The Treadmill

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…



Filed under Life After College, Wannabe former couch potato

13 responses to “The Treadmill

  1. what a horrible, self-centered asshat. i don’t like her. i hate people who opine on others and topics that they have no clue about.

    also, you’re totally right about the gym being terrifying for people less than in perfect shape.

  2. I am so impressed that you’re actually getting out to the gym though. Just to start, that is the first (and hardest) part, so I’m really glad you’re getting in a pattern with working out. Stick with it, and please just try to ignore those people. You’ll get into a pattern and become a regular soon enough.

  3. EH

    Wow, what a bitch. (Actually, I would use a different word.) Life has a tendency to smack people like that in the head, so surely schadenfreude is coming sometime.

    Also, how crappy of the school paper to publish it.

    Good for you for going and getting out there. I recently hopped on a machine I used to use all the time and completely had forgotten how it worked. I looked like a total moron! Some nice really-in-shape guy had to tell me what to do. 🙂

  4. Sarah

    That girl sounds like a total bitch. Why would anyone want to discourage others from getting in shape and becoming healthier?! I hate those kind of people at the gym.

    And yay for you for continuing to go to the gym and work on your fitness/health! It’s tough making that first big step and it sounds like you’re doing great! 🙂

  5. Oh God… I think I am one of these people…. I do 90% of my work outs at home or on the pavement, but I do get annoyed this time of year. I don’t get annoyed with anyone in particular, like “oh I don’t think I’ve seen you here before! go away!” But I do get annoyed with the gym being over-crowded, kind of like when you save all your Christmas shopping until December 20th and then get irrationally PO’d that it’s hard to find a parking spot at the mall. Does that make sense? I’m sorry if any of my twitter comments were rude or insensitive. I really don’t get annoyed with people individually, and I would NEVER hover over a machine like that. I also don’t feel like someone’s weight really dictates whether they “should” be on a machine… as long as you’re not standing on there watching PLL on your ipod, more power to you. But I’m not going to lie, as much as I love to see people getting healthy, I like it better when it’s not crowded.

    As an aside, I have no idea why a school paper would ever publish anything like that… Or why someone would take nascent and misdirected internal dialogue and put it into an article….

    • I never saw you say anything. And even if you said, “Man I hate that the gym is busy” it wouldn’t bother me. It’s the people who actually wrote “I wish the people would quit their New Year’s resolutions already”. Hey, I’m a newbie and I don’t like it when it’s busy. i hate being on a treadmill RIGHT next to people and they have to hear me pant as I work out. hahah

  6. that is horrible! I admit, I dislike crowded gyms, but it makes me PROUD that people are making the effort. I am making more of an effort this january too! i did have someone stand behind me the other day and i about went ballistic. so annoying!!!!!!! Good luck and KEEP IT UP! We can do this!

  7. When I was an avid gym-goer, I was in annoying in January when more people were on the machines because of resolutions. But I would NEVER give someone the evil eye or insinuate that it’s their fault that they’re overweight and they’re just taking up space and they should go home. That’s just incredibly insensitive!

    I’m glad you’re ignoring the looks and doing your thing, keeping up with your health and getting even more awesome. Keep on swimming!

  8. AMEN SISTER!!!! Those people need to find new machines!

  9. Ugh. Some people just forget there is such a thing as common decency. I can’t believe someone would sit there and act that way. I go to the gym year-round and the only time I have ever gotten irritated is when I’m trying to do the weights rotation and women will sit on the machines and text or watch House Hunters instead of moving or lifting.

    BUT I AM SO PROUD OF YOU — you are doing a great job working out and taking care of yourself!

  10. GOOD FOR YOU. Ignore stupid people like that.

    While I can understand being annoyed at the routine being interrupted, I would never glare or be rude at someone who was at the gym for the same reason as me: Working on our fitness, right? As for her other comments, clearly, she’s an idiot. CLEARLY.

    Stick with it girl. Then next year, you can experience the brief annoyance at people taking your treadmill, remember this post, and then maybe help someone else out with all of the buttons on the treadmill. (IT IS CONFUSING, I AGREE.)

    You should be so proud of yourself for getting to it. After reading your posts, I know you are getting healthy and going about it in the right way. 🙂

  11. People can be so freakin’ rude!! Congratulations on hitting the gym and working out so much. I’m really proud of you for finding the strength. That can be the hardest part. Keep at it, sista!!

  12. Wow, what a self-centered biatch.

    That being said, I can kinda sorta understand where she is coming from. I am so used to my routine. And it royally pisses me off to show up at the gym to my spin class and have all of the bikes taken and get cut from class because of a bunch of newbies who DON’T come back the next week. I hate having my routine jacked with. But, I think that we all have to start somewhere, you know? Whether it is walking on the treadmill or figuring out the machines or trying new classes. My YMCA does an awesome job with newbies–you aren’t allowed to work out until you get a personal tour, learn about all of the group classes and do a one on one session with a personal trainer to go over your goals and/or learn about all of the machines and how to use them properly.

    We all pay the gym fees, you know? You are just as entitled to that treadmill as I am. I just hate when people take the one I planned to use, hahaha!

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