100 lb. Club - In defense of fat people wearing tight exercise clothes




Sophronia
07-14-2011, 03:10 AM
I've heard so many people comment on fat people wearing tight (or even form-fitting) clothes. Not here, of course, but I've heard and read some pretty vicious things. And here is my response.

Look - I know my exercise shorts are tight. I know I don't look like the 105-pound woman you ogle when she runs down the street. But hey - if I wear looser pants, I chafe. And then, it becomes torturous for me to exercise. I wear a baggy shirt to lessen the "unsightliness." But I know that for me to reach goal weight, I have to protect my ability to exercise. And that means shorts that prevent chafing. And that means they are tight.

So avert your eyes if you need to. I know I would feel better if I didn't feel like I was under a microscope at the gym. But I have to live 24 hours a day in this body. I have to endure the stereotypes and occasional rudeness that accompany my weight. I have 6,000 times more at stake here than you do. Go about your day. Tell your friends about the fat woman at the gym. Even blog about it if you have to. But please know that there is a very important reason that I do it.

**End of rant


UrthWurm
07-14-2011, 03:48 AM
Hear hear! :high:

Lovely
07-14-2011, 03:50 AM
:hug:

6,000 times more at stake? More like an INFINITE amount more than some random, strange passerby who has absolutely nothing at stake.

Wear a flesh-toned, skintight leotard for all that it matters! You're out there and exercising! :yes: Be PROUD!


PacSunMama
07-14-2011, 03:50 AM
**** yes!!! Totally agree and I'd say that to anyones face too. I actually just got a couple fitted tops for running and probably should have bought XL but the L stays in place better. I do feel like I look like a shrink-wrapped sausage until I get running. And then being able to exercise without tugging at my clothes, without chafing and without being soaking wet by the end and it's sooooo worth it!!

Porthardygurl
07-14-2011, 03:53 AM
AMEN Sista!! Preach it!!!

Finally!! Someone steps up to the plate to say what we all have been thinking...!!! Good on ya!

TransAm
07-14-2011, 03:53 AM
If your at the gym that is the point! Your there making the hard decisions and doing the right thing one step at a time. It's no one elses right to tell you how to do it, or what to wear when you do! Keep up the good work. :D

JessLess
07-14-2011, 07:17 AM
It's a lot easier to see if your form is correct when you wear tight clothes.

xxkaleidoscopic
07-14-2011, 07:27 AM
Good for you! Honestly, people are so stupid. If you're getting out there and exercising, that means you're doing something better for yourself. And no one should knock that!

I hate having loose clothing flapping around me at any time, to be honest.

UrthWurm
07-14-2011, 07:45 AM
If you're getting out there and exercising, that means you're doing something better for yourself.

Exactly! Honestly, I think the most inspiring thing I've ever seen was a rather "fluffy" islander-looking dude running down the street faster than I could probably move with a gallon of water in one hand and a huge smile on his face. I think of this guy every time I need a little motivation. :running: If anything, I think people should be cheering each other on instead of judging you for trying to make better life choices. Shame on the general populace. SHAME! :nono:

Sunshine87
07-14-2011, 08:41 AM
I have no problem with spandex at the gym but if you feel uncomfortable because of the judgement may I suggest wearing spandex under a pair of shorts. One of my friends does it to avoid chafing.

Bellamack
07-14-2011, 08:49 AM
People are so rude. Quick non-weight story. In 2004 we rescued a baby Shar-pei, who was born with a cancerous tumor and had severe allergies (took he to Cornell Veternary) She was adorable, had the tumor removed, got her on $300/month for life medicine, plus other prescriptions. Well, she was comfortable and happy. One day my daughter and I were getting ice-cream and a little girl said to her mom "why is that dog scratching?" and the mother said "because they don't take care of it!" My daughter started crying, we actually had just come from the Vets, since she needed her cortisone shot. We spent $7000.00 saving this dogs life and that ignorant woman shoots her mouth off like that. I told my Vet and he wondered if I knew her name, he was going to tell her a thing or two. So, the point is people talk out their arses half the time. Just try to ignore them. Sorry for the rant. :)

JenMusic
07-14-2011, 08:59 AM
Wear a flesh-toned, skintight leotard for all that it matters! You're out there and exercising! :yes: Be PROUD!

This. :) Well put!

linJber
07-14-2011, 09:10 AM
I'm really sorry that this sort of judgement even exists. I assume you mean people are being judged within the walls of the gym - not quite the same thing as wearing spandex at the mall or grocery store. And It makes me even more grateful that I belong to an all women's gym where I have never heard anything but words of encouragement to every member - by the owner, by the staff, by other members.

I agree with a few points that have already been stated.

*Clothes that fit your body make it SO much easier to see if you are positioned correctly for an exercise.
*If you are always adjusting your clothes it's almost impossible to get through a workout comfortably.
*We DO have a lot more at stake than someone who is simply looking to tone up their "beach body."
*Wear the shorts over the spandex if it makes you feel more comfortable. It may hide some of the extra jiggles we have.

Mostly I'm simply appalled at the idea that we are judged even at the gym where we are working to get healthy. I realize more and more why I absolutely LOVE my gym. I've made friends, have given and received encouragement, and have been having a ball. I appreciate the fact that they will work with you to modify any class or exercise to suit your physical ability, whether you limitation is because you weigh 275 pounds and aren't very flexible - yet - or because you are 130 pounds but have a problem knee or shoulder (or whatever) that limits what you can do.

I think I better go to the "attitude of gratitude" thread and make a post in there! I hope everyone keeps on doing whatever it takes to get and stay healthy. We know we are doing the best we can for ourselves and that's all that matters. I hope everyone has a great day.

Lin

runningfromfat
07-14-2011, 09:56 AM
Definitely! I CANNOT STAND people who judge overweight people at the gym. IF anything the gym should be for overweight people because those are the ones who need it the most. I hate, hate, hate hearing about women who are scared of going to the gym because people will judge them for how they look (note: I'm not hating the women who say this but the people who judge and our society at large).

Just like on the swimming suit thread. Men/women should be ENCOURAGED to do physical activity (especially at higher weights) and should not be made to feel self conscious about their looks while doing.

OnMyWayDown
07-14-2011, 10:18 AM
Keep in mind though that the people that are judging you or any of us when we are exercising at the gym or outdoors are doing it because they have self esteem issues with themselves. There is some small or large part of them that is unhappy with their figure and it makes them feel better to look at you and make judgements. Its always easier to project judgment on others than to look within and judge.

I live in a very small town where everyone knows everyone and I must admit that I bought a treadmill and a weight set for this very reason. Well not completely since I knew that I would be more apt to do it if I didn't have to go anywhere but mostly because the idea of my body parts flailing through a workout in front of god an everyone that I knew sounded unbearable.

WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU COMFORTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

InsideMe
07-14-2011, 10:28 AM
Don't let them get to you girl. People who attack are feeling insignificant to something inside of themselves, they need to feel better so they judge. Gosh I would hate to be that person and feel that way skinny or fat! Obviously they aren't happy, it's all about how you feel on the inside. I agree you are out there exercising that's GREAT! If they can't see that, then poo poo on them, it's THEIR issue. You know once you get into your rightful hot body you worked so hard for if you saw an overweight person working out you would send them positive energy, and that's all that matters.

djs06
07-14-2011, 11:22 AM
Hear hear is right!!!

You know, as self conscious as I can be sometimes, I don't get a flying (BLEEP) if people look at my fat butt when I exercise- at least I'm doing it!

supergir111
07-14-2011, 12:56 PM
Very well said!

kaplods
07-14-2011, 01:16 PM
I think some people who criticize fat people's clothing choices have self-esteem issues, but I think more often it's a social issue. They do it, because it's socially acceptable to do so, because no one is telling them not to, and because they get reinforcement from it (people agree, often even other fat people).

This reminds me of the swimming suit thread. There are so many fashion rules for fat folk, and so many people willing to be fashion police (regardless of their own fat - "I know I'm fat, but at least I wouldn't wear that," they say in defense).

And the "rules" are so insane, that function and comfort is expected to be last priority not first. Oh, no because first priority must always be protecting decent folk from the horrorific experience of witnessing our bare flesh or any hint of jiggle.

God forbid a fat person wear clothes for comfort or function (and yes, I am being sarcastic).

SCraver
07-14-2011, 01:24 PM
I wear spandex... it stays in place and keeps my thighs from chaffing. To me, it is a necessity. And if people want to laugh at the fat girl running... well... I'd rather be fat than ugly!!

Besides... I silently judged the toned guy running in the wispy little running shorts... no shirt in 50 degree weather. Maybe he was worried about catching his nipple rings on a shirt? IDK.

I think if anyone said anything to me about my sretchy shorts - I would just point back at them and laugh.

Sophronia
07-14-2011, 02:02 PM
Just to be clear, no one has ever said anything directly to me. It's just that I work out at a student health center (I commute 40 miles to go to school, and so this works best with my schedule and is free with my tuition), so most of the people there are pretty fit. I have just heard the comments from people talking about other people, many of them making comments directly to me. I often wonder if these same people tell racist jokes to black people. Can't they see I am fat? I respond the same way I always do when someone says something negative about someone else to me-with an effort to be gentle and firm in my refusal to diss someone else.

The internet, however, is awash in this hate-filled invective. I just Googled "Fat people in tight clothes," and every entry on the first page of results is filled with anger at fat people who wear tight clothes. "I don't hate fat people. I just hate fat people who wear really tight clothes." There's even a Facebook group devoted to it.

And as I said in the OP, I don't care. I have thought about wearing looser shorts over it, as someone suggested, but it's really not comfortable. In the scheme of what's important to me, someone else's uninformed disgust does not rank high, especially compared to my desire to become healthier. Thanks to everyone for their support! And you're right - form for weight lifting is another great reason to wear clothes that fit. I think I may go to the Facebook page created to make fun of fat people who wear tight clothes and re-post what I said earlier. =)

sabrinalecompte
07-14-2011, 02:36 PM
I'm going to admit something...

I'm fat. And I used to judge overweight people who wore spandex. Honestly.. before I really admitted to myself that I was fat and needed to do something about it.. I was just as bad as some of the skinniest people. I had a huge problem with judging others. As I've started this journey, though, I've realized that a lot of the reasons I had for judging them was because I wanted to reassure myself that they were worse than me somehow.

Horrible revelation that has changed my entire way of looking at things. Especially now that I'm one of those people. And now that I exercise, I totally understand why they do it! Things jiggle, and they rub together and they bounce uncomfortably. Having tight things to hold them down is a life-saver! If I didn't have those spandex pants/shorts my thighs would be bright red with chaffing. If I didn't wear that bra that looks way too snug and that tight shirt over the top of it, my boobs would bounce painfully when I jogged. Even my arms would rub uncomfortably against my side and chaff. It probably looks ridiculous to people who are driving by as I huff and puff down the street. I've had people yell out their windows or honk at me as they drove by. It's embarrassing. But I'm exercising anyway. I'm saving my own life. And I no longer judge anyone else for doing the same thing.

dj mayhem
07-14-2011, 02:42 PM
you tell 'em girl!

Me1stAllways
07-14-2011, 02:48 PM
this is great..

I also wear spandex, that way when I pass the mirrors (and the gyms allways make sure they have mirrors every where) I can see the fat pockets on my hips, belly, below my ***, thighs and back lol keeps me determind and reminds me why Im sweating like a pig in frontta all these strangers

MariaMaria
07-14-2011, 03:14 PM
Besides... I silently judged the toned guy running in the wispy little running shorts... no shirt in 50 degree weather. Maybe he was worried about catching his nipple rings on a shirt? IDK.

Some folks run hot.

I'm in shorts (you'd call them wispy and little, I call them comfortable) until around 35-40 degrees. As it gets cooler I add gloves, then switch to long sleeves way before I even think about covering my legs. The only weird comments I've heard have been from people who I look fitter than.

Anecdata, most of the skimpily-dressed runners I know are (a) thin and (b) hard-core runners who've been running for a long time.

InsideMe
07-14-2011, 03:14 PM
I'm going to admit something...

I'm fat. And I used to judge overweight people who wore spandex. Honestly.. before I really admitted to myself that I was fat and needed to do something about it.. I was just as bad as some of the skinniest people. I had a huge problem with judging others. As I've started this journey, though, I've realized that a lot of the reasons I had for judging them was because I wanted to reassure myself that they were worse than me somehow.

Horrible revelation that has changed my entire way of looking at things. Especially now that I'm one of those people. And now that I exercise, I totally understand why they do it! Things jiggle, and they rub together and they bounce uncomfortably. Having tight things to hold them down is a life-saver! If I didn't have those spandex pants/shorts my thighs would be bright red with chaffing. If I didn't wear that bra that looks way too snug and that tight shirt over the top of it, my boobs would bounce painfully when I jogged. Even my arms would rub uncomfortably against my side and chaff. It probably looks ridiculous to people who are driving by as I huff and puff down the street. I've had people yell out their windows or honk at me as they drove by. It's embarrassing. But I'm exercising anyway. I'm saving my own life. And I no longer judge anyone else for doing the same thing.

Kudos to you! We have all judged, myself included. I think it takes great courage to admit yes we have all been at fault of judging others, but we have also gained the awareness that acceptance of people of all shapes and sizes, gender, sexuality, race and culture is truely what needs to happen. Thank you for being so honest :)

linJber
07-16-2011, 01:17 AM
I'll tell you what bothers me about how people dress - inappropriate clothes for their age! I was recently at a concert with my brother and his wife. The venue was very small - 1000 people - so we had a good chance to see the whole crowd as we waited in the lobby for the doors to the theater to open. The average age of the crowd was 50 - 60, as you might expect at a concert by someone whose rock and roll career started in the 1960's. Most were in jeans and we saw many interesting rock and roll tee-shirts. Then we saw HER - the 60 something woman (she was in good shape, I have to admit, for any age) in the 5" heels, plunging neckline, and a skirt so short I wouldn't have been able to get away with it in 1968 when "barely covering your butt" was too long! She looked ridiculous! We noticed lots of people looking and then whispering. She would have looked a thousand times better if she had worn something more appropriate. Even clingy and sexy would have worked and she'd have looked like a million bucks

Tight gym clothes are appropriate! Hoochie mama clothes are not!

Lin

leacj
07-16-2011, 12:01 PM
OMG, I would never be seen in spandex! I have worn it under a baggy shirt with a pair of baggy shorts on top, cause this way people won't notice I am fat, right??

I admit, I do look at overweight people in tight clothes and wonder why they are dressed like that....how can they walk around smiling and doing their own thing when they are bulging out of their clothes??

But, it is not a negative judgement on them, more of one on myself. I can't even pretend to have the confidence to wear tight clothes and walk around with my head up. But if you can do it, more power to you.

I do try not to stare, but admit I can't help but look and think "how come they feel able to be themselves and I am constantly trying to hide - what really can't be hidden - in baggy, layered clothes?" :?:

linJber
07-16-2011, 01:21 PM
Laeci - I think the original post was about spandex at the gym. I think anything goes at the gym. You have to be comfortable to work out effectively. Adding layers works for some, but others might prefer to go without the added bulk of 2 layers of clothing.

In public, I think it's everyone responsibility to dress appropriately for the occasion and the location. What is good at a backyard picnic or the beach is probably not the same as for a church service or an awards dinner.

I totally believe the gym should be a judgement free zone - but it isn't always like that.

Lin

foodmasochist
07-16-2011, 03:52 PM
i usually wear long yoga pants from the gap-they are extremely tight, but thin, cottony and comfy. Either way, be proud of your choice to BE at the gym :) i loved your vent, and i hope you don't let this get to you any longer. There are lot of "thin" people with health problems-exercising is probably the best thing you can do for your health no matter who you are! i think you're doing great! -fm