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LILLITH32 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,418)
Posts: 278
8/13/13 3:13 A

I'd go for a shorter membership, some people just have a harder time sticking to it then others. I am going to echo the advice of everyone else: forget about the rest of the folks in the gym, you are working out for yourself, not for them. And none of them are looking at you and judging. As for clothes, I would suggest going to a moderately priced store and picking up comfortable items, something not too restrictive, but not giant sweats. Capris are a great idea, maybe some t-shirts and a few pairs of GOOD sports bras. I would suggest looking at technical material, since cotton collects sweat and can irritate and chafe, however if you are more comfortable in cotton, go for that. The idea is to be as comfortable as possible while working out. Sports bras are the most complicated things to shop for, but there are a lot of resources on SparkPeople, and if you go to any decent sports store they should have a good selection. Shoes - depends on what you are planning to do with them. If you are just starting out, I would suggest a pair of light cross-trainers. Pick them about half a size to a size bigger then your normal shoe size, as your feet tend to swell once you start moving. They don't have to be expensive, again, go for comfort. If you are planning to do a special activity, like walking, running, or biking, you may need to look into special shoes for that. You probably want several pairs of t-shirts, maybe 3-4, 2-3 pairs of capris/pants, 2-4 bras, and I would recommend two pairs of shoes, although you can survive with one if you don't wear them a lot for things other then working out. Also designate 2-3 pairs of socks as workout socks. You don't have to buy everything at once, however, a nice new outfit can be very motivational for a start of the workout routine. You can also use some old tees and sweat pants for a few weeks until you get into the groove, figure out what is comfortable for you, and budget some cash. I would recommend buying a sports bra for your first appearance at the gym if you don't already have one though. Other then that, all you need are some good tunes to listen to, and workout plan you can come up with after the welcome session (or have someone help you). The gym is a wonderful place, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Get over your embarrassment, stick to your plan for at least 12 weeks and good luck!

8/13/13 2:29 A

You are very lucky to have an inexpensive gym where you work. I suspect because it is at your workplace there will be plenty of people that don't qualify for Body Beautiful. I am a member of a gym that is owned and operated by a regional hospital. There are a lot of seniors there in the morning but even in the evening it is not overrun by hotties. It is a bit more expensive than the one you are joining but there is a pool, sauna, and steam room. I love to swim and it is one of my primary exercises. I used to love the steam room until menopause set in. Now I carry my personal steam room with me in the form of hot flashes and night sweats. Right now I am on vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a city that seems to be overrun with gorgeous fit people. I strolled my lard butt proudly into the hotel fitness room where I proceeded to ride the recumbent bike, lift weights, and do some ab work. Afterward I went for a 45 minute swim in the pool where all the bikini-clad were greased and laid out by the pool. There was plenty of room in the pool. All those beautiful people were there to style and profile, not to work out, but it bothered me not at all. It once would have mortified me! I am now old and wise enough to know better.

Edited by: CLARISSABOND at: 8/13/2013 (02:32)
AUGUSTREADY SparkPoints: (1,560)
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
Posts: 86
8/12/13 10:47 P

LAZYDAVE - I live down-under where we produce some of the best dairy products in the world...I can tell you straight up that living on a dairy farm does not equal a healthy lifestyle!!!

Some of the most overweight and out of shape people I've ever met have lived on dairy farms...

Farms are just like any other business - if it's a very small farm, then you will probably be doing a lot of the work, if not all of it, but once you start producing product to sell, you employ lots of people to do the hard physical labour for you...milking cows is very hard work, particularly in these days of intensive farming where cows are milked more than once a dairy farmers can end up sitting at a desk doing computer and bookwork all day, just like anyone else!!!

Then there's the fact that just because you live on a farm does not mean you grow all your own food...and definitely does not mean you naturally have a better diet...we all live in the same world with the same media influences and temptations, regardless where that may be.

LAZY_DAVE Posts: 21
8/12/13 10:30 P

Hi! You actually live on a dairy farm? If that's the case then you are very lucky. You should be able to eat very healthy. Diet is such a major part of fitness and weight loss. Going to th gym is great but it's not going to help much if a person is consuming junk food and tons of sugar. You can grow your own veggies and probably even meat. I'm pretty dang jealous actually, lol.

And if you do go to the gym work hard, and sweat a lot. I see too many out of shape people on treadmills walking leisurely while talking to their friend, or on the phone. Be serious about your workout.

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
8/12/13 9:41 P

"How do you overcome gym fears? Do I really want to know my fitness level!?!"

Oh man, when I first started I was in the same boat. At my gym you get a free session with a personal trainer and they give you a fitness score between 1-40. My score, was 8. EIGHT. And that was with him giving me 2 extra points because my legs are long and THAT'S why I couldn't touch my toes. I honestly don't think he had ever seen a score of 8 before. After my fitness test, the girl at the counter (who I was friends with outside the gym) asked "so you finished your fitness test - are you going to stay and work out?" WHA??! I just did work out! Didn't you see the trainer make me do as many situps and pushups and a toe touch and run for a full minute? And I knew I worked out hard, because I was so sore the next day! Eight.

That was a year and a half ago. :) I pushed through it, worked on adding a minute at a time of cardio, looked up some strength training exercises. Now I'm the one that stays for a full hour and am trying to up how much I lift and every now and then I'll catch people noticing what I'm doing (and some even say outright they're impressed!). I'm not saying it to brag, only to tell you that some of those people that you think are intimidating, once had a score of eight, and are cheering you on.

8/12/13 8:11 P

As far as the clothing: I usually wear sweat pants and a tee with a good sports bra.
The people: they don't care about what your doing. I've learned this with myself being the bigger girl next to these gym bunnies. No one looked my way. One guy asked me if I was done using a certain machine. These days I use that gym bunny as motivation to stay on the treadmill a little bit longer.
The type of membership: I'd first go with the 3mos. plan just to see if its something you will like. I joined planet fitness for the year and hardly went. It was a big waste of money. These days I piggyback with my sister, she has unlimited guest privileges. Most of the time I walk my dog as exercise. Then I will do a workout out video.

AUGUSTREADY SparkPoints: (1,560)
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
Posts: 86
8/12/13 6:36 P

Totally agree with all the comments so far...

I felt just like you the first time I stepped into a my head, I still think I look like I did over 15 years I never look at beginners and think "loser"...I think, good on them!!

Especially when you see people losing weight, building muscle, getting fitter...

All the regulars I know (and we're probably just the types you are afraid of right now!!) always look at "newbies" and think GO FOR IT!!

Like someone else said, we were all beginners once, and we're always really happy when someone starts a journey, sticks at it and starts to see results.

We're with you all the way!!!

MCASKEY6 SparkPoints: (28,471)
Fitness Minutes: (59,066)
Posts: 369
8/12/13 6:21 P

I work out at a college rec center gym, filled with frat guys and sorority girls. And the one thing I have learned is that for the most part people pay you no attention, and when they do notice you, they are usually really nice. We’re all there for the same reason. Most of the time I have my ear buds in, I’m rockin’ out, and I’m concentrating on pushing myself harder.

Just remember, that “goddess” on the next treadmill over was a beginner once too. So if you’re feeling silly or awkward just look over there and remind yourself that if you stick with it, one day you will be just like her.

People who dress up for the gym, have too much time on their hands. I wear long pants, capris, or knee length shorts, because I don’t want to have to worry about them riding up while I’m working out. I have just regular old sneakers. My hair is usually in a sloppy pony tail and pinned out of my face.

And a sweat soaked shirt is a badge of honor in the gym (just be sure to wash your gym clothes regularly). I love it when I’m really dripping with sweat, because I know that with each drop, I’m burning more fat.

I say, jump in. Give the 3 months a shot, really dedicate yourself to eating healthier and working out every day, and see how it goes.

Edited by: MCASKEY6 at: 8/12/2013 (18:32)
ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,155)
Fitness Minutes: (294,373)
Posts: 27,077
8/10/13 5:17 P


You've already received some good advice. I agree. Most people in the gym are minding their own business. They just want to be done and get out. No one will be staring and if they do, smile at them ! Nothing embarrasses a person more than realizing they got caught staring at someone. just smile, who knows, that person may even smile back. If so, you've just made a friend.

$10 a month is a really great deal for a gym membership. When I got my first gym membership, it was $40 a month and I thought that was a great deal.

Don't be afraid to join a gym or use the equipment. Once you've paid your fee, you have every right to be there just like everyone else. Also, don't assume that that skinny person next to you was always skinny. look to the left and look to the right, that person may have been overweight at one time too.

We assume that only "fit" people go to gyms. No, gyms are for everyone regardless of age, sex, size or ability.

As for boob sweat ? happens to me. there's really no way around it unless you're wearing 2-3 layers. sweat happens. don't let it bother you because everyone else will be sweating too.

One thing you may want to find out is when the gym is most crowded. You may prefer working out when it's a bit quieter. that's why I prefer going to the gym as early in the morning as possible. nights tend to be packed and I had crowds.

anyway, don't be afraid to give the gym a try. it sounds like a good deal.

GEVANS7 SparkPoints: (289,193)
Fitness Minutes: (169,012)
Posts: 2,120
8/10/13 4:38 P

$10 a month is what I pay and it is an excellent price. Sometimes I only go twice a month but at least I'm not paying $50 a month. Trust me, no one is watching you - they are all concerned with their own workout. I wear long yoga pants and a loose top with a sports bra.

It could be the best decision you ever made and a rewarding start to fit life. Take the plunge.

MOINSDEMOI Posts: 2,409
8/10/13 2:58 P

Many of us have felt some level of anxiety going to a gym for the first time - but it will be okay. I agree with an earlier post capri pants are the way to go because they cover a multitude of sins and give you much more freedom of movement than shorts. Walmart carries the Danskin brand.

Since it is a work-related gym, you many know some of the people who work out at the same time as you who could turn into gym buddies and life-long friends.

I am excited for you. Let us know how it works out for you. emoticon

CHARLOTTE1947 SparkPoints: (44,675)
Fitness Minutes: (55,530)
Posts: 1,751
8/9/13 9:53 P

Definitely join! And go on a schedule religiously.

Look at the trainers in the classes. They have sweat (sweet) spots all over the place. That's just proof you're working.

Go to the store. Buy something that's flexible so you can move freely. Also, buy something attractive; choose your favorite colors. I wear capris too because I don't want my panties showing when I bend over or do stretches.

Before you go, do your hair and make-up. Look your best to boost your confidence.

The evaluation by the staff is private. They are courteous and helpful. They want you to succeed! I go back every 6 months for my fitness tune-up and get new exercises and recommendations. My fitness trainer and I are on a first name basis now.

As to the gawkers, forgetaboutthem. They're busy watching themselves in the mirrors.

Go! Have fun! Get FIT!

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
8/9/13 8:28 P

Wow, that is a GREAT price and it sounds like there is a ton of support and guidance being offered.

You should really take advantage of the opportunity. There is nothing to be scared of--just get yourself there and do it! Nobody cares if you sweat at the gym...that is what you are supposed to be doing at the gym.

I have pretty good legs, but I don't wear shorts to the gym just because they move and ride up in unpredictable and sometimes uncomfortable ways. Capris are much better for staying in places. Target has good ones for very reasonable prices.

Why would you only join for 3 months? Fitness is something that you need to do every day, all the time...

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
8/9/13 5:46 P

The most important thing to remember about the people in the gym is that they don't care about you. Seriously! 99% of them are thinking about their workout. That gym bunny in the spandex isn't worried about you, she's trying not to fall of the treadmill. The guy in the weights staring at himself while he lifts isn't concerned about your skill level, he's trying to maintain good form so he doesn't hurt himself. And even the ones you see as attractive are worried about others seeing and making fun of their trouble zones!

In short, it's not about them. They don't think about you, and if they do, it's because they either want the equipment you're on. If they're like me, they might even be thinking "you go girl!"

There's a woman at my gym who is amazing. She's about 100 lbs heavier than me. But she' up there twice as much as me, she's got an intensity that's unbelievable, and she tackles the scary cardio machines like the stair climber. And when I see her, I always smile. ANd think: "She's working hard!"

Don't worry about other people. The teeny, tiny percentage who might be thinking negative thoughts won't say anything anyway

NYDAIRYFARMWIFE SparkPoints: (4,403)
Fitness Minutes: (2,286)
Posts: 6
8/9/13 3:13 P

Capris are a great suggestion! I never would have thought of them. Thank you for all the advice!

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
Fitness Minutes: (69,867)
Posts: 3,526
8/9/13 2:34 P

We all have those fears at every level. For me, I overcame it by taking a deep breath and just getting in there and doing it. After the first workout, I realized no one even noticed me, or if they did, I didn't notice them noticing me!

I don't wear shorts - I wear capri pants. I like them much better than shorts, and you don't have to worry about them riding up. For t-shirts I wear under armour charged cotton or champion loose fit. They wick moisture away and don't show noticeable sweat marks - I also suggest darker colors. They are less likely to show than lighter colors.

I think knowing your fitness level is important. That way you know where you are starting from, and it is a great way to measure progress.

Best of luck, I know you can do it!

NYDAIRYFARMWIFE SparkPoints: (4,403)
Fitness Minutes: (2,286)
Posts: 6
8/9/13 2:11 P

I took a tour of our fitness center at work and I plan to overcome my fears and join next week. The tour guide promised to walk me through each machine, they will do an accessment of my current fitness level, and will even recommend a fitness routine for me and update it every 3 months so I can reach my goals. This both excites me and terrifies me because I've never been in a gym other than this one tour at 10am where all I saw was retirees doing physical fitness exercises. There were no spandex people jogging 10 mph on a treadmill. I'm not sure I can handle jiggling next to a spandex goddess.

Now I just have to decide which membership I want. He recommended 3 months to get into the routine. If I go for the year it's $10 a month. The three months isn't much more but the entire amount is due at once. If I signed up for an entire year wouldn't it motivate me to use it for the entire year? Seeing $10 come out of my paycheck each month should remind me, "Hey dummy! You wanted this!"

How do you overcome gym fears? Do I really want to know my fitness level!?! Crap. I'm going to have to buy gym shoes.... and shorts that won't ride up in the middle when my thighs rub together.... and I need to figure out what shirt to buy that won't cause boob sweat half moons on my chest.

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