Too fat to run?

This morning a friend at work approached me to ask my opinion on something that had happened to her the night before.  It appalled me so much I had to write about it, so you guys will get to hear my opinion as well.

She was at the gym running on the treadmill (run/walk interval training) and when she finished she was approached by a young woman who worked at the gym and the woman told her “You know you shouldn’t be running.” asking for clarification my co-worker asked “Is it because treadmills are bad for your knees? Should I be running outside instead?” to which the woman replied “No, you shouldn’t be running at all, you’re too fat to run.  You need to lose another 50 pounds before you should start running”.  Of course, this was devastating to my co-worker who has worked hard and has already lost 15 pounds, but this woman, no matter how “well intentioned” her advice was WAY off base on SO many levels.

First and foremost, she gave her “advice” in the most insulting way possible with absolutely NO tact.  If that was her opinion that’s fine, but she should have had a good reason for it, such as an injury concern or something of that nature.  Not just being “too big”.. that’s not enough of a reason.

Second, as someone who started running at 355 pounds I can say for a FACT that my co-worker is NOT too big to run, and as a matter of fact NO ONE is.  You don’t have to run far or run fast to be a “runner”.  And if you absolutely cannot run, you can WALK.  We all walk everyday, but walking for fitness is different than walking around a store or walking at work.  If you walk with purpose you will walk faster, walk longer and walk further.  You can increase your heartrate with just walking if it’s brisk enough.

Lastly, to lose weight you have to do aerobic exercises.  Exercises that will get your muscles exchanging CO2 and burning calories.  You have to increase your heartrate to pump all that blood to the muscles, and also your heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body and just getting IT pumping burns calories regardless of what you’re doing with your legs.  Running is one of the BEST cardio exercises.  It uses those big huge muscles in your legs which are a FURNACE for burning calories.  You can’t tell someone they need to lose weight to run.  NO, you need to run to lose wieght! It’s that simple.

Don’t let ANYONE (including your own inner voice) tell you that you are too big to do ANYTHING especially not exercise.  Otherwise you will never be able to make the change.  Run, walk, cycle, swim whatever works for YOU. DO IT.

Like the Nike ads say… JUST DO IT.

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1 Comment

  1. amen.


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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.