Over the past couple of weeks, I have been going back to the gym. For the first time in a year.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been working out in my room, but not in front of people, really.
If you don’t know already, I’m the marketing director for an awesome dance fitness company, LaBlast Fitness, and I get to use their workout program as a perk of working there. It’s been a great boost for getting back into a healthy routine, because I am able to do it in my room, and it has helped me gain some of my confidence back. Also, learning ballroom dances is pretty fun.
Now, let’s talk about the gym and gym etiquette. Because I have been wanting to write this particular blog since 2012, when I first started really going to the gym.
Going to the gym as an overweight person is probably one of the most uncomfortable and anxious situations that there is. And, the kicker is, people who have never had more than 30 pounds to lose, will probably never understand why it’s so uncomfortable.
Let me just set the scene for you:
You’ve been in a prison for your entire life. You’ve put yourself there, and you’ve finally realized that you need to start breaking out of that prison.
You know that you need to start working out, but that is scary and intimidating.
So, you read as many articles, research several hundred “pins” on Pinterest, and watch videos on YouTube, just to make sure that you know enough to feel somewhat comfortable.
Now, you get to the gym, skin absolutely crawling with anxiety.
You can feel people looking at you, and you have no idea where anything is or what to do really.
CAN YOU BELIEVE? (*insert Jonathan from Queer Eye voice*)
Imagine that you’re so nervous and anxious to be there, and then you see 3 girls in the corner, laughing and POINTING AT YOU.
Let’s stop right there, this is the point that I want to make. THIS IS NEVER OK. EVER. People who are at the gym who need to lose weight are doing what they need to do to LOSE WEIGHT.
I’m pretty passionate about this because I have been in this situation. This week, in fact.
Luckily I know what I’m doing in the gym, more so than probably 75% of people there, so I just dig my heels in and continue with my workout.
Someone who is trying to change their life for the better. Being laughed at. I WOULD CRY. I have cried. I know what it’s like to be mocked.
If I didn’t have the knowledge I have, I would leave that gym and be extremely hesitant to return. And unfortunately, that’s what happens sometimes.
I’m not saying that these rude or insensitive things happen every time an overweight person, or even a person who doesn’t know what they’re doing, goes to the gym, but THEY HAPPEN, and it needs to stop.
Unfortunately, even if a person gets 100 encouragements to every 1 mocking laugh, that one bad experience is going to outweigh all of the good.
I’m leaving this with one pleading thought:
PLEASE be mindful at the gym. Check yourself. You don’t know what impact, good or bad, you’re making on someone.Let’s just all realize that every person you see and meet is dealing with a battle that you don’t know about.