The Truth Behind the Man at the Gym

I started with this post,


I was desperate to channel my discomfort and pain into some other forum. I was hoping this forum would help me fight back the tears that seemed to be welling behind my eyes as I publicly sat, biking at the gym. I realize however that my reaction stems from my own insecurities and body issues. As a young woman, at the age of 22, I am on my third year of fighting an eating disorder. I have come in contact with every comment in the books regarding what I eat, weigh, and wear. The thing I struggle with the most is that people do not realize the power of their words. This man did not know that I’m in recovery and that everyday is a struggle to accept the woman that stares back at me in the mirror. He is unaware of the journey I’ve been on and the lows I’ve overcome. He cannot even begin to fathom what it feels like to hate the body you’re in, to starve yourself, to have a binge, or worse, to purge. He is a man that looks at me and sees something consumable, something to be had and chased after. He doesn’t see my scars or the pain in my eyes as the words slip past his lips. And can I really hate him for his words, for his nature? I don’t know his story or why he is the way he is or what he’s been through. The only thing I know is that he has stung me with a simple line so deeply that I’m fighting not to break down in front of him. I’m fighting the urge to start the cycle over, of restricting and binging, and purging, and over exercising. He’s a trigger to the eating disorder gun that has been held to my head for the past few years. He’s the voice that tells me I’m a failure, that I’m fat, and that I should be ashamed. He is all of these things to me, but to him, he’s just some guy hitting on a girl at the gym and tomorrow it’ll be a different girl. His cycle will repeat but mine won’t. I’ve come this far and some man who can’t see me for more than my figure is not going to drive me back into the cycle, back into a lifeless smile, lack of energy, and crippling sadness. I may always be recovering but I’m getting somewhere and even if a man can break my spirits for a few hours, he can’t break the girl whose scars will heal and whose heart will never stop fighting for a better life.



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