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Anorexic people using the gym

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by gorgybaby, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Just come back from the gym where I saw a clearly very anorexic girl working out - I saw her on a bike and also running on the treadmill. I found this a real worry - if you have a physical injury they would not let you train, would they? do you think they have a responsibility to stop someone like this training? of course it is my surmise that she is anorexic. She could be doing less now than in the past, I know nothing about her. I just think it's an interesting question. I really felt concerned for her.
  2. She might not be anorexic. I had problems with my weight between 1995-2001 and was sent to the gym by my doctor to bulk up. Being seriously underweight wasn't something I tried to be, it was a mixture of things, but I was conscious of some other women giving me "evils" (as my daughter would say) when I was working out.
    If she has got anorexia though, that's a different thing altogether and I agree that the gym should take some responsibility. Perhaps she's on a programme of monitored food intake/exercise through the gym/doctor?
  3. Believe me, Poeme, she was not well. not just underweight - but of course that is my diagnosis and anyone looks underweight compared to me! I promise I didn't give her the evils. Have you seen the anorexic women on Supersize/Superskinny? That level of underweight. I won't ever know what the situation is - I certainly wouldn't think she would thank me for asking - but it did make me feel very uncomfortable.
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    There's one girl who used my gym who is thin in the extreme. It's clear that she has some sort of eatin disorder that includes compulsive exercise. I'm a member at a Bannatyne's gym, I'm not sure if it's the case with other private gyms but if you are a member of a Bannatyne's you can also use other branches other than your own. There are two Bannatyne's within about 10 minutes drive of each other in my town. This girl is known for doing 3 - 4 hours of cardio at one branch, then leaving and coming to 'my' branch and doing a further few hours cardio there. She is thin enough that I could easily fit my thumb and fore-finger around her UPPER arms.
    Honestly, watching her out of the corner of my eye it just makes me feel so sad for her. She gets on the stepper machine, no headphones at all, and just stares ahead whilst she steps up and down like a robot. She doesn't flinched, she doesn't look around the room, she doesn't watch the TV screen built into the machine. She just stares, and steps.
    Poor girl.
    With regards the gym intervening, I think they've half-heatedly tried. The two gyms call each other to let the other one know that she's just been in and how longer she 'trained' for. I'm not sure that they ever actually prevent her from coming in though.
  5. Funny you should say that. I was just telling Son2 that the thinnest woman I've ever seen - in her 40s, I'd say - was in the gym changing room today and she was strutting, no other word for it, naked round the changing area. We aren't a bashful lot but if full nakedness is necessary, it's usually confined to the yard between the bench and the locker.
    When I first saw her I wondered if she was ill - had cancer, maybe - but if a normal-sized woman ever came to that, I doubt she'd be flaunting it round the changing rooms.
  6. Oh dear, then I can understand why you were upset by it. Is there anyone at the gym you could have a quiet word with? *

    * I don't mean necessarily about the woman specifically, but just a general question about your concerns.

    Edit - oh, and I didn't mean to suggest that you were giving her the evils btw[​IMG]
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    The gym I used to belong to had as a member a woman who was clearly anorexic. I saw her regularly - she'd do a frenetic stint on one machine, run over to the scales and weigh herself, then go to another machine and so on.
    Some of us were so concerned we spoke to the manager about her - I doubt he did anything, however.
  8. Ker-ching!
  9. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Only if it's a pay-per-visit gym, Lily. In actual fact, a gym with a monthly fee will technically lose out if she visits more than one gym every day and uses the equipment for hours. My gym charges members £42 per month. If she goes to two gym each day, she's really only paying about 70p per visit, as opposed to someone who visits 4 times per week (one gym only) for an hour, who's paying £2.60ish per visit.
    She's certainly getting her money's worth!
  10. To be honest they are not really bothered anyway, they mostly let people get on with it. And I don't know what they would say. "Are you anorexic?" "No"...
    Worrying though.

  11. dumpty

    dumpty Lead commenter

    If the gym is run by men, it is unlikely they will say anything. I have tried myself once and received the kind of childish outburst I would have hit a man over. Many women with mental issues know a man is not going to get violent, so off they go on a rage. Many men knowing that, can't be ar.sed to talk to them in the first place.
  12. I would leave it. If the gym want to stay something then fine. I'm sure there are people who attend the gym at a healthy weight and then go home and kill themselves slowly with alchohol or smoking. Some people are obese, at risk of many life threatening illnessess, but sit there scoffing unhealthy food that will clog up their arteries. Should we sort them out too?
  13. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Some long distance runners are very underweight. I suppose as long as they have the energy to run, then its something at least.
    Probably best not to show your feelings - people with emotional difficulties with weight and exercise can feed off the negative reactions they get from others - it reinforces their self image

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