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A woman’s plan to lose weight at the gym gets off to the worst possible start

A woman who returned to the gym as part of an effort to get in shape may have gotten off to the worst possible start.

Rose, from Southern California, hadn’t had much luck in her attempts to get fit. This was actually the second time she returned to the gym and the second time her efforts were curtailed under the most unfortunate of circumstances.

The first time was bad. “I went to the gym for a short time earlier this year,” said Rose, who did not give her last name Newsweek. “But then after a walk I came down with a bad case of poison oak. This put me off going for a while.”

Somehow, though, the second time was even worse. Determined to ‘get back into the groove’, Rose decided to return to the gym after several months of recovery.

She is not the only one who wants to achieve health improvements by 2024. Earlier this year, a survey of 2,000 American adults conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Optimum Nutrition found that a significant portion of people want to get fit this year. Some focus on losing weight (43 percent); some on improving their overall strength (43 percent); while others are looking for better mobility (35 percent).

Rose was looking for all of the above, but things didn’t go to plan when she decided to do some weights. “I wanted to make a leg press machine, the kind where you can add or remove plate weights,” she said.

“I went to remove a couple of the 45-pound plates, and I moved the first one just fine. But when I went to remove the one on the other side, the bar was filled to the brim. So I didn’t have it tight. when it slid off the bar, I dropped it straight onto my right big toe.”

Rose still remembers what it felt like in the immediate aftermath. “It was mostly a shock at first, but then it became more and more painful,” she said. “It’s hard to describe it in any other way than it felt like my toe was crushed. Now, a few weeks later, it still hurts especially when I walk, and I have to walk slower than normal.”

A photo and x-ray of a toe.
From left: A close-up of the injury suffered by a gym-goer; and the x-ray. She told Newsweek that she is now away from the gym for an extended period of time.


A visit to the hospital and an X-ray confirmed that Rose had caused serious damage to the toe. “It’s broken in several places, including the joint,” she said.

Due to the damage, she will probably not be able to use the gym in the near future. “The podiatrist told me it could take four to six months to heal because the toe doesn’t get much circulation,” Rose said. “She told me to take it easy for now.”

Rose shared a photo of her bruised toe and subsequent x-ray to Reddit under the handle u/rumblyroarr, where the post attracted some supportive comments. “Don’t let a little problem fool you!” wrote one Reddit user. “Something is better than nothing! Starting is always easy, right? But harder than anything to keep going!”

While Rose is heartened by these encouraging responses, she nonetheless hopes her experience will serve as a warning to others. “I hope people learn to notice where their feet are when lifting heavy objects,” she said.

Is there a health problem you are concerned about? Let us know at [email protected]. We can ask experts for advice and your story can be posted on the site Newsweek.