i’m a phat fatty

It’s been a rough couple of weeks at work. I mean, late nights, hardly any time to myself, and no wind-down time in between getting home and bed. Catching up on my personal goals (writing, reading, looking into brushing up on my Italian) simply did not happen. So, when all the hurly burly at work came to a standstill, what did I look forward to the most? Tearing shit up and blowing off steam at the gym.

Now, when I work out, I prefer to be of the mindset, “I want to work out because it’s healthy, reduces stress, and makes you feel great,” as opposed to, “Get thee to a gym and work off those child-bearing hips.” All that being said, I walked into the gym last Thursday to a group of male trainers standing at the front door and greeting members.

I was under the impression that they were simply promoting themselves and looking to recruit members. Well, I could have held my breath right then and there, because an older trainer, D, approached me with a semi-familiar piece of equipment, the Body Fat Machine.

“Wanna get your body fat measured, sweetheart?” I wanted to utter a mere, “No, fuck off, geezer,” and walk away. But I’m not that mean (I’m working on being a bitch) so I passively said, “No, I’m all good, I’m going to go work out now, thanks.”

Then after five, “Oh-come-on’s” and two, “No,-we’re-not-gonna-make-you-buy-anything’s,” despite the conniving manager’s whisper to the trainer, “Get her back on board,” I complied. I grasped onto the handles that would soon measure my fat(e).

“You’re a 24. Wow, that’s pretty high. We need to work on that.” I’m 117 pounds, 5’4-ish, and a size 0-2. That was the last thing I wanted to hear from a so-called “personal trainer.”

Somewhere after the words, “pretty high,” my jaw must have dropped. He just stood there and stared until he came up with his next eloquent and well-thought-out choice of words: “Have you been fluctuating? You know, packing on a few pounds?”, to which I respond, “No, my clothes still fit me. Why are you telling me this? I came here to work out and relieve stress, I sit behind a desk all day and sometimes work until 11 at night. What do you expect?”

…to which he replied, “You’re fat, darling. PHAT. Awesome. We just need to work on–”

….and to which I responded, “Sorry, I don’t appreciate coming in to work out after a long, grueling week and being told my body fat is too high.” I walked away, stupidly wondering for a split second whether I should consider the green tea/Hydroxy-cut diet if this is what life is all about. Then, I went into the locker room to try and abolish those thoughts.

Instead, I cried. For thirty minutes. I ignored the concerned stares from the half-naked old ladies getting ready for their swimming class and kept weeping. Maybe I was being melodramatic, but I take this stuff pretty seriously for reasons I have not yet revealed in this blog. If you call me fat or overweight or mention anything about my body fat content at all, even if in the context of a scheming marketing ploy, I’m likely to retreat and write you out of my life.

Needless to say, I felt even less motivated to delve into a hardcore workout as planned, because it had been tainted with the words, “body fat.” As I was doing squats across the floor, really, I wanted to pop a squat on the faces of the entire training staff and defecate freely.

Is this really their philosophy? Encouraging someone my size to get fit and feel great because they’re “fat?” Okay, I know he didn’t directly say, “You’re fat,” but it was still a slap in the face and an insulting, ineffective sales approach if you ask me. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t personal trainers supposed to be supportive and free of judgment? Let me be the judge of my own body fat content.

Last time I checked, 24% is normal. Chew on that. And, just so you know, a good number of your staff has protruding beer guts.

Do yourselves a favor and re-think your philosophy. Be mindful of a person’s feelings. Change your approach.

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 1:28 am  Leave a Comment  

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