Home » Weight Loss Journey » Let’s Get Honest – A Question for the Fitness Lovers!

Let’s Get Honest – A Question for the Fitness Lovers!

A friend of mine posted a link the other day on Facebook that got me thinking.

The gist of the post was about how he thought about overweight people he sees out running. He speaks to a girl (not sure if she is real or just used as an example for prettier writing) and tells her that he wishes she’d not shy away, that if she would hold her head high and meet his eyes she’d see the pride he has in her.  How great he thinks it is that she is out DOING it.  That she shouldn’t be ashamed of her size because people like him look on and don’t think that way, they just think it’s awesome that she is making a change.

Read it, you’ll get a better idea of it than I can explain.

It was a great post, and I thought it was wonderful that he felt that way.

It did get me to thinking though… It’s no secret to my readers that I have never been comfortable in a gym.  I tried but I just felt so on display and self-conscious, I couldn’t stick with it.  It didn’t help that I didn’t like the gym I was visiting either, but that’s another story.  It was particularly hard on days like “Fireman Tuesday” when I would go on Tuesday morning and work out while the guys from the local fire dept were there for spinning class.  Great for ME, lots of eye candy!  Then I realized that *I* was what they had to look at during the class (yeah it was all in one room) – YIKES!

This has also been an issue for me when out walking (EEK, city, so many people, I feel on display everywhere I go!) … Biking (See walking).  Just always feel like people are going to look and think “Oh look at that fat cow trying to <enter exercise here>”  and not anything like what the guy in that article wrote.

Yes, I am fully aware that I may be totally off base here and that it all may be chalked up to my own insecurities.

So this is where my question comes in, a question specifically for the runners, cyclists, body builders, yoga and aerobics instructors.  How do YOU feel when you see someone who is overweight out there doing what you do?

Do you look at overweight people who are out red faced and sweaty, power walking or running and think “Oh man, that’s so gross!”?

Do you look at them and think “DAMN, good for them, at least they are doing SOMETHING to try to change the situation!!”

Do you look at them, not give it any thought and move on?

What DO you think?

I’m really curious if the way this guy feels is the norm and those of us with weight issues actually have more allies than we think, or in some cases are we right when we think we see something in a look someone gives us as we pass by them?

I get that everyone is different, and that’s why I’m throwing the question out there.  I really do want your honest answers. I am not looking to be placated or told what I want to hear, this isn’t about ME or building my self esteem.  That is my own project, it’s a work in progress and isn’t going to change no matter what answers I receive in answer of this question.

This is just honest to goodness curiosity and I am extremely interested in hearing what you have to say.  This is a no judgment zone, so if you do feel “GROSS!” please feel free to say it.  If we are friends now, we will still be friends after you say it, I promise! haha

No holds barred people, let’s hear your honest thoughts.

One thing I did think when I was reading the guy’s article, is how awesome it would be if those people who THOUGHT what he thinks said it more often.  Imagine if there really was a ‘fat girl’ that he described in his article. If she is running but clearly uncomfortable and insecure and worried about what those around her are thinking.  Can you imagine what it would do for her to hear someone like him compliment her on her hard work or tell her he’s proud of her?  Man… Not that we should rely on that, we all need to find it within ourselves, but still… it’d be pretty freakin’ awesome for someone to hear in that situation, I figure.

ANYWAY… thoughts?!  Feel free to pass this on to your other fitness friends as well, there are a lot of us on the other side of the fence that would love to hear their opinions!

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her 'new' country.

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  1. Once I joined an aerobic class which I disliked a lot. It was the wrong class anyway, the instructor was using body language technique which I did not find appealing. There was a lot of holding breath and tensing / relaxing vagina muscles. And the clothing …. I could not stand the stretchy fabric.

    So probably no matter who are with me in the gym, girls or boys, and no matter how kind their words are, I will probably still be uncomfortable in the gym.

  2. Hi – I adore reading your blog, and felt like I wanted to say something here. So, I am no crazy fitness person, but I am relatively thin, and I have to say that when I see a larger person working out, I feel a small sense of pride for them. I think its awesome to see someone who has clearly struggled with weight trying to do something good for themselves. I’ve been overweight too, and know what it feels like. I was closing in on 200 lbs (I’m only 5’2″) and knew I needed a change. I felt the same way – like everyone would think it was totally gross to have to see my at the gym/outside exercising. I think that is a reason why I am so hooked to your blog. You’re so honest and sincere and say all the things I thought. :) So, don’t be embarassed. Most people probably think more positive thoughts than you know. Keep going strong – when you see someone you haven’t seen in a while an they tell you how great you look it will all be worth it!!

  3. I can totally relate, as I first joined a gym when I was over 300 lbs. Even today, I’m fit but far from the fittest person in there. It was particularly intimidating for me to switch from 1:1 training at my trainer’s to the boot camp class, where I’d have to keep up with people much fitter than me. But what I’ve found is that if you choose the right place, folks are amazingly supportive and not assholes about it.

    When I dropped from 350 to about 250 several years ago, the gym where I worked out had a group of very fit guys (3-4) that would work out regularly together on a similar schedule to me. Real hard core bodybuilder types. We’d nod & smile but not really talk. They did their thing and I did mine.

    One day after I’d dropped a lot of the weight, one of the guys just blurted out “You look like a totally different person” when I was near him. I must have looked shocked because he immediately said “I’m sorry, I hope that didn’t offend you.” I said it didn’t and smiled. He then went on to say that he’d watched me working at the gym and gradually improve my weight & fitness and was completely inspired. That was so cool to hear and to know that a real “gym rat” was totally welcoming and happy to see someone like me at the gym. :-)

  4. Tammy all I can do is tell you about my experience…I’m almost 40 years old and weigh over 300 lbs. I have been taking kettlebell classes (i.e. Russian weight lifting) for about 14 months now. During that time I have lost 41 lbs without changing my eating habits. Now I’m at a point where I’m addressing those. There are about 10 people in my kettlebell classes (taken 3 nights a week). We voted for the most inspiring person…and I, the biggest in the class…won. I never win anything! Any ways, it has kept me motivated to continue with the class. I love how I’m toning up!

  5. What you said, DAMN, good for them is exactly what I think. Something has clicked and they’re finally doing something to make a change. Good on ya!

  6. Whenever I see an overweight person on a bike I think ‘good job’. When on a moped I think ‘there you go’

  7. Tbh it’s not something I really take notice of in gym, and I certainly don’t ever look at someone think thats gross. Perhaps it’s because women tend to judge themselves more harshly than men do, and then they assume men think along the same lines?

  8. Well, geez, i HOPE people don’t or didn’t say GROSS when they see me out speed walking! I’ve been at it since jan 3rd of this year, have not yet missed a day and now am up to 75min/day at quite the speed. Of course i’m not a skinny little thing, and yep, get all red and sweaty…but i figure…at LEAST i’m out there doing something about my weight and health! Go ahead, judge me from your car as you pass by…at least i’m out there in the pouring rain, the snow, the heat.
    I’ve recently joined a program for cancer patients…cardio, weight training and other games, etc…indoors…EEEK! Been busy these past weeks buying cute outfits, etc….guess i’ll feel self-conscious in there (program has yet to begin)… But yet again, a part of me says who cares what people think…i’m an overweight cancer patient who’s doing her best to stay in shape…go ahead and judge…bet i’m healthier than a lot of those judging souls!
    Suz´s last post ..a new me

  9. When i see ppl that over weight workingout I think its very inspiring. And even more when i see the same person over and over again. I used to see a women at this gym i used to work at plugging away everyday in the gym. She was very overweight but she was on the bike and the weights almost everyday. I hope she stayed with it through the years.

  10. I used to worry about people laughing at me, then I realised how stupid it was and how little it had to do with anything. My fitness classes have watched me shed weight over the last year and only have ever had positive things to say.

    This is not about them it’s about you, hiding behind things is not going to help. Confidence us a massive step toward self correction, until you do it, you’ll spend your life making excuses for why you can’t.

    Love yourself.

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