Tag Archives: weight loss motivation

How to Overcome Gym Anxiety

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As many of you already know, I lost all of my weight with at-home fitness programs because of my gymphobia.

A long time ago, during one of my many attempts to lose weight, I joined one of those “women only” gyms. I figured it would be a more comfortable way to get myself active because it was only women and most of women have issues with what they see in the mirror on a daily basis.

What I forgot was that women can be nasty and vicious.

One day while I was on the treadmill at the gym, I overheard a group of women making fun of my size. I instantly became embarrassed and couldn’t wait to get out of there. I never went back again, even though I still had to pay my monthly fees.

I allowed them to control my life and I regret that.

It took me 16 years to get over that moment. That’s crazy when I sit here and think back on it and it’s something I don’t want anyone else to do.

First off, some people just suck. They can be small minded and so insecure about themselves, that they need to belittle everyone around them so they can feel better about themselves. It’s not you that has the problem…it’s them. Remember that.

If you’re in the gym looking to improve yourself and someone makes fun of you instead of giving you credit for getting started, they are not a good person and karma will eventually bite them in the ass.

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Walking into the gym when you’re not used to going is intimidating enough without small minded people like that. Between worrying that you might not know how to use the equipment properly, to worrying about your gym clothes or if you’re breathing too heavy while climbing 9 million steps on the stair master, the last thing we need is their shit.

But enough of my rambling…here are some tips that can help you get over the gym anxiety, so you can be the best version of you that you can be!

  1. When you first join the gym, find a gym partner – Preferably someone who has been going for awhile and feels confident in the gym. They can help you with the equipment and to feel more at ease your first few times going. Don’t have someone? Many gyms will give you a full tour and set you up with a trainer to show you how to properly use the machines for free. There are many YouTube videos that show you how to use machines. Take some time to plan out what you’d like to do and then do your research!
  2. Try to visit the gym at off peak times – If you’re worried about being judged for how you look or not knowing how to use the equipment, going at an off peak time can truly help, since there will be less people there. Usually the gym is busiest in the early morning and right after work. Don’t be afraid to ask the front desk person at your gym when the quieter times are!
  3. Don’t let fear or self consciousness stop you from going – For the most part, it’s all in our heads and those “mean girls” I dealt with are not the norm. Most people at the gym are zoned out what they are doing. They are lost in their music, thinking about all of the things they have to do that day and believe it or not, they may even be worried about being judged.
  4. It’s okay to skip the classes and just do your own thing – I have never been a class person because I find how “easily” some people get the steps to be intimidating. They give me major anxiety. “What if I step left when I’m supposed to go right?! Everyone is going to laugh at me and I will never be able to show my face in the gym again!” If walking into the gym gives you anxiety, why make it worse by adding more anxiety with a class? It’s okay to skip them. Trust me…I joined Planet Fitness because they don’t offer classes.
  5. Set clear goals that you can achieve – Don’t start out with a goal of hitting the gym 7 days a week for an hour a day when you first start out. Aim for 3 days a week for 30 mins. It’s much more reasonable, gives you time to rest between workouts (trust me, you will be sore) and it will help you to build confidence.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others – I preach this about social media and I’ll preach it about the gym. You can NOT compare your chapter 1 to someones chapter 30. You are not them and they are not you. They may be comfortable and confident lifting heavy weight with all the dudes, but once upon a time they were an anxiety filled newbie too. Just stayed focused on yourself! You’ll be happier that way.
  7. When you feel frustrated or like giving up, remember your goals – As a trainer we have you set goals for a reason. It’s so when you’re feeling like a failure, you can refer back to them, remember why you set them and refocus. There is no such thing as failure if you keep dusting yourself off and trying again. (See Be Stubborn, Yet Flexible)
  8. Block out the noise with headphones – Getting lost in a good, motivating playlist is what I do when I’m at the gym. I channel all of my energy into the workout and fuel that workout with the music I choose. (I listen to a lot of 90’s hip hop, Eminem and Linkin Park when I lift) Doing this also helps to drown out the chatter and keep the focus off of what others around you are doing.
  9. When in doubt, ask someone – I know… I know… asking someone is proof that you don’t what you are doing, but it’s okay. When I first started at the gym I had a gym partner, but they stopped coming at one point and I wanted to change up my workouts. There was equipment I wasn’t familiar with, so I simply asked a fellow gym goer if they could show me how to use it. Did I want to throw-up as I approached them to ask? Yup…but it honestly wasn’t that bad and I ended up making a new acquaintance at the gym. Score!
  10. Be proud of yourself – No matter how nervous you feel. No matter silly you may think you look. BE PROUD. You walked through those doors, you signed up, you did your workout and maybe you tried new things. There is ALWAYS something to be proud of… even on the days when your workout sucks and you hated every second of it.

Still feeling uneasy or unsure after reading all of this? Shoot me a message and let’s chat! I’ll do my best to help you overcome your fears…heck if you’re local to me, I’ll even go workout with you!

 

 

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Effort

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Effort.

That’s what it all comes down to. Anyone can walk thru the doors of the gym and just take up space…sitting around looking at their phone, socializing or walking at a leisurely pace on the treadmill instead of actually doing work and challenging themselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re walking at a leisurely pace and you’re sweating and breathing hard, you’re putting in effort and you’re doing awesome. Everyone has to start somewhere…I know walking was where I started and you’ll progress from there.

That’s where the effort comes in.

Workouts aren’t supposed to be pretty. They’re supposed to be tough. They’re supposed to challenge you. They’re supposed to make you want to cry at time because they’re just that hard.

There are going to be times that you fail on reps or you can’t lift quite as heavy as you did the week before. Maybe your pace is slower during your run or you can’t do as many flights of stairs on the stair master ….you know what?

That’s okay!

As long as you’re showing up and you’re putting in the effort it’s going to pay off in the long run because you didn’t quite or make an excuse as to why you couldn’t try your best!

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The Struggle Is Real, Yo!

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Struggling is part of life.

It’s something we need to accept and be okay with. Over the last 8 years I have struggled A LOT!

I struggled to finally make the decision to do something about my weight.

I struggled with how that decision changed many relationships in my life (both with food and people.)

I struggled with feeling bad every time I ate something “bad” or skipping a workout.

I struggled with the decision to have excess skin removed from my belly after losing over 100 lbs and maintaining it for over a year.

I struggled when I lost all of my motivation last year and gained back 25 lbs. Feelings of failure and fear took over and left me paralyzed for a long time.

I struggled with the decision to join the gym after having a bad experience while overweight at one. I also struggled to go alone when my gym partner stopped going because I allowed self doubt to take over.

Struggling means there is a lesson to learn and it’s time for us to grow.

Struggling is okay. Giving up is not.

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Don’t Listen To The Naysayers

IMG_1286Don’t listen to people who say weight loss doesn’t last…because it does…but YOU have to put in the work.

There are no quick fixes or magic pills. Only hard work and dedication. You can’t eat well and exercise until you reach your goal and then go back to eating crap and never leaving the couch. (Trust me…I’ve attempted it…it doesn’t work. Sorry.)

It has to become a lifestyle!

The photos above are 16 years apart! The one on the left was a few months after I gave birth to my daughter, and years before I decided to do something about my weight. The photo on the right was taken recently, about 8 years after I decided I had enough of being overweight and hating the reflection in the mirror.

This progress wasn’t easy.

There were a lot of ups and downs (emotionally and on the scale) but I realized that I couldn’t have my shitty habits AND maintain the weight I was happy at.

As I’ve recently shared, these last 1.5 yrs were not easy and I lost focus. I gained back 25lbs and felt like crap, but I regained my focus and feel soooooo much better now.

It’s never too later to make a change. Just remember that this change can’t be short term. It needs to be a total mindset change. It isn’t easy to do, but holy fuck is it worth it!

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Don’t Be A Size Queen

Disclaimer: This is actually an old post I did on Instagram while I was in my blog rut. As a matter of fact, I’ve been pulling a lot of inspiration from the microblogging I was doing over there…sssshhhhh don’t tell anyone. Just enjoy…

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I bought these boyfriend jeans during the summer and wasn’t able to wear them until recently.

The tag said they were my size, but sadly, they were too tight when I got home.

(Lesson here…always try shit on…our sizing system is total bullshit and varies from store to store and from style to style. I would think boyfriend jeans would run larger than skinny jeans…I was mistaken.)

In the past, after losing weight and busting my ass in the gym, having to put on a “larger” size would have depressed me. Much like the scale, I allowed a number, this time on a tag, THAT NO ONE COULD EVEN SEE, depress me.

What the actual fuck?!?!

Looking back on stuff like that makes me want to smack myself. Really hard.

I allowed stupid things to rob me of happiness during my journey.

The scale, a tag inside of a pair of jeans…let’s not forgot comparing yourself to others on social media. <insert gigantic eye roll here>

SO. DAMN. DUMB.

My point with all of this is simple….

  • Keep your eyes on your own journey.
  • Celebrate every victory you have. (Especially non-scale ones.)
  • Don’t allow the scale to dictate your life.
  • Don’t squeeze yourself into a pair of jeans or not wear a pair simply because the tag inside has a certain number on it.

Wear what makes you feel confident and don’t worry about wether it says S/M/L or if the number is 2/10/16 etc.

The size you wear doesn’t matter…your confidence does!

 

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Why Are You Waiting?

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Everyone wants to get into better shape and eat healthier. I see posts all the time about it being a new month…new week…. and what not. But I have a question for you…

Why wait until then?

If being healthier and getting into better shape is something you really want to do, why not start right now?

Why wait for a Monday, or a new month or even a new year…when EVERYONE joins the gym and it’s super crowded? Why not join now and get comfortable with it while it’s empty?

Why wait to start eating healthier?

Do we really need to eat every food offered to use at BBQ’s or parties? Or drink ALL of the alcohol?

Why don’t you start practicing balance with food now? Say no to the things you REALLY don’t enjoy and allow the things you do, but without stuffing yourself to the point of regret.

I was the girl who set the resolution EVERY DAMN YEAR to lose the weight and get my shit together, but I failed EVERY DAMN YEAR because I felt I had to be perfect with my “diet”. Check out Monday’s post Be Stubborn, Yet Flexible for my thoughts on this.

Making the decision to change your habits now can really be a deciding factor for if you stick with them for the long haul.

Being healthy isn’t about deprivation, it’s about balance. It’s about making time to take care of yourself and ensuring it’s priority. Perfection is NOT part of the process…if you think it is, you need to change that mentality now!

There are going to be good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. You’re going to want to give up but you can’t… you have to believe in yourself and know that YOU ARE WORTH IT.

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Life gets hectic and we get pulled in many directions at once, but we can’t pour from an empty cup! Being a healthy version of yourself shouldn’t have to wait until a new week, new month or even a new year…so why are you really waiting?

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Be Stubborn, Yet Flexible.

Be Stubborn Yet Flexible
The quote above is probably the most important lesson I’ve learned over the years.

When we first start out, we form this plan in our heads. We will workout every day, we eat healthy/balanced meals and we love every minute of it.

Then reality sets in.

We have families that need stuff ALL THE TIME. We get tired… not to mention sore after the first day at the gym. And why is that we crave EVERYTHING that is not going to help us get to our goal as soon as we set the goal to eat better?!

It’s like the odds are stacked against us. It just becomes easier to stay overweight and out of shape. Right?!

Nope.

You just need to become flexible in the methods you use to achieve your goals. You need to remember that you didn’t gain the weight over night, so you’re not going to lose it overnight. Perfection doesn’t exist. You need to have patience with yourself and realize that one misstep doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and face fuck a pizza because you’re a failure.

Just keep challenging yourself and find what works for YOU.

Maybe you start with cardio or yoga and then end up switching over to weight lifting.

Maybe you start with clean eating, then go vegetarian, back to clean eating and now keto.

Maybe you only do at-home workouts and then finally build the confidence and join the gym.

Maybe it’s all of these examples but in reverse.

The point is that you gotta keep challenging yourself and remain mindful of when something isn’t working for you…then change it up!

You gotta try new things.

Be flexible about what route you take to reach your goals. The path that you take to get to them doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that you don’t forget what your goals are.

Realize that sometimes we encounter detours on our way to the final destination and that’s okay… you just gotta be determined to get there.

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Don’t allow frustration to set in when things don’t go as planned. Chances are they didn’t work out because you weren’t on the right track.

(I’m a big believer the Universe is guiding us through life and if we miss the subtle hints it leaves for us, it will just keep rerouting us toward our destination.)

Just keep your eye on the prize and keep moving toward it!

 

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