Grit Clinic

At the moment I’m running roughly half of my circuit along a scenic riverbank which i”m really chuffed about. However, the last mile or so is on a cycle path which follows directly next to the main road back to town. I just can’t get over the ‘I can’t let anyone see me’ issue. I end up walking for fear of embarrassment! I may have to run back the same way I came.. and by then the fishermen are out. Sounds stupid I know. It’s an obstacle I fear because I’m rather large still. sob. Anyone else get this problem or is it just me.

I think everyone suffers from the embarrasment factor sometimes when they go running, no matter what shape they are in.  Yesterday I ran in these leggings which had shrunk in the wash and so clung to me just beneath the tummy really tightly when they are supposed to come up over my tummy and hold everything in!  I felt like I was running with two massive love handles flapping around on either side.  I felt so self conscious that I couldn’t take my jumper off, so instead completed my run whilst creating ‘training in altitude conditions’, such was the heat generated inside my rfbr hoodie.  So, my first point is, it is completely normal to feel embarrassed sometimes while out running.

The key is to minimise the embarrasment factor, so in my case, make sure I am wearing comfortable LOOSE clothing.  I often wear a hat and shades too so I can pretend to be celebrity, and keep the sun off my face (I know we don’t have much here in London, but my skin has been ravaged over the years from running without adequate protection).  It also makes me feel completely hidden and unexposed.  The other thing to remember is people are actually not that interested, they barely notice passing runners, what with their ears permanently attached to iphones, headphones, or, for the more old-fashioned amongst us – deep in conversation with a real human being.  We are less conspicuous than we think.  Look at it this way: do you find yourself gawping at an overweight person running and thinking what an idiot?  I didn’t think so.  I was moved to tears the other day seeing an incredibly overweight man jogging ever so slowly in the woods – and they were tears of admiration.  The sheer grit he was displaying to get round carrying all that weight and the courage too – I was truly humbled.

So, Linda, don’t be embarrassed so much that it is stopping you completing what you set out to do.  You are doing an incredible thing in getting out there and running.  No-one is judging you like you think.  They are just staring at you in admiration.  If it helps to run back and thus avoid the road until you are at a size you feel more comfortable with, do it.  I remember how embarrassed my mum used to get jogging round Vag Waters when she first started out – she was convinced everyone was staring at her thinking she was stupid, daft.  Once she had got used to it and had the circuit nailed, she never gave it a second thought.

The Grit Doctor says:

Runing regularly is going to build up your confidence and shrink your waistline so before long you can tackle that cycle path with your head held high.


4 Responses to “Grit Clinic”

  1. Bonnie May 21, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Ok I wear a baseball cap and sometimes sunglasses but actually and this will sound weird but I found it worked. I smile wave and call out good morning as I go past. That way if people do look at me I feel assured it is because I addressed them. Plus I don’t really care what they think I don’t know them and I am running for me not them. Good luck and try not to worry most people don’t even notice us. I am still not thin I have 2 stone left to shift but have already shifted 2 and a half stone. Keep winning keep running. I did feel a bit self conscious at first now several people actually look out for me which I find quite nice.

  2. Tracy May 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Linda, I used to be like this, and if I saw a dot on the horizon indicating that a human being would eventually cross my path, I’d turn round and go home. Then one day without thinking I ran towards and then through a group of people, and it wasn’t till I got home that I realised what I’d done! But seriously, if anyone is looking at you, they are filled with awe and wishing they could do it too. How do I know this? Because I used to be one of those watchers!

  3. Roisin August 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi Linda…i too was mortified as i live in a very close knit community where everyone knows everyone and everyone knows everyones business! I honestly kept my head down so i couldnt see who was driving past. One day a neighbour stopped me and said ” bloody hell your amazing, 5 kids (2 under2) and you are 42, your unbelieveable…where do you get the time?” now i feel pretty darn pleased with myself and proud of myself for getting my size 18 arse off the sofa and wobbling down the road every morning!!

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