Open letter ‘to the heavyset lady at the gym’ divides the internet

<i>(Image via Getty)</i>
(Image via Getty)

If there’s one thing worse than being watched at the gym — it’s knowing about it.

That’s why a “thank you” letter from a Reddit user, addressing “the heavyset lady at the gym” has proven cringeworthy for most who read it.

“You inspire me,” the author begins. “I try to get to the gym five times a week, around the same time. Every time I go, you’re there, plugging away.”

“You’ve got a lot more to lose than me and I admire your choice and dedication to get healthy.”

The open letter details how the Redditor, who goes by username umamiumami, has noticed the woman’s progress for months. They observe the woman upping her cardio and wearing new clothes because the old ones “were falling off.”

“Whenever I think of doing a little less cardio or skipping weights for a day, I see you and say, ‘no – I want to be like her’.”

Complimentary or weird? <i>(Photo via Reddit)</i>
Complimentary or weird? (Photo via Reddit)

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Some of you may think, well isn’t that a nice thing to say? And you’re not alone.

There were some readers who’ve followed suit by thanking the curvy gym-goer for her inspiration.

“You are AMAZING! Keep inspiring everyone!! You can ‘Drop it’! Drop it like it’s HOT! Keep on, keeping on!!! :)” wrote one observer.

“This is a wonderful way of seeing it,” said another.

But most readers said they thought it strange this woman was being watched so intently.

One commenter summed it up perfectly, writing: “I’m a fat woman at the gym. Please, please, just let me work out.”

“It would make me so uncomfortable if someone said this to me. I don’t want to feel like anyone is looking at me, or that I stand out in any way. Just let me be another person at the gym.”

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Trying to get healthy can be hard enough without being on show. The vast majority of us just want to blend in and work out without becoming a source of inspiration for anyone but ourselves.

“These soliloquies to fat people that pop up here every few days seem very patronizing to me,” writes another commenter.

“The fatter person doesn’t need or necessarily want validation from the less-fat person. Leave her alone to do her work. You focus on your own work instead of imagining yourself as the Mother Teresa of treadmills. It’s condescending and unnecessary.”

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