Two simple words that have brought a particularly brutal battle to the forefront, and it wasn’t until I started the 100 Day Challenge that I felt the need to put my tea down. Allow me to set the stage.
I’m the big girl at the gym, currently embroiled in the 100 Day Fitness Challenge. Working out while treating Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (and the sometimes crippling depression that can come with it), and tangled up in a web of falling and getting up. Somehow, I dropped 15 pounds (199 to 185 and counting). Yea, I’m a work in progress, damn it!
I was one of the poorly represented big girls who lived somewhere between the two dark ends of this spectrum. I mean, to each their own, right? At least that was what I thought a few days ago in 7-Eleven when I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while (we started putting on weight around the same time). It was one of those shopping trips, baggy clothes and no make-up, full Swamp Demon Mode! None the less, I was greeted with a big hug! Then, in a moment of epic savagery and shade, she squeezed my sides and said the words I never forgot:
“Oh my gosh, you Skinny Bitch!”
It was the first time I saw no kindness behind the comment. I thought ‘Did that seriously just happen to me? So what, am I stuck behind enemy lines I didn’t even know exist now?’ It’s nothing new though, in fact, it happens every day…by two sets of assholes in a cringeworthy verbal boxing match.
*cue announcer voice!*
In the Red Corner:
They’re arrogant, self-absorbed, and lack any compassion or kindness for anyone that isn’t part of the fitness lifestyle and/or otherwise deem beneath them…Thhee FAT-SHAMERs.
These are the folks that are famous for things like this:
Along with lovely phrases such as: “Lard-Ass”, “Fat people are revolting”, “We are superior”, and my personal favorite “I’d date/smash if he/she lost some weight”.
Yea, they exist, the same people that refused to show me the dignity of a small smile or eye-contact at the gym. They are the people that act like you’re nothing, the people that gave me a complex/attitude about the gym.
In the blue corner:
They’re hypocritical, self-righteous, and judgemental…The Fit-Shamers!!
These folks are famous for things like this (see comments):
And lovely phrases like “Meat-head”, “Gym Rat,”, “I bet he’s all steroids”, and yes “Skinny Bitch”.
This is something that I’m familiar with mainly because I’ve been guilty of, I remember making assumptions about every person that was clearly in the fitness lifestyle in that gym. They all were jerks, they were all self-righteous and judging my nearly 200 pound ass as I worked through my sets. Like I wasn’t welcome there. I was retaliating for a combination of poor treatment mixed with my own insecurities.
I realized one day that by judging the content of those individuals and inwardly judging them, I was becoming what I hated…a judgemental asshole, and a bully. No matter the body type or the reason, if someone feels the need to beat someone down for something as simple as the way they look or how many hours they do/don’t work out, that person is of poor character…period.
If you are a Big Girl/Guy:
Those ladies and gentleman don’t necessarily dictate who every person that makes a point of living a healthy life. I know it doesn’t for me, even fifteen pounds later. The sad truth is the same mean people that picked on you in high school and called you “fat ass” behind your back don’t graduate from high school or college and then off into the world to gain weight and be humbled as adults. They go off into out into the adult world, and yes, that includes the gym.
If that keeps you from working out, do some research and find a gym with positive reviews from people of all fitness levels. This is a big one, take a look at your mentality, it took me a long time to do this. First, most people are in there to go in and get shit done, not make fun. I don’t go to my gym to make friends, I go to get shit done.
To the people that aim for fat acceptance, if you like the way you look and are happy with who you are, it’s not my place to crap all over you. To each their own, that is ok. However, Type 2 diabetes, Heart Disease, and any of the other many risk factors that numerous doctors, studies, and my family history attribute to obesity aren’t. If you are living a good, healthy, and happy life. Who am I to judge? However, if my choice makes me a “skinny bitch” and I am by default some sort of traitor, I would apologize, but I’m not sorry..and I shouldn’t have to be. You live your life, and I’ll live mine.
To the people that find me “revolting” because of my weight, the ones who won’t even dignify me with eye contact or humanity of any kind at the gym or even out in public. How should I say this? Too damn bad. Like I said, I’m not here to make friends and I’m not going anywhere any time soon. This is just the middle of a chapter, and if that’s an issue for you…look away and deal with it.
100 Day Challenge, week one
Current weight: 187