When you turn 40, you become many things-fabulous, fantastic, fearless (or fearful, depending on your anxiety level), but you only become fat at 40 if you were fat before 40. Now fat is a relative term. Even the skinniest people sometimes think they are fat (and I usually want to force feed them cake), but, for some of us, weight has always been an issue. We can still fit into clothes, for the most part, we can still exercise, but we will never be walking down the street in jeans and a tank top for fear of scaring people or getting approached by a plastic surgeon who might say, "I think I can help you with those bat wings." So, it is really all relative.
For those of us that don't feel entirely comfortable wearing an outfit made entirely of spandex, going to the gym can be a frightening experience, but, we are determined to workout and stay healthy, so we leave our egos at the door and hope for the best.
Whales Exercise Too
So thanks to my friend and the six free months that she won in a raffle, I have been attending a gym for the past two and a half months. It has been going ok so far. No one has tried to harpoon me, no one has mistaken me for one of the exercise balls. I make little eye contact, do my workouts and leave before anyone starts chasing me with a pitchfork, but that all changed today.
Please Don't Throw Me Out
I have been going on a pretty regular basis, come in through the front door, swipe my card. The staff usually ignores me because I am not famous, skinny or drunk upon entry. Which is fine. I don't need anyone being especially friendly to me. I walked in this morning, swiped my card, walked in towards the stairs to the spin room and one of the employees, one that I have met several times, stops me and says, "I need you to show me your card." "But I swiped it when I walked in..." I said, nervously, hoping he wasn't going to press the fat alarm. "Oh, you have been here before," he said suspiciously. Oh god, please don't say are you sure that you aren't looking for Dunkin' Donuts down the street. Please, don't say. "Who let you in here?" "Ok," he said. And I quickly ran upstairs, or as quickly as a gal my size can make it up all of those stairs.
So I put the incident behind me. I did the treadmill, took the spin class with the psycho instructor and kept up just as well as the skinny minis whose boobs don't move and then I left without looking at the moron who questioned my place at the gym, and went on my merry way....
This whole incident bothered me on so many levels. The first, being, how many times do I have to meet someone before them remember me? Come on!! I am the heaviest person at this place and you have no idea who I am? But it is all good, there are so many gyms that would be happy to have this 40 year old. They would be happy to have someone who fits right in with the rest of the clientele, so that what may be just what I have to do. And that is ok.