Tuesday, July 09, 2013
As most of you I work in the fitness and weight loss industry and I love it. Sometimes it makes me sad though. This is what happened a couple days ago when a woman and her friend came into the gym looking to join.
I will preface this by saying we are a WOMENS ONLY gym and have every shape and age here and truly the kindest environment of any gym I've worked in! (I've worked in a few!)
Friend 1: Nope...it's too open...everyone will see me and stare.
Friend 2: let's just sit down and see...I'm going to try it no matter what...I'm probably the oldest one here and the fattest
I say hello and Friend 1 says...we were thinking of coming in for a trial but I don't like how open it is because everyone will be staring at me because of how fat I am.
I say...nobody will be staring at you...you will only FEEL that they are because you are feeling so yucky about yourself right now, that's all you can think about. The people here have their own issues and are wrapped up in their insecurities...trust me...nobody will stare at you for being heavy.
Friend 2: but we're gonna be the oldest right?
Me...actually....our oldest member is 94 and our youngest is 14....by the way...I'm 41
Friend 2: I'm 42
Me...well there ya go! :)
Friend 1: I weigh 120 kgs / 164.5 lbs
Me: I use to weigh a little more than that but today is the last day you have to weigh 120 kgs! Isn't that great?!
She almost started crying. She had her defences up so high to cover her fear and insecurities. I can tell you from other staff members in the gym whom have never had a weight problem, they didn't understand. I am not here to make someone do anything they aren't ready to do and even doing a trial when you're already closed off isn't going to work. So...I had her go away and really think about it.
They came back! I feel a special connection to Friend 1....and so while she waited to see someone else for her health screen and 1st program, I took her to a treadmill, and stood in front of her (while increasing her incline and speed as she walked) and just let her unload...13 minutes in she asked how long she had been walking...at 20 minutes the treadmill went into cool down and she said "Did I just walk 20 minutes?!) I said YUP! She said she had never done that before. THAT IS WHY I WENT INTO THIS BUSINESS! She was so proud of herself! There was a twinkle in her eye! She felt she could actually do this! :)
So...this is why I write this blog. I know there are plenty of "machine" gyms as I call them. We have several Les Mills in Christchurch and they are the only gym I said I would never work for. They are machines. I doubt most people understand obesity and pain. I have dealt with trainers who told me to go harder and faster and I had to say NO and leave because they didn't understand I wasn't lazy...I hurt! Grrrr
But please know the gym can be a place of strength, serenity, and stress reduction. There are people out there who do understand. and most importantly....can help you change your life!
NOBODY IS STARING...NOBODY CARES...and if they are/do they are impressed that you had the guts to start and do something about it! You cared enough to start making a change! THAT is what's important!