It’s not so bad being THAT girl
(That’s me before going out for my run on Monday!)
I never thought I would ever want to be labeled as that girl. You know, the one that people stare at. The one that people probably talk to someone else about and comment about. Just that girl. But on Monday, that’s how I felt. Turns out, it wasn’t all that bad.
If you live in Chicago, then you know how busy the lakefront path can get when it’s warm outside. The lakefront is probably my #1 favorite place in all of Chicago. It’s beautiful, peaceful, full of life, and just a great place to go and get away from anything on your mind. Whether you like to picnic, lay out, go for a walk, bike, roller blade (hey, I’ve seen it), drink a cocktail in the sun, or run like me – the lakefront is a fantastic place for so many things when the weather is right.
So, how was I that girl on Monday? I was the 7 ½ month pregnant lady running along the lakefront path. Yes, running. I always knew I would continue running when pregnant. It’s just a part of me and running is a very big part of my life. I have been running throughout my entire pregnancy but almost all of it has been in the gym on the treadmill (stupid polar vortex). I got a few looks there but not much because most people see me there a lot, know I work out, and they do the same so it’s really not a big deal. But once I stepped out into the real public with so many other Chicagoans, I could definitely feel the looks coming.
Let’s be clear, due to the fact that I am 7 ½ months pregnant, I was not running fast by any means. But I was running, enjoying myself at a leisurely pace. I could feel the random looks I would get as I was running past people. They weren’t necessarily bad looks but just looks that said “whoa, really? You’ve got a big belly and you’re running with it?”
In fact, at one point, I stopped at the water fountain (I made sure to stop at each one I saw to stay fully hydrated) and when I turned around, the girl waiting in line behind me goes “whoa!” I was a little startled! She apologized and said “I just didn’t realize you were pregnant!” It made me laugh and I actually thanked her because I suppose that meant from the backside I didn’t look like the large person that I feel like some days. 🙂
I realized that I don’t care if people look at me and stare while I’m running even though I always thought I would. I shouldn’t worry so much about what other people might be thinking. Who cares! I’m doing something that I feel good doing, is doctor approved, and I’m taking it slow. It makes me feel great and it was one of the best runs I’ve had in a long time.
I bring all this up because it made me think about something I always read about and have heard from some people – being too intimidated to exercise. I hear it all the time. There are people who truly want to work out but are embarrassed to go to the gym. Whether it’s due to weight, poor form, or just worrying about looking silly trying to use a machine, people avoid the gym (or running outside) for these reasons. They don’t want to get looks or have anyone stare. And that makes me sad! I understand that it might be very uncomfortable at first to get yourself to the gym if you’re one of these people. It’s a foreign place and if you’ve never worked out before you feel like you’re going to be that girl, or guy, who doesn’t know what they are doing or gets weird looks.
Embrace being that person. Be proud knowing that you are going out of your comfort zone to do something for yourself – improve your health. There are so few things you can control in life and you can’t always control everything about your health, but you can have more control over that than so many other things. It’s YOUR choice.
If you are intimated by the gym, start small. Go with a friend so they can make you feel more comfortable. Or start by going outside for a walk and getting used to doing some physical activity. Buy a workout DVD that will teach you some different exercise techniques so you know something before you get to the gym.
Above all though, hold your head high and remember everyone has to start somewhere. The guy at the gym who looks like he knows how to use every machine in the gym? Someone had to teach him. The girl on the treadmill running 7 minute miles? She had to build up to that. It doesn’t just happen for them.
So get yourself some new workout clothes that make you feel confident, step outside your comfort zone, and embrace any looks you might get. Most likely they are looking at you impressed at your effort. Take control of your health with confidence.
I want to encourage you to follow along in my health journey through what I learn and experience. I hope there is something you can take away from Fit Busy Female that inspires you to start taking control of your health and feeling better every day.