Crazy Ideas Overweight Runners Need to Leave in the Dust

It took a lot to get me to take that first step and begin running while considerably overweight. I learned to love it, but I spent years with crazy ideas about things I should and shouldn’t do as one of the overweight runners out there.

Even as the weight started to come off, I was still hanging onto these overweight runner fears and ideas. Only recently did I identify them and realize how crazy they are.

So, overweight runners unite and let’s get rid of these crazy ideas!

Crazy Ideas Overweight Runners Need to Leave in the Dust

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Crazy Ideas Overweight Runners Need to Leave in the Dust

People are Judging You

This one got me for way too long. I was nervous that people would look at me puffing along and think, “look at that fat girl trying to run.”

I finally realized, I never look at anyone that way. I’m proud of them for making changes and living healthier. Even if anyone does look and judge – who cares!? The problem or the insecurities will never change if you don’t get out there and do something about it.

I keep thinking of Phoebe from friends, “… and you don’t care if people are staring. It’s just for a second, ‘cuz then you’re gone!”

You Need to Cover Up

There is nothing more important than being comfortable while running. Many overweight runners feel like they should wear more layers than needed, they should cover certain areas, or they should keep things from jiggling.

When I first started running, I didn’t have any appropriate pants or feel like I could wear something form-fitting. I ran in thick sweatpants and over-sized cotton t-shirts.

Talk about uncomfortable!

Thankfully, I stuck with it and started to wear more appropriate clothing. I even began to feel confident enough to run without sleeves when I hadn’t worn a sleeveless shirt in public in a very long time.

The one thing I didn’t let go of for far too long was cinching my waist with a belt because I felt like I needed to stop my stomach from jiggling when I ran. I covered that thick belt with a compression tank and another tank or shirt on top of that. I can’t believe I did that for so long! It was so freeing when I finally ran without that belt.

Crazy Ideas Overweight Runners Need to Leave in the Dust

You can’t call yourself a runner

So many overweight runners struggle with calling themselves a runner. I still find myself saying I’m a “wannabe runner.”

Fact: If you run, you’re a runner.

You Can’t Enter Races

Don’t let the idea of a 5k or even a half marathon or marathon intimidate you. You can do it! They are also a lot less serious than you think. There are runners of all levels, and I bet you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find your place.

I was so nervous before my first 5k. I thought I’d be dead last because I had never run a full 5k before. I was a ball of nerves that morning, but I did it and I realized that I could do a lot more than I thought. I even went on to run the Biggest Loser Half Marathon without training, and found I could do that too!

Crazy Ideas Overweight Runners Need to Leave in the Dust

You Need to Run

There is no rule that says you have to go out there and run a full 6 miles straight to consider yourself a runner. If you put that kind of pressure on yourself, you’ll never get out there.

Run, walk, or crawl, you’re still better off than you would be doing nothing.

Running is freeing and doesn’t have to have all these crazy rules or pressure along with it.

You Shouldn’t Spend Money on Good Equipment

It so easy to say, “I’ll get the right shoes when I start getting better” or “I’ll get the right clothes when i get more serious about it.”

Get out of the hot sweatpants and cotton shirts. you’ll be a lot more comfortable and a lot better runner when you do. When you get the right shoes, you’ll be able to run better and more comfortably. The right clothing, belt, armband, or headphones will help you get further in your journey, so don’t wait.

Crazy Ideas Overweight Runners Need to Leave in the Dust

It Will Always Suck

It does suck at first. It’s hard to take those first steps and carry that extra weight forward. It’s difficult to learn to breath, to go even a little distance before feeling like you want to stop, and there will be bad days.

It does get better, and it does get easier. Before you know it, you’ll be doing things that you never thought were possible. Your idea of taking it easy will be going a distance or a speed you would have never thought you could.


What are some of your crazy ideas about running or any kind of fitness?

What would you tell a runner just starting out?


Kristin - Exploring Domesticity

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31 thoughts on “Crazy Ideas Overweight Runners Need to Leave in the Dust

  1. Kerri McGrail

    This is such a great post and perfect for anyone who may feel insecure about getting out there and running! I would definitely advise new runners as you have to invest in good equipment! Sweat wicking clothes, nice running shoes, and foam roller! Anyone can be a runner!

  2. Angela

    Great post! Everyone definitely needs good running shoes to prevent injuries from the start!! And anyone who runs is a Runner!! 🙂

  3. Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands

    Honestly when I see people out running of any size I say way to go, they are doing something active and there isn’t anything bad about that. Secondly I have a really good friend who is larger and she runs and runs long races. Some people wonder why she runs marathons or half marathons, she just wants to finish and do her best and I along with so many others are so proud of her. Way to get out there!

  4. Ilka

    It’s all about taking that first step. This post really reminded me of my beginnings in running and all my hang ups I had when I first started out. The joy I felt from running eventually diminished all these feelings. Pretty quickly it became clear to me that I never want to be without it anymore.
    Yes, eventually it does get easier. Keep Running!
    Ilka recently posted…Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies – yes, please!My Profile

  5. Abbey Sharp

    These are awesome tips. When I’m running, I just remind myself that I’m doing it for me and nobody else. I remind myself why I started running in the first place, and this helps my confidence alot! Keep up the good work girl.

  6. glenneth

    these are great tips, i am not a runner, but i know a lot of people who are. just remember why you are out there running and how it makes YOU feel. do what you want to and love!

  7. Cassandra @ Powered By BLING

    This is a great article for people that don’t think they have the right to call themselves a runner. I, too, was an overweight runner when I started. I could barely run 1 minute before I needed to walk 2 or 3. But I didn’t give up. I’ve since lost 85 pounds (and still going). I was always the back of the pack, like literally the very last runner with the police car behind me in all races. But I didn’t give up and it has changed my life! Kudos to you for empowering others to follow in our footsteps! If you run, you are a runner!
    Cassandra @ Powered By BLING recently posted…Run Walk Run: Motivation and Training Tips from Jeff Galloway No. 10My Profile

  8. Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit

    Every new runner should read this post! Such great perspective! I would tell new runners that forward is a pace. Don’t get caught up in the numbers all the time. Some of the best runs are done when you just give your legs the freedom to move!

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  10. Debra @ Bowl Me over

    Here’s something I learned. My good friend wanted to run with me, but I kept telling her no – she kept asking and one day I gave in. Jessica is a fast runner and I was very intimidated. Though I’m slow she appreciated that I found and kept a pace. We eventually worked our way up to running marathons! I came to love our Sunday morning run together and we always joked we could solve the worlds problems, because running enables you to see everything more clearly.

    Your post is spot on! Great info and inspirational!!

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