I joined a new gym. They tout themselves as a "no judgment" gym. Everyone is welcome and no one should be intimidated or judged by others. With that said I was so surprised when I read they had asked a member to leave because the toned abs she was displaying were intimidating other guests. I saw her picture and she had on a shorter top but she looked very respectable for a gym. Now there may be more to the story but taken at its face it sounds very unfortunate.
We seem to forget that judgments go both ways in that we judge both those that look fit and those that don't look fit. What is unfortunate is that judging often is the result of projecting our own insecurities, our own fears, our own issues, our own "stuff" on others. It's more about what we are afraid of than that other person. When it comes to our bodies, we often judge others who have been in deep judgment of themselves already and we can be very hurtful unintentionally.
I think when we see people who are fit or in shape we assume they have great self esteem and body image. We would be surprised to know that folks who do body building or other similar competitions sometimes have body dysmorphia or a skewed view of their body. Even as they seem comfortable "flaunting" their bodies, they think they aren't good enough and before you dismiss that - is there something about yourself that you see in a negative light even as others praise you for it? It's really not that uncommon.
Certainly when it comes to those that are overweight, we are cruelly judgmental - making assumptions about why they are overweight and what they need to do to get there. I've always wondered when I watched someone badger someone because of their weight, if they thought that person didn't already know that they were overweight and already hadn't tried to find a way to get healthier. Really? Don't you think they've seen themselves. If it was easy to be fit we wouldn't have a multi million dollar diet and workout industry. You don't need to judge them, they've judged themselves a thousand times over.
Life is tough enough and with all that is out there, the look of our bodies is a territory it's dangerous to stray in. It's easy to sit in judgment of others when we really should be looking inward at ourselves. Why does someone else's weight bother me - maybe it reminds me that I'm not that far removed from being overweight myself or that it seems unfair that they have that toned stomach while I work so hard for my flabby one. Maybe I'm afraid I can't get where they are or can't stop myself from being where they are. Maybe it's really about me.
I am no stranger to judging others. Smart enough to keep my mouth closed most of the time at least. But I've thought lately that I've got to confront myself when I thinking about them and be much more introspective about what makes me judge others and how that may be impacting my psyche. I have noticed that an unhappy me is sooo much more judgmental. My failures create a yardstick by which I can judge others in an effort to make me feel better. I'm not sure if you are someone who has conquered this one but if you have, I hope you find a way to help the rest of us get there by being a moderating voice.
If not, I hope you find what keeps you overlooking your own "stuff" and causes you to cast a judging eye on others. That stuff can be pretty deep.
See ya on the road.
The Sweaty Executive.