Woman’s Plan to Lose Weight at Gym Gets Off to Worst Start Imaginable

A woman who returned to the gym as part of an effort to get in shape got off to quite possibly the worst start imaginable.

Rose, from Southern California, had not been having much luck with her efforts to get fit. This was actually the second time she had returned to the gym and the second time she found her efforts curtailed in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

The first time around was bad. “I had been going to the gym for a short time earlier this year,” Rose, who didn’t give her surname, told Newsweek. “But then, after a hike, I got a bad case of poison oak. This stopped me from going for a little while.”

Somehow, though, the second time was even worse. Determined to “get back into the rhythm,” Rose decided, after several months of recuperation, to return to the gym.

She is not alone in wanting to get on a health kick in 2024. Earlier this year, a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Optimum Nutrition found that a significant proportion of people are looking to get fit this year. Some are focusing on losing weight (43 percent); some on improving their general strength (43 percent); while others are seeking better mobility (35 percent).

Rose was seeking all of the above, but things did not go to plan when she decided to do some weights. “I was going to do a leg-press machine, the kind where you can add or remove plate weights,” she said.

“I went to remove some 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 very edge. So, I didn’t have a solid grip on it once it slid off the bar, and I dropped it directly on my right big toe.”

Rose can still remember how it felt in the immediate aftermath. “It was mostly a shock at first, and then got progressively more painful,” she said. “It’s hard to describe it in a way other than it felt like my toe was crushed. Now, a couple weeks later, it mostly still hurts when I walk, and I have to walk slower than I normally do.”

A picture and X-ray of a toe.
From left: A close-up look at the injury one gym-goer suffered; and the X-ray. She told Newsweek she’s now facing a lengthy spell away from the gym.


A trip to hospital and an X-ray confirmed that Rose had done some serious damage to the toe. “It’s fractured in multiple places, including into the joint,” she said.

The damage is likely to leave her unable to use the gym for the foreseeable future. “The podiatrist told me that it could take four to six months to heal, since the toe does not get much blood circulation,” Rose said. “She said to take it easy for the time being.”

Rose shared a picture of her bruised toe and the subsequent X-ray to Reddit under the handle u/rumblyroarr where the post drew some supportive responses. “Don’t let a little hiccup get you down!” one Reddit user wrote. “Something is better than nothing! It’s always easy to start right? But harder than anything to keep going!”

While Rose is heartened by those encouraging responses, she nevertheless 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.

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