Running Happy in Petersfield

I put my big brave pants on this morning and went for my run on the roads instead of hiding at the heath like I usually do. I’m taking part in a Poppy Run Challenge from Virtual Runner UK to try and complete 33k over the month of November and I wanted to get a few extra km under my feet to head me towards the target.

I popped my Royal British Legion running top on and crept out of my front door to start what I was hoping would be a 7km run / walk for today.

Now I’m a plus sized person running – that is usually something that makes people take a double look at me anyway but by adding highly noticeable shirt to the mix I felt like I was making myself a target. I’ve not yet had a run on the road where some sarcastic comment hasn’t been made about my weight by a passer by or a ‘comedy’ comment about how I need to run faster and those are the ones I actually hear. I’m sure people say things too quiet for me to hear over my music or think not particularly nice thoughts. That’s one of the reasons I don’t run on the road – it’s much easier for me to hide at the heath and keep my eyes firmly on the ground.

But not today. Today I was going to be brave so I set out around 9:30am and jogged my way around the town.

I don’t know if it was the top or just that all the nice people were out and about today but there wasn’t one comment. A couple of people even gave me thumbs up from their cars as they drove past and I got lots of nods and smiles from other people walking around. I couldn’t believe the difference it made.

I smiled and enjoyed myself for just over 50 minutes of running around the town and I was in a brilliant mood when I got home. I chuckled remembering the driver of a silver Nissan giving me a double thumbs up and her children in the back doing the same.

It’s not easy loosing weight – it’s a damn sight easier putting it on that’s for sure but I am trying. I’ve only been running for a few months and with over 4 stone to loose I’ve got a long journey ahead of me but because of today I’m slightly less afraid of it. I’m slightly less worried about going out and having people look at me as the fat girl running. I am a fat girl running but I am still running.

So if you see an overweight, red faced and very very slow runner making her way round Petersfield please don’t knock this new found confidence I’ve got. Please don’t make funny comments about my weight or how I’m not very fast because I might ignore you or look away but I guarantee you they weigh me down more than any cake I’ve ever eaten. Comments like that stick with you and when your brain is telling you that you are too tired to go on those are the words that you hear repeating back. Those words and those looks are the devil on your shoulder telling you to stop and that you were never good enough anyway. Those sly looks and mimes of how I look when I run are what stop me from being brave enough to leave the house.

But because some people were kind and took no more than two seconds out of their day to smile at me I now have an angel on the other shoulder helping me to ignore the cruel words and instead focus on the encouragement from strangers.

So thank you Petersfield. Thank you for being kind to me today. Please can it stay that way?

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