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Am I Alone? Gym Embarrassment

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Old 03-11-2009, 01:51 AM   #1
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Unhappy Am I Alone? Gym Embarrassment

I know Im totally going to sound like a wimp here but does anyone else hate going to the gym because they feel people are staring at them the entire time? I love treadmills but at the local gym they are front and center, I cant stand it. I spend more time stressing over who is staring at me than how much I am benefiting from my workout. I know I know I should just get over it, but its not that easy, am I the only one who feels this way?
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:03 AM   #2
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You're definitely not alone. However, I can say from experience that most folks, when they're there getting their workout in, are paying attention to nothing but their own workout and/or whatever they're using for distraction (magazines, music, etc). I hardly ever noticed other people unless they did something irritating (like talking on cell phones while striding along on the elliptical...ugh).

So be assured...feeling this way is normal, but that doesn't mean that it's warranted!
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:04 AM   #3
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I used to be that way, when I first joined the gym. But now, I just have come to the realization that no one is staring at you, and even though they may be in better shape, the other people are probably just as self conscious. I try to smile and talk to other people, and staff members, and now I don't feel awkward at all.

Someone even came up to me once and told me that I was a total inspiration to them, because I was in there everyday, no fail, and doing my thing. This was a thin person! So just know that everyone feels awkward at first, and it will get better!!

And who knows...you just may be someone else's inspiration! Just keep moving!
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:02 AM   #4
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I had the same trouble, appearing in public in a swim suit at over 500lbs. I didn't die of embarrassment, but I could have died from the weight. Eventually they will get used to seeing a large woman in there. That will make it easier on the next large person who wants to use that gym. Be Brave, and be a trailblazer.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:47 AM   #5
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When I was going to the gym...and maybe because it was at the YMCA,,I didnt notice. MAybe cause I didnt care lol. Maybe because I was so "busy" trying not to fall of the treadmill lol.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
I didn't die of embarrassment, but I could have died from the weight.
Words of wisdom to post on my kitchen fridge & my office cubicle wall.

I'll remember this next Monday night, when I'm contemplating dropping out of my yoga class because I'm having difficulty following the routines.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement! I appreciate all of your posts
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:45 AM   #8
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lol I remember being embarrassed when I was like 160 pounds haha. I hate the gym and probably would never set foot in one again. Exercise is a personal thing for me that I would rather do in the shadows like a NINJA. Just how I am.

Saying that, I do think that people in general are very kind and welcoming. Meaning people who you think would be jerks can often turn out to be very supportive and nice. I find that jerky people tend to be jerky to everyone, not just fat people is my point.

I think most people are concentrating on themselves at the GYM and not entirely fixated on you, but I really do believe that when people see someone who is making a change for themselves that they want you to succeed and will be supportive of you even if that means leaving you alone and letting you get busay on the exercise machines!
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:52 AM   #9
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I've been there and actually stopped going to the gym because a woman walked up to me and told me I was an inspiration to people at the gym. I had lost 130 lbs. at that time and I was totally embarrassed that people had been watching me and were actually talking about me. People I didn't know, I mean. So I let that embarrassment stop me from continuing on at the gym and I eventually gained back 40 lbs. That was about a year and a half ago.

I'm back at the gym now and when I can't get there I'll do my treadmill at home, (sometimes )but honestly, I'm ashamed of myself for letting that derail me from my work outs. I love going to the gym and working out. And really, what did that lady say that was so horrible? And what are people who are noticing you going to think? That you are fat? Or "Look, that girl never gives up and look at how she's changing? Good for her!" Because that's what we're all thinking when we are there and happen to notice someone. So you're not alone in your thinking that people might be looking at you and guess what? You're not alone at the gym. The people who are noticing really ARE rooting for you and that is a good thing. I hope that makes you feel a little better.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:47 PM   #10
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I havent been to the gym in years but not because I was embarrassed - they actually closed the one I used to go to and I havent looked for another one since. I decided to do it at home. But I LOVED going. And only for one reason...

I lift a lot of weight - Ive always wanted to compete in bodybuilding. My muscle mass is 200lbs - Ive always lifted weights and always felt really strong - it was the one place I really felt good about myself.

Anyway...when I would go to the gym there would always be the muscle bound guys pumping iron and they'd always try and compete with me. I was never interested, but I always found it so funny that these guys who were 2x my size always wanted to prove that they were stronger than little me It was nice to be a big woman and still feel little in a room full of really big men.

I still dream of competing in bodybuilding. I met a person here at work who is acutally a part-time trainer - he was with the olympic team and has offered to help me out. I may take him up on that.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:14 AM   #11
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In the past I have been a little embarrassed to work out in gyms but this time is different. I am doing this for ME! I don't care what anybody thinks.

And also I have learned over the years that we THINK everyone is watching us but in reality nobody really cares, especially in a gym. Most people are pressed for time and they just want to do their workout and get out of there.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:59 AM   #12
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I feel so much better I cant thank you all enough! I appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:57 PM   #13
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I'm new here and embarrassed about joining a gym soon. This thread made me feel better about it. It says a lot about ego that we think people are watching us, but it's hard to ignore sometimes. Especially if you're used to the "fat person" stare like I am.

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Old 03-13-2009, 07:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriterian View Post
I'm new here and embarrassed about joining a gym soon. This thread made me feel better about it. It says a lot about ego that we think people are watching us, but it's hard to ignore sometimes. Especially if you're used to the "fat person" stare like I am.
Hi Kriterian. I am also used to the "fat person" stare. My son asks me all the time why we never go into a restaurant and I think to myself I would die if I had to eat in front of anyone! Of course I don't tell him that. I always say we are in a hurry ha!. Thank Goodness we are changing our lifestyle because now we don't eat out at all.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:18 PM   #15
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I know when I'm at the gym I barely notice anyone around me, it could be full of circus animals for all I'm aware.... and I'm not the only one, everyone tends to "zone out" especially when you're plugged into an ipod. You're concentrating on your form, your next set, how much your biceps hurt, the song that's playing, that sort of thing.
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