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Will all the Fat People Please Stand Up

will all the fat people please stand upI’ve made quite an interesting observation recently.

Nothing profound. Nothing jaw-dropping or world changing. Just something…interesting.

It was just another day at the gym. Recently I’ve shortened my rest periods for my Visual Impact challenge so I haven’t had much time to sit back and relax. Everything is run and gun and I’m typically pretty exhausted after I’m done.

But after a grueling workout, I had a chance to sit back on the bench and just look around for a second.

Then I noticed something…

I’ve seen these people here before.

Every time I’m here I see the exact same people. Some of them I know, most of them I don’t, but the interesting thing is that the majority of them are already fit. They’re just there looking to get fitter.

But where are the fat people?

Where are the unhealthy people?

Where are the people who actually need to be here?

Maybe they're working on their drop kick?

It seems like things are a little upside down at the moment. If the world really is in as bad shape as experts say, then where are the 66 percent of the population currently classified as overweight or obese? What the hell are they doing?

Right now it feels like a rich getting richer and poor getting poorer kind of scenario. The fit are getting fitter and the fat are getting fatter.

Why is this?

Is it shame? Is it lack of confidence or lack of hope? Or is it just undeniable laziness? Regardless of the reason, there’s something you need to understand…

The gym is a place of change. It is a place where we go to shape and sculpt our bodies, strengthen our inner systems, and change our lives for the better. The gym doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you’re overweight, scrawny or shamefully weak. It doesn’t care what your starting measurements are or how ridiculous you look in your ‘muscle’ shirt. All it cares about is that you’re there making an effort and truly pushing yourself to become better.

At my gym, there is no sign at the door saying ‘No Fat People Allowed‘. There is no requirement for low body fat percentage or a curvy figure. There is nothing but an environment primed for change.

So where are you?

Really?

Before I end this post, I’d like to ask all the fat people to please stand up. Tell me where you are because I don’t see you at the gym.

What’s stopping you from making the most important change in your life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Tyron Porell - August 28, 2011

I get what you are saying. I used to sell gym memberships. I would ofter hear people say they would join then gym AFTER they lost their weight!?! They were too ashamed to go to a gym and be seen in athletic attire in their current state. I’d like to give at least some of the overweight population the benefit of the doubt and hope some of them are working out at home. Maybe there could be separate facilities for the fit and for the unfit?

    Test - August 30, 2011

    Hey Tyron, I’m optimistic as well. I truly hope that they’re finding other ways (or places to stay) in shape. It’s sad to hear people giving up on themselves before even trying just because they feel ashamed of who they are or what they look like. The gym should be a place of change, encouragement and positive energy, not a place of insecurity and self-consciousness.

    I like the idea of separate facilities. I’m surprised nobody has tried running one of those. I foresee a lot of potential.

Raymond- ZenMyFitness - August 28, 2011

Cool message I like it but I’m afraid the same guys that aren’t standing up are the same ones that wont be reading this article!
Im my gym the ‘unfit’ people who do turn up unfortuantely look the same months after months so I guess there is a reason why they don’t come back.
Raymond

    Test - August 30, 2011

    Hey Raymond, I figured somebody would bring that up :D, but I’m going to be positive here and hope that this post will one day encourage somebody to take that step and start their path to change.

    But you do bring up a good point. Ineffective training leads to no results which leads to lack of motivation. And with no motivation it’s hard to keep going. It’s important to have a general understanding of proper training methods and to be persistent enough to wait for the results to come.

Luther A. Boulay - August 29, 2011

Awesome image! And cool message! I like it but I’m afraid the same guys that aren’t standing up are the same ones that wont be reading this article!

    Test - August 30, 2011

    Luther, like I mentioned to Raymond – I knew someone would say this! I’m going to hope you’re both wrong 🙂

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - August 30, 2011

Srdjan,

I’m not surprised to see more fit people at the gym because they are the ones who have developed a fitness mentality and incorporate it into their lifestyle. The reason why they are in shape is because they hit the gym regularly. Conversely, I wouldn’t expect to see a lot of fat people at the gym because the way they became fat was by not going. Sure, it would be nice to see the ones that do want to make a positive change show up at the gym, but I sense the vast majority of fat people simply don’t have the drive to do this.

Alykhan

    Test - September 6, 2011

    Very true, Alykhan. It’s all about good and bad habits at the end of the day. I would just like to see more people make an effort 🙂

Michael- The Underwear Body - September 3, 2011

Love the pictures!

Really good post. I think for a lot of people the idea of trying to improve at something is just too much-like a confession of inadequacy. Body image is an interesting one; even though society at large has never been so out of shape we see a lot of images of the body beautiful and admitting you fall short is not a comfortable step.

The facilities for unfit is an interesting idea; maybe the idea of all being in the same boat would get folks through the doors, seems to work for weight watchers.

Michael

    Test - September 6, 2011

    Body image is a tough one. Media plays a big role in instilling self-consciousness in people. What you see on TV and in magazines is far from perfect and should not dictate whether you feel ‘inadequate’.

    Go to the gym because you want to be healthy. Because you want to live a better life. Because you want to be there for your kids and grandkids.

    I’ve been really thinking about the separate gym idea lately – I’m curious if it would work. Do you think it’s only good enough to get people through the doors? What happens when you start making progress? Are you sent to a regular gym?

Michael- The Underwear Body - September 10, 2011

You know, I’m not sure. I mean most folks are pretty vain. Signing up to be in the “out of shape” gym could be a step too far, certainly if they have to see and be seen by the “beautiful people”. As motivating as it could be to have a target to aim for, I think a lot of people just find it depressing.

Michael

    Test - September 11, 2011

    I know exactly what you mean Michael. It definitely could be a step too far.

      Brenda Dick - September 14, 2011

      Well, that was a quick emotional turn around for me. I am a fat person that is trying to stand up. I am doing things at home but I am pretty sure I have to venture in to the gym to really make progress. It seems you may actually care where the fat people are soo….

      Gyms are scary when you are inexperienced. You don’t know where stuff is and when you find it, you don’t know how to work it. Then, once you figure out the directions are on every machine…. you feel in the way while the super fit person waiting for you while you read in the middle of their circuit training is either trying to look casual while they watch with anxious anticipation or the people that actually stand beside you and huff and glare. Not very fun.

      The other reason for this fat person is that I can’t help thinking that although I would like to believe most people are considerate enough to wonder why aren’t we there, most people are thinking like a majority of your comment makers. Don’t know me at all. But have already judged me as hmmm… (quick referral for accuracy) not even motivated enough to read this article… wow, that’s lazy. too lazy to read? I’ll look the same months later anyway and finally, I don’t have the mentality or the drive required to show up in the first place. For the record, I get that in some ways these are true. I would be much more willing to go if I wasn’t presented with this harsh mirror reality each time the fit dude looks at me. And we are also afraid that if we find the money for a trainer… he/she will be one of the scary people that assume I don’t have the mentality or motivation to be there. Well, it’s a book, but that’s why lots of fat people aren’t there.

        Test - September 15, 2011

        Brenda, I can’t say enough how appreciative I am for you sharing your comment. This is exactly what I was hoping to get – some down-to-earth, brutal honesty. I have some points to share.

        First, I most definitely do care about people of all sizes. Skinny, fat, in or out of shape – it doesn’t matter. I think we all have incredible potential to become healthy and fit, we’re just either lacking information or motivation.

        Secondly, I want to correct something you mentioned in your first paragraph. You don’t NEED to venture into a gym to make progress (I should have made a better point of this in the article). I’ve seen so many amazing transformations take place without ever seeing the inside of a gym. But it is an option – a valid one too. I just happen to find it surprising that more overweight people aren’t taking advantage of it.

        Brenda, I think we both realize we live in a world where judgement is passed quicker than you can snap your fingers. The world can truly be a harsh place. That’s just reality – you can’t control it. What you can control is how you approach the situation. You have to be willing to take control of your own health because nobody else will. You have to be stronger than those people passing judgement because they can only hold you back. If it takes you extra long to set up a machine then so be it, let them wait. You would do the same for them.

        Making any sort of transformation is hard work. But you have to start somewhere. As hard as it may be, you have to be strong enough to get past the looks and the glares and the judgement – you have to take control. That’s the only way you’ll get to where you want to be.

        If you need any help whatsoever with getting your workouts structured, your diet in order or simply looking for motivation, please feel free to contact me. Believe me when I say that I would be more than happy to help.

        Thank you again for the comment!

          Brenda Dick - September 15, 2011

          You’r kind and supportive. Thanks. Thanks for the advice at the gym. It’s funny that things are so simple … you’re right, I would wait for them. I will remind myself of this and I think I’ll add to it… hey, I need this… can’t you see that? lol— in my head. Just for a little humor and motivation. I have been doing exercise at home but I am impatient with the results so I am going to the gym this weekend. Weird, as a trainer you may already know that you can let your muscles get so weak, you actually can’t do a push up. Sadly, I learned that last week. So, I have to do some weights to remind my muscles they have a job and teach those bones and muscles to work together again. I actually could use some advice on core training. Simple extra stuff I could do at home after I run or walk. Thanks for being a kind supportive voice in the fit world! 🙂

kate - September 13, 2011

Let’s just say they are lazy that’s why they became fat in the first place. And yes you’re right, fit becomes fitter and fats become fatter.

    Test - September 15, 2011

    I think it may be a little more complicated than that, Kate. Laziness plays its part, but I think as Brenda mentioned above, there are deeper factors to their absense.

Test - September 15, 2011

Brenda, that’s exactly what I’m talking about! You have to stand up for yourself (even it it’s just in your head lol :D)!

Impatience will kill your chances of success. Results take time. I wouldn’t even worry about them at the moment. Stick to what you know works and keep pushing. Believe me that results will come and, when they do, you’ll have all the motivation in the world to keep going.

I would be glad to help with your core training. Just send me an email and I’ll respond with my advice 🙂

Brenda - September 27, 2011

Well, it’s been 3 weeks and I have lost 6 lbs but you all may not be surprised to learn that I don’t even care much about the weight anymore. Hmmm, didn’t expect that. All the other rewards are a lot more fun and frankly, a lot faster to see. Like my blood pressure dropping 8 points in two weeks. Wow! That was fast!!
The fun of finding something new to try almost every day.
My kids getting excited and asking me to “race” because I can run and they love it.
My teen wanting to walk with me every night because she likes the quiet time alone with me.
All the kids are wanting to exercise more and run more.
My husband *giggly blush* watching me for no apparent reason and then… wait-did he just ? WINK ? almost 20 yrs and I caught my husband checkin me out! That’s about 5 days straight of motivation right there!! lol. So, thanks Srj. (it’s even better short cuz there are no vowels at all) I’m blooming a little each day!!
Now, it’s off to the gym! Which by the way, has more fat people in the middle of the day–AND as a bonus for inspiration marathon running, super fit grandpas and grandmas! Which is just cool!!!
Have a great day!!

    Test - September 28, 2011

    That was a truly inspirational comment Brenda – you’re absolutely awesome!

    I’m so happy to see you’re taking on the fitness bloomer lifestyle. You’re putting in the effort and you’re getting results (amazing results at that)!! You’re enjoying life and you’re inspiring others (family and friends) to do the same. You’re a role model to say the least.

    Please keep us posted with your progress. And thank you, once again, for making my day! 😀

Brenda - October 24, 2011

Hello Srdjan! I thought you would be interested in an experiment by another personal trainer on this topic. Check out the website for Drew. fit 2 fat 2 fit…. He is just finishing up 6 months of sedentary lifestyle with no regard for nutritional health in an attempt at understanding the challenges for overweight people and to show them how to go from fat 2 fit. He gained 70 lbs in 6 months…. soon begins the journey back to fit… if nothing else, he can benefit from as many positive people as he can get on the journey back. It’s interesting to see what he is learning and feeling through this process so far. Hope you find it interesting.

    Test - October 25, 2011

    Hey Brenda, thanks so much for sharing! Yea I’ve heard about this guy. He’s been all over the internet for a while. I admire his courage to take on such project but from what I’ve read the whole thing has really taken a toll on his personal life (marriage included). I’m going to be following his progress to see how he gets back to being fit. It should be an interesting journey.

    This is not the first time somebody has done this, though. Back in 2009, there was a guy from Australia who did the exact same thing. His story was really interesting. You can check out his story here.

EvanT - May 10, 2012

Hi Srdjan! Tyron’s comment (the first one) was certainly true in my case. I simply found it too overwhelming to join a gym while I was still fat; and not because of the embarrassment factor alone. Thinking back, I personally think it was for the best. Had I tried to become a gym regular AND do the drastic change to my dietary habits needed for me to lose weight and maintain it, there’s a good chance I would have failed at both ends. It would be unrealistic for me to change my lifestyle that much, so fast.

So I first got accustomed to my new eating habits, shedding some 45 lbs in 6 months and then joined a gym to shape up and lost another 10 lbs, but as an unintended side-effect. The only exercise I felt confident doing during the weight-loss period was a bit of yoga, to reclaim some of my lost flexibility (and some sit-ups, but I soon grew bored of them and dropped them).

I must say though that I have the utmost respect for fat people who have the courage to go to the gym and stick with it, even when results come slower than they expected. But it’s something I would be unable to do. Few people can take repeated hits to their ego and their inner narcissus and persevere. I would have caved for certain.

I believe that getting comfortable with a good weight-loss routine before joining a gym can boost one’s motivation enough to carry him through both activities… and with his mental health intact.

    Test - May 11, 2012

    Evan thanks so much for your insightful comment! And congratulations on your incredible weight loss! I guess it’s important to take things one step at a time. To understand the fundamentals and start building good habits over time. This would help build that necessary confidence needed to finally step into the gym…Would you agree?

      EvanT - May 12, 2012

      Thanks! And of course I agree. Without confidence it’s hard to find the perseverance necessary to stick with a gym program. If going to the gym is a dreadful experience (not awkward, mind you; that’s pretty normal for any new beginning) then the game is already lost. My limited experience has also taught me that it’s a good idea to leave your ego at the door (or keep some analgesic cream handy. LOL!)

        Test - May 14, 2012

        The idea is not so much about ‘going to the gym’ as much as it is building positive lifestyle habits. You don’t NEED to necessarily go to the gym. But incorporating some sort of movement-based activities throughout your day is one part of living a healthy lifestyle. The idea of that should never be dreadful.

        Thanks so much for your insights!

kemal - June 23, 2012

Oh, c’mon, you shouldn’t be telling those words. I’m a fat person and it feels really really bad when you look at the fit people all around you. Believe me, I go to the gym 4 days a week, for over 6 months and I’m still fat and they are still fit. Because we (same people) all go to the gym and we all work, than nothing changes in comparison. I’m still fat, I cant wear shorts or sleeveless shirts which shows the details of may fat body. I cant go to the pool of the sportcenter because I can’t wear swimsuits. I can’t get any sun tanning, Im still (bluish) white 🙂
My life sucks and I’m depressed so I can’t find any courage for diet.
People always tell that, the hardest part is going to gym, when you get there you start your workouts then taking a bath and you feel really fine. But for a fat person, there are hardest parts 🙂 Going to gym is hard but getting back to home (as you realise in mind that you’re still fat) is another story. It’s always stressing more and more.

    Test - June 25, 2012

    Kemal – the post was never intended to offend anyone. My curiosity just got the best of me.

    I’m grateful you shared your thoughts. That takes courage and strength to admit some of those things. It also helps me understand what it is that’s going on in your head. Helps me see what’s keeping you from achieving your goals.

    Building a better body isn’t something that happens over night. Sometimes it doesn’t even happen over a period of 6 months. It takes time and patience. It requires constant testing to see what works and what doesn’t (for you). It takes strength and courage to keep going even when you don’t want to – when it all feels hopeless.

    The important thing here is that you’re trying. You’re putting yourself out there. Usually that’s half the battle. Now you need the right strategy. You need to go back, understand and follow the fundamentals of training and eating for weight loss. After that it’s all about putting in the work. If you’re struggling to grasp the concepts about structuring your training and your diet, email me. I’ll help you put something together to get you on the right path.

    Thanks for your comment. Keep your head up and never let obstacles in life hold you back from being the person you’re capable of being.

ryan - July 23, 2012

I’m a fat guy on a tight budget. If I had the $, I would love to join a gym. But instead, I try to do as much as I can at home. Run, walk, ride bike, play basket ball with my son, jump rope, push ups, what ever I can to stay active. It’s been working pretty good for the past few months.

honey - July 24, 2012

So I’m a bit late to chime in on this one, but I am one of these overweight people. I started at a personal training gym at the peak of my heaviest weight. I remember absolutely hating it. I guess I wasn’t really ready for it. I was still eating really badly (although truly thought I wasn’t ?! ) and I weighed exactly the same at my 3 month weigh in. I remember quitting right there and then, I was so ashamed every week going there it was such a mental build up for me and to not have lost any weight I felt like there wasn’t any point to putting myself through it all.

Thankfully I have since moved away, sold my car and am eating well and have lost a buttload of weight woohoo! but I do it all by walking around the neighbourhood and have been skipping now for about 3 weeks (am considering starting sprinting now too).

I have to say, long windedly haha that I really think the trainers had a little to do with it. I felt like they were advancing the training every week waaay to quickly and I couldn’t keep up. I was nearly vomiting after every session and was pushing myself to extremes. I understand that some people enjoy this feeling but you have to understand that it takes time for a fat person to mentally build themselves up to that mindset. I enjoy the burn of exercising now but it took me a long time to crave that feeling. That and when you’re fat you sweat way more and turn red much faster, not to mention the floppy bits ahhh gyms are a scary place!

/essay answer.

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