The road to becoming a runner is filled with bumps along the way. Even if you are rail thin, those first few miles as a new runner aren't pretty. You turn beet red, you huff and puff, you have to stop and walk frequently. Sometimes you're doubled over from a stitch in your side.
Yet if you're starting to run to lose weight, a whole host of other issues can be added on top of the physical struggles of being a new runner. Muttered comments such as “Whale” or “Heffer” as someone passes by. Long looks. Unflattering clothing that shows off every roll as you try to run.
Sometimes these comments are well meant, but no less hurtful. “Perhaps you should start off walking,” or even “You're so inspirational” can be embarrassing when you're just trying to work out.
If you're struggling with fat shaming during your morning run, here are a few tips on what you can do to deal with fat shaming while running.
It's Not Personal
The people fat shaming you aren't doing it to hurt you. Most of the people fat shaming you out on a run don't even know you. They are reacting to their own prejudices, and not to you personally. That being said, it is likely that they did intend to make you feel bad about yourself, but only you have the power to let them.
Most of the time fat shaming is so embarrassing we don't know what to say or do—so we don't. If someone is fat shaming you and you do have the ability to speak up, say something. Letting a fat shamer know how and why their comments are helpful may be enough to give them a good dose of shame on their own.
If you can't speak up however, don't beat yourself up. Fat shaming can be as quick as a bottle of water tossed on you from a moving car. There may also be times when you don't want to bring it up, such as if it is a family friend in a public situation.
If you can't speak up, that's okay. Sometimes it happens.
Supplements for Stress
A real impact from fat shaming is that—well--it can actually lead to even more weight gain. Studies have shown that fat shaming is far from helpful in encouraging other people to lose weight, something you probably know if you've had a few run-ins.
It's important to stay body positive if you can. Take care of your body, and love the skin you're in. Even if you need to lose weight for your health, or want to because that's the best thing for you, there's nothing wrong with loving where you are in the process.
Supplements can be helpful during this process. There are supplements that can help reduce the stress you feel after a difficult experience, and may help you lose weight as well.
No matter what size or shape you are, someone is out there with a mean comment or two just waiting to be unloaded. While we can't stop these people from their bullying behaviors, we can work to make sure that their words cause no harm to our minds and our bodies.