Need advice about lady at the gym

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2006
Need advice about lady at the gym
18
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 7:40am

I work in the daycare at the gym and am typically working out at least 5 days a week in the winter. I am there less when it's warm outside since I can run on the trails then. So, there is this lady who I know pretty well since she drops off her kids in the daycare and we have a good report established. She comes to the gym twice a day, for about 2 hours each time and no joke, looks EXACTLY the same as the first day I met her a year ago. I decided to keep my eye on her (I guess I am guilty of that people who stare thing...) to see what she is doing and I can see why she isn't losing. She gets on the bike for 5 minutes then chats with some friends then floats over to the elliptical for 5 minutes then more chatting. After that, she heads to the weights section and has them on the lightest weight. Then, MORE chatting. You get the idea. Oh and her kids always have McDonalds happy meal toys so my guess is that she is lacking in the nutrition department too.

So, I totally want to say something to her but it really isn't my place. I have been working on my PT certification but I still have to complete the weekend workshop. I am not 100% qualified to help her, but it is driving me crazy. This lady NEEDS me or someone else. What should I do? Butt out? Say something? Offer to help?











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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 7:56am

Honestly? Having been a trainer and group ex instructor at the gym so a lot of people know who I am I never offer unsolicited advice. This woman might be using the gym as a place to socialize and what she's doing is better than nothing. If she complained about lack of progress or wanting to make changes to her workout, then I might mention a few things I'm doing. But, there are far more women at my gym like her who don't want to sweat (check out our acronyms) than who want to work hard. I've heard them complain, know they won't do more, so leave it. Really it's like smoking--when I was in my PT class, someone asked if you should mention that clients should quit. The instructor said, they know. They've all heard it. I'd guess this woman knows McD's isn't healthy and that she's chatting a lot.

How do others feel about this? I wonder if I'm just too passive.











iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2004
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 8:06am

When I worked at a gym, I saw a lot of that too. Ladies who think that just because they stepped foot inside, they got a workout. :P

However, I'm with Jean on this one too. If she complains to you about not seeing results, that is a great opening to offer advice or suggestions. But maybe she's happy with what she's doing. And that's valid if she is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2008
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 8:50am

I am with Jean and Kel on this one, too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 8:57am
The hardest thing for me sometimes is not saying anything. There was a woman who came to my class for a while and then disappeared. I saw her a couple of months later at night. She had gotten a job and couldn't come in the morning but she had also lost a lot of weight. She told me she'd have coffee for breakfast, not be hungry so she'd skip food. Lunch was a big salad, huge so she said she wasn't hungry for dinner. She'd hit the gym for a couple of hours, intense. She was so pleased with it and it was all I could do to keep quiet and not tell her what I thought. I also knew this woman I did marathon training with--she was excessive as workouts go, like after LSD of 15-20 would hit the gym for another 3-4 hours. Working out was her life. The day before the marathon, she hit the gym for a treadmill run and heavy lifting, spent about 4 hours there. Marathon day comes and she, hoping to qualify for Boston, was much slower than I, turtle, was. But, we were still friendly whereas, if I had spoken up in either case, it would have fallen on deaf ears and they'd think I was full of it.










iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2006
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 2:42pm
Thanks for the input, ladies. In the Summer, she was complaining constantly about how she doesn't lose and I suggested she should get her thyroid checked. Then, she did tell me she had it checked and everything was fine. She asked me once what I do to keep so fit after having kids and I named a couple of things and she said she did the same thing as me. But, clearly, she was lying because, like I said, I see her out there and she never has a bead of sweat on her and spends so much time just hanging out. I guess I'll keep my big mouth shut unless she complain to me again.










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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 6:54pm
I agree with the others but I would go even further than they have. I think you should get away from thinking you know what she needs. If she's not bothering other people at the gym, I don't think it's your place to decide there's anything wrong with what she's doing. Maybe what she needs most in her life - more than exercise - is a little social contact with adults after being home with her kids every day. What she definitely doesn't need is someone making so many judgments and assumptions about her (i.e. about her diet - maybe her kids get a happy meal once a month as a reward for eating 5 servings of veggies every day). If we are going to help people (whether as a personal trainer or whatever) we have to step back from being judgmental about what WE think others "need" so we can hear what they are telling us they need.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 01-22-2010 - 7:03pm
That sounds like me! Losing weight by drinking coffee for breakfast, skipping dinner in favor of happy hour, etc... I don't suggest it as a technique for other people to follow (well, not seriously, though I joke about copywriting my "Starbucks and beer" diet) but I don't see why anyone else would care what I eat or don't eat or feel like they want to give me a piece of their minds. Why can't people be "into" something like fitness without getting so superior towards other people about it? I don't walk around fighting an urge to tell other people how badly they dress or how immoral it is that they eat meat.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 01-25-2010 - 7:23am
That sounds good. I hear a lot of complaints from people who really don't want to do anything about it so I just let it go. I respond in my head.










iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 01-25-2010 - 7:37am
I don't think I'm superior to people who don't do what I do. Part of it is that I'd love to help people find success in ways that will work rather than try something that I know will not work long term (and no, it didn't work long term for her). As we've talked about here before, I don't know anyone, Jared aside, who has lost weight in an "extreme" diet AND maintained. So, as I see people do it, and I've been there, I have this desire to help them do it in a way that is achievable. And, as fitness goes, too, when people jump in too much too quickly, they almost always burn out. As you had said to me years ago, when I wanted to rush the Couch Potato to 5k program because it felt easy, do it the way it is. I don't think it was about feeling superior, you were just giving me your feedback, having been through it. Best advice I got with running. So, overall, when someone tells me what she's doing and is looking for approval for something I don't, like that woman did, I don't say anything negative but I don't say, "Oh, that sounds great!" either.










iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2008
Mon, 01-25-2010 - 7:39am

This is a prime example of a lesson I have been trying to teach my daughter - that people's words may mean "nothing", and that their behavior is the truth.

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