That a**hole at your gym had no point. Nope, none. I am so proud of you for sticking up for yourself and I'm glad that you have a good friend like Joe. I would have cried, too - but I probably would have been too chicken to go back for awhile.
I've really been enjoying your journal - I'm only about 1/4 the way through, but especially reading about your first few months and about how you've overcome challenges has been very helpful. Your honesty as well as your ability to get back on the wagon every time is really much more inspiring than hearing about someone who never struggled at all. (And I imagine everyone struggles in different ways...we just don't always hear about it.) It makes reading about your triumphs that much sweeter.