Building Confidence – From Fat to Fit

Written by Ann Brennan

Building ConfidenceLast week, after stepping on the scale and realizing that I weigh more than I have in over twenty years, I realized that I had quietly been using a word I despise for months. FAT. I hate describing anybody, even myself that way. It is a demeaning word. It is a demoralizing word.

I realized that with the use of that word I have beaten the confidence out of myself. I walk with stooped shoulders. I wear clothes that cover my fat and worse than that I avoid going out where I might run into anybody who knows me. (On a side note, when meeting someone you notice has gained weight please don’t say, “So, are you still running?” We know what that means. We know you recognize how much weight we have gained. It is not helpful.)

After seeing this new Ann in my mind’s eye, I knew I needed to do something to help build back the confidence. Yes, I am working out. I am eating better and I know this will get me back to a reasonable weight but what about morale? How do I go about feeling better about myself? The more I thought, the more I realized that gaining confidence is not easy. But still, if I have learned anything in training over the years it is that every little bit counts. Every ounce of positive I add to my life reduces the negative by just enough to start tipping the scales.

Saturday morning I was sweating bullets as I prepared for my longish run. I had agreed to meet some RWB Annapolis members for a run. Some were people who know me, people who would see how far I had fallen. Others were people who did not know me and would make certain assumptions about me based on my weight. My lack of confidence almost made me cancel. But I did not. I pushed through the discomfort and headed out the door.

As we stood beside the trail trying to decide who would run with who, we started sharing the distances we would be running. When I said I would be running 8 miles, jaws dropped. The group was almost all newbies, people for whom 8 miles was a feat. Instantly, I realized that even at this weight I am still a runner.

Even better, as I started running, I understood just how much it takes to carry this much weight around and I was able to find a positive. If I am carrying this much around now, I am my own resistance trainer. I will get stronger with every run and eventually the weight will come off. And best of all, when it does, I will be carrying around this lighter frame with the same body structure that carries this bigger one, making running so much easier in the long run.

I understand there is a long way to go. But I have said it before and it still stands. There is only one way to eat an elephant – one bite at a time.

Ann's Running CommentaryIf you like Ann’s Running Commentary – check out my YouTube Channel.

For more inspiration and motivation to lace up your shoes and get out there subscribe to my podcast.

Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About Ann Brennan

Ann Brennan is first and foremost a mom of three beautiful children. She is the managing editor of Beyond Limits Magazine and the creator of Ann’s Running Commentary. In 2012, Ann took Ann’s Running Commentary to new levels – first with a segment on the RunRunLive Podcast, chronicling her journey to her first Ironman and second, with a new channel on YouTube. Currently Ann is working on a non-fiction book series and working hard every day to remind people to get up, get active and get out there.
Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Building Confidence – From Fat to Fit

  1. Love this “Every ounce of positive I add to my life reduces the negative by just enough to start tipping the scales.”

    You know what that reminds me of – ‘how do you eat an elephant … one bite at a time’,

    These are such important things, so critical to overcoming any daunting challenge – I use it with my kids when they feel overwhelmed to the point of inaction, and with my wife when we have so much stuff to do and deal with. It is easy to let the lists and fears and anxieties pile up until you don’t know where to start … but I DO know where to start …

    First, set aside the things you cannot control. And we all have them – they are important but we cannot take action. Then move to eliminate either long-term or non-critical items. Take the remaining list and suddenly it isn’t as scary. Then eliminate one thing, and it is even less scary.

    There is a woman in our development who runs, but not over the winter does she run outside, so it is only recently I have seen her out. And she clearly put on weight – she is just over 5 ft, so yes, I could see it since she wore the same things as last fall. So what did I say? ‘Gorgeous morning for a run’. And we will cross paths about once a week, like this morning, and her pace has improved and weight dropped, and she is visibly happier being seen – since she saw ME go from fat-to-fit …

    You’ve got this, Ann. And we’re here for you.
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Running into the Headwinds of Life, Abs Challenge, and Three FilmsMy Profile

  2. Erik says:

    Yes, you’re still a runner. Like Michael said, you got this. It’ll come (er, go) with time and hard work (as you know!!). I’m afraid to get on the scale since I’ve done basically nothing since November. My clothes still (kinda) fit- though my 32’s are sssssnnnnuuuuugggg and a few small t-shirts are tight…ugly tight. I’m the skinny fat guy, now. I’ve even been avoiding reading posts from awesome bloggers, like you, for fear that you can ‘see’ me 🙂 I’ll keep up with yours. I’ll keep rooting for you! Keep at it!!
    Erik recently posted…Redefining myself as an athleteMy Profile

  3. Jamie says:

    Thank you for the post! I struggle with the positiveness and confidence through weight loss. A good strategy is to learn to appreciate all that your body can do at this moment in time, not what it can’t do.
    Jamie recently posted…What’s The Best Makeup Foundation?My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge