How to Survive that Left Out Feeling When Your Workout Gear is Tacky

My workout gear, rescued from the Goodwill bag, wasn’t wonderful when I bought it at Wal-Mart. It’s a gym. I’m supposed to look gross, with bed head hair, no makeup, sweating and grunting .

Women look at me as if I don’t belong there and I am intimidated. I feel as though I am in the nightmare where you show up in public in your underwear and everyone laughs.

Most arrive at the gym sporting designer workout gear; perfectly coiffed with every hair lacquered in place. Freshly manicured nails highlight astonishing jewelry. They leisurely stroll to the weight machines, heads held aloft leaving a cloud of Shalimar in their wake.

Struggling to lift a 15 lb weight, no expression of exertion registers on their face. Closer inspection reveals they are unable to emote facially. They have been stretched six ways for Sunday. Behind the massive bouffant hairdo is enough leftover skin to cover my sofa.

Some are accompanied by a buff young trainer named “Nick” or “Alex”. You never see a big rawboned Olympian female trainer with these chicks. Presenting body images that most women cannot achieve without starvation, surgery, and liposuction reinforces unrealistic expectations. I think they should be banned from the gym.

If I owned designer attire, I would not wear it to the gym. A buff young trainer is not in my budget. I will never look like these women and I’m not sure I want to.

If you ask me, the gym is penance, not performance art. I’m gonna go have a big burger with fries and a Hefeweizen. If I’m lucky maybe I can find some work out gear that still fits.

Note: This was my first blog post, written February 2010. Shortly after, I found a gym where women wear old clothes, no makeup and, though none will admit it, go for a hamburger and fries afterward.

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