This conversation is also from my real life, a few months ago. My BF doesn’t understand my obsession with running, but he accepts that it is an important part of my life and is very supportive.
He picked me up after a particularly grueling long run. When he found me I had run 13.5 miles and then walked almost another mile waiting for him. I was sweaty, tired, and worn out. I gingerly climbed into his truck and he tut-tutted about how all this extra mileage this couldn’t possibly be good for me. And he’s probably right. I’m opening myself up for all types of injuries and pains as I train.
For me, running isn’t a means to an end. It isn’t about achieving a healthy or fit body. I love running (Well 85% of the time anyway). I love how it makes me feel: free, alive, strong, and young. When I finish a long run I feel like I’ve done something most people can’t. It makes me feel powerful and in control. And sometimes I can’t walk.
Obviously there are some runs that are better than others, but this is the feeling I strive for. When it isn’t fun anymore, I’ll find something else to do.
This is a comic I created based on a real-life incident a few months ago. The woman actually had a car covered with advertisements that showed her before/after and how many pounds she had lost. She was dressed in a white linen suit with heels. I was finishing up a long run and had just switched to walking about 500 feet before getting to her. My face was red, I was huffing and puffing… I had just completed 13. 1 miles for crying out loud. She comes right up to me and partially blocks my path to offer me a “miracle” weight loss solution.
This is not a unique occurrence, but rather one example in a string of times that I’ve been working out, minding my own business, and someone decides to offer me unsolicited advice about how they can help me lose weight. The assumption being, of course, that I am only working out because I’m trying to lose weight. Sometimes (like the incident above) I handle it really well. Other times I’m unable to deal with the levels of emotion and I get flustered. After a particularly upsetting time at my gym I practiced what I was going to say the next time it happened, which is why this one time I had my comeback ready. I didn’t say exactly what I’d practiced, but I feel that for once I handled it well.
So here is my PSA: If you see someone who is working out and you have the urge to provide them with unsolicited body shame disguised as “helpful concern,” do everyone a favor and keep it to yourself. If you make a living or earn extra money this way, well shame on you.