Too fat to go to the gym?

I got myself a gym membership on the weekend and I have been once, but the whole time I was very anxious, scared and intimidated that all the other members were looking at me. Especially the gym junkies and skinny Minnie's.

How do I get past this feeling so that I can just go to the gym? Or should I put my membership on hold until I lose some more weight?
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Replies

  • MagnumBurrito
    MagnumBurrito Posts: 1,070 Member
    Just keep going. It will pass. Everyone always looks at the new person in every situation in life. The gym is no different. There is no one too fat for the gym. Respect for everyone who goes to the gym and tries to better them self.
  • hurricanelena
    hurricanelena Posts: 83 Member
    No! You are never too fat to workout! (as long as your doctor says its okay of course)

    I think the best way to "get over it" is by exposure. Just go. Also try going over the scenario in your head when you're not at the gym. Think to yourself, what if all the people are looking at me? How am I going to react? What am I going to do if someone says something to me? And remind yourself that you're there to be healthy, not win any beauty contests or compete with anyone else.

    Its also possible that by going at different times of the day/week, you'll find different types of people. Try moving your times around as your schedule allows. I call the late morning hours during the week at my gym the "senior hour". I find its a helpful reminder that I'm doing this so I can be around at their age to be still working out.

    Does your gym do orientations? Maybe getting more comfortable with the equipment will help reduce some of your anxiety.

    Good luck! And remember that you are doing better than anyone else who isn't taking the steps to be healthier.
  • stephanieluvspb
    stephanieluvspb Posts: 997 Member
    I promise you 95% of the people at the gym are not worried about you or what you look like, they are there to work out, struggling to make one more set, 10 more minutes, whatever. I also assure you a lot of the people there were also once out of shape and are not judging you. Just do it! Maybe go late at night or in the middle of the day, when most people are at work. Maybe find a gym with a ladies only section.
    PS: calling someone a gym junkie or a skinny minnie sounds a little judgemental, i will NEVER be a skinny minnie i will be a healthy, strong woman you don't want to be judged, so don't judge others.
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,624 Member
    THey aren't, or if they are it's because they are insecure themselves.

    When I first started at 200lbs years ago I felt the same. And when I stopped wearing foundation/makeup in highschool I thought eveyrone was staring at me, but... 2 weeks later, same me, I stopped being so paranoid and thus stopped assuming everyone was staring at me.

    IF you're worried, go at a time when the gym is the least busy.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
    Too fat to go to the gym?

    no such condition exists nor has ever existed.
  • itsbasschick
    itsbasschick Posts: 1,584 Member
    the gym's the right place to be if you want to develop some muscle - as long as your dr says to go for it. if people look, well, let them.
  • Ohhim
    Ohhim Posts: 1,142 Member
    When on most exercise equipment, although some come equipped with TVs, there really isn't much to do other than look around at other folks. They aren't likely looking at you because they see someone out of place, they are likely just looking at you because there aren't a lot of options of things to focus on when they are repeating the same motion on their bike/treadmill/eliptical/stairmaster for the 30 minutes they are on it.
  • LAT1963
    LAT1963 Posts: 1,375 Member
    The only person too fat to go to the gym is someone too fat to get in the door, and since most gyms have a double door at the entry I'm not sure it's humanly possible to get that large without dying first.

    Snooty hook-up gyms do exist, but at a "real" gym, people are there to get their work out done and go home soon as possible to get to living their lives. Everyone is too wrapped up in their own gig to worry about what others are doing.
  • NoMoreBlameGame
    NoMoreBlameGame Posts: 236 Member
    Calling people gym junkies and skinny minnies is kinda being hypocritical in a way. I mean, if you walk in and immediately place them into one of those two categories...then get upset if they may judge you as a "fatty patty" or some other equally as insulting title...it's the same thing.

    All that being said, I don't go to the gym for the same reason you don't (intimidation). I might "get over it" some day and just say to heck with it and GO...hopefully sooner rather than later.

    I do like the idea someone else offered of going when the gym is the least busy. You could call them or go in and speak with them about when their slowest hours usually are (I might do that myself). =)
  • anewstart1011
    anewstart1011 Posts: 72 Member
    I joined the gym but cancelled it because it wasn't working for my life circumstances. If I could go I would in heart beat. I got myself a fitbit and bought myself an exercise bike. As I lose more weight I am buying myself workout equipment as a reward!?!

    It finally came down that my life circumstances were not going to be an excuse anymore. So no your not too fat for the gym. Wish you the best!1
  • engagedprincess
    engagedprincess Posts: 59 Member
    Calling people gym junkies and skinny minnies is kinda being hypocritical in a way. I mean, if you walk in and immediately place them into one of those two categories...then get upset if they may judge you as a "fatty patty" or some other equally as insulting title...it's the same thing.

    All that being said, I don't go to the gym for the same reason you don't (intimidation). I might "get over it" some day and just say to heck with it and GO...hopefully sooner rather than later.

    I do like the idea someone else offered of going when the gym is the least busy. You could call them or go in and speak with them about when their slowest hours usually are (I might do that myself). =)
    it was a joke.... Just saying
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,624 Member
    Calling people gym junkies and skinny minnies is kinda being hypocritical in a way. I mean, if you walk in and immediately place them into one of those two categories...then get upset if they may judge you as a "fatty patty" or some other equally as insulting title...it's the same thing.

    All that being said, I don't go to the gym for the same reason you don't (intimidation). I might "get over it" some day and just say to heck with it and GO...hopefully sooner rather than later.

    I do like the idea someone else offered of going when the gym is the least busy. You could call them or go in and speak with them about when their slowest hours usually are (I might do that myself). =)
    it was a joke.... Just saying

    Well you don't like the idea that people are judging you, so why make a joke that implies judgment of others?
  • silentKayak
    silentKayak Posts: 658 Member
    Chances are good that no one's looking at you. They really only care about themselves and what they're doing. And if they are looking at you, they're probably thinking it's pretty cool that someone is trying to improve themselves. Showing up is like 90% of the battle.

    Some gyms might be better for you than others. I like small community gyms and college fitness centers, since people are pretty mellow and just doing their own thing. I joined a Big Name Bodybuilding Gym once, and was pretty unhappy there. There was a lot of posturing and machismo which was horrible to watch. I also was miserable at a Big Name Women's-Only 30 Minute Circuit gym. No one there seemed to want to work hard, and I hated being locked into a circle with everyone else. To each their own.
  • hsygh
    hsygh Posts: 13 Member
    Everyone, including myself when I started, feels like they're being stared at...but in reality no one cares that much. The vast majority of gym goers are just there to get their workout in and go home.

    You may feel awkward at first, but after a short while the gym will feel like a comfort zone for you. I know for me, it became the place where I was most confident; the first place I didn't feel inferior to those more fit than me.

    You can do it!
  • LAT1963
    LAT1963 Posts: 1,375 Member
    Calling people gym junkies and skinny minnies is kinda being hypocritical in a way. I mean, if you walk in and immediately place them into one of those two categories...then get upset if they may judge you as a "fatty patty" or some other equally as insulting title...it's the same thing.

    All that being said, I don't go to the gym for the same reason you don't (intimidation). I might "get over it" some day and just say to heck with it and GO...hopefully sooner rather than later.

    I do like the idea someone else offered of going when the gym is the least busy. You could call them or go in and speak with them about when their slowest hours usually are (I might do that myself). =)
    it was a joke.... Just saying

    Well you don't like the idea that people are judging you, so why make a joke that implies judgment of others?

    It's fairly natural to assume other people think similarly to the way you yourself do, though this assumption is often wrong.

    People dissatisfied with their weight are judgmental about their weight may start judging others weight as well as their own (if only as a benchmark against which to fault themselves), and then project that others are thinking in the same manner.

    Unlabeled sarcasm doesn't translate well on the web. No point jumping on a web-neophyte by taking deliberate offense to something that wasn't intended to offend.

    There's a quote I can't quite remember, along the lines of "People would worry a lot less about what others thought of them if they realized how infrequently others think of them."
  • StrawberryJam40
    StrawberryJam40 Posts: 274 Member
    Don't worry about what they are doing, looking at , or thinking. I am far from small (in the 250s) and hang out in the weight room with guys that can bench numbers higher than I think I can count lol. I concentrate on what I'm doing and why I'm there.

    And, believe me they have more respect for you for being there than you'll ever know. But, keep going and they'll let you know that.

    Best NSV was a guy tapping me on the shoulder when I was on the ARC machine next to his treadmill after he had just ran miles and miles to tell me I was doing great and he could tell I was working hard.

    One day someone is going to do that to you as long as you keep going!
  • cincysweetheart
    cincysweetheart Posts: 892 Member
    First of all… no such thing as being too fat for the gym. It's like refusing to go to the doctor until you start getting better.

    Second of all… people are usually too busy checking themselves out in the mirror to bother worrying about anyone else.

    Third of all… I usually try to be really conscious about not judging/labeling people at the gym (the "gym junkies" or "skinny minis"), but I admit, the thought does cross my mind at times when I see those regulars. Those super fit and built people who can probably lift with their pinky finger what I struggle to bench. However… I got a huge wake up call when one of those regulars who I had mentally labeled came up to me and gave me "props for the motivation" and told me how much he respected my efforts. My piddly light weights and (at best) moderate paced walks… If I compare myself to others… I feel completely inadequate at the gym most of the time… convinced that everybody is judging me and mentally making those disparaging remarks that I think about myself. It doesn't stop me because I stopped giving a flying a long time ago what anybody else thought of me… But it made my day to realize I was wrong…. that if people were noticing me, they were actually respecting what I was doing.

    Basically, what I'm saying… give those "gym junkies" a chance. Yeah, they're gonna be there. But before you get intimidated by them or are convinced they are making negative judgments about you… don't be too quick to judge them yourself. They may end up being your biggest cheerleaders.
  • I have respect for the fatter folks in the gym, because they are making an effort to improve themselves which shows character.

    When I was fat, I got some looks, but I trained like a beast, worked hard and regularly and then became more motivated by the approving looks.

    Don't care what others think...unless it's something positive. hahaha
  • StrawberryJam40
    StrawberryJam40 Posts: 274 Member

    It's fairly natural to assume other people think similarly to the way you yourself do, though this assumption is often wrong.

    People dissatisfied with their weight are judgmental about their weight may start judging others weight as well as their own (if only as a benchmark against which to fault themselves), and then project that others are thinking in the same manner.

    Unlabeled sarcasm doesn't translate well on the web. No point jumping on a web-neophyte by taking deliberate offense to something that wasn't intended to offend.

    There's a quote I can't quite remember, along the lines of "People would worry a lot less about what others thought of them if they realized how infrequently others think of them."

    Yes, exactly, by now those people at the gym are on with their own lives and probably don't even remember who they saw at the gym.
  • astroophys
    astroophys Posts: 175 Member
    Calling people gym junkies and skinny minnies is kinda being hypocritical in a way. I mean, if you walk in and immediately place them into one of those two categories...then get upset if they may judge you as a "fatty patty" or some other equally as insulting title...it's the same thing.

    All that being said, I don't go to the gym for the same reason you don't (intimidation). I might "get over it" some day and just say to heck with it and GO...hopefully sooner rather than later.

    I do like the idea someone else offered of going when the gym is the least busy. You could call them or go in and speak with them about when their slowest hours usually are (I might do that myself). =)
    it was a joke.... Just saying

    Well you don't like the idea that people are judging you, so why make a joke that implies judgment of others?

    ^^this +1

    Also, OP, rest assured that either no one's really paying attention to you, or they're just happy to see another person working out because it encourages them to do the same.