Health and Well-Being · Personal Growth · Quick Tips

Fitness Center Fear

Last year in January I joined the gym. For the first time in my life I decided to really get serious about living my best life as far as my health is concerned. While I had spent a few years prior learning about nutrition and hormones and all those other ‘best health of my life’ things (that I will definitely explore later on in this blogging adventure,) regular exercise was the missing piece. If you see me running, you better run too because something is chasing me. I’m sure you’ve heard that joke before. That was one of my favorites. If you saw me exerting energy that would elevate my heart rate in public something was going down.

Luckily, I selected an awesome local fitness center- a really friendly helpful staff and unlimited classes included to get into the swing of things. I have to admit, though, I was pretty intimidated in the beginning by all of the people there, all of the equipment I had no clue how to use and for some reason was actually embarrassed to ask for instructions.  I avoided a lot of them in fear of ending up as a viral video sensation for flipping myself over the ‘handlebars’ of a leg press machine or something.

I think a lot of us avoid fitness centers altogether out of fear or intimidation or even judgement, so I hope I can set some minds at ease with a few things I’ve learned and observed over the last year and a half.

  1. You are exactly the right shape and size to go to the gym. No one begins their fitness journey fit. That’s kind of the point. Oh, sweet woman, I know comparison is often the thief of joy and intimidation is the robber of your motivation, but you are just fine to start right where you are.
  2. You can figure out what to do- whether you ask for help or you go it alone. Every piece of gym equipment is on Google. There are experts out there giving free knowledge on YouTube with step by step tutorials. Beyond that? You can team up with a trainer or get fitness programs right on an app on your phone. GymLife and FitRadio are two of my favorites. GymLife has a chart to show which muscle groups you’ve worked that week to make sure you hit all the ones you want to tone. Fit Radio has a little monthly charge but along with awesome music there are actual cardio coaches to talk you through walks, runs, elliptical workouts, and more. It’s as easy as picking how long you want to work out and at what intensity level and selecting a genre of music. Oh, and having a good set of earbuds! Not everyone wants to enjoy your coach and music along with you. I like Bluetooth earbuds so I’m not tethered to my phone. Yoga pants with pockets have changed my life.
  3. You will not be the slowest or most out of shape person should you decide to join a class, and even if you are the instructor will be excited to see you and your class mates will either welcome you with open arms or be so preoccupied trying to keep up they won’t be checking your performance at all.
  4. You can wear whatever you’re most comfortable in! Big t-shirt and sweatpants? Fine at the gym. Don’t feel like you must walk in looking like you just stepped out of a sneaker company ad. People who go to the gym don’t dress up for the gym.
  5. It’s not a waste of money if you actually go. Your health is your wealth, friend! As for motivation? We will cover that soon in another post.

She, confident in her body’s ability gain strength and mobility, held her head high and walked to the membership desk of her local fitness center.

I only take gym selfies in the bathroom.

As a side note- if you want some really comfortable workout gear, my very most favorite pants come from Fabletics. High-waisted and Power Hold are my life. No sagging, crawling, or tugging required (if you know what I mean) and they’re not see through! You can shop this link and when you enroll you’ll get TWO pair for $24.

24 thoughts on “Fitness Center Fear

  1. These yoga pants are the bomb!!! I plan on working towards a better lifestyle when the kids start school!!! Better routines, healthier eating, packing lunches, afternoon walks!

  2. Thanks for this info! ❤️ Getting to the gym is my battle, I love being there once I’m there but goodness it’s hard getting there!

  3. Thanks for doing this! We all need a reminder that we’re not alone in things we deal with daily! We can ALL use some encouragement and kind words

  4. I need to get back to the gym. I know exactly what you are talking about and have felt intimidated often when going to the gym. Mist of that comes from my own self doubt. Working on it but still struggle

  5. I am so proud of you Mindy! I needed to hear this. I often don’t take time to work on me. I need more information about hormones in a future blog please. I had a hysterectomy at 27, and have tried many different options. I’m currently not using any hormone therapy, and I would love some advice. #Nosleep #Foggybrain

  6. Just read this and going for a long overdue beach walk….she, confident that one day, she will join the gym life. Today, I will start my morning off with a peaceful walk & alone time! Heading there now before work & then will come home and shower!

  7. I love my gym, CrossFit McComb. The community there is spectacular! I’m a weight lifter y’all!!! I’m so thankful I took the very scary step in there 3 years ago!

  8. My biggest fear of the gym is judgement. I KNOW I need to be there but HATE people watching me walk in. I have a few other fears of the gym but none of them are fitness related. I know routines, machines, weights. Most of my fears come from “what are other people thinking, seeing, saying, etc”

  9. I struggle with this daily!! My biggest fear is judgement and not knowing what to do once I get there.

  10. I love my leggings with pockets! Good for you for going to the gym. I’ve been on a good consistent streak for a few weeks now and I’m so happy!

  11. You have spoken the truth, my friend! Point number one is my favorite. So many times we talk ourselves out of things. Sad. Girls, go if you want and need to go! Just walk in there like a boss and get it done.

  12. This past week, while on vacation, I stepped into their gym. It was amazing. All the new things in workout equipment. I went forth with no fear, being familiar with the equipment. However, I realized why the gym is so unappealing to me. I like to get my stuff done and get out. I think I may have been the only one there with that mindset.

  13. Love this!! The gym is just part of my daily routine! I’m generally a 5am workout person but I do have my days where I like to hit snooze one too many times 🤪 I remind myself daily that any progress is just that…PROGRESS so be intentional and the rest will follow!

  14. Awesome and true advice. Yes, the gym (or any type of public display of activity) can be intimidating, but most of that is brought on by our own insecurity. So just move your body, people. 😏 I have increased my physical activity in many ways over the past 3 or 4 years, and have recently taken the plunge into the world of CrossFit. It is outside of my comfort zone, but let me say that the folks there are the most supportive crew! Tomorrow we will do a workout that involves 12 different barbell movements 😬 Most all of them I must modify/scale to meet my current ability and keep me safe. There will be no shame in this outside of any I create. My point is ladies, just go. Wherever you want to go, just go. You will be welcomed! And you will be proud you did. Love ya, Mindy, and thanks for spreading this message!

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