Fat people in the gym....

(104 Posts)
TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 16:03:18

First of all, I don't intend that title to be offensive to anyone. I have been specifically asked to use it by (and I quote) "a fat person" in order to get raw reactions and opinions. I am not a troll, some of you may recognise my name so hopefully you will know I am not a horrible person on here!

My friend is going to start coming to the gym with me as of Monday. I couldn't be happier. She is great company and I can't wait to have a gym buddy. DP is crap as he lurks in the strength room most of the time and is totally antisocial. My friend is ace and I am really pleased she is going to come and work out with me.

The 'problem' (her words, not mine) is that she is quite overweight and really worried that she's going to be made fun of. My experience of the gym is that this really isn't the truth. I have never seen anyone of any size being made fun of. I have seen young and old and little and large and all manner in between people in the gym and no one gives a shit what anyone else looks like or does (unless they hog a particular piece of equipment or take tonnes of calls on their mobiles!).

Please could anyone who goes to the gym help me convince my friend of the above? She's really looking foward to coming with me, but is nervous and needs convincing! Again, I really hope my use of specific words has not offended anyone, my friend has asked me to post this and use those words!

AliceHurled Sat 06-Oct-12 17:00:41

It totally depends on the gym. I've been to some where people are judgemental, others where they're not, so if you know this one is like the latter then it'll be fine. Mine is also like the latter.

Shodan Sat 06-Oct-12 17:01:03

I would love to be a non-sweaty person! Sadly I sweat enough for at least three people grin

OP- honestly, the only time I registered an overweight woman at my gym was because she was on the treadmill in front of me, running way faster and for way longer than me- I was so envious of her! envy

TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 17:01:15

Thanks Lollipop. smile

Selfishly, I'm really excited about her coming! It'll be the healthiest girls night ever!

rhondajean Sat 06-Oct-12 17:03:16

My gym is small and like a little club and we mostly know and talk to each other. I think it's fabulous when I see people who are overweight in and working away. They are doing themselves so much good.

There's a woman just now who has already lost five stone at our gym. She still got a bit to go. I'm a bit overweight and I honestly have found it really inspiring to see her working so hard.

Both me and DH were quite heavy when we started going 5 years or so ago, he is now ripped and runs like a whippet, I'm - getting there weight wise and I'm pretty fit! Tell your friend do it - stick with it - and when it hurts, that's it working. grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 06-Oct-12 17:04:01

I go to the gym often. I don't notice people in there other than to smile at them and wave a quick hello in response to somebody else.

I'd like to disabuse a notion that people are 'admiring' themselves in the mirrors. I too used to think this, but when I started working out with a personal trainer he told me that I need to keep looking in the mirror to check my 'form', that I was still doing the exercises properly - and he's right. It's easy to slip into bad habits, looking at yourself stops you from doing that because you can see at a glance.

I think your friend is very lucky to have a supportive buddy to go with; she'll enjoy herself and will find that nobody, absolutely nobody, is judging her. We're all there to do the same thing - get fit and healthy. That's it really. smile

Meglet Sat 06-Oct-12 17:13:03

The thing is with the gym everyone has the same goal regardless of size, ie; to get fitter.

Some people might need to lose weight or build muscle, but we're all in it together, adjusting the machines, checking our times, fiddling with our ipods etc.

I have been at the gym and not realised one of my friends is next to me as I'm too busy cracking on with my workout. And if I see an overweight person I think "good for them". We have lots of elderly people at our gym too, they are an inspiration.

RubyrooUK Sat 06-Oct-12 17:20:27

My thoughts in the gym:

"Oh god, I can't face the treadmill."
"I'm on, I'm achieving."
"I've done five minutes; is that enough?"
"...How does anyone run a marathon?.."
"Oh no, I've gone puce again."

...and so on. I've never noticed anyone else really. Largely because I am so keen to get it all over with and read my magazine on the exercise bike while leisurely cycling along and having 30min without my family interrupting me.

If I did see someone overweight using the gym, I'd assume they were there to get healthy like everyone else in there and that would be it. Your friend shouldn't worry - gyms are full of all sorts of people just getting on with it.

hinoki Sat 06-Oct-12 17:27:57

Whenever I see an overweight person person running, swimming, at the gym, doing any form of exercise, I would never dream of thinking anything other than "Good on you mate" - that's if it actually struck me as anything other than totally normal...

OatyBeatie Sat 06-Oct-12 17:30:56

Lots of overweight people in our gym and no idiotic comments or snideyness or anything. Everyone is just working with their own goals, and whether you are elite or obese or middling you are all in the same boat, just plugging away a bit out of your comfort zone to make an improvement.

I just admire everyone who is working hard, and I particularly admire anyone overweight who might be battling anxieties about other people's stupid prejudices.

I tend to notice people more who are fitter, smarter, more beautiful, etc., than me, so that I can nurse my own anxieties.

Primrose123 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:34:53

I know how she feels though. I am on the 'larger' side, and don't go to the gym often enough because I feel self-conscious. To be fair, it is all in my mind, no-one has ever laughed at me or stared at me, I just feel uncomfortable. It's much better if you're with a friend though. Good luck to your friend. smile

Tidy, if your showing this to your friend can I just say, hi Tidy's friend, you go girl! Seriously go and see how different you feel and look in a few weeks!

YouMayLogOut Sat 06-Oct-12 17:41:41

I couldn't care less what anyone else in the gym looks like, although if they're smiling I might say hello and smile back! I'm more interested in just getting the exercise done.

I am a larger person who has just started going to the gym (after reading Adventures of Diet girl which was inspirational) and took me a couple of sessions to feel comfortable, but soon realised no one was paying any attention to anyone else. I did notice one other larger woman and was so pleased she was there too as it made me feel much more at ease, so tell your friend she may be doing someone else a favour!

cq Sat 06-Oct-12 17:48:40

If I see a big person in the gym I just think 'Bloody good for you - you're doing something about it'.

TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 17:52:08

This is the thread I will refer back to if anyone ever utters the words "MN is a nest of vipers"!

You lot are lovely, and I will make sure my friend hears every post.

Thank you so much.

BonnyDay Sat 06-Oct-12 17:52:59

oh god no everyone is really encouraging. SHe must NOT feel self conscious but she must have a good sports bra!!

blue2 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:58:51

I'm with MaryZed in that I heard once that fat(ter) fit people are in a MUCH better place that unfit skinny ones.

You tell her to "Go Girl!!"

TalkinPeace2 Sat 06-Oct-12 18:00:39

People will notice. Same as they notice all new people.
But nothing will be said or thought beyond "ooh, new person".
In my experience (of going to the gym most mornings for 13 years)
women are incredibly supportive of each other in gyms.

One of my swimming buddies has suspended her membership while she has treatment for breast cancer. In the communal changing room she felt able to ask other ladies about their mastectomies and lumpectomies and which doctors they had and all the things that you CANNOT talk about otherwise.

The only thing we snigger about at our gym are the young guys with BAD tattoos!

GhouliaYelps Sat 06-Oct-12 18:03:54

I don't really look around at the gym when I go. Just watch the TV or music channel.

lizbee156 Sat 06-Oct-12 18:11:23

When I was last at the gym a few years ago I might notice people, smile and say hello but otherwise I was concentrating/counting reps/trying to make myself keep going.
I was trying to get it done and get back to cake home.
If I saw anyone larger I would think good for you, keep at it.

MikeOxard Sat 06-Oct-12 18:31:48

Half the slim people she is worrying about making fun of her will have been fat themselves when they started going. Nobody will notice or care. On my first visit to the gym I fell off the treadmill, haha! The only person who laughed was me though, everyone else is either in the zone, too busy or too self conscious about what they're doing/looking like to worry about anyone else. Hope you have a fab time. If you go on the treadmill, increase and decrease the speed slowly and wait til the bloody thing stops before you try getting off!

hk78 Sat 06-Oct-12 18:39:53

Another one here who thought it would be like this, but it never was. I've been to both local council-run gyms and private ones that were quite swanky and never had any issues.

I think school p.e. lessons have a lot to answer for sadly.

WeAreEternal Sat 06-Oct-12 18:47:27

When ever I see 'fat' people in the gym I always think good for them and give them a reassuring smile.

at my biggest I was a size 20/22 and weighed 15 1/2 stone (I'm 5'4) I was desperately unhappy but was afraid to go outside and especially to the gym because I thought people would judge me.

Tell your friend that it is only painful the first time, after you realise that nobody else cares you suddenly wonder what you were worrying about.

I'm now a size 8 and I have never felt healthier.

panicnotanymore Sat 06-Oct-12 18:55:58

People who go to the gym tend to be the concerned with their own health and fitness and not there to judge others. I would only notice someone in the gym if they were doing something very anti social like making a lot of noise. Size wouldn't be on the radar.

Good for her, I hope she enjoys herself and you guys have fun.

QueenStromba Sat 06-Oct-12 19:17:21

If I even gave it a thought the thought would be "good for you". The only people I judge are people (of all sizes) who's entire shopping trolley is junk food and even then I just want to go over and beg them to eat some real food for the sake of their health.

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