"You need to go to the gym"
"Why don't you join a gym"
"I think the gym will help"
Okay so I went the gym and I've been going on and off for about a month. I really don't like talking about the gym, etc for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, I feel like if I tell people that I go to the gym, they will automatically have expectations about how my body should look after a certain period of time. Why should it matter, right? I have no idea. I also don't want people to see what I do at the gym, try it and then injure themselves, etc. I studied public health, but I'm not a personal trainer, oh!
Okay, so as I was saying... I have been going to the gym for some time now and it has been very interesting. To be completely honest, I am not a fan of gyms. I hate the pressure I feel to do certain workouts or use certain machines, I hate the mansplaining that comes with going into the weight room, I hate the culture of showing off and also I'd much rather sit in bed and eat Popeye's while watching "Super Story" (throwback!).
In case it is not obvious, according to "society" I technically don't belong at the gym, but at the same time I do. It's this weird paradox that I have internalized. Coming from me, this may sound shocking, but as I've said in earlier posts, I have definitely had my moments of deep insecurity. When you're surrounded by (wannabe) body builders and swimsuit models, it can be very difficult to be confident in what you're doing at the gym, especially in regards to the fruitfulness of your efforts.
Now that we've gotten past all of that, I want to tell you guys about this lady that I saw in the locker room. She wasn't doing anything particularly extraordinary. She had probably gone to the pool and had gotten out the shower and was walking from the showers to her locker completely NAKED. *I know you guys are waiting on the punchline*
What I admired most was her confidence and her comfort. I kind of envied her. I saw her and wished that I could be that comfortable. I wanted to walk through a freaking gym locker room, naked and not think twice about it.
After being angry at myself for not being as confident as she was (as if confidence comes overnight), I moved on with my day but the thought kept coming back to me. Initially I thought that I kept thinking about it because the Holy Spirit was indirectly telling me I needed to get my money's worth by actually going to the gym, but then I realized what the issue was. The epiphany came to me basically at the same place that I saw my hero (the naked lady).
As women, we are told to do the complete opposite of what this lovely lady was doing at the gym. She wasn't supposed to confidently walk around naked. She's only allowed to do that if she is being sexualized.
Take for example the breastfeeding debate. People legitimately get angry over seeing a woman feed her child but don't feel the same way when they see them in "thirst traps". And in addition to this, in the case that you do you show your body off on your own accord, you are DEFINITELY a h*e.
And then in my case, there is a quadruple layer. Being a fat woman, I'm supposed to hide as well as show off my body based on other people's terms, specifically, based on men's terms. I either am supposed to be "sloppy" and insecure, or fetishized; there is absolutely no in between. I can't own my body and do as I please with it because that's "gross".
Anyways, all I'm saying is this: A day at the gym is never just that, there are so many complexities to this dreaded yet desired place, so when people tell me to just "go" I usually want to fight them, educate them, go off on them or all of the above. IT IS NOT THAT EASY PEOPLE!
So all this can come from just sitting in the locker room at the gym? If only I could have been this analytical in undergrad...
Thanks for reading.
*I'd love to hear your stories (good and bad) about the gym*