As much as I love to keep this blog upbeat and happy there’s been something on my mind the past few weeks and I thought it was important to share with you guys. It’s also going to be a bit of a story time so go grab a brew before we start.
OK. Ready? Let’s go.
If you follow me on social media you’ll know that I recently joined a gym in Manchester.
I’ve actually always enjoyed going to the gym and I was always happy and motivated to go during my time at uni. This was probably down to how friendly the staff were and how open everybody was. So I always felt at ease in the gym.
But I know that this isn’t the case for everyone.
There is a reason why many gyms have female only areas or time slots. A lot of women, no matter what their body shape or size, can feel very insecure when working out. So it’s only natural when you feel insecure to also think that everybody is staring or watching you.
This was something I used to think about a lot, until someone told me that the odds are everybody is too focused on themselves and what they are doing to take time to look at what you’re doing.
Now I’ve seen stories online of people (mainly women of a curvy nature) going to the gym to better themselves, only to have had negative comments and rude looks thrown their way. I’ve even seen stories of how people took photos of them only to laugh and share on social media.
This is not ok and the majority of you will probably agree that this is not ok. But never did I think something like this would happen to me.
My new gym offers free personal training plans, so of course I’m going to take full advantage of that! I had my first session with my lovely trainer Jessie who pushed me to my limits and back. Honestly, I have never been so sore after a workout!
Of course it was going to be hard. I was using muscles which I had never trained before. Lifting weights that to me were bloody heavy! But to everyone else I looked like a very weak girl who couldn’t even lift the smallest of weights.
Not gonna lie it was probably a funny sight and I totally understand that. But what I didn’t expect was for a guy to stand there and watch me, shaking his head and giving me a dirty look as I struggled on my last set.
Now he probably had no idea that I could see him from the corner of my eye. But whether he got caught out or not, this doesn’t make it ok. I understand that I’m weak AF but why does that make it ok to laugh at me?
I’ve dealt with my fair share of bullies in the past and the laughing and rude look wasn’t what annoyed me the most. No, what got to me the most about this is that I’m actively trying to better myself.
It may hurt. I may struggle and I may make noises and pull faces I never imagined myself making in the gym. But I’m still there trying to better myself. I may not be able to lift weights now but I’m still trying and eventually I’ll be able to lift heavier weights.
No matter what it is in life you have to start somewhere and for me that’s a lower weight. And I’m sure this guy who thought it was OK to judge me started out on a much lower weight than what he can lift now.
It’s very easy to make snap judgments on people because of how they look or how they act. And let’s be honest we all do it. We make judgements on people within 3 seconds of meeting them. But that doesn’t mean we should.
You wouldn’t like somebody judging you without seeing the full picture or knowing your story, so why do it to others?
There is so much judgement within society from the way we look, what we wear, who we love and how we feel. As long as that person is happy and doing right by themselves then why does it matter? If it doesn’t directly affect your life then you don’t need to get involved, and furthermore, you shouldn’t judge them.
There is too much hate in this world right now to let things like judgements and bullies get to you. I know it’s hard but we need to stop letting these people control our lives.
Wear what you want to wear because it’s your body and your style not theirs. Love who you want to love because it’s your heart not theirs. Be who you want to be without fear of judgement because it’s your life. Not theirs.
There will inevitably be people who don’t like you or disagree with your decisions but we should’t get hung up on their opinions of us. After all, their are people in this world who don’t like puppies, kittens and cupcakes. We can’t please everybody and we shouldn’t strive to in the first place.
I went back to the gym the following week for my second personal training session and I lifted those weights. I carried on and didn’t think about those who were watching me because judgement shouldn’t stop us from doing what we need to in order to be happy.
© Emmi Bowles