Too Embarrassed To Exercise?
Too many of my clients say they’ve been too embarrassed to exercise. Don’t be. When I see someone trying to lose weight exercising, the only thing going through my head is “Well done you.”
The reasons why we can be too embarrassed to exercise vary. Whether it’s because we feel to self-conscious of our body and feel people will be looking at us. Some of us might be intimidated in gym environments where there are a lot of physically fit bodies strutting around! Or sometimes it’s because we’re unsure of how to exercise and feel awkward and feel that people may judge us. There are many reasons why we can be too embarrassed to exercise and each reason will vary between individuals.
Before I became a personal trainer, I too, felt a bit embarrassed to exercise – I had no idea what to do at the gym. I’d opt for the weight machines (which aren’t exactly thrilling) because there was minimal chance of doing something wrong!
Don’t be too embarrassed to exercise though. The physically fit people at the gym will most likely just be looking at themselves – not you! And I can guarantee you that no-one will judge you, if anything, they will have admiration for you and be inwardly proud of your efforts. If not, and if they’re judging you (highly doubtful), that’s their problem, not yours. If they’re judging you they must have some pretty unpleasant stuff going on in their own life to think horrible thoughts.
If you’re too embarrassed to work out you need to sort out the thoughts in your own head. The negative thoughts that enter your mind about you exercising are coming from your own inner critic:
“I look fat exercising, people are going to look at me and laugh” – No they’re not.
“I don’t know what to do at the gym, I’ll look like an idiot” – No you won’t.
In fact, if you ask a gym buff to show you how to do an exercise, 9 times out of 10 I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to share their knowledge with you – it’ll make them feel good too!
So rid your mind of your inner critic thoughts and get out there. Get active and enjoy it, and when you hear your inner critic, tell it where to go, because you’re doing this!
Some tips to conquer your thoughts on why you’re too embarrassed to exercise:
Invest in a personal trainer:
Getting a good personal trainer when you first start out at a gym is so beneficial. They’ll welcome you to the gym and you’ll probably meet more people through them. They will show you how to lift weights properly, minimising injury. They’ll be able to show you how to exercise effectively and get the most out of your workout. You can belt out a highly effective weight loss workout in just 20 minutes if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be wasting your time at the gym.
Wear a baggy t-shit to the gym:
One of my favourite gym outfits is shorts or tights with a plain black baggy t-shit. It’s comfortable, it hides flabby bits if you’re not feeling it. They’re cheap and it won’t draw unwanted attention. You don’t have to be a trend setter when working out, the only important thing is that you’re actually working out.
Get an exercise buddy:
More enjoyment, increased motivation, someone to push you, laugh at your awkwardness or lack of fitness! It’s just more fun with a friend – say no more.
Join an all female gym:
I personally love all female gyms. For many reasons. Maybe you’ll feel more comfortable at one? It’s a personal preference. I don’t exclude non-female gyms, but I do prefer them, nothing against the men!
Don’t even join a gym:
A gym is far from the only place you can get a decent workout. If you don’t enjoy the gym, you simply won’t go anyway. So find other activities you actually enjoy. I personally love bushwalking, running, boxing any water sport (although this is not something that is practical for most of us everyday), stair/hill climbing, rock climbing, aerial yoga… There’s so many other options that you might find more enjoyable than the gym. Currently I’m not part of a gym, but I do lift weights and do body weight exercises. Kayla Itsines has an amazing work out that you can do at home with minimal equipment. Or, if you know what to do with weights, go and buy a couple and set up a little workout space in your garage/room in your house. I’ve done this and it’s cost effective (obviously you have an initial outlay cost to buy the weights, but you can start off with just a few and build your collection over time). The benefit of this is that you can bash out a quick workout anytime at home without having to spend time getting to and from the gym.
Share your experience about being too embarrassed to exercise, or how you overcame this in the comments below.