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take a walk

May 17, 2016

My primary form of exercise at the moment is walking.  Yes, I also have an elliptical machine, some resistance bands, balance balls and a yoga DVD I actually enjoy…but a big hang up for me when it comes to exercise is how much time it wastes.

Yeah, I realize it isn’t actually wasted.

Tell that to my brain.

Anyway, like I said I walk. Outside.  To get places.

I walk fairly slowly, I average about a 30 minute mile right now.  I walk from my house to the BART station, which is between a half mile and three quarters of a mile, depending on which route I take. At lunch, I walk about a mile. And of course, I walk home from the BART station.

On the days I’m not in the office, I try to get out and walk to run errands.  I used to have about a half mile radius I could walk, which would get me to Starbucks, Target, CVS, the movie theater, and a few places to eat.

This was mostly due to the ongoing back problem, which only escalated when I first got the job I’m currently in, due to a really badly set up chair. However, in the last few months, with getting the chair fixed, doing all of my exercises and increasing my nortriptyline dosage slightly, I have found an amazing new ability to walk longer and further.

Now I can walk to the grocery store and so much more.

Needless to say, this means that I am a fat woman out walking in public.  And I sweat.  One look at me and you know that this is work. More so as the season warms up and the sweat stains spread. Not that I’m embarrassed of my sweat.  No, I’m proud of it.  Sweat means I’m actively working to improve myself.

I do however sometimes fear something.  You know, as a fat person, I’m used to name calling, laughing and pointing, and shouted insults from moving cars when I’m out in public. Doesn’t mean they don’t hurt.  Sure, it bothers me.  But I’ve learned to tell myself that those narrow minded idiots don’t matter in the grand scheme of my life.

There are hundreds of blog posts and internet articles bemoaning these people and rallying for body acceptance and telling us to love ourselves. And I believe in loving myself.  Most of the time I do love myself and my body.

But I’ve noticed something in the last couple of months.  While I’m out walking, people actually meeting my eyes and smiling.  People who are out running doing the same.  When I’ve paused my walk to deal with one of my many body malfunctions (one knee or the other suddenly hurting, back pain, asthma, etc…) or the fact that I’m going to keel over from the heat, and I’ve sat to catch my breath, people don’t make jokes (that I can hear anyway).

Maybe I just live in a really polite town. Maybe the memo has finally been seen and read, the one that says shame doesn’t work, or maybe the one that says “Don’t be a dick”…or maybe my own confidence in someway instills a different attitude in the people around me.

I don’t know…but I’m enjoying it.

I’ve ordered a cart for shopping so that I can walk to get groceries.  We’ll see if that alters anything.  For now, I’ll just enjoy being treated like a person who happens to be fat, rather than like a fat person.

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