Sunday, February 5, 2012

Strangers on a Train

The other night on the train, I was reading my twitter feed, which is filled with runners, fitness enthusiasts and fitness professionals. One was expressing regret because two feet of snow was going to keep him from his Saturday run. As I was reading that, an extremely overweight woman across from me was eating a large snack size bad of chips. The $.99 size, not the snack pack size. She followed those with Little Debbie nutty bars. Both packages of "food" were gone in a few minutes. That was about 600 calories with no nutrition. Then she struggled to get out of her seat.

I wondered if she saw the confection between the two. Does she feel trapped? Is she hoping someone will care enough to help her feel better? As a total stranger, I was not going to say anything to her. As a former smoker, I remember how much I hated when people pointed out that my smoking was bad for me. I won't do that to someone else. Maybe she doesn't like healthy food. Maybe her parents ruined vegetables for her, too. Maybe she's like Jay Leno and dislikes fresh fruit and healthful foods.

Another, just as likely reason, is that I'm projecting my feelings onto her. Maybe she's ok with her weight. It may be that my constant focus on health and fitness is too much. This is when runners become like evangelicals. We want to tell everyone how great it feels to eat well and run. Even people who don't want to hear it. It's not like we're handing out running tracts in grocery stores to complete strangers, but don't get us started on the topic of running. We won't stop. I hope that someday the woman on the train discovers that being healthy feels much better than that nutty bar tastes.

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