I’ve often heard women say they were “too fat” to go to the gym and were embarrassed to exercise in public, so they are waiting to try to lose a few pounds before they joined one. These women don’t feel comfortable going to the gym for fear of being the object of offensive behavior by gym bullies. You know how those types of bullies act and who they are. They walk around like they own the place, hog the machines like they own them, and look down upon anyone who doesn’t fit their standards.
I know…I’ve felt it before too.
Nonetheless, there are some women who will muster the confidence to go to the gym or to attend classes, but lose focus, fizzle out, and stop going in a couple of months.
I invite you to stay with me as I point out ways you can feel more at ease and go to the gym on your own terms, despite the anxiety and the unimportant opinions of others. You know the saying, “their opinion of you is their business.”
You’re there to change how you feel about yourself and that, my friend, is your business. Handle it with enthusiasm and a clear view of tomorrow. You can defeat negative emotions so you won’t be embarrassed to exercise in public. Let’s trash any those unhealthy thoughts and feelings.
Overcoming The Urge To Lose Weight First
When going to the gym, remember, not everyone started with a “picture perfect” body, whatever that means anyway. Everyone goes to the gym for a reason and it’s not to shop. It’s an athletic facility, a place to reinvent a machine we were given to inhabit, the body.
The gym is made up of 2 kinds of people:
- those who are looking to change how their bodies look and get healthier
- those who’ve gone down that road already and are working to keep the body they’ve worked hard to obtain.
Regardless of what you look like right now, know that most people are there to work on themselves and don’t care what anyone else looks like.
So in order to overcome your fears and counter-destructive thinking, here are some things you could do.
Talk to people. Some women have incredible transformation stories that are just awe-inspiring. Most are willing to help you, but you won’t know that if you entertain the idea that they are against you. You don’t know their story so don’t be so quick to think for them!
“Women like me don’t belong in places like this. I feel like everyone is looking at me and judging me.”
Lighten up. Don’t be embarrassed to exercise in public. Trust me when I say, at the end of the day, no one really cares what you look like; they are concerned about how they look and their imperfections. Be that as it may, these particular gym goers may be impressed that you have decided to join them!
Shop around. In the case you have chosen a snobby gym and if these kind of people make you feel some type of way, shift to another fitness facility. That’s why most facilities will offer a trial week. You don’t have to settle on a place that doesn’t welcome you. Use your trial offers to find the right one for you.
Stay motivated. Maybe you need a buddy to help you stay motivated. If you don’t have one, you MUST motivate yourself AND practice self-discipline. There’s no other way to achieve goals! Post a pic that represents your goal (like from a time you were more comfortable in your body) on your bathroom mirror or a word or phrase that helps you stay on top of your goal.
Don’t force it. However, if you are still feeling embarrassed to exercise in public, take up space in the back row. Don’t feel bad when you make a mistake or when you find it difficult to keep up the pace. Do what you can in a session. Before long, you will have the hang of the routine. This should increase your confidence and you’ll feel proud that you stuck with the workout routine after it’s all said and done… you’ll see.
Dress the part. Some worry that they don’t have the right clothes and it makes them feel awkward or ashamed. If it makes you feel better, check out the clearance racks in your local department stores. You can grab a couple of outfits for cheap to build your self-esteem while at the gym.
Listen, I know change is hard, especially when it’s for the good and not everyone will understand or appreciate your efforts; however, we can’t worry about others so much. It’s time to take care of YOU. Make a date with yourself to get started, keep that date and commit to working on you. You don’t ever have to be embarrassed to exercise in public again!
Over to you…
Have you ever felt like you didn’t “belong” in the gym? How did you handle it? If this article described you, I hope you found the encouragement to go to the gym and DO YOU regardless! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.