On Tuesday evening I went to do a speed workout at a high school close to my house. It’s track season so I usually have to go much later in the evening but with weather getting hotter here, there has been a steadily increasing number of people who show up at the track, say 10-15 on any given night. I know most of them by sight and we all will give a friendly nod or hello.
That night there was a very obese couple who were doing run walk intervals combined with stair climbs into the bleachers. If anybody wants to guess what happened with me and the other regulars? We gave them a nod and said hello and everyone went about their business. They seemed polite enough and they didn’t seem like they needed any advice, so I didn’t give them any.
I traveled a lot when I was in the military and as such have done running workouts at tracks, gyms, streets and trails. I have encountered thousands of people during these runs and quite a few obese ones and on not one single occasion did I ever see anyone comment or make fun of a fat person. Not once.
Yet Ragen, who admits to hating running and did not actively participate until very recently, gets comments on her fatness every time she goes to the track. She blogged about it here:
After you’ve read this remember that Ragen wants you to believe she is as fast as whip with her amazing wit in all situations. But she’s also the same person who was so flummoxed by two teenaged boys mooing at her during her 2AM swim that she was literally speechless. So if she’s telling the truth about either incident (she’s not) she wants to you to believe that people who are friendly get her razor sharp tongue but people being absolute assholes get to high-five each other while she meekly completes her workout.
Again, with nearly everything Ragen says, I would bet every penny I have that she’s lying or greatly exaggerating what actually happened (Ragen, since you and/or minions check out this site…contact me through wordpress or the comments and I will gladly make a real life money wager with you).
In stark contrast to most of Ragen’s nonsense, this blog post actually got me thinking about something real so I wanted to do some non-scientific and non-binding research to test a theory of mine. It’s not fat women that get made fun of at the gym (or other workout facility, like a track) openly and derisively. It’s men. It’s the “bro-dudes,” the “meatheads” and the “roidheads” who will be mocked during a workout. Openly mocked; by women, other guys, the staff and the internet community. Want some nonscientific proof:
Google “meat heads at the gym.” An autofill and lots of derisive pics and message board threads:
Brodudes is not as common of a search but still, derisive comments, surreptitious videos making fun of their lifting techniques, etc…
Now google “Fat woman at the gym” and you get this:
Every single hit on the first page is nothing but positivity for overweight women who go to the gym. Of course Ragen would spin this and say its a good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy but thats not my point. The point is that internet searches, my own personal experience, loads of anecdotal evidence from just about everyone I know seems to indicate that this pervasive fat shaming at the gym/pool/track is nearly non-existent. As I’ve just shown, all the evidence I’ve just found (admittedly, its not great evidence but its far more than Ragen has ever produced) shows that its a very specific type of guy who takes the brunt of the shaming at the gym.
Ragen, once, just once, can you present your loyal followers with anything resembling intellectual honesty? Don’t they deserve it at this point?
(If you’re interested in my speed workout, it can be found here It’s one I’m trying but not super happy with so I’m open to other suggestions)