How to Avoid Getting Discouraged.

So, I understand that fitness is a journey and weight loss is a challenging thing. But how do people keep from feeling upset or even embarrassed by their lack of progress or how bad things have gotten?

Ive been to the gym almost every day for the last 3-4 weeks. I usually stick to cardio and weight machines, but today a friend (who is super in-shape) offered to help teach me about free weights. We did weighted squats, and I felt absolutely pathetic and embarrassed that I could barely do 100lbs. Afterwords we did crunches and box steps and that was a mess too. All I could think was how bad of shape I was in and how did I ever let myself get to the point where simple things like this were so hard? Im going to keep going to the gym and not stop, but im just really in a negative headspace regarding today.
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Replies

  • snowflakesav
    snowflakesav Posts: 644 Member
    Part of the journey is being a bit more gentle with yourself.

    Nobody is judging you or shaming you when you are at the gym. Your friend went to the gym with you to help and encourage you. People like to support and encourage one another.

    It is hard to outgrow the mindset of feeling judged or shameful. Once you make better friends with yourself you will see that others are there to support you.



  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,147 Member
    you got to crawl before you walk man…

    All of us started somewhere. When I started doing pull ups and chin ups I could barely do one, now I can do chin ups with a 45# plate hanging off my waist and pull ups with 35# hanging off my waist. When I started squatting it was like 145# now I can squat 245#….when I stated deadlifting I was doing like 175# now I can max out at 375# …< see where I am going with this...

    I would suggest accepting the help from your friend with the free weights, as they are superior to the machines.

    I woud also suggest looking into a structured lifting program like strong lifts or starting strength….

  • Jengoing2015
    Jengoing2015 Posts: 28 Member
    In life as in exercise and eating I have learned that tomorrow is a new day. You can always start again. Best to you.
  • wils5150
    wils5150 Posts: 149 Member
    you are out there trying that puts you miles ahead of those that are still on the couch
  • minizebu
    minizebu Posts: 2,478 Member
    Don't focus on what you can't do. Focus on what you can do and on making small improvements over time. Setting incrementally challenging, achievable goals and meeting those will give you a sense of accomplishment. So, next time do X more weight, or volume, or intensity, etc.

    Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking with it for the last several weeks and not giving up.
  • LAWoman72
    LAWoman72 Posts: 2,846 Member
    You need to just keep your eyes on the prize. :) I didn't feel like I was "getting anywhere" in the beginning. For me, it was (and is) a matter of weight loss so each time I lost a pound, I'd think: Wow, last week I'd have been overjoyed to be one pound down. And now I'm here! I went that way, pound by pound and so far at this point I'm 30 pounds down, and NOW it feels like I'm getting somewhere. ;)

  • Jengoing2015
    Jengoing2015 Posts: 28 Member
    And even though it is hard sometimes to think this. Screw what others think, we are all our own journey.
  • barbecuesauce
    barbecuesauce Posts: 1,779 Member
    Hey, only a few months ago I could barely run for three minutes. Like, I felt like I was dying. Now I can run up to an hour. Then I discovered trail running and I was almost back at square one.

    You need to start somewhere and you need to have a destination in mind--but don't stress about how much time or effort it takes you to get there.
  • PaulaWallaDingDong
    PaulaWallaDingDong Posts: 4,640 Member
    I'm still recovering, poorly, from doing 10 bodyweight squats 2 days ago. 10! So, don't feel bad. We all have to start somewhere, just like the guys in the gym did, and everyone on MyFitnesspal.
  • Camo_xxx
    Camo_xxx Posts: 1,112 Member
    1. Lifting weights is never easy considering you are always lifting as much as you can.
    2. Somebody will always be lifting a heavier weight then you so stop comparing and lift your load.
  • sandryc79
    sandryc79 Posts: 250 Member
    There is always someone in worse shape than you. If you saw them working out to improve themselves and they confessed that compared to you they feel pathetic and embarrassed you would probably tell them that it is awesome that they are working hard and encourage them.

    Cut yourself the same slack!
  • MynameisJerryB
    MynameisJerryB Posts: 168 Member
    Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't be discouraged, keep at it and you will see progress and that will keep you motivated.
  • ekat120
    ekat120 Posts: 407 Member
    "Progress has little to do with speed, but much to do with direction."
  • Smallc10
    Smallc10 Posts: 345 Member
    Just remember the first time your friend squatted or did any of those things he probably was as terrible as you. Everyone who starts out in the free weight section doesn't automatically start squatting 200 lbs or deadlifing twice your body weight. I had to start out with the pre-weighted bars because I couldn't even bench, squat or deadlift the olympic bar. I thought it was embarrassing until I realized that no one at the gym knows what you're doing, what you background is, what you might be recovering from. It's just important that you're trying. Give it a few months and you'll be a pro in the free weights section! Promise. I'm recovering from leg surgery now and am still only squatting 60 lbs, no one has judged me at the gym (or at least not enough that I've noticed)
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,173 Member
    kk811 wrote: »
    So, I understand that fitness is a journey and weight loss is a challenging thing. But how do people keep from feeling upset or even embarrassed by their lack of progress or how bad things have gotten?

    Ive been to the gym almost every day for the last 3-4 weeks. I usually stick to cardio and weight machines, but today a friend (who is super in-shape) offered to help teach me about free weights. We did weighted squats, and I felt absolutely pathetic and embarrassed that I could barely do 100lbs. Afterwords we did crunches and box steps and that was a mess too. All I could think was how bad of shape I was in and how did I ever let myself get to the point where simple things like this were so hard? Im going to keep going to the gym and not stop, but im just really in a negative headspace regarding today.

    If thsi is how you felt, then you need to let your friend know he is not a good teacher ;)
    If this was the very first time you were using weights, it should have been about learning form, not worrying at all about weights. Like using the bar only for squatting, and this assuming you had decent form for bodyweight squats, amnd so on.
    It is not a race, you need to first figure out what to do, how to do it, then worry about progress. And your body will take time adjusting to any new exercise.
    Take a long distance runner who has never lifted and ask him to lift for the first time and see how "out of shape" he will look. Or take someone powerlifting for years and ask him to join a yoga or pilates class and then watch him fall back on the mattress exhausted after 2 minutes, while the little old lady next to him is going from pose to pose with perfect form and is giving him puzzled looks. Everything takes practice.
  • tomatoey
    tomatoey Posts: 5,459 Member
    aggelikik wrote: »
    kk811 wrote: »
    So, I understand that fitness is a journey and weight loss is a challenging thing. But how do people keep from feeling upset or even embarrassed by their lack of progress or how bad things have gotten?

    Ive been to the gym almost every day for the last 3-4 weeks. I usually stick to cardio and weight machines, but today a friend (who is super in-shape) offered to help teach me about free weights. We did weighted squats, and I felt absolutely pathetic and embarrassed that I could barely do 100lbs. Afterwords we did crunches and box steps and that was a mess too. All I could think was how bad of shape I was in and how did I ever let myself get to the point where simple things like this were so hard? Im going to keep going to the gym and not stop, but im just really in a negative headspace regarding today.

    If thsi is how you felt, then you need to let your friend know he is not a good teacher ;)
    If this was the very first time you were using weights, it should have been about learning form, not worrying at all about weights. Like using the bar only for squatting, and this assuming you had decent form for bodyweight squats, amnd so on.
    It is not a race, you need to first figure out what to do, how to do it, then worry about progress. And your body will take time adjusting to any new exercise.
    Take a long distance runner who has never lifted and ask him to lift for the first time and see how "out of shape" he will look. Or take someone powerlifting for years and ask him to join a yoga or pilates class and then watch him fall back on the mattress exhausted after 2 minutes, while the little old lady next to him is going from pose to pose with perfect form and is giving him puzzled looks. Everything takes practice.

    I agree with this.

    Get a personal trainer to show you the basics so you can build from there. Your friend was just walking you through his workout. (Which isn't his fault if he's not a trainer or good at training naturally.)

    Did he trash talk you by the way, was he really competitive? Or was he cool and it was more you doing the comparing?
  • tomatoey
    tomatoey Posts: 5,459 Member
    also you have to let go of your ego, a little, and accept where you are now.

    but it's no big deal, honestly, because with fitness, you're pretty much guaranteed progress as long as you work at it. you'll be back to where you were in no time.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,694 Member
    One of the reasons people get disappointed is because they gauge what they do now to what they USED to be able to do when they were smaller and younger in most cases.
    Now that not to say that you can't get there again, but expectation should be limited to your current state of physicality. If you could do now what you could do before, you probably wouldn't be out of shape in the first place.
    Press on.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • Therealobi1
    Therealobi1 Posts: 3,261 Member
    Congrats for giving it a go follow a program like the others have said and before u know it you will be just fine. Don't give up.

    reading this had flashbacks of when I first started out and trying to do a plank. It was the most horrific thing for me ever. Then I encountered the burpee. I now can't believe how much fitter I am.
  • threnjen
    threnjen Posts: 687 Member
    edited April 2015
    Everyone starts somewhere. I remember when I first worked with my trainer, I was so enthusiastic to get under the squat bar! And then I could barely even hold it on my shoulders, let alone squat parallel. I did terrible sets of 1-3 because I couldn't hold it for very long. I was mortified. But I went back, and I just kept trying.

    Form > weight. Do the squats properly and worry about the weight later.