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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!

Littlefish Sat 06-Oct-12 16:28:32

I've lost 5 stone in the last 2 years and go to the gym once or twice a week. I'm still a size 16-18, so still got a long way to go in my desire for fitness and a healthy weight.

I can honestly say that I've never encountered any negativity at all. When I see people there who are the same size, or bigger than me, I think "excellent, well done for coming".

The only problem I have with going to the gym is that I never sweat, not even after an hour on the bike with my heart rate at 120 beats per minute. I get very very envious of anyone at the gym who gets really sweaty! I just go bright red and look like my head is going to explode. grin

multipoodles Sat 06-Oct-12 16:29:30

Encourage her all you can as honestly nobody will care. I visited a gym about 10 years ago and the reason I was happy to join was seeing 2 larger ladies working out and thinking this place is for me as it wasn't all skinny lycra glad ladies smile

ivykaty44 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:30:34

I go to the gym to work out and do my own thing - mostly I listen to music and gaze out the window.

I don't care who is in the gym or changing rooms with me as by the time I get to the changing rooms I am zoned out anyway!

It is my escape time for my mind.

bigTillyMint Sat 06-Oct-12 16:30:37

I think that no-one would bat an eyelid in my gym - people are all different shapes, sizes, ages and levels of fitness. We are all too busy trying to shift ourselves anyway!

I just think good on anyone who makes the effort, regardless of what size they are.

Mintyy Sat 06-Oct-12 16:30:42

I admire the very overweight people who I see exercising. Because as a moderately overweight person myself I understand how embarassing it is to be seen in gym gear/swimming costume, so I know that that person will have already got themselves over quite a mental hurdle before even stepping foot in the gym/pool. Good on you both!

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sat 06-Oct-12 16:31:18

It's hard to start, but as she starts getting the healthy body she wants, her fear will melt away! Starting is the hardest thing, seeing the results will make it easier and easier!

Galena Sat 06-Oct-12 16:31:47

I was a size 26 when I started going to the gym. Never had any comments. smile Good on her!

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 06-Oct-12 16:33:11

How are people supposed to get slim if fat people are not made welcome in the gym?

LollipopViolet Sat 06-Oct-12 16:35:55

Agree with everyone here - no one will say anything. My gym is lovely, and full of people of all shapes and sizes.

Littlefish - I am so with you! I do an hour on the treadmill each time, going at my fastest speed, and I don't sweat!

MaryZed Sat 06-Oct-12 16:36:08

I agree with all of you - and interestingly I was listening to a programme on the radio today which was about a study done recently showing that fit, fat peoplle are much healthier than unfit thin people. So going to the gym (even if you do what I do and eat muffins afterwards) is obviously a good idea.

Do suggest she gets a really good sports bra though. As well as not knocking herself out and feeling embarrassed, it will stop her norks getting pains and aches [bitter]

onedev Sat 06-Oct-12 16:39:47

I was a size 18-20 when I first started going to the gym & no-one said a thing or looked at me funny, although I did feel self-conscious the first few times.

I managed to get down to a size 10 over about 9 months (& following Slimming World) & no-one batted an eyelid then either. I agree with all the others who say people don't notice as my experience proves that but I totally understand her nervousness as I felt exactly the same.

I hope you convince her to go as crossing the doors is actually the hardest part! Enjoy grin

Ephiny Sat 06-Oct-12 16:43:26

In my experience you see people of all ages and sizes and abilities in the gym. I can understand your friend feeling a bit self-conscious, but I really don't think it'll be the way she imagines.

Personally I was worried about using the weights/strength area, and thought I'd look ridiculous being a small woman, not a big muscle-bound man. It's not been an issue though. People just get on and do their own thing, I've never seen anyone being made fun of for any reason tbh.

It's not high school P.E.!

HarlettOScara Sat 06-Oct-12 16:45:07

I was about a size 26 when I started going to the's one of those quite posh ones too, mainly frequented by beautiful people who look like they don't need to be in a gym. I was a bit apprehensive like your friend but honestly, ive never felt self conscious or that anyone is staring or sniggering at me. A couple of other regulars have come up to me to congratulate me on my progress (I lost 6ish stone) in a supportive rather than patronising way. I've had a prolonged break due to pregnancy/SPD/newborn but I'm hopIng to get back into it soon to start shifting the baby weight.

NewNames Sat 06-Oct-12 16:47:03

Tell her not to worry. I am veh fat and no one has ever taken the piss out of me. She will be fine!

TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 16:47:44

You are all very kind and I'll be showing your responses to my friend before we go on Monday.

I don't think she'll back out of going, she really wants to do this. She's made a lot of changes recently, including eating different things and I think she's in a really good state of mind to kick off exercising. As a lot of you have mentioned, it really is the first few times that are the hardest. I remember walking in there myself and feeling like I wanted to walk straight back out again. You really need to talk yourself into it in the beginning, but it does get easier.

Thank you everyone for the responses. I was worried about posting this because I didn't want to upset anyone with the phrasing, but I hope this is encouraging to others as well as my friend!

Littlefish Sat 06-Oct-12 16:48:36

Lollipop - have you got any idea why you don't sweat? I'm going to ask my GP next time I have to go and see her about something. I do worry a bit about overheating.

juneau Sat 06-Oct-12 16:48:47

If I saw a fat person in the gym I'd think 'Good for them - they're doing something about it'. Being fitter is a good thing whether you're fat, thin, young, old, whatever. But, to be honest, I'm far more interested in what I'm doing and the gym I go to is a council gym and no one goes there to see or be seen. Now the fancy gym I used to go to - that was a different matter - everyone was checking out everybody else!

Nancy66 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:48:59

I tend to exercise outdoors now but when I did go the gym it was:

head down
work out

I didn't give a shite about or pay any attention to anyone else.

PedanticPanda Sat 06-Oct-12 16:49:18

No I've never seen anyone getting made fun of in the gym. There's nothing for your friend to worry about smile

Lizzylou Sat 06-Oct-12 16:49:37

Totally agree with everyone on thread, ime noone bats an eyelid at anyone else.
Have never seen anyone mock or laugh at overweight people, not in the gym or in a class. There are some older, overweight ladies at spin class and they are really fit.

TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 16:51:39

Juneau, this is a council run gym as well. It's got brilliant facilities. Lots of classes as well as the gym and swimming pool. I had a week long pass to the very expensive private 'health club' across town and I still prefer going to the cheap one. The staff are lovely and I really enjoy going.

BigBroomstickBIWI Sat 06-Oct-12 16:52:56

I think I could strip off naked and walk through the gym and no-one would pay a blind bit of notice!

Honestly, everyone is focused on their own thing, they really won't pay your friend any attention.

susiedaisy Sat 06-Oct-12 16:54:18

My local gym has all sorts of people, big, small, old, young, disabled, there's a right mix, most in old tee shirts and tracky bottoms and no one cares less, I don't feel at all bothered and I'm a big girl!smile your friend will be fine!

LollipopViolet Sat 06-Oct-12 16:56:29

Littlefish I'm not too worried as when it's v. warm or I go in the gym's steam room, I do sweat. It's just very strange.

OP, just to say, you're being a fab friend - I joined my first proper gym with two mates and it made it so much easier as we'd go on, say the treadmill, and they'd motivate me, and we'd natter as we walked/ran. Was great and I do miss it now that I'm at a different gym.

Blu Sat 06-Oct-12 16:59:36

I clicked on this thread in total fear and horror that someone was posting a negative thread about fat people in the gym, in which case I would have given them a right earful!

I go to the gym, and assume that there will a fully representative range of all people, just like outside. There is a huge age range, late teens to pensioners, all shapes and sizes, all colours, all sorts of outfits, and I don't take much notice of anyone else or what they look like or what they are doing.

I have never found anyone being snotty about anything in a gym - everyone is there doing the same thing.

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