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Dear new girl at the gym...

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Old 02-04-2014, 07:56 PM   #1
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Default Dear new girl at the gym...

A friend posted this on facebook and I wanted to share. I hope it's allowed?
Really nice blog post.

http://ericamillard.com/?p=1566
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:35 PM   #2
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Posts like this are a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and maybe I'm outing myself as a rude person, but I know other friends feel the same way...

I think it's disingenuous to say "no one is judging you at the gym". They are. I totally judge people at the gym. Not in the way the post specifies (that I think they should just go home because they're so out of shape), but here's a few ways I've judged people at the gym lately:

1. OMG her gym clothes are so cute, I wish I could afford nice gym clothes.
2. Man, her workouts are so serious. She must think the rest of us are mice in comparison.
3. Why is she reading a magazine on the hip adduction machine? Is she here to read or exercise.
4. That lady just came in to shower after her workout, but she's not sweaty at all and she's still in full makeup. What the heck was she doing out there?

People look at you at the gym. People look at what you buy at the store and make assumptions about you. Don't hide from it, FACE it and DEAL with it because guess what? You do it too.

Anyone who says they've never looked in someone else's cart or at someone's clothes or at someone's muscles and made an assumption about them is lying, and that is judging whether the assumption was negative or positive.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underanalysis View Post
Posts like this are a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and maybe I'm outing myself as a rude person, but I know other friends feel the same way...

I think it's disingenuous to say "no one is judging you at the gym". They are. I totally judge people at the gym. Not in the way the post specifies (that I think they should just go home because they're so out of shape), but here's a few ways I've judged people at the gym lately:

1. OMG her gym clothes are so cute, I wish I could afford nice gym clothes.
2. Man, her workouts are so serious. She must think the rest of us are mice in comparison.
3. Why is she reading a magazine on the hip adduction machine? Is she here to read or exercise.
4. That lady just came in to shower after her workout, but she's not sweaty at all and she's still in full makeup. What the heck was she doing out there?

People look at you at the gym. People look at what you buy at the store and make assumptions about you. Don't hide from it, FACE it and DEAL with it because guess what? You do it too.

Anyone who says they've never looked in someone else's cart or at someone's clothes or at someone's muscles and made an assumption about them is lying, and that is judging whether the assumption was negative or positive.
And this is my pet peeve anytime this comes up: I think it's important to realize that not everyone thinks or acts exactly as you do. Just because you're checking in people's carts and second-guessing their work out, that doesn't mean everyone else is doing it. It just means you spend so much time doing it that it's hard for you to imagine other people don't.

I don't see how it's helpful to tell someone who is already feeling self-conscious that yes, everyone is judging you (because they're not) and don't you DARE be blissfully unaware of it for even one second.

I don't. I have plenty of my own stuff to think about and my thoughts to stray far from me, my kid, what I'm going to make for dinner, if I'm about to hurt myself, should I cut my hair, would I look better as a red head, what am I going to get my husband for Valentine's Day, wouldn't it be nice to go to the beach, I should really look into some beach houses, wonder how much vacation time my husband has, when is Spring Break, OMG, how long have I been on this machine, AM I REALLY WEARING BLACK SOCKS WHO LET THAT HAPPEN??? And I think I have a wedgie.

Also, some people are just really positive. I have a gym rat friend who regularly tells me about the obvious new mom he saw on the running trail or some old guy huffing and puffing in the pool and how motivating it is to see people just starting out. I'm not that person because again, I am just doing all I can to keep up with me, but I know other people are kind and generous even in their brains, where no one can hear.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:07 AM   #4
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Some people judge at the gym, but really, I think the majority of people inside are supportive and honestly judging others in a good way. They scope out the newbies, the gym rats, the people that make a LOT of noise while working out..... O.o Some people got some lungs! Hah.

But really, if people can see that you're trying at the gym, even if you can't run very far, or lift much weight, you're there TRYING. The people that claim they got dragged to the gym and are whining or complaining or making a huge deal out of being sore or sweaty.....ok, maybe they're getting judged a little harshly. =P *shrug*
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:38 AM   #5
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I feel supportive of people too. I don't go to the gym but I love going to the track at my neighborhood park. I love seeing the older people there, getting in their workout. I love to see the tai chi groups, the martial arts groups, the boot camps clubs, the joggers, the mommies pushing their running strollers, the guy doing jumping jacks, the personal trainers with their newbie clients, the guy running up the bleachers, the people stretching at the entrance of the track, the bike riders, the people carrying their tennis rackets. I draw a lot of inspiration there, it's such a happy place to be, I just love lingering on the thoughts that "we're all here for our health and wellbeing!"

I do admit though the people I don't draw a lot of inspiration from are the overweight women that are on the track. Not because I don't think they should be there, not because they're not doing the right thing or anything like that. Since I'm the type of person that absorbs the energy around me I feel like they walk with false determination - like "I have to do this, I have to lose the weight, I've failed so many times." It's a good mindset but because I'm there so often I see the same folks day in and day out. Most of the time though I never see those women again. Who knows, maybe they come at a different time of day than when I'm there but usually when I see an overweight woman I usually think to myself "how long will she be coming here, will she be here tomorrow?" I hate to see people give up on themselves.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:39 AM   #6
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I actually really enjoyed reading that post – reminds me that we are all just human and those who do judge regarding anything; have issues with themselves. In some respect judgmental people know no better, but with time, age and experience hopefully they learn what is really important in life and that is to love and respect people for who they are and the biggest lesson is to treat people how you want to be treated and that does not just mean to their face – it means in your thoughts as well.


At any rate there were parts that spoke to me and then others not so much. I think that is the important part of reading. You do not have to take every word literally. I experienced some of those emotions just last night in a spin class, but the old me (the one who used to be fit and was an athlete) took over and focused on what I was doing. I have been on both ends of the spectrum at the gym and in life so it is humbling. I have been a runner and I have breezed through an hour and a half spin class when I was lighter and fit. Today I find myself right back at point A wondering how I will ever get to the old me back and reading things like this reminds me that it is a lot of hard work that I have to put in to get there again. But most importantly it reminds me that I don’t have time to sweat at the small stuff. I cannot take the time to worry about what someone else thinks about me and my spandex pants .
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:46 AM   #7
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Default re:

Even if people are judging you, who cares? Everyone has judged or been judged somewhere at some point in their life. You can't let fear of being judged hold you back from anything.

What's that saying? "What other people think of me is none of my business."
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:58 PM   #8
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I found the piece to be kind hearted but a bit hokey. It also confirms the fear that people notice overweight/new women at the gym. When i was brand new to exercise in public more than anything I just wanted to be invisible and not be noticed by anyone. I'd be mortified if someone saw me struggling and wrote about it.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:45 PM   #9
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I'm with you Vex. I could give a rats a$$ what anyone is thinking.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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I don't care what others think of me at all, especially at the gym. But I do admit that I judge other people negatively when they don't seem to be taking it seriously. The annoying person chatting away loudly on her cell phone while on the treadmill bothers me. The person who doesn't observe gym etiquette and plants herself on a busy machine while she texts a friend during her time in between sets. The sloppy person who won't bring a towel to sit on or at least mop up the sweat on the machines. Or the woman who forgets to wash off her overpowering perfume...

But new people who use the gym for its purpose and follow the rules don't bother me at all. I was new at one point in my life too. And even when I switch gyms, I have to acquaint myself with the new machines.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:23 PM   #11
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Or what about the overweight-yet-not-new girl at the gym? Is she being judged? "Something she's doing must not be working...I mean, she's working out and she's still overweight..."

(I'm one of them).

Just a point for discussion...

My thoughts on it - frankly - at least I'm here and not on the couch!
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:36 AM   #12
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"Anyone who says they've never looked in someone else's cart or at someone's clothes or at someone's muscles and made an assumption about them is lying, and that is judging whether the assumption was negative or positive."

Bull roar. (LOL I was watching Reck it Ralph earlier)

On another note, I liked that post very much. Alot of people have to work, to get to where they are. Yeah it's alot, and you'll have to step out of your comfort zone. I found that letter/message/blog- what ever it was- very inspiring.

There ARE people in this world who are good, and who don't judge (for good, or bad) Not every one is the same.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:45 AM   #13
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I thought the sentiment was sweet, but I think we do all judge. Not all of our judgments are negative, though.

After I had my first baby, I started running to get back into shape. We have 2 dogs, and they love the exercise, plus they are good about hounding me to do it (pun intended). Anyway, when I first started, I couldn't even run for a quarter mile without stopping to catch my breath. I had that moment of fear that the neighbors were in their homes, seeing me out their windows and laughing at the fat girl trying to run. But I decided to keep doing it anyway, despite my fears. After a while, I convinced myself no one was even paying attention to me and maybe no one had even noticed I was running. After I'd lost over 30 lbs and was talking to one of my neighbors one day, she commented how she and her husband had been watching me run over the past few months. I felt my cheeks flush and my stomach drop and my eyes begin to well a tad with tears. And she followed it up with compliments on how amazing I was and that I looked fabulous. Other neigbors said pretty much the same thing at other times after that. So, yeah, people were watching me, but not to laugh.

This time around, I am totally aware that they are watching. And it really doesn't bother me one bit.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CutsieMina View Post
"Anyone who says they've never looked in someone else's cart or at someone's clothes or at someone's muscles and made an assumption about them is lying, and that is judging whether the assumption was negative or positive."

Bull roar. (LOL I was watching Reck it Ralph earlier)

On another note, I liked that post very much. Alot of people have to work, to get to where they are. Yeah it's alot, and you'll have to step out of your comfort zone. I found that letter/message/blog- what ever it was- very inspiring.

There ARE people in this world who are good, and who don't judge (for good, or bad) Not every one is the same.
I guess I can honestly say that until I came here and starting seeing the comments on what other people ate and bought, it never occurred to me that anyone would care what anyone else was buying at the grocery store. The only time I'm checking out someone else's cart is if I'm about to get behind them in line - and I'm looking for quantity, not quality ;-)
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:24 AM   #15
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Its funny - I switched from a fancy-bodybuilding/fit people gym to a "nogymintimidation Planet Fitness...and I found that Planet Fitness had a far more "invasive" feel. Constant reminders of the "Lunk" alarm - which is so irritating because my old gym was filled with the bodybuilder types and they were pretty much all respectful, left everyone alone, focused on themselves etc. Men at PF grab my one weight that I've only had for a few minutes, incessantly ask me questions while I'm trying to breathe correctly during deadlifting (so disrespectful!). I'm saving money at this new gym, but finding that the reverse is happening - open stares, getting bugged all the time etc. Its all fine, I don't mind the stares, but I do feel a lot more comfortable and left alone in my old "lunk" gym.
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