The gym is the ultimate experience in intimidation.
If you've never worked out before and feel self-conscious about your jiggly thighs or stomach, those clanking weight machines and whooshing treadmills are enough to cause a quasi-panic attack.
When I first started hitting the gym, way back in college, I fought the urge to cry every time someone looked at me.
Interestingly, though, it's not just the fit people casting judgement at the gym. Everybody participates in body-shaming.
In an Imgur post upvoted more than 18,000 times, lady weightlifter SauceOfTheBoss shares her story of being “fit-shamed” at the gym.
You can practically own the gym, attend religiously and still feel like you're not welcome. But maybe the problem is your own attitude, not everyone else's.
So, assume everyone is hitting the elliptical to feel their best, realize they have a totally different bodies than you and go about your business.
SauceOfTheBoss continued her post, writing,
The post, which continues at length, breaks down a dozen situations in which appearances don't match the internal struggles at all.
The takeaway: Above all, the gym is a place for respect.
Instead of body-shaming, look around the room and appreciate the fact that every single person won an internal battle that day and showed up. Fit or not, you deserve a good — and nonjudgemental — workout.