Sunday, January 8, 2017

Did You Know Fat-Shaming Makes You Fat?

At this time every year, gyms everywhere flood with "resolutioners" - the people who promise themselves every January to get in shape, lose weight, bulk up, move more, blah, blah, blah. It annoys everyone who goes to the gym regularly all year long. They pop up on Facebook complaining about the gym being crowded, the parking lot being crowded, and people in their way who don't know what they're doing.

The biggest complaint is that, come February, these people will have disappeared anyway, so just stop wasting all this time in January. Get out of the way and let me do my work out.

And then there are the extremists, who secretly video tape and then publicly fat shame, the people who are suuuuuuuch ass holes, taking up all the time, energy, air, and space in the gym. We have all seen these videos on Snap Chat, Instagram, and Facebook - one of your friends sees someone using equipment wrong, moving slowly, even showering and/or changing clothes in the locker room.


First, let it be known that if I saw a stranger videotaping me IN THE SHOWER in a locker room, their gym rat ass would be in jail.

But that's not the point of this blog.

My point is, people have a hard enough time getting to the gym - especially if they are new - without having to be fearful of the long-time fitness gurus standing behind them with a camera, or even just standing behind them, being judgmental as fuck.

Argument from Arrogant Gym-Goers #1: These people are only here to get in my way for a month; they're not serious and won't even be here next just go away now.

What if 2017 is the year that they DO become serious? What if this year, they are committed to their health and fitness, and they WILL be here in February, and in March? What if they just got a major health diagnosis and are now taking life and health seriously? You don't know this person; you don't know their history or their present or their future, and maybe this year is going to be the year they make huge strides towards fitness.

Also, what if they are gone in a month? Does it really affect your life? You had to park in the back of the lot? Boo. Fucking. Hoo. You're here for a workout anyway, thank them for the extra 30 steps.

Argument from Arrogant Gym-Goers #2: These newbies don't know how to use the equipment. They're doing it wrong/getting in my way/lifting too much/not lifting enough/their form sucks/they're taking too long.

Well, fuck you, for one. And for two, when you first started working out, did you know how to use every piece of equipment, or all the right form or lifting techniques, or how to do every single thing in the most effective way? No you did not. So get off your high horse. The gym is hard. A lot of equipment at the gym is hard if you've never used it, and that's intimidating...ESPECIALLY WITH A CLEARLY SEASONED PERSON STANDING THERE JUDGING YOU!! Instead of being a dick, what if you approached someone in a nice way and asked if you could show them a better form? Or what if you were like, hey, can I show you something that'll let you do half the work for double the results? Maybe you could just stop wasting your own workout time shaming a stranger - or did I miss a memo somewhere that it burns extra calories to judge someone trying to better themselves?

What would be great, is if fat-shaming other people, made YOU fat.

The gym has always been intimidating to me. Whether I am going to a couple classes a month, or whether I am there every night doing cardio and weights, I have always been uncomfortable in large gyms. I hate working out in front of other people. I don't like taking classes that are new to me and routine to 20 other people. I don't like jogging slowly on a high incline on the treadmill while the girl next to me is sprinting, because it makes me feel slow as fuck - even though I am on a higher incline and probably have different goals than she does. I don't like using machinery at the gym when people are waiting, or when people are watching - because I assume I'm doing all of it wrong. I don't like lifting free weights in front of anyone lifting heavier weights or more reps, because it makes me feel like a weakling. I really do just hate to be at the gym - but none of the reasons I hate the gym are about my own health or fitness, or my own journey - they are all related to other people.

And that is probably because such a mass population of people in the gym are spending their time judging me instead of working out!!

Take your fucking eyes off of me, and focus on yourself. You're here for your journey, and I am here for mine, and there is no reason for you to believe that my journey means I'm in your way. Don't put my ass on your snap story because you think I'm running too slowly on the treadmill - because at least I'm here, and at least I'm running. Perhaps if you would stop watching me and put your damn phone down, you'd be able to pick your own pace up a little bit too!