The Gym Should Be Your Safe Space.
It’s been 2.5 years since I hit rock bottom— since I cried myself to sleep or in my car on the daily, or ashamed of what I saw in the mirror, or embarrassed to be in public, embarrassed to go shopping for clothes, embarrassed to eat in a restaurant, or felt like I didn’t matter— that there was no reason to exist.
Looking back it breaks my heart that I felt that way. ♥♥♥
It’s been almost 2 years since I found a place that welcomed me with open arms— a place that looked past the weight, the clothing size and cared about the individual. It was in that moment that I knew this place would forever have a special spot in my heart. It’s changed my life and I’m forever thankful for that.
During that time I’ve gained an incredible amount of knowledge around health and fitness, I’ve met some incredible people, built some pretty fantastic relationships and met some of my best friends there. It turned into my “me time”. It was a place where there was zero judgement from anyone to anyone. And in a world with so much judgement, it turned into a complete safe space for me every time I walked into the door.
But what happens when your safe space is no longer safe?
It wrecks you.
It breaks you.
It almost takes you back to rock bottom.
It pains me to say that I encountered the one thing that I never thought I would, especially in my safe space: sexual harassment — (noun: harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.)
Unfortunately there are men in this world that believe they can say, do and treat women a certain way and actually think it’s acceptable. And even worse, there are facilities that IGNORE IT when it’s reported. Whether it’s ignored because they don’t know how to handle it, or to act like it doesn’t happen there to keep their numbers up— whatever the “reason” it’s NOT acceptable.
Because of that, I made the decision to leave.
I couldn’t justify being there anymore. I couldn’t allow myself to be part of a place that didn’t take a situation like that seriously. I couldn’t be part of a place that ignore multiple reports. I couldn’t give my $$ to a place that ignored something like that.
I completely broke down— I felt lost without my space space. I completely lost that drive that I worked so hard to instill in myself over the past 2 years. I kept thinking, “How could I let something like that happen? How was my guard down enough to allow that person feel like it was acceptable to do that?”
After taking a break from this online world, it helped me remember why I started sharing my journey in the first place. It wasn’t because of the facility— sure, it helped— but it was because I wanted to share and document the truth, the fails, the struggles, and the triumphs of a weight loss journey. I wanted to show the parts that most don’t see on social media. I wanted to help others going through a similar situation and know that they aren’t alone. It then made me realize that I 100% made the right decision to leave. It helped me remember WHY I joined and how I didn’t have that feeling I had when I walked in the door almost 2 years ago.
While this may not have been what I wanted, the situation helped me realize that unexpected change isn’t always a bad thing— it just gives you that push to move on to a different path that you wouldn’t otherwise be on.
Here’s to continuing to share my journey with new individuals that I meet along the way!