For some gym newbies, the gym can bring on huge insecurities and fears that resemble the dread most women felt during the size zero craze! As you walk into a gym for the first time, you can feel eyeballs following you, whilst you have no idea where you are going or what to start with! The thing is, we ALL have our own insecurities and body hang-ups and the gym is a place where it all literally hangs out! However, it’s important to keep your gym insecurities in check, and always remember, you are not alone!
Here’s my list of top 5 gym insecurities most women feel, and how to overcome them:
People are watching you…
Look, it is given that everyone will be watching someone at some point – most gyms have spaces where you actually have no choice but to lock eyes with someone during your workout. And oftentimes, people will give deep long stares without even realizing they are eyeballing someone right in front of them! Uncomfortable? Most of the time, yes! But then again, It is just about getting on with your own things, and not allowing people to distract you.
Unless there is a creepy weird guy trying to get your attention, most people are in their own zone and don’t actually really “see” anyone else. In fact, I believe, most people just don’t care whatever it is you are doing. Well, that is unless, of course, you have a collection of every single weight in the gym under your bench, or you’ve been idling on the same machine for 20 minutes! If not, stop letting your imagination run wild and concentrate on the reason why you’re at the gym – which is to achieve your fitness goals.
Everybody looks fit except you…
It is extremely difficult not to compare yourself to others in a place where everybody seems to be wearing designer “barely there” gym outfits showcasing their perfectly sculpted and toned body with their skin almost glistening. They lift and do their routines as if it’s the easiest thing to do and almost effortlessly. They are all sporting a certain sleekness and elegant glow as you stand red-faced, puffing, and panting, in a puddle of sweat after 2 minutes on the treadmill!
First, it’s a gym, so obviously, there are going to be people with amazing bodies. However, you have to remember that your body is just as amazing. If you ever need to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to… well, YOU! Take pictures of yourself and document your transformation throughout your fitness journey. Now, compare the old you to the new you! Seeing every stage of your progress will leave you a feeling of gratification that you’ll completely forget all of your gym insecurities.
Keep in mind that everyone who might be fitter than you probably had the same gym insecurities as yours – and like you, they had to start somewhere too. I assure you, even some of the most veteran trainers still have body hang-ups today (and that includes me too)! They are just good at hiding them. 🙂
It is important to understand that we all have different reasons and goals as to why we go to the gym. As such, we all are on a different journey. There will always be newbies at the gym, just like you, and others who have been there for years. For some going to the gym is a chore, while for others it is their way of life. And I bet, if you had to ask each one of them if they have gym insecurities, there would be at least one that they could tell you in a heartbeat!
So stop comparing yourself to others and focus on your own goals and just keep pushing yourself to become a better version of YOU. Whatever anyone has achieved that you are envious of, you can achieve it too with a well laid out fitness plan, hard work, and dedication!
Some exercises are just embarrassing…
Butt jiggling, hips thrusting, belly wiggling – you get the idea here? Some exercises are just simply so embarrassing to perform more so if the person next to you keeps on staring! However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid those exercises for the rest of your life not let anyone staring at you hinder you from your doing your routines. Try doing these awkward routines with a buddy/friend to take the edge off. This will even make the routine fun as you could be laughing about how silly you both feel and errr..look.
In time, as you master your form, and feel more confident with your routines, trust me, you’ll be juggling, thrusting, and wiggling with ease with your embarrassment totally forgotten. After all, you know what you are achieving by pushing that butt out or thrusting those hips! And if you really can’t bring yourself to perform a certain exercise, there are so many variations available out there. Pick one that you are comfortable with but never just avoid it!
You feel like you look ridiculous…
The woman on the treadmill next to you is running like a gazelle with so much ease and grace it’s giving you goosebumps. You? You’re wheezing, struggling to breathe, and hearing your heartbeat in your neck! In fact, you can also hear your feet thumping on the treadmill, so much so that it is actually making the treadmill wobble. So what? We’ve all been there and it actually doesn’t matter! What matters most is that you are on your way to achieving your fitness goals and you are doing your best!
The key to working on your own confidence is to be proud of every single milestone – and the first one is you walking through the gym door. There’s nothing better than seeing progress and improvements or managing to run that extra mile knowing your body is benefiting from it. Remember to always commend yourself for achieving something you didn’t think was possible before.
Be your own avid fan. Proudly wear your plum-colored cheeks and that mascara that has smeared across your face – that is your gym “war-paint”. After all, if you walk out of the gym looking pretty and picture-perfect, you are definitely doing it all wrong!
You Might Fail…
Well, yes, you might! Maybe not just once. So what? In order to achieve anything in the gym and in life, you need to fail before you succeed. With physical fitness, the point of working out is to push yourself to failure in order to grow muscle and get stronger so really, failing is normal, and is actually positive!
As I’ve said before, I was once a newbie. And like all gym newbies, I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing situations, awkward moments, and gym insecurities. Like all newbies, I too had my “first times” using certain weights or trying a new machine out. I never let that difficult stage to stop me from trying and working hard. If you are too afraid to start, you will never achieve anything!
The good news is, the gym is a perfect place to ask anyone for help. The person who might be staring at you might actually be wanting to lend you a helping hand. Do no hesitate to ask for assistance if you need to. Who knows, you could meet a new friend or a gym buddy by being open and asking for help.
If you have experienced one or all of the above, you are not alone! I have made many mistakes in all my years in the gym, and I am sure there will be more to make. What matters most is you learn from your mistakes and rise above your failures to overcome your gym insecurities. Always focus on your goals to overcome the challenges and achieve your own goals.