Shame

I read a news article yesterday about a female bodybuilder who made some really cruel online comments about an overweight woman. 


As bad as it is to make this kind of comment about ANYONE, what really gets my goat here is that this woman was at the gym, exercising, when this picture was snapped.

So here we have someone who is trying to get healthier and make her body stronger, and she’s getting made fun of. By another woman.

Seriously, what is WRONG with people?

This is exactly the kind of thing that makes people feel too intimidated to go to the gym. I have heard a lot of people say that they don’t like being at the gym because they feel like they are being “judged” by all the really fit people there. 

The kind of cruel picture like the one above sort of validates that point, doesn’t it?

I remember feeling that way. I was so nervous when I started working out at the gym a few years ago for this very reason. I was SO fat and out of shape that I felt like a joke just being there. I was sure people were looking at me thinking how disgusting and pathetic I was. Placing bets on how quickly I’d give up and quit. 

See, the thing that people like this heartless bodybuilder don’t seem to understand is that no one really WANTS to be fat. There are a billion different reasons why fat people are fat, and for sure, 99% of those reasons are self-inflicted. But not one of those reasons is because a person wakes up one day and says, “Hmm, I guess I’ll get fat today.”

Do we have a problem? Obviously. Do we make bad decisions with food and exercise? Yup. Are our habits ridiculous? Absolutely. Do we want to be fat? Hell no. And people like the girl pictured above are taking steps to fix our problems, make better decisions, and change our habits.

And she’s mocked for it.

It’s unreal.

Let me tell you who SHOULD be feeling ashamed. The bodybuilder. She can eat awesome and exercise all day long and make her body into a gorgeous piece of human art. But all the weightlifting and salads in the world won’t buy her inner beauty. 

And she should be ashamed of herself for mocking someone who is trying to get healthier. She should be ashamed that her reaction to an overweight person on a treadmill is a cruel comment instead of a word of encouragement. She should be ashamed that her own pride and vanity is so falsely inflated that she thinks nothing of ripping apart a fellow human being.

The other thing I have noticed is comments from complete lay-people about HOW someone is exercising or lifting weights. I have been approached by people who I am not paying to coach me who tell me I’m doing something wrong.

I give these people the benefit of the doubt and assume they mean well and are trying to be helpful, but for people who are already feeling intimidated by the gym atmosphere, unsolicited “advice” can come off as criticism.

Luckily I don’t see this happening that often. Frankly, I sort of feel like 99% of people who are at the gym are there to get in and get out. They are way too worried about what they themselves are doing to judge the people around them. 

That’s what I try to remember when I’m there. Most people are too involved in what they themselves are doing to pay attention to what I’m doing. The few people that ARE looking around and watching what everyone else is doing obviously aren’t working that hard to begin with, right?

So don’t let others prevent you from going to the gym if that’s something you’ve worried about. Mean people are everywhere and clearly there’s no pleasing those kinds of people no matter what. So do what’s best for you. 

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2 thoughts on “Shame

  1. Jessica you really are so right!! People do not know until they themselves have a challenge that puts things in a different perspective! I will never judge someone that is at the gym, biking, walking. running !! They are doing more than 80% of our population!

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  2. Hi Jess, I don’t know exactly why I am reminded of a Bible story or parable or a Scripture verse almost every time I read your blog. I suppose it’s because Steve and I are frequently involved in some study of Scripture. I thought of Matthew 7 and the teaching about judging others. It says: “Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay not attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘let me take the speck out of your eye’, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5) So….whenever you look around Jess and sense that someone is watching you or judging you, maybe you can imagine them with a large plank in their eye and even pray for them to see that plank that blinds them to their own truth. You know the your own truth and that is what really matters. Love you Jess, Aunt Nancy

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