1. Fat women are new to the gym.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times people—gym rats and trainers alike—have come up to me to ask if it was my first time working out at the gym. And I would have understood if it only happened once, but there was a point in time when I went to the gym five days a week for six months, and I was still treated like I was a newcomer, like I didn’t fit in.
2. Fat women at the gym are unhealthy.
Yes, some plus-size women have health conditions, but the same can be said about thinner women. The only difference is that fat women suffer from the disadvantage of having society label us as “unhealthy” because of the obesity epidemic. But we should all know by now that a person’s appearance isn’t indicative of someone’s health.
3. Fat women are only working out to lose weight.
On top of our glorification of thin women, we’re also obsessed with diet culture. Even women who aren’t actively dieting feel too much guilt whenever they allow themselves to eat more than what’s “acceptable.” That’s why it’s not surprising that whenever a fat woman’s seen exercising in the gym, people just automatically assume that she must be there to lose weight. No one ever thinks that she might just want to build up her stamina, increase her strength, or become more flexible.
4. Fat women can’t be trainers.
Newsflash: Trainers don’t look alike. There’s no right way to be fit. As we begin to embrace size diversity, we have to expand this narrative to the fitness world.
5. Fat women don’t exercise hard enough.
Out of all the assumptions about fat women in the gym, this has got to be the most annoying. As a fat woman, I’m no stranger to having random people offer exercise tips or fitness advice on how to push myself harder (I’m assuming because they weren’t seeing results fast enough). And it always leaves me dumbfounded…especially because they do it while I’m panting like a dog, which to me is a clear indication that I am, in fact, pushing myself.
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