I can remember when I first joined my gym in the Summer of 2009. I would work out 3 times a week, doing the elliptical 30 -35 minutes at a time, maybe do some bicep curls, a lunge here or there, crunches, stretch and then leave. I clung to the elliptical. My life line. My gym offers group work out classes, but I was to afraid to try them. Everyone was so fit, and I was not. I was out of shape, over weight, and deeply embarrassed about my body. I did not want to embarrass myself in a room full of fit people running circles around me.
I remember one day in particular, I was clinging to that elliptical, and the gym was near empty except for my best friend and I. We were getting in cardio and having a full on conversation. I was not working hard, although at the time, I truly believed I was. The owner of the gym, came up to us and asked us to join her class. I flat out refused. I was terrified to work out in a group session. I was so scared of embarrassing myself in front of the fit people, I didn't want to even try bettering myself, it seems utterly ridiculous looking back on those feelings now, but that is how I felt.
It took me another year and an a-ha moment later to realize, those 30 minutes on the elliptical were getting me no where. I had gained weight since joining the gym- my diet was terrible. I had zero results, because I wasn't pushing myself. Finally, January 2011, I reached a point where enough was enough. My desire to change out weighed the embarrassment and fear.
I started attending RIPPED religiously on Monday evenings, Zumba on Tuesdays, Butts & Guts on Wednesday, Weight training Thursday mornings, sometimes a Friday morning class, all in addition to my elliptical routine. It would still be another year before I was ready to start running. Through classes, I was learning how to put together work outs on my own. All of this effort would eventually lead me to 12 weeks of personal training and learning to love running. Running murders fat. No doubts about that.
When I was finally able to let go of the fear of embarrassment, the shame of being over weight and out of shape, I started to flourish. I discovered the super fit people at the gym, didn't give a hoot about me. They were busy focusing on their own body and their individual goals. I was judging them, they weren't judging me. No one was judging me as harshly as I was judging myself. I was the only person holding me back. I was the only person standing in my way.
Standing on the other side of gym-timidation, the tables have been turned. I have been filed under the super fit intimidating category. I see others looking at me work out. I know what they're thinking, I've been there. I know other women notice, because they make comments to me. "You never take a day off do you?!" "Girl I'm tired just watching you!" "How did you learn how to put together that work out?" "I could never do that"
Last week, I randomly decided to jump into a class my old personal trainer was teaching, after completing another class, just for a little extra challenge. I asked the trainer how to make one move in particular more intense, and a lady in the room mumbled something about super athletic types- I didn't hear the full statement, because I was focused on my own work out. The trainer jumped on that statement, "Leigh Ann's lost 60 pounds, she fought to be athletic!". This woman stood in disbelief, then suddenly she wanted to know everything about how I had reached my present fitness level. She had misjudged me. "I thought you were just an athletic person!"
I had automatically been filed under the born thin and fit,her body comes easily to her, she doesn't understand what I'm going through category. I didn't take offense to the situation, because I know what those feelings are like. It feels like you are the only one fighting this battle within yourself. You can't see success stories walking around you because former fatty is not tattooed on the faces of the super fit athletic types.
When I stopped worrying about the super fits, something incredibly magical happened, I became one of them. Gym-timidation exists only in the mind. Set yourself free, it's a great place to be :)
|March 2012 (Starting to feel really great) March 2013 - The face says it all :)|