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Getting laughed at in the gym

I got laughed at in the gym the other day because of my wieght. They were two young girls and I guess they didnt think I saw them. Does anyone have any experience with this and are you willing to share with me how you got over your gym phobia. I am constantly worried people are watching me. They do though sometimes so my fear is valid.
Anyone's help is very appreciated!

Wed. Oct 29, 3:27pm

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I am guilty of people watching at the gym, but I would NEVER laugh. That is horrible. I actually had to report a woman who verbally made fun of me in a gym class to the management. The manager thanked me and assured me that the primary goal of the gym, next to fitness, is a comfortable environment.


I know how it hurts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 3:32 PM

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Yeah I think I will tell the gym about the girls. I feel embarrased to even say anything. Thanks for your help :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 3:38 PM

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Don't be embarrassed, you are a paying member, and regardless of weight, are just as important if not more, then those stupid girls.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 3:39 PM

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It's not OK behavior and definitely not good sportsmanship. Do say something because it's not just you they're being mean about.

To a certain extent we're all people watchers in the gym. Quite frankly you're stuck there for 30-60 minutes probably doing something fairly monotonous so you're looking around you, or you're doing something that you don't know how to do so you're looking to others for clues. I have occasionally wanted to offer someone encouragement or advice (tho I keep it to myself), and I've often been inspired by some of the very good athletes there, but I've NEVER felt the urge to laugh at anyone. Anyone at the gym is doing their body some good and more power to them! So believe me when I say, yes - there may be some snots out there, but not everyone is out to tear others down.

In the meantime - be glad you're not such a mean-spirited person!!! Karma is a bitch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 3:48 PM

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I just hope that one or both of those girls puts on weight in their future and gets laughed at themselves.

OP are you very overweight? When I see larger men and women at the gym I think "good for them for making the effort to change".

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 3:50 PM

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Hi -- I think I read your blog this morning and left you a comment on your page. *hugs*

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 4:15 PM

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what was the gym name? Was it a national chain?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 4:19 PM

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Are you certain that the girls were really laughing at you? Maybe they were laughing for a totally different reason but you perceived them to be laughing at you because you feel uncomfortable and automatically thought they must be making fun of you.

Here's what I would do. Forget about reporting them because if the management says anything to them they will then say you are just angry because you are fat and will then probably snobby little brats every time you are there. If I were you, I would call them out myself. Go up to them the next time you're at the gym and say something to their faces. They will stop them and maybe shame them into not acting like that toward you or anyone else in the future. The lesson they will learn might be more valuable if it comes directly from the one they hurt.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 4:56 PM

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How awful. I always workout at home, but I have used a gym a few times before. I actually like seeing heavier people in the gym. I like seeing that people are either working to lose weight or at least are heavy but fit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 5:21 PM

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I disagree about reporting them. If these girls were truly laughing, then my guess it's not the first time they've been unprofessional, and so it's better to report it..and possibly have them dismissed from the gym than to have to subject herself to that. Also, what if they do that to other people? *She* is the person paying for a membership..she is essentially paying for their salary. So they technically work for her (in my opinion). So she should be treated with respect.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 5:46 PM

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That just really burns me and it's so not right. What is the gym for but to better ourselves and to gain better physical fitness? These "girls" sound like they are very immature and you should really try to keep that in mind. I know, easier said than done and it hurts, I know how that feels. I used to be very heavy and always thought (and more often than not was right) that people were looking at and/or laughing at me. Now, whenever I see anyone heavy walking, jogging, or working out I think "you go!!!" because they are doing exactly what it will take for them to better themselves. Just remember this, what comes around goes around and you are a much better person inside than they will ever be. You will lose weight, be more physically fit and be a happy and good person. They may be more fit right now but they'll always be ugly on the inside! Physical appearance is much easier to change than a bad inner one!
DO NOT let this deter you, show them what you are made of and ignore them the best that you can. In the long run YOU will be the winner
Hang in there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 5:49 PM

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It was Genesis Health Club in Wichita KS

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 8:51 PM

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I went to the gym tonight but I went to a different location. I met with a personal trainer and found out my body is 46% fat. So no wonder people stare....

Thanks a lot everyone :)
Hugs back

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 8:55 PM

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I am so sorry for you. Keep going and show them that their actions are not going to discourage you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 9:17 PM

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Prove them wrong

There will always be negative people who do ugly things. Don't let this get you upset. Prove them wrong, and use this energy for motivation. I know that it hurts, but people will always be critical for anything and everything. You should check out http:/ They sell an exercise vest and you might find it to be helpful. I love the gym personally, and I always encourage people, especially those that are trying their best. Keep up the good work!! - Sarah


Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 10:13 PM

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Well, I gotta tell ya, I am disgusted to think this is happening! I am an overweight group exercise instructor/weight trainer. Being employed at a gym and seeing all of the different sized people, I can hardly believe anyone would have the audasity to laugh at someone who got up out of their chair and came to do something good for themselves. I mean, c'mon, the gym is one of those places where people share the same goals! That is such a huge gym "No No". First of all, you probably hit the nail on the head with "young girls". Just consider the source. Even if you think they have a great build, I can guarantee you they have some big self esteem issues causing them to be a little uncomfortable at the gym too. And what do young girls do when they are uncomfortable? giggle and point. Also, please know that you are certainly not the only overweight and/or out of shape person going to the gym. After all, we all start from somewhere. Be proud of yourself for going! Not everyone is judging you. 99% of gym goers don't even notice.It just happens to be the place where people go TO lose weight and get fit (duh) Another idea: let gym staff know that their "members" are behaving in this manner. Believe me, they would want to know. I am sorry on behalf of these idiots and I hope you continue to train at the gym with your head held high!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 12:57 AM

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You're there, doing something about it. Immaturity and cruelty can show up just about anywhere. Take the feeling that you get and turn it into motivation. I take my anger and go longer or harder on the treadmill or do more reps of a weight machine.
Also, to get over gym phobia, try listening to music on headphones. When I go to the gym, even if it's crowded, that is some of my best "alone time". I might be different in that respect though, b/c I don't like working out with a buddy or anything like a lot of people do. It's time that I can regroup my thoughts or let them wander. Put the tunes on and everything else around me is just background.
Don't let anyone get in the way of your progress. Sure, things will make you sad, but don't harp on it. You are actively working on your health, be proud of that! Best Wishes,

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 8:40 AM

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I started getting confused through the thread whether these were staff members or not. If they were staff, report them. If they were just members, then screw them! Don't rely on management to go after them, do it yourself. Those skinny b*tches will know in a few years what it's like to deal with weight issues!!!!! :) And definitely don't let it derail you. Use it to your advantage. Put their faces in your head and push yourself to work harder. Wipe those smirks off their faces with your own effort. I do that with a particular person that I know judges me for my weight....I imagine running over his face on the treadmill! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 9:52 AM

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It was employees


Thursday, October 30, 2008, 3:02 PM

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being laughed at in the gym

turn the negative into a positive. people generally try to make others feel bad in order to feel better about themselves. basic psychology. if you see them laughing at you or anyone else again, simply walk up to them and ask them if they have any tips for you to help you lose weight faster or easier. they will either shut up or become a helpful friend at the gym. bullies will typically back down when confronted in a non-threatening way, especially if it makes them look good - without actually stroking their ego.
keep up the workouts - just keep focused on what you WILL look like ! Lord knows, I'm trying, too !!

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 3:36 PM

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Tina, If the girls who laughed at you were employees of the gym, they should DEFINITELY be reported. I hope they get fired. Don't stop exercising! And don't think just because your body fat percentage is high, that you deserve this kind of shabby treatment. You deserve to be at that gym, spending you hard earned money, getting fit and improving your health, just like everyone else there.

Why on earth would gym employees be stupid enough to drive members away by laughing at them? Especially in this economy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 3:58 PM

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to the overweight group exercise instructor-

12:57am: If you don't mind my asking, how difficult was it for you to get a job as a group exercise instructor? I am an overweight student working towards getting my ACSM-HFS cert right now, but worried no gym may hire me since I'm technically "obese" right now (but working on it). Did you have a challenging time in the hiring process? Thanks for any and all advice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 4:03 PM

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Geez, that's terrible. I cannot imagine ever laughing at someone for their weight under any circumstances.

First off, I would report it to management.

Secondly, I don't know how helpful this is, but I would keep in mind that nasty people who mock others are usually desperately unhappy in their own lives and bodies. If you can let it roll right off your back and go about doing what's good for you, that's best. But I know that is super hard.

Do NOT let anyone stop you from working out. It is YOUR gym.

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 5:23 PM

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Wow all of the comments have been great! I am so thankful for this community.
I am going to attempt to go to the gym tonight. it is hard because everytime I get there I dont want to get out of the car...i just want to go home so noone sees me.
The girls that laughed and pointed were probably 18 years old or younger so I know when i was a kid I was judgemental as well. I used to think the same way...what comes around goes around. They will get theirs just like I got mine.
Thanks again everyone....

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 5:37 PM

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4:03-Group X instructor; The destructive 'Industry'

I can completely identify. I am a personal trainer, body combat, body pump instructor, I have a degree in Exercise and Sport studies. Completed a half ironman, 1/2 marathons, and it took a year after I was certified to find a job. I am 5'10" and hover around 190. I had 22 interviews. I was even hired over the phone based on phone interview questions, at a highly reputable gym. After the face to face interview I was told I was "inexperienced"

A friend of mine who is dealing with bulimia/anorexia and is gorgeous was hired on at a gym, with an art degree. I had all of the above qualifications and was told "I did not look the part" I have been told my clients would not respect me, I was also pulled in for a interview by a member at my church who own a gym just to be told that he would never hire me based on how I looked, told me he was trying to 'save me' from heart ache.

I got discouraged big time for a while. I kept thinking about how many people who are our clients feel the same way. But I can sit with my clients who are hurting going through the same things and walk with them through it all. I feel like it makes me a better trainer.

I want to call all of the people I interviewed with and tell them to meet me at the starting line for the next 70.3 (half ironman) I do!

Best of Luck, you will be a great role model.

Saturday, November 01, 2008, 9:31 AM

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While it is not right by any means, that is a reality of how the world (at least the American society) works. People make decisions based on first impressions...we are all guilty of it. Would I rather have someone with the pp's experience as my trainer then someone with and art degree? Abosolutely! But if I walked into the gym and had to do a blind pick based on physical appearance, I'd probably go with the art degree chick because in my head I would be thinking that if she looks that fantastic she must be able to be the one that can get me into the best possible shape. Does that make me shallow? Maybe. But I think we all have a bit of shallowness in us, its human nature. It doesn't just have to be a gym setting either. Think about it- are you going to get your hair cut by someone who is put together well or the woman who looks like her hair got cut by the lawn mower?

Saturday, November 01, 2008, 11:31 AM

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OMG you deffinatly need to say something. I am a people watcher It motivates me when I kind of watch the other people in my gym community shedding the lbs to. I would NEVER laugh at anyone at the gym though, If you are bigger and at the gym you need to be proud and congratulated, your there to shed the lbs and get healthy there is absolutely nothing funny about that. You dont need to be embarassed thats what the gym is there for and you have even more of a right to be there then some snotty little girls!
My biggest recomendation is to book an orientation class with a personal trainer and just ask him to show you how to use ever machine in the gym. even if you dont use any of them knowing your environment will help you feel more comfortable. And be proud of yourself for being there! and when you see someone new coming to the gym that maybe doesnt know how to use something, remember that feeling of being embarassed about going to the gym and go help them and give them a few words of encouragement. Make your gym your own community and dont listen to people like that, they are everywhere in the world and you cant let it stop you from bettering yourself. Just remember they have to put you down to make themselves feel better! and if it makes you feel bad, give someone else a compliment and feel good about making them feel good :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008, 2:37 PM

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To the 11:31 poster. I think the difference here is that the gym is for people looking to get in shape, drop weight, tone up, relieve stress, etc. She was in the exact right place. She wasn't trying to sell anyone any weigh loss drink or pill, or a gym membership..she was working out. So I think that if I walked into a gym and saw people of various shapes and sizes..i would feel like I was in the right place. If I went to a gym and everyone was barbie, I would feel out of place and uncomfortable. So I don't know whether your comment about the shallowness stands in this situation. To me, those girls are insecure and immature.

Saturday, November 01, 2008, 9:46 PM

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To the Group X instructor

ACSM student here again. Thank you for your encouraging words to me. I too feel like I'll be a better trainer because I totally understand overweight women and the courage it takes some of them just to step foot into the gym. I'm thinking about opening a studio out of my home, or renting space at a personal training studio and targeting older, overweight women as my clientele. I may skip trying to get employed at a gym entirely and the wrong-headedness that slim automatically=fit and healthy. I know SO many thin women who couldn't finish ANY length of triathlon. YOU ROCK! I bet you're a wonderful personal trainer/instructor and your clients appreciate the real woman that you are.

Sorry for hijacking this thread again. I did respond directly to the OP a while back.

Saturday, November 01, 2008, 10:14 PM

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My comment was directed to the pp who had trouble getting a job at the gym b/c of her physical appearance. I didn't mean that it was okay for the girls to laugh at the original poster.

Sunday, November 02, 2008, 10:17 AM

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To answer your question about getting hired as a fitness instructor, I would have to say that nobody seemed to think anything of it. (except me) I personally feel that no members will take me seriously because of my weight. However, if in your first class you can show them you can still kick their ass with the best of them it's a whole different story. There are alot of mixed feelings about it but I think mostly from me. Employers are smart enough to realize a couple of things: 1. you can be overweight and fit
2. your weight has nothing to do with your knowledge 3. certified instructors are kind of hard to come by So, don't sweat it! I know my shit now(at 210pounds) as well as I did 9 years ago at 130pounds! Better I would say b/c I also personal train. Go for it and no worries. Good luck!

Sunday, November 02, 2008, 4:37 PM

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No offense but fuck them! Immature, childish girls who have no life experience. Don't sweat them. I am a total people watcher when at the gym but more so so I double check that I am using the equipment the right way. I myself am working on 35 pounds but when i see someone heavier then me, all I think of is good for them, good for me, bringing my ass in here and doing it even though I feel like people are staring. I'm sorry you have to go through that. maybe next time you feel like your being watched you can just try to think of the positive people could be thinking. you are there for you, no one else, don't let assholes get in your way of accomplishing your goals.

Sunday, November 02, 2008, 4:43 PM

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Please let us know if you reported the unprofessional behaviour of the employees. You are doing management a favor, you are not the only one this has happened too, I guarantee it.

My sister was laughed at years ago, and she has never gone to a gym again. Sock it to 'em where it hurts, their pocketbooks.

Sunday, November 02, 2008, 5:18 PM

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Well, I didnt tell anyone at the gym. I figure I will just let it go and do the best I can to get to the gym everyday. I went yesterday and today..swimming...I love it! So I found something I can do with minimal embarrassment because most of the people in the pool are overweight. So that is where they all were!!!!! :) I swam for 30 minuntes and it went by really fast. I like it much more than 284 pounds of my jumping around on a treadmill....ick! I can hide in the pool and locker room....

Sunday, November 02, 2008, 6:59 PM

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Congrats on finding your place at the gym!

Monday, November 03, 2008, 11:37 AM

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I'm so glad you went back and found the joys of swimming. But don't hide in the pool and locker room forever. The work out area is waiting whenever you are ready to give it a try. Don't let a few immature comments from a couple of teeny boppers deter you from reaching your goals!

Monday, November 03, 2008, 11:45 AM

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I know this is hard. But remember this - their behavior is the shameful behavior. Making fun of people is just not right. You might have some excess fat to lose, but this is a biochemical process which can happen with the right triggers. They have meanspiritedness to lose. Can they do it? Tend to doubt it.

Monday, November 03, 2008, 1:05 PM

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A few years ago there was this one girl in my college
who had an amazing figure and thought extremely highly of herself.
I was quite fat and overweight at that time and this girl made fun of me and
laughed at me because of my appearance.
I found this girl through facebook and this girl who was once thin and took pride
in herself has become much more heavier than I ever was while I on the other hand switched from eating junk food to healthy food and now weigh at 140 pounds on my 5 feet 6 inch frame and have been able to maintain it since 2 years.
Just be the bigger person cause what goes around comes around.

Monday, November 03, 2008, 1:08 PM

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I Agree

I agree with you. What comes around goes around....I have in my younger years thought bad things about different kinds of people and I have gotten mine back tenfold.
They will not be 18 and thin least most people are not.

Monday, November 03, 2008, 3:13 PM

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gym dummies

Hi, I saw your post. I would like to introduce myself and give you a very looooooong answer! I will call myself Zmama for this group. I am an exercise physiologist and dance-trainer. I joined this group for several reasons, one to reconnect to my roots and to motivate myself to rid my body of the extra weight I have put on, and to tone up the saggy muscle groups...yep, we all need a core group of cohorts to motivate ourselves toward our goals!

I first wish to congratulate you on your success and for joining the gym and making exercise a part of your healthy protocols! Way to Go!

Some people young and old fit or not are very immature, and uneducated for starters. Most likely, the 2 you mention fall into this category. Additionally, they lack self-esteem and good 'breeding' as my mother would say...that said, let's talk about how you can get the most out of your experience at the gym.

I have taught in the university setting, and for community for many years and have witnessed this ugly behavior by far too many youngsters; when I am in charge I ensure that I have a little 'physiology' chat with them on the side. But in your case, you will have to approach them in an entirely different manner.

For obviously shallow and immature people you might engage them in conversation and boost their pitiful self-esteem issues like "You 2 are in such wonderful shape, it is my hope to get my body in shape and would welcome any constructive help you might offer." If that isn't your style, you might instead turn to 2 equally fit young men and say "it is tough being here and being laughed at, and I know those 2 over there would be so JEALOUS if you were to give me a couple of pointers on those 2 machines. Would you hunks mind making MY day?" If that isn't comfortable, I would then turn inward and say to myself, "so what, who cares, big deal" use that mantra...I have used it and I like it.

In scenerio one you make allies out of them; friends? Why would you want to? Scenerio 2, you get the last laugh...Scernerio 3 you are your best friend, your voice matters more than anyone's...

For heaven sakes, don't let them get to you and don't let them throw you off the charted is short....

Does this help in ANY way??? I certainly hope so!

PS: I now use my dance as a healing therapy, I work with no more than 6 people at a time in the privacy of a dance studio that is located in a medical is a beautiful place to help create a healthy and healing experience....additionally I have offered classes for groups of people who are overweight and don't want to 'sweat to the oldies' with the youngsters...maybe there is such a class at your workout facility......keep on moving....... Hugs, Zmama

Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 12:09 PM

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