I failed with my gym goal
Thursday, January 19, 2012
After work I went to the gym and drove around the parking lot about three times. The first thing I noticed was how crowded it was. I almost couldn't find a parking spot, and then even when I did find a parking spot I was too chicken to park my car and go in. I saw some of the people going in, carrying their duffle bags, looking so thin and muscular etc... and in spite of the big "judgement free zone" sign I still chickened out. It looked busy and I felt very ugly. Never mind fat, never mind old. I didn't go because I felt UGLY. I zeroed in on this immediately even before I left the parking lot. My poor self-esteem is holding me back here. I am just too self-conscious and my anxiety won this battle.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
OH Rebecca.....I wish we lived closer, girlfriend.
You deserve to give yourself so much more credit than you are doing. YOU can do this. I was in your shoes 3 yrs ago...I felt the same way...but I DID IT. And now I am looking and feeling better. So if I CAN DO IT...and I AM OLDER than YOU!!!! YOU can!!!
1857 days ago
Been there, done that too.
Just keep trying. Find a better time maybe?
1858 days ago
Hey,kiddo- instead of saying "I failed at my gym goal", try I've succeeded at sharing my emotions and feelings with all my supportive friends, and I will never give up! I suggest thinking about your daughter- I know how much you love her. A friend of mine at work has a daughter in her twenties who is morbidly obese, has no self esteem, suffers from depression. My friend has tried everything to help her daughter (who finally had lap band surgery and is doing well now). But the reason I bring up your daughter is... think hypothetically. What if she grows up, God forbid, with weight issues and pretend she just told you the story you shared with us? What would you say to her if she said she felt Ugly....was ashamed... you would do EVERYTHING to boost her confidence, lift her up, and try to make her see herself as a beautiful person who is strong enough to overcome obstaces and face her fears!
I know that's who her mother is :-) You'll do this, Rebecca, and don't wait too long. The sooner you take those steps through that gym door, the sooner you'll feel so proud of yourself. And you will have conquered yet another obstacle along your path on this incredible journey...
Best of luck and lots of
1858 days ago
I'm so sorry you felt this way. However, I do want to point out that your profile picture says you lost 30 pounds. So, you are on your way to being one of those healthy, skinny girls. No matter your size or age, you are beautiful.
Sometimes going into gyms are scary. However, remember why you are there: you want to be healthy. You're doing this for you. You're wanting to live life to the fullest. No regrets. Most of those people in that gym aren't going to be looking at you, and if some do, they might be proud that you are trying to change your life. You can do this. Don't give up hope. Go into that gym when you are ready though.
1859 days ago
I am so sorry you felt this way, I don't think you have any reason to...
I'm pretty sure that if you'd entered the place you'd see you're not the only one who doesn't look like a fitness model.
On the other hand though, a gym with such a packed parking lot might not be very good news, considering you'd have to spend so much time every visit looking for a parking spot.
1859 days ago
You are too hard on yourself. You drove to the gym and parked, then what happened? Try giving yourself a pep talk if this happens again. List out what you've accomplished so far on this journey. Think of all our smiling faces cheering you on and encouraging you to walk into the gym. Do it for you and your family. You are worth it!!
Plus no one at the gym is looking at you. They are much too much into their own routines/worlds.
1859 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/20/2012 8:32:15 AM
Now then, Rebecca, this is Aunty Jo speaking! Everything everyone has said is absolutely correct, they all speak the truth. And if I can do it, at 60, with 50lbs to lose, ANYONE can do it. I truly do mean that.
I swear to you that the thought of it is far, far worse than actually doing it - in fact, if you choose your time carefully, you'd be astonished at how many old, out-of-shape people there are to smile at you, chat, be really really friendly - and I bet that they won't give a thought to seeing you as your mind is seeing you!
I have double arthritis in my feet and a long-term back injury. When I joined SP I didn't lose a thing in spite of being perfect with my nutrition. I went to the doctor, secretly hoping (can you believe this? It's terrible, really..) that I had a thyroid problem and medication would help me lose weight with relatively little effort; my mother and sister have under- and over-active thyroids, but I, the one with the life-long weight problem, have a perfectly functioning thyroid! So, when this new doctor said that I should think about joining a gym, I could have stabbed him. Had he not listened to me or read my notes about my screamingly painful feet? I went home in a mood of furious resentment. But there's a side to me which refuses to have someone see me as a wimp - and my husband has felt the angst, for 22 years, of a wife who he adores but who frustrates him with her good intentions to lose weight and then never sticks at diets or exercise. So, the glove had been thrown down and I rose to the annoying challenge. I rang the gym, spoke to a trainer, shot from the hip about my age, what I wanted to achieve, expressed my fears of shame, embarrassment, being silently judged by slim young things mincing around in spray-on lycra, just like the ones in most of the fitness vids. She was marvellous, assured me that I had it wrong, that the gym was full of all sorts of people, told me the times to avoid until I felt more confident. She suggested I go to see her and the gym, and I did so at a relatively quiet time. I decided to fork out £10 per session (around $16) for personal training because it was much cheaper than I thought and I knew we could afford it. (None of your London/New York/Hollywood prices here in our tiny town, about 1/3 the size of Northampton really!) IT WAS/IS MARVELLOUS! I am able to go during the day, and I promise you that there is NO-ONE judging me, there are some SMASHING friendly people there - in fact, I've only seen one young girl with a figure to die for, the rest have been 30+ and not in the best of shape, but all doing the best thing for their health. (and I bet some of them felt like I did if I got to speak with them some time!)
Honestly, Rebecca, you have this all wrong, my love! But I FULLY understand your mindset about this, because I had it! It's because of all the preconceived ideas we have, thanks to the fitness videos, airbrushed magazine articles and adverts; crikey, even in TV series like CSI, every female victim or forensic pathologist is like something from a beauty pageant, whereas in reality they are invariably just like the rest of us - some are pretty, some are thin, some are young and plain, some are whacky, some are a bit lumpy, older and slightly whiskery! So let's get a reality check here. In reality, most people are like you, me, the writers above - we have lumps, bumps, rolls, veins, hang-ups, body-image misconceptions, strong personalities, quiet personalities, you name it! You are one who always will encourage others to overcome their negative thoughts about themselves and I bet you don't sit in judgement of SP members who aren't glamour girls or hunks sporting 6-packs - so why would anyone judge you? OK, like us all, you haven't got a perfect figure. So what? What's one of those anyway? But here's the news: beauty isn't about body perfection; it's about something less tangible - it comes from within, reflected in a happy face, a genuine smile, a SPARKle in the eye and an impression that the person in question likes themselves.
So, here's a plan, my thoughts for what they are worth. It's what I did and it worked for me:
1. Ring the gym and try to speak to the senior trainer, and/or make an appointment to speak in person with them.
2. PUT YOUR MAKE-UP ON and treat the appointment at the gym as some sort of event where you want to make the best impression you can - this will put you in a more positive mood to start with. Even if you don't feel it inside, walk in with your head held high and force a smile of confidence, don't shuffle in as if being apologetic for even being there. Maximise your positivity. Sometimes, forcing yourself to look and act positively has the weird result of making you actually feel positive!
3. Be honest with the trainer, 'fess up, tell him/her your determination to lose weight but explain your under-confidence, at the moment, at exercising when there are lots of slim, fit guys and gals around. These trainers see this all the time in their line of work.
4. Find out the cost options and decide whether or not you can afford even 4 or 5 sessions of personal training to start with. If you can, it will be a commitment which you can't wriggle out of and the trainer will set you off on the right lines, as well as being with you as some sort of 'top cover' from all these people you are so (needlessly, actually) worried about! If you can't afford any personal training sessions, find out the 'quiet times' and determine that you ARE going to do this - and DO IT! Honestly, take it from me, sweetie, it really isn't as horrific as you imagine.
5. I live in England, where there aren't so many SP members around. But I know for a fact that in this Pioneer Valley Team (and as you know, I'm a member because of my deep association with the area) there are a lot of members in that relatively small area. I'm sure that one member of the PVT would agree to going to the gym with you if you really, really can't face it alone - why not ask?
Rebecca, I've seen your picture and you are most definitely not ugly, not grotesque, not any of the things you think you are! And I wish I was your age again! So, from Aunty Jo - you CAN do this. I wish I could be there to do it with you, to show you how your mind and misconceptions are the things holding you back. I KNOW you can do this, so take the plunge and get back to us all with the news that you've done so and guess what - it wasn't nearly as terrifying as you'd imagined!
With affectionate encouragement...
1859 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/20/2012 9:07:31 AM
I was one of those people that thought I was too fat to go to the gym. I was completely intimidated and thought I'd see nothing but skinny, fit people. Everyone was going to be watching me. Everyone was going to be judging me... "Hey fatty, go eat another donut why don't you!" Stuff like that. But you know what? I'm not always the biggest person in the gym and not a single person has given me a nasty look... not a single person has made a rude comment. In fact, I don't even think they pay me any mind because they are all there to get a workout. They do their workout, I do mine. When I walk past someone while switching machines... more often than not if they happen to make eye contact they SMILE! And after going regularly for a while I even get a nod or two as if to say, "Good job!"
You've only failed if you give up. So are you giving up?
1860 days ago
O M G ! I felt like I could have written this!!!
The only "difference" is that I joined! I joined on line... then because they already had my $ I knew I had to follow through.
The first day I went, my "trainer" must be all of 25 years old, and I swear she is a size MINUS 5! However - I tried not to hold that against her...
She was very nice - very attentive... I was self conscious the WHOLE time, in my baggy sweats, and feeling FAT - which I am... anyway... she was very professional... she helped me set up each machine and watched me do several reps...
I go to a gym where there is a "Woman's Only" area... the worst part about that is that it is WAAAAAYYYYYYY in the back... meaning I have to walk by everyone else to get to that area!!
However... I see many folks - different ages, body types, abilities... and yes while I am SO CERTAIN that they all look at me and wonder WHY I am there... well they can see why I am there, but I am sure most of them think I won't "make it"... I know that for ME I have to keep going!
I prefer the Curves that I went to... just more "comfortable" but where it is located is not easily accessible to my new job... so I go where I can.
I had a set back... last week... I didn't go at ALL! The week before I went one night after work and it was crowded... I couldn't even get on a bike after using the machines, so my WO was only 20 minutes... felt like I failed...so I skipped a whole week... WHO did that help? No one...
So my dear, ... try again... know that when you are there, there is no one really paying any attention to you... I seriously still feel ill ta ease there... but I am Hell bent on proving to MYSELF that I can overcome this and just DO IT!
Wish I could go with you - maybe together we could overcome our "fears" and make it FUN!
I hope you find the strength to try again... I know you will feel better in many ways once you do... take it from someone who truly understands and shares your fears and low self esteem... it is still hard to "want" to go... but it is getting easier every time I am there
1860 days ago
Try again! Please. Walk in and see the whole spectrum of people there at the time you plan to go to the gym. (it varies a lot through the day at my gym) I bet you will be surprised at the mix. I wish gyms hung before and after pictures so people could see that some of those lean fit people weren't lean and fit not so long ago. Might make them a little less intimidating.
1860 days ago
I say to keep trying. I have been in that place you describe. Maybe try going earlier or later. At least you made the attempt!
1860 days ago
I think you should just consider it as an unsuccessful attempt - maybe there's a less busy time to try?
1860 days ago
Oh my, you are too hard on you. I guarantee you will see all sorts of bodies in that gym. Some of those bodies will be younger than yours but others will be older. All sorts of bodies! Fat. Skinny. Muscular. Tall. Short.
If you WANT to go into that gym, you should go into that gym. Plan to take the steps to win. Soar over your anxiety and boost your self-esteem by planning how you will take the steps that will allow you to park the car, walk through the doors, and look around. Be prepared in advance with the words with sufficient power to stop your negative thinking. Silence that voice that pulls you down and makes you feel ugly. Strengthen the voice that says you are beautiful and you deserve to go anywhere you please!
Sending you hugs.
1860 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/19/2012 11:52:30 PM
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