Sunday, July 07, 2013
Yesterday, I had a miserable experience at the gym. It may have been all in my head, but it hurt nonetheless.
My husband has been a faithful workout partner, which really helps in keeping me motivated. Recently, at the suggestion of several people, we have added extra strength training to our routine to combat the dreaded plateau phases of weight loss and getting fit.
At the gym last night, while we were testing ourselves on various weight machines to see where we stood (as a basis for our future workouts), I caught an older "bodybuilder" type man staring us down. He had a look of disdain in his eyes as he watched me struggle to pull the weights down on a particular machine, as though to say, "You don't belong here, fat girl." He kept this stare-down going while he pumped his machine very hard, showing off his level of ability as I continued to do poorly on my machine of choice.
Once I noticed he was staring, I stared back for a long while before he finally looked away. The damage was done, however, because his look of disgust tore a hole in me, and I had to get out of there. I needed to be free of those burly health freaks who looked down on me because I was in pitiful shape and didn't fit their mold.
Sadly, my husband and I were unable to finish our workout. I walked what seemed like a 100-mile course out of the gym, tears pouring out of my eyes as I tore through the rows of equipment and people. I just had to leave. I knew I was done. My husband, the most understanding and sympathetic person I know, left with me and spoke tenderly to me in the car as I cried my heart out in the parking lot.
I had already been super frustrated with myself since I couldn't do half of the things I thought I should be able to do. My husband could do much more than I could, and he is larger than I am. I know that doesn't mean anything, but I was beating myself up like crazy. It seems I always am.
I dread going back to that place tomorrow night for our next round of exercise. I wish I wasn't so sensitive. That man in the gym may very well have been looking at me with admiration for not being afraid to tackle my health in so assertive a way, but my heart can't believe that possibility. I am so hurt, so heartbroken. I shouldn't be.
I just can't give myself any credit for trying, and I think everyone must think as poorly of me as I think of myself.