Firstly, I want to start by saying I’VE BEEN THERE! I’ve not always been comfortable in the gym, I’ve not always felt confident to workout without fearing judgement. But enough was enough, and something had to change.
I’ve got to say it, and you won’t like it, but you’re making an excuse. Excuses hold you back, and as the saying goes ‘once you lose all of your excuses, you find all of your results’. It’s not that you can’t go to the gym because of the fear of prejudice, it’s that you won’t.
Ask yourself this – what’s worse? Being insecure for a couple of weeks or so (because believe me, it passes) in the gym, or being insecure for the rest of your life because you’re still overweight because you ‘didn’t want people staring at you’?
It’s not easy. I’ll give you a little history about me, in case you haven’t followed this blog before. I’m still a big girl, but once upon a time I was HUGE, probably bigger than most of you reading this right now. Add into that the fact that I couldn’t walk up the stairs without turning red in the face and panting, so the prospect of a gym petrified me. I’d be the fattest one there, people would laugh because i’d be exhausted after 5 minutes, I might not be doing things right, people might stare.. sound familiar?
I took the plunge and as well as joining a gym, I joined a boot-camp style class with about 20 already regular (and fitter) women. I arrived super early, I sat in my car and debated probably 10 times over In my head just driving away. Walking into that class that day changed my life, and I’ve never looked back. Look at what it did for me when I overcome my fears:
Realistically, you’re probably FAR from the ‘fattest person in the gym’ but I know what insecurities can feel like, and I know they can feel impossible to defeat but you can. You can lose weight without exercise, but that’s not to say you should. As well as a great aid for lose skin, it’s great for stress relief, confidence, and releasing endorphins that just make you feel good.
It’s an absolute fact that most of the already-fit people in the gym are impressed when they see somebody trying to better themselves in a gym. Don’t get me wrong, it’s rare but you MAY come across some judgement, but this is your journey, your road to health and happiness, are you really going to let that hold you back?
My idea of being in the gym was an environment where a clique of healthy people point in life, the reality? I was stopped a few months in by complete strangers, I was told I’m looking amazing and they can’t believe the transformation. I was stopped and asked if I need any help, and if I do, just ask any time. I even had a guy next to me once on a treadmill while I was dying from jogging for 2 minutes shout “you go girl!” when I stopped. These petrifying judgemental fitness freaks weren’t quite what they seemed.. they were great. This has been across 3 different gyms too.
At the end of the day, it comes down to 3 things:
- The choice to lose weight is a big one, you’ve taken a big step by even contemplating joining a gym and getting fit. You’re stronger than you think, are you really going to let the insecurities that have probably dominated your whole life continue to do so? Because if you are, your lifestyle change may not be entirely successful.
- It’s never going to be as bad as you think. The thought of being an overweight newbie in a gym is a lot worse than actually doing it. Give it 2 weeks, you’ll forget you were ever worried about it.
- Who actually cares? Why do you really care what other people think? If someone DID think ‘oh look at that fat person on that treadmill’ does it matter that much? Is it worth not getting fit for?
That ‘pumped’ feeling after a workout is next-to-none, it’s amazing, it’s addictive and you could be missing out on how great it can make you feel because you’re worried about the opinion of others. You just have to let it go and take the plunge, trust me, I did, and I’ve never felt so good. Nothing crosses my mind when I walk into the gym now other than ‘how hard can I push myself today?’ and people can stare all they want.
Kayla (The fattest, but most comfortable girl in the gym)