Total terrified newbie!

Hi guys, been reading your posts to each other and you seem so encouraging that i thought I would ask a couple of thing.

I am 39, about 3 stone overweight - size 16 - not especially fit and so lacking in self confidence am terrified of being seen training by people in my very small town and laughed at! Weirdly am less worried about whether i will be able to do the program than I am about this! Vain I know but self consciousness is a b***h!

Have been looking at sites to buy some gear but confused about what I need and how best to 'cover up' so I don't have my quest to get fit halted by the confidence demons!

Sorry if this sounds a bit feeble but I know my own psychology and if anything will stop me being able to do this It will be rubbish body image

Thanks for reading


21 Replies

  • Good news is that by the time you graduate your confidence will be higher than it has been for years. A lot of us started off where you are. You will find tales on here of people running in the dark so as not to be seen. It's quite normal so never feel you are alone with that. It's not necessarily right but we all have our demons. My advice would be wear what you find comfortable and start with that, If your female a supportive bra is a good thing too, dosent have to be sports to start off with. You will find that the support and encouragement on This sight will help you battle those nerves. Good luck and keep us all posted.

  • Thanks so much. I know you are right and am determined to conquer these demons and get fit! Will start w1 tomorrow.........very very early in the morning!

  • you will do this E, I started a week ago, never run in my life, not even when my house burnt down in the 90's ! I run 1st thing in am, so as no one sees me , I am 67 and I lumber more then run, I am a size 14, but only just so we are about the same. I have bought new trainers and socks, and will eventually get a bra, at moment wear the slip over the head comfy type and it worked. Good luck, go do it !!

  • Thank you, i can't tell you how good It is to hear i am not alone with this stupid feeling! Podcasts downloaded, getting up at 6am to do r1! Will let you know how It goes :-S

  • Please do not be put off by your concerns. I did it in just a T shirt (as baggy as possible), jog bottoms, but did have a good sports bra and bought a pair of running shoes. Never worn leggings in my life as always felt I was never the right shape but after 9 weeks I was right into my lycra capri running tights! Perhaps you can also find a path or route which is not too busy and therefore you will not feel too self conscious. Oh yes running socks are quite good - after my graduation run I had a weekend away in my old trainers and silly trainer socks and got completely blistered all over, so now swear by my running socks!

  • Hee Hee, after reading more posts am going to use the promise of 'cool running gear' to spur me on. Once week 1 done will allow myself expensive trainers etc! Although all tips on sports bra abd running sicks duly noted.

    Always knew i wanted to get fit, now goal will also be to care a lot less about how i look doing It!

    Really excited to start!

    Thanks so much for support, massively helps


  • I'm 60, still 2 stone overweight (although was 3.5 stone overweight when I started C25K in January). Six years ago, I came to live in a small place in the Welsh valleys, where most people have lived all their lives and either know exactly who is doing what or are doing their best to find out. So I'm sure some must be talking about that mad old foreign woman from up the hill and her latest exploits on the streets! :)

    I have always run in running tights or shorts and long-sleeved running tops or vests, depending on the weather. I hate the feel of sweat-drenched cotton next to my skin and technical fabrics do wick all the sweat away and make me feel more comfortable. I'm not a pretty sight in my gear, although better now than when I started! However, I think wearing the gear shows people that I am serious about what I'm doing and many will respect me for that, no matter how stupid I look. On my outings, I've experienced hardly any jeers, but lots of encouraging smiles and/or comments. Recently, I met up with some people I haven't seen for a while. The first thing they said was, "We've seen you running round the streets. You're doing brilliantly, good for you!".

    Surprisingly, while my body image is generally very poor, I feel OK in my gear. I think it works on a subconscious level to affirm that I am doing something about my fitness and my shape and by doing so will conquer my flab and my feelings. The item that does it the most for me, laugh if you will, is my buff. I pull it over my head forming it either into a cap if it's cold, or into a broad headband if it's warm. It's great at keeping hair and sweat off my face and also stops earphones falling out if I run with my mp3 player. Most of all though, for reasons I do not know, it makes me feel like a Real Runner - rrrrawwwwrrr!

  • Hi e74! Welcome to this site full of people who will be glad to help, support and advise you along the way!

    So many people on here begin with similar feelings to you (including some of the blokes - which surprised me) and all realise very quickly that nobody is really interested in how you look. I fact they will admire you for having the guts to get out there and start something really great! There are many subtle improvements to your well being INCUDING: improved confidence, self image, toned body and general fitness.

    I just wish there was a way we could let you feel, for a few minutes, those great feelings we all get further along the path. You have taken on a huge, life changing challenge. You will have fantastic days and the occasional rubbish day - but you kick those into touch straight away.

    You probably will not loose weight straight away but your body shape WILL tone and look trimmer and your friends will start to comment on the changes in you. Do not be afraid of starting - the benefits are immense and you will soon begin to feel them!

    Go on - give it a go! You won't regret it!

    I started off wearing a sloppy cotton T shirt, black exercise legs and old fashioned plimsolls (not to be recommended) until my son gave me a gift voucher for my birthday and I bought running shoes. You do NEED a good sports bra.

    You could also try doing Strength and Flex exercises at home which will help you. (Link at top of page)

  • Thank you so much. I fully intend to lean on everyone on these boards, already i feel like part of a club! Looking forward to reporting good news after R1. Even have a few 'not so witty' ripostes for anyone taking the mickey! Hee hee


  • I absolutely echo what everyone says above. I started running in secret - not even telling my OH for the first 3 weeks in case I couldn't do it! If you are a 'big' girl then a good sports bra holds it all together. And I think good socks and shoes save you a lot of potential trouble with your feet.

    I too have progressed to proper running gear including running capris and tops that wick away the sweat - I do get very hot! I run with a headband in the winter and scrape my hair back into a ridiculously small pony tail now it's warmer. And do you know what? I DON'T CARE! As soon as I get my gear on it gets me in the mood to run. I live in a small village and people just smile and wave or say good morning. No-one has ever been rude ( in my hearing at any rate) and I feel great. Go for it girl!

  • Agree about the sports bra, an absolute must!

    I was size 22 and 49 years old when I started in baggy t-shirts, and am now size 16 still in baggy tops but tight leggings. Using myfitnesspal was a godsend as well. now I don't care what people think although I've never had a bad comment yet.

    Good luck with it and let us know how you get on.

  • Well done deciding to make a start on the programme. It will change your life, bit by tiny bit so you will hardly notice at first. Then one day, without warning, it will hit you that you are fitter, happier, more toned, have more self esteem and so on. You will find no shortage of encouragement and support on this site, it's a real community. You may feel self conscious at the moment but the time will come when you will feel so good about yourself that you really won't care anymore what people think. Good luck on your first run in the morning, please do post afterwards and let us all know how it went so we can congratulate you. Good luck and my very best wishes to you.

  • Hi I'm overweight and disabled and I would stop running if there was the mearest hint of another person around.

    I would suggest a good sports bra (a must for me as I have big boobs. I would also suggest you get this fitted properly and don't forget the bounce test) and trainers (proper running ones not fashion ones they don't have to be mega expensive) baggy t shirt and track suit bottoms or what ever you feel comfortable in and the most important big sunglasses (to keep the sun out of your eyes or to hide behind). I started off going at times when i was less likely to see anyone and always go to a local nature reserve, running on the streets major scary for me because of people factor.

    Also the investment of a couple of key pieces helped to keep me going out (cost of a sports bra alone was enough to make me wince), as I have limited funds and certainly have no money to waste.

    I have now completed week 5

    I am still over weight and disabled but I don't stop when I see other people, in fact I will happily run past runners and omg smile. I wear cropped leggings (though I do have a longer length tshirt to cover my wobbly belly - which does wobble less bound in by Lycra and I even have sports knickers now).

    Take each week as it comes and know that you can do it. There are some days you will want to stop, there will be other days you will have to really talk yourself into going out for that run but then there will be days and these will become more frequent that you can't wait to get out there.

    Remember you are doing this for yourself not other people and while you are out there giving it your all they are sat at home on their sofas (probably scoffing crisps) - who is the winner?

  • Thanks so much, can't get over how supportive everyone is on here! Am determined to use this experience to conquer stupid body image issues as well as getting properly fit!


  • Bless your heart E! I have a mishmash of Capri running pants coupled with various sports tops. Started out in February wearing long sleeved zip up track top but it's way too hot for that. Was lucky to find some M&S batwing style black exercise tops which I wear over my regular sports tops...very comfy and I feel useful in covering up bits I'm not ready to show!! I also kid myself that if I'm wearing sunglasses no one can see me!! Good luck and please let us know how you're doing....

  • W1r1 done in weird mish mash of casual comfy stuff! Going to use promise of new kit as spur to keep going- do love to shop!

    Thanks for encouragement, really appreciated


  • Yay! Go girl!!!

  • Well done E. We told you you would feel great.

  • If it helps any I have blue and bright green running top, grey beanie, grey arm warmers, black stretchy pants and silver trainers.....I am NOT at all colour coordinated! Lol but I got my stretchy bottoms from primark and my top from aldi and my trainers from doesn't matter clothes wise what you run in what matters is that you get out there and run! When I started this is I was a size 20 6 stone overweight I am now a 18 going on to a 16, bout a stone down (although not too bad about that as I have more muscle now than I ever have had) and about not being especially fit when I first started couch to 5k I was so unfit that taxi drivers pulled over asking if I was ok I think they thought I was having an asthma attack :-) but now I've graduated and I've now run 2 5ks in 3 days......don't worry about anyone else you're doing this for you and the more you run and the further you get in the program the more you'll worry less about anyone get out there and run you'll not regret it xxx

  • Thank you so much, what a lovely post! Well done for getting on so well. I am now 2 runs down, loving it and worrying less and less about how I look - cue massive chorus of I told you so from everyone!!!!



  • Good xxxx keep going!

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