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.
7. You get a “complimentary” sweat towel. Because I love free stuff, I’m especially happy about this perk. At my gym, if you want a sweat towel you have to pay for it. But, if you’re the fattest person at the gym, they seem to give you one for free every time you go. I think it’s because I sweat profusely all over the weight machines after only three reps of five pounds, and they don’t want my fatty perspiration all over the machine. (Maybe they’re afraid my love of cheeseburgers is contagious and can be contracted through sweat.) I don’t care about the reason, I get the towel. A free towel is a free towel, and it saves me from bringing my own, which means less laundry for this girl.
8. Everyone around you is attractive and easy on the eyes. If you are the fattest person at the gym, no one looks worse than you. Although this may sound like the kind of thing that would send someone running (or driving) to Dairy Queen for a large Blizzard, it’s actually a good thing. It means that every single person you see at the gym has a good body and looks better than you. No one wants to look at the fat person…and you don’t have to…because that fat person is you! Thin people are the suckers because they have to watch your fat jiggle on the treadmill for the five minutes you’re on it. They’re the ones who have to cleanse their eyes after a workout…not you.
So there you have it, fatties: All the reasons why being the fattest person at the gym isn’t so bad. I know I feel better about it. So go have a Hostess 100 calorie pack (or three) and know that although your pants might not fit and you might have a permanent wedgie, you have it made at the gym!
You can read more from Lisa Newlin on her blog.