I just about got my butt kicked at the gym this weekend…by a 50-something, morbidly obese woman with a fetish for unproductive cardio workouts.

Here’s what happened.

After finishing my workout, I was chatting with some other gym members about the best ways to lose weight, get fit, etc.

During the conversation, I made the unfortunate decision to proclaim that losing weight is simple, but not easy.

Bad move on my part. Little did I know that our conversation was being overheard by the aforementioned 50-something morbidly obese cardio junkie.

And after hearing my comment, she decided to join the conversation. Unfortunately, she pretty much went nuclear.

I couldn’t make out much of what she was saying due to all the screaming and profanity, but I think the gist of it was that:

  1. I didn’t know what I was talking about
  2. She had “fat” genetics and her obesity wasn’t her fault
  3. I was prejudiced against overweight people
  4. and then the profanity started again.

The entire gym stopped…and watched…Fun times.

Luckily for me, I was so blissed out on my post-workout endorphins, that this verbal onslaught had little effect on my good mood, and I was able to weather the storm. And, with the help of the other gym members, we calmed her down and she actually started to listen.

Over the next 20 minutes, we discussed a lot of the lies and half-truths surrounding weight loss.

I explained that successful weight loss is as simple as:

  1. Choosing an effective nutrition program
  2. Choosing an effective exercise program
  3. Learning how to control destructive thoughts & emotions.

But, it is learning how to control those thoughts and emotions that makes successful weight loss nearly impossible for a lot of people.

Ergo…simple, but not easy. And, believe it or not, 20 minutes after it all started, Ms. Angry Cardio Junkie and I were hugging it out…which was a little gross considering she had just finished 80 minutes of cardio.

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13 comments

  1. WOW – you’re a better person then me, I can’t stand people who get up in my convo, especially to disagree and curse at me! I’m glad it all worked out. hehe “hugged it out”

  2. 80 minutes of cardio! Sounds like my pre “reading good health blogs days”! Can’t blame the poor woman for losing it. I think the sentence losing weight is simple but it aint easy – just about sums the whole weight loss process! Maybe you could do a post on the destructive thoughts and emotions that make our weight loss efforts back fire.
    Meanwhile I would still do 80 minutes of cardio occasionally: nothing like loooong brisk walks in the woods with great music!

  3. I made it as high as 299 lbs

    Not wanting to see 300 lbs turned a switch in my brain. Currently, I bounce between 235 (8-10% BF) and 250 (15% BF) depending if I am lifting for strength/power or to look good nekkid

  4. I have to thank my team of anger-management professionals. And the animal tranquilizer they hit me with as I began to charge (kidding)

  5. Not everyone can loss weigh successfully on the same diet and exercise plan. A few years ago I started experimenting with dieting, and found that I was not losing any weigh no matter what I tried. I had a slim build at the time but I wanted to try to get skinny. My old lifestyle involved walking every day 5 to 10k and eating a high carb low fat diet. I was convinced by my friend that the type of exercise that I did combined with too many carbs is what keeped me from getting skinny.

    So I cut down on the carbs and started lifting weighs every other day. At first I noticed that I gained weigh more then losing it, but when I told my friend about it he said that I must be gaining muscle and not to worry about it. After two months of following this diet I noticed that the muscles in my legs and abs had pretty mush disappeared. I ended up gaining about 30 pounds and body went from being toned to being soft.

    So I tried cutting more fat and calories but that didn’t seem to work. I experimented with several other diet and exercise programs after that but they didn’t seem to work either. I

    To make a long story a little shorter I’ve now gone back to my old high carb low fat diet
    and I’m finally losing weigh again for the first time in years.

    The diet plan you push might work for 98% of people but that doesn’t make things simple for the 2% it does not work for.

    Btw what I’m doing now is so easy for me that I fell like I’m cheating.

  6. Congrats on finding a meal plan that works for your body.

    I love hearing about people who take responsibility for their own health, educate themselves and try different approaches in order to find what works best for their physiology & their lifestyle.

    It’s true that I think some version of a Paleo diet is the best choice for most people, but I am far from dogmatic and if high carb / low fat works for you…I say congrats and keep eating high carb / low fat

  7. You are so right! So many people know what to do, they just don’t do it! It’s very hard to get into the zone for getting in shape because old habits are tough to break. It’s commitment that gets you through during those down moments. Love your blogs.

  8. Weird. You helped her out but I still feel like you are poking at the weight. It’s a person’s choice and habits that they are obese yes but you probably have no idea how hard it is to be in their shoes!

  9. Hi Kayla. You are 100% correct about my never walking in her shoes. But…I have walked in mine, and have had my own personal struggles (300 lbs suffering with depression) as well as a bazillion experiences with clients (real world & online). And based on our conversation, I am pretty sure that she wasn’t choosing to be overweight. She hated being overweight but had experience little success in losing weight in the past and was defensive about her body.

    She continued doing tons of cardio and counting calories even though they weren’t bringing her any success. In her mind (my opinion), because cardio & calorie counting weren’t working…it had to be her genetics that made her fat. IMHO, that is a load of crap. While there are a very small % of people with genetic conditions that cause obesity, that % is very, very, very small.

    By the end, we agreed to disagree… and I’m okay with that. If she wants to play the victim, who am I to try and change her pov.

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