Going to the GYM when your 320 pounds :(

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Replies

  • girlinahat
    girlinahat Posts: 2,956 Member
    I'm going to be honest here. I look at people all the time, wherever I am and I suppose I am passing some form of judgement on them.

    My mental thoughts can range from:

    'she shouldn't wear that dress it's not very flattering' to 'wow, that colour looks great on her I wish I could wear yellow'.

    or I might see a family feeding the ducks and smile at a pleasant scene, or a cute dog carrying a huge stick and laugh at it.

    The point is, we ALL look at people and wonder about them, but it tends to be fleeting and is generally about comparing them with our own lives (I don't have a family or a dog so I'm probably jealous)

    If I see a morbidly obese person in a fast food place, I'll admit my first thought will almost certainly be - 'well, we know how they ended up weighing so much'.

    But if I see an obese person (or actually anyone) in the gym, or doing any form of activity, my first thought is 'ah. what are they doing? Is this something I can work out into my workout routine, does it look hard, does it look like something I can benefit from and dammit they are running at twice the pace I am'

    If a person is in the gym, they are doing good things for themselves. You won't be judged, you will be admired.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,860 Member
    An obese person at the gym?? Know what I think? That gyms are especially made for you. You can start out small and track your progress and slowly up your chosen workout to better yourself. I like seeing bigger or older people working out. It makes me feel comfortable and I hope they feel that way too.
  • kristikitter
    kristikitter Posts: 602 Member
    girlinahat wrote: »
    I'm going to be honest here. I look at people all the time, wherever I am and I suppose I am passing some form of judgement on them.

    My mental thoughts can range from:

    'she shouldn't wear that dress it's not very flattering' to 'wow, that colour looks great on her I wish I could wear yellow'.

    or I might see a family feeding the ducks and smile at a pleasant scene, or a cute dog carrying a huge stick and laugh at it.

    The point is, we ALL look at people and wonder about them, but it tends to be fleeting and is generally about comparing them with our own lives (I don't have a family or a dog so I'm probably jealous)

    If I see a morbidly obese person in a fast food place, I'll admit my first thought will almost certainly be - 'well, we know how they ended up weighing so much'.

    But if I see an obese person (or actually anyone) in the gym, or doing any form of activity, my first thought is 'ah. what are they doing? Is this something I can work out into my workout routine, does it look hard, does it look like something I can benefit from and dammit they are running at twice the pace I am'

    If a person is in the gym, they are doing good things for themselves. You won't be judged, you will be admired.

    I like how honest this is.

    OP I can guarantee you, the loudest negative thoughts will be in your own head. And once you shake those off, it's pretty much plain sailing.
  • fishgutzy
    fishgutzy Posts: 2,807 Member
    I tipped the scales at 310 when I finally decided to make changes. Thankfully I like swimming. And I started swimming almost every day. After a while I plateaued and made more changes including working with a trainer to help develop a proper lifting regimen.
  • JukeboxHeroine
    JukeboxHeroine Posts: 348 Member
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    Shield45 wrote: »
    Hi I have been on this awesome form for 3 days now and seen some amazing story's , But what I what to know is what does it feel like going to the gym when your over weight I'll be starting on Monday next week , but i am all most to afraid to go because of my weight.

    Is there much judgement in a gym ? will I get the looks ?
    I feel very self conscious about this and was hoping you guys could give me the motivation i need to go .

    thanks :)

    I will judge you

    I will judge you for going for it ...and you will be judged

    Because every exercise you do, everything you attempt and learn, and possibly mess up and get up and try again is a symbol of your will and commitment

    You will be automatically moving more weight than most people in that gym...at any form of exercise you will be moving 320lbs and that's hard work

    So yes, I will judge you for finding it hard and doing it anyway

    I will judge you as simply great

    And if I see you week after week I will think you are awesome

    But I'll never tell you, and I won't stare, cos the gym is a place you focus on yourself and I've got my own mountain to climb

    You go for it

    This made me tear up. So great!
  • I worked in a gym and we had several very obese members. Working at the desk a lot of the regulars would chat with me. I would hear common things . First they were nervous. They were afraid people were talking behind their back. And they were right. People were saying things like, "I have a lot respect for that person over there. It takes a lot to come in here not knowing how people will treat you." Or "That's one of the hardest working people I have seen in here in a long time." You get my drift. I was always glad to hear more good things being said behind the backs of the heaviest members.

    There seems to be a common annoyance though. Say that 300+ lb member gets a LOT of "Good for you for coming in here and working out! You are an inspiration!" or, "I have a lot of respect for what you're doing. I know it's not easy. Good for you for making it happen!" These types of comments are usually meant as a sincerely genuine compliment and encouragement, but it is received as an insult. The person receiving such a comment wants "to be treated just like everyone else" or feels that "I'm tired of getting singled out." The problem is most people feel driven to compliment and encourage in this way. They may think that such comments help encourage the person and maybe make them more comfortable. It's impossible to reach every human being who attends that gym and ask them not to do that. I think a simple, "thank you I appreciate that." Followed by a quick change of subject is good for redirecting. Sometimes getting comfortable with someone that is a regular during the same time frame at the gym will open the door for this discussion. Like, "I know people mean well but I wish they would stop with "those" comments. It makes me feel bad/uncomfortable/like a spectacle/etc..." Word may possibley get around maybe people will say less things like that.

    Basically the feeling like a spectacle is the biggest peeve from what was expressed to me. I have also heard this outside the gym. I'm not saying it's this way at every gym. This is just what I witnessed at the gym where I was employed and heard from people in life out side of the gym. You have to be able to get past this being an inspiration and getting "compliments" thing.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    Basically the feeling like a spectacle is the biggest peeve from what was expressed to me. I have also heard this outside the gym. I'm not saying it's this way at every gym. This is just what I witnessed at the gym where I was employed and heard from people in life out side of the gym. You have to be able to get past this being an inspiration and getting "compliments" thing.

    i get a little of that, being visibly middle-aged. or from the people who know i have r.a. it's well-intentioned but the cumulative effect is of condescension, so thanks for mentioning this. it basically becomes a big sign that just says 'i feel the need to compliment you because you're less-than.' it's uncomfortable to be turned into a poster child without your consent.

  • AliceDark
    AliceDark Posts: 3,886 Member
    It really does depend on the gym, and the time you're there. My gym after work or at peak times on weekend days is a NIGHTMARE, but in the early morning it has a very friendly, welcoming vibe. I'd strongly suggest asking the front desk reps about their most and least busy times of day.

    Honestly, I zone out and watch people at the gym all the time, and I hope people don't feel like I'm judging them negatively. It's almost always a case of "I'm resting, and not paying attention, and something is moving within my field of vision so I'm watching it but I'm not actually processing any of the information," but sometimes it's "their form is really good and I struggle with that exercise, so I'm going to watch and try to pick up some pointers," and sometimes it's "that's a new person I haven't seen here before."

    I will say that I have NEVER seen an older, heavier or generally unfit person and thought that they didn't belong. I HAVE thought "good for you!" or "I hope I'm still active and coming to the gym when I'm her age!" or "damn, they've made some incredible progress since they started coming, and they look fantastic!"
  • Michael190lbs
    Michael190lbs Posts: 1,510 Member
    Fat or skinny everyone has an opinion who gives a crap Just do it for you!! I have lost a lot of weight I get more about being to small now then I ever did when I was 100 lbs heavier at least when I was 280lbs I could have sat on them..lol..
  • jennifer_417
    jennifer_417 Posts: 12,346 Member
    Really, no one can speak for every single person that goes to the gym. The fact is-there are people who behave badly everywhere, and we can't control that.
    But let me tell you this: I, for one, get really happy when I see a big person at the gym. I remember the courage it took to take control of my weight problem and be the fat kid at the gym.
  • Insecurities can be life sucking. Your desire to embrace your health and challenge your body is the only consideration you need have on your mind and heart! So you just march your beautiful self in that gym and kick *kitten*. As a 52 year old woman with a mile high pile of regret that I did not follow my own advice....and sat too many of kick *kitten* years out being insecure.... I say: its your life! Its your walk! Its your damn body - love it! and get where you WANT to be. The time is now. ENJOY!!!!!
  • Skyblueyellow
    Skyblueyellow Posts: 225 Member
    No one really looks at anyone else at the gym I go to. The only people I "look at" are people right in front of me because, well, you are in my eyesight so something the movement of your arm or hair might attract my attention for a few seconds. Otherwise I only really notice if someone suddenly does something very noisy when it's otherwise quiet.

    Most other people seem focused on their workouts, honestly.
  • I started going when I was 255 and felt like crap and did want anyone to judge so I found a 24 hour gym and I go late, no one is there and I can do whatever I like, besides being a little tired it is the best time to go
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,345 Member
    ...There seems to be a common annoyance though. Say that 300+ lb member gets a LOT of "Good for you for coming in here and working out! You are an inspiration!" or, "I have a lot of respect for what you're doing. I know it's not easy. Good for you for making it happen!" These types of comments are usually meant as a sincerely genuine compliment and encouragement, but it is received as an insult. The person receiving such a comment wants "to be treated just like everyone else" or feels that "I'm tired of getting singled out." The problem is most people feel driven to compliment and encourage in this way. They may think that such comments help encourage the person and maybe make them more comfortable. It's impossible to reach every human being who attends that gym and ask them not to do that. I think a simple, "thank you I appreciate that." Followed by a quick change of subject is good for redirecting. Sometimes getting comfortable with someone that is a regular during the same time frame at the gym will open the door for this discussion. Like, "I know people mean well but I wish they would stop with "those" comments. It makes me feel bad/uncomfortable/like a spectacle/etc..." Word may possibley get around maybe people will say less things like that.

    Basically the feeling like a spectacle is the biggest peeve from what was expressed to me. I have also heard this outside the gym. I'm not saying it's this way at every gym. This is just what I witnessed at the gym where I was employed and heard from people in life out side of the gym. You have to be able to get past this being an inspiration and getting "compliments" thing.

    Good points, and exactly why I don't make such comments/compliments. As much as I'd sometimes like to offer a compliment or encouragement, it's easy to understand how it could make people feel even more uncomfortable. I'm sure it would be appreciated and taken well by some, but others could find it condescending and/or singling them out.

    The gym I go to has everything from high schoolers to 80+ year old senior citizens who come in using walkers or canes (not kidding!), and everything in between. Any and every fitness level/body type you could imagine. so there's absolutely nobody who looks out of place or is judged negatively for being there.
  • lalee115
    lalee115 Posts: 185 Member
    JLG1986 wrote: »
    When I see someone my size or bigger working out I feel inspired. And I try new things..."hey look, she's not a skinny mini but she's doing that machine that I've told myself I'm too fat for! Guess I'd better try it too!"

    This for real! I saw a lady yesterday using a machine that I've eyeballed before. I think I am tackling that today!!!

  • nubianQueen02
    nubianQueen02 Posts: 16 Member
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    Shield45 wrote: »
    Hi I have been on this awesome form for 3 days now and seen some amazing story's , But what I what to know is what does it feel like going to the gym when your over weight I'll be starting on Monday next week , but i am all most to afraid to go because of my weight.

    Is there much judgement in a gym ? will I get the looks ?
    I feel very self conscious about this and was hoping you guys could give me the motivation i need to go .

    thanks :)

    I will judge you

    I will judge you for going for it ...and you will be judged

    Because every exercise you do, everything you attempt and learn, and possibly mess up and get up and try again is a symbol of your will and commitment

    You will be automatically moving more weight than most people in that gym...at any form of exercise you will be moving 320lbs and that's hard work

    So yes, I will judge you for finding it hard and doing it anyway

    I will judge you as simply great

    And if I see you week after week I will think you are awesome

    But I'll never tell you, and I won't stare, cos the gym is a place you focus on yourself and I've got my own mountain to climb
    You go for it

    You are so totally awesome and encouraging!! YOU ROCK!!!
  • evilokc
    evilokc Posts: 260 Member
    I have never been that heavy. When i started losing weight i was about 20lbs hevier than i wanted so i have no 1st hand knowledge. I can tell you frrom the side of being a fitter gym goer that when i see an obese person in the gym sweating their *kitten* off i give em props. Its hard to get in and get going and as long as your working on it you have my respect. Good luck. YOU GOT THIS!
  • JennieMaeK
    JennieMaeK Posts: 465 Member
    I started going to the gym at almost 240 lbs. If anyone was judgmental, I never noticed it. I still go quite regularly to the gym and don't really pay attention to other people, except maybe recognition if I've seen them before. I usually go at the same time so I start to see familiar faces.
  • haviegirl
    haviegirl Posts: 229 Member
    I don't say anything to heavier people at the gym, but if we happen to make eye contact, I always smile. And I think it's awesome when anyone is taking steps to improve their health.
  • mumfy23
    mumfy23 Posts: 61 Member
    If i saw you at the gym - I would say good for you. Just go, you won't regret it.