There are two types of women in the world – women who work out and love the gym and those who wouldn’t be caught dead on an exercise bike. If you fall into the former category, you might be tired of getting so much negativity from those in the latter. The onslaught of not-so-subtle insults feels never-ending. Here are just some examples of what I’m talking about.
1. “How much weight have you lost?”
Contrary to misogynistic rhetoric, women don’t only hit the gym when they want to slim down and get the perfect bod. Sure, maintaining a healthy body size is a happy byproduct of being active, but it’s not the sole driving force. Choosing to work out is a lifestyle. What’s more, there’s a whole host of remarkable benefits to exercising regularly.
For instance, research from The Lancet found that working out could boost people’s mental health in a significant way. Yes, training could lead to happiness and tranquillity. Another enlightening study from the University of Birmingham found that exercise throughout a lifetime can also delay the physical aging process.
To suggest that we’re racking up miles on the treadmill just to lose weight is a tad offensive.
2. “Aren’t you scared you’ll get too built?”
Um, no. One of the most common things that women hear when they work out is that they should be careful not to get too huge. It’s a common misconception that exercising leads to extreme muscle gain in ladies.
Spoiler: women’s physiques are entirely different from men’s. That means that when we work out, our body reacts differently too. We’re far more likely to get toned, lean, and a little muscular than acquire a Hulk-esque body that bursts from beneath our dresses. And even if we did, all body types are beautiful.
3. “You must be a sucker for punishment!”
Who said anything about punishment? We all have that friend who would rather chill at home than hit the gym. That’s perfectly okay. What’s not okay, though, is the fact that she is continuously reminding us of how “difficult,” “boring,” or “punishing” the gym is. Stop already.
For those of us who find a gym session enthralling, the opposite is true. And, luckily, a report from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that enjoying the experience of tasks, such as working out, means that you are more likely to stick to them.
4. “You must have no social life.”
Let’s say you spend an hour in the gym a few times a week. Be honest – that’s not a huge time investment. Some people commute more than that just to get to work. Others spend hours on end binging Netflix series. We all have our hobbies and yours happens to be a healthy one. When you value working out, you make the time for it. Period.
Plus, who says that the gym is not a social place? Having a gym buddy means that you get to hang out with one of your besties while doing something you love. Researchers have also found that working out with a partner or friend could help to motivate people to train harder than they usually would. It’s a win-win situation.
5. “Can’t you skip the gym tonight?”
There are few things in life as truly loathsome as social pressure. We’ve all been there. You’re about to leave the office when you get a text from your friend. It says this: “Hi! We’re heading out for post-work drinks. Fancy skipping the gym and meeting us for 2-4-1 cocktails? It’s been forever!”
On the surface, this last-minute invite may seem like a friendly proposal but, when it happens five times a week, it’s just plain nagging. Don’t they understand that you actually want to head to the gym right now? Short answer: no.
6. “I’d go to the gym but [insert excuse here].”
Whether it’s their uber busy day job or blossoming social life, friends and strangers alike enjoy nothing more than to tell you why they simply can’t fit working out into their routine. But here’s the thing: you didn’t ask. For some misguided reason, though, people seem to think that you going to the gym is an underhanded criticism of them not.
Of course, this unwarranted excuse has less to do with you than it does them. And, in all honesty, they know that as well as you do. Unless you want a needless slanging match, just smile and agree that it can be hard to fit it in when you’re busy.