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MARI-SERV SparkPoints: (0)
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9/20/13 6:27 A

Give them your beautiful smile emoticon

RABBLE-RABBLE SparkPoints: (11,507)
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9/19/13 7:02 P

I look at someone who is exercising (whether it's on a bike, walking around the neighborhood, hiking, in the gym, etc.) as someone who shares my desire to become a healthier person and would never give them a disparaging look or word. People that do that are quite thoughtless and insensitive in my opinion.

BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
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Posts: 337
9/19/13 12:25 P

Not too long ago I started boot camp . Do you think I don't get looks by the skinny ones who have been doing this for years!!!!! I do too!!! But I care less, I am getting my body fit, its mine, and I concentrate on me.. If you really want to get fit, you CANNOT let those things get to you. Because you will fail, and they will move on with their fitness. So you IGNORE and keep up those hikes and activities for YOU ......:]

DECLARE74 Posts: 2,161
9/19/13 4:13 A

I know the looks you mean, I got them for a while at a gym I went to and it really peeved me off .... and then I thought shallow minded little twits, half my age, half my size how dare they judge me ... so every day I would go in and say a big cheery hello then work out and as I was leaving say to the on duty trainer "see you tomorrow" and you know what I often didn't see those snarky misses in there as often as I was, the regular gym goers (the ones that looked real intimidating) quickly became a little friendlier even pointing out how much I'd improved or saying "looking good" etc and I thought to myself "YES" now I'm not saying I never had any new snarky misses come on the scene but the original ones all stopped snarking the minute they saw I was sticking at it :-)

If you and your hubby have regular hiking spots and go at similar times you will have the same thing ... you'll see the odd dork or shallow person that judges but you will also see those that have seen you there before and will look at you with friendliness and respect

All the best

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 16,790
9/17/13 1:55 P

I can only speak for myself. When I am exercising I am in a zone and I am usually wearing my ugly face. It is because I am thinking really hard and have a tape playing in my head of pushing myself.

Sometimes with my ugly face on I may look in your direction and it may look like I am giving you a dirty look. When in all actuality I don't even see you. I am in the zone.

Maybe it is this way with other hikers?

VKKESU Posts: 1,000
9/17/13 1:45 P

Sounds like you answered your own question. They are snobs in a rich neighborhood who think the hiking path should belong to only "their little club". It has nothing to do with you personally. They probably look this way at anyone not from their neighborhood. I've seen this before in "nice neighborhoods" who try to change it to private walkways and it never happened.

Keep enjoying the walk, just smile and know you have done nothing wrong.... and I agree, love the hiking !!

ROBBIEY SparkPoints: (351,786)
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9/17/13 12:04 P

Keep working out and don't take on their negativity. Keep moving forward.
Don't even worry about those dirty looks; people can be mean.

CANDACEMM Posts: 1,218
9/17/13 11:29 A

I'd smile and wave. Maybe even say hello. Kill negativity with kindness.

9/17/13 9:25 A

Who cares what other people think? That's their own reality---if they want to be a jerk, then they will be a jerk. It doesn't have to change your day. You're doing great! Hiking is wonderful and you are just as entitled to be out there as anybody else! Don't let the jerks get you down--there are plenty of nice people too!

JUNKDRAWER Posts: 1,253
9/17/13 9:01 A

Totally get what you are saying. I hate an audience of any kind when I am excercising. BUT, my motto is "I'd rather be a fat person out working my tail off, than one sitting on the couch."

If anything, it's amazing that you're out and about and hiking everywhere because not everyone can, including a thinner person. I always hope that when people see me, they see a person that DOESN'T fit their image and perceptions of a person my size.

9/16/13 11:53 P

Well, those dirty looks suck and I agree that a smile and wave could yank them out of their nastiness. I know I periodically try to rearrange my face when I'm running because I'm sure I'm making a scowling face when I'm actually just concentrating and working really hard in order to make it to the end of the run! That might be the case with some people too?

OUTDOORGAL1 SparkPoints: (12,256)
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9/16/13 9:58 P

Some people are just strange and behave oddly --sounds like these might by some of them. The only possibility I can think of is that they may be overly officious "stickler" types on some kind of hiking etiquette??

To, me, its more rude to be an etiquette stickler than to not follow some supposed rules, but I suppose it takes all kinds.

MICHELLEWARNER SparkPoints: (151)
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9/11/13 5:02 P

I live near a similar area as you. Upscale neighborhood where there is a lot of judgement. About money, body image, pretty much everything. If you don't look like, dress like, drive like, live like them, you are not welcome. I get it.

I disagree with the, "You must be doing something wrong" thought. We are all judgemental in our own ways, whether it's warranted or not. I absolutely believe and understand you are not doing anything wrong and that you really are getting less than supportive looks.

Many posters have hit it right on the head. Those folks have their own problems to worry about and are projecting those problems on you.

I would recommend not to be like them and judge them back. Feel sorry for them. Something is so wrong in their lives, they are so unhappy, that they have no choice but to project that onto those around them. When you see the looks, smile your warmest smile. Tell yourself that these people are hurting, (they are), and need your love and support, (they do). If you believe in a higher power of any kind, say a prayer for them, asking that they find what it is they are seeking. And then walk on.

It is in our lowest, most challenging moments that we find our greatest strength. For you, it may be on these hikes that you discover how strong and forgiving you really are!

Hang in there! You can do this! :-)

9/10/13 4:43 P

I think those "dirty" looks probably have nothing to do with you. But really, if some jerk IS trying to give you a mental signal that you are aweful, why would you care what such a person thinks. They are just terrible.

YOLANDA217 SparkPoints: (45)
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9/10/13 3:39 P

Strangers and let’s face it, sometimes friends and family too, can be judgmental. And it’s hard because we are all human. My advice would be to keep getting encouragement from those who support and love you. While you’re hiking, focus on your husband…maybe listen to music…anything to distract yourself from the negativity.

Best wishes and keep hiking!

LSANGANGE SparkPoints: (10,484)
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9/10/13 3:16 P

People are just plain rude!!! Ignore them....this is your world to enjoy and walk around on as much as it is their's.

Enjoy your hike, Enjoy your husband....Enjoy your life emoticon

9/10/13 9:54 A

I agree with the other posters - feel good about yourself and the fact that you're trying to better yourself. Smile at them and just keep on hikin'. emoticon

9/10/13 9:39 A

They could just be tired too!

Sunday morning I went for a run in my neighborhood and an older lady was running with her husband in the opposite direction. She gave me a crummy look, but I was probably giving her a wierd look too because she was wearing lipstick. Who wears makeup when they run?

Anyway, some people just have a perpetual scowl on their face and are generally not friendly. I get those types of looks too and I am athletic-looking. Who freaking cares? You only have control over your own attitude, and if someone else wants to have a miserable life full of dirty looks that is their own prerogative. Just smile to yourself and enjoy the beautiful park.

CHARMAINEK1 Posts: 354
9/10/13 7:46 A

don't let people make you want to stop , keep going it makes you happy, if they have paid for the hiking trail and they own it then yes but I don't think so , you have the right to be there as well so when they do that smile and just keep going emoticon

ETHANSMAMA2013 SparkPoints: (832)
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9/9/13 11:12 P

Ignore them! Who cares what those haters think! You're awesome! You have every right to be proud of yourself. You're making those important changes and taking those first steps.

MYAKAYAH Posts: 10,353
9/9/13 9:42 P

Basically I would just ignore rude people since they have bigger issues than giving others dirty looks and the outdoors is for everyone! I read a saying that goes "Its not your business to care what others think about you." At least you are trying to improve yourself~

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (66,733)
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9/9/13 2:32 P

Hmmm...I'm in the NW too and this is not the kind of attitude that is typical in the outdoors in my experience.

Maybe they are just very focused and you are interpreting the rest through the lens of your own insecurity.

ROXIELU0422 Posts: 317
9/9/13 2:13 P

THEY are the ones with the problem. Don't let it get to you. You are there bettering yourself.

I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, so I would say something to them, but it wouldn't be nice. :-p

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
9/9/13 1:47 P

It's a neighborhood that you're hiking in? Like, with houses?

It's possible they give dirty looks to EVERYONE. Especially if they're rude in general.

GARDEN_GNOME SparkPoints: (780)
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9/9/13 1:37 P

I agree with the smile and wave method. If they are getting on your nerves then I may take it a little further and say what another member suggested " its a lovely day for a hike, isn't it?" Give them a giant smile and keep on.

Or you could call them out on it and make a joke like " I heard there were donuts up here" laugh at them and then say "just kidding!" And keep on going. :-). This option may sound catty but so is their dirty looks so......

9/9/13 9:28 A

I agree with the others, smile and a short if you feel like it! Don't let it put a damper on your hike!

MLAN613 Posts: 17,357
9/9/13 8:16 A

Online Now  • ))
Lots of great suggestions. Personally, I love the idea to say "hi" or "great day for a hike" and said with a smile. A friendly greeting a lot of times can break what appears to be a friendly greeting.

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (22,539)
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9/8/13 6:56 P

I love hiking too. If we crossed paths I would probably smile on the inside, even if feeling too shy to look you in the eye or say hello. I would feel happy to see someone on their way towards better health.

So just walk away, and feel stronger for it! Focus on enjoying your hike. Smile, breathe deeply and let any unwelcoming glances slide off you without leaving a permanent mark. Remember you have just as much right to hike and experience nature as anyone else have.

ANNAERA SparkPoints: (0)
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9/8/13 6:47 P

I don't have a dog and we did move away. The neighborhood we were hiking in is filled with upper class people, many of whom are rude in general. We hate driving through there because of the attitude of the drivers etc.

The park though is one of the prettiest this side of the state, right there with Flaming Geyser and Tiger Mountain. They were just being rude.

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
9/8/13 6:31 P

people can be strange sometimes...just know that you are doing the right worry about it as they have their own issues...........go get that body you want.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (179,173)
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9/8/13 6:11 P

I'm wondering if you're unknowingly doing something that's annoying people, like not moving slightly to the side when someone is oncoming, or having a large dog off leash.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 9/8/2013 (18:13)
AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (66,733)
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9/8/13 5:04 P

I always did outdoor activities, even when I weighed more than you do now, and nobody ever gave me a disapproving look. Odd.

I wonder if you are breaking some other rule of the road...walking on the wrong side of the trail? Making a lot of noise? Have a dog that is off-leash?

Could this be in your head?

In any case, IGNORE and just keep moving. You have as much right to be there as anybody else.

MICHAELABYRD95 SparkPoints: (1,549)
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9/8/13 3:18 P

I used to jog around my apartment building at night because there were two very steep, large hills to go up and down. People made such rude comments like, "He blonde, why you in a hurry?" These little stupid kids would yell at me saying, "You need to run!" when I was going down that hill. Jerks that looked like they were in middle school would say, "Dang, she's so stupid!" I wasn't living in some apartments that had nice people.

Well, I look back now and I look at my sexy toned calf muscles and shin and the top part of my legs and the backs and think, "It was worth it." And I smile.

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (42,605)
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9/8/13 9:15 A

Ugh, ridiculous. There is no reason to treat anyone any differently regardless of what they look like or the activity being done. Ignore them and enjoy your hike!

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,325)
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9/8/13 7:15 A

That seems so strange. When we go hiking everyone is friendly and says "hello" or stops to have a small conversation to share "sightings". It's a much more friendly environment than the city. The same is true anywhere we go hiking.

I wasn't treated any differently when I was heavier nor would I treat anyone differently who was heavier than me. Pretty rude and classless if you ask me.

Personally, I'd just say "hello" to them and smile. You have nothing to be ashamed of. It's their problem, not yours.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/8/2013 (07:19)
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,400
9/8/13 6:45 A

Whenever I am feeling self-conscious about exercising (especially in public), I keep repeating to myself "Yes, but at least I am doing something about it". I've never had to use it on anybody, but I feel good knowing I have a retort ready.

I love the comment earlier in this thread "Hiking is for everybody".

M@L (regular hiker and backpacker)

NOBLEEQUESTRIAN SparkPoints: (5,640)
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9/8/13 12:27 A

Outdoors men and women is just as much a culture as it is physical activity. These individuals who find great joy in the outdoors (hiking, biking, climbing, etc) are often very in tune with their health and fitness. They are the ones you will find drinking green smoothies, eat extremely healthy, and are fitness lovers. I know this because I'm an outdoorswoman, always hiking, kayaking, climbing, horseback riding, etc....

Because of this they look at you and see that you don't fit in with the rest of the crowd. And like with any culture those who are 'different' are often looked down upon by some people. Granted I don't give dirty looks but I know that other people do.

Ignore them. You are on your own fitness journey and will be at a healthy weight soon enough.

Edited by: NOBLEEQUESTRIAN at: 9/8/2013 (00:29)
SIMONEKP Posts: 2,617
9/7/13 10:11 P

their problem, not yours. Ignore them.

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
9/7/13 9:57 P

Sometimes we see the world the way we expect it to be. I'm fit and would never dream of giving anyone heavier a dirty look. If anything, I go out of my way to be encouraging. I'm not one for being confrontational, but what about "killing" them with kindness?

If you perceive a negative look, just smile and say something like, "Beautiful weather today." "Great day for a hike." or "I really love this trail." If they are being crappy, this let's you stand up for yourself in a positive way. You don't ignore the slight and let it eat at you. Rather, you turn the tables. And maybe the person will think twice next time.

And sometimes our perceptions are just off. People get so shut off in their own little bubbles and don't mean anything. I've found the world is a much nicer place when I smile, say hello or offer a kind word. I had to force myself a bit at first, but now it's a fun habit.

JCOW84 SparkPoints: (9,041)
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9/7/13 9:40 P

That's terrible - those people are probably dealing with their own weight issues; just because they're skinny now doesn't mean that they aren't thinking about their own weight and body image dysfunctions. I'm sure it has nothing to do with you personally. I'd ignore it. Good for you for going on those hikes! Keep it up!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,906)
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9/7/13 8:40 P

There's nothing you can do, other than challenge them, if you really feel like a confrontation. Ask them what they're looking at. Ask them if they are upset with you, or you're bothering them.

If you're not the in-your-face type... ignore it. Look away, and keep focusing on your workout.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
9/7/13 8:28 P

I can't imagine why people would give you dirty looks. The only reason should be if you were getting in people's way? Basically - it's their problem, ignore them. Hiking is for everybody.

ANNAERA SparkPoints: (0)
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9/7/13 8:23 P

I love, love, LOVE hiking. It's the best form of cardio I like doing, and I am fortunate enough to live in a state with several great hiking trails within an hours driving distance. My problem? On sunny weekend days, when my husband and I are likely to go hiking (I do cardio videos during the week since he has the car) there tend to be a lot of skinnier people hiking or jogging there as well, and the dirty looks they give can be disconcerting.

I'm 5'1" and 288, so I'm pretty bloody heavy. I'm also not imagining the looks, my husband has seen them too. I don't know what to do. Intellectually I know these people have no bearing on my fitness and I'm trying to get there, but dealing with that makes me just want to stay inside despite the fact that I know the total workout and enjoyment I get out of hiking is greater than any video I could be doing.

Any advice?

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