Stereotypes are Heavier than Weights Sometimes
I absolutely love the gym.
No, that’s definitely not sarcastic. I might not look like your stereotypical gym goer, but that smell of sweat and cleaner that smacks you in the face when you step into a gym is one of my favorite smells.
Sometimes I love it because it is a break from the rest of the world. I get to spend a chunk of uninterrupted time doing something mindless that allows me to think and take a second to breathe. Even if that breathing is really panting.
Other times I love it because the eye candy and people watching is top notch. I am a huge fanatic of people watching, and there is always something crazy going on. But it’s also pretty motivating to work out when you can watch a beautiful human nearby lifting an obscene amounts of weights.
I’ve tried pretty much every available workout at a myriad of gyms. (Except for spinning class… Let’s be real, my ass will never fit on that thing they claim is a seat.) Kickboxing will always make me happy, running is forever my frenemy, and I probably have a funny or awkward story for every type of machine. But my one true workout love is heavy weight lifting.
The slow pacing focused on form, the constant attempts to break personal records, the mental battle that takes place every time you add five more pounds, the way my butt looks fantastic when I keep the hard work up. I love it so much.
But what I love the most is that it’s a space I wouldn’t typically “belong.”
I am usually one of the only women in the heavy lifting section of my gym, and I am absolutely the only fat person.
I definitely garner looks from passersby, and more than once I have received unsolicited advice on what I should be doing so I can lose weight quicker. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I can be rendered completely invisible. People take weights I’m using, bump into me because they didn’t notice, or acknowledge any gym buddies I’m with and pretend I’m not even there.
But all of these makes me love it even more. I’m not “supposed” to be there, right alongside the Ken doll looking men grunting like they’ve pooped themselves. But I am. I’m right there using the same equipment they are.
Weight lifting is empowering. Not only am I taking up space I am encouraged to avoid, but I am becoming stronger, both mentally and physically. It’s my way to declare that I don’t care where you think I should go or who you think I should be.
Because I’m here.
I am fat, I am female, and I am deadlifting where I damn well please.