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Gym Judgements

Monday, March 11, 2013

I've heard so many people who are not where they want to be in their fitness journey worry about what others in the gym will think about them. I get this- I have been not fit and afraid to go to the gym, not fit and going to the gym, fit going to the gym, and a trainer who works IN the gym. Basically, all sides of the equation.

And so, based on not only my own personal experience but from what I have polled other people of all categories, here is what people of various points in their fitness journeys are thinking when they see a very overweight and out of shape person in the gym:

- The person not fit and afraid to go to the gym sees you walking into the gym and is envious that you have the guts to go in there. As a bonus, you may have unwittingly inspired them to try it, too.

- The person not-fit and going to the gym is thinking the same thing you are, of course. Which is something along the lines of "Oh, look! Someone like me!". You help to make them feel like they belong.

- The fit person going to the gym... well.... no offense, but they aren't thinking about you much at all. They actually are so focused on and/or worn out from their own workout that they don't have the energy to think of you. Their primary thought is "Dear God, please let me survive this workout." But if they do have a fleeting thought about you it is "Good for them! They are just where they need to be!"

- And the Personal Trainers in the gym are thinking several things, depending on their situation. If they are with a client they probably aren't paying any attention to you- They are focused on their client. If they aren't with a client, they are thinking the same thing the fit person working out in the gym is thinking- That you are just where you need to be, although probably with a bit more pride in you being there, since Trainers are schooled in how hard it is for someone who is not in stellar shape to even get themselves through the door.

Another thing the trainer might be thinking is that they wish you would ask them for help if you have a quick question. The fact is that we see people execute a lot of moves incorrectly and so very want to straiten them out, but we don't. This is because we have learned that 9 times out of 10 people don't appreciate it and look at us as judgmental, even though we were truly trying to help. So we learn to bite our tongues and wish that someone would ask "If you have a minute, could you please show me how to do this?". Just don't ask us when we are with a client- They are paying for us to pay 100% attention to them.

It's your workout, it's your business. Do it because it is good for you, not because of what anyone else thinks. Odds are it's not nearly as bad as you are imagining, anyhow.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Lol! You summed it up so well. emoticon Blog! ..::: and emoticon on your own personal progress!
    1787 days ago
    Wow you are so right... I have avioded the gym so many times because I say "iam to fat for the gym" I have actually tried to lose weight before joining the gym, but all I did was gain more weight sitting on the coach dreaming of how great it would be to get my butt at the gym and lose the weight.. I have watched the biggest loser while eating cookie dough, trust me its true. My husband is in great shape and he always motivates me and tries to help me, but for a long time a did not listen (Not sure why, hope to someday find out why). 4 weeks ago I finaly had the courage to enter the gym and hiding from the mirrors of course I made my way onto the treadmill and wished for the best. Iam on week 4 and 16 pounds lighter and loving it... emoticon
    1802 days ago
    I am a little behind reading this, but glad I did. Thanks for putting it all in perspective.
    1808 days ago
  • KARENE10
    Great blog!
    1829 days ago
    Real good blog, encouraging too.

    I've been hard at it in the weight room for about 3 years. Most of the regulars are too involved and focused on getting their workouts in to think snide thoughts about others.....unless of course you do barbell curls in the squat rack!
    1831 days ago
    LOVE THIS!! I can totally relate to all of these stops in the journey! Nicely worded! emoticon
    1831 days ago
    I know when I see people at the gym who are more out of shape than myself, I am secretly proud of them. They are doing the right thing and are where they should be. At the same time, I am embarassed about myself...

    It's tough to get over but it can be done - by going ahead and doing it.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1834 days ago
  • 1EMMA2011
    1834 days ago
  • ROCKMAN6797
    What I love most is seeing that same overweight person coming back day after day and actually getting smaller and, at the same time, stronger before my very eyes! I love watching people succeed!
    1834 days ago
    NancyAnne, did you know there was once a 8" doll named The Nancy Anne Storybook Doll? Seeing your name reminded me of that long ago time.
    Anyway... I agree, nobody cares if you are there or not and no body is all that much greater than mine (although I am 5'4 & 190lbs). At my ctr I see pro football and basketball players sweating up a storm. I see athlete wanna-bes with bulging muscles. I see women in their spandex "work-out" clothes that look model thin. Big deal. Those people are either fanatics who may not be as healthy as they look or they are in a competitive situation and don't want to lose their position be it on a team or with their current significant other. The real people at the gym/fitness ctr are fun to talk to and are there for the same reasons I am: to be healthier, move better, and maybe lose a little wt while they're at it.
    1834 days ago
    This was just what I needed to hear - thanks for the blog!
    1834 days ago
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