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Join the gym but can't find the courage to go; feel to fat (I mean fluffy)

I joined the local gym about 1 month ago; but every week I make excuse why I can't go (too busy; don't have the right clothes) just excuses. Need your input; yes, please throw egg on my face ... please!! Need team support.

thanks and blessings to all who answer.

Sat. Apr 14, 12:49am

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you are lucky you can afford the gym. I would kill to have that oppertunity. make the most of it.. the gym has a variety of exercises you can do you will stay focused and wont get bored. take a mp3 player with you so the time passes quicker. just wear something comfortable to workout in doesnt have to be anything fancy. just put your heart into it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 6:37 AM

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did you get the right clothes yet? you are worth it, spend a few bucks to get one nice outfit & wash it everyday if you have to. as we can remember from the junior high days, having the right outfit helps you fit right in. also, i really, really doubt that anyone is looking at you and your fluffiness. seriously, they're all worried about themselves. once you start going on a regular basis, the front desk staff will recognize you and say things like "good to see you". you will feel more an more comfortable. the gym always has a bunch of magazines i never buy - everything from USWeekly to the New Yorker. If anything, you can go grap a magazine and hide in the corner on the furthest bike/elliptical/arc trainer. finally, how much does the membership cost? just think of it this way, if it's $20/month and you go 4x, that's $5 a session. totally worth it, right? now- JUST DO IT!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 6:48 AM

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6:48 please this is not jr high or a contest on who can wear the cute little workout clothes some women parade around in. Your going to work out not get picked up. You said it yourself no one else is looking at her they are worried about themselves so why on earth would wearing something cute to fit in make it any easier.

To the OP, I use to have the same thing going on. I just forced myself the first few times and then I found a friend to go with me, even on the guest pass I had. It does get easier. Its just getting in the door. I had to remember that no one was really watching me, if anything it was me watching them to see if they were watching me. After a few weeks of forcing myself I got into a routine and realized that any one of those other people could have been me at one time. Maybe the girl who doesn't need to lose anything was 30 pounds heavier 6 months ago. My point is everyone there is hopefully there for the same reasons, to get fit and healthy. It may sound even scarier but take advantage of the trainers there. Most gyms will give you a one time opportunity to have a fitness test done, they will weigh you, measure you, do a BMI and then show you a routine and the right way to use the equipment. After you do this you know what you have to do when you get yourself in there. After a few weeks start changing things a bit. Instead of the bike do the treadmill or the elliptical. Just keep in mind that no one is really watching you. Bring an ipod or something else. You have t6o just force yourself to get there. Hey you thought it was important enough for you to buy the membership so just remember you are worth it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 12:22 PM

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whoa, 12:22. the OP said she was using the excuse of "not having the right clothes" as a reason to skip the gym. i was merely suggesting purchasing one workout-appropriate outfit to help her feel like she "belonged" there. i was envisioning a proper sports bra, a moisture-wicking t-shirt, yoga pants and sneakers. i didn't say anything about "cute" or make reference to doing it for other people.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 12:30 PM

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I love seeing large, out-of-shape people in the gym -- it means they're ready and willing to overcome their problem. The only time they really "stand out" is when they get a personal training session during prime time (5-8pm) unless you're doing that, no one is really paying attention.

And there will come a day when you've lost a significant chunk of weight that one of your fellow gym members who has noticed you in passing will say "wow, you look great, keep it up". That moment is totally worth it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 12:50 PM

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When 6:48 made the reference to jr high and clothes and fitting in I also had the same idea as the 12:22 commenter. I envisioned some silly giggly preteen girls wanting to try and fit in by wearing the latest fashions of CUTE clothes.
To the OP nothing wrong with going in a pair of sweats and tshirt. For me I go in an oversized shirt w/ either yoga pants or shorts. And really no one is really watching you. If you look around the average person is probably wearing the same thing. At least in my gym they are.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 3:38 PM

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I also like seeing overweight people at the gym. They're doing something about it. I want to encourage - no judgments at all. Get your butt there and start inspiring people.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 4:34 PM

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I agree with the poster who said to get "one nice outfit".

I don't think it's about fashion, it's about feeling serious about what you're doing when you're wearing it.

I don't even belong to a gym, but once I started to wear REAL workout clothes I felt better and felt like I was really doing something good for ME.

I also realized that I used to be so uncomfortable in an old t-shirt that held on to every drop of sweat and felt so much better in the moisture wicking tops and a real sport bra instead of a regular one!

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 6:07 PM

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i don't think you have to get a nice outfit per say, but you do need to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in-easy to move in (no wedgies!). If you feel bad in your clothes it, it will make you feel self-conscious about working out.

also bring a book, or an mp3 player or go with a friend your first few times and absorb yourself in reading, the music or talking to a friend-you will not notice the other people around you as much. you will get over your fear and excuses everntually as you get stronger and more fit.

honestly no one is paying as much attention to you as they are paying to themselves. EVERYONE who goes to the gym is much more focused on their own insecurities! And the ones who aren't are too busy being there to be seen that they aren't going to make any progress, while you are working your tail off to become fabulous!!

go to the GYM!!! you can do it!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 11:47 PM

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go & enjoy

Find something you enjoy doing - a class, a particular machine or exercise - then you'll be too busy to care if anyone's watching. I find buying an outfit motivates me to go - If I've spent the $$ I have to get the most out of it.

good luck.

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 7:22 AM

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I was scared too

I was a member of a gym for 3 months before I could bring myself to go into it. Junior high memories of the dreaded locker room and physical akwardness coupled with my lack of gym-savy and dread of working out around all the 'beautiful people' kept me out. Then I began considering canceling my membership and knew I couldn't do that without at least trying it once. I go everyday and have for 8 months (holidays and weekends are 'off', but I am still active). Once I got in there I was hooked!

I second the mp3 player - that would be my first recommendation. I also second the clothes - working out in well-fitting clothes that help you stay comfortable is going to enhance your workout. Now gym clothes are a reward to myself to hitting new levels of fitness and I don't feel the least bit guilty buying 'the good stuff' because I know it will get used.

Very few people in my gym are 'gym snobs' - most of us are just regular folks trying to keep in shape. There's a few guys who strut through on their way to the weight room, but by and large most people are concentrating on getting through their workout and going home.

I should note that I am at my target weight and I reached that weight without going to the gym (although I exercised on a semi-regular basis) and have been at that weight for over a year now. I started going to the gym to tone cause even when I reached my target my body didn't really look like I thought it would at that weight. Going to the gym on a regular basis has made maintenance a breeze! I can't go crazy with desserts and treats any more than I could prior to joining the gym, but I can have them more often and I can definitely eat quite a bit more more without gaining weight. I just don't have to watch my intake as closely as when I kept it off with diet alone. I kicked myself for not doing this while I was trying to take the weight off because I think it would have made things go considerably faster. I also have to say I have never felt better about my body and I don't just mean the way it looks.

Go in there and give it a shot for a few days - you owe it to yourself to find out if this is something that could work for you or not. Best wishes!

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 11:00 AM

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I am very "fluffy" as the OP referred to him/herself. I love going to the gym. I've lost 30 pounds and I'm still working on it. I seriously doubt I would have lost any of it without the gym. People there are all absorbed in their own workout and aren't paying any attention to you at all. Well, unless you do what I did a few months ago and walk into one of the machines because I wasn't paying attention to where I was going. I managed to draw some glances then, but still no awful horified stares. I think the thing that makes me feel most comfortable is noticing exactly how many people there are "fluffy" just like me. They are all muscle-bound stud muffins and little tiny toned vixens. There's plenty of all kinds of people there, all with the same goal - to be healthy. Give it a try - you may be surprised by how much you enjoy it!

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 3:21 PM

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I meant to say they are NOT all muscle-bound, etc...... in the above response. Sorry, I left out a crucial word!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 3:22 PM

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I made it to the gym today, imagine that and on a Sunday

Thank you for your encouragement - the clothes and everything else is merely an excuse and I know it. 5 years ago I lost 50 lbs - by working out, eating healthy, etc. I was a soccer coach for 10 and under co-ed, etc, etc. Guess my depression is just the best of me; however, I am being more grateful and feel blessed every day with now all the encouragement that God is helping me seek through websites like this. Thank you so much ... I'll keep everyone posted. Oh, by the way: my work out clothes was a big t-shirt, and stretch pants; my mp3 player ---- it was great - I stayed at the gym for a couple of hours. Thank u - I'm so exhausted but it feels great. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement.



Sunday, April 15, 2007, 5:34 PM

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congrats carie.. you did the first step.. keep on going girl you can do it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 5:36 PM

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thanks for the cheers ; I'll try to keep trying ... day by day., please keep throwing egg on my face..... guess I'm just one of those that can easily help others bcuz I can't help myself. That's a cancer for u!!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 6:08 PM

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Gym, etc.

I can relate. When I first started running, people used to stop and stare. I ignored them, right through those first 30 pounds I lost. Slow and steady was my motto. GO TO THE GYM. You paid for it!! I also recently joined one and felt that same fear. But, I had paid for it, so guess what? I'm using it. However, I also joined one that focuses mostly on women (it's not the national chain, that begins with a C.) I'm just more comfortable working out around women. Also, get clothing that works well. I like to look half way decent when I work out. I have also learned that clothes do matter because of chaffing on my thighs!!! Yes, they were so chubby, I got burned down there! Also, I agree with the person who couldn't afford a gym and would love to be in your shoes. I don't want to tell you what to do, but it is wonderful that you have this opportunity. Best wishes and best regards.

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 8:47 PM

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Good luck and go for it!

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 10:00 PM

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I'm going to be 100% honest here so I hope this doesn't sound bad. As a fluffy individual you know people are judging you every day based on your shape. When you are at the grocery store and you pick up a bag of cookies you probably get dirty looks that someone who isn't fluffy doesn't get. So because you get these negative feelings day in and day out you don't want to go to the gym because your worried how you'll feel. If anything the gym is the one place people will look at you and assume you are working to lose weight. Every place else you may get dirty looks and assumptions that you are lazy and that is why you are overweight, but when you are at the gym working out and trying hard no one can assume you just sit at home watching TV and eating bon-bons everyday.

Monday, April 16, 2007, 9:32 AM

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Well said 9:32. I have to say I have never heard of the term fluffy, I like it. Sounds much better and happier then fat.

Monday, April 16, 2007, 7:04 PM

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Go for it! I noticed a "fluffy" woman on the eliptical machine working out regularly, then all of a sudden I noticed she was not as fluffy and had the opportunity to talk to her. She lost 30 lbs from December to early March. She did it by consistently going to the gym.

I have a quote posted on my bulletin board at work, I think I got it from PT, here it goes

" A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."

If you've decided you want to be less fluffy, then you must folllow up with the appropriate action, no execuses anymore!

Monday, April 16, 2007, 8:21 PM

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same boat

I was in the same boat, but for a little different reason. I have TERRIBLE social anxiety. So my doc says "work out 3-4x a week to level out your cortisol levels". So I join a gym...see the problem occuring here? I had my membership for 7 months before I finally said screw it and went. Thats 7 months of $60/month!! I never went!! I finally threw my gym bag in the front passenger seat of my car as a reminder that I HAD to go. I told my fiance to force me to go to the gym at least 3x a week. And my rule was that I had to stay ONE HOUR. It didn't matter what I was doing, I just had to be there and get over my anxiety. The first week I felt like everyone was watching me. I spent that entire hour in the stretching room where no one else was. I hated just the walk from the front door to the locker room. After two weeks though I found myself out on the floor and feeling confident. I found a trick....look at yourself. Find a cardio machine where you have a clear view of yourself in the mirror and just zone out. Lifting weights? Aim your eyes and your focus on the muscle you're working. Repeat in your mind "This is MY time, this is MY gym". Sounds wierd, but it works! Promise :)

Oh! And I used to go in just loose shorts and a tshirt. Now I'm confident enough to wear tanks and tight shorts. (all in just 3 weeks! promise YOU can do it!!)

Monday, April 16, 2007, 11:23 PM

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I got over it and you will too

My first gym was the YMCA, a very tolerant place with elderly people (they did "step" classes on steps that were just tape rectangles on the floor, adorable) and developmentally disabled people. I still felt embarrassed! And I even fell (was flung, actually) off a treadmill once -- agony!
My second gym was on campus, full of little barbie dolls -- who I soon realized were total whiney weenies when it came to the exercise classes. Ha.
My third gym was full of preening buff gay guys and the classes were full of all professional dancers, I swear to you. I was so much worse at everything -- didn't matter, I went anyway. (At least the gay guys weren't looking at me!)
At my current gym, I realized I just can't be bothered anymore to worry about people seeing me in the locker room, etc. What-ever. It's just very familiar and boring if anything. My one problem is now I think the guys are starting to check me out! Kinda creepy, actually.
My advice is, just go. Go, and go, and go some more. Soon it will be familiar and boring to you too. :) And do treat yourself to a decent workout outfit -- when you start sweating, you will appreciate the cooler fabric (it really makes a difference in what you can do!) Keep a workout bag packed and ready to go, whenever you can get up the motivation you can run right out the door.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:26 AM

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Its funny you mention the barbie girls being whiney. I personally think I have no cardio stamina, but I have been in plenty of hour long classes where 'those girls' leave 30 minutes into it because "it hurts too much" or something. lol.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 10:53 AM

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"people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." barbie types are people, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 11:03 AM

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I don't think they're saying that they aren't people. But I think it is true there are girls that come into the gym with the skimpiest outfits on and don't work out at all. They sit on a machine or talk to the guys and are there to show themselves off and flirt. They don't lift or do cardio, they just sit. It was such a problem in my gym a few months ago they banned certain outfits and even removed certain people's memerships. Gyms aren't dating services.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 11:08 AM

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so then why are people so concerned about how they look to the opposite sex?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 11:10 AM

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Heard a great motivator the other day ...

If you wait till you want to, you'll never do it. Just gotta do it.

It's helped me a few times to get up & get moving.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 3:57 PM

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Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have every right to be there, as much as any leaner person does!!! Please!! I'm lean. And I promise, I never ever ever ever think anything of the sizes and shapes of those around me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 12:44 PM

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I just joined my local Y today too! Don't worry about how you look. I look like a cow and I know I won't be able to run nearly like I used to, but I'll get back to where I want to be. Also, I live in a college town, so there are tons of cute little skinny girls there! I use them as my motivation and tell myself I can look better than that!! Good luck, take it slow and just enjoy it :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 12:55 PM

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I had a funny thing happen to me today regarding this subject...

I have always been insecure about being in the gym even though I'm not "fluffy", I'm pretty lean and have a good shape. And there is one girl in there that works out every day at the same time I do. I always check her out (not in a bi way lol) because she has what I think is the perfect body. I even watch the strength training moves she does and do them myself because she knows a lot of awesome moves that work quickly. Her and I have never ever spoken, but today, as she was walking by the elliptical I was on, she stopped and said "how can you go for 40 minutes on this thing?? I suck at cardio!" It turns out SHE was jealous of ME!! It was the most amazing thing!! So remember that the next time you're in the gym. Someone else there wants something you have, whether ir be your body, your arms, your stamina, even your nails!! lol.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 2:30 PM

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I work AT a gym. I see people there every day who are in the same boat as you. Sure we get the super athletes and sometimes even celebrities, but MOST of our members are there to lose weight & hopefully keep it off. The whole reason for them being there is to LOSE the weight. You already took the hardest step and actually joined, don't waste your membership (& money) & just go. The first time is always the toughest. But you can meet the greatest people there and even get the best tips on the "right" way to lose weight.

May I suggest a personal trainer? Keeping those appointments may be reasons to get you in the gym. It certainly has been working for me. Good luck.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5:13 AM

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