Gym shaming

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It’s the new year. Let the gym shaming commence.

Gym shaming is when people who went to the gym prior to the end of the last year complain about/make fun of people who start going to the gym after the new year. Let’s break it down.

Why do people start going (back?) to the gym in January? The holiday season is over. People feel optimistic. Maybe it’s a fresh start. Perhaps they make resolutions or set goals. Goals usually need some kind of point of reference. A new page on the calendar is a good place to start. There’s probably a lot of reasons why. And really, why not?
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The gym snobs complaint usually goes something like, “Ugh, the gym is so crowded at this time of year.” To me, that’s a big first world problem. The inconvenience of waiting to use a machine/equipment/weights/shower/parking/class. It’s pretty well known that we’re not the most fit conscience country. Maybe a crowded gym would be a good thing to see. Like, cool, people are exercising. Endorphins up, releasing stress. Happier, healthier people. Should be a good thing right?

But the gym shaming goes beyond the inconvenience of more people. It goes to gym snobbery. Judgy McJudgersons assume the newbies won’t last. “Don’t worry, they won’t make it past February or March.”
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It’s true. They might not. They might do this every year. They might be the person who gives up the same thing for Lent each year. Then again, maybe they will stick if out and gasp! become a regular like you.

Because clearly everyone that works out was born at the gym. And has been eating well their whole life. Sarcasm aside, it seems like many gym goers at one point started going or changing their habits. There are a few exceptions I can think of. People whose lifestyle from childhood through adulthood was/is pretty consistently healthy, athletic and active. I wish I was one of those. But I’m not, and I don’t think most of us are. People cycle through things depending on what’s going on in their life at the moment.

So rather than laugh at what someone wears to the gym or snicker that they don’t have the right form, it’d probably go a long way to encourage what they’re trying to do. I’m sure it violates gym code/etiquette, but maybe, just maybe, a regular could reach out to a neophyte with advice or support.

The other option is to just accept that this happens every January. People are creatures of habit. The gym starters that keep trying to form new habits. The gym shamers that will always complain about the gym starters. And me, the girl who doesn’t go to the gym but blogs about it.
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Don’t hate. Congratulate. Gym rats, reach out to the couch potatoes. It could be the difference of them sticking it out a little longer.

This entry was posted in Laugh.

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