When did you feel 'slim' enough for gym?



  • RhineDHP
    RhineDHP Posts: 1,025 Member
    Thanks everyone. I do realise a lot of it is in my head. I know most people there will just be getting on with there own thing but my confidence is so low all it would take would be a comment from one idiot and id leave and probably not come back. I need to work on not caring so much what others think of me I guess. I was told for so long that I was too fat to exercise I cant get myself to stop believing it now.

    put your head phones in- and just literally ignore everyone else. you don't have to talk to people if you don't want to.

    This. No one bothers me when I have my ear buds in.
  • drosebud
    drosebud Posts: 277 Member
    Until recently I'd always been the fattest one in my fitness class. I'm just adding to what others have said, really. Just try it. I love it, and it's empowering to be active, strong and healthy, no matter what your weight is.
    Even when I was at my fattest (around a UK size 22), no one said anything snidey or uncomplimentary to me: people are generally very helpful and supportive. It's only you that's holding yourself back: no one else. Go for it and hopefully ion a few weeks you'll be loving it and wondering why you ever worried about joining one.
  • shelbelw
    shelbelw Posts: 48 Member
    I have body image issues no matter what I weigh. Don't let how you think other people might perceive you stop you from doing ANYTHING. Just do what's good for you.
  • allbarrett
    allbarrett Posts: 159 Member
    All I can say is: try not to worry about it, most people are there to do their own thing. I've heard stories about idiots at gyms (being rude/unkind) but I've never met any myself and there are rude/unkind people everywhere.

    Oh, and if it really bothers you, I've noticed my gyms (I use two, one near the office and one near home) are typically less busy before 8 AM, and nearly empty before 7 AM...so if you don't mind early mornings, hit the gym early when there are fewer people, if that will help you get over your self-consciousness. That is a great time to ask the staff to show you around, give you a demo for anything you want to try but don't know how to do correctly, etc.
  • snowbune27
    snowbune27 Posts: 75 Member
    I have a lot more respect for not so in shape people at the gym than for fit looking people! It means they are taking control of their life/health and actually doing something about it.

    I know it's not easy, but go for it! It will be easier after a couple time you go and you start seeing familiar faces :)

    here here! i think much more highly of people who have bigger goals for themselves. seeing everyone at the gym focused on their goals motivates me more to think about what i want to accomplish that day, and in life... i couldn't care less what anyone looks like.
  • Mischievous_Rascal
    Mischievous_Rascal Posts: 1,791 Member
    I felt exactly the same way, and I waited a long time (years) until my friend finally said to get my head out of butt and stop thinking everyone was looking at me. Because they really were not. Go for yourself, and go now. You'll thank yourself BIG time.
  • davemunger
    davemunger Posts: 1,139 Member
    The best way to feel comfortable in the gym is to get a personal trainer for the first 4 or 5 sessions. This will get you into a routine, you will know what you are doing, and will be so focused on your own workout that you won't worry what other folks are thinking.

    I started working out in a gym right after completing the Boston Marathon last year. I was in great shape but still felt self-conscious. After working out with a trainer for a few sessions I realized that most of my insecurities went away. I'm convinced that knowing what to do and having a routine are more important than what shape your body is in!
  • delmauriac
    delmauriac Posts: 52 Member
    I joined when I was at my heaviest. I am still one of the largest people that go there, but I have learned not to care. I've never had any negative experience from anyone there. I felt out of place to start with as I could barely do 10 minutes on any of the machines without turning into a huge puddle of sweaty lard on the floor - but it has slowly and steadily improved. I spent most of the first few weeks just walking on the treadmill, music on to try and distract me and trying not to make eye contact with anyone. At the end of the day when you sign up you pay just as much as anyone else there to go and use the facilities. Most people there will be so focused on their own insecurities as to not pay you any attention. Get in, crack on, enjoy - you won't regret a minute of it!
  • maz504
    maz504 Posts: 450
    I had TOTAL anxiety about the gym, my mom even offered to pay the membership dues and I turned it down because the absolute last thing I wanted was a bunch of people to see me in spandex sweating my fat a** off and doing 1/10th of the work of what the "fit" people were doing.

    But I was SO wrong. I finally just bit the bullet and joined one of the "big box" gyms in my area, mostly because I could do the paperwork online and not have to go in and be shown around by some big strong trainer lol! With the support of my MFP friends I gave it a shot and guess what - not a single person gave me a second look! (Except for one particularly creepy dude on his cell phone watching me do the hip adductor machine... ew.)

    Obviously it's not going to be the same experience everywhere, but I was SHOCKED at how much of that anxiety I was having was blown out of proportion! Everyone is there working on their own bodies, no one really seemed to care much about mine! If it helps, you could also try going with a friend and working out together - strength in numbers!! But even if you go by yourself just hold your head up high and if anyone sneers at you you can always default to the good ol "My fat is temporary but your ugliness is forever!" comeback ;)
  • Blacklance36
    Blacklance36 Posts: 755 Member
    I go the gym all the time and if I see a heavier person I think "good for them, they are taking control" and I think most people there feel the same way. I'm silently cheering those people on!

    A lot of us were exactly there at one point. I have lost 30 pounds by watching what I eat and exercising regularly.

    Just get started. That's the biggest step.
  • meghan6867
    meghan6867 Posts: 388 Member
    Every gym I've ever been to has a combination of fit & healthy folks and people who are average or heavy and simply trying to get healthier. It isn't like the high school PE classes in there and if it is, join a different gym.

    If you're reluctant: see if you can get a trial membership for a week or two and test the waters. If it doesn't feel right or you're uncomfortable look for a different place. I promise you: you'll find a gym that works for you if you try it out. I've been a member at a couple of different gyms. The first was right next to our local high school and, while the fellow gym clients varied in age and athletic ability... I thought it was a little too loud, busy, and dirty for me.

    The second gym was filled with middle aged to older folks, with trainers constantly available, very tidy, and tons of opportunities (classes, wellness coaching, etc., etc.). It was a perfect fit. Shop around to find a gym that works best for you.
  • TaintedVampyre
    TaintedVampyre Posts: 1,428 Member
    If those people have enough time to judge what you're doing, then clearly they aren't focusing on themselves anymore. Honestly, nobody goes to the gym to judge others.
  • ejoy77
    ejoy77 Posts: 19 Member
    I totally understand how you feel. I avoiding working out with free weights in my gym for the longest time, mainly because I worried about people looking at me and thinking, "You don't know what you're doing, and you don't belong here." A couple of things helped me get over that hurdle:
    1.) Join a gym that fits you. Different gyms have different atmospheres. Like someone else mentioned, you should tour a few gyms in your area, and find one that seems to have a more welcoming atmosphere, and is populated by people at all different levels of fitness and all different levels of weight. I can tell you, if you look around my gym, you will see people at every step of the journey, and they're all just working it out. No judgment. We're all just there to get healthier and more fit.
    2.) Join a class. If you feel like you don't know what you're doing, or like you don't belong, sometimes being in a supportive group atmosphere can help you feel more comfortable and more able to venture out on your own to other parts of the gym. In my experience, the people in group fitness classes come from all levels of fitness, and are some of the most supportive people in the world.
    3.) Set a deadline for yourself. Ultimately, that's what I had to do with the free weights thing. I just had to decide: by this date, no matter what, I will start working out with free weights in public. If you wait until you feel comfortable doing it, it will just never happen. But if you DO it, you will eventually feel comfortable.
  • dswolverine
    dswolverine Posts: 246 Member
    I see people of all shapes and sizes at every gym i've ever gone to! Don't be intimidated- no one will look down on you for going to the gym and working to get fit! Worry about you and you only :smile:
  • iRun_Butterfly
    iRun_Butterfly Posts: 483 Member
    I used to feel the same way, afraid of people looking at me and judging me. But really, until you just do it, you very well may never feel that you belong. You'll lose 10 more pounds and think, well, my belly still jiggles, so you'll wait for another 10 pounds, mentally you'll keep making excuses not to just go for it. Don't play that game with yourself, just bite the bullet and dive in. I joined my gym at 210 pounds and horribly out of shape. I was embarrassed and felt out of place. But after walking through that door the first few times I got over it. Now I feel like I belong there, just as much as the skinny chicks and the muscle head young guys. Just do it, you won't regret it!
  • jelkins2000
    jelkins2000 Posts: 38 Member
    I always felt the same way about the gym, but one day I just decided to do it. It's still a little intimidating walking through the doors, but I found that at the gym people just do their own thing and ignore everybody else. This is what I was hoping for. Everyone is so focused on themselves they really won't pay you any attention. Plus while it's easier said than done, you just have to have an "I don't care what people think" approach. It helps me every time I go.

    Oh, and as someone who was the fat kid in PE class, I can tell you gyms aren't anything like that.
  • Hawkrcr285
    Hawkrcr285 Posts: 14 Member
    most people will be nothing but supportive and encouraging, i just saw a quote the other day "Why the $%&^ would you make fun of a fat person at the gym when you have concrete visible proof that they are actively trying to fix the problem". Go, you wont believe how much better you will feel, not just physically but emotionally as well. Start slow, don't be afraid to get to know the staff. and most importantly have a little fun!
  • nikifavorido
    nikifavorido Posts: 41 Member
    If it is any help, I am over 20 stone and I go to the gym. What the others say is true, you are there for YOU.. not anyone else! Get them headphones in, crank up the music and go for it :) good luck x
  • mnwalkingqueen
    mnwalkingqueen Posts: 1,299 Member
    I felt a little weird being 260lbs and 5'3" tall joining a gym but I did. I went every day just started by walking on the treadmill ( holding the rails). I realized no one there was paying attention to me so it made it easier. I still use the rails because I have a problem walking sideways so holding forces me to walk straight..