Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a friend at work. I was telling her about my running, and my goal to run a ten minute mile. I laughed when I told her about my seventeen minute time at the high school track–thinking I would be so fast on the flat surface and all. But still, generally, delighted that I can run at all. How good it feels to run fast on the downhill slopes on my road.
And she said, “man, when I used to ask if you wanted to walk out to the parking lot after work, you would say ‘only if you’ll walk really slow.’ And you walked REALLY slow.” And then she added, a little bit hesitantly, “and you breathed so hard. You were always out of breath…and you sighed a lot.”
Actually, this didn’t hurt at all. She for sure did not mean it to hurt. It was just a good reminder of how I used to live every day of my life. And I talked to her about how I sometimes watch people who I think are the same size as I used to be, and I really notice that they can’t walk fast. And I wonder about it. I have a theory that it is because they just can’t get enough oxygen to their muscles fast enough to move any faster than that. I wonder if part of it is psychological. Because if you take the next step any faster, you will feel the pain of that step sooner.
At the same time, I am mulling over (again) how it seems like you can’t say anything to help the overweight person. I recently read a blog by a young woman who is overweight and already has high blood pressure (sorry, can’t remember who/where it was.) And she said that she did not realize that she was overweight, and why didn’t someone say something to her. I find this hard to believe. I mean, I believe her. Its just from my own experience I find it hard to believe. I knew I was overweight. I knew I was ‘morbidly obese.’ I didn’t want anyone to say anything to me. And I was pretty guarded, or somehow put out the ‘vibes’ that I didn’t want to hear about it. But I wonder. If someone had said something to me, even though I would not have received it graciously, would it have helped me to move forward and lose the weight sooner? I’m not complaining, but man, its not easy to lose the weight at this age.
I am mulling all this over because I wish so much that I could say the right thing to help people know that they can lose the weight and live a healthier life. If you say something and it makes them mad, is it worth it to risk that because maybe they will get healthier sooner? Or does each person just have to come to that realization and decision for themselves? I guess that young woman who wrote the blog saying ‘she wished someone had told her’ really has me wondering.