Over 300 Pounds in a Sports Bra

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TW: weight loss, calorie counting

When I joined the gym ten years ago lost in a deep ocean of self loathing and obsessive compulsive exercise/calorie counting, my biggest goal (outside of a weight that was grossly low for my body) was to wear just a sports bra as a top at the gym.

I wanted to be one of those fitspo models, showing off her tight stomach and perfect bubble butt. But even after losing almost 150 pounds and being my smallest adult size ever, I was too afraid. I just keep telling myself, “oh in five more pounds. Nah, five more pounds. Oh just five more then you can wear it.” But that time never came.

Younger Alex wearing an oversized sweatshirt, leggings, tennis shoes

My old gym attire.. sweatshirt ALWAYS.

My intense recovery from this mindset was 3+ years of therapy, antidepressants, ADHD meds, and a super intense journey of self love.

Now, almost 8 years later, as a woman over 300 pounds with a very non-hourglass figure, I finally conquered that goal.

I wore a sports bra to the gym without a shirt over it.

The health and fitness space has traditionally only held a place for fat women who want to lose weight. We are always a before. But I just want to be.

I like going to the gym. I feel powerful when I fill my barbell with heavier plates. I feel accomplished when I beat personal records. I feel proud of what my body can do.

My body is not a before because there is no after that will magically make me “better” by someone else’s arbitrary standards.

So much time is spent wasted on this idea that you need to be someone or something else before you can truly enjoy your life. That you can’t wear that dress you love because it’s made for smaller bodies. That you can’t swim or hike or travel until your pants are smaller. But always waiting means you’re never living.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have goals. But I don’t care how much I weigh. That’s not why I’m here. My goals involve smashing personal records for weight lifting, easing chronic nerve pain in my leg, and being able to walk around the mall for longer when I’m shopping.

The gym is often a space fat people are afraid of, and I totally understand why.

We are mistreated, recorded without our consent, laughed at for being sweaty, or given so much unsolicited advice on how we should be working out. But I just flat out refuse that from now on. My membership dues are paid, so I deserve the space here, and I intend to take it and fill it by being unabashedly myself. I put my head high, my don’t mess with me face on, and headphones blaring Lizzo.

And I wore just a sports bra and leggings.

Not gonna lie, I was prepared for the worst. In my head, I had this whole scenario where the gym tried to kick me out for showing too much skin, then I wrote a scathing exposé and became famous making huge piles of money for being 100% THAT bitch.

But alas, my nightmare/dream shriveled and died. Why? Nobody blinked twice. I held my head high, owned my adorable band of stomach with surgery scars and stretch marks. And I lifted like the badass I am. Not one person gave me a weird look, side eye, or dirty glance. I was even feeling so brave, I asked some random lifters next to me to take my very first video ever of me lifting!

You deserve to take up whatever space you want.

Everyone else be damned. Do what makes you happy, and if that means showing your adorable belly off while you do squats? THEN DO IT. And take a damn selfie so I can cheer you on!

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