This year I was so serious about my plan to Get Fit and Lose Weight, that I joined the gym on new year’s day. I even tried to GO to the gym on new year’s day, but turned out even actual gym people aren’t that silly so the gym was shut. Instead, I popped along the next day after work. There must have been a lot of two day hangovers, because it was super quiet. For my first time this was good. A lot of the Gym Insecurities came a few days later.
I’ve been to the gym many times before, and to many different gyms. Like many people I am a serial gym membership owner. I’ll go maybe thee times, then stop going forever. The gyms of Southampton have had so much of my money and I’ve not got a lot out out of it. This time will hopefully be different, though I’ve said that every single time before as well so we shall see.
Despite joining the gym so many times, I still get a lot of the same anxiety I got the very first time. Especially as a lager lady, it is a bit nerve-wracking walking through those doors and stepping up on the treadmill. Here are the things I find hardest:
What to wear to the gym?
I’m not going to beat about the bush here, I am an overweight lady. The kind of gym gear smaller people wear Is not going to work for me. In the future I would LOVE to be able to wear fancy leggings and crop tops to the gym, but right not I am still very much stuck in the baggy top and too-short leggings stage.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are loads of really nice looking and comfortable options for bigger ladies, but having just spent loads of money on Christmas I really can’t afford to buy a whole load of new clothes. My current choice of ill-fitting leggings (no way I’m wearing shorts), baggy hoody (cover tum), longline cami (cover bum), and age-old sports bra (doesn’t work) makes me very self-conscious. Not half as self-conscious as “proper” gym wear would though.
Clothes are a difficult area for me at the best of times. I have gained quite a lot of weight for various reasons, and many of the clothes I own just don’t fit so well anymore. The nice thin hoodies I used to wear to the gym are too tight now, so there’s no way I can wear those. All my leggings are cheapo Primark ones which show my pants, so I need something to cover my bum. The whole ensemble makes me very hot, but I know I need to put up with it to change it.
So far I’ve stuck to what I know. I know the treadmill, the cross trainer, the bike, the rower, and a few of the weights machines. That’s it. The gym I go to is split over three floors and I stay firmly on the top one. I wouldn’t know how to properly use anything on the other two floors.
Eventually I might get around to asking someone, but I’m still really self-conscious about being there in the first place. I don’t want to bother anyone yet with my questions. After a while of doing the same stuff all the time I will get bored, then I’ll have to ask someone to help me. One of the staff did offer to give me some circuits to do when I registered, but I was too far out of my comfort zone already so I declined. I wish I’d said yes now.
The problem is, if I don’t pluck up the courage to ask for help, I’ll eventually just stop going.
What do the fit people think of me?
The most likely answer? Nothing. Realistically, everyone else is just getting on with their thing in their own bubble. That’s not what my brain will have me think though. In my mind they see me how I see me – as a wibbly wobbly blob. They think “oh here’s another new year’s resolution that’ll be over before the end of the month”.
I’ve seen the stuff people say online about fat people at the gym. I need to constantly remind myself that most people don’t think like that, but there’s still a part of me that’s waiting for that stranger shaming, fat shaming lol to appear. It’s exhausting doing the exercise AND having this self-deprecating inner monologue going on. What I think of me probably isn’t how others see me. But what if it is?
All I want is to get myself fit and healthy. It’s a difficult task. I’m scared I’ll give up again, that these challenges will get the better of me again. I don’t want to fulfil the prophecy that I’ll quit. I don’t want to be sat here again in six months time talking about all this again. Most of all, I want to push past these challenges and become the best me I can be.