I was going to tell you all about how I found a massive spider in my room this morning and how it took me ages to catch it and try and relate it back to fitness but the only thing that was going to do was confirm your suspicions about me being an idiot with too much time on my hands.
Instead, I thought I would share this with you. It is an open letter to somebody who was heckling an overweight girl who, much to my delight, doesn’t get upset about it. Instead, she decides to respond publicly to this person.
The best part is, although the asshole in question might not see the letter, a lot of people who are guilty of doing, or even thinking about doing something similar when they see an overweight person putting in the effort might see it and feel like a total gobshite for being such an asshole.
Take it away Lindsey…
“An open letter to the idiot who thought it was ok to heckle me with fat jokes on my run yesterday,
Your comment was a clear indication of both your incredibly witty repartee and a feat of observational comedy. I am indeed a big girl, and I am indeed beautiful. Thanks for noticing. I’m not sure who you were telling I was fat, you clearly have eyes, and the only other people present were me and my boyfriend. I assure you that despite your concern I do own a mirror, and my boyfriend has seen my fat body as he too has eyes. Don’t tell anyone but I think he might even like it.
Normally I don’t get militant about these things, idiots are idiots. However, I can see why comments like these might put a person less confident than me off from running, and that is shameful. Everyone starts somewhere. Let me make one thing very clear, I am not ashamed of my body. It has never stopped me from doing anything I want. My fat body has done things that you, hanging out of the window of your babe-magnet white van could only ever dream of.
My fat body has been swimming in crystal clear Thai seas that you have probably only ever seen on TV. It has lived in countries you wouldn’t dream of visiting and been a part of cultures you are too small-minded to appreciate. My fat legs have carried me up mountains on more than one occasion. My fat brain speaks languages you probably don’t see the point of learning, which is why you spend your time hanging out of van windows since you have nothing better to occupy it with.
Recently I made the decision to get fit as I thought it would be a fun thing to do, and good for my health. Not that I have to justify my body to you, but I have a goal to run 10k, and I will get there. I’m a stone lighter than I was, and can do a whole host of things I couldn’t do before. It baffles me that anyone would try to discourage that kind of effort. Excuse me if my assumptions about you are wrong, but I only have your actions to go by. If my fat arse running (quite slowly I might add, I was bloody shattered) offends you and spoils your journey, try driving with your eyes closed, into a lamp post.
But in all seriousness, now I have written this, I feel sorry for you. Your behaviour is not normal, and your manners are well below par. Most importantly though, I forgive you. Here’s hoping that anyone with a goal, fat or thin, isn’t put off by this kind of thing. I know I haven’t been.
Engage your brain before opening your mouth.
The really shit part about this is that shows like The ‘Biggest Loser’, ‘Operation Transformation’ and even that ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ thrive on a dumbed down version of this behaviour.
It’s messed up.
It also reminds me of the reason that a very high percentage of our clients start with us and leave public gyms.
The gyms are intimating, cold, weird places most of the time and they are full of assholes that will point and stare at beginners that are just doing their best.
Bryan Kavanagh BSc. CSCS