How To Conquer Gym Intimidation While Losing Weight. I’m sure that topic is on many’s minds as January is the month for gym beginners. Everyone’s working on those new year’s resolutions. It dawned on me the other day how daunting and intimidating the gym can be when it’s your first time as a newbie there. It can no doubt be overwhelming. Even more so when you’re trying to lose weight and already feeling uncomfortable in your own skin which is why you’re there in the first place. I applaud you for making it through the front door and you should give yourself the same praise. Many people out there like you want to lose weight & workout, but can’t get themselves to step a foot inside a gym. You’re one step in the right direction just by walking in.
Before I dive into tips, I want you to know a few things. First, what you’re feeling is completely normal. Everyone has to start somewhere. Think about the first time you got on a bike. You couldn’t balance, you felt awkward and probably thought you’d never get the hang of it. As time went on, you practiced, you got better skilled, could balance on your own and felt confident. Same thing applies at the gym or to anything new in life for that matter.
The first time I went to my gym I felt completely intimidated. Everyone looked so fit and confident. I felt they were all staring at me thinking “what’s the fat girl doing here?” By the way, they’re not thinking that at all. I found myself comparing my body to the perfectly athletic looking women wearing their cute, coordinating outfits and spiffy new running shoes. Then there were the beef heads taking up real estate lifting weights, grunting and checking you out. I thought to myself. Why are you checking me out? I don’t even like to see my body. Turns out men don’t care as much as we think ladies. By this time, I’d already lost 20+ pounds walking daily, but I wasn’t yet confident in my body or its physical abilities. Over time though I became more confident as I tackled activities and learned how to do them better.
Here’s a few tricks that helped me during my weight loss.
Start With What You Know
Do the fitness you’re most comfortable with and know how to do properly. In my case, it was walking so I started by walking on the treadmill. Once I felt ready, I progressed to the elliptical, stairclimber and weights.
Find A Fitness Role Model
Watch other people at the gym (not in a creepy way) & find a role model. Watch how they perform certain activities and observe their form. Keep in mind not everyone has the right form or has the same physical abilities so if you aren’t sure how to do something ask them. Most people who’ve been working out for a long time love it when people ask for their help.
Bring A Friend
When in doubt, bring a fit friend. Friends are great moral support & confidence boosters. Not only will they be able to show you a thing or two, but they can help motivate you too.
Sign-Up For Personal Training
This is a great way to get introduced to your gym. Most gym’s offer a free orientation to the equipment. I highly recommend this & it’s free. You have nothing to lose, only to gain. Generally gym’s also offer personal training. Personal training is a great way to learn how to properly use equipment, learn form, understand what muscles to train and how to train them. Most importantly it provides you with a customized training plan. That customized training plan is something I feel is undervalued. Most people don’t know what routine to do when they first start. A plan gives you a baseline to grow from and set new fitness goals.
Make a Killer Playlist
Put all your favorite fast moving songs on one playlist and call it something fun like “killer workouts.” Music is powerful. It motivates workouts. Makes us wanna move and groove. I used to be a dancer and for me, I imagine myself at the gym as if I were on stage dancing my little heart out. Music also helps pass the time especially during long cardio sessions.
Wear Fabulous Clothes
Always look your best. Too often we think working out should mean wearing old rags. How we look impacts how we feel which directly translates into how much effort we put into working out. Wear something that’s makes you feel great and confident about your body. You’ll workout 1000x better than if you’re wearing raggedy Anne’s.
Realize No One Is Judging You
Your worst critic is you. No one is judging you except yourself. In fact the person you think is judging you, is praising you in their head for being there getting it done. Remember EVERY person has insecurities and most times, they’re the same as yours. Even after I lost 80 pounds, I still have things I don’t like about my body and it’s been 5 years. I still get frustrated when I can’t physically perform the way I want to and have fat days. And when it’s a bad day, laugh in your brain when you’re lifting more than the muscle dude next to you.
What do you fear about the gym? What’s something you’ve done to conquer a gym fear?
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