An Open Letter, Jesus H. Christ

I am a fat woman. Here’s what you should say when you see me at the gym.

Nothing at all. If you’re tempted to say something to me, close your eyes and pretend you’re looking at a not-fat person. Would you say anything to that person? If not, don’t say it to me.

That would be a short and boring blog post, so I will expand.

I am a person exercising at a gym. I happen to be exercising while fat; some of us like to do that from time to time, because it feels good, we care about our bodies*, and we want to be fit enough to run away from people who annoy the shit out of us at the gym.

*Really! Even though we are FAT!

The fact that I am exercising while fat does not require any interaction with me other than basic gym pleasantries, just as people who are exercising while blonde or farsighted do not require special support or intervention. We are all just people, people who have paid too much money to engage in mechanized simulacra of actual physical activities exercising. The end.

In particular, there is no need for you to be REALLY CHIPPER BECAUSE OMG YOU ARE SO HAPPY TO SEE ME TAKING CHARGE OF MY BODY GOOD FOR ME I’M DOING GREAT! I’ve actually been in charge of my body this whole time. I know, right?! Not only do I not give any of the fucks that you’re glad to see me at the gym, I’m not any better than other similarly-weighted persons who are not at the gym. Please don’t pretend that I am, or that you are because you’ve deigned to reach out to the fatty.

Are you well-meaning? You might be, but it doesn’t really matter. Unless you go out of your way to give special encouragement to every other person in the gym, there’s no need to give any to me. It’s patronizing; I’m fat, not an idiot. Also, if you do go out of your way to give special encouragement to every other person in the gym, you may want to reconsider doing that. There’s a reason everyone’s wearing headphones.

In addition, please be aware that despite my deeply offensive level of fatness, I may be able to run faster than you or repeatedly lift heavy objects heavier than those you repeatedly lift. I am not doing this to spite you, and it’s not a sign that the baby Jesus hates you. There are also people taller and shorter than you who may be able to do these things, people older/younger than you, people to either side of you on the political spectrum, etc. Please contain your stares and glares for those actually worthy of disdain.

Please note that if you are someone I actually know, you should feel to compliment me on my form, suggest something else I might want to try, or just say hello. You can even be chipper while you do so.

If you don’t fall within that category, please continue ignoring me the way you do in the rest of the world. The gym is the place that actually works for you.

Thanks.

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15 thoughts on “I am a fat woman. Here’s what you should say when you see me at the gym.

  1. Super awesome! Of cause I hate the gym, so you won’t see me there but still super awesome post. I should say something like this when people question me about my eating habits.

    Like

  2. I have the opposite problem, which is just as frustrating!! I’m a skinny, which gives people the right, apparently, to constantly question my diet, and make endless helpful suggestions about how I could “get some meat on those bones.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Everything I’ve ever wanted to say but was too shy/scared/angry/embarrassed/Canadian at a gym. Not that I go often. I prefer to tackle my fatness with food. Which… according to some I probably should give up. Cause I’m fat too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was very interesting and helpful. I never talk to people at the gym anyway, but being a teacher I tend to be an encourager. This will help me bite back any comments that ever want to slip out in the future! Sometimes people at the gym tell me how to exercise more effectively on the machine I’m using…super annoying!!

    Like

  5. saifali says:

    Steinbeck said that there are no ugly questions except those clothed in condescension. Condescension and patronizing talk are by far the worst aberrations of the modern society of politeness.

    Although there is something about the culture of headphones and staring-at-the-wall that is slowly dissolving the roots of love and affection that all people have for each other like sulfuric acid. If you were to close your eyes and pretend that the person who is listening to the condescending idiot at the gym is not a fat person, its possible you have a different reaction.

    Like

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