After a training session that I had on Monday, I sat with a new friend and we took a few minutes to catch our breath. As I wrote down the exercises that we performed, we began talking about the different goals that people have in the gym. I remember her mentioning that she did not get why there were slender people in the gym. I did not find her statement to be offensive because it is a common assumption that we all have when we are losing weight.
When you’re losing weight, you cannot imagine why someone smaller than us would want to workout. We imagine that once we reach our goal weight, or goal size that “that’s it!”, “I’m done!”. The truth is, that is when the REAL work begins, but that is a whole other post subject. The goal is not just about losing weight, it is about changing our lives as a whole so that we can grow from our previous way of living. Our goal should be to evolve to a healthier lifestyle that we will continue to maintain.
<<<Back to the Story at Hand!>>>
My response to her observation is that people who are new to the gym or feel self-conscious about being in the gym should remember, that EVERYONE in the gym is working on something about themselves. Some people are there to lose weight, some people are there for health reasons or to maintain a healthy weight, and slender people are there to work on their bodies as well.
I told her about a friend I had named Jennifer that was 5 foot 8 and was naturally slender and basically wore sizes between 0-3/4. She was the opposite end of the spectrum from me. As an emotional eater, I tend to eat when I am stressed or unhappy. Jennifer lost her appetite during those instances. It never occurred to me until I met and became friends with Jennifer, that slim people were unhappy with their bodies as well. In Jennifer’s case, she wanted to gain weight, but it was very challenging. It was as difficult for her to gain a pound as it was for me to lose a pound. She was self-conscious about her appearance, about how clothes fit on her body. It was not any different than the experiences and insecurities I had with my own body.
The point that I was trying to make was that we are all a work in progress. Although our goals may be different, the gym is where we all go to work on ourselves. We go to they gym to pay our dues with hard work, sweat, grunts, heart rate and deep heavy breaths. We walk in fast, and walk out slow. You start making friends with the people you see there regularly. You learn from each other and complement one another on your progress.
So the next time you walk into the gym and feel the eyes of other members burning in your back, just remember, we are ALL there for the same reason and that is to improve ourselves. Don’t let others discourage you let them motivate you.
Stay Positive and Stay Focused!