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I'm so scared to go to the gym!!

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Old 02-07-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
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Default I'm so scared to go to the gym!!

So my best friend has decided that she wants to join the local Planet Fitness and wants me to join with her... I'm freaking out!! I am at 242lbs and I
am so completely terrified of the thought that people will be looking at me and judging me. I know this is a problem for most big people, but I also have social anxiety, that I have had before I even got big. I don't know what to do because I really do want to go.... Another thing that is hard for me is that I have never actually been to a real gym! I'm afraid I'll look like an idiot!

I used to be in good shape in HS and played lots of sports and worked out a lot at home.. but I got married and pregnant when I was 16 and have been struggling with my weight for 9 years now. AND my friend who wants to join isn't even big So I'm afraid people will be like "wow, look at that big girl with the skinny girl..." I am just so completely terrified.. Idk what to do...??!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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Nobody will look at you beyond looking to see where they are walking so they don't bump into things. They are there to workout and go home.

And remember than anticipation is sometimes worse than action.

If your schedule allows, try hitting it somewhere around 10 AM. Then the crowd isn't working people but retirees and SAHM's. You may feel more comfortable easing in around them.

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Old 02-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
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If anything they will look at you and think "good for her!"

when I was in highschool I joined this major serious competative weightlifter gym. Mainly because in those days those were the only kinds. The owner spent a couple hours with me showing me how to use all the equipment. Something he said to me always stuck with me. He said, don't ever be intimidated by the other people working out, they are in one spot trying to improve and that is the exact same thing you are doing. You have as much right to be here as they do.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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I am not much smaller than u and I just started going to a gym, I go in the morning around 9 and i love it. I even hired a personal trainer so I can build muscle and burn more calories. You need to not worry, I have never caught anyone staring at me and I personally could care less. I would recommend going, I plug headphones into my phone and listen to music while I am there and I don't think about anyone or anything else. When I leave, I feel pretty good.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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I understand how difficult having Social Anxiety makes things, I have it myself. It's not just an issue of being nervous or shy, it's dealing with downright panic sometimes.

I've always been told to take things one step at a time. Set a goal you feel you can attain. Maybe promise yourself that you will go for 15 minutes or maybe 20, something like that. Just create a goal or two that pushes you without pushing you over the edge. And try to remember - you think people are paying way more attention to you than they actually are. It took me a while to realize this, it's hard, but I can honestly tell you that I don't notice people when I'm working out. Almost no one does and the few who do are probably pretty sad individuals, who goes to a gym to watch other people work out?
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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People at the gym will not be looking at you. I can guarantee it. Everyone just pays attention to themselves. They might glance when you walk by or something, but they won't actually care. If someone does, they will be thinking "Good for her!". I'm not even just saying that to be nice. Its completely true.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:51 PM   #7
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A good thing to think about with these social situations that I always try to do, because I used to have pretty annoying social anxiety too is: how much attention do you pay to the people you see passing by?

I used to get nervous just in a store wondering what the person in the line behind me might think about my groceries. But then I started thinking if I could remember how the person infront of me in the line even looked and what they were buying.. I had no clue.

So, there's that approach. And then there's another approach: What if there's a person paying really close attention to you? There's 2 things this person could be thinking, something nice and supportive and something mean and intolerant. Too bad you can't hear the supportive persons' thoughts. It be like you have us 3FC chicks with you everywhere . But that means you also can't hear the intolerant thoughts. If you could, would you care? Does it REALLY matter what an intolerant person thinks about you? If somebody has enough time to waste on thinking bad stuff about others I pity them. They appearantly don't have enough positive in themselves to be doing what they are doing and enjoying themselves without paying attion to some one else.

Either way, you HAVE TO GO. You said you want to. So don't let this worry stop you. And once oyu get there, breathe in and breathe out. That's basically all you have to do. And instead of being impressed by all the people that look like they know what they are doing be happy that you have so many examples of how to do something. Don't be afraid to look and ask.

Have fun!
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:10 AM   #8
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Hi there and good luck with everything! From experience, I was 266 lbs going to my gym at the start. What I do, and did! Was i go at quiet times. So I go before work for an hour or two, 6-7am, and weekends first thing in the morning or in the evenings. Its good that you WANT to go, thats the biggest step, so I say go for it. Everyone has to start somewhere and use it as a motivation for you to push yourself! But most importantly, this is about you, embrace and enjoy the gym. The people at the gym are usually too occupied with themselves to stop and judge others!
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #9
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Whenever I am at the gym and I see someone who may have a little more weight to loose than some of the other people the only thing I want to do is cheer them on. Most people at the gym go there because they are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle and make changes in their own life and they will respect that in you, no matter how much you weigh. Keep in mind that you might see a lot of fit skinny people there but you don't know where they came from... some of them might have started out just like you... try your best to push through your fears and try to use it as motivation to just try your best. I'm sure you'll do great!
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #10
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I get weirded out going to the gym sometimes too. The one I go to here is on the Army base and so I'm surrounded by super fit people 90% of the time. The thing is, most of them don't care who else is there or what you look like because they're focused on working out. Hey, I'm sure there have been other overweight people there with me but I never notice them or I don't remember if I did because I'm too busy with what I'm doing to pay attention. I say go for it. The gym can be a really fun experience. I used to love going to PF back home with my mom and sisters. They always play really good music.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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Just go!

As a gym rat I can tell you that most of the time people don't care about the other people at the gym, they're so focused on their own workouts. I know it's tough though! I was in the 200+ range when I started going! Each time you go it gets easier and easier!

Go with your friend. It will be much easier if you have someone to go with you

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Keep in mind that you might see a lot of fit skinny people there but you don't know where they came from... some of them might have started out just like you
Very true. New people joined the gym I go to and they thought I was one of those skinny fit people who have always been that way. One of the other members told them that I lost a lot of weight and I think I lost the amount one of them is trying to lose. They said they couldn't imagine me heavier, but it just goes to show that you never really know where people are coming from and what they have faced to get where they are now.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:26 AM   #12
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Go for it!
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:45 AM   #13
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Please suck up your courage and go!

I was in your shoes about 6 months ago, when I first started my weight loss program and decided to join a gym. I went with a friend who was smaller than me too, but we were both nervous about going, not knowing the first thing about how to work the machines or who would be there. I won't lie - walking in that first day was hard! But an employee came right up to us and walked us through the whole place, explaining every machine. Don't be embarrassed if you have to write down what they say, in order to remember. So many people at my gym walk around with clipboards, sheets of paper or even their cell phones, and consult them before moving from machine to machine. And everyone has either completely ignored me while I work out, or said something encouraging. Just remember after you've been there awhile and feel comfortable to pay it forward to the newbies you see. Only the first time is nerve-wracking, but you can do it! And you wil feel so proud of yourself for getting out there!
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:21 PM   #14
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i used to have same problems as you,, thats why I joined an all female gym.
it has a total different atmosphere, and people arent there for show/flirt/socialize..

anyway..
Who cares what people think??? you are there for yourself!! think of yourself for once! "omg me being fat juxtaposed to my skinny friends will create eyes rolling" or whatever.. NO

I also recommend not going with your friend, not because of that what I said previously but rather you wont be able to fully train yourself. You both will keep chatting and doing light exercise on treadmill.. and trying to work at a pace similar to each other, which is useless "oh she's done her running, i should stop too to lift weights with her.. so we can continue our chitchat"

If you go alone you will fully focus on training and wont lose valuable energy from chatting whilst training..

you both wont be able to train right..

My advice: go to all female gym and alone.

I hope you go exercise for yourself and not because of your friend pressuring you
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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Just go!!! Nobody is going to be looking at you... trust me!! You won't regret it!
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