When your gym has only 2 functioning treadmills and you always seem to be in sync with that one guy who comes in daily and gently strolls on it for an hour, things can get a bit annoying if you’re aching to get your miles in. You look at them and say to yourself “that guy need to go faster if he’s going to shed that fat off” as you anxiously wait for your turn to run.
STOP RIGHT THERE!
Can you tell that you started to judge overweight people? Well in case your mother’s pieces of advice about being nice were not enough growing up, I’m going to show you why those overweight people are one of the bravest you’ll ever meet, and why you will be nice to them next time you meet them- and mean it, too!
How We Judge Overweight People
Think of it like this: they are the kinds of men and women that people usually judge, and not only in the gym. On the street, at school, at work, everyone feels like they owe it to themselves to remind these poor overweight people that they should be losing weight, and how they should work out and diet. At the same time, whenever they work out, they get weird looks like “you’re too fat to run”, “you can’t lift yourself from a chair, let alone lift that barbell!”… OK so maybe you, yourself, are not that mean, but would you believe it how many people are?
The Paradox Of Being Overweight In Today’s Society
One the one hand, if overweight people eat food that has fat in it, they get told off because they should be watching their diet. And keep in mind healthy fats are necessary to the body, because not only do they help our internal organs function better, but they help us absorb some minerals which are only soluble in fats, and which our body cannot process otherwise.
On the other hand, if they eat a salad for lunch, they’re being told that it’s not healthy to try and lose weight by starving yourself. People judge them and see them as “unhealthy”, even though what they really see is “too fat”. Everybody seems to hold the secret to weight loss- either they are told they should try some extreme diet, or walking for 10 miles each day, or trying some appetite reducing pills…
Why Overweight People Who Work Out Are Kind Of Brave
So after going through this day in, day out, for a couple of years, it gets a little intimidating to try anything resembling a workout. How many friends do you have who say they can’t stand running, for instance, because they feel like “a beached whale”? And most of them are probably not even fat! Can you imagine how overweight people feel? People are going to judge them if they work out, and people are going to judge them if they don’t. And that’s what they start with as they step into a gym for the first time.
And keep in mind that the extra weight did not get there overnight. In many cases it took years of bad habits and low levels of activity to get here, so the fact that they geared up and went into a gym to try and change what sometimes are life-long habits is amazing. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes they have to start over and over, but the simple fact is that they are STARTING SOMEWHERE. We all started somewhere.
So that person you are seeing on the treadmill walking for an hour– imagine that maybe a few weeks ago even 30 minutes of non-stop walking was exhausting for them. And now they’re up to one hour. And soon they will increase the speed, and start some light jogging, and then running, and the pounds will melt off and they will be a new person. But they are beginning, and even if their progress is slow, it’s still progress.
And always, always keep this in mind before you judge someone:
No matter how slow they go, they’re lapping everybody on the couch.
Do you have inspiring stories about weight loss, or a personal experience similar to this article? We can’t wait to hear your story! So share it in the comments section below.
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