I will preface this by saying I have done EVERY SINGLE ONE of these things. It’s that self-awareness that has motivated to make positive changes in how I do things. It’s easy to fall into these traps and I’m calling them out so that we all think about how we want to be the change, see the change, and help others change.
Stop the whining, this is hard for everyone. I’m a vocal ventor. Everything I’m thinking and feeling I tend to say out loud. I bitch, a lot. It’s a negative aspect of my personality that I have been working on for most of my life. It’s exponentially worse when I work out. I get frustrated and I bitch about it. I think there is a difference between muttering in frustrated and whining though.
Whiny people are looking for feedback. Preferably positive, but they’ll take the negative. They whine about their weight, what hurts, too much weight to lift, too many laps to run, too fast on the treadmill. They want the trainer to go “Oh, 15 pounds is too heavy, here, try five instead.” Except that a trainer isn’t going to do that. Their job is to assess the person they are working with, make a calculated decision about what that person can handle, and then push them to do it. Don’t fucking whine at the trainer or the class instructor. They feel no pity. They already have your money and your consent and they are going to do their job which is to challenge you to be better. Whining about it, especially in group class, just makes you look weak and foolish.
For me that was motivation. When I stepped outside myself and thought “Is this what I sound and look like?” It helped me to change. Yes, I’ll bitch about something. Yesterday the trainer gave me 35 pounds to do squat lifts with. I made it through five and I swore the whole time. He realized that he made an error and I did need less weight. I didn’t beg for it, I didn’t whine about it. I did as many reps as I could until he saw that I was likely going to hurt myself. But during those five reps I put sailors to shame.
Sometimes you physically can’t do it. Don’t stop, modify. I’ve been in classes with people who just quit. HIIT and Circuit Training are big right now. Why? Because they work. I have a love/hate relationship with both. They work, but damn are they hard. I struggle with endurance and HIIT is perfect for improving that. Sometimes, though, I can’t make it through 60 seconds of squat jumps. My lungs just won’t let me do it. But that doesn’t mean I quit doing them. I slow down, for sure, but I get them done. I may not mean doing one a second. It’s more like one every three seconds, or every four seconds. Doesn’t matter, keep going. Focus on form and quality of the workout.
If you are standing on the sidelines and watching you look like an asshole. I can’t fucking stand it when some whiny bitch goes, “This is too hard, I did like four,” and then they stop and watch everyone else work out. You know why you weigh 300 pounds and can’t figure out why you haven’t lost any weight? Because you are a quitter. Don’t cry to me about how hard it is, and you are a special snowflake. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t whine about being fat. Especially not to me, I’ve worked hard to get to where I am at. I hate every single workout, I honest to god do, but I don’t quit. If I quit I’ll still be overweight, tired, and miserable with myself.
On top of not doing yourself any favors, you are a distraction for everyone else that is putting in the work. Yes, when I run laps I sometimes have to stop and catch my breath. Stop for five seconds to clear your breathing and get back on rhythm, then walk another ten seconds, then pick up the pace again. Someday I won’t have to do this, and I do it a lot less than I used to, but don’t just stop. If you are going to stop, just leave. You’re a negative cloud on the whole damn group.
No one needs to be reminded that you used to be skinny. Hey, guess what, most of us used to be skinny. Some have never been skinny. No one cares. I bring this up too, and then I kick myself for it later. This is one of the most recent issues I’ve had with myself that I’ve been trying to change.
If someone asked me why I was doing this my answer used to be, “I was in pretty good shape a few years ago and I looked really good, I want to get back to that.” My new answer is, “I’m trying to better myself, get fit so that I can keep up with my kid. I want to play sports with my kid, help him practice, chase him around the yard.” There is truth in both, but one makes me sound like it’s all about image, and we need to steer away from that. If it comes up in conversation, then fine, just don’t let that be the reason you are there.
An old classmate of mine once said to me, “Now that I’m fat I understand how you felt all through high school.”
While she was probably attempting to empathize with me, I don’t think she grasped just how horrible this made me feel. First off, she considered me fat when I was in high school. Was I larger than she was? Yeah. It’s all a matter of perspective, really. I was taller, broader shouldered, and built a little buffer. Fat? Maybe it’s time to retire that term. But to tell me that she “understands how I felt?” What did she think I felt? Did she think that I spent every waking moment of my teenage years hating myself for being fat? Shaming myself? Shaming others?
Sometimes it did really bother me, sometimes I was able to shrug it off. Usually there were triggers and this once-upon-a-time twiggy bitch definitely was a trigger. So lets all stop and think about what we are saying when we go to the gym and announce to everyone that we “used to be skinny and that’s why we’re there.”
I’m no expert, and that’s exactly why I’m writing this blog. I’m going to sound like a real bitch sometimes because a lot of times I lack a filter. I think that’s also why I write.
Monday’s weigh-in: 190 lbs (fuck.) Got a C on my food journal for week one (I’m assigning my own letter grade, but I think my trainer would agree.) Share with me your workout pet peeves.