Going to the gym fat can be incredibly paralyzing. The thought of entering a building full of people who are thinner than you makes my heart skip a beat sometime. After wallowing in fatness for the last few years as my sadness ate away am finally trying to get back to me. So pulled up my big girl panties and looked around for a gym that I could afford and wouldn’t feel unwelcomed. The last gym where I worked out was the YMCA Ketchum-DTLA. I had a great experience with them. I felt comfortable and welcomed by staff, other members and instructors. I fell in love with TRX and Cross Fusion (Pilates) and found a groove and comrade that made working out easy. Sadly my job DTLA ended so than I was a workout nomad with classpass but they changed how you signed up for classes/availability and increased the price so much that it just wasn’t worth the money.
I started a new job on the West Side and found my commute was nuts driving home. I felt it was a great push to start working out after my yearly checkup <eep>. Just about everything was out of my price range or too far off my commute path till I accidently took a wrong turn and discovered YMCA South Westgate! I was so shocked to see the gym but after a brief tour learned it’s only a year old! I do love NEW stuff and it has ton of equipment, workout rooms, pool and sauna that I was sold. If you join in the month of February on TUESDAY they waive the initiation fee. So sign me up Scotty.
My first workout was just wondering around looking at everything and realizing I need a new workout bag, towel and swimsuit (water workout). My second visit was after work to try a class. It could have gone better but <sigh> I know the deal as a fat person <cough> woman that people just ignore you or look at you like an escaped elephant. The first was a guy who almost shoved me to talk with a young woman. Despite nobody to my left or right he barreled right through me. I didn’t say anything because it’s just the norm for invisible people. The second was my class. I met a super nice woman who was in front of the room waiting and she told me it was a HITT class so I knew I’d have to modify because of my physical lack of prowess. So I found a good spot where I’d have a wall to use. The class started to fill up and a woman set up a mat to my right. Than another woman set up a few feet away to my left. I smiled but they both ignored me so I just got my weights and put my stuff down. The woman to my left had two guy friends join her [no big deal] again I smiled and they ignored me. So I just waited for the instructor to come and looked around at the other attendees. As I suspected I was the fattest person in the room but that wasn’t going to stop me from my first class.
I thought I was going to have issues when the two guys started to set up there yoga mats. They placed them super close to me and one looked like he was going to move mine till I looked at him. One guy decided to move up a bit but his friend refused to scoot over to give me space to workout. The first half of the class he purposely invaded my space till I was worried he’d ‘accidently’ hit me during the class so I moved backwards against the wall and just stood in place while trying to do the workouts. I thought about giving up and just leaving class but I really want to get back in the habit so just tried to stay out of his way. The second half was working on our mats so I felt it was OK to finally workout on my mat. Wohoo I was wrong because he gave me dirty looks for the rest of the class like I was in HIS space.
Sometimes it’s so hard to force myself to workout and people like that make it hard to brave the gym. I feel uncomfortable already after falling down so hard from a few years ago when I was doing crossfit and lost so much weight. It makes me sad when I see the old photos/videos of how confidant I felt and comfortable with myself but am trying to put one foot in front of the other.
I get it I don’t look like I belong but I do. I pay my monthly fee and want to get healthy so if you don’t like seeing fat people at the gym you will be disappointed. I’m going back and won’t be intimidated by anyone not even myself.
If you are in Santa Monica and want to join the YMCA let them know I referred you. I’m looking for workout buddies to take classes with, lift weights and talk healthy eating. Let’s workout and get healthy.
Let me know where you workout and feel comfortable!