I’ve definitely noticed that people really struggle with feeling confident enough to go to the gym — it really bums me out how many people Google “I’m too fat for the gym” on a regular basis — so I thought I’d address the issue again. I’ve already written about some ways I deal with it, but if you’re still feeling like you’re too fat for the gym, it might be time to recruit some outside help!
Gym buddies are great for holding you accountable and getting your ass out of bed on cold, dark mornings, but a gym buddy is a really good way to help you conquer your fear of looking foolish at the gym. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are different types of buddies you could seek out.
The fellow newbie. Think about it — if you’re worried about looking stupid at the gym, chances are, someone else you know is too. It might be a coworker, it might be a friend-of-a-friend whom you meet at a party. They may not come right out and say that they feel the same, but I feel like you quite often get a sense of this when talking to other people. (And, as women, this topic seems to come up a lot, doesn’t it? Even with complete strangers?) When someone alludes to the fact that she isn’t motivated to go to the gym and you get a sense that she may lack confidence, jump on it!
The gay BF. Gays make everything better. It can be a fellow-newbie gay (bonus if he runs like a girl; then you will definitely feel less self-conscious) or the super-muscular-due-to-sex-at-the-gym-potential gay. My dream gay workout buddy is Bob Harper, although I’d sell my soul to hit the weight room with Tim Gunn. (Make it work indeed!)
The oldie-but-goodie. I’m sure you know some nice girl who always seems to be heading to the gym to try a new class or knock out some cardio (I mean if you know me, you definitely know this girl)…why not ask her if you can go with her sometime? She’ll be like your wingman, to give you that little boost of confidence in a new class and protect you from the scary instructors.
The expert. There’s a reason gyms keep personal trainers around — we know what we’re doing! A trainer is specifically there to help you, to walk you through each machine, to protect you from the grunting, intimidating men in the weight room! No one is going to judge you when you’re working with a trainer. It’s just not allowed; trainers are like bodyguards, even the super tiny girl ones. If you can’t afford to hire a trainer at your gym, look on Craigslist. (Be smart, duh.)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: not going to the gym because you’re too fat is like not going to the hospital because you have too traumatic a head injury! Seriously. But just like I wouldn’t roll into the ER, bleeding from my scalp, all alone, I wouldn’t necessarily want to hit the gym alone those first few times. Fair enough. So seek out a partner to take the edge off!
Alternately, maybe I’ll just record a new podcast you can take with you to the gym in which I tell you funny gym stories, make fun of the too-muscley guys, and remind you how awesome you are? Then you can feel like I’m there with you!