Step AWAY from the exercise ball!

Tonight was like many nights over the past several months, I arrive at the gym and head straight for the treadmill to get started. Sometimes Lindsey arrives a little later, sometimes she beats me to the gym and sometimes we arrive together meeting up in the parking lot. There are nights we take classes, nights we go for walks outside and talk, nights Jess is with us doing our strength /core work but it is rare we are not laughing and finding a way to make our time together fun. We are friends. I find things easy with her, I feel safe and not ashamed, I am motivated to push hard, do my best. It works.

I run the first mile in just over 16 minuets then Linds pops up on the treadmill next to me and I set my pace to a brisk walk, and we talk about our day as the next mile flies by. We wanted to check out a new class called “calorie crusher”, anything with a name like that needs a little looksy before you commit, just how are they crushing those calories? This puts us in an area of the gym where the big brawny folks hang out, muscles bulge and people are doing push ups on their heads (okay not really) but it is an intense area where the trainers are stationed and they mean business. I would find out tonight that while in my eyes the gym holds hope and the key to a new lease on life,  make no mistake it is a business.

I am laying on a bench looking up to the heavens, there might be a prayer happening not to drop the bar on my head or Lindsey’s feet as I am doing chest presses with just the 40lb bar, 3 sets of 15 and let me tell you that bar gets mighty heavy by the 3rd set. Lindsey is spotting me in case my quivering arms give out inspite of my desperate attempts to push the weight high above my chest. In between sets one of the beefy trainers comes over to Lindsey and asks if he can talk to her, she walks away with him and sits down at a desk. I should be doing crunches, but I don’t crunch, I sit and stare at the two of them talking, it looks more like an inquisition. I find myself giving this guy the stink eye as I see Lindsey’s arms engaged in an orchestrated dance of explanation. What the heck is going on? I am protective of her and this is making me mad. They finish talking and we move a little further away, and in my very dainty and  ethereal way,  I blurt out “What the hell did HE want?” Apparently Mr. “got nothing better to do than to harass the fat girl’s friend” wanted to know if she was working as a certified trainer in the gym with me, and if I was compensating her in any way for her work, he said they had been watching us.  Now I have been caught sneaking around with people and things I should not have been (mostly cupcakes, twix bars and hanging out with the pot smokers in school cause they had the best snacks) but I have never been made to feel bad about running around in a GYM! Poor Lindsey who is helping me out of the goodness of her heart gets the third degree like she is running some kind of back alley workout brothel! The more I think about it the madder I get, if they are watching then they know she only works out with me and sometimes Jess is with us, but mostly it’s just me. It is bizarre to have to justify! It is bizarre to write this post!  In the end it’s a business and Lord knows they are not making their money on my $19.99 a month fee so I know they hound you to death about selling the personal training packages and I know people who have stopped going because of it!  I think maybe this was a little uncalled for. It would be different if Lindsey was waltzing in and out with 5 different people a day but she is not, she is only waltzing with ME! (so to speak!) Two friends working out together, should not be a big deal.

We finish our workout and joke about what just happened but in the back of my mind I feel anxious and the panic in the boiling pot of my mind starts to bubble up to the surface. What if they make us stop working out together? What if they kick us out? Can they do that? It’s an absurd thought process but it scares me to think that they could take something away that means so much to me, and before I know it I am eating. Dinner, then popcorn, then frozen yogurt and fruit, then a spoonful of peanut butter and then I realize what I am doing and I sit down on the kitchen floor and have a good cry, sometimes it is the only thing that helps.  The dogs come running Maggie leaps superman style int my lap and Tristan cautiously sits in the doorway with that concerned look on his sweet face, and Tully is helping by feverishly  licking the rest of the peanut butter off the spoon.  It does not take much to come unraveled, I have perhaps forgotten that just a bit as the last several weeks have been good ones. Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start and I have decided that at our next workout Lindsey and I will find a spot by the trainers and I will lead our workout session. That ought to  throw them for a loop!






  1. Veronica says:

    Ironically I just heard from my PT that he joined planet fitness over by the kroger and target. He said there are no big guys doing heavy, weight clanging crap. In fact there is a rule against that type of showboating. Just in case you want to give your money to somebody else, it might be an option.
    they also have a whirlpool massage thing that sounded really, really nice.

    YEAH to Maggie, Tully and Tristan for being there when you needed them most! New day, New Hope, New gym? 🙂 love you and keep putting one foot in front of the other. You DESERVE to feel confident!

  2. moody says:

    Hey Lori!
    I’m so sorry to read about the intrusion into your workout session! I would’ve gotten up and walked over to them, asking the guy what he wanted myself. But that’s just me. I’m confrontational at times.
    It is nobody’s business if two people decide to work out together. If one (Lindsey) has more knowledge on how to get to the desired effect, then there is no reason why that person couldn’t help someone else (you) to get the best out of a workout session.
    You have become friends and there is absolutely no reason why you can’t work together. Sometimes you work alone, so they should’ve realized this is not a paying thing. Otherwise, you would be on a schedule and both of you would be present at the same time, for the same amount of time.

    I would threaten them with a harassment complaint if they bug you.
    You’re not doing business there, you’re just trying to make your life better, which is what their business is. You’re giving them business by paying your monthly fee and by using their facility. It’s damn good for their ‘image’ too, to have “the fat woman” working out and achieving such amazing things at *their* facility.

    Just keep up the good work, you’re doing great and a minor breakdown (coz it *was* minor) is not a setback, it’s just a little bump in the road. You knew from the start it would get rocky at times, so don’t let that stop you from pounding that weight off.

  3. Cindy says:

    Hi! I became one of your readers through your very heartwarming story about rescuing Tristan. I’ve just read this blog entry, and though you don’t know me, I wish I could hug you! Maggie, Tully, & Tristan hopefully did that for me. 🙂

    I’m SO sorry that happened to you at the gym. PLEASE don’t let that episode there get/keep you down! I read the part about it being a business, but they could have handled that MUCH more professionally. (apparently they don’t care about being “professional” – it’s the $$$) You pay your money to go there just like everyone else, so they can get over it or lose your business! I’d love to know the name of the place – have they ever heard of “word of mouth” and how valuable that is?? There is a lot of competition for gym business out there these days… (I’m mad, can you tell??)

    Anyway, you are doing GREAT things with your exercise program & I hope you’ll keep doing it! From what I’ve read, you’ve come so far that some people in a gym who don’t even know you or Lindsay don’t deserve a say in this. Just keep on doing what you know to do every day & it’ll work out (no pun intended!) Ha!

    Best of luck to you. Please thank your doggies for giving you that hug from me… their hugs are the best ones anyway. Take care!

  4. bob says:

    I am posting this from my phone so it is not going to be as long and as sweet as I intend. Even though your day fell to crap last night you inspired me yesterday. On a bi weekly basis I have been taking Mitch to a trainer. The confidence and change in his body has been amazing to watch, which, as I sit there watching from a couch, gets me to thinking sometimes about your amazing journey. What you have accomplished is in no simple words amazing. What was more amazing was yesterday, you motivated me to get off of the couch and walk a half an hour on the treadmill. thanks!

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