For some odd reason, when I first decided to change my lifestyle to a healthy and fit one, getting to the gym was the hardest part. Not because I didn’t have a method of transportation or anything like that, but because I would constantly overthink and over-analyze everything about the gym and what people would be thinking about me. I came up with dozens of excuses that kept me from getting over that first important step:
“Oh my gosh, I look way too chubby to go to the gym.”
“These gym pants give me a muffintop, so I’ll just do some situps at home”
“I don’t know how to use any of the equipment.”
“All the “fit girls” are going to gossip and make fun of me.”
and one of my favorites, “I’ll just lose a few pounds first, then I’ll be able to go to the gym…”
And on, and on, and on…..
Pretty funny, right? So many insecurities, it’s amazing. I remember driving to the gym numerous times and sitting in the parking lot, people-watching, trying to pep-talk myself into getting out of my car just to go in and sign up. In fact, it probably wasn’t until the third or forth time of doing that that I actually was able to talk myself into finally going inside.
Looking back now, I can’t believe I was so afraid, insecure and had such low self confidence. It’s pretty amazing how much self confidence and self-worth you can obtain by getting healthy to look and feel better.
Maybe you’re going through the same thing that I was going through when taking that first step getting into the gym, so here a few tips and tricks that could really help:
- Get Motivated – The easiest way for me to get motivated is to “blog surf” (fitness blogs) or read articles on my favorite health & fitness websites (sometimes for hours on-end!). Not only will you feel motivated, you’ll also feel inspired to try something new at the gym. Educate yourself about what you’re wanting to achieve (lose fat/gain muscle), and you’ll be more likely to look like you know what you’re doing at the gym.
- Spoil Yourself – That’s right! It’s so important to do what you can to feel good about yourself in order to gain enough courage to get into the gym. Buy a new outfit for the gym and a new pair or comfy sneakers. When looking for your new threads, make sure the pants have a loose waistband so that you don’t feel like you have a muffinto and your top should be loose so that it’s not hugging all the wrong curves. (I would even wear a tight-fitting tank top under the loose shirt to control and ‘jiggles’ 😉 ).
- Dress to Impress – (This sort of goes with the above tip, but I felt it needed to be highlighted.) After getting some new gym clothes, you’re bound to feel more confident. However, I also suggest dressing up your face, too. Yep, that’s right: wear a little makeup. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Great. I’ll be one of ‘those’ (rhymes with witchy) girls who wears makeup at the gym….” Well, do it anyways. A little eyeliner and [waterproof] mascara will help you slowly adjust to the gym environment so that you’ll feel more comfortable without makeup.
- Don’t think, just DO – Stop worrying and overthinking about every little thing! Chances are, you are NOT going to be the only newbie at the gym. And guess what? There will be many, many other people who are at the same (if not worse) level of health as you. Most gyms are not like those ones you see in the movies with all the hot babes walking around…. The only thing you have to keep in mind and remind yourself is that you are there for YOU, and no one else. Picture yourself a couple months later after consistently attending the gym (along with a healthy diet – but that’s for another article) and how amazing you’ll look and feel. It’ll all be worth it.
- Set Goals and Be Consistent – After tackling the act of getting a membership and getting into the gym, all you really need to do is stay CONSISTENT. Don’t lose the motivation that got you there in the first place! Set small, short-term goals for yourself such as losing 1-2 pounds per week, or being able to increase the weight you use or the amount of time spent on the treadmill. Set long-term goals, too, but focus on the short-term ones in order to achieve the long-term goals. Also, make a “picture collage” of things that motivate you, such as your favorite fitness icons or a certain piece of clothing you can’t wait to wear.
Hopefully these tips will help you feel more confident and motivated about getting to the gym. What other things sometimes prevent you from going to the gym?