Want to Start Running, But Overweight and Feel Embarrassed :(

Hi There:

I really would love to start running, and have done some research into how to start running (C25K), but there are a few things that are holding me back. I am overweight (trying to lose and have lost 8 lbs so far, yippee for me!) and I feel embarrassed when I run. Also, where I live it is cold and very wintry right now, and so I don't know if I should start now or wait until spring. So I'm just wondering if anyone is in the same boat as me or if you have any tips/suggestions, please share!




  • jyogit
    jyogit Posts: 280 Member
    i first started running on the spot in my small office at work. sure it was boring as hell but it got me used to breathing properly etc etc.. then i moved into the empty warehouse where i work .. great for running in cold weather. try the on the spot stuff first at home till you feel confident enough to go outside .. it helped me out ..good luck
  • Thank you! I will try this!
  • peachyfuzzle
    peachyfuzzle Posts: 1,122 Member
    If you wait until after winter, you'll be 4 - 6 months behind where you could have been if you started now.
  • Congrats on losing weight!! Way to go!!! I started about a couple months ago wanting to just walk. I have a gym that I go to and they have a track that is upstairs from the actual gym, but there are usually two or three people on it too. I felt embarrassed at first so I walked everyday for about two weeks then I decided to try to jog. I started to jog and would go as long as I could. Now this was only about 1/4 of the length of the track I use, but it was a start. Now I have gotten up to doing one lap jogging and one lap walking. At first I wouldn't go for a couple days and would end up back where I started but now I try to be as consistent as I can with this. Now that I have been going to the gym for a couple months, I don't know how to explain it, but I just stopped caring what other people thought. If they don't like what they saw when I'm jogging they could leave. I actually had a person come up to me in the gym and told me that they had noticed that I was there a lot and said to keep up the good job I was doing. That was such an awesome feeling; to know that someone I didn't know noticed I was busting my butt. Hopefully this helped you!! Again congratulations and way to go on your weight loss so far!! :)
  • scottacular
    scottacular Posts: 597 Member
    Treadmill at a gym? Cold shouldn't be a problem, once you're running you'll soon warm up.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    If you lived here, you could come watch me. I am still overweight and I am doing the C25K...although I wouldn't call what I'm doing "running." It's pretend running. More of a slow slog than a jog, really.

    I can walk faster than some of the "running" I do. But it's still a workout. Just going through the motions of running - even slowly - is so different than walking.

    I hope you try it. Don't worry about how you look. Remind yourself that this is going to make you look better and every day, you'll be healthier and look better, so this day is as bad as it will get. If you can get through this day, it'll be better every day after.
  • ka97
    ka97 Posts: 1,984 Member
    When I started, I think the mental part was harder than the physical. Even now, I still have days when I feel like fat girl trying to run. The thing is, it's largely in your head and you have to just get yourself past that mental obstacle. Just start. Build slowly, and it will get easier both physically and mentally. And try to remember that we ALL have good and bad running days, and it's the good days that will help you push through the bad days. Personally I found that running with someone helped me get through some of my insecurities. As for the weather, invest in some good coldwear and get out there. You'll actually appreciate the cold days once the heat of the summer comes.
  • Thank you all so much for your responses! I will definitely have to "get out of my head" and try to not care so much about what other people think, after all I am losing weight for me not anyone else.
  • lsgibbs83
    lsgibbs83 Posts: 254 Member
    I was almost 75 pounds overweight when I started running in the spring. At first I couldn't run more than maybe 15-20 seconds at a time. I now run in about 60 second intervals. I still have to alternate running and walking but I am getting stronger each time.

    As far as feeling embarrassed because of your weight, try not to worry about what others think. Everybody was a beginner at some time. What I found is that even the most experienced runners were encouraging and more than happy to share tips on proper form and breathing. Their encouragement really helped build my confidence.

    In the less than 6 months I have gone from sedentary to a run/walk as well as a hike with a friend today. If I can do this, you can!

  • StrawberryJam40
    StrawberryJam40 Posts: 274 Member
    My last weigh in was at 231. I am now ready for Week 2 Day 2 of the Couch 2 5K. I am doing the treadmill version because I don't want to be out in the cold and snow. I also don't have anything I can load the app on to do it outdoors at the moment and be happy tracking my timings.

    I am loving it. Don't know how many weeks past the 9 weeks it will take me, but I'm doing it. I could care less what others think when they see me. This is for me, not for them.

    There is a C25K group on here that has some excellent posts. Best advice...slow pace. Speed will come later. I only walk a 3.3-3.5 and only jog a 4.7-4.8. It's enough for me!

    Go for it!
  • sheldonklein
    sheldonklein Posts: 854 Member
    Consider running at your local high school track if you want "privacy"
  • Ishii19
    Ishii19 Posts: 115 Member
    I'm a pretty new runner - about a year - and what I've found reading stuff online and passing other runners out on the road is we are a very inclusive group. So if you are red faced, jiggly, wheezy, plodding along sloowly running any runner you see is mentally (or sometimes verbally) cheering you on, thinking "I've been there! Keep at it - it's worth it! Good for you!" And as for non runners - well as they say no matter how fast you run you're lappin everyone on the couch! Be proud :) get some light fleece layers or a treadmill and shake it!
  • stackhsc
    stackhsc Posts: 439 Member
    get a decent used treadmill that has a weight limit that matches your current weight. Start now! :) have fun and take it outside when you start to feel comfortable. Find a running group. All the ones i have gone to are very supportive :)
  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
    Before I started running, I was worried people would look at me and judge me for being overweight. They really do not care, they've got their own things to worry about. You've got your own things to worry about too!
    Usually if I see people running, I say hi, it's a tight knit community.
    It doesn't matter if you can't run 10 minutes straight, you're exercising to improve that.

    It is cold and wet, probably worth investing in some cheap technical layers and a lightweight jacket. If it's super icy where you live, it might be worth getting a gym membership for a treadmill , etc?
  • chesnity3
    chesnity3 Posts: 960 Member
    I just started seriously running in August and could only go for 5 minutes (took a year on and off to get here). I started c25k a month later at 210 pounds and just yesterday I ran my first ever 5 miles at 185 (45lbs overweight). Don't worry what anyone else says or think, because at the end of the day your opinion is the only one that matters.
  • lLionMindl
    lLionMindl Posts: 76 Member
    Take it slow & just remind yourself everyone has to start somewhere
    As time goes by you will feel better & better with more confidence each time
    Hope this helps
  • Lesleycali
    Lesleycali Posts: 236 Member
    As someone who runs regularly I do notice other people running and always say hi. I think other runners are pretty darn awesome for being out there, regardless of size, age, or current ability etc… Go for it!
  • dodgethepodge
    dodgethepodge Posts: 23 Member
    I'm a gym girl... can't deal with the cold so well! I bared it one winter while training for a marathon (I lost a lot of weight that way!... put it back on after though :neutral_face: ) So, make your choice of gym or outdoor but don't accept the excuse of cold to stop you exercising!

    Also... feeling embarrassed I understand because I once felt that too. Trusth is, after exercising, more and more, you realise that noone else cares about what you look like. You'll get judgey people thinking of your size sure (I get it-there's always one with 'that' look), but they'd think that whether you're exercising or not... at least you are working on your health!

    Also... you're not going to make a change if you don't start somewhere!
  • Okapi42
    Okapi42 Posts: 495 Member
    Go for it - c25k is great! But to stay comfortable, invest in a good sports bra, and in running tights, don't just go in sweats. No, I'm not crazy - you can wear something else over them. But if you're significantly overweight, they'll minimise the annoying "belly bounce" you can get otherwise...
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    Never wait. There will always be a reason to NOT run. I might not have the overweight runner cred to tell you how you should feel, but when I see overweight runners, I see someone who is busting their *kitten* harder than I do. I can't imagine the mental and physical challenges overweight runners have to overcome. Being embarrassed is the last thing you should care about. Real runners will be supportive and admire you for getting out there. Go to a running store, get fitted for shoes, and sign up for a 101 class. You won't be the most overweight person there, I guarantee it.