The Fat Man Rants

Don’t you even think about talking to me when I’m at the Gym

Hey you! You with the flat arse, pert breasts and finely chiselled cheekbones! Don’t even begin with the “looking good! Gonna sweat today! How ya doin’? Got your water” No No No. You – late 30 something with the new perm and the Lorna Jane bodysuit stretched over the three-child hips – no, I’m not wearing a wedding ring and FUCK OFF AND MIND YER OWN BUSINESS. Hey workmate on the next cross-training machine – I’ve talked to you all day now shut up and leave me alone! Hey guy selling personal training sessions. Did you interrupt me? You hate to pull me out of the zone. I have news for you mister, I wasn’t in any fucking zone – I was listening to the White Album. If you say one more condescending oleaginous word to me, I’m going to put out your eyes, burn down your house and slaughter and skin your pets. I mean it – I am in hell and there is absolutely *no talking * in hell!

People people people – you just don’t get it, do you? I am at your gym because I am deeply ashamed. Deeply ashamed of whatever apparent moral weakness you have made me believe I have within me which has made me fat. Fat. There I have said the “F” word. There’s a reason I am fat – and it’s not genetic, it’s not “big bones”, it’s not hypoglycemia, it’s because I enjoy my life and I like to eat. And that offends the world so that the only way to fit back into it and be considered a decent person is to punish myself by failing my body every afternoon in your stinking, feculent torture chamber. So fuck off and let me suffer. I don’t want to talk to you, I don’t even want you to acknowledge my existence. Just let me sweat and grunt and feel like shit until I lose whatever preordained magic number of kilograms you think I should lose so I can fit back into your thin person’s society.

And in the meantime don’t you even think about talking to me when I’m at the Gym

Maybe you should consider buying a treadmill and a weight set before you murder someone at the gym that said ‘good morning’ to you?

You sound like a gelatinous ass.

A round of applause for an excellent rant. I feel the same way about the gym. It’s worse than the dentist for me. The only saving thing in the one I’ve found recently is that it’s associated with a hospital and rehab center, so there are many people who are in even worse shape than me. I mean people with walkers. Fragile people. People next to whom I feel svelte.

I’ll give the 2nd paragraph a 6.8 on feeling and content.

I’ll give the first paragraph an incomplete due to incomprehensibility.

If I were more entrepreneurial, I’d start a gym where all the exercise machines were surrounded by shower curtains, so those of us who don’t like other people looking at us while we exercise could be more comfortable.

Meanwhile, I suggest headphones, and studiously ignoring anyone who does try to talk to you. Having your tongue stick out a little, like it does for some people when we concentrate really hard, helps too.

violence aside, I sympathize
Aside from being shamed into going to the gym in the first place, when I’m there, I feel proud of the little improvements I make on my own (2 extra reps on the machines, an extra 2 minutes on the treadmill or bicycle) These are BIG things to me and it takes me more than 3 days to add these milestones on. So don’t tell me I have to do better. That kind of comment is what keeps me from returning.

I’m with ya there. I know that people in the gym are trying to be nice and encouraging and all that bullshit, but damn…leave me alone when I’m sweating and stinking so I can fit into the jeans I want to fit into.

I concur. I go to the gym to exercise not socialize. I have a definite workout that I want to complete in the minimum necessary amount of time. The gyn may be a social club for many, but not for me.

I agree, too. I stopped going once I got my bike. No way!


First, switch to decaf.

Then, listen to me.

Going to the gym is supposed to be FUN. That’s why we go, to enjoy the exertion and feel good.

Granted, at first, it doesn’t feel good. Whether you’re genetically closer to the “ideal” or not, the first few weeks in the gym are going to hurt, as you start doing motions and using muscles in ways to which you’re not used.

But then, as you find your proper zone of exertion, where you’re not going too light and you’re not overtaxing yourself, the endorphins kick in and you stop worrying about progress and just concentrate on how good the work makes you feel.
Now, if you’ve been at the gym for more than two months and the pain you’re in is still such that it causes these feelings of vitriol, you’re probably overtaxing yourself. Honestly. Every time I got hurt, it was because I was trying to get three weeks’ worth of results in six reps. NEVER a good idea.

So lighten up your weight (or cardio-machine setting). You’re not gonna be chiseled tomorrow, and, if you keep doing this to yourself, you’re either gonna get hurt or cause so much psychic resistance to going to the gym that you’ll never go back, and, either way, your goals are defeated.
Now, if it’s just this “shame” issue, I again advise you to lighten up. Nobody can make you feel bad except you, and it’s possible and even desirable to like yourself while improving the package.
So, in summation: Decaf coffee. Lighter-intensity work. Lighter-intensity emotional involvement in other people. It’s about you, dude, not about them.

Another hint: try the YMCA instead of a commercial gym. I’ve found nobody ever talked to me in the gym there.

I’ll never understand why touchy, self-loathing types go to public gyms. If you can’t afford the equipment at home, go on off hours or something so those fat fucking nice people don’t try to be pleasant to you. Those selfish fucks. How dare they try to be nice to an obviously fat person! FUCK THEM!

That kind of attitude makes it worse for some of us.

I have yet to find any kind of exercise that is fun, or that I feel anything other than exhausted and sweaty/gross while doing or afterward. I’ve yet to feel any kind of endorphins from exercise. People like different things- why do some people find it so hard to believe that some of us don’t enjoy exercise?

It’s hard enough making myself go to the gym when I’d rather be at home reading, watching TV, or playing computer games.

Don’t guilt us for not enjoying it if we do manage to force ourselves to go.

Because of stuff like the OP mentions, my exercise program is pretty much on hold until I get a bigger place, and have room to get a treadmill or other exercise equipment for myself and exercise when I’m sure no one is watching.

The only way I’d ever go to a gym now is wearing a burqa, with signs saying “I’m deaf” and “Danger: Radioactive” around my neck. I exaggerate, but not by much.

This bears repeating. Having worked at a gym and reading threads on this board when people are getting ready to attempt to start an exercise regime, my experience is that people usually start off doing too much too quickly and end up quitting way too soon. You shouldn’t be at the gym six days a week when you haven’t worked out in five years.

And like HSHP said, it’s supposed to be enjoyable. Getting a pump, sweating the nasty stuff out, clearing out your lungs. All of that’s supposed to feel good (after the initial two weeks or so). If you’re so miserable at the gym that someone trying to talk to you pisses you off this much, then you’re either doing something wrong or are just an asshole. I hope it’s the former.

Of course, I know nothing about you, your current shape, your workout, or anything else to do with you. So feel free to take this advice to heart or ignore it.


Your first goal is not to lose weight, tone your body, or even sweat. Your very first goal is to get to the point where you enjoy the gym and actually (wait for it…) look forward to going.

If you can make it a habit, and go every other day, you will have won at that point. After that, it’s just a waiting game, with occasional interludes where you have to convince yourself to add more weight/more minutes/more resistance.

My pet peeve in the gym is when a trainer will interrupt your set to offer advice on form. this almost invariably leads to an offer of a discount personal training session. I appreciate the need to sell and keep food (chicken breasts and brown rice!) on the table, but please wait until I’m done with my set. The odds are that I didn’t hear you anyway, since I was focused on the momentary pain of lifting.

Who gives a shit about what other people think about you anyway? Fuck them, do your reps, and enjoy that time two years from now when you can look back and give them the finger.


Part of me is feeling this rant, but the other part of me is saying, “Dude, don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Caaaalm is good.” The gym should be a place you enjoy and look forward to going to, otherwise you aren’t going to stick with working out.

I know (as do the rest of you from the photo threads :wink: ) that I am not the epitome of health. Heck, that’s why I finally got off my ass to work out. Now, I most certainly not nearly as cute in my tank top as the Barbie Girl on the treadmill and I get a little self conscious sometimes- but who cares?

I go to the gym to get my shit done- period. Yes, the staff can be overly friendly, but I’d take that over them being fitness Nazis who glare at my gut hanging over my sweat pants and make piggy noises while I’m jogging. A friendly smile and hello or a “oh here, let me show you how to get more out of that exercise” is always welcome.

Now, (I’ve said this in other gym threads) what drives me nuts are the creepy men. STOP. STARING. AT. MY. BOOBS. I take that back, stare away- but do it subtly. How about this: STOP. TRYING. TO. TOUCH. MY. BOOBS. No, I do not need help doing this pull down, I can handle it all on my own. If I needed help, I’d ask that nice man in the shirt that says “Diosa’s Gym”-- see, I pay for his services.

Also, creepy dudes: yes, I see you staring and that is why I kept avoiding looking your direction. Do not take this as an invitation to get on either side of me and try to strike up a convo while oogling my heaving bosom. And don’t get pissy when I totally ignore you either- ya’ll are the ones who couldn’t take a damn hint.

But yes, a trainer coming up and trying to sell me stuff while I am working out would piss me off greatly.


There’s a video game out that some people might want to look into called Yourself! Fitness

It consists of several parts. There’s a computer generated trainer called Maya that helps lead you through the exercises. There’s a lso a meal planner. And you can use the online forums as a journal for your progress.

The training process starts with you following Maya through a series of fitness tests. You can skip this part if you want or just make up some numbers if you know. If you know that you can only do 1 jumping jacking then put that it in! It’s just for a start.

The program then builds a personalized work out schedule for you. I was very out of weight when I started and the program was generous taking that into account and starting gradually. You can customize your workout how ever if you like, adding or subtracting time and days. You can choose to focus on cardiovascular, weight loss, upper or lower body strength or let the program recommend something.

The program works with equipment you might have like hand weights or exercise balls. You can pause at any time and if you want tips on a particualr exercise it will show you a wireframe figure perfoming the moves.

The program keeps track of your goals and as you progress you can unlock new settings and music. If you don’t feel like exercising you can visit the meditation garden for a yoga session. (The yoga session needs more explanition, imo.) But it lets you relax while still checking in.

The meal planning lets you set a calorie amount and then will map out a week’s worth of recipes and give you a shopping list. I don’t really use the planner but I’ve used a few of the recipes and I like them.

Anyway, no one tries to sell you anything. No one talks to you except Maya. You don’t have to leave the house. No one looks at you. Works for me!

Perhaps the OP should take up swimming?

That’s strange. I’ve been going to my particular gym for a year now, and I’d be hard-pressed to remember anyone actually striking up a conversation with me. Seems like people show up, exercise, and go home.

So, maybe find yourself a less social gym if it bothers you.