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Old 01-07-2009, 01:23 AM   #1
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Default Feeling too out of shape to go to the gym

Such a Catch-22! For various reasons (excuses), I haven't been to the gym since November, and I managed to gain nearly 10 pounds on top of the 15 I had previously been trying to lose. I want and need to go, but I'm shy (like, can barely order a pizza shy), and the thought of everyone staring at me is petrifying enough that I still am coming up with reasons why I can't go.

I know I am being silly, but I am sure this is something that most have struggled with. Please share any advice or comments you have that may help me slap myself out of this!
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:44 AM   #2
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I think this is probably the best time of year to go to the gym if you are feeling out of shape. There are a lot of beginners there right now so you won't be the only one working on improving your fitness. Most of all feeling out of shape and not doing anything about it won't improve your fitness. The sooner you get out there the sooner you'll be back to your previous level and working toward surpassing it.

I'm a very self conscious person but I just have to make myself go work out in front of others and the more I've done it the less it has been an issue. You can start by just going for 20-30 min at a time and increasing as you feel more comfortable. I hope you make it back to the gym, Good luck!!!!!
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:48 AM   #3
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No one is looking at you. I promise.

I'm new to a gym in my area, and the newness of it is a little intimidating, but at my old gym when I was in my zone I wasn't aware of anything besides my own legs, my breathing, my music, and the Charmed re-run I was watching.

I barely even noticed if someone was on a tread next to me.

Instead of thinking about what everyone else is thinking, be selfish and think about yourself. Get on that treadmill (or whatever it is you do at a gym) and think about your own body. Focus on it. It'll help take your mind off of everyone else.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:47 PM   #4
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Ha. I know that feeling. Some things that worked for me:

best one: putting earphones in before you even walk into the room or gym. Not so loud you couldn't hear someone calling you, but not low enough to focus on what people are saying. This really helped me to focus when i was at the grocery store, and feeling funny about other people.

other things i tried like ignoring people didn't work out too well because as soon as i heard others peoples conversations i just couldn't focus. i would totally try this.

and if you can't make it to the gym try a video at home. i have netflix and they have a small collection you can watch online, and tons more that will be mailed to you.

good luck!
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:13 AM   #5
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hi kristen...

it helped me back when i went to the gym (before buying my own exercise equipment) to just stop caring for that moment about what people thought of me and only care about the fact that i was doing my best to improve my quality of life. i had to constantly remind myself, but it worked.

the netflix video suggestion by naughtymonkey is a good one. does your cable service have free "on demand" or do you have fitv? there are some good workouts on there, too.

good luck and remember - you need to do what is best for you!
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:15 AM   #6
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Start low and go slow. Try several different workout machines. Go swimming to increase your endurance.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:22 AM   #7
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Of course it's a silly fear, but it's still stopping you, so you need to deal with it.

I had a longing to learn to belly dance, but a horrible fear of looking ridiculous, and that kept me from starting for almost 20 years. Now, I'm so mad at myself for giving in to that fear for so long!

It's a really hard thing, to get over that fear though. Eventually, I came to the realization that it really didn't matter a rat's a** if anyone looked at me or thought I looked silly, I wasn't doing this for them or their amusement, I was doing this for *ME*. And then after I started, I realized, that no one *was* thinking I looked foolish - they weren't even looking at me at all.

I'm not a big gym fan, but it has more to go with hating to go out when the weather is bad than a fear of people now. I mostly exercise at home or at my dance class, but I do go to a gym when I get bored with home and the weather is good. If you were to go to a gym and look around, you would see that most people are off in their own little worlds, listening to their music, and not paying attention to you, or anyone else, beyond an occasional glance. There are all sorts of shapes and sizes at a gym, all sorts of fitness levels and strengths. It's really hard to stand out and get everyone's attention at a gym, unless you are really trying to draw that attention. There's sort of an unwritten rule to keep to ones' self.

Naughtymonkey's earphone idea is a also good one (unless you are using a personal trainer to get started - then you do need to communicate). Another thing you can do, is ask the gym when their least crowded time is, and go then (or email them if calling makes you too anxious).


"There is no great genius without a tincture of madness." - Seneca
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:48 PM   #8
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I actually can't stand going to the gym. What I did was started by buying some DVD's that seemed interesting (Tae Bo Excellerated Fat Burner and a Balance ball that came with a tape, which I ended up replacing with a 10 minute balance Ball workout tape) The bottom line for me was that I was more likely to get the workout done at home than forcing myself to get in the car, go to the gym and work out. That was how I started. During the first couple months of this they actually constructed a gym in my complex that was free to all those who lived here, so I went back and forth between the gym and home excersizes. Now I mostly run on my treadmill that I recently purchased, strength train with either going to the gym or using my weights or resistance bands. And I never forget about my balance ball. I try and keep it fresh to hold my interest. I am a huge fan of running so sometimes I just do that. Do what interests you and don't worry about what others think. Trust me the only thing they are thinking is the same thing you are. they are just as worried about being judged by you as you are by them. Have fun and get up off that couch! Good luck! We all know you have it in you!

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Old 01-08-2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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To be honest, I look at people in the gym, but I tend to look at the ones who look the fittest and most toned. I'm not in shape or thin or pretty but I go to the gym and I've never felt like I was being judged.

However, work out at home for a bit if you really don't fancy the gym. Buy a few fitness magazines and a couple of workout DVDs and work on them until you've built up your confidence.

Good luck! xx
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:51 PM   #10
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I dislike going to the gym sometimes, but the only other alternative for me is working out on the out door track, which is worse! If I'm feeling especially self conscious i'll go to one of the more secluded exercise machines and attend the free classes that they have at really strange hours. But in reality, no one is looking at you, they are too busy with their own work out. Getting on a machine or into exercise mode is like putting on blinders. You can do it! Besides, this early in the year there are a lot of beginners out there working on the new resolution life style, so you won't be alone when you feel strange at the gym. By the time the crowd dies down, you and your resolve should be well on the way to working out a new you.

I'm rooting for ya!
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:43 PM   #11
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i hate going to the gym as well.. i know the feeling. (i always felt so judged... being the fattest chick in the room. ect.. ) im PAINFULLY shy.. but my mom once told me somthing that kind of got me over it, and i thought i would pass it along.. if they look at you...

SO WHAT!? your there DOING something about your weight and if anyone has anything to say about it... SO WHAT!? its ADMIREABLE that you have the guts and intelligence to do something about your weight. and if someone is looking at you, or stareing or anything like that.. they are probably thinking how cool. shes changing her life. . shes doing something about her weight problem. ..

and that being said. . it might help if you have someone to go with you.. just till you feel comfortable with your surroundings. you could also look for a place like 'curves' where its woman only. or try a small gym that doesnt have a lot of members.

hope i could help and good luck..

before long you will be in shape and have nothing to fear!
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #12
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Nayex: I've been telling myself that, that people are probably looking at me and thinking, "Good for her!"

I'm shy too, but I just try to keep that in mind and also I go as soon as the gym opens (5am) when nobody is there. I don't think that many people look at other people anyway, probably just the ones, like us, that are self-conscious about being there. I rarely look at people because I don't want to seem rude by watching them, but sometimes I do look at what kind of moves people are doing with free weights to get ideas.

Still not giving up, fighting the fight of my life!

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