How many of you hate the skinny girls, the muscle guys — the “pretty people”?
I know I did. I used to hate their guts. No lie.
I’d see them out and about, looking toned, with a spring in their step. Clothes fit them. They didn’t wheeze. They laughed just a bit too much. I managed to not kill them by assuming they were slow-witted, giggly or egotistical jerks.
My loathing for them made me stay out of gyms, because I knew that’s where they congregated. But, eventually, my anger at myself became greater than my hatred of “them,” and I sucked it up. I entered a gym.
Wearing my sweat pants and a giant T-shirt, I walked into the weight room. I saw a few heads turn, and I clearly remember feeling judged. I forced myself to ignore it and push forward.
Over time, as I became a “regular,” the others began to chat with me. Muscle-head guys befriended me. Skinny girls complimented me. I began to drop my guard.
The muscle-heads showed me new exercises, suggested books and talked to me about protein. Skinny girls shared their fat pictures, wowing me with how far they’d come.
I had an epiphany one day: The pretty people I’d always hated didn’t just wake up pretty every day; they worked at it.
In front of me was a guy who looked like a magazine cover model, sweating his guts out on a stair climber. A skinny girl was doing ab crunches. It was a weight-lifting guy who introduced to me to the concept of tracking my food on a log. I think he even talked about his “fat pants” once.
They had the same challenges I had; they had just been doing something about them the whole time I was busy hating. I never hated poor people who worked hard and wound up rich. Why should I hate fit people who had worked just as hard?
As I revisit my first moments in the gym, I realize that, in all honesty, they were probably looking at me thinking, “Who’s the new girl?” — not “Who’s the fat girl?”
I wasted a lot of time. Learn from my mistake. Don’t be hating.
• Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 428-5660 or azphysix.com.