100 lb. Club - AFRAID to exercise???

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04-30-2008, 10:29 AM
Ok this is weird -- I know I got to 320+ pounds for MORE reasons that just a big appetite and being a bit lazy LOL but as I delve further and further into ME I've discovered a weird thing!!!

On days where i feel fit as a fiddle and strong, I get the URGE to take a nice long walk but then I get this weird little afraid-feeling!? and I don't do it!!!

It's like i KNOW that will spell success for me and the evil part of me wants me to fail?!

It's taken about 7 or 8 months to recognize and deal with it so now I pound it into submission but I wondered if anyone else had come up against this or am i just bizarre??? ok bad question, of COURSE i'm bizarre, but still..... :D

04-30-2008, 10:41 AM
I know when I was at a heavier weight, I'd be self conscious about "strolling about the neighborhood" for fitness. I'd think everyone would see me and go, "Gosh, she does need to do that." So, that'd be another excuse to stay fat.

I feel thoughts that seem contrary to what I want. Like I want to stay fat because it's easier to eat anything, easier not to workout, no one ever looks at me as a sexual being/woman and more. While it WOULD be easier, I wouldn't be happier. Like a few months ago, I'd be walking and someone would honk at me. I was wearing my brand new, I can fit into them, they aren't baggy 18s. They are tight but not bad tight. All of the sudden I couldn't get comfortable in the pants anymore because I was scared they were too tight and I was scared that they thought I looked good.

I've always been fat and to not have the same body/state of mind as I've always had is scary. It's change and security. That is what we might be afraid of.

04-30-2008, 11:57 AM
Trazey.. I totally know where you are coming from. I can and do exercise in the privacy of my own home, but like when I did the 3FC 5K that Gary (EZ MONEY) challenged us to, we went to a public park. I really had issues with walking there like everyone was looking at me.

I figure my fear stems from an incident when I was very very pregnant with my oldest. I was thin back then, but had this huge basketball belly. I was walking to the fair to meet some friends and this car full of young guys passed me and yelled out the window "nice belly" and they all started laughing. Now I constantly fear that someone else will yell something not so nice at me... back then I had the confidence that it didn't really bother me (or so I though).. I was very proud of that beautiful baby belly.. I'm not very proud of my fat, and would be totally devistated if it happened now. I also am afraid to join a gym for the same reason. I hate people looking at me... part of why I had a JP's office wedding instead of the big fancy afair I always dreamed of having.

04-30-2008, 12:23 PM
I think maybe you're just weird. ;)

04-30-2008, 12:42 PM
Even when I was a kid & thin, I lacked coordination and gym class was miserable as I was often verbally teased & even physically roughed up (when it was team sports & my lack of coordination resulted in bad results for the team). I used (& sometimes still do) feel extremely self-conscious about exercising where other people could see me. I find music helps take me out of that self-conscious frame of mind. I get into the music and stop thinking that everyone's looking at me and getting to run & flee like extras in a Godzilla movie! I tell ya, during Fashion Week here in midtown Manhattan, it's easy to feel like Godzilla! :)

And if it's a gym or park where lots of people exerise, one thing which helps is to remember most people are so into their own workouts/self-conscious that they're really not going to be that observant of others. Again, I've found music helpful. One time at the gym, I noticed people laughing, smiling in my direction & I was thinking back to the school gym. Instead, I made myself do a reality check. Seinfeld was playing on the tv near where I was working out. They were laughing/smiling at Seinfeld, not me! :)

And I can understand what people are saying about attracting attention. I put most of my weight on in my mid-late 30s (before that I wasn't obese). I used to get a lot of street harassment from guys, which seemed to taper off once I hit my highest weight 250. Well, last week, it was warm & I wasn't wearing coat & I was wearing an outfit no more suggestive than that of my avatar. I got some hey baby kind of stuff from some guys in car while waiting for the bus. I was hoping hitting my early 40s would have put a stop to that even with the weight loss, but no such luck. I'm not looking forward to having to deal with that again as it gets warmer, but I'm not going to let some horny yahoo guys in a car dictate my weight/health. It's bad enough they make me feel uncomfortable on the street, I'll be damned if I let them affect my health. Though I will indulge in a Thelma & Louise style manners lesson fantasy! :) With maybe kick boxing instead of the gun, both to comply with local gun control laws & aerobic conditioning! :)

04-30-2008, 01:13 PM
I sometimes am afraid to exercise too. I was doing great and then got sick and was afraid to push past that fear and push myself. Thanks to gary's challenge it got me back to jogging again and I'm preparing for my 3rd one in May. I guess even though I'm afraid many times for exercise, I'm more afraid if I don't do it that I'll slip back into old habits.

04-30-2008, 01:15 PM
There is still a part of me that really doesn't like going to the gym. I fear ppl are watching me, etc. I'm getting better, but.....That being said, I"m down to 234 and I still don't feel like I can run. I almost feel like if I try I'm gonna break the machine or something. and that would be ultra embarressing happening at the gym. :(

04-30-2008, 01:37 PM
I had a major exercise aversion too. When I was in school I was always teased and very anxious about PE. I think it was one of the biggest stresses in my life (and I wasnt even fat, just like 8 pounds overweight).

I have always (before this) tried to avoid exercise. WHen I got my bike. I was scared of it. I would look at it but not ride it. I would do 5 minutes and then get away from it as fast as I could. I saw women in magazines exercizing and wondered what was wrong with them.

But I just pushed through it and did it anyway and now I do 30 minutes 6 days a week and I LOVE MY BIKE. Make a goal for yourself... maybe 3x a week to start, and just DO it. start small and work up. I added 2 minutes each week (some weeks I added 1, if I was struggling). Eventually you will probably enjoy it because of the results.

As my friend says, "Tell your feelings to shut up" and just do it :)

04-30-2008, 06:41 PM
Doesn't sound weird to me at ALL!

I have some sort of mental disorder when it comes to exertion, I swear!
I feel like there's something WRONG with me...I think it may be some kind of panic thing. Definitely emotional in nature.

I also attribute this to being a fat kid in gym class! I would do anything to get out of gym class when I was a kid. It's sad that even as a little girl, I knew that a fat kid exercising was a humiliating, embarrassing, and very bad thing!
Yep...I seem to recall bieng made fun of...and it was all over after that...

Not fair

04-30-2008, 08:26 PM
I became fat at about the same time I entered school. I remember being put on my first diet in kindergarten, and I dreaded PE from the start, because the (fat) gym teacher practically tortured me. Literally, he told my mother that he humiliated the fat kids on purpose, and allowed the other kids to do so, in order to inspire weight loss. Very sadly, it made sense to my mother, and like the gym teacher told me if I didn't like it, then I should lose weight so I would stop being teased.

Instead of inspiring weight loss, it inspired a paranoia toward physical activity. I don't know why I didn't let it keep me from swimming (except that I loved swimming so much, I wouldn't let anyone keep me from the water - even if the walk to the water felt like a death march).

I remember feeling that I couldn't try things like the monkey bars because I'd look silly, so I only ever used the monkey bars or this really cool three floor "rocket ship" slide in our public park when no one else was around. Literally, if I saw people come into the park, I would get down and go back to the swings.

It's really not so crazy, it's just that we're taught things we don't realize we're being taught by other people's reactions to us. Being laughed at (not laughed with) is a very strong motivator to not do what drew the ridicule.

04-30-2008, 08:52 PM
I just want to say "Ditto" to so many of the posts.

I don't want to walk outside and have people see me walking because they'll be like, "Look at her. She better walk a lot more." Or to be seen at the YMCA as someone who is so out of shape. Like everyone is actually focusing all their attention on me. I know it is an egocentric feeling, but I feel on display, like I stick out like a sore thumb.

I tore my ACL (ligament in my knee) a few years ago that makes my knee unstable if I step wrong sometimes. So I have a genuine fear that I'll hurt myself.

I also identify with the fear of actually losing the weight and having to be a sexual being again. There are a lot of issues & history there. The 12 steps of OA will hopefully help some of this stuff plus I see a counselor every few weeks.

So I'll work on being aware of my moods and emotions so I don't sabotage myself. I have a history of losing weight, getting into a relationship, ending the relationship, and regaining the weight. It also fluctuates with my bipolar moods. :dizzy:

Anyways, it is just great to relate to so many people in this area. :wave:


04-30-2008, 09:49 PM
Tell me if I am correct.....it is not about looking silly or stared at....it is a fear about being successful and then what will you concentrate your efforts on? Well, maybe I am weirder than you because I have found I sabatoge myself. I have a tendancy to set myself up for failure. You know, it won't be over with once you hit your goal weight....it will be something else to work on. Losing all your weight isn't going to solve all your problems....

What do I do to keep myself moving in the right direction????? I recognize the fear and white knuckle it Good luck!

04-30-2008, 09:51 PM
I've had panic attacks at the gym when I'm alone and it's crowded. It makes me so angry, too, because my anxiety cheats me out of a workout. But sometimes it's just *so* crowded with fit people and I can't handle it. Luckily my sister lives close by and has a gym at her house, so I can go there and work out when I can't handle the gym. But I absolutely know where everyone's coming from.

04-30-2008, 10:18 PM
I don't think "fear of success," is as deep-rooted a fear as it's sometimes made out to be. I think it's really fear of change (any change) that our bodies and minds fight against. I think there's a strong in-born drive that fights any change.

I don't think that a part of us really wants to be fat nearly as much as good common sense and thousands of years of instinct tells us to be wary of change, because change often means disaster. That our brain knows better, doesn't always help, because more primitive parts of our body and brain are trying to keep us from making changes that "could be" dangerous.

It takes a long time to make changes that we know we should make. Instead of feeling stupid, we need to know that a good part of the difficulty is actually caused by a system that most of the time increases our chances of survival.

04-30-2008, 11:14 PM
I agree Kaplods - it's definitely a fear of change, as personally I could give a f**k what people think if i"m outside walking LOL, it's not them that makes me afraid, it's ME, the change, and the old idiot me thinking "change is bad..mmmm..brownies goood" hahah so I smack her now and again! and i calm myself down by saying internally "hey if you get smaller and hate it, and life sucks all of a sudden when it doesn't now, then get all fat again" knowing full well that it won't and i won't! now i better go chat with DH and stop talking to myself! hehehe

04-30-2008, 11:50 PM

I actually love to exercise-very weird for someone who grew up despising gym class! I am not coordinated, and am terrible at all sports except for swimming. I only like to exercise inside my home-nowhere else! Last summer I went for a walk, and an older gentleman called out to me "you need to walk faster than that!" It made me feel horrible, and reminded me why I hardly EVER go for walks outside..

I really like exercise dvds-all kinds-yoga, kickboxing, Leslie Sansone, etc.


05-01-2008, 12:11 AM
I'm really coming to terms with the many personalities I have (and I talk to them all). I guess the only difference between me and a person with an actual multiple personality disorder is that all my personalities have the same name, know each other and share all the same memories.

It doesn't cause problems for me, but hubby gets very, very confused.

But seriously on the topic of change and how darned difficult it is. I really started to succeed only after I realized that there was a good reason for my behavior. I wasn't lazy or crazy, my body/mind was operating as it was designed to, it was the environment that had gone crazy. In the "natural" world and even most pre-industrialized societies, food isn't all that easy to come by and a person has to work pretty hard physically to obtain food (or money to pay for it). My metabolism and food-obsession would have served me very well in prehistoric times, but in the modern world I'm preparing for a famine that is never going to come (but hey if it did, the laugh sure would be on the size zeroes wouldn't it!)

I think our society's labels for fat people: lazy, stupid, crazy, selfish, greedy..... makes it very difficult for a person to feel confident enough to accomplish change. After all, if I'm so incompetent how can I be expected to succeed?

Knowing that I'm not "bad," "defective," or "deviant", just built for different circumstances really makes me feel that my struggles are no different than a person wanting to save money, quit smoking, get a better job, be a good parent....

And some of those changes are as just as life-altering, and just as difficult as losing weight. Overspending, sexual addiction, substance abuse... Sometimes there are "deep" underlying issues, and sometimes people just fall into (or are raised into) bad habits. I was raised in a family that never had a lot of money, mostly because of small income, but also because savings was not a priority. A little extra cash meant a restaurant meal or a road trip. My husband and I are working on making spending and budgeting changes too, and they're no picnic either.

05-01-2008, 12:17 AM
Trazey34, I have the SAME feeling!! I think it is definitely fear of change. Of the unknown for me. I have never felt slim and hot, so I am nervous to know what that is like. But, you make a good point, years from now, when I am skinny and if I hate it, I can always just be fat again! LOL

05-01-2008, 10:55 AM
For me, I am willing to happily try any exercise and see if I like it. Running for me is a different story.
I decided to try the Couch to 5 K to get rid of demons.

In high school (in the 80s), the very first week we would come back from summer break was track and field in gym. We would start the first day by running 3/4 of a mile (can you believe that??). Of course, the gym teacher would make everyone stay until the last person finished, which was alway me. All the jocks would cat call and yell "move it lardass", among other endearments at me. I couldn't run the whole way. I just remember being so humiliated.
Then the next class was doing 1.5 miles! I wonder if they still do that, it really isn't a very healthy phys ed thing. So I had to endure that once again. And you know kids, I couldn't live it down after gym class, either. And to top it off, one year I hyperventilated when I finished.
So - running to me is associated with all of those horrible feelings of shame, fear, anger and all that.

I have now decided that there is no physical reason for me to be unable to finish a 5K, so I started training. I even now go to the high school track near my home and go around. The first time I ran 1/2 mile - I actually jumped around Rocky style.
I found that doing the running is letting all those feelings come bubbling back up, but I am working through them.