Gym Culture & Body Shaming
I’m mostly happy with my body and after everything I went through with 5 miscarriages and medically required limitations on exercise, the fact that I can even say I’m mostly happy is huge progress for me. I’m proud that I’ve worked so hard to get to a point of mostly happy. I no longer look in the mirror and see a body that killed 5 babies before I see anything else. This is huge personal progress – the kind of mental health progress that deserves to be celebrated. Before experiencing all our loses I never once doubted my body – I never doubted it’s capabilities and I never doubted my appearance or the presentation I make to the world on a daily basis. Our losses destroyed my confidence in my body and so I am proud of the healthy healing strides I’ve made over the last few years.
And, as I’ve been working to reclaim self-compassion and understanding, I also made a commitment to my physical health. I started by running multiple times a week. Then, I decided to join a spin class that was conveniently close to my house. For almost 9 months now, I’ve been going to spin class consistently 3-5 times a week. As a new mom and the owner of my own professional consulting firm, this has been a huge time commitment for me. I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost since I started working out regularly (I intentionally don’t know my weight), but I do know that I’ve gained muscle tone and I generally feel healthy. And that’s all I need to know, because that’s all that matters to me.
(As an aside to any possible trolls out there who feel like saying horrible things – I’m 34 and I wear a size 8 – I’m not pencil thin, but I also don’t believe I’m overweight. And while I may not wear Gucci or Prada or other high end brand name clothing, I do put myself together decently enough wearing pretty average clean and age appropriate clothing on a daily basis).
I can honestly have never even cared what other people think about my body, my weight, my appearance or any aspect of my lifestyle. All of these intimate personal details have all served me well thus far in my life, so I’ve never bothered to care what other think. Simply, I’ve always lived my life for me.
Until today, when the reality of what someone else thinks about me was made so apparent that I had no choice but to hear it.
Today, the owner of the spin studio said some horrible things about my physical appearance. She single handedly made me feel worse about myself then probably anyone ever has in my entire life. It felt like I was living inside some sort of cruel mean-girl teenage drama. Honestly, I had no idea this type of shit is actually said in real life. To say I’m upset would be an understatement. Her words were cruel, unnecessarily so.
I can honestly say I’ve never been so humiliated in my life. There is simply no excuse for her words and her actions, rationally I know this. It was nothing short of bullying.
I’ve thought about writing out exactly what happened. I’ve thought about naming them publically so others are aware that this is how they treat their paying client. I’ve thought about posting horrible (but honest) reviews on google and yelp. She actually sent her comments via email with increadibly condesending instructions on how to change, so I can very easily share exactly what happened with anyone and everyone, if I so choose. And a large part of me would love to stand up and give her and the studio a giant F-YOU, preferably in a way that it will hurt their business, because money talks.
But, I honestly don’t have that in me, at least not right now. Instead I’m channelling my inner Michelle Obama and reminding myself “when they go low, we go high“. I’m better then that. So for now I’ve decided to just walk away and lick my wounds in the corner knowing in a few days I’ll move past this.
That said, Mr. MPB was so upset on my behalf he actually called and gave them a piece of his mind and demanded my membership be cancelled immediately without their standard cancellation notice period. I don’t like other people fighting my battles, in fact I hate it. But I knew how upset he was/is and I knew he needed to say his piece and practically someone had to cancel the membership because there is no way I am ever spending another penny supporting that business. The shocker of their conversation is that she actually tried to defend her comments, and took no responsibility for how cruel she was to me. In fact, she didn’t apologize nor did she even acknowledge that I would be deeply upset by her words and instead attempted to justify her words.
All this aside, right now I can honestly say, I’m really worried about losing the momentum of months of consistent fitness, this is the type of thing that can easily deter me from working out. No-one deserves to be treated the way I was today, and I’m just not prepared to go through that again anytime soon, so right now I jusy don’t think I can return to a gym setting and be part of that type of culture. I’m not really sure what to do, but I need to find a new fitness routine, and I need to do it immediately as to not break the habit.
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