I have seen a few Facebook posts as of late about fitness bullies and how our society tends to take a negative and judgmental approach on heavier people while they are exercising and in general. Having grown up with 2 parents who were quite overweight I can tell you first hand what it is like to feel personally offended on their behalf when people would make comments and assumptions about overweight people being lazy or eating the wrong food and while most of us have some sort of vice, it is not our place to judge others’ but rather help each other.
Growing up my mother made a huge effort to be active as a family and to have the right kind of healthy foods at home and yet despite this she stayed heavy. I am not saying that she couldn’t lose the weight, I am sure if she had held a more regimented and intense diet and exercise plan she would have but she had quite healthy habits despite the weight and it pained me to hear people assume that anyone overweight must only eat fried fatty foods all the time.
Now that we have that assumption out of the way, lets talk about the utter ridiculousness of judging someone who is trying to make a positive change in their life. Just as we shouldn’t judge the scrawny people out there trying to gain muscle mass, there is no reason to judge someone who is trying to lose weight….even if you disagree with the exercise clothes they are wearing or how they are using a machine (unless it could hurt them in which case yes please let them know) or how much sweat or lack of sweat there is. We don’t get to complain about the people who only workout in January or the people that only make it to a boot camp once in a blue moon. We don’t get to make fun of the people who missed leg day or the person running at a slow pace or struggling with the downward dog pose.
I once tried to bike uphill with groceries in a back pack and had to walk my bike up the hill because I just couldn’t lug the extra 30 lbs. I took a moment to think what it would be like if that were weight that I permanently carried around and how much harder it would be to exercise. I was of course a little embarrassed about walking my bike up the hill because I thought someone might judge me. I’d like to live in a society where I wouldn’t think that, where I would think “I bet if anyone saw me walking my bike they would think, well good for her for taking her bike out even if she has to take breaks on the big hills.”
What we should do as people of a local community and especially as people who belong to the fitness community is to embrace the effort of each and every person. We should be thinking “right on” and “way to go” because why wouldn’t we? I am a strong believer that what we put out comes back to us so wouldn’t we want that to be positive rather than negative energy. Don’t we hope people are supporting us in their heads rather than judging us in any area of our lives? Anyone who is taking a step towards bettering their life should be applauded.
“To hate everything is to be wounded by everything.”
– Marty Rubin
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”-Franz Kafka