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To find this irritating.... and a bit sad

(94 Posts)
Thatsnotapotato Mon 09-Oct-17 23:00:39

Basically, have, after many years of inactivity (no excuse, just laziness) I had a rude awakening one day in summer when I couldn’t kick a football with DS for more than five minutes before I needed to sit down. So, I started exercising quite seriously and this weekend, having not been able to run a mile in June, I ran my first half marathon. I am not going to lie, I feel pretty chuffed so I posted a sweaty, ugly, chuffedy-smiling photo of me crossing the finish line on instagram. I mean, I took HOURS to do it, but fuck it, I did it.

I will preface my irritation by saying I would be classed as slightly overweight. Probably about half a stone. I have been for many years, but I am very happy as I am, and my desire to exercise has never been about losing weight. It’s been about getting fitter, and I can’t tell you how good I feel mentally and emotionally as my fitness improves.

But, every congratulatory comment people have made to me recently, has been something like ‘the weight must be dropping off!’ ‘You look wonderful!’ ‘WOW-Your bum has really lifted!’ ‘You look great.’ (This is not a brag, believe me, I do not look great!!)

But I find I’m feeling mildly irritated that it seems as though the only bloody thing anyone can think to say about someone exercising is to do with their appearance. Is that honestly why people think other people exercise? I mean, of course, lots of people ARE doing it to try and lose weight but lots and lots and lots of people are just doing it for the enjoyment/the headspace/the fitness.

I feel a bit sad that we’re so focused on appearance that that’s what people just assume this stuff is about.

AIBU to feel irritated?!

Thatsnotapotato Mon 09-Oct-17 23:01:35

*no idea why there is a rogue ‘have’ in the opening sentenceconfused

Ttbb Mon 09-Oct-17 23:03:10

Yes. Most people would assume that you posted it on insta for the attention (and given that most people don't think of a half marathon as an achievement they probably assumed that you wanted the attention to be on your body).

Gingernaut Mon 09-Oct-17 23:03:19

It's a photo of you.

It's you appearing in your photo.

What else are they going to comment on?

AtrociousCircumstance Mon 09-Oct-17 23:03:19

It's irritating that people feel such liberty to post personal comments about your body. And since weight loss was nothing to do with what motivated you, it's also irritating because those posters are making blind assumptions that you think as they do.

Congratulations though!

Mulch Mon 09-Oct-17 23:06:32


Thatsnotapotato Mon 09-Oct-17 23:07:37

Oh I don’t know gingernaut maybe something about the fact that 13+ miles is a bloody long way to run when three months ago you couldn’t even jog to the corner shop.

And ttbb if I what wanted attention on my body I wouldn’t have posted a picture which makes it look like I’ve wet myself. But thanks for letting me know a half marathon isn’t an achievement. I now know my place.

OhHelp0hNo Mon 09-Oct-17 23:08:11

Ttbb how is a half marathon not an achievement?! confused
Well done OP sounds like you've been working really hard on your fitness and have made great progress. I think you are being a bit over sensitive though, the people saying these things are just trying to be complimentary.

RaininSummer Mon 09-Oct-17 23:08:59

Well I think a half marathon is an achievement. Also half a stone overweight isn't much especially if you are tackling it rather than going up in size so their focus seems odd to me.

BeanoNoir Mon 09-Oct-17 23:09:14

Most people don't think of a half marathon as an achievement? Why not? I think it's bloody amazing. Well done!

WorraLiberty Mon 09-Oct-17 23:11:16

It was a photo though, of course they were going to comment on your appearance in it confused

Ohmyfuck Mon 09-Oct-17 23:13:43

Ttbb. What?! Seriously, a half marathon is not an achievement?? What?!

ReturnofSaturn Mon 09-Oct-17 23:15:29

A half marathon is an achievement I would say, ignore the poster, most likely they have a touch of the green eyed monster.
But I do think if you post these kinds of pics to social media and you happen to be overweight then a lot of people will assume you're trying to lose weight by your running.

StigmaStyle Mon 09-Oct-17 23:16:12

most people don't think of a half marathon as an achievement wtf? I think it's amazing (and I exercise regularly).

Think is OP they probably just think that's what you want to hear - combination of lack of imagination, and experience. If you posted "wow you look so happy, well done" or something, some people would probably get paranoid that you weren't remarking on their slimness or whatever.

I was once unwell while abroad and lost 2 stone. When I got back people couldn't stop saying how fab I looked. I was ill! Luckily I didn't mind when I returned to my usual weight. But the only thing people could think of was that I must be so happy with my weight loss.

Well done btw star

backintown Mon 09-Oct-17 23:18:57

Bloody hell, I couldn't run to the end of my road at the moment, a half marathon is an amazing achievement, well done.

Not sure what to say on the weight thing though - although 'you look wonderful/great' could be that you look really healthy (which is a good thing!)? I'd take it OP, I miss being told I look great (& always used to brush it off, now I don't I realise that people actually meant it, wish I'd appreciated it). As for weight loss being prized - that is a far bigger societal issue - but perhaps a pic of the medal in your hand would have got the response you are looking for?

aaahhhBump Mon 09-Oct-17 23:20:40

Well done! It is totally about finishing. It's bloody mentally hard on top of the actual forward momentum.

I did my first 1/2 last week. Never again.grin until next time

thisgirlrides Mon 09-Oct-17 23:21:14

I completely understand op - I did a triathlon (sprint not full but fuck me it was still hard!) last year in similar circumstances i.e. Previously unfit, a bit but not massively bigger, & posted a self-indulgent yay well done me photo. Loads of really lovely comments but all bar one (my training buddy wink) gave a nod to my appearance in some shape or form: from wow great effort thisgirl you look amazing to look at your skinny thighs (ironic given I'm classic pear with small top & chunky bottom!). It is a shame that us women focus so much on appearance rather than achievement but as other have said, you put yourself on social media I guess you're inviting comment about the photo rather than the story behind it.
Eta doing my first half marathon next year & struggling g to get beyond 10k so big up respect to you and sod off to anyone who says it's not a big deal hmmenvy

thisgirlrides Mon 09-Oct-17 23:22:29

And bloody well done grin

Thatsnotapotato Mon 09-Oct-17 23:24:22

Thanks all. I guess I got carried away because I couldn’t believe I was actually crossing a finish line. Of anything. It hadn’t really occurred to me people would see it as anything else xx

Stigma wow! You poor thing you must have been really sick!!! Hope it wasn’t serious and no lasting I’ll-effects xx

doobeydoo Mon 09-Oct-17 23:25:56

Ttbb what a pointlessly bitchy comment, and OP I know what you mean, I swim for fitness and to control asthma and countless people have commented that swimming isn't great for toning and why not go to the gym instead ETC. So irritating. And well done you.

clumsyduck Mon 09-Oct-17 23:26:41

Iv had a few Facebook friends this year completing their first half marathons etc and posting about it and iv honestly not for a second thought about what they look like or that they have done it to lose weight ? Of course people may use running as a way to lose weight but You don't need to enter an actual race As some kind of conformation of this so I wouldn't ever think that was the reasoning behind them doing it iyswim .

And of course a half marathon is an achievement . Well done op

NoCryLilSoftSoft Mon 09-Oct-17 23:27:29

Fucking hell, I'm not overweight but I couldnt run the length of myself. If I ran 13 miles in 4 months time I'd be shouting it from the rooftops! It's definitely an achievement.

OP well bloody done!! I hope you had a celebratory glass or two and a big calorie laden takeaway to celebrate. I know I would grin

dnwig Mon 09-Oct-17 23:27:39 did it for the enjoyment and fitness and so you could play football with your it sounds like you achieved your goals.

It sounds like the irritating thing is other people not understanding your motivation. Most people like to be listened to and understood I think. So it's understandable to be a bit irritated.

It would be a pity if that irritation robbed you of your chuffedness though!
And I am sure your son likes it that you can play football longer. Those other people, does their reaction really matter?

Thatsnotapotato Mon 09-Oct-17 23:27:42

thisgirl and aaahhh - amazing!!!! Triathlon sounds like hell but bloody well done! And ahhh yes, the battle is totally in the mind, it’s amazing what you can talk yourself into doing!! grin

clumsyduck Mon 09-Oct-17 23:27:46

* confirmation

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