Gym Intimidation – Everyone Deserves a Compliment

Weighing over 400 pounds made me feel very nervous when walking into any place, let alone the gym. I always thought everyone was staring and judging me. It can be incredibly intimidating. But don’t think you have to be in shape to join a gym. I wasn’t and I lost over 200 pounds! Let me tell you a story.

My Gym Story

Every morning, I get up at 5 am to go to the gym. I love going early because it isn’t busy and I’m able to use whichever piece of equipment I want. I feel comfortable being there morning because I recognize the regulars. They usually say hi or give me a head nod. But they just want to work out so there is often little to no socializing.

Well, today I went to the gym at 8 am instead, and it was packed. People were socializing and all the machines were in use. It was great, I love seeing people getting healthy!

Luckily, my favorite elliptical was open. I ran to it, and put my towel on it, and was getting ready to go. All of the sudden, I heard this guy yelling, “Hey you! HEY YOU!” I looked, and a big guy was yelling at me. I thought I took his machine at first, but realized that was not the case.

“Hey, aren’t you that fat guy that used to work out here? I know I have seen you before!”

Modesty, or Caught in a White Lie

Four years ago, I lost over 220 pounds. I answered him, “Well, I did lose a little weight.”

He game me a weird look when I said this, and then said, “No, no, no, no! I lost a little weight this year. You lost a person since I saw you years ago!”

He caught me! I used to get away with telling people I lost a little weight. No more. I thought it was weird that I had not seen this guy before, yet, he not only recognized me, but knew I lost weight. That is pretty impressive!

A Little Compliment Goes a Long Way

More than that, it made me feel good. When you are over 400 pounds, you feel intimidated to go to the gym, like you do not belong. Everyone belongs at the gym, no matter what your size.

Sometimes people are afraid to tell others they lost weight or look great at the gym, but it’s such a nice gesture. Often, I see men and women who work hard and their face looks thinner or their arms look more defined. I always make a point to say something.

We talked afterwards and shared some workout tips. It made my day that someone noticed my progress.

Next Time at the Gym

When you join a gym, don’t think twice about what other people are thinking. Just walk in with an open mind. I hope you realize that everyone is welcome there.

If you see someone at the gym who deserves a compliment, don’t be shy. You might just make their day.

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Tony Posnanski is a renowned blogger, chef, and Anytime Fitness member. Tony was once 400 pounds but has lost 200 pounds. He writes about weight loss, fitness, motivation and more on his blog The Anti Jared.