The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Stare Them Down

on March 14, 2012

I used to have a gym membership to a women’s only gym that was housed in my grocery store.  I have no beef with the gym, the equipment was well tended and the staff pretty friendly, but I was on the treadmill one evening and the woman one treadmill over could not take her eyes off of me nor could she hide her disdain.  Now I’ve received the odd sideways glance when walking about with an ice cream cone or enjoying something in public that is less than dietetic and frankly while what I eat is no one’s business but my own, I can understand how they might want to judge me or soothe their own fears of becoming fat by noting that obviously it’s all due to consistently poor food choices.  I might not like it, but I can understand it.  What I can’t understand, nor can I abide, is someone at the gym looking down their nose at me.

Granted I might not be decked out in Lululemon or whatever the cool kids are wearing to the gym.  In fact usually I’m in a pair of stretched out capris and a T-shirt with housepaint on it, but I’m at the gym and I’m trying to get fit and if one gives me a sideways glance for not taking care of myself by eating junk or taking the elevator instead of the stairs, it is unfair to do the same when I am making appropriate, positive choices.

Now I’ve also experienced something almost as annoying that at first seems like a compliment. About six months ago I was at the pool at a different gym and a male patron walked up to me on the pool deck and in front of my entire aquafit class started to compliment and commend me for being brave enough to wear a bathing suit in public.  Now he also appeared to be angling to cop a feel so I’m really not sure what his deal was, but it’s not the first time someone has felt the need to point out how brave I am to wear a swimsuit in public.  I suppose I could focus on the brave part and take it as a compliment, until I think about it for a minute and realize that they’ve just told me rather blatantly that I am hideous to behold.

Now some might retreat to their homes and attempt to work out in their livingrooms or they might simply retreat to their homes and hide.  Not me.  For some reason, while I might feel self conscious in different public situations or I might try to hide my largesse in roomy blouses and dresses, I am fearless at the gym.  I change modestly, but in the public change room, I shower, and I wear my bathing suit in the pool area, sometimes with my towel around my waist and sometimes not.  When someone dares to look at me in a less than complimentary way I stare them down.  I push my shoulders back, I walk tall and I give off an air that says I belong and I don’t care what you think.  I really have no idea where this extreme confidence comes from, but no doubt it’s rooted in my sense of fairness.

If you’ve had similar experiences please feel free to share, but more importantly I urge you get to the gym, or an exercise class and if you are feeling the least bit unsure of yourself take a deep breath, get your chin up and stare everyone you see right in the eyes.  You belong and either they will realize it too or they will think you’re some kind of weirdo giving them crazy-eye, but either way they will leave you alone to do your thing.

– the Goddess


One response to “Stare Them Down

  1. I think everyone feels self concious at the gym. I know I always did and I was thin and young. There are always that handful of people though who manage to make everyone else feel like they are back in junior high and being judged all the time!

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