I know the story. You want to be about that fitness life 24/7, but you're ashamed of
something everything, and you're paralyzed by that.
I get it. I've been there too. But to hell with that! Being terrified to walk into a gym is no reason to miss out on the unlimited value of being active. It's time for you to live up to your full badass potential! Here are my four foolproof ways to overcome guilt and shame associated with the gym so you can strut in there like you own the place and throw down on your health goals like a boss.
1. Ignore the 5 Percent
We have a tendency to assume everyone is worried about our perceived shortcomings—weight, age, gender, appearance, whatever. They must be saying, “I’d kill myself if I were as fat as her," "Gross, all these gay dudes are trying to take over the weights," and "God, there are just some things women shouldn’t do!”
You’re right. People do think these things. Some even have the audacity to say them. But what’s wrong with this line of thinking is that it leaves out what actually matters.
Let’s say your gym has 100 people in it. Because the universe hates you that day, five people say some extra foul sh*t to your face. You take their words to heart and run away from your health goals. But hang on. Do you hear what the other 95 people are saying?
*Silence*They aren’t saying anything. They’re too busy fantasizing about waffles to care about you. They don’t hate you; they hate the StairMaster. Those evil looks are because you aren’t a pile of Five Guys fries (f*cking delicious-ass fries, BTW). Does it make any sense for the ignorant 5 percent to dictate 100 percent of your activities? (The answer is no.)
2. Ask for HelpGym machines are on crack these days. Not only can they track your workout stats, but they can also guestimate your credit score, discover new dinosaur bones, and bake a fresh loaf of sourdough. It would be damn near impossible for a newbie not to be confused. And where there’s confusion, there’s embarrassment.
Gym machines are on crack these days. Not only can they track your workout stats, but they can also guestimate your credit score, discover new dinosaur bones and bake a fresh loaf of sourdough.
Lucky for you, most gyms have a great solution: a personal trainer. Before you start bitching and moaning about how much they cost, hear me out.
Option one: You bust it alone for months in all the wrong ways and seriously damage your body.Option two: You schedule two or three sessions with someone who actually knows what a triceps is. They also teach you how to use equipment properly and efficiently. Wow! You’ll be amazed how much a little bit of knowledge can drive your confidence.
Hell, many gyms even offer a session or two for free with your membership. But even if they don’t, spending $200 on a trainer versus $20,000 in corrective surgery? C’mon, son. Hire a pro.
3. Get a Squad
There are three essential players you need in your get-fit squad: an asshole friend, a cheat-meal friend (CMF), and a you’ll-always-be-hot cheerleader.
The asshole friend is your trainer. And even though they'll be a pain, trainers are awesome (refer back to point No. 2).
Your CMF is your homie who drags themself to class with you and brings an extra hair tie. They’re also right next to you in line at Chipotle after class. You don’t go all the time, but when the carnitas call, your CMF doesn't throw shade. Extra guac and cheese? Only to balance out the extra five reps you both put in. Would your trainer approve of it? Nope, and that’s why you don’t have cheat meals with your trainer.
Just as important as the CMF is the you’ll-always-be-hot cheerleader. Mine is my boyfriend. He understands even divas aren't confident 24/7, so he’ll randomly snatch a big handful of ass to remind me that he loves that thang just the way it is. Until I meet said boyfriend, I throw on my highest pair of heels and marvel at my quads in the mirror. Dayum.
4. Be Someone Else’s UmbrellaActor, singer, and poet Daniel Beaty once said, "Be all of you, so all of us can heal."
When all else fails, here's another reason to be yourself: Somewhere out there is someone who needs a role model. They desperately want permission to be their beautifully flawed selves, but they don't think they can withstand the sh*tstorm society throws at them.
You can be the person someone else looks up to. Don't dilute your personality to make it more palatable. F*ck that. Be all of you. Someone—maybe even someone you've never met—needs to see you in your circus freakhood and circus-freak struggle. Your freakhood is someone else's umbrella. Let them stand under it.
Above all, never forget your inherent value; the fact that you—right now, for real, no lie—are worthy of anything, especially getting to the gym and crushing every one of your health and fitness goals.