a great outlet to share your thoughts -- and brainstorm, like you said, together -- to overcome those hurdles to success.
I'm proud of you for sharing & for doing it! Keep up the good work lady! *hugs*
I just want say thank you, MissDevine for posting this thread. You have no idea how many people you may have helped by putting your feelings out here. I would also like to thank everyone else who shared so far. This is the very reason why this forum is an invaluable tool.
I can totally relate to you, MissDevine. I live in a relatively big city so when I go out running, I pass dozens of people along the way and always always always I am wondering if they are judging me or laughing at "the fat girl running." On an intellectual level I KNOW that the people who judge have serious self worth issues themselves and yet on an emotional level, I fear their judgement and when and if it does happen, it hurts.
To top it all off, I spend a lot of time in New York City and when I go running there, it is very likely that I will get cat calls. However I must say that usually the cat calls are something to the effect of "You go, Baby!" or "Mami, work that jello!" I get really red in the face when this happens and I feel ashamed but I try really really hard to pep talk myself out of that feeling immediately and I won't let those cat calls stand in my way of becoming the healthy person I deserve to be. Let them cat call, but don't let them stop you from doing anything you want to do because if they do, you will hand them your personal power and they dont deserve it.
While I have mastered the will to run in public I still have a problem with being seen in a bathing suit in public. My best friend is a person who is very comfortable in her own skin. She's Latina, with a voluptuous body, not thin, not fat but not perfect either. She's got some cellulite (like most every woman over 30) and she's got a few varicose veins but she is perfectly content going to the pool and lounging around in her swimsuit while I just cannot get up enough courage to do that. The saddest part is that I LOVE swimming but I deprive myself because of the shame I have over my body. I am working on this and I hope that I can get up that courage before the summer ends!
Thanks again for sharing your feelings. You totally make sense to me!
Missdevine, I daresay you touched a nerve with this one, and in a good way!
You said something that I wanted to respond to, but before I jump in I want to say that I can relate to feeling self-conscious and embarrassed at the gym. I'm lucky in that my gym is pretty low-key and not usually too busy, but there are are plenty of musclebound people around. My feeling is that if someone is ignorant enough to even think, much less say, something to the effect of "Look at fattie go, she's so gross," who's the idiot in that situation? You are there making a positive change, and the other people at the gym are doing the same thing. I really do think that most people, if they think anything, would think "Hey, that person is doing something about being fat, good for them." The gym is a place for self-improvement and I'm inclined to think that most people at the gym are focused on themselves, not so much on those around them.
With that said, you mentioned that I keep feeling like i should push those feelings aside and just "live with it"
I don't think that feelings of self-hatred, embarrassment, shame, etc. are feelings that anyone should just live with, yourself included. I think you can tell yourself til you're blue in the face that what you are worth as a person is not determined by the number on the scale, and while that's very true, I think the way to really get rid of those feelings (at least the ones that relate to weight) is to do exactly what you're doing - make positive changes to improve your health and lifestyle. By making these changes, you're telling yourself through these actions that you are a worthwhile person, and you are worth every effort to be healthy. Also, the more you go to the gym, there will be more and more occurences where someone *doesn't* say anything mean to you, and I think just that alone will help you.
I guess there are fat people out there who honestly don't have an issue with their size/appearance, but I have yet to meet one, or be one of them. When I feel uncomfortable in my own skin or have a (intense) moment of self-loathing, I try to focus on what I'm doing right NOW, and not all the mistakes I made when I was eating garbage and gaining weight. If I'm trying to rationalize skipping a workout or otherwise procrastinate going to the gym, I think of the immensity of how much I hate those feelings of self-loathing and channel that to my feet and get my fata$$ to the gym.
Since the cow print workout shorts occurred to me, I want some. I'm thinking shiny, tight and spandex. Who's with me? I definitely need a tiara for the gym, but I might have to settle for some sequins glued to my wrist weights, bling bling take that Wonder Woman...
mtlgirl, recently I got whistled at for the first time in YEARS, decades even. The whistler was very obviously drunk, and I'm probably old enough to be his mother, but still it was sort of startling and flattering on a primitive level. And as I ran past him and his friends, (who were booze cruising in rubber rings down the river), one of his buddies pipes up with "he's whistling and she's running away". And of course everybody cracked up over that one, even me. So think about that the next time you get cat called at.
If I'm trying to rationalize skipping a workout or otherwise procrastinate going to the gym, I think of the immensity of how much I hate those feelings of self-loathing and channel that to my feet and get my fata$$ to the gym.
Wow, I think I'm going to make myself a note that says just that and tape it to the coffee maker. I need a swift kick in the pants some days just to get that workout started. Once I get going I'm fine and I love it, but actually getting started is much harder than thinking about getting started...