The Uncomplimentary Compliment?


Have you ever been told something about how someone else perceives you and it may have been intended as a compliment but it was not received as one? Yesterday at the gym, a fellow (perhaps late 30’s or early 40’s) who I met months ago was chatting with me. He asked me, “You are not competing anymore?”, to which I responded, “I am still competing. Why do you ask?”. And this guy says, “You are looking smaller so I thought you weren’t competing anymore. That’s ok though. It’s appealing to be smaller”….Please excuse me for a moment while I pick up my jaw from the ground. The typical female might enjoy receiving this type of “compliment” from a fellow gym-goer however making a comment like this to someone who competes is like telling the wild animal that they are looking ripe for predation. You know what a small stature gets you in the wild? EATEN!

What was this guy thinking? The purpose of my training is not to get skinny. I am already lean with a low body fat percentage and have been long before I met this man. My goal at the gym is to maintain tone, gain muscle and build strength. This is not the first time this guy has said something like this. When he first approached me he asked me if I was a professional athlete and then later warned me not to get “too big”. Excuse me but I can get as “big” as I please and I did not ask for his opinion on which type of female physique he finds attractive.

While we are on this subject, I want to point out that for women to get “too big”, they likely have to be utilizing questionable body enhancing supplements. Women do not have the natural testosterone levels to build as much muscle as men. So I can lift as heavy and as often as I want and I will never look like Arnold. Not naturally anyway. What am I saying? Even Arnold has admitted that he was on the juice, so natural or not, a woman will still never get as big as him.

It really takes a lot of time, effort and discipline to participate in the sport of bodybuilding and I feel that that is likely why I became so offended from this his words. I understand that perhaps this man at my gym meant no harm by his careless comment. However, please heed my warning, as you pass through this life do not make the same mistake as this guy because if you say what he said to a heavyweight bodybuilder, you might just find out how “small” his fist is.

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