I’m a pretty social person. I enjoy being around a group of people and I would rather go to a group boot camp than have a personal face-off with a treadmill any day of the week. I’m comforted by going to group classes because I feed off good energy and love to be around people who are working just as hard I am to achieve their goals, but I won’t lie like there aren’t anxious thoughts running through my mind before I go to a group fitness class. I often think to myself: Do fat people even take this class? Am I too out of shape to even be in here—like is there a prerequisite to this one? Will I be able to keep up? Who is the instructor?
So many anxious, intrusive thoughts run through my mind because my “otherness” will be apparent as soon as I enter the door. I righteously assume I’ll be the largest person in class. I’m 5’8″ and 340 lbs with a wide set of hips and a very big butt. Listen, I’m used to taking up space, but I’m not used to being comfortable in spaces that treat me as “other” instead of included.
Being the fat girl in the fitness class feels a lot like when Regina George told the group sweatpants were all that fit her and Gretchen Weiners yelled out, “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!” It feels isolating and unwelcoming if the class environment isn’t intentionally inclusive. (The keyword here is intentionally.) It’s not…
I’m a pretty social person. I enjoy being around a group of people and I would rather go to a group boot camp than have a personal face-off with a treadmill any day of the week.
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