An Open Letter to the Fat Girl at the Gym
Posted: Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Alyn Wharmby is an Ohio native turned middle school teacher and graduate student, currently earning a degree in School Administration at UNC Charlotte. She is beginning her new life with fiance Erik and chihuahua Bella on July 13, 2013. Contact Alyn here.
Dear Fat Girl at the Gym,I see you on the treadmill a few times a week upon my visits to the gym. I see you struggle to keep up with a jogging pace. I see you turn red, sweat, sometimes push through and sometimes give up too quickly. I see you walk aimlessly around the gym, not knowing what machines to use or exercises to try. I know that you feel sick after cardio training. I know that your ankles and knees hurt from lugging around extra weight.I know you think everyones looking at you and that youre self-conscious about being there in that gym, surrounded by skinny girls in tight clothes who run for miles without breaking a sweat.I know your clothes dont fit. I know that you raid your closet every morning praying that something will cover up all that youre trying to hide. I know that you never feel like it does.I know that this is the hundredth time youve tried this. I know youve given up repeatedly and are pretty sure that, though you may drop a few pounds, youll never get to your goal weight. I know that you think about being overweight every moment of every day.Though in many ways Im still that girl myself, I have a few words of wisdom to share with you; It gets better, its worth it, and youre amazing for sticking with it.If youre like me, the battle for your health is one of the hardest youll ever fight. It will not end when you reach your goal weight, and it will require constant diligence. You will have embarrassing moments, you will have moments of failure, and you will have great successes. Hold on to the successes to get you through the failures.Im not qualified to tell you what to eat or how to exercise, so let me tell you this: you are not alone. Were in this together. Fat girl solidarity. If you look closely enough, Im probably there in the gym with you leaving my butt sweat ring on a bicycle or avoiding the mirrors while lifting weights. Im in the back row of the group class, or trudging down the road at a slow jog. Im there and I respect you. I understand how hard it is, and Im rooting for you.So ladies, instead of priding ourselves on being thinner than the girl on the other elliptical machine or scoffing at the woman whose clothes are too tight--- lets fight for one another. Kind words and gestures, though easy for us to perform, make a significant difference for the girl who has just started or is starting over. Say hello to the gym-class stranger. Notice and compliment the little things. Congratulate the person who looks great in their outfit that day. Dont criticize.Remember: were in this together. Fat girl solidarity.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less