I'm not sure why. I enjoy working out. I was a member of a gym last year that I loved, and I went 4-5 times a week without issue. They are both university gyms, but I don't have access to the first one anymore.
I think it's mostly that it's often really busy, and I'm always the only fat person in there (I kid you not; I have yet to see someone in there could stand to lose more than 10lbs. Everyone is so fit!) I want to just suck it up and start going regularly, but I can't seem to make myself. I have noticed a few people staring at me while I work out, and it makes me really uncomfortable. I also don't know how to use the weight machines, and I'm too embarrassed to try to figure them out (since, because it's always busy, I'd probably be in peoples' way, and I hate looking like the fat chick who's clueless about fitness).
Do you think it's worthwhile to try to find a new gym (which I'd have to pay for... eeps!) or what? It's not an aversion to working out, it's an aversion to working out at that gym, in that environment. I found what seems to be a decent gym, but it's $80/month. Is that costly for a gym in a large downtown city? What do you guys pay for your memberships? Any advice is really appreciated.
I used to go to a gym like that also. You wouldn't catch me dead on those weights, i'd be fat for the rest of my life than have to go through that embarrassment, so i definitely feel what you're feeling on that subject.
As for switching gyms, I don't know what that would do exactly. I don't know where you're located, and as lame as this sounds, are there any non-gated apartment complexes around you? At the gyms there, there's hardly anyone ever in those places and if there is it's only one or two people and they're usually on the treadmill or don't know anything about the weights themselves either. Now I could be totally off here, but if you can, take the advantage!
Just keep swimming.. -Dori
Eat and exercise for the body you want, not for the body you have.
Hi, I understand where your coming from. I go to the YMCA and it is a beautiful facility, totally remodeled within the last 2 years. Sometimes I feel like people look when I first come in. But they look at everyone when they first come in. So do I. I don't keep my head down and watch my toes.
The family membership for 3 adults and 1 child for us is $53.00 a month.
I feel like it is well worth it. My daughter also has swimming lessons twice a week which is extra. I can take any fitness class for no additional fee and full use of pool, weights, bikes, ellipticals, treadmill, etc.
I know its easy for me to say this because I've never been in your shoes, but I just want to encourage you to try to ignore the others and just keep on doing what your doing. When I see larger people at the gym, they may see my look rest on them just a second longer (short of a stare of course), but actually I'm thinking "yay, that is awesome that they're here!". Then there are others who are very self-important and who lack empathy and positivity. These people can you know what! I know its so much easier said than done, but I don't think you should waste money on a different gym when you have a good one that's free. When I rejoined my gym after gaining a lot of weight during my pregnancy (and of course its so much easier when you have an "excuse" for sure) a lot of the trainers were treating me like I have no idea what I'm doing in the gym because I'm overweight and kind of looking down on me (just a few, the rest were so sweet and encouraging). Because I'm very experienced in the gym that annoyed me and just made me keep saying in my mind "I'll show them". It really did spur me on way more.
As far as using the weights go, I'll start by saying it is imperative to getting this weight off and keeping it off forever that you lift weights. As you probably know, every pound of muscle requires 50 more calories to burn while at rest while fat requires nothing. I realized a long time ago, as a naturally curvy woman who puts on weight if I'm not careful, that the more muscle I have the more calories will be burned at rest and to be blunt, the more I could eat. I have a huge appetite and this helps me stay slim when I really do eat more than the average person.
This is how I learned how to use weights back in 1993, the first time I had ever worked out a gym. I got a free 2 day orientation with a trainer, who showed me how to use all of the machines. I then started circuit training using the machines. Gradually I starting doing more and more free weight exercises as well. No one knows how to just use the equipment without some sort of orientation. But they are easy to use once you know what you're doing. Mainly you're adjusting the weight and the seat height. Keep the weights really light until you feel confident that you're doing it right. Watch your form in the mirror and dont worry about anyone else. I would spend the money you considered using at another gym every month to hire a trainer for about 5 to 10 sessions. You will really know what you're doing after that. You have to keep in mind that even regular sized people have to start out at the gym and use the weights for the first time, not knowing what they're doing and all. Also, start reading Shape and the ladies muscle & fitness magazines. They give you loads of detailed information on how to properly do strength training.
Kashi, You have lost 53 pounds! Hold your head up proudly! Most of those people may not have ever entered a battle as big as weight loss....and you are winning this battle! Who really cares what anyone else may be thinking.
__________________ - Rhonda
"Live the life you've always imagined." Henry David Thoreau
GirlyGirlSebas, that's part of what bothers me... I had lost almost 60lbs, and I've gained back 20lbs in the past few months. I just don't feel like the same confident person any more, and I've forced myself to go to this gym a handful of times (I'd say 8 or so, over the course of two months) and I always end up feeling worse about myself, afterwards. I remember a time when working out made me feel good about myself, but I just don't know if this gym is capable of it.
I found out that I can get a membership at the YMCA for $38/month. That's not too bad; I'm going to go check it out tomorrow. All advice/thoughts are still welcome, though!
It must be really frustrating to have to re-lose those 20 lbs. But, you're still in the game and still a winner! I can vouch for the YMCA. That's where I work out and the atmosphere is great! I hope it makes going the workout and enjoyable experience for you again.
__________________ - Rhonda
"Live the life you've always imagined." Henry David Thoreau
Kashi, I think you should find a new place. It's hard enough to keep the motivation to exercise. If you don't feel comfortable where you are going, that could possibly turn into an excuse not to go at all. $80 seems pretty high. I work in downtown Philly, and my friend attends a gym on her lunch hour that is about $30 a month. There is a nicer one down the street for around $40 a month. Look around some more and maybe you can find a cheaper one. Good luck!
Kashi, I can't tell you the number of times I've thought what you just wrote! My school gym is horrible - it is grey, with grey uniforms people wear, and no kidding... nearly every single person there is fit - and those who aren't fit... well they don't really look like the have weight to lose. Whenever I went in there I felt sooo self-conscious, and even worse if I knew someone recognized me! I am a uni student so I know what you mean by having to pay extra for a gym when you already have one you can use... but that's what I ended up doing, and honestly I do not regret it one bit. Mine's like $30 monthly, it's a student price, and I can go there - I see people of different shapes, weights, ages... There are definitely times when I feel uncomfortable and some people there remind me of the people at my school gym, but I try to overcome that insecurity and focus on why I'm there. Lifting weights is a whole other thing too... I feel like that's where so many guys hang out who seem to have such a good grasp, lifting 40 lbs while there I am with my five pounders but oh well.. I totally feel your "fat chick clueless about lifting weights" feeling - I wouldn't even venture to the weight area at my school gym (not to mention the equipment looked slightly medievalish, I kid you not). Plus, I don't have to wait eons to use the equipment here. At my school gym I'd have to sign up at least an hour in advance - talk about inconvenient!
So I guess it's obvious that I'm biased I just think that it's so important to feel good in a gym. Attitude can take you so far, for sure, but I guess it depends on how much energy you want to spend on what... I found that I had such a hard time going to a gym in the first place, I felt so self-conscious, that I didn't want to make the process any more difficult for myself. If you are able to afford it, then maybe it is a good idea in the long-run. Are there any other less expensive but still fair quality gyms in your city? Like a YMCA or community centre? Good luck I hope you do whatever makes you happy
$80 is a bit steep for a gym. The only gym around here that costs that much are the sports clubs gyms (washington sports club, ny sports club, etc) and maybe other gyms. Most gyms should be $30 or less. I pay $8/month but i did get a special deal a few years back.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
I agree with augigi! You pay for that gym with your tuition. Don't spend another dime!
Before you ditch the gym, have you thought of asking the staff about a personal trainer? My school gym is teeming with people who are in school for this sort of thing and would love a chance to put those skills to work. Also, my school offers classes that are based at the gym. The class orients you to the machines etc and for credit you work out. No kidding. Look under the Health and PE section of your school catalog - they may offer it.
As for people looking at you, it may be true but you're going to have to take it less personally. This is a gym. There are 100 reasons they could be looking at you (hey, she's hot? is she in my spanish class?) or they could simply be zoning out. Most of the time, people are in their own little world. Don't sweat it.
You may be amazed that your cold and unfriendly gym has a warm heart beating under it. Don't be afraid to find it.
That's a horrible experience. I am much bigger than you and can empathise with feeling very self conscious - I felt like that too when I joined my gym and there aren't many fat people there either. But most people really are just focused on themselves and if they glance at you they might not be thinking what you think they're thinking. One person came over to me a few months ago and said that they'd been watching me rowing and asked me for advice and told me that they thought I was incredibly fit - I'd never have guessed that was why she was watching me!
One way of coping with it is to just tune everyone else out as much as you can - don't look to see whether they're staring at you, shove on your ipod and just focus on yourself in your own little zone and once you feel you know what you're doing and feel confident in your training you can maybe look people in the eye and challenge anyone that is really trying to make you feel uncomfortable.
It would be a real shame not to include strength training in your sessions due to embarrassment and not knowing - everyone is new to it at some point and has to ask - fat or thin. There will be instructors there who will show you this for free or as others suggested a personal trainer might be a good investment to help you feel more at ease with using this kind of equipment. I would really encourage anyone to include strength training in as it can really change your body composition and will help you keep the fat off forever if you maintain your training. It also has enormous health benefits and prevent the natural decline in the body that starts after the age of 30.
You have done great things for your body in losing the weight you have already. At 200lbs I would not consider you hugely overweight and you can be incredibly fit at that or higher weights so just hold your head up high and work on yourself and ignore everyone else!!
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