100 lb. Club - THE GYM ISSUE (Fat girl in a skinny world)




Heavenlymom
02-19-2010, 02:21 AM
So I am a member of the YMCA as is my family. I want to go work out there more often but I have noticed that people stare big time. I'm super short - midget sized almost and over 200 pounds. I look like a HUGE mushroom compared to the other sticks in their with their little butts and perfect boobs, tiny waists and so forth.
I hop on the tread mill and start walking while I'm huffin and puffin and the little size 0 next to me is running full pace without breaking a sweat. The muscled guys are gawking at me and sneering as I'm barely making it ten minutes at the slowest pace.
I could go on and on but I wont. I am sure you get it. Anyone else have this problem? I am just soo emberrassed. I hang my head in shame at the Y.


crcossel
02-19-2010, 02:32 AM
wow, I am so sorry. I can't believe they do that. When I see someone larger at the gym I think "wow, if they can do it I sure can."

On the other hand I dropped the gym at the beginning of last summer and I haven't gone back. Why don't you start at home. The "walk the pounds off" dvds would work perfect for you. When you feel a bit better about yourself you can try the gym again.

Whatever you do.....don't let the jerks of the world stop you!

KellyGrrl
02-19-2010, 02:38 AM
I had this same problem until I realized it was all in my head. I'm not saying yours IS because obviously I'm not at your gym in your shoes but I realized it was in my head and I was using it as an excuse because I felt so bad about myself and felt embarassed to be working out next to the "thinner" people.

Then one day I forgot my headphones and caught myself just looking at everyone around me and then thought "what else am I supposed to look at except the people around the gym when I'm just running (ok, so really just walking haha) on this thing" and then figured thats probably just what everyone does.

Another thing I told myself for motivation to keep going and working out is "what could these people be thinking other than "wow she's got some weight to lose - but good for her she's here doing it"
It's not like you're shoving your face at a fast food restaurant and they're looking at you. You are doing something about it! So I think sometimes it's our own opinons that hinder us and not really other peoples :(

Hope this helps some!


salsa chip
02-19-2010, 03:28 AM
Don't let the b*****s get you down! By getting out there and improving your fitness you're made of better stuff than people who stare and smirk (and like another poster, when I see someone large at the gym I send out a mental "Good for you!").

quince
02-19-2010, 03:59 AM
dear Heavenlymom,
i'm sure everyone had this problem at one point in time - the first few times they got to the gym. most of the problem is in our head, but even if someone really is thinking that way of you, there is no reason for you to worry about it. you are doing the best thing one can do for one's health and weight loss and should be really proud of yourself! who cares what people around you think and why they stare!
i look like a taller ;) mushroom and i too noticed people stared in the beginning. in time, most of them stopped because they finally saw what they needed to see and were probably bored because i never reacted, as if they were not there, just went on with my exercise as if i were one of them, strong, healthy and slim. in time, i got stronger and stronger, those 10 minutes of sweating on the treadmill became 30 and more.
months later, one of the guys approached me after i did my pushups, many of those (i actually enjoy that), and asked how do i do it, it seems so hard and i do it with such lightness.
turns out, dear Heavenlymom, many of those people i felt embarrassed about stared and were impressed with my willpower and progress.

so just focus on the treadmill and keep going, you are on the right way! :)

Heavenlymom
02-19-2010, 06:37 AM
Thanks everyone. I'm glad to know it's not just me. I will just have to push through the stares and face forward. :) It'll be a hard process but I'm going to do it.

salsa chip
02-19-2010, 06:40 AM
Thanks everyone. I'm glad to know it's not just me. I will just have to push through the stares and face forward. :) It'll be a hard process but I'm going to do it.

Good for you! It will take time but you will feel comfortable working out :hug:

thistoo
02-19-2010, 07:34 AM
No more hanging your head in shame! You have as much right to be there as anyone else, and if the people at your Y have no manners, well, you can't help that their mothers didn't raise them right.

You are doing what you need to do for *you*. That's awesome and inspiring and I bet a lot of those people will admire your commitment when you're still there sweating in six months (if they're still around to stare!)

cheerios
02-19-2010, 08:00 AM
keep your head high and keep going there and soon you will be gawked as the girl that looks hotter than that size 0 next to you! she may be skinny but your probably more beautiful! :)

jigglefree
02-19-2010, 10:21 AM
I say keep going. Take the stares a an opportunity to get used to people looking at you. Once you get to goal, they be will looking and admiring and asking questions. YOU KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!!!

Nada
02-19-2010, 10:44 AM
I wonder if the trainers make bets on who will continue coming and who will drop out after a few sessions. If so, someone lost betting against me because I don't quit. Make them get so used to seeing you, that they think of you as one of the regulars.

Essa415
02-19-2010, 11:10 AM
I agree with people that a lot of it is in your head. Go you for sweating it out in the gym!! When I see someone at the gym who is bigger than I am I never judge and always give them credit for doing something to counteract the scale. Don't let the other people bring you down, you're doing this for you! Soon enough you will be that fit girl running effortlessly on the treadmill. KEEP IT UP!!!

matt_H
02-19-2010, 11:31 AM
I was so scared and tense when I first started going to the gym and I thought the same thing (that people were staring at me and thinking negative thoughts). I really don't think that is the case. Most people there are lost in their own thing and if anything, they would be thinking how great it is that you are there and are doing positive things for yourself.

Please don't compare yourself to other people who are there. You are there for your own health!

Congrats on going and I hope you will keep it up. :)

KnitALisa
02-19-2010, 11:32 AM
Heavenlymom: Keep going! For several reasons: 1) Yourself, i.e. your health, your family, your wellbeing and 2) You never know when a person larger, more out of shape, and even more self conscious than you is going to walk by and see you. You can be such an inspiration to that person, such a comfort to their self consciousness.

I'm sure you're already seeing some differences, but I can guarantee that if you go, and go consistently, that it won't be long before you're doing 30-40 mins on the treadmill. Our bodies are such amazing things.

Make them get so used to seeing you, that they think of you as one of the regulars.
I so agree with this! I used to do the classes at my local Y (had to move away for school; I still miss that gym) and was almost always the biggest gal in the room and had to fight with some paranoid feelings that all the skinny gals were thinking how disgusting I am, etc. All that changed when I ran into one of those slim women at the bank after missing a class. I didn't even know her name, but she came over to me and was like "HEY, where were you?! You'd better not be skipping, we missed you!" I think most people are better than what we assume them to be. :)

VickieLou
02-19-2010, 11:46 AM
HeavenlyMom just ignore them, and enjoy your workout. Maybe you can listen to some music on headphones or watch tv. There will always be people that aren't nice to us overweight people. You are doing something good for your health.

Gourmet Bean
02-19-2010, 12:48 PM
Thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one who thought I was being stared at just because I'm bigger than those tiny gym-rats. I didn't even want to join a normal gym because of that. I ended up just going to my apartment complex's fitness center and even got a friend of mine to come with me. It really helped.

calluna
02-19-2010, 12:58 PM
Heavenlymom, I thought I'd add a few cents too.

I'm one who doesn't like gyms - I don't use a gym at all, and I'm not sure I ever would unless there was equipment I just HAD to have that I couldn't use or mimic at home. Like pools, for instance. :)

That aside, I have learned at least a few things in life and one is that the opinion of the people who stare probably doesn't matter past the moment. So when I walk outside and I'm jiggling around, I'm flushed by more than just an elevated heart rate when people stare. But after I'm done, those people are gone, their opinions don't matter, I'm still here and I'm proud of myself. And my opinion DOES matter.

So if you use the Y or not, make sure you don't let those people get in the way of your progress. :) :hug:

Kae
02-19-2010, 01:29 PM
When I was going to the gym if I saw someone bigger than me working out I was always thinking, "Wow, good for them." There may always be people who will judge you for something, but more often people who think it is great that you are doing something for yourself.

marigrace
02-19-2010, 01:30 PM
I guess it is like that in some gyms, but I think that overall, people would have to admire you for what you are doing for youself. And when you get fit and start strutting your stuff, the sneerers (is that a word?) will have to eat a little humble pie.

Michelle98272
02-19-2010, 01:32 PM
I would suggest, toughing it out...gritting your teeth, smiling your cutest smile, make eye contact and say loudly "WHAT THE "F" IS YOUR PROBLEM?...WANT A PIECE OF ME PUNK?" LOL just kidding..smile and say "HI".

I work with developmentally disabled people and we often get stares when out in the community. (I don't do the gym thing, yet!) People stare but stop when they are busted. When you make eye contact and smile...they realize they were staring. They often just look away at that point. Sometimes they smile back and say hi or ask a question about the individual (was he born that way?) Sometimes I get the feeling they were not aware that they were staring. It's human nature (really!) to look longer at things that are unfamiliar.

brandijune44
02-19-2010, 01:58 PM
Hang in there girl! I experienced those same feelings. Each day it gets easier and easier though. When I start thinking those self-conscious thoughts, I turn on my mp3 player really loud on an upbeat song that I love and I relish in the fact that I am actually here doing this thing for ME. Keep with it...[hugs!]

kuhrisuh
02-20-2010, 01:47 PM
:hug::hug::hug:

I feel uncomfortable at the gym too.. but the more you go, the more you stop caring about all those other people and what they're thinking. Remember, you're doing this for YOU. No one else. Just YOU. So YOU are the only person you should have to worry about or focus on at the gym.

The hard, honest truth is that to lose weight, we have to move. And the gym is one way of getting that movement in. If you really, really hate it you could always walk in place at home or go for walks outside when it's warmer. As for me, I take all 200 lbs of myself and get on that treadmill, punch my arms in the air, sweat sweat sweat, and just ignore anyone who seems to think I shouldn't be there or that I shouldn't be trying to *run* because of my size. I'm working hard and changing for ME, and I'm not about to let anyone else get in my way :).

Be strong, girl. I know it tough. But you CAN'T fail if you DON'T quit!!






Oh yeah, P.S. - I know I've already rambled a lot but just wanted to say - some people may be looking at you thinking "wow, it's awesome that she's here working hard" I'm one who always assumes the negative first, but there may be people thinking POSITIVE things about us too. Either way, doesn't matter. Only opinion that matters is our own!

dragonwoman64
02-20-2010, 02:13 PM
people of every size feel self conscious and uncomfortable at the gym. I've seen people do the goofiest things to each other at my Y (regardless of size and physical condition). I was anxious, maybe even terrified of going at first. that wore off, now I love it. and I've gotten positive comments from people (keep up the good work!), which I appreciate.

I seriously don't think, whether they look, stare or neither of those two things, that anyone would truly consciously want to discourage you or make you feel bad (unless he or she is a nut).

hang in there, and enjoy your gym sessions!

PaulaM
02-20-2010, 03:57 PM
HA, you need to come to my Y. I am one of the youngsters at 55! There are a lot of younger men weightlifting though. I just put my iPod on, and go into a zone of not paying the slightest bit of attention. The only place I feel a little self concious is in the locker room, but at this age, nobody would be looking at me anyway. I even bought a tankini and swim all the time. I don't think of how do I look now. Just keep going and soon it will be a routine.

Shmead
02-20-2010, 06:14 PM
This may sound kinda stupid, but I think it helps to think kind thoughts about other people: we tend to assume others think like us, so if you tend to think negative thoughts about other people, you'll assume they think negative thoughts about you. It's really a vicious cycle: a person feels self-conscious about themselves, starts thinking catty things defensively, and then gets even more paranoid about everyone else. Try to think something really nice about everyone you see, and see if that makes a difference in what you assume they are thinking about you.

gloo
02-21-2010, 01:57 PM
Totally agree with everyone else. When I first when back to the gym at my highest weight, I had moments of feeling like the freakish fat girl, but that all went away when I remembered that I'm not there for anyone but myself. Crank up your iPod, set a personal goal, and smash it. It's amazing how quickly the rest of it fades away when you walk away with that sense of accomplishment.

Hang in there! :hug:

ubergirl
02-21-2010, 02:29 PM
This may sound kinda stupid, but I think it helps to think kind thoughts about other people: we tend to assume others think like us, so if you tend to think negative thoughts about other people, you'll assume they think negative thoughts about you. It's really a vicious cycle: a person feels self-conscious about themselves, starts thinking catty things defensively, and then gets even more paranoid about everyone else. Try to think something really nice about everyone you see, and see if that makes a difference in what you assume they are thinking about you.

Shmead. This is wise. I'm going to try to gently share this with my hyper-self-concious 15 year old. She really suffers from that frame of mind. Thanks! :)

Heavenly MOM. :hug::hug::hug::hug:

I'm going to agree with the people who think it's probably mostly your own self-consciousness that's getting the best of you. When I first started at the Y, I felt like that pathetic fat lady who gives it a half-hearted try and then quits, but over time, I got comfortable, and then, after a while more, I morphed into a regular.

There are people of all ages, shapes and sizes at my Y-- but I have found that there are times of day I prefer not to go-- in the morning when the pretty housewives are there using the day care, , and right after work for the fitness buff men.... Might sound silly.... but I have found times where "my crowd" is there-- and the gym is not as crowded in general.

gr82bmom
02-22-2010, 10:39 PM
I am always worried about the same thing. I just work out at home. Can you work out to a DVD? Or walk in your neighborhood?

choirgirlhotel
02-23-2010, 12:29 AM
Then one day I forgot my headphones and caught myself just looking at everyone around me and then thought "what else am I supposed to look at except the people around the gym when I'm just running (ok, so really just walking haha) on this thing" and then figured thats probably just what everyone does.

hey good point!

~CGH~

GirlyGirlSebas
02-23-2010, 08:33 AM
Keep going! Hold your head up high and remember the reason you are there. Before long, these same people you think are staring at you will be tapping you on the shoulder and interrupting your workout to tell you how amazing you look!

Jaimie
02-23-2010, 10:13 PM
I read a book by Lisa Delaney called Secrets of a Former Fat Girl. It's a great book and in it she tackles the gym thing. She says that you'd be surprised how many of those skinny girls used to be fat girls. Same with personal trainers, you'd be surprised how many of them used to be overweight.

When I go to the gym, I just picture the person next to me being fat and overweight and I go about my business. It helps that I listen to my ipod, I just tune out everything around me.

If someone makes a comment or stares, I just give them a stare back and they usually go back to what they were doing. Just like anything else, be strong and do not let them victimize you. Summon a little Angelina and treat the rude ones like they are inferior. I can shut down anyone and their insults with one look, just use your confidence to do the same :)

shcirerf
02-24-2010, 01:49 AM
I was just thinking that the skinny girl, got skinny, because she "went to the gym" no matter what. :D

At our local gym, folks make take a gander when you first show up, but then they go on about their business and don't pay any attention.