Sunday, August 29, 2010

Everyone Has A Story.....

Do you judge people based on their size? Don't lie. We all do it. Not maliciously, but we make certain assumptions about people based on their appearance, size, clothes, etc... It's human nature and I'm not ashamed to admit that I do it, too.

Recently while working out at the gym, someone made a comment to me about "it gets easier" or "you are doing such a great job, you should be so proud of yourself" I forget the exact comment, but it was painfully obvious that this person thought this was the first time in my life I had ever seen the inside of a gym or ever walked up and touched a weight machine.

I wanted to scream out "THIS IS NOT ME!!" "I HAVEN'T ALWAYS BEEN THIS SIZE!!" I used to be a collegiate athlete for shit's sake! In my mind I still see myself as that fit, muscular girl. I have to remind myself that to others, I'm simply an over weight, almost middle aged woman that looks like she's enjoyed a few too many twinkies.

While having my orientation at the gym (on the weight machines) my trainer mentioned that I already know how to work all of the machines so why do I even need her? I laughed a bit and explained that I used to be an athlete and it turns out that her daughter played competitive volleyball as well. You know what she said to me? "Wow, you're awfully short to be a volleyball player. You must have been really good to be able to play in college." I don't know why, but that comment sent me over the moon. I do know why ~ because I was good. And having someone recognize that ~ even all these years later ~ felt good.

So anyway, back to judging. If I see a skinny woman at the gym, at the grocery store, at the park, wherever, I used to make the assumption that she's always been thin. She's never had to count a calorie in her life and that being healthy simply comes naturally to her. Conversly, I'm guilty of doing what was done to also me. If I see an overweight woman I used to make the assumption that she eats horribly, doesn't take care of herself and probably has never seen the inside of a gym.

That's all changed now. I'm making a choice. I'm chosing to look at people differently. I'm chosing to see a thin, healthy, active woman and I'm going to believe that she works hard for her health. Maybe she was overweight in the past and maybe she's overcome such huge hurdles in her life that being healthy now is the only way for her to continue living. Maybe that overweight woman that I ran into at the library has already lost 50+ lbs and is still working hard everyday to continue taking the weight off. Maybe the obese person you see filling her cart with fruits and vegetables at the grocery store used to be a top notch athlete and she's finding her way back...

Everyone has a story.

1 comment:

  1. So true! I try really hard not to be judgemental. To be honest, a couple of weeks ago I did the Danskin Tri in Seattle. I have never seen so many overweight women at an even in my life. At first I was surprised then I became very proud of them and I could tell they were proud of themselves! And i just had to wonder about each one and how much weight they had lost during thier training for the event! It was so great to see so many women out being active and taking on such a challenge and smiling the entire time! And if they weren't on the fitness band wagon at that time I was hopeful that they enjoyed the race and are motivated to continue! I know I have to work hard to stay fit, and I'm not even particulary thin. If I go one day without sweating I gain a pound. It is in my genes...It would be so much easier to just be over weight, but I made a decision to work hard to stay fit! And like you I was a college athelete too...and i get frustrated when I think back to that time and realize I had no idea how fit I was. I knew, but I took ir for granted.

    I think you are on the right track!! You have the drive and the motivation! You'll be that short, fit and good volleyball player agian in no time!! =)