What happened when I got body-shamed in the gym

How to deal with feeling uncomfortable at the gym

So I’ve been going to the gym regularly for nearly two years now. And in that time, not once have I felt uncomfortable during my workout. Sometimes I feel a bit bloated post-treat day, the joys of having IBS! But other than that, I feel pretty comfortable walking around in my lyrca. This was until a few weeks ago when I got body-shamed during my workout. Read on to discover what happened…img_9552

My body-shame story

So a couple of weeks ago I was doing my usual gym routine (you can follow it by clicking here!) and during this gym session, I got body-shamed by a group of lads. Normally I always take my headphones to the gym, but this evening I accidentally left them in the car. With it being absolutely freezing outside, I decided I’d just power through my routine without music. After doing the cardio section of my workout, I headed towards the hip reduction machine. When I got there, there was a group of lads stood around this corner of the gym. In the nicest possible way, these lads were the type of people you’d avoid in the street. Air maxes, caps, tracky bottoms…do I need to go on? They clocked I didn’t have any headphones in and began to taunt me.
At first, it wasn’t anything too upsetting. They said I was using the machine wrong as well making digs I was on my phone, while I was using the machine. If you know what a hip reduction machine looks like, I don’t see why you wouldn’t use/hold your phone! After this, they began to body-shame me. They taunted me, telling me I had a ‘stomach on me’, trying their best to make me feel really uncomfortable. Up until this point, I’d kept my head down, hoping they’d just get bored. But when a group of males purposely body-shames a girl on her own in the gym, it’s just one step too far.
I’m a size 6 petite girl, I’m definitely not fat and I don’t have a ‘stomach on me’. But it’s hardly the point, is it? I’d like to add that the staff at Pure Gym Sheffield were super helpful. As soon as I alerted the staff, the group of males headed straight to the door. It was hardly surprising, they obviously knew what they’d been doing was wrong.
I got told at the very least they’d get a strict warning from the gym, if not banned. But if I was really insecure about my body, this experience would have definitely made me think twice about heading back to the gym.

How to deal with feeling uncomfortable at the gym

Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable

Just because you see someone on Instagram wearing leggings and a crop top, it doesn’t mean you have to! When I have a bad IBS flare up, the last thing I want to do is just wear a crop top! No one cares about how you look at the gym, other than you! So wear clothes that make you feel comfortable during your workout.

Remember your headphones

Listening to music helps me zone out during my workout. If you find the gym an uncomfortable environment, listening to music will give you a much needed distraction and relax you.

Avoid peak times

If you find the gym uncomfortable, try and avoid going at peak times! If there are fewer people in the gym, you might find your workout a lot less stressful. Also, fewer people in the gym, means fewer people using your machines! So chances are, you’ll be able to complete your workout faster.
Have you ever felt uncomfortable in the gym? Have you got any tips on dealing with it? Please let me know in the comments!

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  1. I’m so sorry you had to go through this! When I used to go to the gym I used to hate seeing people not only body shaming women but also body shaming other men in there! Like you say it’s always a bunch of lads who are probably standing round machines and not doing alot themselves but they always want to put down people who are doing their best to lose weight/improve their health and body image! It’s absolutely disgusting that they think this is acceptable but I suppose one positive is how supportive your gym were! Still shouldn’t have to put up with this when you’re trying to work out though
    Jess xx

    1. I think it’s always the same type of people who seem to get a kick out of body shaming. Like I said though, if I really bad relationship with my body image, I’d have been so mortified and upset. Its a shame because the gym should be a safe environment for everyone. Luce xx

  2. That’s absolutely shocking! You’d think they’d have something better to do other than taunt people at the gym. Disgusted, you handled the situation well though, I would’ve lost it!

    1. I did storm off to the staff after the weight comment. But I’ve never felt so intimated in my life. I’m grateful the staff handled the situation so well!

  3. That’s horrible. Straight up, find another a gym. I’m glad you reported those losers but I question a gym in which they felt comfortable to pull that sort of **** in the first place. There are some really great, positive gyms out there just as there are total rip-offs that condone douche-y behavior. Vote with your feet.

    1. Honestly it wasn’t the gym! I just think they are some people out there who obviously must think it’s appropriate to speak to women like that

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