Many women, especially fat women, fear the gym.
When I was young, I was one of them. I think we must spend every minute of our teens and at least 80% of our 20s worried about what other people are thinking about us. I think the most important advice I can ever give to young people from my lofty mid-40s is that the sooner your stop caring what other people think about you, the happier you’ll be.
Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
That is a great truth. But back to the gym. Where I was this morning. Many people avoid it because they are afraid of meat markets. There must be plenty of them, they’re talked about a lot. Maybe I’ve just been very fortunate to never encounter one?
Or maybe because I no longer care, so I don’t notice, its hard to say. I used to work out at a private gym in a swank country club. I was mostly the only fat person. But I was never treated badly. I was there, I was working out, I was a regular, so I was in. That’s all it took.
I’m now in a new facility. Its a local rec center with a great pool. Today I was overwhelmingly welcomed by the ladies in the locker room all dressing after their water aerobics class. “Come join us!” “Its a great class!” “L. is a wonderful teacher!” No shunning there, all welcome.
It makes me wonder how much of the shunning reported by people is expectation rather than experience? I’m sure there must be some. There are ugly people everywhere. But is it really pervasive?
All this has made me think about my upcoming interview with my new doctor. I worry and fret about it a lot. And I’ve definitely had first hand bad experiences. The thing is, if I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care about random comments, or the possibility of mocking at the gym, or really listening to a lot of people with silly theories, why am I letting this pending appointment bother me so much. It might be great. If its horrible, its about an hour of time for gathering data and I never have to go back. If its horrible, its about the doctor, not me. I’m the same me before and after.
I really need to focus on not letting my expectations upset me before the fact.