Bitch, please! When bigotry shows up at the gym |

It’s that time again. The time we talk about the assumptions people makes when you have a certain sort of body. Now me, my body is fat and a wee bit muscley as well. I’m almost 6ft tall. You guys know that. Moving on. Scene set as they say.

One morning I was heading to the gym. Alone for once. It was the weekend. My plan was to put in at least half an hour on the treadmill and see how I felt. So I started warming up then started my running intervals working up to my peak speed for 2-minute bursts. Puffed but making it. Go me, you know.

Into the virtually empty gym comes one of the trainers. Not one of the trainers I’ve had that much to do with. Mostly I’ve seen her around while we work out. But heck, that’s beside the point. I kicked into another running interval and she walks past and stops as if to say something. I smile, through deep breaths.

Oh look at you… Running!

She says in a tone that should have been in the dictionary under patronising. And gives me two thumbs up. I don’t say anything. I’m too busy breathing. But my brain goes to town. You can imagine it was not a very cordial conversation.

It mostly went along the lines of ‘bitch please, I could take you on any day, underestimate me, will ya’. While on the outside, I just gave her a look that was designed to say ‘are you KIDDING ME lady?’ and kept on running. Thankful I didn’t have the breath to say all the things running through my head. Mostly I wanted to say, you work in a GYM, surely you know by now that people come in all shapes and sizes and that shape or size doesn’t always determine ability. Shame on you lady.

In some ways, I’m thankful I didn’t have the breath to say all the things running through my head. Mostly I wanted to say, you work in a GYM, surely you know by now that people come in all shapes and sizes and that shape or size doesn’t always determine ability. Shame on you lady.

After all my lanky, skinny cousin can squat weights like no one’s business. My sister does sit ups like there’s no tomorrow. And my rather large, sometimes chubby (sorry kid, it’s true) brother runs up to 10km a couple of times a week. Different bodies, different abilities and none of them would fit the ‘ideal’ fit person body type.

Bitch, please.

Tagged on:         
  • Renae Foottit

    “Oh look at you! Being an unsupportive tool!”
    Man, you showed a lot of restraint – lucky for her your were in the zone!
    I know it sounds harsh, but I’m not a fan of female gym instructors/trainers. They just have this pretentious, patronising way about them. (I know they’re not all like that, just the ones at my gym…)
    You rock. Keep it up.

    • Baahaha. Best comment ever! I so wish I had enough air to say that. 😉

      I’ve met a couple of great ones. My brother trained as a trainer so we met lots. But I know what you mean, the boys just don’t seem to buy into the crap as much.

  • (you to the gym lady) “Oh!! Look at you, walking and talking at the same time! Good Job”

  • Mel @ House of Powell

    You showed a LOT of restraint. I would have gone after her, said thank you, asked for her name and then would have gone home and written a bitchin complaint letter to their head office!

    • It wasn’t restraint, it was an airflow thing. 😉

      I did mention it to the gym manager when I saw him, said it was probably best if she stuck to training her own people, but goodness knows how she would do that with such a narrow point of view!

  • Mrs Woog

    How patronising… x

  • stinkb0mb

    One of my biggest hates in life is assumptions, you should never assume to know anything about anyone because as Samuel L Jackson says when you do, you’re making an ass out of u and me [and he’s cool as hell so he MUST be right]. Unfortunately assumptions go hand in hand with judgements, they’re old friends from wayyyy back and where you find one, you find the other not far behind. I hate both of them.

    Some of the fittest people I know, you wouldn’t think ARE fit to look at them. They could run rings around the “trainers” at their local gym but to look at them, nope you wouldn’t think it! That’s the thing about fitness, despite what all the “fitness fanatics” say – you don’t have to be thin to be fit and you can’t always SEE fitness but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there thriving under the surface.

    I can’t tell you how PROUD I am of you for kicking arse on that treadmill. I’m writing this with our treadie staring me in the face wondering why I haven’t set foot on it in about a month…guess I’ll have to rectify that later today and I totally blame YOU!!


    • Absolutely. Assumptions drive me nuts. I’m not as fast as some, or strong as others or flexible as others but don’t treat me like I’m useless.

      Thanks Rach!! Drag that butt on the treadie gorgeous. It’s always worth it when it’s done. 😉

  • sydneyshopgirl

    I have no words….

    SSG xxx

  • river

    Sad that some people still aren’t taught to think before speaking.

    • I’m afraid thinking might have helped her form the same conclusion. 😉

  • Oh no! How does one work in a gym with that attitude?! Grr!

  • Of course you could take her! Good thing you were too out of breath to say anything. I would have paid to see that fight 🙂

  • Cassandra (@ LittleOliverJ)

    I love this, thank you. I run everyday and my FIL’s reaction to this was, “you don’t really see plump people run!” I kid you not. I was pretty hurt by this but then I remembered that I don’t do it for him I do it for myself!

    • You’re SO welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. People say stuff sometimes before they think it all the way through. I do the eyebrow raise now and leave them sit in it for a while. Ha. But I’m a little bit evil. 😉

  • anotherkate

    As a fat gym user and someone who has recently discovered the wonders of pilates I hate when I get judgement from people in the gym. Most of the time it’s the concerned/patronising ‘good for you fat girl’ kinda stuff. It may come from a ‘nice’ place, but it sure ticks me off when people do it.

    Yes I’m fat, but I’ve ridden in multiple 100km charity rides on road bicycles, I’ve climbed mountains and go the gym regularly.

    • It’s frustrating, I wonder sometimes if these same people who approach all people on the street and enquire why they AREN’T working out… That’s the only logic that fits that good on you thing. Gah.

      Fit and healthy comes in all sizes, the sooner people realise, the better.

  • gail gear

    he he that’s why I don’t go to the gym. lol Go Girl

  • Cat_BeLoverly

    What a condescending cow. That’s all.

  • HumbirdsSong

    Oh my God. No words. (Except.. Who SAYS things like that!!??)

    • Smaggle apparently. Though I’m sure without the condescending look and tone. Haha. But I know, right? Haha.

  • Actually I said something similar to someone once at my gym. This gorgeous extremly short and extremely bottom heavy woman had been at the gym at three times a week for months and I watched her walking for 5mins, then 7, then 10, then jogging a little, then jogging a little more for months and eventually I watched her run for 5 whole minutes. It nearly killed her but she did it. I was next to her on the tredmill and when she was done I said ‘Well done! You’ve worked so hard for that!’ and I still don’t know whether or not I offended or pleased her. I just wanted her to know that I admired her determination and that noticed how hard she was working.

    • I think it’s in the delivery. I’ve been congratulated plenty of times for my progress because heck, it has been had fought and a long path. But this was ick. The times I’ve met you, you’ve never once left me with an ick, so it’s doubtful to me that you would’ve offended her.

      • Ha! I love that! I’ve never left you with an ick. That’s my favourite thing you’ve ever said. x

        • Haha. You’re welcome. Last week I called you weird, so this was always going to be a step up. 😉

    • I could totally see you doing this with no ill intent at all. You’re sunshine wherever you go lovely. Xx

      • Oh gosh that’s so lovely! thank you!

  • Tanya

    I know exactly who this person is that would have said this to you and it is the reason I stop going to the same gym you attend. Once while having a private pt session with another trainer she was ears dropping on our conversation about food and me not having a lot to eat on this particular day she thought it would be funny to laugh and then offer me gummy bears 🐻 totally unprofessional not helpful and the reason I hate gyms!

    • Oh dear LORD. That’s so, ummm, ick. I seriously don’t have a better word. Unprofessional is probably the best way to describe it. I’ve had a pretty good run with trainers and people in general in gyms, but man, when they get it wrong, they get it SO wrong.

  • Appalling. I don’t understand why she’s in a gym because trainers are there to help and encourage people of all sizes. She’s in the wrong profession. And she spoke to the wrong gal because sweet you are going places. What a great start to the year you’ve had. Keep pressing on and being awesome. Xx

    • You’d think that would be training 101. You will be dealing with people of all shapes and sizes, all abilities and stages of their journey, be prepared and be open.

      And yeah, she did, but in a lot of ways, I’m glad it was me, that might have embarrassed or upset someone else, it just fueled me. Thanks lady! It’s been a big start, for sure. That’s what I get for saying I’d be more visible this year, I suppose. Haha.