In order to get myself sweating for the wedding (and just kick my fitness routine into high-gear in general), I've been going to my gym almost every day for four months. Apparently, a few other members have taken note. Recently, several guys -- total strangers, mind you -- have told me flat-out I've "improved," "shaped up," "look good." It's weird and hilarious all at once. Who do they think they are to comment on my fitness?! Why are they even paying attention? So strange!
And then I realized that even though my fiance teases me about being oversensitive sometimes, I must have a pretty thick skin when it comes to this. After all, my recent experience is exactly the kind of thing that totally scares people off of joining a gym in the first place! No one wants to feel judged, for better or worse, while trying to better themselves physically.
That's why there's even a gym chain now that caters to overweight people with more than 50 pounds to lose. Because going to a gym filled with perfectly fit people can be intimidating. So can feeling like you're being watched or having to compete against other members. Those are just a few reasons we would rather stay home, buy our own treadmill, call walking the dog their workout, all so we could keep putting off that dreaded gym membership.
I definitely felt nervous about going back to the gym after not having been in a while. I worried that I'd look silly, not fit enough, or lame by only being able to do 20 minutes on the elliptical or whatever it is I started out doing. But then you get stronger and more motivated as you get stronger. And you pop in your headphones and you just don't care what anyone has to say or think about how you look or what you're doing. Because it's none of their damn business!
Still, totally understandable though if you could use some help getting from point A ("No way am I ever stepping foot in a gym!") to point B ("Screw you guys, I'm gonna workout!"). I've found working out with a friend is a huge help. Making plans to meet up and take a class together can automatically have you feeling more comfortable. Investing in some cute, comfortable workout wear you feel good in never hurts. And I can't recommend working out with a great trainer enough -- if only for a session or two to get a good, old-fashioned confidence boost!
Because ultimately, even once you start to get more fit, other people can still make you feel insecure or embarrassed ... But only if you let them. And you can't! Because you've got to be committed to working out for no one other than yourself.
How do you feel about working out in public? How do you handle your insecurities?
Image via CherryPoint/Flickr