Monday, February 15, 2010

Humiliating experience

Since we started the Body for Life Challenge, we work out a lot.

We own an Octane elliptical so we do our cardio workouts at home. This is the machine that we bought a couple of years ago. It is the Octane Q35c elliptical trainer. It is the same machine that our gym uses. We do cardio workouts 3 days a week, 2 times each day. It is much more convenient to just go into the next room to workout rather than trudging over to the gym twice a day three times a week.

We do weight training 3 days a week. Two days are for upper body and one day is for lower body. We do some ab work on all three days. For these three days, we go to the gym to use the weight room and the machines.

So far, everyone at the gym has been incredibly supportive of our weight loss goals. I've had tons of guys in the weight room anxious to show me new exercises. We've met quite a few other people in the same boat as us, trying to lose weight, that have now joined us as workout buddies. It has made going to the gym a very enjoyable experience. In fact, it has made me WANT to go do the workouts, just so I can see everyone's progress and learn some new stuff. It has been fun...until today.

Like every gym in existence, ours has several 20-something guys that man the front desk/office. As you walk in, you swipe your gym ID on the barcode reader. A picture of you pops up so the front desk personnel can verify that you are not using someone else's membership. The image then disappears and the next person swipes in. After swiping in, Vince takes our coats to the men's locker room and changes into some shorts. I wait for him in a small area just past the front desk.

Today was no different except that there were very few people at the gym. It was fairly early in the day, it was a holiday, and it was snowing. So there was no one behind us after we swiped in. As usual, I waited for Vince while he was in the locker room. As I was waiting, I noticed that the guy behind the front desk had pulled my picture back up onto the monitor. He then called over another employee to "look at it". They both started making gagging noises and talking about how huge I was, how my face looked like it was going to explode.

All I could do was stare in disbelief. It was humiliating to say the least. As they were laughing about my picture they turned around and saw me staring at them. They quickly took the picture down and ran into the office. No apology. No remorse. I could hear the laughing through the office door.

I wanted to cry. I definitely didn't want to go upstairs and workout, but I did. Vince wanted to "talk" to them. I didn't want to cause any more of a scene than what had already happened. I didn't want to draw any more attention to my humiliation. I went up stairs and I had an awesome workout. I did not talk to anyone. I did not look at anyone. I wanted to get done as quickly as possible and go home. They were at the front desk when we left, and still not a work was said.

I got home and jumped in the shower. I will admit that I cried.

I know I am overweight. I know I am not the most attractive person because of my weight. I know that the journey to have a baby has screwed with my hormones and my skin looks nasty. I know that when I am at the gym I don't wear make-up, do my hair, or wear the most fashionable of clothes. I KNOW ALL OF THIS.

It is humiliating enough for someone of my size to go to the gym to workout. I know all too well that people judge me based on my size. I ignore the looks and the snide comments (like the two girls at the pool that told me how brave they thought I was for going out in public in a bathing suit), knowing that I am doing this so that I won't be this size forever. It just really got to me that the EMPLOYEES of the gym took the time to pull up my picture just to make fun of me. I didn't think I was THAT bad. I though for sure they know that a segment of the people that go to the gym are people that are trying to lose weight. Right?

Now, I no longer WANT to go to the gym. I'm embarrassed to go back. I'm embarrassed for Vince that he has to be seen with me. I wonder if all of those guys in the weight room that were so helpful, were really making fun of me behind my back. I wonder if they think they are being motivating or encouraging in some demented way. Like I will think to myself, "Wow, I don't want people to make fun of me anymore, I'd better get in here and lose some weight pronto!" I wonder if those assholes at the front desk have done this to other people and deterred them from coming back. I wonder if they know just how much a stupid thing like this can effect someone. So it was childish and funny for a moment but now someone out there will give up on their effort to lose weight.

I won't let them derail my weight loss efforts but they certainly did make it a lot less fun for me.

I really wish people would think before acting.

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