Gymtimidation. This is a phenomenon that affects so many of us yet is surprisingly not discussed, a gym taboo of sorts. When I began my fitness journey, not more than a month ago, thinking of the gym had my stomach in a knot. I felt as though I was a celebrity, and not in a good way. I felt as though all eyes were constantly on me judging me constantly and criticising every move I made. What helps me is knowing that everyone started off somewhere and that this point in time is my starting point. Comparing yourself to others motivates and simultaneously emotionally drains you. Everyone has their “I’m going to look like this soon” moments and their “why can’t I just be them moments”
This anxiety and the feelings I experienced walking next to someone who’s been running for an hour crushed my spirit and I began to lose understanding of who I was doing this for. Me. I still have to remind myself that the reason I do this is not only to go down a pant size but to subconsciously walk into a room with my back a little straighter and exude more confidence as I became more of the person I’ve always wanted to be. Despite these constant reminders and battles with the little inside voice in my head, there are days when I just don’t want to go and it’s important for you to sometimes just want to workout from the comfort of your home and that, is perfectly ok.
I’ve learned to use my sadness as a source of motivation and to celebrate small achievements and replacing, and rephrasing negative thoughts with positive, reassuring thoughts makes a world of a difference. But like most good things, it takes time. For now, here are some tips to reduce Gytimidation
1. Have a plan
A way in which I’ve avoided having time to think about anything or anyone else is by having a time limit and mapping out a plan of exactly what I am going to do. This gives me a structure as I know exactly what will come and where I go next.
2. Finding “your” spot
Finding a spot away from the gym rats can provide you with the comfort and security that you need to carry on without focusing on the wrong thing.
3. Taking a friend
Surprisingly taking a friend who is at a similar point in their fitness journey can help you work harder because who doesn’t love a bit of friendly competition? But at the end of the day, giving and receiving love and support to you and your friends whilst exercising will help calm your anxiety down that much more.
To conclude, Gymtimidation is something that we all face and knowing you’re not alone can act as a support system when going to the gym seems to be the last thing on your mind. Doing anything I have suggested and being gentle and positive with yourself is bound to help you overcome Gym anxiety and Intimidatio