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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why It's Worth Taking the Risk to Exercise

I know I'm not alone in the "I'll feel so embarrassed to put on workout wear and look foolish in the gym" phobia.

I had to get over mine (and trust me, it still lurks) to step inside a Pilates studio full of the fit and the young and the beautiful sleek ones.

But good things can come of taking the chance and saying to the fear, "Yes, someone might make fun of me, but that's their problem, not mine. My problem is obesity and lack of fitness. That's what I need to address. Not someone else's immaturity."

I came across this in a post today at Thinking Thin Too blog:

My motivation is increasing. This is not a normal thing for me. I am not used to it, but I like it. I think I know what is causing this oddity. Want to know what it is? No, it's not A (well maybe a small part of it). It's the classes that I am going to. I never would have imagined that mustering up the courage to go to these classes would lead me to crave them. Yes, I said crave them. Yesterday, I was dog tired and I went home and didn't want to go. Just like the other week, at 5:30 I got up, changed my clothes, went to the gym and did the class. I have not missed a class since I started going. For those of you that haven't tried the classes, have you not tried them out of fear?

Let me tell you. I haven't done many things throughout my life because of fear. I don't want people watching the fat chic. You hear people whispering, and you assume it's about you...

Anyway, so that fear of being the center of attention has always kept me from trying those classes until that one day about 6 weeks ago. I haven't missed a class since. If you can muster up the courage, go to one. Trust me, you will find that exercise goes quickly. You will no longer dread going.

I would not have believed it possible if you had told me last year that I would feel disappointment at the idea of missing a Pilates session. But that's where I'm at. I've missed ONE session (that I had to cancel due to stomach woes after eating a hard, unripe pear). And I felt awful calling to cancel.

It's really hard. I'm not gonna say that exercising is a breeze or a snap. I have to find that place inside me that keeps going and doesn't quit during a tough session. (They're all tough, but some are tougher and make me wonder how I'll survive.) But I feel so good when I'm done. Like I did a virtous thing, like I'm not a weenie, like I'm on track on something...:)

If I could afford it, I'd go more often. But I am grateful to be able to take what I can.

And that's amazing. That just doing it and seeing how, "Wow, I am stronger this week than last, and I'll be stronger next week than this"--that is motivational.

If I could find that sort of groove with my portions, I'd be a big losing fool.

I want to be that kind of fool. :)

So, if you think that exercise sucks and you're too big to go to a gym or a studio or the park fitness trail or whatever, think about this blogger and Thinking Thin, and remember that it's possibly you can amaze yourself. Just find the exercise that works for you--be it hiking, weight lifting, Pilates, a spinning class, yoga, walking, belly dancing, boxing, Tae Kwon Do, swimming...whatever. Somewhere out there is an activity that will grab you and astound you by making you WANT TO DO IT and HATE TO MISS IT. No matter your budget, there's something for you.

Just tell your fears to take a hike. Tell your worries about fatphobics to chill. Hike up your big girl panties (preferably breathable ones) and go work out.

I hope you find YOUR activity this week. :)


moonduster said...

I know that feeling! I bought an elliptical crosstrainer, and have been exercising on it daily for months now. I keep upping the amount of time I spend on it, because I don't want my muscles to get too used to what I am already doing.

I'm spending about 80 minutes a day working out on it. I give myself Sundays off but I always feel like something is missing on Sundays because of it.

And I have to push myself to go and do the exercise, but I feel so good and so accomplished afterward!

Victoria said...


I know how you are feeling and I discussed the same issue some time ago with one of my very slender friends and you know what she said? She said people in the gym just don't care how small, big, short you are, we are all there for one common goal, to have a workout and she thinks its great that people are there and good on them no matter how big they are for making the change and getting some exercise. It's a common myth that people think bad things against you because you are not a slim skinny runner, people are too busy trying to get their workout over with so get in there and enjoy it.