Every January, people all over the world will decide to put an end to bad habits, pick up good habits, and ultimately make changes that could transform their lives.
The majority of these decisions revolve around health and fitness – and every January people who already consider themselves healthy and fit will roll their eyes and groan at the ‘new people’ in the gym.
During the first days of 2017, a Reddit user posted a heartfelt letter to the world which shows exactly why no one should ever roll their eyes, groan, or more offensively – laugh.
Titling her letter “The Overweight Girl at the Gym” the unnamed user explained the reasons behind her decision to go live (and later, viral) with her story: “I’m the fat girl. This is my first week at the gym and every night after work, the same three girls are there. Today I found out they have been snap chatting pictures of me and making fun of me, but I don’t mind.”
It turns out, the last few years have not been easy – in her letter the new gym user spoke directly to the bullies, saying: “I’m glad that you haven’t gone through what I’ve been through. I use to be in shape, I broke my hip and had to give up all exercise. Then my grandma got sick and I took care of her full time, I couldn’t leave her alone because I had no help, so I gained more weight. Then she died, and I ate my feelings and gained more weight. Now I’m a size 22 [UK 26]. I don’t hate myself, or my body. I love who I am, and that took me my entire life to be able to honestly say those words. I love myself.”
“Forget the skinny girls who laugh at you, or the muscly men that tell you you’re gross, love yourself”
The issue clearly goes well beyond her own situation and experience, as well – our writer added: “It really sucks that society, and your parents raised you that it was okay to try to hurt someone that’s trying to better themselves instead of trying to lift them up but I’m not mad. Thank you for reminding me to keep pushing after I had a really long day. In a month when the new year shit has worn off, I’m still going to be dieting and working my ass off at the gym everyday. It’s not so you, or anyone else, will except me. It’s for me.”
For those experiencing similar put-downs or nastiness, she concluded: “I hope anyone else, who feels ugly or is over weight and has decided to make a life change will keep going. Forget the skinny girls who laugh at you, or the muscly men that tell you you’re gross, love yourself. Let’s teach love, today’s world needs it.”
So far, the letter has received well over 2,000 comments. For more inspiration, check out our interview with plus sized triathlete Krista Henderson on focusing on fitness and not weight loss.