You know that scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts walks into a designer store and the assistants look her up and down and tell her she’s in the wrong place because she doesn’t look right? Well it might just be a scene from a movie, but for some women the gym can hold the same set of insecurities and fears as that damn designer store. Like if you walk into a gym the whole place is going to come to a standstill and in slow motion everyone is going to turn their heads and look at you, thinking, what the hell is she doing here?
Well that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but we all have our insecurities and the gym isn’t a place that’s free of them. However, it’s how do we deal with them that counts! Take a look at these common gym phobias and how to overcome them.
1. Everyone is in Better Shape Than You
To the left of you is Jen Selter and to the right of you is Brittany Renner – unlikely, but it’s hard not to compare yourself to others in the gym and feel insecure. It’s the gym, so obviously there are going to be people with awesome bodies, but your body is awesome too.
Jen and Brittany had to start somewhere and although it’s hard to believe, I’m pretty sure they have body hang-ups too, days where they see someone else’s body and compare it to theirs or times when they just feel a bit meh about themselves. It’s human nature. The key thing to remember is that each person in the gym is on a different journey – for some it’s their first day and for others it’s become a way of life. So that person you’re feeling intimidated by had to overcome their own doubts and fears too.
Look, we’re all different so stop comparing yourself to others and focus on becoming a better version of you. And if you really can’t stop the comparisons then use that ‘perfect body’ as a form of motivation – you see an ass you like, then squat harder to boost your own!
2. Your Appearance Sucks
You wanna look like an extra from Baywatch – all slow motion running and shit, but in reality you look like something out of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. We’ve all been there, but it doesn’t matter. So what if your butt jiggles when you run, you’re working out and you’re a damn boss.
The key to boosting your confidence is to boost it from within. There’s nothing better than beating your personal best or running that extra mile knowing you’re body is benefiting from it, inside and out. So next time you catch a glimpse of yourself in the gym mirror and your face is all scrunched up and tired and you feel insecure, remember your long-term goals. Plus, when you’re heading out on Saturday night showing off all your hard work, your hulk-esque gym face will seem worth it, believe me.
3. Your Exercise Moves are Embarrassing
Legs wide open, hips thrusting, butt in the air…I could go on, but I’m pretty sure you get it. Some exercises are not the most inconspicuous, in fact they can feel down right humiliating at times, but that doesn’t mean you should give up completely. Why not find a gym partner and do the moves together or plug in your music and get in the zone. When you’re putting in 100% and feeling the burn you’ll forget how you look and concentrate on what you’re trying to achieve instead.
And guess what? If you really can’t bring yourself to do certain moves, you don’t have to. There are so many different exercises, which means that you can always substitute one move for another. So forget about the hip abductor and try an inner thigh lift instead. Thighs of steel don’t have to make anyone keel over with embarrassment, unless you’re wrapping them around someone’s head…maybe then.
4. You Might Fail, Do Something Wrong, Or Injure Yourself
Look, get a grip. We all had a first time at the gym, a first time using the weights and a first time squatting, but you’ll never get what you want if you’re too afraid to try. The way to overcome your fear is to learn, so do research, watch Youtube videos or ask someone. Popular to contrary belief most people in the gym are not jackasses and will be more than happy to show you how something works.
Oh and did I forget to say – people fail. Yes people fail all the time, in fact working out is just as much about failing as it is about achieving. You have to push yourself to the point of failure in order to progress, so don’t look at failing as a negative. Failing is a positive. You’re mother f***king failures have got you where you are today and they’re gonna get you the body you want, ok?
5. People are Watching You
Yes there are gym creeps just as there are creeps walking down the street, eating in restaurants and grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, but it doesn’t stop you doing any of those things, does it? Yeah it’s annoying, but don’t let it throw you off course. Everyone else in the gym thinks they’re creeps too and it’s them that should feel embarrassed.
Now apart from the creeps I’m sorry to break it to you, but no one else gives a damn. Gym goers tend to be focused on themselves, whether they’re pushing their limits, concentrating on their form or admiring their own bodies, so they’ve got little time to be worrying about you – unless you’re hogging a machine of course. I mean, do you sit and watch everybody else? No, because you’ve got shit to do. So stop letting your imagination sabotage your goals and get back to it.
Gym insecurities are all in your head, but work at fighting them and you’ll end up stronger mentally as well as physically!