How to Survive Going to the Gym When You're Overweight and Out Of Shape

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Until recently, I was overweight and out of shape. I wanted to get in shape, but to gain access to exercise equipment (weights, treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, etc.), I would have to brave the gym. The thought of walking into a room with dozens of thin, fit people who make exercising look effortless filled me with anxiety and dread, and I would use any excuse to avoid going. I didn't want to face the judgement from all of those fit people who would look at me, sweating and jiggling and puffing after only a few minutes of exercise, silently mocking me. Objectively, I knew that most people weren't doing that, too focused on their own workouts, and even if they were, it didn't matter as long as they kept their opinions to themselves. But tell that to my severe lack of self-esteem.

Today, I'm still overweight and out of shape, but I'm exercising regularly and making great improvements, getting stronger and fitter every day. And yes, I go to the gym.

Allow me to walk you through the steps I find necessary every single time I go to the gym so that I don't feel self-conscious and, occasionally, worthless.

How to Survive Going to the Gym When You're Overweight and Out of Shape

Step 1: Psych Yourself Up

  • Find the motivaton to go to the gym, whether you feel like it or not.
  • Remind yourself why you wanted to go to the gym in the first place.

Step 2: Enter the Gym

  • Ignore all of the thin, fit people who work out as though they were born to do it.
  • Remember that everyone has to start somewhere, even the people working out effortlessly.
  • Remember also that you are taking a huge step toward a fitter, healthier life.

Step 3: Set a Goal for Your Workout

  • Make sure your goals are reasonable and doable.
  • Increase your goal as your fitness level increases.

CAUTION: Injury may occur if working out too hard too quickly, using machinery incorrectly, or having poor posture or incorrect movements.

Step 4: Select a Machine for Your Workout

  • If you don't know how to use the machines, you can:
    • Start pushing buttons and hope for the best. You can figure it out!
    • Ask the person exercising next to you.
    • Ask the staff loitering nearby. They will be more than happy to show you how the machines work.

WARNING: Daring to interrupt someone's workout may cause him or her to beat you to death with the nearest free weight.

  • If you already know how to use the machines, then what are you waiting for? Get to work!

Step 5: Begin Your Workout

  • Ignore how much you're sweating.
  • Ignore how much you're jiggling.
  • Ignore how out of breath you are.
  • Remember that this is the first step to a fitter, healthier you.

CAUTION: Exercising may cause the following side effects: sweating, jiggling, huffing and puffing, weight loss, increased stamina, increased muscle definition, increased living expectancy, and increased self-esteem.

NOTE: Most people aren't judging you and don't notice all of the things that make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.

Step 6: Give Yourself Positive Reinforcement

  • To keep your motivational levels high, remind yourself as many times as you need to about why you're putting yourself through this torture.
  • Ensure you have an awesome playlist. The funky beats will keep you moving and distract yourself from how much you just want to lie down right about now.
  • Treat yourself to new gear to reward your efforts or to keep yourself motivated.

Step 7: Work Out Until You Reach Your Goal

  • Make sure not to hurt yourself. If you feel pain or like you might faint, STOP.
  • Hydrate well.
  • You may choose to work out on more than one machine. If so, repeat steps 3 through 7 until you're satisfied.

Step 8: Gloat

  • Bask in the satisfaction of knowing that you survived your workout and are making positive changes in your life.

Losing weight and getting fit isn't easy. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes a whole lot of determination. But you can't let your fear of being judged stop you from going to the gym to make it happen. Gather your courage, cloak yourself in as much self-esteem as you possess, and go work out!

1 Comment

I like the personal touch. :)

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