PT and Gym Anxiety

Monday, October 19, 2009

I don't know how common this is, but I get gym anxiety, or at least, that's what I call it. I go to the gym and I get really concerned about what other people are thinking about me. Do they think I'm fat? Do I look weird exercising?

Silly concerns, I know, but perhaps other people feel the same way. It almost impedes my going to the gym because I'm afraid of what people will think. It's a vicious circle: I'm afraid I look fat, but I won't go to the gym because I'm afraid people will think I look fat.

But anyway, I went to the gym today and did manage to work out for 25 minutes before I had to stop. Why did I have to stop, you ask? Well, we just moved to Albuquerque New Mexico and I'm used to sea level Michigan. It's much MUCH higher altitude wise here. I still am adjusting to the change and I get really dizzy if I work out too hard or too long. So I'm working into it slowly but surely!

I'm excited and hopeful that I will progress with weight loss after being stuck at a standstill for 3 months or so. It's a new life and a new city for me, so hopefully it will come with new habits!
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    I always assume that they can't think anything negative about me because I am there actually working on the problem. If they saw me at home lying on the couch eating cheetohs off my belly, then they could think whatever they wanted. As far as gym time goes, I'm convinced that the only thing that goes through their mind concerning me (if they even acknowledge me at all) is "Good for her."

    But I also believe that the gym is an escape for all of us, fit or fat or inbetween, to get lost in our own minds in our own relationships with our bodies and we don't have time or room to be analyzing anyone else while we are there. My gym time is between me and my own soul.
    4307 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/19/2009 11:47:07 AM
    Caltrin- Thanks for the advice. I'm already drinking around 2-3 liters of water a day. I'm afraid to drink any more! I'll try adding more iron to my diet.
    4307 days ago
    Welcome to Albuquerque! Since you just moved here and are having a hard time with the altitude I have a tip for you. First drink lots of water, even more than your eight cups. Second make sure that you are getting plenty of iron in your diet. Our bodies cope with the low oxygen levels by creating more red blood cells, which iron is essential for.
    4307 days ago
    When I first joined a gym, I had terrible bouts with gym anxiety.

    I knew I had to get in shape. So I visited a local gym and the staff was very friendly. After some baseline medical testing they gave me the ok to work out.
    At the time I weighed approximately 365 lbs.
    So there I was in this shrine to fitness. There were fabulously fit people on all sides working out. And I had to drag myself onto an elliptical trainer to get myself moving. I was tremendously overweight, sweaty, and ashamed.

    But one of the trainers approached me early on and offered me a free personal training session. During that time I voiced my concerns about anxiety and self-consciousness. And he said to me, 'Everybody's here for the same reason. Nobody is going to judge you for trying to improve your health and work out. If they do, they're a jerk and not worth your concern in the first place.'

    And I took it to heart. Soon I started taking my 300+ lb. self into weekly classes and standing tall knowing I was doing my best.

    At around the 50 lbs. lost mark, I was approached by a different personal trainer as I was (very sweatily) leaving a cardio boxing class. She had just finished up with a client who was very large like I was. And she said to me, 'He told me he wants to be like you. He wants to be brave and take the tough classes one day. He said seeing you do it makes him want to work hard.'

    And that was big. And I haven't looked back.
    4307 days ago
    yup, right there with you ... but at the end of the day it's better I go and I have battled one more demon and gotten rid of it :)
    4307 days ago
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