From Our Readers Why It's Best To Be The Fattest Person At The Gym From Our Readers

I will admit I have let myself go in the weight category and gained a few pounds. My friends tell me “it’s happy weight” I’ve gained weight since I got married because I’m living in such marital bliss. This suggests that happiness requires me to fill my stomach with carbs. Wait…it kind of does.

I don’t care if it’s “happy weight,” the result is the same; pants that dig into my stomach and a flirtation with the plus size area of the mall. Interestingly, the plus size stores are strategically located next to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.

In an effort to shed this “happy weight” (which does anything but make me happy), I started going to the gym, which makes me regret every single delicious thing I’ve eaten. When I first started working out, I felt bad about myself, as I was clearly the fattest person there. But the more I thought about it, I realized being the fattest person at the gym is actually a good thing. In fact, it’s amazing! So here are a few reasons why I think it’s best to be the fattest person at the gym.

1. Everyone has low expectations of you. No one expects you to crank out a five-mile run on the treadmill or bust out a ton of reps with weights. They’re just happy you finally took the step to take your fat butt to the gym. The fact that you showed up and attempted to use the gym membership you’ve been paying for over the years is good enough for the regular gym-goers. They don’t expect much from you, so any type of exercise you do is impressive to the hard bodies and their judging eyes at the gym.

2. People automatically look out for you. Since you most likely have blood that is comprised of at least 50% milkshake, the regular gym members are concerned about your ability to work out…or even to walk up the steps to the gym. (What gym puts steps to the entrance? My gym does.) I’ve found these fit people at the gym keep an eye on me as the fattest person in the gym, to make sure I don’t hurt myself or pass out from overexertion (which would most likely occur before the workout started, as those lockers are a bit difficult to open). It’s nice to know that if I had a heart attack, or passed out from lack of oxygen, the fit people at the gym would know it and take care of it immediately.

3. People will give up a machine for you. As the fattest person at the gym, other gym-goers look at you with pity as their eyes ask why you couldn’t just say “no” to the frosted donuts. Although this may seem like a bad thing, it can be used to your advantage. When all the machines are full, there is always a few people in great shape who are willing to give up their machines just to give you a chance at a little bit of a workout. Granted, they may be giving up the machines because they know that, as the fattest person at the gym, there is no way you will use the machine for more than five minutes without experiencing heart palpitations. Whatever. Chivalry is not dead at the gym when you’re the fattest one there.

4. You can stare at the good looking people and they won’t notice it.
Usually, there is some good eye candy at the gym (although my gym is comprised of old people and the junior high track team, so unless you have a fetish, there isn’t much to look at). But, if you are the fattest person at a gym with people who haven’t yet hit menopause, you are in luck! You can stare at the best looking men or women at the gym, and you won’t be viewed as “that creepy person” or “the one I had to get the restraining order against.” The good looking people with the rocking abs are just happy you’re at the gym, and hoping you are looking to them for inspiration, or a tutorial on how to use the equipment. It’s a free pass!

5. The gym gives you free water. Speaking of free, as the fattest person at my gym, I always seem to get free water. Maybe it’s because I look like I’m going to pass out, and the gym wants to avoid a lawsuit, but more than once I’ve been offered a bottle of water “because you look like you need it.” Score. My dehydration finally pays off!

6. You get more personal space in the classes. Sometimes the aerobics and Zumba classes can be full and space is limited. But, as the fattest person in the class, you can get a little extra room on the workout floor. This is definitely the case with me. Maybe it’s because people are worried I will pass out and fall on them on the way down, or maybe they just don’t want to hear my panting and cursing under my breath. I don’t care why no one wants to stand close to me, I’m just glad for the extra space.

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  1. This is a really awesome article. I may not be the fattest person at the gym, but I definitely feel the most unathletic and pathetic when I can’t breathe after five minutes on the elliptical. Sometimes I’m out of breath before I even get there since it’s a 20 minute walk from my house. This is really motivating because not everyone at the gym is a professional and some people are just starting out just like I am. I’m not alone!

    • Katie,

      You are not alone! (Que Michael Jackson’s “You are not alone” music in the background. Please note this should be playing in your head while you read the rest of my response.)

      Keep up the good work of going to the gym. That is the first step. No seriously. It’s LITERALLY the first step. And I’m impressed you walk 20 minutes each way. In my world that is a full 40 minute work out, which entitles you to at least an entire box of Oreos. But then again, that’s why I’m always fighting the battle of the bulge.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting. You are clearly motivated and dedicated to yourself and that’s what really matters. And if you see me someday at the gym, gasping for breath on the treadmill, don’t make eye contact with me. Let me have my dignity. :-)

  2. Thank you for sharing this Lisa, it’s actually given me a more positive view on going to the gym without feeling paranoid that the fit people are laughing at me! :) I like your humorous take on being the biggest one in the gym, best article I’ve read in a long while! :D

    • Thank you so much, Emma! I appreciate your comments and I’m glad you enjoyed the article. And don’t worry about what others think about you when you’re at the gym. You’re not there for them. (That TOTALLY rhymed!)

      Keep up the positive attitude and hard work. Life is so much better when you enjoy the moments and learn to laugh at everything…especially yourself. Thanks for reading and for commenting!

  3. Wow! I thought this was hilarious and very witty Lisa! :) No worries, I understood your humor and sarcasm right away. PLEASE do not worry for those that do not understand or dislike it in any way. You did a wonderful job showing laughter in a sour subject for many. It’s nice to see you finding the humor in it, and probably the humor in life. Thank you for the read! I thought it was great for hellogiggles.

    • Yasmine,

      You are my kind of girl! I’m glad you saw the humor and sarcasm in this post, and in life in general. It’s so much more fun when you can look at something and just laugh and enjoy the moment. Taking ourselves too seriously is no fun and no way to get through life. (Neither is living without cheese. I shudder at the thought.)

      And I figure if I can laugh at myself at the gym, and make it a little lighthearted, then maybe I won’t mind going so much. That attitude helps get me to the gym often. (The trainer who teaches an evening weights class also has a lot to do with gettin gme to the gym often….just around the time he starts teaching the class and lifting the weights…)

      Thanks for reading and for posting an encouraging comment. i appreciate it so much!

  4. Wow, some people really don’t understand sarcasm! I loved this article! I really don’t see how people can take offense when it is clearly a piss-take! The last point is hilarious-I am also the one swearing profusely and totally scare people away for that. More personal space-yay! :)

    • Nicola,

      It sounds like you and I handle our work outs the same way…with lots of profanity and cursing anyone smaller than us. I realize cussing doesn’t make me any skinnier, but it totally makes me feel better, which somehow evens itself out for me.

      Thanks for reading and for posting such a positive comment. i really appreciate it. Keep rocking it out at the gym! ;-)

  5. I very much enjoyed reading this! I think you nailed the satire Lisa. Honestly, I laughed my head off the entire article. This is a quirky way to talk about yourself and its very entertaining. Thanks for not taking yourself too seriously and finding a common ground with all women who are self conscious at the gym. For those of you who don’t agree with me I have 3 words for you: GET A LIFE. -Yara

    • Yara,

      You rock! Thank you for posting and for seeing my sarcasm in this post! I truly believe life is more enjoyable when you don’t take yourself too seriously. Brownies and vodka also help. :-)

  6. Hello readers!

    I’m the author of this post and just wanted to clear up a few things. First of all, thanks for reading. I appreciate you taking the time and appreciate the comments even more.

    As for this post, it was intended to be sarcastic and funny, not self-hating and negative. I’m sorry if that vibe was given off, as that’s the last thing I intended. I’m a very sarcastic person and don’t take myself seriously at all. I wrote this as a satire about going to the gym, and not as a truly honest piece. Obviously, I know people don’t really give up machines for me or give me free water because they think I’m going to pass out. It’s just a way to laugh at myself at the gym, and for every gym-goer to realize that we are all there to get our heart rates up, burn some energy, and then get on with our lives.

    This website always gives me a chuckle, as I love the different types of humor represented here. I know hellogiggles has published other pieces where the author pokes fun at themselves and I thought my intent of being sarcastic was clear here. I’m sorry if it wasn’t.

    I absolutely apologize for offending or upsetting anyone, as that was not my intention. Obviously, I’m not a huge fat woman at the gym, and I would never judge anyone that was. This was just was supposed to be a light-hearted, funny article poking fun at myself and basically pointing out that all of the things about the gym that make people self conscious can actually be seen as a good thing!

    Hopefully this clears up a few things as far as how the article was intended to be read. Knowing I was completely kidding and making fun of myself, I would encourage you to give it another read and see if you can see my point of view. Hopefully I didn’t miss my mark that badly!

    Thanks for reading and for commenting!

    Lisa Newlin

  7. Aren’t water and towels free for everyone at the gym? Also, this article was not at all what I expected it was going to be. Sorry but I didn’t find if uplifting or even the slightest bit funny.

    • Hi Catrina,

      This post was meant to be sarcastic and to poke fun at myself and those who take themselves too seriously at the gym. I’m sorry if it didn’t come off that way. I talked about the free towels and water bottles at the gym as a way of trying to make a joke…because they are always free at the gym. :-)

      Sorry if that sarcastic edge didn’t come off in this post. I hope you can see that I was really just trying to write something light-hearted and not at all serious.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. I honestly don’t know why, but this article made me sooo sad, like I wanna cry sad.

    • Maria,

      I’m so sorry this post made you sad and want to cry. That’s the opposite of what I intended. I was trying to give a light-hearted look at going to the gym while being sarcastic and poking fun at myself. I’m sorry if that didn’t come off that way.

      i would encourage you to read it again, knowing it was intended to be sarcastic and not realistic. Hopefully you will get a chuckle or two the next time around…especially knowing I’m completely kidding.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting!

  9. I didn’t find this article offensive at all, but found it relatable. Others tend to encourage me more as an overweight person than those who are not. In fact, I posted on my FB wall that I recently lost 11 pounds and received nearly 90 likes!! I never have gotten a response like that before, and I have had some awesome things happen in the last few years. I also get the “Hope to see you tomorrow” comment every single time I walk out the doors. I rarely ever hear the front desk person say this to the skinny girls walking out.

    Humor to me (and most likely the author) is a mask I use to hide myself, and probably something I will use less and less over time as I get to a place where hiding is not something I want to continue to do.

    To Lisa, thank you for your article!

    • Jennifer, I’m so glad you saw the humor in my post! It’s completely how it was intended to be read and I’m so glad you were able to take that away.

      You should always surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, and it sounds like your Facebook friends are good people who are super supportive of your weight loss. That’s amazing and you should be proud of not only the weight loss, but the fact you have great friends.

      Keep up the good work and hold your head up because you are taking positive steps to improve your health, and you are doing it with a great attitude and outlook. Thanks for supporting me and my post. I would reward you with M&Ms but you are far too dedicated to weight loss for that. I suppose I will just have to be a good samaritan and eat those M&Ms myself. I’m such a martyr that way. :-)

  10. I loved this article!

    • Thank you Mandi for commenting! I truly thought my sarcasm was clear in this post, and I’m certainly glad you were able to pick up on it. You obviously have an amazing sense of humor :-)

      If we lived in the same city, I would invite you to come work out with me and then head to a Chinese buffet afterwards to completely undo all of our hard work!

  11. I LOVE this! ya’ll are just haters. I work out everyday and sometimes twice a day (i’m on a cross country team) so it’s not that it applies to me or motivates me but I know people who don’t want to go to the gym because they don’t want to be judged and although there may be people working out who are “in the zone”, there are also PLENTY of judgmental eyes. It’s not that they are bad people for judging. everyone judges whether you like to admit it or not. I’ve peeked at the treadmill next to me to check out the speed and I’ve stared at the girl lifting the 50 lb weight like its paper. people go to the gym to physical improve themselves (which leads to the perk of endorphins to mentally improve as well). I think everyone should stop criticizing this article. maybe check out this article: http://hellogiggles.com/ew-and-why-this-shouldnt-be-the-immediate-reaction-to-mayim-bialiks-extended-breastfeeding
    (which i did read before reading this one so maybe it opened my mind up but GOOD! I should have an open mind.) just because you, in particular, don’t think this way towards people or feel this way about yourself doesn’t mean that it is somehow absurdly offensive. it is just to help others who do feel this way go to the gym and be happy about it.

    Love everybody, and Love every body. (and every mind while you’re at it). also love every glazed donut and cheese burger, if that’s what you’re respectively in to.

    • Angelica, based upon your comment, you and I are clearly soulmates. Thanks for commenting and for seeing my true intention, which was just to poke fun at myself and encourage everyone to take a light-hearted look at gym-goers.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. You will be happy to know I’m typing this reply while eating a cookie. True story.

  12. I think this article is realistic. People want to say they don’t judge others on their weight. Rather than reading this article as a “self-hate” speech, I see it as a clever way to point out that yes, those of us with a little extra baggage are well aware and totally notice the judgement. A lot of times, people think they get away with the judging or that no one notices. I like the fact that this article has brought that to light, and I think those who feel offended are simply upset at the possibility that they, too, have judged and are now being called out on it. That’s life, sometimes!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for commenting and for pointing out that I wasn’t trying to be serious….but was just poking fun at myself and the whole process. I had no idea people would take this post as me legitimately thinking these things. I would be one horrible person if these were my actual thoughts.

      Cheers to you for getting my humor and commenting. I shall raise my proverbial free water bottle to you!

  13. All of these points pretty much boil down to believing that you have an advantage at the gym because people feel sorry for you. I’m sure that all of these people who give you water, or give up their machine or give you extra space are doing so because they are kind people, and are not because feel sorry that you are bigger than them! And you can stare at people in the gym no matter what size you are, trust me ;)

    • Hi Hannah!

      I definitely didn’t mean to suggest anyone has an advantage at the gym one way or the other. I was just trying to poke fun at myself and at how seriously people take the gym and their workouts. I’m sorry if it didn’t come across that way. Believe me, if someone gives up a machine for me at the gym, I know it’s out of the kindness of their hearts, as those elliptical machines are hard to come by…especially the ones by the fan (which are my personal favorite).

      Thanks for reading and for commenting! :-)

  14. This article is really irritating…. As a person who goes to the gym just about every day and is moderately fit, I find it so frustrating that those that are out of shape are CONVINCED that other people just stand around and judge them – because it is simply NOT TRUE! I am there to relieve stress from my day, not count how many reps someone else is doing beside me. I treat everyone with the same amount of respect because we are all tired from the day and should be applauded for the effort.

    So for those of you who are nervous about being judged at the gym, you shouldn’t be. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, let alone worry about your running speed on the treadmill.

    • Trina, maybe if you live in a perfect world, where everyone is always nice and non-judgmental. But in the real world, yes, there are plenty of people who judge others based on their weight. It’s kind of the reason why we have gyms in the first place…

      • Stephanie-

        You have a point. Judgmental people are crawling around everywhere. And this article points that out in a way—but it is basically saying “everyone will judge you, they won’t think you look good, and they won’t even want to stand near you during a zumba class”. So matter of fact…yet SO untrue. There may be more people negatively judging you, sure. But not everyone.

        I have to say, I appreciate the author’s “I don’t give a damn” tone..but it is almost cancelled out by the horribly negative things she says.

  15. Wow! I thought this article was gonna be totally different! An inspiring article sort of thing, but it is kind of depressing, moreover offensive. If you think like this of yourself, what kind of image are you sending to everyone else??

    • I agree, Elissa!!! This article is horrible. I am saddened that Hello Giggles approves of this. Sure, sure…it’s realistic in some ways (however completely depressing …it’s like the author is trying to be funny but ends up brutally putting herself down along with others in her shoes). But in some ways it 100% lacks realism…for example “4. You can stare at the good looking people and they won’t notice it.”. Is it just me or is this weird? Like..ouch..larger girls are REALLY going to want to go to the gym after reading this list that basically states “people just feel sorry for you, they don’t want to be near you, and they won’t even check you out because of your size”. It feels SO good to be fat and invisible, am I right? This article pretty much just shows to me that Lisa Newlin has low self-esteem and is not a good example for others that are in her shoes. It’s hard for me to grasp because she looks pretty freakin’ gorgeous to me no matter what her size. Lisa- they see you checking them out–and they are stoked, just accept it!

      • Jessica,

        You really think they see me checking them out? I guess I make it pretty obvious, and my drooling all over the machines doesn’t make me any less obvious! :-)

        I definitely wrote this as a joke and as a satirical way to poke fun at myself and the whole gym experience. It wasn’t intended to be anything other than funny and light-hearted. I’m sorry if it didn’t come off that way, but I assure you that I really don’t think poorly of anyone…especially those who enjoy brownies as much as I do. :-)

        Thanks for reading and for commenting.

        • I apologize for calling your article horrible :( Not only is that an untrue statement…but that was completely hypocritical of me. I was having a bad day at work when I commented on this. You know..one of those days where pretty much anything anyone says will piss you off and finding sarcasm in anything is virtually impossible. Usually I refrain from opening my mouth on days like this because It will likely come across as bitchy. The truth is..this is a wonderfully written article. And I now understand the sarcasm. I guess I felt compelled to reply because I saw how beautiful you are and hated at that moment that you were in any way mocking yourself. (even sarcastically). Anywhoo, again–I am sorry for being overly sensitive! Keep being gorgeous, Lisa! Inside and out

          • OMG, Jessica! Your reply made me want to cry! I’m so sorry you had a bad day when you read this post originally, but I TOTALLY understand how that happens. Unfortunately, those experiences color our days and our views, regardless of if we want them to or not.

            It takes a big person to apologize, even though you didn’t owe an apology as you have every right to your opinion, and every right to express it. I appreciate you coming back and commenting again to clarify. That was truly a stand-up thing to do.

            And please note the “big person” reference I just made above was not a fat joke. :-)

            I say we cleanse ourselves of this whole thing with a margarita and a cheesy burrito!

            Keep your head up and remember

  16. As a dance/fitness instructor, I can see on one hand where you are coming from, I do check up on my clients who are not as physically fit (not necessarily with weight though, it could be because of age, or previous injury, or just lack of experience) and I am certainly more concerned with posture and if they are doing the exercises correctly but also I think you are (although being humorous) being too hard on yourself and passing judgements that are not there. I love cheeseburgers too! I think it is super inspiring to see people not only come to make a life change but to stick with it. It’s more inspiring as an instructor to see people committed and loving themselves healthy. It’s great to be a part of their journey, regardless if it is weight loss, goals of being more active, building flexibility, training for an event, or just being able to get through a whole zumba/dance class for the first time!

    • Jenny, I know what you mean about finding inspiration in those that aren’t as physically fit as others! I actually find more inspiration in those people than the hard bodies at the gym.

      There is this woman in a zumba class I attend, who has to be in her mid 70s. She rocks it out every class and does all of the routines full out….never stopping to take a break. So I always look to her when I’m getting tired and think to myself “If she can do it in her 70s, I can do it in my 30s.”

      Thanks for reading and for commenting. I appreciate it! :-)

  17. I am very surprised to see this article posted. It is offensive, degrading and demonstrates self-hate.

    • Ya know… there is such a thing as sarcasm and I think it’s pretty clear in this article. Ease up a bit, not everyone takes these things so seriously. I personally know Lisa, and know that she is always having a good laugh at her expense.

  18. I actually enjoyed this article. It was funny and slightly realistic. I think it’s good that you’re taking a positive approach to being the bigger person in the gym or at least being the person out of shape. I’m in that zone right now, I’ve let myself go and now I go back to the gym and I get most of these benefits (I wish someone would get me a water though!! lol). But honestly, yeah it’s nice because people don’t expect me to go as hard in their classes and people are more patient with me and I know one day this will all go away. So I know some people don’t like the article but I want to encourage you that it spoke to me. :) Great job!

  19. As an avid Hello Giggles reader whose on a new journey to weight loss and self improvement I too find this article offensive. Kinda disappointed with the pity party.

  20. this is a surprisingly offensive article for hellogiggles….

    • I’m certainly sorry if this offended you in any way. It was actually intended to have the opposite effect, which is to just be light-hearted and poke fun at the often pretentious aspects of going to the gym.

      Believe me, I would do just about anything to get some extra personal space in my zumba class, but truly poking fun at heavy people isn’t one of those things. I hope you can see I was just trying to be sarcastic.