It seemed to me that everyone was looking at me with condemnation. What fat girls feel in the gym
A young writer from Wales, Polly Harrison, has been overweight all her life. She set out to lose weight and, before she crossed the threshold of the sports club, faced a big problem in her head. She told the British edition of The Sun about how women in their bodies actually feel in the gym.
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At first, Tanya TGYM had to struggle with her own complexes.
I was standing on a treadmill surrounded by pumped up and fit girls. Heart jumped out of my chest, but not from training. At my 62nd size, I was the largest woman in the gym, and it seemed to me that everyone was looking at me with condemnation.
I was always large, because I ate a lot and did not play sports at all. As a teenager, I was ashamed of my body and did not weigh myself on purpose. At the age of 13, I was already wearing size 50-52. My parents supported me when I tried to lose weight - they cooked me healthy meals, but diets never worked.
I had close friends, but I still heard unpleasant comments about my weight. Once in a physical education class, my classmates laughed at me. On another occasion, a boy said that he would never date a fat woman like me. These words hurt, and every time someone laughed nearby, I thought they were laughing at me. By the time I entered university, when I turned 18, I was already wearing size 56.
It seemed to me that when I walk into the audience, all eyes are fixed on me. I was a quiet girl, mostly aloof, but I still went on dates a couple of times. And I panicked because I thought the guys were judging my body.
Whenever I started to nurse because of my looks or study, I would comfort myself with food. Chocolate, candy and street fast food were my weaknesses. At the same time, because of my weight, I was ashamed even to go out for a run, let alone cross the threshold of the gym.
I received my diploma in 2017 and returned to my parents' house, being distributed to size 62. With a height of 170, I weighed 165 kilograms - more than ever before, hated my reflection in the mirror and could not even climb the stairs without panting.
I understood that I needed to lose weight, our family doctor agreed with me. I used to try newfangled diets that promised quick weight loss, but they didn't work. I needed physical activity, especially since I found a job as an administrator and spent the whole day in a sitting position.
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Ariana Omipi spent six years trying to keep excess weight from coming back.
So in March 2019, I signed up for a gym. Thank goodness they had a branch there only for women, but all the same, I was throwing in a cold sweat at the thought that I would have to go there. One poll showed that I'm not the only one - one in four women avoids the gym for fear of reprimand. I bought a new set of sportswear to give me confidence and set my alarm for seven in the morning.
I entered the gym and lowered my eyes, hoping that no one was staring at me as I climbed onto the treadmill. I was sick of the thought that the simulator would fall apart under my weight, but I ran.
Photo: Photo from the personal archive of the heroine
Everyone around was thinner than me, and I was worried that people would look at my flabby arms, but I still worked out for an hour. I even managed to do an abdominal exercise and no one laughed in my face when I paused to catch my breath. At the end of an hour's workout, I felt relieved and immediately went home to shower. I would never have been able to change in the locker room.
At work that day, I felt proud of myself, the level of endorphins in my blood after training went off scale. The next trip to the gym was not so scary. One girl even came up to me and praised me for my efforts. I started going to the gym three times a week and now I try to lean more on vegetables and fruits, rather than on chocolates and chips.
What is more caloric? Choosing less dangerous products for the figure
Cappuccino or raf, milk or kefir, marshmallow or marmalade.
I have lost 12 kilograms - up to size 58, and I feel yourself more fit. Now I even do push-ups - I used to think that I could never. Sometimes I need to say something to myself before training. If I feel insecure, I always think of plus size model Tess Holliday and singer Lizzo. They also play sports and successfully build their careers.
Meeting face to face with fear gym has worked wonders on my self-esteem. I got a boyfriend, we have been dating for nine months. His name is Thomas, we met on the Internet, and he supports me in everything. I also took a master's degree in journalism and moved to Nottingham.
My arms are still flabby and swaying when I move, and I blush easily, but now I know there is no shame in being the fattest girl in the gym.