My response, summed up:
1) An overweight person at the gym isn’t necessarily a rookie. Stop making stupid assumptions. Also, a fat person at the gym during the start of a new year might not be trying to lose weight; sometimes we want to get healthy and don’t care if that happens to mean we lose weight. (I know our buddy Josh don’t specifically say fat people join the gym after New Year to lose weight, but that’s what I inferred.) Sometimes we enjoy working out because, hmm, something about endorphins? Those make people feel good right? For example, I exercise because I have depression and going to the gym helps me to get out of the house, shower, move my body, and get me some a them nice endorphins.
2) DO NOT OFFER TO HELP. Especially don’t offer to be a “mentor.” If I want help, I will ask someone who works at the gym, rather than ask a rando who may be working out in an unsafe way. Or, I will Google exercise tips before I head to the gym, because I would rather do that than have your condescending help.
3) Yes please, leave your ego at the door. Your ego that makes you think I want your help.
Josh has a good point about not making fun of overweight people at the gym, but why is this limited to overweight people? He starts off talking about gym-regulars being irritated by rookies, and everyone is a rookie at some point, not just us chunky beasts. How about “Don’t make fun of people at the gym”? What the hell, Josh? Is your gym strictly fat newbies and sculpted fitness gods and goddesses? Because I’m doubtful that is the case.
I’m well aware that some people would see it as friendly encouragement if a stranger offered to help them work out. Based on anecdotal evidence I would say that more people see it as obnoxious. I also know I’ve read a handful of articles and blog posts from fat people over the last two or three years who got a thumbs up or a cheery “Good for you!” from a stranger, and were seriously pissed off. Here are a few-
These three are a response to a Facebook post that went viral in 2014:
This one shows how a gym trainer was obsessed with a client’s weight, even though she wasn’t interested in weight loss:
Ragen Chastain’s blog, “Dances With Fat,” has tons of posts related to fat shaming and/or being physically active while fat.