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December 14, 2006

The Birth of Token Fat Guy

I put on my work out gear and drive to the gym. When I get inside I run my ID under the bar code reader. The pretty attendant glances at the screen and says, "Welcome back Mr StrangeDOS. How are you doing today?"

I look at her slender frame and wonder if she knows how lucky she is to have it. I reply, "I'm down 33 lbs...so I'm doing very well thank you." I have to put real effort into not sounding like a snot. We smile and I walk over to the treadmills. I could pick one of the ones in back but I don't. I go for the one in the front row. Let 'em all see me. I know what they are thinking. Oh...it's him...the token fat guy.

Every gym has at least one. He's the guy that makes everyone feel better about themselves. No matter how bad your day is going, if you go into the gym you might see the token fat guy. That will make you feel better. See him work so hard...what a lard ass!

Yeah, that's me...token fat guy. But I don't let it bother me. I know most of them aren't aware of the herculean effort it took me to drop over 30 lbs. Like the guy on the treadmill next to me today. He was running while I was walking. I could let that bother me. But I know why it is the way it is. He may think less of me because I'm not running like him. But I know why. I weigh 259 lbs. I have to be VERY careful of knee injuries. I have to take things slowly...build up strength. I get a good workout walking...and my knees aren't at risk. How much does he weigh? Probably around 210...maybe 200. Let him pick up 60 lbs and see if he can run with it safely. Besides, I'm token fat guy. I'll do as I please...and to heck with what everyone else is doing.

Yes, that's the type of thing that goes on in my head. Logically I know that most people in the gym don't even notice me. Most of them are so focused on their own workouts that they couldn't be bothered to give me a thought. Sure there is always that oddball person that makes himself (or herself) feel good by rating how much better off they are than me. But I have two reasons that I don't let it bug me...

1. He's a complete jack ass.
2. I'm the token fat guy. And everyone loves the token fat guy.

So take a hint from token fat guy. Don't let gyms be intimidating. If you need to workout, don't let anyone or anything stand in your way. It is YOUR life and only YOU can live it.

End tirade

If you didn't notice earlier, I weighed in at 259 lbs. I'm in the 250s again! Only 7 more lbs and I will be at my absolute low point for the journey. I'm so excited to be this far along. And I got some more good news. For the Fat Boy challenge at work, I am the biggest loser, having dropped more actual weight than anyone else in the challenge.

I rule


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmnnnn... the token fat guy... Makes me think of the token crowd scene sailor. I never thought of anyone as the token fat guy, but we do see that sort of thing in entertainment and so on. Wierd.

Being overweight makes me feel like I am (at the same time) both invisible (no one will want to look at me or even have a reason to notice me) and horribly conspicuous ("eewww... she's so fat..."). I waste a lot of energy on this from time to time. And it can't be both ways, you know? When I'm being more logical about it, I doubt that people actually notice me that much one way or the other.

Seriously, though. Being down into the 250s is great. I'm really happy for you! And I think going to the gym when you aren't all buff is really brave.

:) Colleen

December 15, 2006 at 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm proud of you Robert!! Keep up the good work.

Your cousin, Barb

December 16, 2006 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great work Rob. Had no idea you were keeping one of these - interesting read.

I agree to disagree with you on two points:
1. You don't know the guy who is running beside you wasn't the token fat guy a couple years ago himself - trust me when I say I was.

2. While people grab a glance here and there, nothing disturbs me more than the person who comes to the gym every morning - very literally killing themselves working impossibly hard and over the course of a year they make no changes to their 'look' if you will. If you're running an hour a day, every day of your life and you're still overweight - examine what other possible causes (diet?). You've obviously got this down pat - but theres a few I see at the gym I so badly want to offer some kind of advice to help them realize the changes they're working so hard to not achieve. It's frustrating.

December 20, 2006 at 12:03 PM  

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