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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting Harassed While On My Walk...nice

I could use a little advice. Tonight while I was taking my walk a man yelled: "Walk faster, you'll lose more WEIGHT!" I admit it, this really upset me. The confident, rational, grown-up *me* knows that the man who yelled this is 1. a coward, seeing that he was cloaked by darkness, and 2. pathetic...who gets their jollies harassing overweight women as they try to take a walk...I mean really?

The scared, embarrassed, still feels like a little girl getting picked on *me* wants to run and hide, anything to protect myself from thoughtless comments like that. I even considered not taking my nightly walk anymore, if only for a moment.

What really upset me is that I let this creep get under my skin. When it happened I just kept walking (it was dark, and I was alone). But, for the rest of my walk I fumed, and thought of witty comebacks, and ways I could have confronted the guy. As soon as I walked in the door though and saw my husband I burst into tears. I was so embarrassed, and angry.

This just stinks. I was feeling on top of the world during my walk, and then whamo! I know I am a strong person who happens to struggle when it comes to eating. Obesity has been a life long battle for me. This doesn't make me *bad* and I know I have as much right to walk down the street with her head up as anyone else.

So, I ask this of anyone who reads do you handle harassment over your weight? Does it ever happen to you? Does it make you feel like your back in middle school? What the heck should I do if I encounter this man again, and he continues to harass me?

I feel a little better already after venting a little. Mean people suck.



  1. Sorry to hear you went through that, it's not pleasant - I think the appropriate response is "bite me" but as you rightly point out you were on your own and it's not worth escalating the situation (which i guess is what's frustrating you, because you just want to punch people like that in the face) as you never know. What a loser the guy is. It really is juvenile.

    I remember walking to work a couple of years ago and some guy hanging out of his friends car window as it travelled past me, yelling obscenities and calling me names. I had a similar reaction to yourself in that i felt like crap and let it get under my skin and wanted to hatch cunning schemes of revenge...but, in the end, i just let it go - no other option as i wouldn't see them again.

    It is like being in school again, but it's also more serious too - really, what people like this are doing is taking one aspect of your physicality and calling you names/making remarks based on that feature...sounds the same as any other kind of discrimination to me. If this guy didn't have a problem with someone's weight, it would be their colour or their sexual orientation, short - he's a bigot! The world is unfortunately full of them. There is something about people like this that if you think about, shows just how pathetic they are - they have to be in shadows and talking to a lone female, or in a travelling vehicle so they can't be caught, or wearing masks, you rightly say, cowards...but all bullies are.

    In terms of a solution to your problem, you shouldn't have to do this, but are there other routes you can take, especially as nights are drawing in? What about a walking buddy?

  2. I had something like this happen to me at Kroger once. It really hurt my feelings, but I got over it. The guy was an ass, just keep walking and at your own pace. You are doing great and look you picked up another follower. ME!!!

  3. People sometimes SUCK. The human condition.

    But I handle it one of two , no three, ways:


    1. I make a joke out of it ("Why don't you hold a pizza out in front of me and make me.")

    2. I return the comment in such a way as to show they are being rude, "I would, if rude people would shut up." or "Why not buy an etiquette book. You'd gain manners faster."

    ~I'd keep quite, though, if I felt that answering would provoke more bad response. It's an intuitive thing. If you think it could turn ugly, best to ignore. Or even be unusually pleasant, "Yeah, thanks for the advice."

    ~Stay quiet but give the look of death if the person is close enough to see it. Hubby says I can look pretty scary when I do that, so it's my way of saying "F You" to a rude ass.

    You have to remember that they are idiots and not worth aggravating your day over. They likely feel they gotta pick on someone to feel better about themselves. It's how they get power and feel important.

    The way you win is to NOT allow them to disturb you more than the initial, minimal, automatic reflex of emotion. You tighten your warrior belt and rise above it. You tell yourself you're doing what you need to do and if idiots don't get that, you are deaf and dumb to them.

    And keep on going....

    I do agree that if you feel at all threatened, change routes or go to a safe walking space (ie, a mall with guards).

  4. Wow, thank-you guys for the thoughful responses!I've decided to take extended walks during the day with my little one at a park I know of with a nice little trail...a few loops is actually quite a walk, and she would appreciate the extra fresh air.

    Phil~ I agree with what you said about this being bigotry wholeheartedly. I've faced discrimination for sure...mostly when I used to weigh 350 lbs. several years ago. Ugh, the stories I could tell, but part of my lifestyle overhaul has been to work on being positive (although not annoyingly so) and living in the present momemt as much as possible...I'm going for the zen outlook. Finally, what you wrote about cunning schemes of revenge made me laugh, thank-you. :0)

    Debbie~ Thank-you for following my blog! I have to admit that as a new blogger that gives me a little boost. I guess your referring to the after 5k story that Lyn from Escape From Obesity wrote about? I was going to look for that story. I know this kind of stuff happens to overweight people all too often. It's nice to be able to find support like this.

    Princess dieter~I love that whole paragraph about tightening my warrior belt. I might actually print that out and hang it up on my fridge. Not letting it affect me beyond the initial emotional reaction...just very wise advice. Thanks.

  5. I am sorry that happened to you.
    Once I was in my front yard gardening when a couple of little pigs went by in a car and made oinking noises...I gave them the finger and then had to tell my 3 year old daughter that I was 'waving'.
    once I was on a walk and two young men were standing in front of their house snickering and saying...have a nice waaaalk.
    now they whistle and flirt. Not that I want them to, it just shows how stupid they really are.
    Hang in there and don't let it stop you from walking okay?

  6. Oh yeah, mean people suck and if I could figure out why they were so mean...I'd turn it off. Angie, I'd really love to have you as a follower of my private blog. I don't know your e-mail address though. If you would like to follow e-mail me at or ask for permission via Blogger. We're going to have a great community of people to help and support each other. Hope to see you there.

  7. Angie,
    That was a difficult situation: he was a coward and it was dark. Good to not make any waves or let him know what you were thinking.

    But, here is what I also think. These kinds of comments, and remember I am a supporter of you, hurt because they hit our triggers. I know for me, I would cower at such a comment because I would believe it. Plus I would know that someone called me on the fact that I am obese. You see I lived in a world of denial for years. That is why a comment like that would hurt me so much (after I took away the fact that it was night). Now I know, and I hope you do to, that the best medicine is to face those fears. Yes, you are obese, but you are making a difference by moving forward in taking care of your health. You will not always be obese, as a matter of fact there is a thin and fit Angie waiting to get out. Just as there is a thin and fit michele waiting and waiting to get out. Keep up your resolve to make a difference in your health and DO NOT, DO NOT allow him to have the power to allow you to binge. Stay strong. You are doing exactly what you need to. Stay the course.

    He is a CREEP!!! You are a winner!!!