Many fat women believe they’d feel vulnerable and unwelcome at a gym.

However, the gym can actually be one of the safest and most empowering places for obese women.

One of the primary reasons the gym is a safe haven for fat women is the supportive community.

Many gyms are home to a diverse group of people who share a common goal: improving their health and fitness.

This shared purpose creates a sense of camaraderie and mutual support.

Unlike the often judgmental and superficial environments found in other social settings, the gym encourages positive reinforcement and celebrates individual progress.

Professional Guidance and Support

Another crucial aspect of the gym environment is the access it provides to professional guidance and support.

Personal trainers and fitness instructors are trained to work with individuals of all fitness levels and body sizes.

They can design customized workout plans that cater to the specific needs and goals of fat women, ensuring that they can exercise safely and effectively.

One of the objections that some overweight women have is as follows: “Personal trainers only want your money.”

Now this is silly. First off, if you want a service, you must pay for it.

Want your hair professionally cut and colored? You must pay money for this. Want a manicure or pedicure? Get your wallet. Want laser hair removal on your legs? Get your credit card.

We live in a world where few things are free. So on one hand, yes, a personal trainer wants your money, just like in whatever job YOU do for a living, you want your company to thrive so that you can keep earning a paycheck and even a raise.

But just because a trainer is eager to get a new client doesn’t mean that client will get shoddy service.

I’m a former personal trainer, and I gave my clients the best instruction money could buy.

Nevertheless, just because you join a gym doesn’t mean you must buy a training package. But keep the following in mind:

The expertise of fitness professionals is invaluable. Trainers can provide modifications and adaptations for exercises, reducing the risk of injury and making workouts more accessible.

This personalized attention helps build confidence and empowers obese women to take control of their fitness journey.

Safe and Controlled Environment

The gym is a controlled environment designed for physical activity, making it inherently safer than many other places where people might exercise.

It’s equipped with specialized equipment, safety features and knowledgeable staff who can assist in case of emergencies.

This structured setting reduces the likelihood of accidents and injuries that can occur when exercising independently or in less suitable environments.

Additionally, many gyms prioritize cleanliness and hygiene, providing a sanitary space for workouts.

This is particularly important for very overweight members, who may face additional health risks and complications.

The availability of clean facilities, locker rooms and showers ensures that they can focus on their fitness without worrying about their personal safety or well-being.

Empowering Women

By occupying space in the gym and participating in fitness activities, fat women challenge societal stereotypes and misconceptions about their bodies and capabilities.

Their presence in the gym serves as a powerful statement against body shaming.

When obese women embrace the gym as a safe space, they reclaim control over their bodies and their narratives.

They demonstrate that everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue their wellness goals.

Building a Healthy Relationship with Exercise

Many fat women have complicated relationships with exercise due to past experiences of body shaming, negative reinforcement or association with weight loss pressures.

The gym offers an opportunity to redefine this relationship in a positive and healthy way.

By focusing on strength, endurance, flexibility and overall health rather than weight loss, very heavy women can develop a sustainable and enjoyable approach to fitness.

You Aren’t the Star Attraction

You must get past the idea that if you walk onto the gym floor, everyone will watch you.

Do you really believe that the size 8 woman who’s struggling to complete a set with heavy dumbbells — and is frustrated that her left arm isn’t as strong as her right — really cares that you weigh 310 pounds and it’s your second day at the gym?

Do you really think that the slender woman who’s frustrated because she must deadlift with a lighter-than-usual weight due to hip tendonitis really gives a damn that 17 feet away is a woman twice her body weight?

Everybody at the gym is working on something regarding their body. They don’t care about yours.

In my opinion as a lifelong gym rat, the five biggest things that rile gym members are:

  • Leaving sweat on the equipment
  • Taking long breaks between sets while sitting on the equipment to use one’s phone
  • Not unloading equipment when finished
  • Body odor
  • Not flushing the toilet

The gym setting is one of the “safest” places for very large women to be – if not the safest.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness, where she was also a group fitness instructor, she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.