100 lb. Club - First day at the gym...

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01-05-2010, 11:22 AM
Hello everyone! I am brand new to this and am so excited about the support! Today is my first day going back to the gym...except for this time I am probably about 60 pounds heavier than when I last went. I woke up feeling so anxious about being the "fat girl" in muscle city. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this feeling and if so, how you were able to rise above. I'm afraid I'm going to go and be so uncomfortable that I won't go back. Help!

01-05-2010, 11:28 AM
I think (hope) you will find that everyone at the gym is so into what they are doing, that they won't pay a bit of attention to you. When I was much heavier and working out at a gym, I always felt conspicuous, but the few times anyone ever bothered to notice me, it was to be perfectly friendly. I think people who are at the gym, for the most part, are going to be impressed that you're taking your health in hand. That's why they're there as well, after all.

Of course, this time of year not everyone at the gym is committed. Luckily those people will be gone in a month or so, and you'll have less of a wait for the good equipment!

Having said all that, I had a panic attack at the gym once. It was awful, but I don't even think anyone around me noticed. They were all focused on their own workouts and not worrying about what I was doing, thankfully.

Helen ready to lose
01-05-2010, 11:38 AM
Good for you! Pat yourself on the back for the courage to go to the gym. I understand how you are feeling. When I finally went back to to gym I chose Curves as it is all women, no mirrors. I found it to be a very supportive place and have made many friends there.
I recently switched to deep water swimming fitness classes at the local parks and recreation. I am 60 pounds overweight and my best friend talked me in to joining. I am 55 and found women my age and much older in horrible shape but all comfortable enough to put on a swimsuit.
I checked out a lot of gyms before choosing one I felt comfortable at.

01-05-2010, 11:45 AM
I can totally relate! But guess what... despite my anxiety of going the gym is actually a very nice and non-judgemental place! You just do your thing and remember why you're there in the first place; for YOU!

01-05-2010, 12:02 PM
Thanks so much for your kind and wise words. It helps to know that I'm not the only one with this anxiety...you all inspire me :)

01-05-2010, 12:17 PM
I am going to sign up for a monthly gym membership this week...I also have some anxiety about going but when I think of the alternative (going back to work in April in this shape and with this much weight), I am horrified....so I have to be strong and go...and I know once I go, then the real struggle begins to stay motivated. We need to think of it this way...no one is going to do this for us if we don't do it for ourselves...another day, another week, another month will pass by and we will still say we got to do this...why not start today, right now :)

01-05-2010, 12:25 PM
You never know who you're going to be next to on the machines. What if it was me? Or any of the others on this board who have lost 50, 60, 80, 100 pounds & more, and did it gradually, over a long period of time? As you are now, so once were we. There is no way we would ever look at anyone heavy in the gym with anything but warmth & encouragement. Just imagine you're surrounded by people like those on this forum, rather than Olympic-level athletes or the housewives of Orange County. You know in your average gym that's far more likely to be the case. It's only going to take you a visit or two before you see that the gym population reflects the rest of the world, with all its human imperfections & good intentions.

01-05-2010, 12:46 PM
there are some muscled people at my local Y, but I definitely wouldn't label it muscle city, heh heh. yes, I was extremely anxious about going to the gym at my size, 20 or 30 lbs heavier than I am now. I didn't have any problems, many people, no matter what their size, feel self conscious and nervous at the gym (and thus may act dopey).

I'm seeing the January rush this year, it was crowded last night. lines for the machines and everything. It gave me an opportunity to mix up my routine, I used a bike instead of a treadmill.

have fun!

the wives of orange county, that's really funny. our group is the average joes/joans of brooklyn

01-05-2010, 01:31 PM
I know exactly how you feel! Yesterday was my first day back to the gym and I felt like everyone was staring at me. But I did my workout and afterwards I felt great. And I know you will too!

01-05-2010, 02:56 PM
I LOVE IT!!! You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for your input...I will now be working out this afternoon with a little more comfort, knowing that I may be seen not by the Real Housewives but perhaps the joe/joans of Brooklyn. haha

01-05-2010, 02:59 PM
chances are good that everyone will be too focused on themselves to care.

And, in the off chance someone does have a negative thought, so what? You're doing this for yourself, not for them. Keep going because you're going to feel amazing and because you're worth it

01-05-2010, 03:22 PM
So true, so true...thanks!

Helen ready to lose
01-05-2010, 03:31 PM
Be sure and let us know how it goes this afternoon.

01-05-2010, 04:23 PM
I went back to the gym yesterday. I am way heavier than you guys and everyone was totally friendly. Everyone is there for tyhe same reason. Most people will not judge.

01-05-2010, 05:13 PM
This helps so much you guys! I will certainly let you know how it goes. It took me about a month of looking around the area and multiple gym showings to find a gym that I felt comfortable with so hopefully it will be a good experience.

01-05-2010, 05:22 PM
brandi, that's definitely important - finding a gym you feel comfortable in. Good for you!

01-05-2010, 05:50 PM
I remember back in the day when I worked at a gym known for it's commercials of toned people. Frequently I would see first-timers come in and look around as if they expected the gym to be like the commercial. It was soooo not like the commercial. As someone posted before, it's a reflection of your community's population. There are thin and fat people at the grocery store, Target, the movie theater, etc. So is the gym. In fact, from my experience there, I would say that a large majority of the people at the gym are newbies. The gym needs that financially because the newcomer's initial fees far outweigh the ongoing fees long term members pay. Kind of like at a WW meeting. There are always 5 or 6 women who have been there for years and accomplished thier goals, but the other 30 in the room are new and newer. The gym is a great place to meet people like yourself that want to learn new things - and find a workout buddy. Gabbing on the elliptical is always way more interesting than the TV show and makes the time fly! Have fun with it and enjoy your new escape place!

01-05-2010, 08:49 PM
I went at my highest weight ( 278 ) and while I did feel like I was going to be the "fat girl" ( and maybe I was ) by the time I got there I didn't care or notice. I put on my headphones and did my own thing. If ppl stared at me, I didn't see it. I'd venture to think most do the same thing I do. Do their own thing, and not worry about the other ppl there.

Trust me, once you start going and get those endorphines going, you'll want to keep coming back!!

01-05-2010, 09:50 PM
Hopefully you can find it within yourself to go back and not let it get to you. You are making the effort and you have to start some where!

01-05-2010, 10:58 PM
Sometimes I feel a little self conscious at the gym too, but then I remember that I don't pay attention to any of the other people there (well, except for maybe a couple of cute guys :-p ) and that they aren't paying attention to me. Also, I just think- hey... I may be chunky but at least I'm at the gym trying to change that and not sitting at home on the couch (like usual!)

01-06-2010, 11:29 AM
UPDATE: I can't thank you guys enough! I did go to the gym yesterday. I felt great afterwards and very proud of myself for facing a fear that has (really) been around for over a year now. Everyone was very kind you all were right! I didn't feel judged, and instead of the picture I had painted in my mind (aka "muscle city" haha) it really was representative of my community. There were all types of people there. I actually am looking forward to going back today (I never thought I would say that!) because it was such a positive experience.

I do have to say that I have scanned through this website for years now, but ended up never joining thinking "oh something like that couldn't possibly help...I need to focus on what counts - exercise, diet, etc." What a great first experience with this community. You ABSOLUTELY helped me so much when I was in the gym yesterday evening. When I got nervous I frequently remembered all of the encouragement and words of advice I'd gotten from all of you and it inspired me...thanks!

Helen ready to lose
01-06-2010, 02:05 PM
I am so happy for you. I was thinking of you last night. This morning I sat down at my computer as soon as I could hoping to see a post from you. You are doing great!

01-06-2010, 02:32 PM
Helen - I can't tell you how much that means to know that someone was routing me on last night! Thank you so much!!!

01-06-2010, 07:19 PM
glad to hear it! tons of inspiring and informative stuff here.