embarrased at gym? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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is anyone else embarrassed at the local gym? im overweight and i just feel like everyone is judging me and thinking im a loser for being overweight-or that im fooling myself for working out-obviously i have issues!

but how do i overcome it? i try to just soldier through, but im hoping for specific techniques and ideas.

Heavily tattooed and Dready Mama to my girls. YES we are STILL NURSING! love to and
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#2 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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I am. I bring along earphones and tune into the tv while on the treadmill. I talk to myself about things that have nothing to do with the gym, or about gaining muscle. I stay away from the thought of weight, weight loss, size, etc. and I focus on becoming stronger and increasing my endurance. That all helps me avoid the paranoia. I also tend to avoid the gazes of others if I know that I might interpret certain looks in a negative way.
I think getting into a routine might help as well. I haven't had luck with that (super-attached toddler), but I think it will make going to the gym just another part of your life, rather than something new and different which increases anxiety.
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#3 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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The treadmill doesn't make me feel that way but, when I'm in the weight area, I feel like everyone is just wishing I would get the heck out of the way already so the real weight trainers can get in there
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#4 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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i think for the most part people who are serious about weight training will really pay no attention to you and really don't care if you are overweight or not. when i'm at the gym, i'm there to train, i don't give the people around me any amount of consideration as to what they look like or what they're doing. you will start to feel more comfortable once you've been there for a while and it becomes more familiar to you. i think it's great you are taking the time to exercise

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#5 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by inkedmamajama View Post
is anyone else embarrassed at the local gym? im overweight and i just feel like everyone is judging me and thinking im a loser for being overweight-or that im fooling myself for working out-obviously i have issues!

but how do i overcome it? i try to just soldier through, but im hoping for specific techniques and ideas.
Hi dear,

Good job for going to the gym Do you have "Curves" gym around you? It is ladies only and you would feel more comfortable than a local one. The link is below:

http://www.curves.com/

Good luck
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#6 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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I agree with mandib50. Those that are serious about the gym are just there to do their workout and leave. They're not thinking about you because they're in their own "zone". However to help you get into your zone how about getting a few sessions in with a trainer? That might give you some confidence that your doing the right moves on the right equipment with correct form. Also, I always splurge on workout clothes that make me feel good. Sweats without snags and t-shirts that aren't my husbands make a lot of difference in my attitude. HTH and for going to the gym!

Producing great kids since 2006!
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#7 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Good for you!!

I totally hate it, but most of the time I am the biggest person in the gym, fun. And it is hard, especially since everyone looks awful when they're working hard!!

So what I do
- find a space that's not crowded, I love the womens only floor of my gym
- find a space where you can't see anyone else (out of sight, out of mind )
- wear headphones, or find someway to "disconnect" from the gym itself, so that you are less aware of who else is there.
- reality check - look around and see if anyone else is actually looking at you, or if they are just concentrating as hard as you are

Mum to Quinn, Aug 14th 2010
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#8 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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I've definitely been the fattest one in the room before & felt terrible for it. But I honestly believe that most people (if they notice at all) are more impressed that you are there doing something then they are judging you for your weight.

Plus, remember, you don't know who else there was once in your shoes - they are definitely thinking "good for you!"

In the weight area - the serious lifters don't care who else is there as long as you put your weights away afterwards. The guys standing around chatting aren't doing anything anyway so ignore them!

Doula mama to dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08) and expecting (Apr '17)
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#9 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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I'm also usually one of the largest people at my gym. What helped me was to find a routine that I was confortable doing. I didn't want to look like a newbie, much less a "fat" newbie, fumbling with the machines. So I:

did some internet searches to learn how some machines work
took a personal training session to for some cardio machine info and some weight exercises
We have an area of treadmills that overlooks a core/mat workout area. I woudl walk and watch trainers or other gym members do their workout
Take classes, espec weight classes with dumbells or core classes, and you can do the same exercises on your own out in teh gym

I also have realized that most gym goers aren't there to judge or even to check you out. Most are probably "happy" that you are there and making the efforts to change your body.

Gigi. Mommy to 3 girls.
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#10 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 10:16 AM
 
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I think regular time and regular routine would help. This way you would know what you are trying to do and who is at the gym.

For example, I know it is always the same (two) other people at the gym when I go during the week and I am always alone on Saturdays because I show up 15 min before opening and 'crash' that party so I can get home to take ds1 to soccer on time.

Removing some of the uncertainty will allow you to plan your reactions to the situation.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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But I honestly believe that most people (if they notice at all) are more impressed that you are there doing something then they are judging you for your weight.
exactly! i see all kinds of people in the gym and admire that they are there trying to make lifestyle changes.

i agree that hiring a personal trainer and having help setting up what you are going to do will help make you feel comfortable.

Midwifery student , Mama to my 4 amazing kids. treehugger.gif

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#12 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 02:50 PM
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in the gym, most people don't notice anyone else--they are too busy doing what they need to do for themselves.

so, the main thing is to remind yourself that no one is paying any attention to what you are doing.

and as for the weights section, i'm more apt to be ticked at the muscle-head who didn't put the weights back or clean up after himself, than any respectful person of any size using the free weights.

besides i think freeweights are the best, so i'm always glad to see a newbie--particularly a woman newbie--using them, regardless of size.
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#13 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Agreed... everyone is too concerned about their goals and trouble spots to pay attention to other people. And if they do pay attention to others, then you know they're intimidated by you because they can tell you know what you're doing and you're there for a purpose, whereas they're obviously not.

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#14 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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This is obviously not something everyone can do, but I recently joined a brand new gym (as in, I became a member before it even opened and was there on opening day). The environment is MUCH more friendly than previous gyms I've been to, as there are no "regulars," or if there are, I am now one of them.

Other than that, though, I think the previous advice has been good. The best thing you can do is just realize that most people aren't looking at you and don't care, and those who are have their own issues to deal with.
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#15 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by inkedmamajama View Post

but how do i overcome it? i try to just soldier through, but im hoping for specific techniques and ideas.
I would always feel a little uncomfortable until I worked out a routine and knew what I was going to do. Sometimes if you can figure out a machine, or how to change the weight on the machine, or what series of exercises to do with free weights, you can feel a little self conscious.

I also look at people and smile if they happen to catch my eye. This is so different from how I lived most of my life, but at some point I realized I have to put forth a positive attitude even if I don't really believe it. I also would take my own music for when I was doing the treadmills or step machines.

I know there are some instructors who may or may not have a good attitude about you. They might make judgments about your quality of life or your health. You just have to do what you can do and not apologize. I wish I had specific tips, but I think it's like when you feel shy or self-conscious in any situation.
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#16 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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I am just getting started back at the gym and going through this myself. I am trying to just set myself specific goals for each visit and get through it one day at a time until I have a routine that works for me.
Today I could not get up the nerve to do my core work on the mat in the open area, so I went upstairs to see if the studio was empty (there was no class scheduled, so normally I could go in there to do stuff)... but an instructor was working on a routine and I didn't feel comfortable interrupting. So I did some extra time on a treadmill that looks over the mat and did some investigating... I looked to see who was using that area, and scoped things out to see if anyone was watching them.
The challenge I met today was changing out in the changing room! Not necessarily a big deal for me in the past, since it's all women and usually all sizes, but I had a double mastectomy this summer and am still uncertain about what kind of reactions I will get. No reaction! yay!
With that one out of the way, I'm sure I will be using the mat by the end of the week.
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#17 of 20 Old 10-07-2008, 02:42 AM
 
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I was at first, but now I realize there are so many types of people at the gym. And everyone has been nice so far, or just keep to themselves. I feel really good after the gym, I wont let the fear of someone judging me keep me away!

~Shannon~ Proud Mama of 3 girls, ages 7,4, and 2.
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#18 of 20 Old 10-07-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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I used to feel weird when I started going to the gym or even walking in public. I feel like people are thinking that I ought to walk a little more. Or feel weird if I eat dessert at a restaurant because I obviously don't need it. I still think about it sometimes, but not as much.

I think that people think about themselves a lot more than they think about other people. You're not even that big and you're pretty. : Just think that they're looking at you because you're so hot.

As for specifics, I like the insideoutweightloss podcast by renee stephens.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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#19 of 20 Old 10-07-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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Not to pressure anyone, but when I was training regularly they definitely noticed--just as they noticed if any other regular missed. If anything it was a great motivator to get in every usual day so I didn't get the "what, had a cold?" teasing.

BTW, every one looking at this thread should read "Such a Pretty Fat" by Jen Lancaster.

and check out:
http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/displaysection.php?sid=3
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#20 of 20 Old 10-07-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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I'm always inspired by the 'bigger' folks that i see at the gym - much more inspired by them then by the uber fit people because i know that it's that much more difficult for that person to walk into the gym and do their thing.

and when you go regularly you'll get a ton of support because people will admire what you're doing for yourself. so think about that the next time you're feeling embarrassed.
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