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Old 04-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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Question Would You?

I noticed a lady in my gym this morning who I thought must have signed up very recently. I have never seen her before (doesn't necessarily mean she is a new member, I know). She is quite heavy; not very tall and I am guessing that she must be some 300 lbs. I saw her when I was on the elliptical (she was just slowly passing through the area) and then I saw her later at the ladies' change room.

I would like to tell her something nice and welcoming, and give her kudos for deciding to join a gym and exercise, but I was terribly worried that she may take it the wrong way and feel offended. She is by far the heaviest person I have seen at my gym and we all know how intimidating it can be for newbies just to show up.

I am afraid of sticking my foot into my mouth and saying the wrong thing. What would you do? Would you keep your mouth shut or would you say something encouraging (and if yes, what)?.

Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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I would just be nice.. I wouldn't say anything about her weight.. or congradulate her on going to the gym.. I would just ask her if she was new.. and make acquaintances with her, and be a friendly face for her when she comes in.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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great advice Paperskin....I would do the same....be nice to her, even befriend her if you are so inclined...your positive energy may be what makes her come again...good for you for looking out for your fellow human being..I wish we all thought that way.

Tomato--I am like you--I would be afraid to offend her. I don't know why it's occuring to me now but I hate when someone is nice to me in some random place and then asks me to sell Mary Kay...OR even worse, they invite me to their church! LOL.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:44 AM   #4
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I can put myself in her place because I was 5'2" and almost 300 pounds. Someone giving me kudos for deciding to join a gym and exercise would really embarrass me but someone smiling and just being friendly would really help.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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That is so sweet! You rock Tomato! Maybe you could just ask if she's new and offer to show her around. Maybe even invite her to work out with you a couple of times. Thinking back at my emotions/feelings in the 300+ pound range, I think that if someone just acknowledged me and made to feel human would have thrilled me.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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I'd just be nice and be like "hi how are you?" or make small talk like you would with anyone else
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
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Yup, I agree. Gyms I've belonged to in the past, it's nice if someone's normally friendly; if anyone congratulated me on being there at my weight, it would have had the opposite effect to that which you intend.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ailidh View Post
Yup, I agree. Gyms I've belonged to in the past, it's nice if someone's normally friendly; if anyone congratulated me on being there at my weight, it would have had the opposite effect to that which you intend.
I agree with everything said here.

As someone over 350 pounds, I would simply appreciate a nice hello and perhaps a name. Then I would love to be asked if I were new there and after I said yes hopefully the next response would be that is wonderful because it is always nice to see new faces there.

In that way she won't feel centered out.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paperSkin View Post
I would just be nice.. I wouldn't say anything about her weight.. or congradulate her on going to the gym.. I would just ask her if she was new.. and make acquaintances with her, and be a friendly face for her when she comes in.
ITA!

Dont say something like congrats on coming to the gym b/c that would turn me off big time.
Just say hi and be friendly and talk about non weight type things or if you in a class there invite her to join you or something. But please dont make a big deal about her being at the gym even if you mean it in the most positive way ever.
Just be friendly and nice and welcoming and introduce yourself and let her know your friendly.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:23 PM   #10
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Yeah, I think it's good to just be friendly with her as you would with anyone. I mean, otherwise, the truth is you are singling her out because of her weight. It could feel condescending to some, even though others would just appreciate the support.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:34 PM   #11
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Im not even 100% sure Id ask it she was new. That might even get turned around in her mind as oh you must be new bc your so fat sorry but Im 300 lbs and I have issues so I know Im not alone LOL
Just be nice and friendly!
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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Someone actually said something like that to me once when I was working out at a gym. I'm sure he meant well; he was a nice older gentleman, and I don't remember exactly what he said, but the way it came out was very 'how nice that the fat girl's doing something about her problem'. I was probably being too sensitive, but that's how I took it, and it made me feel SO MUCH MORE self-conscious about being in the gym, even though I was two years into my weight loss program at that point, and I've always worked out anyway.

So yes, I agree with everyone else. Be friendly, but don't bring up her weight until you get to know her.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:32 PM   #13
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I agree with all the above chickies and would like to add, that by being friendly and putting that vibe out there is a great thing to do. Who knows, it may have a snowball effect and have all kinds of different people actually talking and being nice to each other. Then it will oooze out of the gym and people will take it to the store with them, or the gas station. You could create a whole epidemic of niceness!!



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Old 04-29-2009, 01:53 PM   #14
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Default I'm in total agreement......

with the others.

I would not comment or give her kudos for joining/being at the gym. I think that would make her more self conscious.

I would mention that I hadn't noticed her before, introduce myself and be as friendly as possible.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:11 PM   #15
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I would just give her a friendly smile with eye contact and a hello, nothing more. Anything else could very easily be misinterpreted and unintentionally cause her to quit coming.

ETA: If she's walking with her head down and obviously through body language trying to be invisible, I wouldn't even say hello. Just smile if I happened to make eye contact with her.
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