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NEWMRSRU's Photo NEWMRSRU Posts: 117
2/14/18 1:42 P

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Please continue walking. Whenever I look at people outside walking/running/jogging, no matter their shape, I (the person looking) always feel proud that they are out there doing something (then normally feel bad that I haven't done anything, lol). I too get a tad of anxiety when I walk, hating the "awkward" moment when I meet another person. I've started wearing headphones to listen to music (or you can just have headphones in and not listen to anything). If you do make eye contact with someone, just give a small smile and then continue looking forward, no need to do anything more, no need to say anything. I also have found it helpful to wear sunglasses (during the day, not night) if you'd rather not even smile. I've found that both of these help me to not feel "weird/awkward" when I walk and that it puts me in my own little world which makes me less concerned about others.

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LJSHRINKS's Photo LJSHRINKS SparkPoints: (14,437)
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2/12/18 7:46 A

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Let it ALL count. Let simply doing it be the huge win. Build consistency. Worry about intensity and length later.

She believed she could so she did.

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BIKE4HEALTH's Photo BIKE4HEALTH Posts: 7,272
2/11/18 7:04 P

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Take some light weights and swing your arms while you walk

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2/11/18 4:17 P

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While you walk see if you can spot one thing not noticed before, and each day try to spot something else new.

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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (259,434)
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2/9/18 9:45 P

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I would say that the only one being 'judgemental' is you, and I don't mean it in a negative way. You appear to have some sort of anxiety issues going on which is causing you to preempt their thoughts.

I live at the end of a dead-end street. I see people walking past. Yes, I look out at them, but you know what? It isn't because I am judging them. It is just a normal human reaction. It might be that they don't see many people so it gives them something positive in their day, as in seeing a face.

Why don't you just smile and say hello? You might find as I have that it can be very uplifting to the both of you. You never know - you could end up looking forward to the interactions.

I used to do 2 rounds of my village because it was only a 15 minute walk around the block. Unsolicited, I used to laugh and just tell them I had to get some exercise in somehow. You will find as I did that you will get the proverbial pat on the back for doing something positive to help the prospects of your own health!

Good luck,

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 2/9/2018 (21:46)
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SHOAPIE's Photo SHOAPIE SparkPoints: (517,261)
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2/9/18 1:36 P

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I just say hi in my most chipper voice and wish them a good day. If they don’t respond I figure it is their loss!

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URBANREDNEK Posts: 1,724
2/9/18 11:49 A

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A couple of older articles caught my eye this morning, and made me think about this thread. Hopefully you find something good in them:

Sir Terry Pratchett:

"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."

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REBCCA's Photo REBCCA SparkPoints: (423,174)
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2/8/18 10:32 P

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Listening to music and focusing on the sky and how lovely it is to be able to take the walk is my advise. I have been walking my well worn route for years and years and have found people/neighbors tend to get accustomed to see me and have gotten friendly over time. A young guy actually came up and introduced himself saying he had seen me so often it seemed about time to say 'hello'.

If you do not judge what others are thinking, it is more likely you will not be judged either. Your thoughts are the ones that matter, think happy thoughts!
From Miguel Ruiz 4 agreements:
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Because, as Don Miguel Ruiz says: “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because
of themselves.”

Edited by: REBCCA at: 2/9/2018 (11:45)
"'Enough' is a feast. Buddhist proverb

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NIRERIN Posts: 14,346
2/8/18 8:21 P

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So, you are a walker on a public area designed for walking? That's like being a car, driving down the road. You are using a public resource as it was designed to be used. If someone doesn't want people anywhere near their property, they should buy multiple acres where eminent domain does does cut right across their front lawn.

Why would you be an eyesore or a problem? Yes, people are going to look at you as you go by. It's what people do to other people. Neighbors want to know who is in the area. Being aware of your surroundings is a good thing to be. It helps you see threats like cars, bikes or people with ill intent. Neighbors also could be looking at you and remembering their grocery list or that they meant to get out and go for a walk, possibly even sizing you up as someone they might want to walk with. They could also be clocking your progress or checking out your clothing or accessories. Before I changed my running route I would cross paths with a dog walking older gentleman with easily 100 + lbs to lose. He was out walking, but not very fast and not really losing either. Then I did not see him for a very long time and I kinda thought something had happened to him or that he had just given up. I finally saw him a month or two ago. He's lost at least 50 lbs and part of the reason I hadn't been seeing him is that he has sped up and is walking faster and farther with his dog. It was a delightful surprise to find that he was doing so well. I will probably never stop and tell him why I keep looking at him when we cross paths because I don't offer life suggestions and evaluations to random strangers in person. I will keep on keeping an eye out for him when I am out though and I will keep nodding as we pass.

I think that whenever we are trying something new or difficult it feels like everyone has their eyes on us at all times and is so involved with what we are choosing to change. The reality is that most other people really don't care what you are doing. If you start bringing eggs and spray paint along on your walks that would be a different story. But think of the last time you were in a waiting room. Can you tell me what the person three people to the left of you was doing? If that person was twirling a baton that was on fire you would likely remember it. But if that person were fiddling with their phone, reading a book or a magazine, knitting, keeping a small child occupied, writing in a notebook or filling out a form then you would likely register the activity as something completely normal and you will have a hard time recalling the details of what they were doing unless there was some other added element to the story (someone telling particularly inappropriate story while on the phone or otherwise being a pain in a public space, someone who brought a sewing machine in, etc). People are paying a lot less attention to you and are much less invested in you than you think they are.

-google first. ask questions later.

URBANREDNEK Posts: 1,724
2/8/18 5:53 P

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I'll chime in here in full agreement with the others, too!

I am wondering whether you are a somewhat private person, and so are feeling like you are "intruding" on the homeowners' personal space when they are outside during your walks. Even though it is public property, and they purchased their homes knowing this and expecting the general public to use the path, I know it can have a bit of a weird vibe...

You see, my property backs on to a popular public walking path. Our neighbourhood policy does not allow for privacy fences, just chain-link, so our back yards are totally open to the path. We have had issues in the past with nutcases feeding dogs poisoned meat through the fences, and the occasional robbery, so everyone DOES keep an eye on who is using the path, and is absolutely "judging" them as to whether they are a "usual walker" or "someone new and possibly suspicious". I don't know (or want to know) their names or anything about them, but I can tell you the walking routine for a few dozen people around here - and I do watch for them and notice if the routine varies.

I never initiate conversation with these passers-by, although will do the "nice evening" "stupid weather" or whatever with them if they choose to greet me on their way by. Frankly, I don't want to intrude on their privacy while they are enjoying their walk --- and I'm sure most of them have no wish to intrude on mine while I'm out in my yard.

I think that you absolutely should continue your walks around this lake, and try to wrap your head around the fact that the folks living there aren't "judging" you as to your looks or weight or walking abilities --- they just are looking to assure themselves that you aren't suspicious or dangerous. Once they're comfortable that you are "one of the usuals", then you just become part of the scenery.

Please, keep walking with your head held high, noticing and appreciating the lovely area that you are in, and give a big smile and a nod at any homeowner who is looking at you. Whether they respond or not is up to them, but I know that it always brightens my day a bit when I see someone on the public path who is obviously happy and enjoying the area.

Sir Terry Pratchett:

"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."

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2/8/18 4:16 P

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Luanne's got it right on the money.

The only thing I'd add is that maybe it would be easier for you to focus on your walk rather than your neighbors if you listened to music or an audiobook or maybe even called a friend?

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 26,976
2/8/18 3:35 P

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Being attentive to strangers in one's own neighborhood is not being judgmental. It is looking out for one another! Neighborhood watches are a big thing in my area. Everyone looks out for each other.... and that is a good thing!

"people just stare at me and have little or nothing to say. "
The only way you know if they are staring at you is if you are staring at them emoticon
I would not expect conversations.... why do you?
As a walker, I want to get in my walk, not be held up in conversation.
As the homeowner, I do not owe everyone coming past my house a conversation.
"Little or nothing to say" is totally appropriate, IMHO.

You are on public property, right?
Then you are fine!

" I feel they don't want me there." is you judging them....

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
~ Randy Pausch

"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
~ Art Turock

"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good."
~ 7 Years in T
HIMELISSA2007's Photo HIMELISSA2007 Posts: 2,162
2/8/18 1:58 P

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In my neighborhood there is a block at the end of my street with a lake in the center. Houses surround the lake. I walk around it and it is half a mile. I usually walk around it four times. I feel self conscious when I walk around it. Once in a while, there might be a neighbor outside talking and I feel they don't want me there. I don't want to be an eyesore or a problem. I usually just stay to myself and walk around. I like it because at night it is lit up and there is very little traffic. I have had a few people come out and say positive comments but sometimes people just stare at me and have little or nothing to say. I have told a couple of residents that I walk around 4 times and that equals 2 miles. I just wish they wouldn't be judgemental or that I would stop being so tense. I like it, the exercise is perfect and I'm out of the house so I have less distractions. It is quiet so I can rest my mind a bit. It is near the house so I don't have to travel far and its easily accessible anytime I need to go. It is city property around the lake but on the other side of my home it is county property and is not lit up or free from traffic. Thoughts needed on how I can think healthy and enjoy my walk. Or another alternative? I thought if I get my weight down a bit I would reward myself by joining a gym or getting a bike. However, right now I weigh a little much and need to be getting some of this weight off first. I can't really ride a bike now but in the future it will be more feasible if I weigh less.

Your input would be appreciated...

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.� ~Theodore Roosevelt

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