Motivation
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Why is the going to the gym alone so scary?


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Hello, my name is Steph, and I'm totally new to this community. I've struggled with moderate weight issues all my life, and I can admit that I had some rough points in my late teens with losing weight in the wrong/unhealthy way. Well, it's several years later and I don't completely hate myself anymore, but I want the body that I know I deserve, and the health benefits that go along with it..

Here's my problem. Late last week, I signed up for a month at a local, recently opened community center, in order to take advantage of their modern gym and classes. I'm doing this solo, and so far I haven't been able to bring myself to go because the thought of going alone makes me so anxious! I really want this, but I'm having a hard time getting over my anxiety. It's just such an unfamiliar environment for me, I guess I'm worried that people are watching, and for some reason in THAT SETTING, it's really bothering me! Any words of wisdom or advice so I can gain the confidence to get over this issue, and start making some real progress?
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I struggle with the same thing, and am going to watch this post and hope the comments help us both! (My current way of dealing with this is to do cardio by myself outside, and avoid gyms. I would really like to start strength training though, and know a gym would really help me do that)

I've had a gym membership and been into fitness for more than 30 years. I don't pay any more attention to people at the gym than I do to people I see on the street. I am certainly not judging them, or thinking that unfit people shouldn't be using the gym. Most people at the gym are focused on what they are doing, not on the shape of the other gym members.

 

Just remember that everybody there once went to the gym for the first time.  ;)

I appreciate all of the responses! To clarify, this fear that I have is slightly comparable to that dream everyone has as a youngster where they're suddenly in the middle of class.. totally naked. My brain tells me that it's the simplest of daily tasks--going to the gym--but for reasons unknown, my heart expects there to be a good bit of pointing and laughing involved. I've taken *my* first step of getting to the gym by bullying a friend of mine to go with me once or twice. Hopefully that will be just enough to ease me into it, so going alone won't be such a shock to my deranged system.

It's normal to feel awkward in a place you don't yet feel familiar in. If you can hire a personal trainer for just a session or two, they can show you a good routine and how to do all the exercises. Knowing what you're doing will help immensely with feeling scared. If the PT is a no-go, check out routines online and research your form. Again, knowing what you're doing before you walk in the door will ease the fear.

Another thing to keep in mind (sorry if this sounds rude) nobody cares about you. Seriously. They're all there for the same reason, to focus on themselves. Unless you're wearing something outrageous or doing something extremely dangerous, they're not going to notice you.

61 pounds ago I didn't know I like to exercise. Now I love my 45 minute morning walks/jog. And I love the gym not only do I take classes but I also go over there by myself and burn calories. I think you really have to get started and start seeing the results to start realizing how much you'll enjoy it. 61 pounds are gone for me and I have another 40 or 50 to go I love the gym and I love exercising.
Original Post by Diana_Prince:

It's normal to feel awkward in a place you don't yet feel familiar in. If you can hire a personal trainer for just a session or two, they can show you a good routine and how to do all the exercises. Knowing what you're doing will help immensely with feeling scared. If the PT is a no-go, check out routines online and research your form. Again, knowing what you're doing before you walk in the door will ease the fear.

Another thing to keep in mind (sorry if this sounds rude) nobody cares about you. Seriously. They're all there for the same reason, to focus on themselves. Unless you're wearing something outrageous or doing something extremely dangerous, they're not going to notice you.

This is what made me so nervous about going to the gym also. I went for the first time alone last summer and now I can't live without it. I feel the worst part of it is, is that you are unfamiliar with the environment, and how it works. So, if you don't know how to weight train, try some classes out first. This will get you used to the facility and into a routine. Once you feel comfortable you can try to branch out to weight lifting.

Also the tip about the personal trainer is really good too. 

Maybe start with a class? I did Zumba for a while at my gym... It was great, because you become friends with the regulars... And then you can go to the gym with them, either to classes or just to do whatever. It's a great way to figure out who is serious about fitness and make friends at the same time! Also, I find that going in with a plan helps me also... For example, I will put a note on my phone like this... "2 miles on treadmill, 3 sets of 20 on 5 leg machines, 10 min stair master" sometimes I will look up kettle bell workouts online, which are super fun if your gym has them available... Lastly, the gym isn't everyone's cup of tea... I only go consistently when the weather is bad... But when it's nice out I get outside and go for long runs or walks... Maybe doing one or two gym days a week. The biggest thing to do is to get moving, find something you like ad strive to get good at it. For me, that is running and dance. Having an activity that you love and want to succeed at will give you more long term motivation and success! Most people at the gym are alone and have headphones in anyways... Once you find "the zone" it gets easier! Good luck!

You could ask a friend to go with you and workout! Usually, there is a helper walking around the gym , you could ask them how to use the equipment.  I was doing my squats and dead lifts all wrong thinking I was doing them right but I had eventually asked someone to critique my form.

Do you have a plan of what you will be doing at the gym? I think once you make a plan of what you are planning to do at the gym you may be less anxious rather than wandering around wondering what to do. 

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