I have a lot of gym rules for myself. My own music is a must, the stuff they play there is blah! Clean off your equipment after you use it, no one wants to be covered in your sweat. Bring lots of water. Wear something comfortable that can totally fall into the category of things that might not normally be considered kosher but don't go all nuts with shorts that are so short they show your underwear or even worse that you aren't wearing underwear. Wear a top, I mean it can be a tank top (although to be honest with these arms I've avoided those for years) but it should actually look like a top. If it is just looks like a bra or a too tight swimsuit...gross. Speaking of bras wear a good exercise bra because one long roll of boob is a whole lot better than boobs flying into your face and then down to your belly button. Be polite to people but not intrusive, nodding acquaintances are fine but there is no reason to become besties with some random person of the opposite sex you meet at the gym. Try not to be too jealous or too judgmental (although you ladies who I saw eating Big Macs, large fries, and gigantic cokes after your half hour on the elliptical, you were pushing me on that one. I mean at least just go with the regular sized fries). Don't talk too loud. Make sure your music isn't so high other people can hear it. Try not to flash anyone. Try not to fling sweat on anyone. Don't take your kids to child watch if they are sick. When reading a funny book it is ok to smile like an idiot but try and keep the laughing uncontrollably to a minimum. Be inclusive, ie don't join a class and then turn it into out your own dental Mormon school clique from high school hell where you hold court and ostracize all the other girls who were originally in the class while you spend the whole classes complaining to everyone about how uncomfortable you are three months pregnant (hello you have two other kids and choose to get pregnant so it's not like this is some type of surprise, we are not friends, I just went through a miscarriage which I'm having the decency not to mention in class but is making me really sensitive, now shut up). That non judgmental thing is a hard one for me I'm sure you can see. If you are having a gassy day do everyone else a favor and run outside regardless of how cold it is. You get the idea right...I believe in gym etiquette. I've made some great friends at the gym but for the most part I see it as a place to go, work out for a few hours without bothering anyone, and then go home. I try not to disturb anyone else and I don't really want anyone else bothering me, which is why last Friday was so annoying.
I'd done my normal workout and I happened to be a row behind one of my good friends who is very near popping. She is pregnant although she is lovely and never complains about anything and is friendly to everyone so she is not the before mentioned pregnant woman. That being said I happen to know that last Wednesday even though she still has a month to go she was already dilated to a four, 80% effaced, and a -1, so seeing her work so hard on the treadmill in front of me, I'm not going to lie, was making me a little anxious. Sure her other two daughters were born a little premature and sure they were totally fine but my daughter was born a preemie and it was a mess, and my friend's baby was born four weeks less premature than Cheetah and it was a mess, and I've known two people who had babies die this year, and our (me and beautiful pregnant mama) other friend's son was just born totally full term and he is still in the hospital because of complications. So I get a little anxious about pregnancies now...and I'm getting a little anxious about her working out so hard, but I'm a reasonable person and I recognize that she is a very fit adult who is capable of making her own decisions and capable of taking responsibility for those choices so I just try and chill out. But as I'm going to walk out of the gym I run into her and we are just having a little conversation about this clean eating challenge I'm in and our daughters who are best friends and her pregnancy and this weird guy comes up to us. He's older (50-60's) with a buzz cut and a huge diamond earring in his ear. Maybe he knows her, I doubt it, but he certainly doesn't know me. He puts his arm on her shoulder which in my rules of proper gym etiquette is a definite no-no. Stranger, sweat, opposite sex, a little personal space invasion and turns to me and says, "Isn't she just beautiful, I mean she's just glowing." At this point I'm totally still on board with him and I'm nodding and then he says, "She's just such an inspiration to everyone else here (big pause as he turns and seriously looks me up and down) like you and me." And now I'm stuck in this really awkward moment, because one, I've just spent the morning thinking she really needs to cool her jets for a bit so inspiration is not high on my list of descriptive words at the moment, and two, maybe this isn't how he meant it but that whole statement came off backhandedly toward me. Thanks guy I'm super aware of the fact that I'm overweight but I can tell you that I've been working out pretty consistently for the last nine years and also unlike before mentioned ladies with their post workout big macs, I will be eating an apple and a handful of nuts after this workout with a 24 ounce drink of water which I will carefully document in My Fitness Pal to guarantee that every day I only eat between 1200-1400 calories. This is my life and yes sir I do hate my body. Not because it is on the chubs size, I finally came to grips with that the first time my husband saw me naked in the light and did not turn away in disgust, but I hate my body because I actually have to work to be this chubby and it doesn't respond to the normal bounds other people put on theirs. I mean really. A few weeks ago someone who I dearly love who for the most part has always been really laid back about my weight and pretty much everyone else's weight, under what I can only imagine was the seriously bad influence of her future husband who I'm pretty sure is a jerk deep down, went off on how fat some of our mutual friends have gotten. The problem is I've known these people almost my whole life and they like me have genes that so quickly go to heavy but have to work so hard to slim down. I mean I've seen them stay on the chubby side while running marathons. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE! Meanwhile I happen to know this friend maybe on exercises once a week, spends a lot of time laying on the couch, and puts butter on everything. Sometimes you are just lucky and have good genetics. Sometimes you are not lucky. Sometimes your genes say you have to work out and watch what you eat and at your very best when you feel like you are starving to death you will still always carry a good thirty extra pounds. So sir I hope you don't mind too much that I rolled my eyes at you before I smiled and winked at my friend, but even if you did, I don't plan on ever talking to you again so please do me a solid and don't ever talk to me again either.