Fat people in the gym



  • 12by311
    12by311 Posts: 1,716 Member
    So, this one time. someone on MFP posted this photo of a really hot chick deadlifting. And a bunch of people got all ...

    "eww... she's got muscles, she looks like a man."

    So some other people said "If she had a higher percentage of body fat, she wouldn't look all muscles, and you'd think she was hot."

    So I posted a photo of me deadlifting with my big belly and boobs, and not a single muscle to be seen.... saying "This is what she'd look like with a higher body fat percentage"


    I still recall now "Its people like you who make people like me (and her) stop going to the gym."

    Perception, people.

    It's all about perception.

    I just want to quote this, because it's the perfect example of absurdity on MFP.
  • Tallbeautie
    Tallbeautie Posts: 8 Member
    I do not look at you to look down on you or because I think you have nothing to do there.
    I look at you in admiration! remember that

    I know how hard it is to get started(been there myself), and how easy it is to quit.
    But remember this is a lifetime commitment, not a quick fix.
    And most of the people at the gym are more than happy to help if you ask.

    Now get back in there and kick some butt !

    OMG!! That exactly how I feel when I'm in the gym. You have to start somewhere and who am I to criticize anyone. ^^Love this!
  • 40andFindingFitness
    40andFindingFitness Posts: 497 Member
    Since starting my journey I now notice the sizes of people out jogging each day on my way to work. I have an irresistible urge to scream out of my window, "YOU GO GIRL/BOY!" When I see obese people jogging. I don't of course, but I sure want to. I just feel so proud of them for getting out there and doing something to get fit. When I'm in the gym I don't really pay much mind to anyone because I'm so focused on my goal. I would think that anyone looking down at 'fat people in the gym' are not working hard enough.

    OP good for you for not being 'that guy' in the gym. :)
  • EvanKeel
    EvanKeel Posts: 1,904 Member
    lets just all leave ech other alone in the gym, put your ear buds in, tune each other out, get it done and go home to more important things.

    I have enough skinny girl haters and there are enough fat haters out there as well. No matter how nice you try to be your comments could be misconstrued and effectively hurtful.

    Leave each other alone.

    I'd rather enjoy my gym time and frankly, I don't run into these anti-social attitudes except on MFP. I work in, let others work in, spot others and get spotted, and chat with people. It's part of being human.

    And if we went to the same gym, I'd be fine with that...as long as you didn't try to talk to me. That's what the earbuds mean. A nod or a muffled grunt will suffice if I need to find out if you're done with the squat rack.

    Social aspects of the human condition don't all look the same for each individual.
  • chelseafisher5648
    chelseafisher5648 Posts: 60 Member
    I am not very large but when I was heavier and joined a gym I felt out of place an intimidate in fact at first I would call me husband for a pep talk just to walk in. I didn't want all the thin ppl staring at me. I hated walking through the weight area since it was so busy. I started exercising by running laps in the gym which normally only had a few kids playing basketball then after the run I would feel thinner an more confident which I know was all in my head an I would go work on a machine. I would ask staff questions about form or recommended exercises but I began to notice who the regulars there were an would ask them there advice or for help but on the other hand if my form was off I wouldn't have been offended by someone coming up and suggesting that if I change my form I would get the best results. Addressing it that way is helpful an less intimidating then someone coming up and saying u r doing it wrong. I on the other hand loved when the ladies n classes I took would engage me in conversation because I quit going to classes where they had there clique an would talk an I was off to side by myself feeling like an outsider. As I ran regularly other runners would say hi to me or nod as they went by. This made me feel like I belonged there an made them seem less intimidating
  • koosorlose
    koosorlose Posts: 186
  • eganita
    eganita Posts: 501 Member
    I do not look at you to look down on you or because I think you have nothing to do there.
    I look at you in admiration! remember that

    I know how hard it is to get started(been there myself), and how easy it is to quit.
    But remember this is a lifetime commitment, not a quick fix.
    And most of the people at the gym are more than happy to help if you ask.

    Now get back in there and kick some butt !

    Great post :) I agree.

    I also will say.. there are a lot of posts about people being worried others will judge them, etc at the gym. Personally, I pretty much focus solely on myself unless someone nearby is extremely loud or has drenched themselves in cologne/perfume before coming to the gym!! I think a lot of people are the same way.
  • hollyk57
    hollyk57 Posts: 520 Member
    ok... (small claps) my only takeaway here is, 'hey wait, I'm a 'fat people' at the gym'..... sadness
  • mank32
    mank32 Posts: 1,323 Member
    fat people do not need your approval

    no, but it never hurts for them to know that not everyone sees a "fat person" when they look at them. some of us just see people. :flowerforyou:
  • lollipoprincess
    lollipoprincess Posts: 117 Member
    Just the other day I was shooting some hoops when a black man came up to me, gave me a high five, and said, "Keep it up short white boy!"

    I felt so proud.

    Black men can do no wrong.
  • Achrya
    Achrya Posts: 16,913 Member
    I do not look at you to look down on you or because I think you have nothing to do there.
    I look at you in admiration! remember that

    I know how hard it is to get started(been there myself), and how easy it is to quit.
    But remember this is a lifetime commitment, not a quick fix.
    And most of the people at the gym are more than happy to help if you ask.

    Now get back in there and kick some butt !

    WOW all that anger for trying to be positive here?? really?? are you not here on MFP for some reason or do you just have a fetish for logging your food, but everything is just nice and dandy? If your life situation is so perfect, why are you here? Just to make hateful remarks on the forum?

    Where did I write "pat a fat persons back"? YES that is patronizing as hell, and I would have really hated it if someone did that to me. But a little motivation goes a long way
    What I'm saying is that I DO know how hard it is to get started, and how easy it is to quit due to sloppy remarks from stupid "perfect" people. And I don't want anyone to quit due to that.
    And yes I say fat people, because that's what it is right? FAT... The thing we all want too loose, the reason why we are here??
    I can't say large people (I'm large, I'm 195cm, and I do not want to loose that) or big or whatever. Lets just call it what it is, no judgmental undertone in that at all.

    I am 40years old now, and I have ranged from fat to obese about 80% of that time(born chubby and stayed that way). Saw a picture of myself in 2003 that opened my eyes (weighing 128kg/282lbs with a BF% of over 30, and now I have fought it back weighing 102kg/224lbs with a BF% of 14).
    And in the beginning I had not a clue to how to train or eat right and failed miserably many times
    What I'm saying is that if I had been given some motivation and good advise in the start instead of negativity and from many points THAT look from the "perfect" people, it would have been a lot easier and I wouldn't have made so many mistakes leading to injuries and failures.

    So I will not defend this post any further, if you want to get motivation or ask me any kinda questions, please feel free to add me as a friend. And if you don't? hmmm well just don't. But don't leave hateful remarks ether way, or brag about good education, salary, grammar or what ever, this is all about support for weight.

    And yes Achrya, I would love to give you support and help for your running, if you ASK. But never would I pat you on the head, WTF do you think I am?

    I'm calling bull. If you saw me at the gym you'd see a small apparently in shape woman running on the treadmill. Nothing about that would inspire you to encourage me or give me a thumbs up (I probably wouldn't even register on your radar), but, by your own OP, if I was overweight then it'd be a special thing worthy of praise. If I was overweight you think I'd need encouragement and praise beyond that of what some fit chick next to me may need.

    Your whole post is about singling out one group because of your perception of them. That'd be like someone going "oh you're in college, good for you!" To only the black kids on campus. Its gross and condescending.
  • postrockandcats
    postrockandcats Posts: 1,145 Member
    I assumed that I'd get the condescending verbal headpat when I was the fat chick at the gym, so I decided that I'd respond with "but I'm running in place" when someone said "you'll get there!"

    I never got a chance to use it. I am sad.


    But, hey- props to the people that go to my gym. The only comment about my weight or attendance I've gotten was from one of the trainers. He said he'd noticed me over however many months it had been and saw I'd lost a crapload of weight and was really impressed. :happy:

    That said, it's very condescending to tell someone you perceive to be unhealthy "good for you for being here" if you don't know them or their backstory. You don't know why they are there. You don't know why they are doing the workouts they are doing. I try to shut myself down if I'm internally bashing someone because I'm not them and I'm in no place to judge.

    I appreciate some people socialize at the gym, but I'm there to work. I always smile and say hi, but I don't like sitting and talking to people. It's just how I am.
  • Elsie_Brownraisin
    Elsie_Brownraisin Posts: 786 Member
    See, I would have thought it cringeworthy and a bit patronising too and I'm usually quite shy as well and don't speak to anyone there, including the staff, so a little bit mortified as well.

    However, a patron once came up to me and said they see me all the time, working as hard as I can and that I've made a lot of progress. I thought it was very nice, not horrible. It took a lot to get me to the gym in the first place and I thought people would laugh at me being a sweaty mess and trying not to cough up my kidneys.
  • hollyk57
    hollyk57 Posts: 520 Member
    ok... (small claps) my only takeaway here is, 'hey wait, I'm a 'fat people' at the gym'..... sadness

    ...and to follow-up on that; I know your intention is good and you mean well, but I recently had some guy at the gym give me two thumbs up and tell me 'good - keep it up!' (also obviously meaning it as a kudos) but I'll tell ya, it didn't feel great to know that someone's looking at the fat girl on the bike and thinking, good for her, I'd better give her high five. I'd rather blend in and feel like I belong there, rather than have someone look at me as the charity case that they'd better encourage for coming to their side of the yard before I retreat into a pint of gelato. Just sayin...
  • bigbeautifulstacy
    bigbeautifulstacy Posts: 8 Member
    that's encouraging. i have over a hundred pounds to lose and i'm certain many in there look at me with disgust. thanks for the new perspective.
  • xLexa
    xLexa Posts: 482 Member
    Just a personal opinion here, the only time I would feel anything is if someone heckled at me when I am attempting my joggle (that' s a jog with a struggle) smiles, hi's whatever are welcome. I do not think it is condescending really, but maybe open up a conversation first and get to know the person a little before going right over and saying, Hey bro/sis, you're doing great for a big guy/gal. (Ok I know you wouldn't be that obvious:P) I commend you! lol It might sound great in your head but remember people can be sensitive ;) I think encouragement from a person who shows interest in you as a person is welcomed better than the spontaneous praise.:flowerforyou:
  • CaptainGeorgio
    CaptainGeorgio Posts: 18 Member
    "Fat people don't need your approval or 'encouragement' and most probably don't care if you think they're awesome or inspiring or whatever. Even if you were once fat yourself.

    I actually can't think of anything more condescending than clapping for a stranger on a treadmill.

    If someone asks for your help? Awesome. But otherwise I just can't understand this attitude."

    I couldn't agree more....
  • JenniferIsLosingIt
    JenniferIsLosingIt Posts: 595 Member
    I often want to cheer larger people jogging or cycling because I'm proud of them making the effort but don't want them to take it as a jibe or sarcastic, so I don't do it because I'd never want them to stop because they though they shouldn't be doing it, or are embarrassed or because of me saying the wrong thing.

    In fact I want to hug them and tell them to keep going, it will all be worth it. :flowerforyou:

    I've always wanted to do this but I fear that they'll take offense and take it the wrong way..

    It's not that they're taking it the wrong way, it's that this mentality is extremely condescending. Not everyone who goes to the gym is there to lose weight, or hear that you and other absolute strangers assume they are unhealthy pariahs who need to be"fixed" to be treated as normal people. Trust me. Fat people are reminded daily that they are not wanted or need to change. Don't assume, don't think you know their reasons for being there. You want to respect them? Leave them alone unless they approach you, just like anyone else minding their own business. Treat people like all other people, with basic decency and respect for boundaries. Don't invade their space if you wouldn't do it to a thin person. Sincerely, from someone who was obese.

    There's a balance to be found here. Just treat people as people and if you see someone who may need help, or who looks down, don't be too afraid to walk up and offer it or flash a smile and share a compliment. It costs you nothing, and you just may make a friend. I know so many people on here encourage ignoring everyone around you at the gym, but it's not necessary. Yes, focus on you and your workout, but don't be afraid to be social. It makes working in on a cherished piece of equipment (squat rack) or getting a spot when you need it so much easier.

    Yes. I think there's a big difference between smiling at people at the gym (big AND small) and general friendliness (which I think is awesome) and cheering on fat people because they're Fat People in the Gym.

    Keep in mind that some of us were once fat, so for me personally, when I see a fat person in the gym, I think "I was there and ****ing good job keep it up." That's me though. I tend not to mince words, though I also realize I have to choose carefully on occasion because not everyone is like me. I don't know the OP and where he's coming from. I guess I'm saying just don't rush to judgment here. And yes, it works both ways.

    Just an example from today: I saw a large woman in the gym today who was obviously uncomfortable working her program and studying her notebook while she did it. It's obvious that she's new. I watched her, hesitated and did nothing. I kicked myself when I walked out and didn't come by and say something but I didn't want to come off as the arrogant prick either. I'm still not sure I did the right thing. Welcoming people to the gym makes it more comfortable, makes it easier for them to overcome the occasional true *kitten* hat (they are out there), and as a result keeps them coming back. When I started out more than a couple of guys did that for me. I'll never forget that.

    I am so with you on that! I am 384 and when I go to the gym I am hella intimidated! I would love for someone to come over and say "Hey can I show you how to work that machine better?" I think people get their panties in a bunch because they are too damn sensitive, and I think it must be incredibly hard for a "fit " person to approach a "fat" person just for those reasons. THe fact that you care is HUGE! Often the fat feel forgoten and left out so I say be careful what you say but say it, sometimes people really need encouragement!! And if youre one of the fat crybabies, GET OVER IT! You didnt get fat overnight so it is not a surprise, let people be nice and offer that help and encouragement! stepping off soap box now....
  • msf74
    msf74 Posts: 3,498 Member
    Hey, I know, when I'm in the gym and I see a fat person I'll go up and pat them on the head and say "there's a good boy."

    That's bound to go down well.
  • cuinboston2014
    cuinboston2014 Posts: 848 Member
    Maybe I'm missing something but how is this really different than the posts and blogs that were shared only like 2 weeks ago on MFP about a fat person running around a track and about the person observing them and applauding them for their efforts, because they know how hard that is?

    Physically, it is harder for people with extra weight to move as much at the same rate as someone who is lighter. Therefore, it takes more energy which is why you burn more calories.

    So yes - people with extra weight (i.e. FAT) should be recognized, but so should everyone else. When I see obese people at the gym I do think "way to go" or "if she can keep going, so can I!" and when I was the obese person, I imagined that everyone that saw me at the gym was thinking "wow she's really fat and she's running on a treadmill. good for her."

    Why are we always trying to find the negative in every post?

    And to the guy who said that you saw someone in the weight room that looked new and trying to figure out their routine or whatever - unless I have headphones in I assume people realize that I'm a human being that accepts social interaction. When I work out early in the morning, I'm usually the only girl in the weight area with a bunch of very strong/fit men. Sometimes I wish that, in a non creepy way, they woudl comment on my form or routine or show me something knew so I had the reassurance that I was doing it right