The gym has had it's on and off moments for me.
As someone whom we'll describe as "physically declined", besides from factors like my weight and size etc. I never really liked the gym until last year; mostly because of the fact I didn't enjoy a lot of the people in the gym because of the rampant "gym lad culture" I'd heard so much about and sort of experienced in the effect of bullying in my earlier years from similar people.
Despite this, I successfully joined the gym this year in that 'new year, new me' hype that happens every year; resolutions be damned though because I didn't want to hold myself to this perfected standard or a goal that would weigh me down, further than I already weigh myself (fat joke - can't shame me, if I shame myself)
It was January 6th when I went for my first gym session of the year. It was 8pm, Sunday in the cold of night and as I walked through the car park with my friend, was when I had those first doubts of 'Am I ready for this?'. I wasn't scared of exercising, or worrying about keeping up to a standard of societal pressure, but more asking if I was ready to be surrounded by strangers and there was a certain level of judgemental paranoia in the air that evening.
I will be admittance that I don't in particular like exercising around others; I feel vulnerable and open and when it's done in public it's probably amplifying just other fears that I exhibit and know of in myself. Yet, despite these fears I pushed on; I entered my code for the gym, walked right through the door and put my stuff into a locker and cracked on.
It was at this time I remembered the routine I had before I had quit the gym back in 2017; treadmill, crosstrainer, rowing, weights, and done. I did my warm up of 5 minutes as usual on the treadmill on a high setting, before anyone wants to comment being like "Oh, only 5 minutes?". I then went to the cross trainers and to my dismay they weren't operational. This had me feeling lowly; especially considering there was already this group of lads eyeing me across the gym, making light giggles. Suffice it to say, it didn't help curb my social anxiety one bit.
After the cross trainers were a no go (only to later learn they were actually operational), I managed to get some weights in - going up from previous 6kg weights to 10kg and completed my weight lifting sets in record time, despite having not been in the gym for a while. I packed my things and then called it a night. Though while packing in the changing rooms, I heard plenty of talk behind my back from people who should know better.
That will always annoy me is the publicity that going to the gym and the power of people seeing your body in changing rooms is that it's all out in the open, and there's no real way to defend against rudeness or commentary on everything like your body, your specific details that you may hate, to even your workout. Being plus sized while exercising can be painful in the emotional sense at first, but it's through determination that I'm now 7 sessions in and I'm loving it. I have plenty of people to go with; the workouts I've put effort into testing and trying out different machines to see what works for me and what doesn't. The gym doesn't always have to be scary - and if you're plus size and worried about people judging you: You go for you, not them. At the end of the day, your wellbeing matters more, and if you can get through all the judgy arseholes and thick-wit gym lads - you'll be able to get better at it and it'll definitely help in multiple ways!
If you liked this post - I'm going to be posting some of my workouts in detail and how to ease into them later next month - wanna hit 15 sessions first. Till then, make sure to subscribe or check out more of my posts on the right side there; follow my social media for more and to show your support! As always, see you later!