Beauty and its Beast


A few months ago, Michael’s Dad was able to add me to their family gym pass and Michael and I go a few times a week for more cardio outside our weight lifting schedule. I’ve perused the cardio classes and have attended Zumba class there. Zumba is something I’ve done for almost 5 years now; I know the moves by heart to the majority of the songs and even regularly subbed in for my favorite instructor in my hometown. It’s a fairly good workout, and at my hardest intensity, I’d burn around 500 for the full hour.

Yesterday, though, when I attended a class here in my new neighborhood, I felt like an outsider. I was surrounded by girls and women who were all mostly my former size and shape. There’s definitely a different feeling and attitude at this gym than any other I’ve been in before… A certain air of, oh, bitchiness. You know the type: dressed in Lululemon, in tops and shorts which are 1-2 sizes too small, revealing their disproportionate surgically-enlarged boobs, bleached hair… Must I continue? These girls were gorgeous, yes, but their attitudes reeked something serious. I watched and witnessed from the back row, minding my own, as these girls would out-dance, out-perform each other during the class: whoever could grind lower, pop it harder, doing all sorts of ridiculous moves. I’m fairly certain my abs received the majority of the workout from the muffled laughing I tried desperately to control and keep silent. Tough task, you guys. They were all vying for spot as group aerobics teacher’s pet.

What is it about being thin that sets people up, women especially, for this sense of disgusting entitlement?

Then I remembered. At my lowest weight, I allowed my success to pump up my ego larger than the Terminator’s biceps. I let it get to me, change me, and effect everyone I was close to. I’d spout out useless nutritional information, preach to and police my family members for their food sins, touting my own success and diet practices as Gospel Truth. Having been heavy all of my years prior, I felt like I deserved to spew guilt on those who had not seen the Light yet. I finally got my shit together… What’s your problem? There is this unspoken social order for respect based on looks alone. An hourglass figure could help you get the job instead of a 4-year. It’s gross.

For all the years of tormenting and bullying I’ve endured, my catty attitude (having to out-lift, out-rep, extreme competitiveness) became the way I dealt with and made up for my supposed shortcomings. I finally felt like I was enough, so I made sure everyone knew it.

It makes me sick when I think of the trust and relationships I have tattered with my once-obsessed attitude. It wasn’t clear to me that having the right to have my own lifestyle didn’t mean I had to stuff my ways down others’ throats. This is not a one-size-fits-all and those who think so are dead wrong. The most productive times I’ve had is when I’m simply living the lifestyle, enjoying life, and those who are genuinely ready to change come to me first for help. This time, I get the opportunity to do things right.

If I had let these women get to me in the class, like the other average-sized and even few heavy women in the class, I probably would’ve stopped exercising as of yesterday. How very strange to be on the other side again. People can be so cruel all in the name of covering their own ass and hiding insecurities. I chose to view the display as purely entertainment. And comical it was.

Dancing, running, and lifting on,


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