Fear of the Gym? Yep, That Was Me!…

Whether you have 2 lbs or 100 lbs to lose, each takes commitment and hard work, but the bigger the goal, the more stamina it will take to achieve! I’ve always been afraid to let myself get too far past my goal weight for fear that if I did, I might not ever get the weight back off. I have much empathy for those that have found themselves one way or another, facing numbers on the scale or the tags of their jeans, that they never wanted to see! It can feel like a mountain waayy too high to climb! And, going at it alone is even harder!

I’ve spent most of my life just watching what I eat to stay within my weight range. I haven’t been a complete weakling but building muscle hasn’t been high on my priority. I’ve never had a 6 pack…heck…I’ve never even had a 2 pack!

But, I’ve wanted to know what if feels like to be stronger. I know as I age, it’s so important to have and build muscle that will allow me to live a full life with the continued ability to get around the way I have become accustomed to all my life.

For years I avoided working out in public places! For starters, the equipment was intimidating! I felt like everyone else knew what they were doing and I didn’t have a clue! And, judging by my gangly arms, I didn’t know how to accomplish what so many of the rest of these daily “gym people” seemed to have figured out!

On top of that, the beet red face I get when I do exert myself at all, made it look like I’d never worked out a day in my life. And even though society can make us seem like women shouldn’t sweat, we should “glisten”… well, let me tell you, I sweat like it’s the most important job I have on the planet!

If all the aforementioned reasons weren’t enough to keep me out of the gym, I still had more! Most of my life, any aerobic activity left me breathless after mere minutes of trying and I felt weak compared to all the others who might often be running circles around me, no less WITH an extra 100 pounds to lose on top of that! No one wants to feel stared at! I’ve had enough of that down through my life because of my ghost white legs😂 Did I mention that was another reason I avoided these places?? Thankfully being tan isn’t as cool anymore as it was in highschool! That was brutal!

So, how did I overcome my fear of the gym? I took someone that knew ALL my fears and wasn’t embarrassed by my sweat, red face, gangly arms, or white legs! Having someone with me that I could talk to when I felt like I couldn’t do one more rep was so encouraging! Finding my way around wasn’t scary anymore when they knew how to work the equipment and were empowering me by teaching me how to do it by myself. Someone that pushed me but not so much that I never wanted to go back again, was also a huge game changer.

So, whatever your reason is for keeping you from your weight loss or fitness goals, find a way to overcome it! I did and even though I may not have a 2 pack, yet, I feel stronger! I’ve overcome my fear! Its empowered me to go it alone now!

So…what’s holding you back? Find out what “it” is and then look for ways to overcome it! I know you can do this!

Here are some practical tips that helped me get moving toward my fitness goal:

1. Find a friend that will help keep you account- able to your goals! Even if you don’t have a friend that is able to work out with you, just telling someone is so good in helping us stay on track!

2. If that friend doesn’t know the gym any better than you, ask someone at the gym to give you a walk through, explain the machines, and a general idea of where everything is at along with any other helpful information you may not even think to ask about…like where the towels are to wipe the machines down.

3. Set realistic goals so you don’t frustrate yourself!! — I literally could not even slow jog without losing my breath for even probably a 1/16 of a mile! Now I can slow jog for almost 1/2 a mile! I may not be ready for the Iron Man contest, but it’s progress for me and I’m happy with that!

4. Making a plan is really beneficial — for instance, this week I will plan to walk at least a mile every day and jog a half a mile of that. Or Monday I will work on arms, Tuesday I will work on legs, Wednesday abs, etc. And, there are many Youtube videos or Pinterest ideas to help you figure out what will work best for you.

5. Track your progress! This is something I haven’t been good at that I would like to change. I want the extra motivation to remember how far I’ve come! So, I want to begin taking pictures of my arms or abs, so that I can see the progress visually.

6. Goals are important but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or even a week! Life happens. Sometimes our family needs us. And, we are human. Sometimes we get off track. But rather than continuing to wallow in the “I’m a horrible person who can’t stick to my goals” inner dialogue we so often have, start a new inner dialogue that gives you grace and says, “it’s a new day full of new possibilities! Yesterday is gone and today is what matters!” Then go get your groove on and don’t look back!

It feels so good to take care of your body! It has helped me tremendously in warding off depression. My brain and muscles get more oxygen and I am becoming stronger not just physically but also mentally and emotionally as I push myself to do hard things! I continue to see that I am in fact quite capable of more than I ever dreamed I was!

Keep reaching and pushing yourself! Don’t compete with anyone else! This is about you and being the best you that you can be!

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