Weight : 218 pounds
Weight lost in 2 weeks : 1 pound
Total Lost : 35 pounds
Every time I go to a gym or a new one Exercise class, I'm nervous: Will I be able to do the training? Do people look at me because I'm fat? Do you look at me while I can not exercise? Why am I sweating so much? Can you see that I'm sweating? Seriously, it seems medically impossible for me to produce so much sweat. All this and a whole bunch of other low-self-esteem thoughts come to my mind before my training is over.
I've always thought that all these other judgmental people in the gym are the problem. But that is not the case.
I'll beat this slender bitch
About six years ago, I went to a hard boot camp 4-5 times a week. Although I was about 30 kilos lighter than today, I was not in good shape and was always one of the biggest girls in the class. But I worked hard and felt happy every time I got through the hour without almost fainting and praying for death.
After attending this class for about six months, the gym had a large open house, and so a number of new people showed up on a Saturday morning to get their buttocks kicked. And a girl immediately became my enemy.
This tiny, beautiful redhead came into the world without worries. She tore at her adorable knee socks and perfectly braided pigtails as she began her personal warm-up in the middle of the room. For me, her warm-up seemed to serve two purposes: Prepare her muscles for the exercise and constantly draw attention to the perimeter she has as everyone else. Every bit of thigh muscle shouted, "Yeah, I look so good, how do I do that?" She seemed to calm down completely. And that made me angry.
"I'll beat you, Little Red," I vowed. "Even if I die during this training, I will destroy you ."
To be clear, there was no competition . It was not like Flywheel, where all the points were scored and the winner's name was visible to everyone. There were no points. There certainly was no winner. But in my head, this 105-pound-25-year-old thought she could move through this workout while my 190-pound body would suffer. I wanted to prove that I could do any push-up, combat rope and jump trimming next to her. Of course, that person never said anything to me and probably did not even know I was there. But I was hired: I would beat that skinny slut.
When we started, Little Red seemed confident, but it did not stop. We pushed Burpees into jumps in high jumps and then again in Burpees. Then came the lifts and walls and sprinted across the floor. And slowly, but surely, Red's overbearing self-confidence disappeared. She was sweating. She had a hard time. And my fat self slipped through. Okay, maybe not glide – I'm just like everyone else – but I did it with a smile, excited by the fact that I could keep up with the tiny newcomer.
By the end In class, Red fell to the ground. The lessons had definitely been harder than she had expected, and she was glad she was done. And me? Sure, I was soaked in sweat, my face was the color of a cooked lobster and I had to do the pushups on my knees. But I was victorious.
Little Red returned next week and looked like a woman going into battle – she knew it was going to be tough. She never returned after this painful session. On the other hand, I continued for six months.
At that time, I felt triumphant: I had overcome a precious, slender lady and shown that a tall girl can do anything a tiny girl can. Hurray for me! But now I can see that this is a perfect example of how extraordinarily judgmental I can be.
Did Little Red do anything to me? Did she say something to me? Did she look funny? No! Yeah, this girl showed up with a pushy attitude, but I had no reason to make her my fitness foe. Since she was so skinny, I assumed she thought I was rude, which made me think she was a slut, which in turn made me train a whole race out of nowhere.
And I still have time! Far too often, I think, Ugh, that skinny slut, why is she ever here when I go to a gym. No wonder I assume that everyone I train with judges me since sitting in the corner and judging everyone in the room.
In recent months, I have really tried to work on it My Negative Self-Talk Now I have to work on my negative conversations with other people. Just this week I saw a picture of the manager in a gym I'm going to attend, and I thought She's so skinny and pretty she probably will not get me . What the hell is that?
I have to overcome these snapshots because they nourish my self-confidence. The cycle goes like this: I think bad things about strangers, so I assume they think bad about me, so I behave strangely to them, causing them to behave strangely. so I judge her further.
This week, I regularly go back to the gym, and the term "slender slut" is deleted from my vocabulary. When I arrive with a positive attitude and the idea that every human being is just a decent person trying to get in shape, I may not end up in a self-confident spiral. Maybe the impossible will happen: I will make friends with the skinny girls and do a non-on-knee push-up.
Amber Petty is an LA-based writer and a regular contributor to Greatist. Follow her as she describes her weight loss journey in her new bimonthly Slim Chance column. Take her singing lessons on Sing a Different Tune and follow her on Instagram @ambernpetty.