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I have been morbidly obese my entire life. I was on diets from the time I was 4 years old until I left home for college. I had weight loss surgery when I was 28. I've always been physically active: soccer, dance, volleyball, swimming, yoga, weight lifting.

This year of quarantine kept me from my gym. Before covid, I went to Zumba/Dance 3-4 times a week for an hour each session, I occasionally (twice a month) went to a weights class or worked with weights in the main open gym area. I also swam 3-4 times a week.

Even with all this activity, I was still morbidly obese. But I felt good in my body. I didn't get winded going up a flight of stairs, etc.

Now? I get winded going up a flight of stairs.

So, this week... I've decided that even if I can't go to the gym and do the activities I used to do, I can try walking. I hate walking. I mostly hate walking because Ive had a lot of random-stranger verbal abuse and objects thrown at me any time I engage in exercise publicly. It's especially worse walking along a street without sidewalks. Cars get as close to me as possible, I get splashed, moo-ed and oink-ed at. It's lovely.

In spite of that... I'm making it a goal to walk at least as much as the day before each day this week. It started with just a mile. Yesterday I hit 5k steps (just under 2 miles) and today it is just 1:30 and I've already hit 2.5 miles and almost 6k steps.

I have so very much baggage around my weight, dieting, etc. It feels just so damn good to just go walk. Even if half of it may just be walking up and down my own driveway.

I have been morbidly obese my entire life. I was on diets from the time I was 4 years old until I left home for college. I had weight loss surgery when I was 28. I've always been physically active: soccer, dance, volleyball, swimming, yoga, weight lifting. This year of quarantine kept me from my gym. Before covid, I went to Zumba/Dance 3-4 times a week for an hour each session, I occasionally (twice a month) went to a weights class or worked with weights in the main open gym area. I also swam 3-4 times a week. Even with all this activity, I was still morbidly obese. But I felt good in my body. I didn't get winded going up a flight of stairs, etc. Now? I get winded going up a flight of stairs. So, this week... I've decided that even if I can't go to the gym and do the activities I used to do, I can try walking. I hate walking. I mostly hate walking because Ive had a lot of random-stranger verbal abuse and objects thrown at me any time I engage in exercise publicly. It's especially worse walking along a street without sidewalks. Cars get as close to me as possible, I get splashed, moo-ed and oink-ed at. It's lovely. In spite of that... I'm making it a goal to walk at least as much as the day before each day this week. It started with just a mile. Yesterday I hit 5k steps (just under 2 miles) and today it is just 1:30 and I've already hit 2.5 miles and almost 6k steps. I have so very much baggage around my weight, dieting, etc. It feels just so damn good to just go walk. Even if half of it may just be walking up and down my own driveway.

15 comments

Any physical activity is good physical activity! Props to you for getting out there!

I've been struggling with my motivation during quarantine, so I've mostly been focused on portion control and mindful eating. You're inspiring me to make room for more physical activity in my life though -- it's definitely one of those things where I hate doing it, but then I feel much better afterwards.

With eating, I have to just attempt to make nourishing meals. My biggest problem is that I am the primary cook in a house with 2 teens and a bottomless pit of a 9yo. All e-learning or variations.

If I had my druthers, I'd get up... have some tea or coffee. Maybe have an egg and toast around 10:30. Then not eat again until 4pm. Then a final snack/meal around 8pm.

But the husband and kids all want meals at "normal" times. They can fend for themselves for the most part, but one of my biggest triggers to eating is seeing other people eat. Eating is very communal for me. I spent so many years of my childhood being told I couldn't eat when and what my siblings were eating that it's a very sore point.

Ugh. Food. I love it. and I hate that I love it. At least I'm a good cook.

Rambling. Anyway. I have released my food issues to the powers that be, and this week I'm gonna focus on shifting back to physical activity.

Oh wow, I totally feel you on the food issue. I definitely eat way more when I am preparing good food for other people. I'm also a good cook, and it's a daily struggle to not overeat!

I hear ya. Just do what you can until you get everyone out of the house again! πŸ™‚

I'm so sorry about what you have to deal with, nobody should face that kind of harassment! It's obvious to me that you're incredibly strong and I'm really proud of you! It's also amazing that you're keeping how you feel and your health as a priority over how you look/how you are judged ~ best of luck to you on your new journey <3

damn. eff those people (men). they pull up close to me and ask me to get in their cars, sit on their hands, etc. barf. eff them. i guess you should do your exercise during daytime in well lit areas with sidewalks. and people say we've got equality LMAO we have to wriggle away from men most of our lives. it's so inconvenient. we can't justt do what we want when we want. fuckers.

Words fail (yet it’s not surprising) about the loathesome treatment strangers have given you. I hear you on the drivers, too - recent driver here and they were always the enemy when I was pedestrian-only (and streets without footpaths are the pits).

But BRAVO to you for persisting in the face of all that and your consequent hatred of walking! Go, you!

Hey πŸ‘‹

In a similar position, I was put on diets as a kid and told I was fat by kids and my own mother who fed me the damn food. I have always loved sport and activity so I can totally relate with loving the feeling but also being so frustrated about the weight issue. I have PCOS - have you asked the doc to check for this? It can cause unreasonable weight gain and some people don't know they have it!

This abuse absolutely sucks - you do not have to put up with this. Please get yourself a camera and record your walks. In the UK if someone throws something out of a vehicle and hits you for example you can request their vehicle details if you know their number plate as it's an "incident". This is not ok, I'm so sorry people think they can treat you like shit but they can't.

Also, I hope you've considered this but if it will help you feel a bit more confident, get yourself a pepper spray (if legal) and a rape alarm or a strobing torch - anything to disable someones senses if you get in a pickle.

I know how hard it is to keep going but you're already on your way! Getting started is the hardest, even just walking the drive way is amazing on days you feel anxious to go out (and let's face it when you have jerks like this near you, who wouldn't feel anxious as hell sometimes).

I recently read some studies about walking - it's amazing how much benefit walking only 3,000 steps a day has on your heart health. There is no upper limit however, so each step really does add up! I'm rooting for you ☺ Keep it up!

Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply. As I've continued walking the last few weeks I've actually had people start behaving better on the road. Cars are slowing down and giving me space. People are nodding and waving. I feel like sometimes just getting exposed to the sight of a fat lady walking over and over every day makes it more acceptable and less something to mock or abuse.

That said... I've been averaging 6600 steps every day this month. (compared to 2400 steps a day in February and 1900 steps a day in January. My entire year average last year was 1600/day.)

I'm simply trying to go out and walk at least to the end of my driveway every day (whatever the weather) and I keep going about 95% of the time.

That's brilliant! It's always good to have those supporters. I think you're starting something here, there will be people who want to join you but don't feel brave until asked.

That's a huge increase, you're walking nearly 300% more now! I'm really impressed. 6,000 steps doesn't seem like much at all until you set off πŸ˜… I used to walk 10,000 steps a day before I got a bike and now I am absolutely amazed I used to hit that but I started exactly as you did, consistently walking every day and once you get the route you get a bug to see the steps increase and start to feel like it isn't a "normal" day if you didn't get out there.

Do you have walking shoes or do you prefer trainers?

Currently, I'm just wearing my wool Allbirds or my London Birkenstocks. My feet don't hurt, but the last day or two I've noticed my legs and hips are pretty achy, and I know shoe quality can actually help with that. I have super wide feet and once I find a shoe I like I stick with it for years. We're moving from the midwest (with lovely chilly, wonderful walking weather) to Houston, TX come the end of May and I know my routine is going to have to be revisited as I learn to deal with extreme heat and humidity and mosquitoes. BUT. My plan is to put on a swimsuit, coverall, shoes and walk to the neighborhood pool, swim, then walk back home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can take the heat for that length of time.

In the meantime, I should get back into yoga to stretch out my legs and hips a bit from all the walking.

One of the things that got me walking without any special shoes or equipment, or driving somewhere to go walking, was watching shows that take place in England. Everyone seems to walk walk walk everywhere. I was so jealous watching people just walking to their store, school, library, or to a park. My kids used to always want to walk with me, and my husband has asked to go walking with me, but for now, I'm just keeping it for myself. That way I can go at my own little personal snail's pace without worrying if I'm too slow for whoever is with me.

I used to work for a Women's Herbal Conference and in the 6 years I went, I never went on a single plant walk or group hike because I was so scared of being too slow, embarrassed about my limitations. But how can I ever stretch my limitations if I never get out there and move? For now, I'll just keep walking.