I recently joined my small council run local gym. It’s a really nice, new space, very reasonably priced and includes a variety of classes as well as the gym room.
I thought I’d break myself in gently by going along to the Legs, Bums and Tums class.
Break myself in gently?? Not quite!
It seems that LBT classes nowadays are more like mini bootcamps! (Or maybe I wasn’t quite as fit as I thought!) I ended up working muscles that I’d forgotten were even there!
For a full 3 days after the class I struggled to walk down the stairs normally! I had to brace myself to gracelessly lurch onto the loo seat each time I wanted to pee! And I was heard making obscene noises every time I turned over in bed at night!! Oh yes, multiple muscles were truly awakened!
It’s time for me to make my serious point. Here it comes:
Even though I’m not the largest lady on the planet at a (stretchy) size 16, I might be the largest lady to attend my gym.
Whilst there were lots of different ages in the LBT class, there was a definite lack of larger gym bunnies to keep me company.
And I haven’t seen anyone of my size or larger in the gym room either.
This makes me feel a bit sad.
Not because I feel out of place (I’ve done a lot of work on my own body confidence in the last couple of years), but because I’m worried that the larger ladies in the world are potentially missing out.
I know the gym is not for everyone………
but I do think it offers a good opportunity to move your body and get some feel good endorphins, without having to worry about what the weather is doing.
I’ve been going to gyms for about 20 years now, so I guess I have got used to them. But I do remember a time when I felt extremely resistant to the idea of them, or of doing any exercise other than walking.
I thought gyms were scary and full of slim, glamorous women in lycra and full make up.
And in those days, I was deeply ashamed about the size of my body and my lack of fitness. It wasn’t just gyms I was scared of, I hated the thought of swimming (changing rooms- enough said!!), running was definitely a no-no, and personal trainers were for people more deserving than me!
I worried that whatever exercise I tried, I’d show myself up by going bright red and sweating. That I wouldn’t be able to do it. I worried about what to wear. (In the end my baggy t-shirt and leggings seem to work just fine!)
I wanted to become more active, but I felt too embarrassed and too fat.
I wonder if lots of larger ladies feel the same and that’s why there aren’t any in my gym? (I have certainly had some of my clients tell me they feel too embarrassed to join a class, go swimming or do any kind of organised exercise- so I know it’s not just me.)
And that is IMO such a shame!
So for those who are letting lack of body confidence hold them back from being more active, here are some messages I want to share:
Life’s too short NOT to treat your body to a bit of movement and some extra endorphins!
Most gym members are just ordinary people, who are probably focused on how their own bodies are looking and feeling. They’re probably not thinking about you at all!
Anyway, isn’t it time to stop caring about what others think? If they are judging you, that says more about them than you.
Research shows that exercise improves body confidence, because you’ll be focused on what your body can DO rather than what it looks like.
Your body deserves to be allowed to do what it was designed to do- MOVE!
And if gyms are really not for you, there are lots of other ways of moving your body. Just find something that feels like fun. There’s nothing wrong at all with a nice walk!
Or if you’ve always fancied it, you could even invest in a personal trainer to support you in building your confidence. You’re worth it and so that amazing body of yours! 😊
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