General chatter - First time at a major university's gym!

08-20-2013, 10:41 PM
So today I ventured out to my new university's gym. Being that it's pretty much THE state university, it's super nice and big and awesome with lots to offer. Plus!

But every single person there was pretty much aesthetically perfect. I did see some, for lack of a better term, puny looking guys. But all the girls were fit, slim and trim and most of the guys were very obviously very fit and athletic. It made me -never- want to step foot in the weight room, definitely. I didn't mind it so much in my old gym cause it was never crowded when I went and the people that were there were mostly older men and women, who I know don't care. And I'm sure my fellow students don't really care either, but gah do I feel immediately compelled to compete with these people! It seriously felt like I was the only girl there who wasn't less than a size 5. I think I better start going when there's no one there, cause otherwise I don't know what's going to happen, lol.

Send vibes to the students on my campus who aren't in shape so they'll make me feel more comfortable. Please?!

08-21-2013, 03:17 PM
Although I haven't been through the same thing, I can pretty much imagine what it would be like. I've never set a foot in my school's gym aside from the prospective student tour I had a few years ago. I've always been a bit worried about going to any gym in general, I've always kind of made up excuses, but I think the true reason why I have avoided working out was because I never wanted anyone to watch me workout out of fear of embarrassment (getting out of breath really easily, not doing something incorrectly, being the only "fat girl" there and made fun of, etc.) which I realize now is WHY you should be going to the gym in the first place!

Anyway, I learned that two girls I know work at the school gym. One is a little bit of a meanie and the other is as sweet as can be. But my point is knowing that someone I know, who is a very nice and accepting person, works there has sort of eased my nerves a bit and opened me up to the idea of going in the future, although I will probably stick to workouts in my room and using the stairs meanwhile I get to a lower weight.

Why don't you get a few friends together or form a workout club for students who also have weight loss goals in mind? You can all meet at a specific time and workout together and share tips. It will help you feel more comfortable and at the same time maybe help someone who may not be willing to go on their own due to the same worries.

08-21-2013, 03:56 PM
I can say that if it's anything like my universitys gym, the largest in the state, it is NEVER slow in there.
I used to feel the exact same way when I went there and I finally started looking around one day and realized that not a single person in there was looking back at me. It was probably the biggest wake-up call that I've ever had at a gym. Literally, no one noticed me staring around because they just don't care! lol I was so happy. I went in there from that point on with or without friends and just did my own thing and then left. It took me a long time to make that realization but I was so thankful when I finally did!!
I hope it gets easier for you!! I know that one thing that also always helped me in the beginning was taking a friend with me, that way even if they were staring I just didn't notice!:)

Good luck to you!

08-21-2013, 10:00 PM
I caught some more "normal" looking people in there today. It made me feel a whole lot better! It's definitely not as intimidating when you see people who aren't model-pretty working out beside you. It reminds you that it's a fitness center, not a beauty contest.

08-22-2013, 09:16 AM
The more you separate yourself from the so-called "normal athletic people" the harder it will remain for you to go. You almost sound like you don't have a right to be there because you don't think you look a certain way. That's bull****. First of all, a gym is not only for people of a certain height/weight/gender/athletic ability. It's for all the students on campus. Your tuition is just as valid as their tuition. Let me backtrack and say that back in the day, almost 2decades ago my university gym was brand new the nicest facility in the whole state. It opened my sophomore year and everyone was sooo excited. I automatically never stepped foot in it why? Because I was too embarrassed and I was certain that a gym like that wouldn't fit a person like me. Worst decision of my life. I had just as much right as anyone else to go there and now I regret it.

I know it's hard to face your fears but in the years since that I've joined different gyms I can certainly relate to the insecurity of not fitting in and after a few days of going it really does go away and the gym becomes MY place of solace no matter what's happening around me with other gym goers. Don't look back on this one day and be angry with yourself over what other people look like. I can't believe how much tuition I was paying at the time, and not to have taken part in one of the best aspects of campus was plain old STUPID of me.

08-23-2013, 12:48 AM
I LOVED my university gym. I even worked there (as a lifeguard at the pool). Try going different times of day and see what works best for you. Our gym was always packed with the "pretty people" mid-day. It would be least busy early morning, about 2-4 in the afternoon, and after 7pm. I was a big fan of the after 7 pm time slot. Our gym was open to alumni and university faculty as well. They usually frequented the 5-7 time slot.

ETA- And as you will see repeated time and again on the gym fear threads here, seriously, no one is looking at you. They're busy with their own workouts. I almost fell off a treadmill once when I set it way too fast. I was mortified! I looked around and realized no one had noticed.