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MARGARITTM's Photo MARGARITTM Posts: 5,688
1/30/14 9:40 A

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i have to agree with tri baby

TRI_BABE's Photo TRI_BABE Posts: 2,938
1/29/14 8:21 P

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Sorry but I have to say it. Why is it OK to call someone "skinny B...ch" but names for someone who is overweight are bad?

My sister felt conspicuous at the gym and she wasn't overweight. I think people need to watch what they say about others, discrimination works both ways.



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13UST_IT's Photo 13UST_IT Posts: 84
1/29/14 8:20 P

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When I was in college, I had a friend who experienced similar issues. Eventually she asked if she could tag along when I was going one time, and she ended up making it a habit. Even though we did very different workouts, I think she felt more comfortable knowing I was there and not having to walk in/out alone. Something like this might help you initially gain comfort with the situation, and after a short while hopefully you'll see that people of all shapes, sizes, and physical fitness are there and that most people are much more concerned about their own workout than yours! Good luck!

Vanessa, St. Louis, MO

Because I'm worth it!


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JEN77001HOU SparkPoints: (245)
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1/29/14 8:02 P

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Your money is the same color as theirs, and just as good as that of the skinny B..ch in the locker room next to you.
And that gym, they only want your money!
So, Girl! Stand tall, walk with purpose, and get in there!
You paid to be there!



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SDGRL1960 Posts: 20
1/29/14 6:40 P

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I have joined the gym but always quit I want to start going again but hate going by myself



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PATQUILTER's Photo PATQUILTER Posts: 18
1/29/14 3:13 P

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I felt the same way . but went to the gym with daughter and gr. daughter so started to learn about some of the stuff there . and each time I got more comfortable




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RHOLICKY's Photo RHOLICKY SparkPoints: (10,381)
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1/29/14 3:02 P

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I used to be petrified by the thought of the gym. I thought the same thing: I don't know what I am doing and people will think I am a freak, and I am fatter than anyone there, which made me extra self conscious. The thing that helped me get over it was working out with a personal trainer.

Even if you do it just a few times it really helps you feel confident about the equipment. They give you a routine so you know what you are doing, and they show you the equipment so you don't have to worry about looking clueless as you are randomly pushing buttons or dropping weights on your feet etc. They show you good form and how many reps to do and all that good stuff, so you can walk in looking confident with a plan. Not that anyone really cares what you do anyway, but it should allay any concerns you were having if they WERE actually paying attention to you. I would do one session a week with a trainer, and would go in by myself feeling more confident the rest of the week because I had a plan written out by my trainer and I just followed that plan looking confident and efficient.

Unfortunately I lost my job and couldn't afford the trainer any more, but I kept going to the gym because I was comfortable having been eased into with a professional.

Another thing that helped me was going with my sister. There is always safety in numbers, and also it is a great motivator. If one of us didn't want to go, the other one would say "come on, lets do it", so 9 times out of 10 we would end up going.

Also, if you truly have social anxiety disorder, they do treat that. My sister had that...you should talk to a doctor and see if there is something you could do.


Edited by: RHOLICKY at: 1/29/2014 (15:19)

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SENIORSWIMMER's Photo SENIORSWIMMER SparkPoints: (15,986)
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1/29/14 1:33 P

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Many years ago I was afraid of the water. I was 25 years old and sick of being afraid of the water. I was shy, but I wouldn't say I had social anxiety. My anxiety involved getting in the water.

I found a class at the YWCA called Fraidy Cats. It was specifically for people who were afraid of the water. You could repeat the class as needed until you were confident enough to take beginning swimming. It was great. I only had to take it once, and I actually learned to swim a little. Then I went through beginning and intermediate swimming. I'll never forget the first day I swam a mile. Then I moved to the YMCA for advanced stroke mechanics and life guard training. Awesome experiences.

It's important to face your fear. Perhaps there is a group that meets on campus specifically for people with social anxiety. I recommend going to the gym and finding that therapy group.

I agree with many on the comments that the people you meet at the gym are more concerned about what you think of them than they are judging you. Having a comment prepared ahead of time for someone who might be rude would help. I have horrible ugly thighs, so that was an issue for me. However, it did help me get in the water fast!

Good luck with your journey. Baby steps. One tiny victory at a time.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.


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FITTEREVERYDAY's Photo FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (13,207)
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1/29/14 1:19 P

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I think you just have to go in with the mindset that most people won't be judging you and those who do are the one's with the problem. I don't have the means to go these days but when I was in college and had it offered to me for a small fee I went a lot (and I was overweight the entire time mind you). I saw people of all sizes and shapes and personally never felt judged for mine.

Mostly people mind their own business (maybe this is a Michigan thing though) and concentrated on their own workout. I even did fitness classes and I am not coordinated and I got no flak for either being big (but mid-range for my classes really, there were plenty of folks who were bigger than me) or being clumsy (and I was easily the most clumsy). I went to have fun and get fit and everyone else seemed to also.


~Kelly~

Time is EST - US/Michigan

"Food is not love, comfort, or an anxiety pill."

Time to stop trying to solve things with food (lack of included) that food won't solve. Food solves one thing: bodily hunger.

Fall 5% Challenge, Team Cloverleafs,
GW - 145.5


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BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,251)
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1/29/14 12:54 P

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I will tell you, I Never thought I would be at a Gym! I now go as much as my schedule permits, and I love to go. Just the other day, at my Gym I ran into my Boot Camp trainer, she told me that a girl in my once a week class asked her my age, because she said that she can't keep up with me! I loved hearing that. The girl is fit and 25 years old! I am in my early 40's!! It felt great and now I am even More Motivated!!! It all happens with lots of work and commitment. You too will get to that point where you want to go often!

VICTORIA19651's Photo VICTORIA19651 Posts: 45
1/29/14 12:27 P

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Thank you Kim for the very good advice. I was just joining a gym today and I was worried about other people. I'll focus on myself. Thanks for that.



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MICHELLE73101's Photo MICHELLE73101 Posts: 288
1/29/14 10:30 A

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Another article inspired by sparkpeople message boards!

7 Thoughts for Overcoming Gym Anxiety:
findingyourfitplace.com/2014/01/29/7-thoug
hts-for-overcoming-gym-anxiety/


Check out my Website and Blog for a complete guide to finding the Fit Life: Diet, Exercise, Inspiration and some of my best tips and tricks.

Fitness Found:
findingyourfitplace.com/


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DORINAKT's Photo DORINAKT Posts: 153
1/29/14 6:52 A

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just by going there...a trainer gave me a program for a month and this is it..



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FLORADITA SparkPoints: (36,163)
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1/29/14 12:33 A

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I would really recommend having an orientation session with the gym's trainer. Having someone take you through all the equipment and setting out fitness and workout goal's with you will go along way towards you becoming comfortable with the gym.

"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abe Lincoln


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KILYGE70's Photo KILYGE70 Posts: 48
1/29/14 12:11 A

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Good luck Friday! I prefer to work out at home or outside but on occasion will work out at the gym. Most of the people in the gym are too busy to even try and make eye contact. There are a few that use the gym to meet people but you can choose to either acknowledge others or stick to your self. If you're unfamiliar with the equipment, don't be afraid to ask someone who works at the gym. Its in the gyms best interest to make sure you use their equipment safely. Otherwise read instructions when posted and go for it! I've learned a lot from watching others and reading about correct forms. I'm sure you have some great compensatory skills which you can use when you start to feel anxious. Stay in the moment and focus on yourself--you'll see the idea is much worse than the actual act of going. Probably the most important thing I learned was I needed to work out with the correct weight and equipment for me. I didn't have to prove myself to strangers or try to compete. I also benefited from using my ipod with only one earbud so I could also hear what was around me--(safety). The music and my grounding techniques helped.



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ACACIA21's Photo ACACIA21 SparkPoints: (47,199)
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1/28/14 8:57 P

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quit the gym when they didnt take good care of the pool or sauna. Yuck. I work out at home now- no anxiety!

Michelle
Shell


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1/28/14 7:32 P

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The biggest thing I regret about undergrad is not using the gym. I was fat my entire four years there, I paid for the gym in my fees like you and it was walking distance from my dorm room. I felt the same as you. But honestly, and I mean this, everyone is too concerned about themselves to be worrying about you. They either feel they are overweight and are concentrating on not being judged themselves or they are in shape and want people to notice their bodies. Either way, you are off the hook because it isn't about you. Everyone there is concentrating on one person, and it isn't you.

You WILL regret it in the future if you do not go. This is the perfect time for you to concentrate on building a healthy body and mind. College was the best time of my life but it would have been even better if I had toughed it outand gone to the gym. Girl go to the gym. GO! Put you head phones on and jump on the cardio machine. Take a book if you can do both at once.

I have extreme social anxiety, to the point that I locked myself in my house for three years for fear of being judged inadequate. Now whenever I have to do something social (and I force myself to do social things) I put my game face on and tell myself that I don't give a flying f*ck what people think of me....it works about 7 out of 10 times.

Go to the gym girl!

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Ghandi



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TRI_BABE's Photo TRI_BABE Posts: 2,938
1/28/14 6:15 P

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One thing about going with other people - just be careful of who you go with. I went to the gym in college with my sister - who is an introvert. She stayed away from me the whole time and it sort of was making me mad. After we left I was like, what the heck, I thought we were going to workout together? And she was all irritated with me saying that all the guys were staring at me and whatnot and she felt very, very awkward and conspicuous and hated it (I was extremely fit in college).

I had no idea about anything like that and didn't mean to make her feel badly. So going with someone else can go either way.



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MICHELLE73101's Photo MICHELLE73101 Posts: 288
1/28/14 5:51 P

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Oh wow - I totally used to get gym anxiety back when I didn't go often and was much less fit than I am now. I assumed EVERYONE around me went all the time an knew EXACTLY what they were doing...

HA!

I practically live at the gym now, so I can tell you with confidence that at least 75% of the people you see there on any given day are just as uncomfortable or as unfamiliar as you are.

And the people who are there all the time - the trainers, staff, and gym rats like me - are NOT judging you, so you shouldn't feel anxious.

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. It is the ONLY WAY that it will ever grow. Ask questions, be safe, and be proud that you have taken the initiative to get fit.

Check out my Website and Blog for a complete guide to finding the Fit Life: Diet, Exercise, Inspiration and some of my best tips and tricks.

Fitness Found:
findingyourfitplace.com/


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TRI_BABE's Photo TRI_BABE Posts: 2,938
1/28/14 4:09 P

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I first joined a gym when I was 13 and it was an all women's gym so no, I didn't have that problem. However, some gyms have smaller women's areas that are rarely used from what I've seen, you could start there. If it gets bad you can workout at home. I do that and don't have any anxiety problems - just because it's convenient.



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CAFFEINEPIRATE's Photo CAFFEINEPIRATE Posts: 74
1/28/14 4:01 P

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I really want to thank everyone for the encouraging words. It's comforting to know that almost everyone starts out at this point, and eventually finds a level of familiarity with it. My social anxiety has always kept me from doing things, but I don't want it to have so much control over me anymore. I'm a psych major so I know how ridiculous it is to believe that I'm going to go into that gym and every single person is going to look at me and laugh.

I've made plans to go after class this Friday and take a look around. They do offer personal trainers, as someone mentioned, which cost a little extra depending on how many sessions you want. I may set aside some money to do that.

Thanks again everyone! I really, really appreciate it.



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FUNSIZESANDY's Photo FUNSIZESANDY SparkPoints: (26,440)
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1/28/14 2:09 P

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I really agree with lulubelle65. It's easy to look at gym time as a punishment, for which you wear clothes that you would be embarrassed to be seen anywhere else in. Put your hair up cute, some lip gloss, and treat yourself to a couple of cute outfits. If nothing else, rework some old shirts like they do on pinterest. I am reluctant to buy clothes for myself, even workout clothes because I plan to make them too big for me. What I do is set a goal- every 5k race I do, I buy a new outfit! You got this!



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SKNYMOMWANNABE's Photo SKNYMOMWANNABE SparkPoints: (15,272)
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1/28/14 10:44 A

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@Loser2014, way back when... I was a body builder. I was at the gym a lot..I would see these women hiding in the corners, trying to stay invisible. I would usually walk up to them and say, "everyone has DAY one, here's to seeing you around a lot!"

I would try and remember a few names if they became regulars.If I saw them and they had dropped weight I always complimented them or if they were having their butt handed to them in a fitness class I'd say something like, "welcome to the hard core club, you're in"

I was mid 20's to mid 30's. A lot of these women were "old" (40+) housewives, ironically I'm almost 50 and right there WITH them. However there would be some women my age or younger through the years and neither myself of any of the other fir folks ever judged, it's not the deal.

Go, do it and go back the next day. eventually you will be saying "hi" the next shrinking
violet hiding in the gym?

If it's a ma emoticon tter of not knowing how to work out, hire a trainer for 1-2 sessions and learn the equipment, form and have she/he design a plan for you

Good Luck! EVERYONE HAS A DAY ONE!

"Hope lives when people remember."


FEAR NO FISH!

"Run Forest, Run!"

sydnay.typepad.com/blog/parenting/

Sydney-Cali


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ATTACKCAT's Photo ATTACKCAT Posts: 337
1/28/14 10:39 A

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Everyone is different, and for each person a different approach works.

I have found that doing things gradually helps.

For me, in the beginning, having headphones and my e-reader or a magazine worked best. If I'm on the elliptical, stair climber, or walking on the treadmill (doesn't work with jogging), I can just listen to music and catch up on my reading. If I'm engrossed in what I am reading, I don't have a chance to feel self-conscious.

I started with mostly cardio (it's desperately needed anyway) but then moved to slowly adding a few weight machines in. After a few weeks, when I was feeling comfortable with the gym itself, I started to gradually add classes.

- Diane
Central Time Zone


"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" ~Ghandi


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NOBLEEQUESTRIAN's Photo NOBLEEQUESTRIAN SparkPoints: (5,321)
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1/28/14 9:07 A

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Time. You'll get over it sooner or later. I did. It's always anxious to be around 'fit' and athletic people at the gym but as you become more athletic, and comfortable in the gym, the anxiety will fade.

NIKEGRL688's Photo NIKEGRL688 SparkPoints: (17,024)
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1/28/14 8:37 A

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I know the way I overcame my fear was working out with someone else. I would walk in talking with them, do the treadmill and continue to talk to them and eventually, I did it without a friend and only music. I know it seems silly but it helped me. Good luck

I will be married in Aug. 2014 and be on a honeymoon shortly after in Europe.


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SEAGLASS1215's Photo SEAGLASS1215 Posts: 220
1/28/14 5:15 A

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Great advice here...and if I may add, if someone IS looking at you and judging you - so what? Whatever they are thinking is in their head - I highly doubt someone would actually look at someone else in the gym and make a nasty comment. You have no way of knowing what these people are thinking about, nor should you care. Their opinions and 'judgments' should not affect how you feel about yourself. Don't give them the power to intimidate you! Especially since you don't really know what is going on in their heads. I once belonged to a gym where this guy always seemed to be staring at me and it got me so upset I quit going. Why did I give him that power over me? He never said a word to me but I let myself think he was judging me. And even if he was - if he was thinking I was a fat slob or whatever - so what?? That's his opinion - let him think it, why should I care? He and his opinion are not worth my time or attention. I've come to realize that no one is entitled to make me feel bad about myself.

Edited by: SEAGLASS1215 at: 1/28/2014 (05:17)
The most over-used antidepressant is food. The most under used antidepressant is exercise.

Food is fuel, not my therapist.


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VWMOMMY's Photo VWMOMMY SparkPoints: (8,941)
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1/28/14 2:28 A

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Ijust got a gym membership this month and have been 23 days this month so far. I also have anxiety and worried a lot about what I was going to look like working out in the gym. Since I am a night owl anyway I have been going to the gym after putting my little man to bed. I often have the gym to myself and there is almost never more than a couple of other people. I still struggle with doing strength training while others are there, though (especially guys). There's no reason for this and no one has ever said anything or acted in any way that would make me feel like this but I always feel like I will look stupid anyway. Now that I have been going for a few weeks I am getting a little more confident on the machines and am trying to force myself to complete my workout even if others are there. It's a work in progress.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about fear causing problems in my life. Fear causes avoidance and inaction. That's what made me 40+ pounds overweight in the first place. The only real antidote for fear is action. Once you suck it up and do it the first time you will probably find that the reality was not as bad as the anticipation. Good luck and be strong! emoticon

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.- Mark Twain


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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,172
1/28/14 2:11 A

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For those who have commented about the fear of looking stupid with equipment they don't know how to use, ask for some help from the gym staff. It is in their interests and yours that you know how to use the equipment safely and effectively, and any decent gym should be happy to show you how - especially if you ask if there is a quieter time that suits them (rather than their busiest time of day).

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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ALPHACHICK64 Posts: 60
1/27/14 4:12 P

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If your gym offers personal trainers that would be a great place to start. The trainer can set you up on a program and teach you how to use the equipment so you'll go in with a plan and knowledge. As everyone has said most people are totally focused on themselves and have their own insecurities. Hold your head up high and be proud that you are taking care of yourself!



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1/27/14 2:55 P

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I am in my fortys. I really really regret Not going to gym in my younger days! I too feared the Gym. How I over came this was thinking that my body was getting out of shape,while others were working out! I now go to the Gym, I focus only on me. I don't look around, and compare. I work out for ME, and its paying off. :].Plus I feel awesome when I sweat and work the elliptical!!

Edited by: BANDOMOM1 at: 1/27/2014 (14:58)
REBECANOLA's Photo REBECANOLA Posts: 3,278
1/27/14 1:33 P

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I used to have this feeling that I was "too fat" to go to the gym. Silly, right? When I was in college, I used our gym with a friend, but when I went to grad school I was super self-conscious and didn't go. I was afraid people I knew would see me in all my fat spandex clad glory and secretly make fun of me. Instead of using the gym that was included in my student fees, I used my meager funds to buy an elliptical and I exercised at home. Years later, weight crept back up and I became a faculty member at the same university I at which I went to grad school and I paid for the use of the gym. I was still self conscious, but came to care less and even less as I became more used to the place and a regular. I just went, put my headphones on and did what I had to do for me. When I'd start new classes, like spin or Zumba, I'd worry that I'd be the fattest person there or I wouldn't be able to keep up, but that wasn't the case. Instead of judging me, I found that people complimented me on my gym habit. I was the one judging myself, not others. I'm still a bit wary about doing certain types of exercises in front of other people, but it doesn't keep me out of the gym. So my advice would be to go, wear something you find comfortable (personally snazzy gym clothes help me feel more confident than frumpy sweats), and focus on yourself.

“I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn.”

-Dorothy Parker


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VARELSE's Photo VARELSE Posts: 69
1/27/14 1:28 P

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I never did overcome it. I combat it every time I visit the gym. Basically, I just go in there focused on MY workout plan, and getting that done. After the 1st 5-10 minutes of that, the social anxiety recedes into the background and the pain takes over :D

One thing that does help is to remember that the majority of people in a gym are very focused on how they look and what they are in the gym to accomplish, not on how YOU look or what you're doing.



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RAESUN54's Photo RAESUN54 SparkPoints: (75,030)
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1/27/14 11:59 A

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I too have Gym anxiety. I went for Physical Therapy for a shoulder and elbow injury and it was a small Gym environment but I felt so embarrassed knowing people could be watching me do the different exercises and thinking things. So I won't go to a Gym. I prefer to do the exercises at home. When I do my walking it is now on a treadmill, slow speed or with my daughter and son later in the evening. I am a very shy person so that causes anxierty.
Any suggestions?

emoticon

My name is Rae and I live in S Florida. I have been a member with SparkPeople since 2008. I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. I have been cancer free since December 2012.




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MONTANASUSAN's Photo MONTANASUSAN Posts: 60
1/27/14 11:22 A

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Perhaps try going with a friend at first. Also, as others have said, many other people feel the same way you do, plus a lot of people at the gym are only concerned about themselves and they're not looking at you. Oh, and no one cares how much weight you lift or don't lift!

"Be yourself -- everybody else is already taken."


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JAYDEE16's Photo JAYDEE16 Posts: 255
1/27/14 10:50 A

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I recently joined the gym at my local YMCA and I feel EXACTLY the same way you do. The first time is the hardest. It gets easier each time you go. If you can get yourself there once, you will see it's not as bad as you think. You might not be comfortable, but the anxiety is more manageable than you imagine it will be.

I was the same as you in college. I don't think I set foot in the fitness center area of our sports and rec building ONCE after the official campus tour was over. It is something I truly, truly regret to this day. My sister started college this past fall, and my biggest piece of advice to her (and to all college students) - When you are in college you have free access to a standard of living that you will PAY THROUGH THE NOSE to recreate after you graduate. Fitness centers, health and wellness services, etc etc. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. You will never in your life have so much access to these things as you do now, because it will more than likely be YEARS before you can afford them as a self-sufficient adult. Take advantage of everything you have available to you now and you will have no regrets!

Best of luck! I will be right there with you in spirit, feeling every bit as anxious and self-conscious, believe me! The only thing that matters is that we show up and try our best!



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DRKPKING's Photo DRKPKING Posts: 75
1/27/14 10:44 A

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Think about this..many of the people at the gym struggle with the SAME issue



Eager to learn and be of help where I can!

KPK
aka Geek Goddess (GG)
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Starting weight: 245 lbs (Jan, 2013)
Diabetes diagnosis: 227 lbs
Post TKR (2nd) 202 lbs (Dec 26, ,2013)
March 8, 2014:
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Target weight #3 : 185.0 lbs (July, 2014?)

Goals: Recovery from knee replacements, and training to return to golf, dancing, and Arizona as much as I possibly can!


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ARCHIMEDESII's Photo ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (140,618)
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1/27/14 10:16 A



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LOSER2014,

You shouldn't be afraid to go to the gym to get a workout. As you mentioned in your post, you paid good money to the university in recreational fees, don't let that money go to waste. Use those facilities.

I know it may seem like people are staring at you, but they aren't. Most people who go to the gym just want to get in, get their workout done and get out. People really are in their own little worlds.

The fact is, the gym isn't just for fit people. It's for everyone of all shapes, sizes and ages. You have every right to be there are they do. If you feel self concious about going, then I would suggest going at a time when it's really quiet. Go when it's quiet to get used to the atmosphere. Once start going on a regular basis, you'll start feeling better.

Don't be afraid to go to the gym. Even if someone stares at you, just smile back at them. Who knows, you make a new friend in the process.

Remember, look to the left and look to the right, that fit person next to you may have been overweight once themselves. We assume that all those fit people in the gym have always been fit. But that's just not so. There are many fit people who used to be overweight.

Take a leap of faith !







MIAMEOWS's Photo MIAMEOWS SparkPoints: (5,181)
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1/27/14 10:05 A

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I also have social anxiety!

I joined the gym and it took me two months before I could actually go. I was scared to death about people judging me. I'm okay now after about 6 weeks of going. I even try to make eye contact with people and smile. I am still scared to try anything "new". I use the cardio machines, but since I don't know how to use the weight machines I am too scared to try. I'm afraid I will look like an idiot or get hurt (or that I will take too long and hold people up and they will get made at me) I KNOW these things are in my head, but it doesn't make it any easier.

The first time you go will be the hardest. The second time will be hard, the third time, too. But if you just go and keep going it will get easier every time. I know eventually I will try the weight machines, but I'm not ready yet and that's okay.

I know it sucks. But if you just do it once it will help break the cycle. Good luck!!!



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KABMPH's Photo KABMPH SparkPoints: (30,607)
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1/27/14 8:35 A

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I get anxious in situations where I don't know exactly how things work. That means I get anxious at the gym if I'm using machines I'm not familiar with, or in classes where there is a lot of equipment and I'm not familiar with the routine.

Honestly, I avoid the machines. But if I really wanted to use one, I might ask someone who works there for help. For classes at the gym, I just played along even if I felt stupid. Then I figured it out.

Good luck. I hope you can overcome your anxiety!



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MLAN613 SparkPoints: (159,708)
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1/27/14 8:04 A

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I am fortunate in that I have always enjoyed the gym. One thing that may help is that honestly, no one is looking at you and judging! They're too busy being there for their own healthy living.

Plus, if you give it a chance, you may actually meet some great people. I have been using my gym for 6 years and have made some great friendships.



LULUBELLE65's Photo LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (27,675)
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1/27/14 5:50 A

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I used to hate going to the gym, but as everyone here has been saying, no one really cares about you; they are all focused on themselves. Start with something non-threatening, maybe walking on the treadmill? Once you've done that, you can progress to using some of the more intimidating machines, or getting in the pool. And wear something that makes you feel comfortable and attractive. My workout clothes are all really cute, even though I could just as easily workout in an old tee-shirt. The emotional lift I get from having a cute, designed-for-working-out outfit makes me feel a lot more confident. Even if you don't want to spend money on work out clothes, find a bright, happy tee-shirt. Looking confident makes you feel confident.



Edited by: LULUBELLE65 at: 1/28/2014 (06:34)
If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out. ~~Jean Kerr

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin

Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks. ~~Marilyn Wann


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TYKERDAWG's Photo TYKERDAWG Posts: 60
1/26/14 11:45 P

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Hence, big, long marathons with thousands of runners! Enjoy your next one! Rock on, sista!



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GRAMMIEOFTWO Posts: 2,427
1/26/14 11:45 P

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I don't get anxious in the gym. I used to but that was a long time ago. I really don't pay attention to the other people and I just enjoy my workout.


Allie


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TYKERDAWG's Photo TYKERDAWG Posts: 60
1/26/14 11:43 P

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First of all, you're beautiful, so if someone's looking at you, they're probably admiring something lovely about you. Secondly, and this is a VERY important point in life no matter where you go: In most every social situation, most people by far are more concerned with how you are perceiving them than how they are perceiving you. Yep... research has proven it. We all tend to be very self-centered and concerned with others' perceptions of us. Chances are that most of the other people there are using the mirrors to pick themselves apart or examine the newest "rip" they attained. The best thing you can wear to the gym: your smile. Chances are, one of your biggest problems will be trying to get a workout in because a smiling person is an engaging person people like to talk to. And — there's nothing ridiculous about being socially anxious. If you can manage it, bring a friend to the gym with you!



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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,172
1/26/14 10:07 P

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When I am feeling self-conscious about exercising, I keep repeating to myself "Yes, but at least I am doing something about it".

I've never had to use this line on anyone, but it feels good to know I have a response ready if ever anyone was rude enough to comment.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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SAYERS997's Photo SAYERS997 SparkPoints: (2,615)
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1/26/14 8:34 P

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I had terrible anxiety in the beginning. I would put my headphones in before I left the dressing room (as loud as they would go) wear a baggy sweatshirt until I actually started working out and I would look down at the floor so noone could catch my eye...

Eventually I realized people were smiling and waving. No one was being judgemental but me :-) It took me awhile but now I don't put in the headphones until right before I start. I come out of the dressing room in my tanktop head held high, AND the best part a couple of the regulars have actually given me advice on how to maximize my workout....

I've been going to the gym since August and I am not sure how long it took me to start feeling comfortable but I tell everyone how awesome my gym and the people in it are now

-Stacey

Even slow progress is better than standing still ! :-)


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ZORBS13's Photo ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (101,408)
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1/26/14 8:03 P

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I have social anxiety but not when I am somewhere where I can be anonymous.

“Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most, define us.” - Deena Kastor

Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor
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FIELDWORKING's Photo FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (24,673)
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1/26/14 7:38 P

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I don't have social anxiety so I don't know how you feel. Is this something that happens when there are a lot of people around? If so, is there anyway to go early in the mornings? University gyms tend to be less crowded in the mornings (before 8 am).



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CAFFEINEPIRATE's Photo CAFFEINEPIRATE Posts: 74
1/26/14 7:09 P

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I recently transferred to a college that has an on-site fitness and recreation center. When we went on the campus tour last semester, I fell in love with it. It has equipment, workout space, a pool....pretty much everything you could ever possibly want in a gym. The fee for use is automatically taken out of my tuition, so I thought I would have absolutely no excuse not to go.

Wrong.

I am absolutely petrified of the thought of going in and working out. I have social anxiety regardless of situation (some of the things that trigger it are hilarious from an outsider's perspective), and the gym has very suddenly become one of those places I want to avoid.

It seems so absurd NOT to take advantage of this resource, especially when I have a perfectly timed gap between two of my classes (a little over two hours), but I can't seem to shake the irritating fear of being judged.

So, I was wondering if anyone experienced something similar in the beginning? And how did you overcome it?



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