You can call me Ginger.

I am sorry, world, if I haven’t been completely clear. I know I am fat. I know I eat too much and exercise too little. I don’t blame my fat on genetics or my stress levels or The Man. I know the formula for losing weight. I know I am not yet skilled/equipped with navigating in this world without eating too much. I know many people think I am idiotic because of this. I know losing weight or keeping it off is less of mental anguish for people who are stronger than me. I know it is a sign of weakness.

Being fat is idiotic, weak, stupid. I should not be fat. And every day and every moment I need to do more to not be fat. I do some, not enough, obviously.
But being fat is not at all I am. I am not stupid. I am not weak. I am not an idiot. In most aspects of my life I think I show a kindness, a level of competence, a sense of humor, an intelligence that many people don’t have.
I know who I am.
And today I was doing the right things. I ate well… all the way through dinner and I am up here holding back tears and blogging. NOT eating. And I went to the gym and killed it. Sweat raining down – breath and heart rate pumping the shit out of the shit. I stayed away from that elliptical because I know it is a trap for an easy ride. I ran and inclined on that gd treadmill. I staired myself to hell.
I know who I am. And I can kill it at the gym almost as well as I can kill a baked potato. Just not quite as well… hence, well, fat.
Which brings us to the iteration of Ginger today.
I was stepping off the treadmill and making my way to the stairstepper. The owner of the gym, a gym, incidentally that I used to love, came up to me and said, “Hi, honey.” Grrrrrrrrr.
I ain’t your honey, sweetie.
Me: Hi
Owner: How much cardio are you doing today?
Me: 40 minutes
Owner: Well that isn’t nearly enough.
Me: Probably not, but it is what I am going to do. Will you excuse me?
And then I walked away.
I did my time on the stair stepper and brewed with anger. The iteration of me before today probably would have taken it, slunk out of the gym and never gone back.
See, if you are new to me, the two things I hate most in the world are being called diminutive nicknames by strangers and unsolicited advice. My mom can give me advice. Mandy can give me advice. And recently I have added to that list my friend T. If you aren’t one of those people, I don’t want your advice. (Excluding work, of course, I haven’t survived 12 years at a corporation *not* accepting advice.)
Regardless, I am pretty sure Tim the gym owner can’t give me advice. It made me want to be able to morph into a fire breathing 50-ft lizard. Or to be able to buy and sell people. But I can’t do either… I am just little (metaphorically only) Ginger.
And I know DH, my mom, Mandy, and my friend T are like WHA?? You jokin’, right, bitch? (Ok, none of them would ever speak like that… but stick with me.) YOU BE GINGER, YOU BITCH!
Right, DH and ladies, thanks, I needed that.
I know Tim knows way more about fitness and losing weight and building muscle and all that then I know. And I know he has a formula for me. But he CANNOT invade my personal space call me honey and imply that I am forever going to be fat if I don’t work out more. You are not Gillian and I am not the biggest loser.
So I got off the stepper. Wiped it off (the only person who seems to do that in this gym) and went over and had this conversation:
Me: Hi, excuse me, what is your name?
Tim: I am Tim.
Me: I am Ginger. Please remember that. Now you can call me Ginger instead of honey, sweetheart, or dear.
Tim: I apologize… I just call everybody that.
Me: Well now you know to call *me* Ginger.
Tim: OK
Me: Also, I love this gym because it is so friendly and clean and she (pointing to the woman at the front desk) is always so nice and welcoming – makes me love to come here. But I would appreciate if you wouldn’t give me unsolicitied advice. I know I am fat and I am sure you have lots of advice.
Tim: I come up to lots of people….
Me: Right, but I would appreciate if you didn’t. It makes me feel like you are sitting here watching me workout and judging me, which isn’t very friendly….
Tim: I apologize.
Me: And I am sure it is not personal but now you know to not do that with me. That way I can continue to keep my membership here and enjoy this gym.
Tim: Again, I apologize.
Ok. So wow. I don’t feel better after doing that… well, not exactly. At least I said it. And I can probably not face that gym again… but it isn’t like I would be able to anyway with the threat of Tim giving me “feedback”.
Luckily the weather is good and I can torture myself outside. But maybe I will get the courage to go back in. I am Ginger, after all. And I am not your sweetheart. Ok, I may be *your* sweetheart, but I am not Tim’s.

4 thoughts on “You can call me Ginger.

  1. Can I just say that is WAY braver than I would have been? That needed to be said, and I am SO proud of you for saying it. I myself would probably have left then and cried about it on the way home. YAY FOR YOU, and boo for that dude. Thanks, as always, for sharing. Love you!

  2. Wow Ginger. I can't even believe he said that to you. But GO YOU! for sticking up for yourself and hopefully changing his idea on what he "needs" to say to his members. Didn't he see how hard you were working? The last thing anyone needs who is killing themself with exercise is someone telling them they need to work harder or more. Keep killin' it girl! Go in there like you own the place…see if he messes with you again!!!

  3. I left a gym in tears about 4 years ago and thankfully met Mandy the same night at another gym. I sent a snotty letter to the icky gym canceling my membership after that interaction (not so different from yours, rude gym lady POINTED HER FINGER AT ME while telling me how much harder I needed to work out) but they never followed up. Funny, that gym is closed now. Hmm…I can think of a bunch of things GymTim could have said to you and a few different ways he could have communicated the same information, but what he said was insensitive and would discourage a good many people. Yet I know what he said won't stop you from going after it…as always, you are amazing!!

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