In undergrad, a girl I had classes with, wrote an editorial for the school newspaper. Never before had an article angered me so much.
She was on the cross-country team and, therefore, was in super shape. I always saw her running and working out. No doubt she was dedicated and worked hard.
But her article?
It showed up in the paper a week or so after school resumed for the spring semester. So probably late January/early February.
It was about how she wished the fat people and their resolutions that they would never keep would get out of her gym.
I’ll let you pause and soak that in for a minute in case you glazed over that.
She wrote about how annoyed she was at the influx of students in the wellness center when she returned from Christmas break. She was aggravated that she couldn’t get a treadmill immediately since it was too cold to be running outside. She hated how the machines were fuller, so her workout routine was interrupted. It irked her that she had to wait to use weights or the balls or that the yoga mats were taken. She wanted the new people out since they obviously weren’t going to stick with this new routine. She wanted her gym back so her and her friends, who actually worked out all year, could get back to their fitness regimens.
It gets better.
She talked about how these people, (I can’t continue to call them fat and overweight and obese like she did) needed to learn to not eat so many calories. She discussed how eating fried food was the cause of their weight issues and they needed to stop shoving their faces full of it.
However, she could eat a double cheeseburger if she wanted since she ran so much that she worked off the calories. Yes, she said how much she could eat, but you couldn’t.
Sadly, this isn’t an exaggeration.
Yes, I know, as do most people, that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat, or at leats you can’t eat more than you will burn. Got it. Thanks for the science lesson.
But the attitude associated with the article infuriated me.
She wanted to bash the overweight, never taking into consideration outside factors. (I believe she said she thought thyroid issues and genetic claims for obesity were a cop out and people needed to get over it.) She couldn’t understand how anyone could let themselves become overweight or anything like that. Well, I’m super glad she takes care of herself and works out.
But you can’t yell at them for it and also tell them to get out of your gym.
Even worse? It’s not just her.
Since the new year has begun, I have seen people on Twitter and Facebook say very similar things. Annoyed that there are more people on treadmills and machines, they say they wish the people would just give up already so they could get on with their workouts.
Unfortunately, I’m one of the new people on the treadmills.
I’m one of the ones taking up your machines and apparently, wasting your time.
So I guess I should just give up and quit, right?
Luckily, I know better and refuse to let the haters get to me. At least when it comes to me using the gym. I am determined to lose weight and get in shape. I’ve got an amazing little support group. I’m counting calories. I’m working out 4 or more days a week. I’m going to do this. I have amazing support and I’m finally in a place to ignore the mean out there and do what I need to do for me.
But what about others? Maybe they don’t have the support. Maybe they have friends and family calling them fatty and telling them they will fail.
They get the nerve to go to the gym, which can be INCREDIBLY intimidating if you’re not a size 4. Believe me. I know. Especially if they aren’t familiar with the setup or the equipment. It’s daunting. And the last thing any person struggling with weight issues wants is to fumble with the equipment because it just makes them feel like everyone is looking at them and judging them. I’ve done it and it feels like it’s just a red target on your forehead, showing that I didn’t know what I was doing in the gym and obviously hadn’t been there in a while.
So they get there, they get on their treadmill, figure out the 50 different buttons and start. And then someone walks in, probably someone very fit, and they give them the evil glare since the treadmills are taken up. I’ve been the victim of this and I have walked out of the gym because a girl stood behind me and my sweaty ass as I worked hard just to do a couple miles and she kept audibly sighing and tapping her Nike clad foot at me. And no, I didn’t go home and do sit-ups. I was so upset that I ate my feelings.
And I’m not trying to preach. I can understand it being frustrating when your usual routine is interrupted. I was always annoyed when the new freshmen would come in and just play on the equipment when I really wanted to work out. I totally get it. But maybe, try to understand that they are trying to better themselves and they could use as much support as possible?
After the outpouring of support from my blog readers when I wrote about my weight struggles, I doubt any of you would be like that. You have been fantastic and I couldn’t even begin to thank you all for it.
So the next time a new person is on your treadmill or machine, maybe you could use that as opportunity to try a new workout class. Or a new machine. Or a new workout routine. They say the best way to work muscles is to do new exercises and keep the muscles guessing! See, it will benefit everyone!
And I know a polite smile from someone would do wonders for my motivation…